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Pixie Dust

Chapter Text

 

The office was an atrocity at seven o’clock in the morning.

Alec Lightwood strode in, coffee in hand and brow furrowed as he watched several uniformed officers shuffled past in an attempt to get to the evidence lockers. The small hallway making it difficult resulting in him nearly spilling the only thing that was going to allow him to make it through the day.

“Is there a reason for all the kerfuffle?” He asked, raising an eyebrow and placing his mocha on the edge of the desk. Thankfully, before his departure two months prior, he’d had the good sense to clean up and was now immaculate, a far cry from his partner’s desk across from him. 

From his view of the bullpen he could see it in all its glory; three of the five detectives on the floor were crowded around a table at the far end of the room, Lydia, Simon and Maia, their stormy expressions and stiff body language only the beginning of the frantic energy the precinct was radiating. A loud bark from the evidence locker sent the uniforms that had crossed Alec’s path earlier rushing for the elevator at the far end, tails between their legs. A few moments later Captain Luke Garroway barged out, throwing a glare to nobody in particular.

“Kerfuffle? That’s the first word I hear my partner, best friend and brother in arms say to me after two months god knows where? Not even a ‘hey Jace, I missed you so much’” A voice came, knocking Alec out his stupor. He turned to see his partner, Jace Wayland, slouched down in his chair.

Alec sat and logging onto the mainframe, was bombarded with email after email, oh, to be back again . He looked up at Jace with a crooked smile.“I’m sorry? I can’t hear you from all that goddamn mess over your desk, how the fuck do you work in that?”

Jace opened his mouth to answer but was cut off when Luke’s voice carried over the bullpen.

“Listen Up!” He barked, “There have been reports of three deaths from last night to this morning linked to this new drug on the market. Pixie Dust. I know this isn’t as high profile as it seems but these murders are violent. I want every detective, uniform, goddamn secretary on this case. Roberts-” He turned to Maia with steel in his eyes, “I want you and Lewis to work on finding as much information about this drug and its effects- Branwell, start to piece together as much information about the victims you can.” He finally focuses his attention on Alec, “Lightwood, Wayland.” he says grimly, “Go to the crime scenes, find out what you can.” He dismissed the rest and walked over, clapping a hand on his shoulder with a pained smile. “Good to have you back, Lightwood.” 

“Good to be back, Captain.” Alec nodded and grabbed his coat. This was going to be interesting.

 

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The smell was the first thing that hit Alec, it was a cross between syrup and rotting eggs. The two detectives pulled up to the crime scene. Not fully understanding why there was so much fuss over a drug overdose as two other police cars clocked around the alleyway between a small hole-in-the-wall bar and what seemed to be an abandoned video store. He and Jace got out the car and leaned against the bonnet, sipping coffee and praying in vain that the smell would subside.

“Okay, fill me in, what did I miss?” Alec breathed through his mouth. Refusing to allow the bile in the back of his throat the chance to make an appearance. The cold winter chill filling his lungs with cold,

Jace scrunched up his nose and tried not to gag, “Clary keeps telling me that we should get a dog- but she wants a husky and I want a golde-”

“About the case, dumbass- We have time to catch up later.” Alec sighed, starting the walk to the other cars after finishing the dregs of their coffee,

“Right.” He threw his partner a grin before turning serious once more as they ducked beneath the yellow police tape. “Pixie Dust is the latest drug on the market.” He began, “it’s been on our radar for about a month now, although there’s been no casualties at all and we haven’t really made it a priority, the stuff is popular with high profile users, not really seen on the common ground if you catch my drift. And now all of a sudden we get a dozen calls saying people are dying.” He said, running a hand through his sandy blond hair,

Alec thought for a moment, stopping before they reached the start of the scene and pulling his coat tighter around him to shield from the arctic breeze; “how do you know these deaths are linked to this ‘Pixie Dust’ stuff?” 

“Well, a key component of it is glitter and well…from the reports...” Jace shook his head and lead him to where the body was, exchanging a few words with the officer in charge.

The sight was something to behold. The victim couldn't have been older than twenty-two, maybe younger a voice in his head thought disturbingly . Alec’s senses screamed at him to back away and get as much distance between himself and the dead body as possible as he took a tentative step forward. 

 

His face was haunting. His mangled lip and obviously broken nose were caked in dried blood, congealed and cracked. The now browning blood had drizzled down his face like so much rain down a window pane. His dark hair knotted and sticking to the sides of his face. Eyes blown wide and scared, the ice blue of them making him seem almost as frozen as Alec felt in the cold November chill. What was left of his clothes were torn, a frayed white cotton button up that hung loosely either side of his lacerated torso, his flesh dangling in a similar way. The scarlet liquid had drenched his white shirt, the light had left his eyes as the colour from his rosy cheeks vanished as if ice had struck him. Blood still weeping from the wounds that snaked their way across the remnants of his chest. The smell became unbearable, it was a mix of something sickly sweet that overpowered the stink of maggots festering and wriggling in the gash. And the curious thing was that everything was covered in glitter. So much glitter. On the walls. The ground. The body.

“What the fuck. ” He muttered, crouching down, behind him Jace began to gag, turning away from the scene. “How the hell did this happen?”

A forensics worker that had been standing not far off advanced on them, breathing heavily through her mouth as she spoke:

“The glitter was applied post-mortem, so was the wound from the base of the lungs to the intestines. Whatever they wanted. It was inside the body.”

 

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The ride to the precinct was quieter. Jace stared blankly out the window for the majority of the ride. Alec focussed on the road. Nothing in his eight years on the force had been as gruesome as that. He had seen bullet wound after bullet wound, stab wounds, bar fights, everything. Nothing. Nothing, compared to that, and to add insult to injury was the glitter, scattered over the body of practically a child like some sick and twisted birthday party.

“Where’ve you been the past two months?” Jace asked in a small voice, not diverting his attention from the bustling scenery of New York on the other side of the window.

“I told you before I left, man, I had a family problem.” He replied softly, heart aching in his chest

A family problem, yeah, sure, you can say that.

It was more than that. Something Alec couldn’t find the heart to tell his best friend just yet.

“Alright.” Jace said vacantly, 

“I missed you though, I missed everyone.” Alec tried, Jace didn’t answer.

 

They pulled up fifteen minutes later in silence, sharing sorrowful looks as they entered the now calmer bullpen. Lydia and Simon came to greet them as they entered.

“This is bad, guys. Really bad. I cannot stress how fucked up this all is.” Simon blabbered as they stepped into the briefing room, Maia already setting up a pin board with all the information they had. Which was not a lot.

“What do we have already?” Jace said, immediately taking a seat on the table.

The board was covered with pictures from the rest of the crime scenes, each one covered in glitter like the one he and Jace had seen. They were all covered in blood and had gashes on their stomachs, slicing them open in one clean cut.

“Each one was found in an alleyway, either behind a bar or nightclub or something similar.” Maia began, pointing to various points on a map of New York City, her bushy brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. “They were all covered in glitter, and the gashes they sustained were post-mortem. Lydia and Simon got reports from the analysis team that the victims that came in earlier were all either known to be homeless, or sleeping rough.” She swallowed before continuing, “they were also all between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one.”

The five of them fell into an uncomfortable silence for a moment before someone broke it,

“What’s with the post-mortem then, and what’s the cause of death?” Lydia questioned; 

“The cause of death is definitely an overdose,” Maia replied, “whether it be of the Pixie Dust itself or a mix of other drugs to go along with it. The wounds are from the base of the lungs to the intestines and a swift, single cut. Allowing whatever organs in there to either be completely ripped apart, or fall out-”

 Simon made a gagging noise, looking sickly pale at her graphic description, “Sorry, continue.” He mumbled after righting himself and leaning against the desk,  

“Do we have any leads on who could be dealing these drugs?” Jace asked, looking expectantly at Simon, the colour returning to his cheeks with a vengeance under the direct eye contact.

Simon had had a crush on Jace since his first day on the force, but after a failed attempt at a relationship with one of the EMTs, Maureen- and after Jace started dating his best friend, Clary, he had stayed away from the dating scene altogether. Alec admired him for coming out as pansexual at the beginning of his career. God knows he got so much shit for it. Alec wished he had the guts to tell people how he felt, but under the watchful eye of his mother and father he knew it could never happen, his father didn’t have a good track record with those who favoured the same sex, Alec had heard from a rookie that his father had had found out two partners were seeing each other, both male, and had a few of his confidants dig up some nasty stuff on the both of them to get them thrown off the force; and his mother- that was another can of worms. 

“Not any real names, although we keep getting a recurring pseudonym: Pan.”

“Like Peter Pan? Is that why they call it Pixie Dust?” Alec inquired, raising an eyebrow. The other four looked at him suddenly as if only just noticing he was there. He shrugged his shoulders before motioning for Simon to go on, 

“...Yeah,” Simon continued, “most of our contacts say that he’s the person who first got Pixie Dust on the market and is a ghost of sorts, nobody knows anything about him or where he operates from. The ones who want Pixie Dust have to pay a pretty penny to get it, and even then they’re given a location and find a packet on the ground.”

“What does the drug actually do?” Lydia asks, leaning against the table next to Alec, who shifts his weight from foot to foot, uncomfortable with her close proximity.

“The drug itself is a higher concentration of ecstacy, although there are traces of other narcotics that even we haven’t seen before, and obviously it’s covered in silver edible glitter. It’s meant to enhance the senses to the point of psychosis, some of the effects include hallucinations, hysteria, and stuff like that.” Maia finished.

Alec took a breath, staring at the evidence in front of them.Taking a step forward and pointing to a list of names pinned up next to a particularly grisly crime scene photo,

“Is there anyone else that might have a connection to this Pixie Dust? Maybe even this Peter Pan guy?”

Maia and Jace shared a look, they seemed to have grown close after Alec left for the autumn, 

“There is one person, he’s a high profile club owner,” Maia stated, looking up at Alec wearily, “he’s always been suspected of having ties to the mob, as well as the narcotics world, but we haven’t had anything to pin on him yet.”

This piqued Alec’s interest, nobody had ever told him about this .

“Who is he?” He asked,

Simon reached behind him and picked up a pretty thin file from the table, handing it to Alec,

“His name” said Simon, “is Magnus Bane.” 

“Magnus… Bane?” Alec asked incredulously, “what kind of name is that?” 

Jace shrugged, “we think it might be another alias, but that’s all we have to go on, and if anyone knows anything about these murders, it’s him.”

Alec sighed again, flipping open the file to see a slightly fuzzy picture of an east asian man, dark eyes surrounded by black kohl eyeliner and deep blue eyeshadow, pouted lips pulled into a crooked smile, his clothes were no disappointment compared to the rest of him, silk shirt and tight trousers hugged a figure Alec would have considered more than attractive in any other circumstance. 

“What do we have on him? Any prior arrests?” Jace asked, leaning over to get a better look at the board

“His club isn’t a stranger to the odd police visit, but nothing on him himself, not yet.” Lydia glares and the file disapprovingly, “although the company he keeps is less than desirable.” She takes a confident step forward, invading Alec’s space once more, motioning to the man Mr. Bane was talking to in the picture. Now, Alec did recognise him. 

“Meliorn? Isn’t he a-”

“Prostitute and known drug dealer?” Jace finished for him, “Yeah.”

Alec felt his stomach flip, although he loathed to know the reason why.

“Anyone else we can look into?” He asked, Maia shook her head, 

“Not without a warrant, like I said, only the high profile get this stuff, and besides, if he’s got nothing to hide, what’s the worst that can happen when we go in?” 

Alec and Jace both started, 

“What do you mean ‘go in’?” Jace spluttered, “we aren’t going to talk to this guy with no evidence against him? Are we?” 

“No,” a strong voice from the doorway caught all their attention. Captain Garroway walked in, standing in front of them all, “I’ve got a few of my contacts that are regulars at Mr. Bane’s club to set up a meeting with him for a new DJ, Simon will go in as such and you, Alec, will be acting as the assistant to the manager.”

“How are we supposed to find out about Pixie Dust from that?”

“Simon, you get two drinks in you and you’ll make friends with anyone,” Jace grinned, “Alec will just have to tell you that you want some of that Pixie crap and you’ll find it, especially if Bane is as easy as people say.”

Simon spluttered and turned red, shaking his head “first of all: I’m not going to whore myself out for a job, and secondly: Magnus Bane is not my type.”

Luke sighed, giving an exhausted glance to Alec, who was staring just as bemused at them as he was, “That’s why Alec will be going with-”

Alec is going to whore himself out for a job? ” Jace’s eyes went wide for a second as he broke out into a shit-eating grin, “If anyone here would make a good prostitute it’s me!”

“NOBODY WILL BE WHORING THEMSELVES OUT, DETECTIVE.” Luke shouted, causing Jace to sink back into his original silence. 

“Alec and Simon will be taking jobs at the club in order to sift out any information on Pixie Dust they can get. Simon will be the DJ, Alec, you’ll be working with the manager of the club, who happens to be a close friend of Mr. Bane,” Luke continued at a more reasonable sound level, “You two better be ready, your first shift is next Saturday.”

Alec shared a look with Simon, he may have been a bumbling, blathering dumbass at times, but the kid had a good work ethic. At least if they had any chance of getting close to Magnus Bane, they had to come up with a plan of action. Fast.   



The next few hours were filled with him and Simon brainstorming a way to come off as convincing as possible; Simon had it easy; before joining the force he was in a semi-successful band, and knew how to DJ already. Alec, on the other hand, had few managerial skills when it came to clubs and stuff, though he had been surrounded by managers his entire life, with his father being high up on the food chain and such, and his mother’s demanding law practice. It would be easy enough to pick up.

“So what’s your cover story?” Simon asked, a mouth full of a pastrami sandwich Maia had picked up, Alec gave him a quizzical look before asking: “What do you mean?” 

“Well,” he said, wiping a spot of mustard from the corner of his mouth, and sitting back in the plastic chair of the briefing room they’d been in for god knows how long, “Your family are kinda famous, y’know, the Lightwood name and all that. I’m still boring old Simon Lewis, What’s your alias?” Simon quirked an eyebrow as Alec thought it over,

“I don't know, Alec is a pretty common name, and the best lies are the ones closest to the truth, so I'd keep that; last name, I don’t really know. What do you think?” He was putting a lot in the hands of his new partner with this, but his brown eyes lit up when Alec suggested it so he figured he’d throw him a bone.

“What about Singewood? That’s close enough but not too close, plus it sounds freaking amazing!” He said animatedly. Alec rolled his eyes, it was probably a reference to some obscure occult book series or something-

“Fine, that actually sounds kind of believable. What else do we need to know about this place?” He picked up the report and looked over the information for the thousandth time that afternoon, the sun was setting through the window, casting long shadows across the wall to their right. Bathing the room in a soft, warm, wintery glow.

“Well Pandemonium, the club, is in the East Village, not far away from that bar Maia used to work at, actually, she told me it’s frequented by those in gangs in the area, lots of nasty characters. The manager, Raphael Santiago, is the guy you’ll be ‘working’” He made inverted commas in the air with a breathy laugh,”- with, I’ll also be working with him, but you’ll be closer to Bane, and be able to get all the names of who we want to investigate, I’ll round up all the low-level dealers and see what I can find out about this ‘Peter Pan’ guy, you find if the boss has any ties to him.”

“Luke told me that we could get information back to the precinct through Maia, how?” Alec asked,

“Her boyfriend, Bat, still works at that bar, The Hunter’s Moon, I think he'll pass on any messages we send.”

“Are we sure he can be trusted?”

“Yes, at least if he’s not we have jurisdiction to let Maia and Lydia kick his ass.” Simon split into a grin, Alec chuckled at the thought.

“I hope this goes well. It’ll be a nice comeback to the job to solve these murders.” He smiled,

Simon nodded. A beat.“Where’d you go for the past couple months? Everything okay? Cap told us it was a family thing,”

Alec felt his stomach drop, he put down the remainder of his sandwich, suddenly lacking an appetite. “Yeah, everything’s fine,” he forced a smile. “Let’s just focus on who we need to target, yeah?”

Simon gave him a worried look, but turned back to the files in front of them to carry on.



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By the time Alec stumbled into his apartment it was past midnight, after wrapping up at work Simon had bullied him to go to Taki’s with Jace and Lydia ‘ to celebrate his return ’, which was more than uncomfortable as Lydia had him pressed up against the side of the booth like it was nobody’s business, for fuck sake, did nothing about him scream homosexual? What did he need to do to get across to Agent Branwell that he was not interested .

Alec’s head was swirling as he had to down a few beers and other things to take the edge off having to act straight. 

Of course Jace knew- they’d been partners since they started as detectives, which was incredible considering that had been six years ago, and like a good friend he had kept it to himself; allowing Alec an outlet to fawn over the guy at the coffee shop, or not give him a strange look when he checked a guy out while walking down to Taki’s. 

Alec groaned again as he toed off his shoes and flopped onto the old sofa, his apartment was small, a kitchen and living space in one room, a short hallway with a bathroom, and enough for two bedrooms for when Max, little Max. It hurt just thinking about him at the moment, even his alcohol addled brain seemed to understand the hurt he was going through, and turned his study on more pleasant things, like when Izzy was staying over, visiting from Washington where she worked as a medical examiner for the police up there. He enjoyed her visits too, she was the first to know when he had realised it himself, coming out to her was the toughest thing for seventeen-year-old Alec to do, and she had been supportive. Always had been. 

The alcohol swimming through his veins made his inhibitions lowered enough to let his mind wander to Magnus Bane, even in a picture, he had been attractive as fuck, all cheekbones and eyeliner and ass. For a second Alec’s conscious work brain made itself known and shut down those thoughts, leaving a confused and drunk brain in its wake. With a final shove off the couch and a drunken amble to the bed, Alec flopped down, fully clothed, and fell into a dreamless sleep.

Alec Lightwood, more like Alec Lightweight.     



Alec wore sunglasses to work the next day.

Simon seemed to have the same idea and they nodded silently to each other as Alec took a seat at his desk across from Jace, who had his head on the desk and was mumbling incoherently into the wood.

“You good there, Champ?” Alec asked, massaging his temples, Jace just groaned in response.

“I hope you two are bright-eyed and bushy tailed for today.” Lydia suddenly appeared beside them, looking fresh as a daisy and grinning like a cheshire cat, Alec envied how she could get trashed the night before and still turn up to work the next day in perfect condition. 

“What do you mean, Branwell?” Jace glowered at her over his arms,

“We’ve found a way to get you into Pandemonium earlier than expected. Apparently he’s got a soft spot for one of his assistants, who happens to be an informant of ours.”

“Who?” Alec asked, sending a silent thanks to the gods of coffee as he took a sip of his morning mocha, immediately feeling the warmth wake him up a little.

“Lily Chen, she and Santiago are friends, Simon got in touch with her and told her to talk you up. According to her, he’s impressed with your fake resumes and wants to meet with you tomorrow night.”

Alec perked up at her last sentence, tomorrow? That couldn’t be right.

“What? We aren’t nearly as prepared as we should be!” Alec said indignantly, staring up at her with wide eyes, before focusing his attention on Simon across the bullpen, nursing a mug of steaming coffee,

“Oi, Lewis!” Alec shouted at him, causing all of them to flinch at the loud noise. Simon shuffled off his desk and came to join the trio, shooting a small smile towards Jace, who was still glowering at the wooden desk in front of him.

“Tomorrow, are you kidding me?” He growled, not ready for this much information at eight a.m. 

“I’m sorry, Cap says we can’t spend too much time on this and is really getting heat from the higher ups to get this solved.”

Alec passes a hand over his face in an attempt to regroup. “Fine” he said finally, “what do we need to do?”

 

Chapter Text

 

The car ride to Pandemonium was the longest of Alec’s life. Simon tried to help by talking about inane things like movies; something about Star Wars and John Mucus fucking up the franchise in the early 2000s. He stopped paying attention after the second time he brought up Jar Jar Binks.

 

The day before had passed frighteningly fast; filled with countless reports and tips about what to expect from the club. Apparently Bane had opened it three years prior and since then had become a hotspot for all sorts of activity- the good, the bad and the ugly at that. He couldn’t help feeling unprepared for what was to come, there had obviously been a briefing before the two of them left- Luke telling him and Simon to stick to their stories. There was no telling how long this operation would go on for and he felt himself regretting not calling Izzy before he left, maybe he could do it tomorrow. Even just to tell her that he needed to be more careful when she called. If she calls. A spiteful voice in the back of his mind corrects him; she hadn’t been in contact with her brother for the past month and a half, grieving in her own way. Then again, that was a two way street, and Alec had no intention of taking either road. 

“You okay, Lightwood?” Simon asked stiffly, feeling the waves of tension roll of Alec’s body as they neared the neon lights of the club, faded and bland in the brightness of mid-afternoon sunlight,

“I’m alright. Nervous,” is all he elaborated before shutting off the car and getting out,

“You remember everything?” Simon urged, although Alec guessed he was more asking for himself than for his sake.

Without replying he started towards the front entrance, Simon following quickly behind him and putting on his game face- which was just a less goofy smile than his usual one- and knocked politely on the door.

 

After a few minutes Alec began to think that they’d gone back on their earlier meeting and checked his watch: 13:45, they were on time fifteen minutes ago and it shouldn’t have been as irritating as it was. Alec watched as Simon tapped mindlessly on the doorframe, couloured an obnoxious purple, and felt himself bristle,

“Stop that.”

“Stop what?”

“Tapping,”

“I’m not tapping,”

“You are,”

“Stop pacing then,”

“Are you fucking-

The door bashed open, revealing a young Latino man with cropped black hair and baby-face, although the look he was shooting screamed anything but innocence. Simon made a squeak behind Alec as the guy turned his attention to the latter,

“You’re late.” He stated, 

“We- we did knock,” Simon mumbled hesitantly behind him

The young man pointed to a sign above the door, reading: DO NOT KNOCK- COME IN THROUGH SIDE DOOR

Alec felt his stomach swoop and his cheeks heat up in embarrassment, which was a conservative reaction compared to the beet-red Detective Simon Lewis standing shyly beside him,

“Sorry, we didn’t see it,” Alec said, regaining enough composure for the both of them- shooting Simon a glare while doing so.

The young man gave an unenthusiastic eye-roll before stepping to one side, wordlessly inviting them to go in.

“We- we’re-” Simon started, his gaze not falling from the sour look on the man’s face, Alec could almost feel the anxiety buzzing around him like an incessant fly, and felt a sort of pity for the poor guy; until he remembered the reason they were there in the first place and cut in:

“We’re here for a meeting with Mr. Raphael Santiago, about a position for a new DJ and managerial assistant.” He hoped he was coming off as professional as he thought he sounded, and by the look on his face he seemed to be doing an okay job. Alec mentally gave himself a thumbs up.

“I am Raphael Santiago, please follow me.” The sense of finality to his words said the pleasantries were over. 

Game time, Alec thought, following Raphael into the club, a still cherry-red Simon following closely behind, at some point Alec had to wonder just how Lewis was qualified to actually go undercover.

The club was as flashy as expected, a raised stage bathed in a multitude of colourful lights, as well as a long bar stretching across a large, brightly lit wall of shelves stocked full of different bottles. The dim industrial lighting above flickered across exposed brick walls and sticky wooden floors leading to a dance floor in the centre of the room, bordered by a few plush chairs and sofas, along with a large staircase winding its way up to what Alec guessed was the VIP section of the club. 

A few people milled about the place, setting up, cleaning the remnants of whatever happened the night before. Alec keeps his eyes trained on every possible exit, a few storage rooms, windows, anything. Simon on the other hand, is still staring at Raphael’s broad back as he begins to lead them up the stairs- he can see the appeal, obviously, the dark eyes and hair, but he’s much too subdued for Alec’s taste; as well as being possibly involved with a drug gang and all that.

They entered the VIP area, it was a lot more mellow than the rest of the place, several tables and couches lined themselves across one side of the room, a bar similar to the one outside; Raphael lead them to one of the sofas, taking a seat on one side and motioning to the two empty chairs opposite.

 

“I’ve heard a lot about you two, I must say I’m impressed.” He states as the two men take their seats.

Alec studied the man, he wears a neatly tailored suit with the first two buttons undone, his posture is stiff and his stare calculating, 

“We heard about this opportunity through a friend, Lily.” Simon seemed to have found his voice, catching the attention of their employer, “can you tell us anything about the sort of thing we’ll be doing here? That isn’t the obvious, of course,” he flashed a grin to the man in front of them.

Raphael sends him a pointed look before continuing with the interview.

 

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An hour and a half later Alec finds himself shaking hands with Raphael Santiago, after an hour of unnecessary negotiation of salary and finalisation of documents he had been subjected to inane chatter from Simon and dry amusement from Santiago. 

He and Simon walked out to the car in silence, Alec throwing suspicious glances towards his partner as they began the drive home,

“Raphael is a lot better looking than I thought” Simon said shyly,

Alec was silent for a second before replying with a smirk, “I could tell by the way you were staring at his ass. Remember why we’re here, Detective ,” Alec shoots him a look, resulting in the man blushing and spluttering a retort

“I wasn’t staring !” Alec held back a laugh as Simon looked absolutely scandalised by his insinuation, “I - I was - observing, Lightwood.”

Sure, okay, whatever,” he suppressed a smile.

The rest of the ride is in a comfortable silence. Alec finds himself frowning, not because of anything Simon had said or done, but because of the uneasiness settling in the pit of his stomach, writhing around and telling him something just wasn’t right. He kept his eyes trained on the stark bright lights of the city streets in front of him, the bustling shoppers and the scuttling tourists as they point and laugh and talk about the metropolis around them.

Alec had grown up running around the city. His heart clenched at the thought of him and Izzy bounding through central park in a time when their parents had been carefree and full of love. After Max was born things changed. His parents hardly spoke to one another and he and Izzy had promised to each other that nothing bad would ever touch their baby brother.

Things changed, as they always did.

 

They couldn’t go back to the precinct, Luke had told them that if anything were to connect them back to their job it would cause suspicion. So, after dropping a more-than-happy-to-avoid-Alec Simon at home with a small goodbye, Alec found himself pulling up to his apartment block. The golden sky began to turn the puffy white clouds a pale pink, coating the city in a shimmering blanket of dazzling lights and loud laughter emanating from everywhere around him. 

“Mr. Lightwood.” A voice behind him rang out in the cool night air of the car park, he whipped around to come face to face with a young woman standing a few feet away, hidden in the shadow of the next building over, 

“Pardon?” 

The woman stepped into the light a little more, the light showing her petite frame and elegant straight black hair streaked with hot pink, Alec sighed, Lily Chen gave him a small smile,

“Raphael contacted me today- so did Luke,” she stated, tugging on the hem of her faded t-shirt.

“Do you want to come in” Alec said and made a lazy motion to the block behind him, Lily just shook her head,

“No, I just came to give you this-” She rifles in the pocket of her glittery black bomber jacket and produces a small black iphone- “I’ve already left one for Lewis. You’ll be using these to communicate with them while you’re at work.”

Alec just nodded, “I assume Raphael spoke to you about the interview, then?”

“Just told me that I had good taste, although he seemed a little uncomfortable with Lewis staring at him,” she shot Alec a grin,

“And we thought he was a mess next to Jace.” He said, Lily giggled, before her expression turned serious again, shifting her weight a little,

“There’s something you need to know about Bane.” She said training her eyes on the ground in front of her, “He’s a pretty intimidating guy, don’t get me wrong, he’s a good boss- it’s just that- don’t get on his bad side, alright?”

The uneasiness in Alec’s stomach lurched again, he nodded, not knowing what else to say as his mouth dried and the words died in his throat, with that Lily turned away and sauntered off into the growing darkness.

 

The apartment was cold, but that was probably just down to the shoddy build of the apartment. Alec knew he had to keep going over the case, but with the dimming light of day and the appeal of crawling into a warm bed right there is almost too nice to pass up. 

Unfortunately Alec forced himself to pull out his work bag and open a file with a watered down idea of the case. The image of Magnus Bane staring up at him from the coffee table has him thinking about Lily Chen’s words, ‘ don’t get on his bad side’ her voice echoed in his mind- but Bane doesn't seem to be any more of a criminal than he does. His manager, Santiago, had no prior arrests- he’d graduated from St. John’s University in Queens in business and management- all in all rather impressive, at first glance, nothing about the two of them screamed crook.

But then he took a closer look.

They were too clean, they had absolutely nothing against them, except a few pictures of shady lunch meetings here and there with less than honorable people. Neither of them even had a parking ticket to their name; Alec’s suspicions were raised once more as he thought about the weeks to come, and what they might entail. 

 

When Alec finally crawled into bed the uneasy writhing in his stomach had settled and his mind was now just begging for sleep. He was meant to meet Lewis and Jace for lunch the next day before they started their first shift on Saturday. His mind wandered for a moment before he succumbed to the temptation of sleep and zoomed in on the thought of getting close to this Bane character, and for a second, he felt like he’d been dunked under water- in over his head with this hasty decision to go under cover so soon. With the assumption of being intertwined with the deadly Pixie Dust. Maybe he was over his head. Only time would tell.

 

 The golden light of the winter morning filtering through the white drapes that cover the view of the East River calmed him as he shuffled about the kitchen, pulling a mug from the cupboard and rubbing his sleep-crusted eyes in an attempt to wake himself up. He looked at his phone on the counter top- not the one Lily had given him the night before, no, that had stayed safely in his coat pocket. For some reason Alec thought of Izzy. Then he shook his head, she wouldn’t pick up if I called, he chastised himself, finishing his coffee and flicking on the ancient television that sat across from the coffee table.

After a while the phone he left on the counter felt like it was staring at him- a voice in the back of his mind started to make itself known, picking up an annoying mantra of call her call her call her call her . Alec’s brow knitted into a scowl as he found himself picking up the phone and staring at his sister’s contact name on the screen. After what felt like an hour of huffing and puffing he gave into the little voice and dialed her number:

 

“Alec?” His sister’s soft voice was hesitant through the receiver, he sighed in relief,

 

“Hey Iz, it’s been a while,”

 

Yeah, I guess.” Her voice trembled, as if holding back tears and it breaks Alec’s heart to be the reason his little sister cries so quickly, “ how are you?”

 

Alec falters- the question is so casual and mundane , but there are a million words behind it, with everything that happened; he turns up blank, stuttering into the phone, “I’m okay.” He chokes out, “I’m going under cover for a case, Iz.”

 

Back at work then, I see,” she breathed, as if this is just a normal conversation and before he knows it Alec felt hot tears flow down his cheeks,

 

“Iz, I’m sorry I haven't called- I just -” he started, but Izzy cut him off before he could continue:

 

It’s alright, Alec, we’ve all been dealing with it.” She sounded sympathetic, because that's just how she was, caring and kind and looking after her big brother when it should be the other way around. “Please promise me you’ll be safe, don’t do anything stupid.” She attempts a laugh, but Alec can hear the tremor in her voice and the rest of her sentence hangs heavy in the air between them ‘ I can’t lose you too.’

 

“I promise, I’ll be okay.” Alec forced himself to make the promise, because that’s what he needs to do to make sure that his sister knows he’ll be there. Even though he knows there are no promises in his line of work. Max would know that more than anyone.

 

“I have to go. I’ll call you when I can, I love you.” Izzy’s voice was calmer now, and Alec took a silent breath, compelling himself to calm down too,

 

“I love you too, Iz, bye.”

 

The call disconnects a second later, and even though the little voice in his head seemed satisfied. Alec’s body seems to think he’s just dodged a freight train, his heart pounded and for the first time in months he let himself cry. He slides down the counter and onto the crappy linoleum floor and cries. He feels every pitying look, every memory, everything. He felt the ache in his chest alleviate little by little as he allowed the stress, grief and sorrow consume him for a little while.

Then he gets up.

He didn’t know how long it’d been but he chucked his cold and forgotten coffee in the sink and checked the time. Only half an hour before he had to meet Simon and Jace, and even though he can’t see himself he knows he’s a blotchy and red-eyed mess. 

His suspicions were confirmed when he looked in the bathroom mirror. He groaned and mumbled a few curse words as he tried to tame his unruly black hair. Jace had called him Harry Potter once which had spread like wildfire through the office a few years back and if he showed up to lunch in this state- the nickname was going to make one hell of a comeback.

 

He’s a few minutes late by the time he’s walking down to the car park, shoving up the sleeves of his favorite ratty blue sweater with more than one hole in it. Jace and Simon are already there when he pulled out the chair- Simon, red faced as ever as Jace makes a comment that had to be an innuendo.

“Sup Lightwood,” Jace smiles at him, blonde hair and golden eyes shining in the cloudy midday light streaming through the large window next to their table, Alec smiled as best he can before turning to Simon,

“What’s got you twisted like a pretzel?” Alec digs, “Jace finally offered you a hotel card?”

His comment makes Simon look like he’s about to burst a fuse. Jace gives a bark of laughter, catching the attention of the next table over in the little internet cafe they sit in, 

WHAT- I- no!” Simon spat out, trying to contain himself, Alec cracked a smile,

“Oh come on now,” Jace said, patting the poor guy on the back, “I have a girlfriend- and besides, Lewis over here keeps gushing about your new boss, don’tcha?” He raised an eyebrow, This, having what Alec assumed is the desired effect, makes him blush harder than he’d thought possible, causing Simon to squirm in his seat, crossing his arms over his chest with a huff.

“I’m so telling Clary you’re an ass,” he grumbled, casting an embarrassed glance around the room, obviously hoping his outburst was lost in the hubbub of the busy cafe.

“Did you get the phone?” Alec diverts the conversation, hoping to avoid another Simon-Jace-Clary conundrum like what happened at last year’s christmas party. He shuddered at the memory.

Simon nodded, “Lily left it in my mailbox.” He bit his lip, “are you nervous?”

Alec deliberated it for a moment, before nodding, “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what we can get on the guy-” he lowered his voice so only his two companions could hear, “if this guy really does have connections to Pan, we’ll be able to find out why people are being killed over it.”

There’s an understanding silence between them, before Jace’s eyes widen and he grabs the two of them by the shoulder,

“Everyone is heading to this bar in Hell's Kitchen tonight, come with us- a last hurrah!” He grins, Alec looks to Simon, who shrugs and nods, Alec looks back at Jace who’s staring at him with big golden retriever puppy eyes that have got to stop making him do stupid shit like this .

“Fine-” 

Jace gave a shout and grinned manichally at the two of them, leaving Alec to wonder what the fuck he’s gotten himself into this time.

 

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The bar isn’t as bad as Alec expects, the exposed brick and neon sign outside weren’t tacky enough for Alec to worry, a small band plays some tasteful music in the corner, a few people dance in the middle; there are a lot of cops there, a few from other precincts downtown but the majority from his own. Alec turned to the sudden squeal of Clary, Jace’s girlfriend as she caught sight of him, bounding towards the entryway in a mess of red hair and bubbly shrieks,

“You made it!” She beams, Jace follows behind her, making a silent motion saying she’s already had a little too much- he suppresses a laugh,

“Hey, Clary, how’s the art school going?” Alec smiles down at her as her eyes light up; she’d recently started teaching at a fancy art school in Brooklyn, she tells him about all the talented kids there and Jace smiles down at her before they moved to the bar where Maia and Simon are in some weird heated debate about Star Trek, while Lydia looked on at them with a bored expression, sipping her cocktail.

“Nemoy is so much better than Quinto!” Simon exclaims, not even noticing the three extra people listening into their conversation, although Lydia brushed up against Alec, shooting him a small smile that he didn’t return,

“Are you hearing yourself Lewis? Quinto brings so much more to the role than Nemoy did!”

Simon gasped, as though offended by her statement, 

Alec coughed to get their attention and the argument is immediately cut off by Maia giving Alec a one-armed hug, as well as a polite hello to Lydia

“How’d everything go at work today?” Alec asked, his friends gave a collective groan,

“No work talk- we’re getting you shit-faced” Maia said, putting a hand up to stop him from arguing and signalling for the bartender to bring them several rounds of something strong. Alec was going to regret this.

 

Alec’s inhibitions are shoved so far in a dark closet he thinks he can see his fourteen-year-old self in there. 

After two rounds of whatever Maia had asked the bartender for Alec found himself swaying on the spot, with Clary giggling as he blubbered with Simon over some disney movie

QUINTO COULD NEVER BE NEMOY, GET OVER IT!” Simon hollers, causing a rosy-cheeked Jace to try and calm him down, Alec slams his hand on the bar and slurs:

“Nemoy walked so Quinto could run!” 

Simon nodded vigorously and after another half hour of going through every Star Trek episode in the book, Lydia pulled Alec into the chilly night air, slurring that she wanted to talk to him, he’s not nearly sober enough to think about what it is and follows her after a garbled ‘ see you later’ to the rest.

The night was clear and they weren’t the only drunk people out on the streets, they ducked past the smokers at the doorstep and head out onto the sidewalk, Alec giggled as he catches one staring at his ass. Lydia doesn’t notice.

“Alec…” Lydia slurred, turning to face him as the stop a little way down, Alec looked down at her; her hair is down from its usual blonde ponytail and flows down to her shoulders, her hazel eyes droopy and glazed from the alcohol. 

He’s so busy staring that it doesn’t register when she leans up and kisses him.

 

Alec’s eyes widen as he steps backwards, gently trying to detach her hands from the vice-like grip on his jacket lapels-

“Mmm, c’mere” she says, Alec shakes his head, suddenly sober as he can force himself to be, finally feeling the biting air attack his skin, flushing out most of the warmth of the alcohol singing through his veins.

“Lydia- get off me.” He grunts, pushing her away with a little more force. She glowers at him,

“Why? I thought you liked me!” She said shrilly, Alec shook his head, trying to wrack his addled brain for a time he could have let Lydia believe he was interested- unable to come up with an excuse, he more feels the words leave his mouth than hears them as the blood roars in his ears-

“I couldn’t like you even if I wanted to- I’m gay .”

Lydia stared at him, and even in the dim light he could see it, even with the fuzziness of his vision he could see the disgust in her eyes and it makes him turn away staring at the sidewalk like a scolded child. 

Without another word Lydia turns on her heel and stalks back into the bar.

Alec stands out in the cold, reeling from what he’s just said.

Chapter Text

Magnus Bane smiled as his manager flopped down on the couch across from him,

Dios, ” he said, letting his head loll onto the back of the sofa, “I swear, Magnus, if you make me do any more interviews for this ‘ managerial assistant’ thing I’ll actually start crying.”

Magnus laughed, straightening his silk waistcoat as he sauntered to the drinks cart next to the double doors leading to his balcony,

“Raphael, darling,” he twirled around, fresh drink in hand, “I don’t believe you- besides, a little birdy told me you’ve already found our two candidates, and that you’ve taken an interest in one of them,”

Raph groaned, even though a pink tinge dusted his cheeks, “that is the last time I tell Lily anything,”

Magnus snorted, “who are they? Have you done the background checks?” He sighed, returning to his seat.

“Simon Lewis, for the DJ-” he said, sitting up and yanking his briefcase onto his lap before opening it and handing Magnus a file with the two employee’s names on it. “-and Alex or Alec something Singewood-”

“Alec Singewood? Is that even a real name?” He raised an eyebrow- the guy’s resume was impressive, “what made you pick these two, Santiago?”

“Lewis was a bumbling mess, seriously the kid would not shut up .” Raph passed a hand over his face, trying to avoid Magnus’s cloying gaze,

“Is that the one that’s gotten my tough little Raphael all gushy?”

 “I am not gushy , Magnus!” He said indignantly before continuing “-Singewood was quite respectable actually, they were the most tolerable of the lot. That’s all.”

Magnus stared at the file for a while longer. Pandemonium had been a bigger success than he planned, just a nice, easy front where the drugs he sold could easily be transported and imported- he’d been happy with the little business, but as the club had started climbing he found himself enjoying running more than the rest of his ‘businesses’. 

In business however, there were always difficulties.

Magnus had been approached by less than desirable characters throughout his career; offers of money, glory, power , anything he wanted- but that path always lead to darker routes.

Pandemonium was a place for fun. A place where you could let your hair down without losing your life. He had said as much, refusing to so much as touch what the other crooks fed their dogs of clients. 

Nonetheless- there was always more to the story; there was always a snitch, a spy, a handshake against the empire he created. Magnus was never one to worry too much though, and nobody had ever had reason to come after him, at least that’s what he hoped.

“I must say, you’ve found the perfect fit for the job.” 

Raph gave him a haughty look, “Like I would find anyone less deserving to work under my command,”

Magnus arched an eyebrow, something he had perfected when talking to his manager, “don’t take that tone with me, young man.”

Raph rolled his eyes, and snatched the file out of his hands before rising, “you are not my father,”

Magnus crossed his arms defensively, “excuse you- I’ve raised you since you came to this city- and don’t you forget about Sunday dinners!”

Raphael rolled his eyes again before heading for the front door,

“I’ll see you tomorrow anciano!” old man He called back

Magnus smiled as he heard the door shut. Raphael had come to him when he was no more than sixteen, scared, abused, terrified of a big city he thought he had no place in. His dear friend, Catarina Loss, had called him after Raph had fled from an unsafe halfway house in Manhattan. From there he’d become the kid that stuck an affectionate thorn in Magnus’s side, he had found his place in New York with the family he’d made. Ten years later he was still a thorn in his side, just a better educated one with more than enough snark for all of them.

With the flick of a switch the loft filled with music, something low and easy to move to. Magnus inadvertently started to sway around the loft, it had begun to rain and the heavy thrum of rain kept in time to the music. He let the music swirl around him, like the smoulderings of incense that burned in the corner, slow and heady- creating a delicious daze that threatened to envelope him.

 

The abrasive ring of the doorbell snatched him out of his delirium.

 

“Who the fuck wants to disturb me at this time of night” he hissed at nobody in particular.

With a flourish he pulled open the door to be greeted with an envelope sitting on the doormat, his name scratched onto the front in blue ink.

Taking the letter from the floor he hastily ripped the ivory paper, stomach lurching with disgust at the images that fell out; fluttering their way to his feet.

Corpses, three of them, staring up at him with wild, dead eyes; bile rose in his throat at the sight, covered in glitter and torn at the seams.

Shakily, he picked them up, as if afraid he were touching the real thing. The envelope contained nothing else but a single note:

 

All You Need is Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust.

Come Back to Neverland, Pan.

Hook is waiting.

 

Magnus felt something heavy weigh down on him, sending him to his knees at his front door. Nobody should know. With a final glance at the pictures, he slammed the door and staggered over to the coffee table where he left his phone and dials a number he never thought he’d have to use again.

 

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Alec had no idea how he got home the night before. It had become a bit blurry after Lydia had stormed off. There had been an old lady, a cab, and a duck? The duck might have been his imagination. Jace had a thing with them. 

The light barraging its way into his room did nothing for his hangover, Alec shoved his face back into the pillows before everything comes back to him and he felt the intense need to vomit.

Lydia had kissed him, and he had been an idiot and told her his biggest secret.

Lydia had kissed him .

And he had told her.

Alec’s legs seemed to work before his brain did as he skidded into the living room to find his jacket hanging haphazardly on the back of the chair, fumbling for his phone he dialed:

“Pick up pick up pick up pick up.” He whispered, mouth parched and throat scratchy,

“Alec? What’s up?” Jace’s voice crackled through the receiver

“Did she say anything?” 

“What are you talking about, Alec are you okay?” Jace’s worry falls on deaf ears as Alec paced around the apartment,

“Lydia- she- she tried to- she did-”

“Shut up for a second and breathe.” Jace said,

Alec did as he was told,

“Last night, Jace, Lydia kissed me-”

WHAT?!” Alec flinches at his friend’s volume, 

“I pushed her off, I- I told her.” His voice wavered, fear settling deep in his chest,

“You told Lydia?” Jace sounded just as worried as Alec felt. Panic reared its ugly head at the thought of what she might do with the newest piece of office gossip. “Are you okay?”

“I- I think I’m going to be sick- what if she tells people?” 

“Woah, she isn’t going to be telling anyone, okay?” He doesn’t sound convinced, after Simon came out Lydia had been more than hostile towards him about his sexuality- nothing over the top but, small comments about who he had been seeing, scrutinising him more than the rest of the people in the office. Simon may have brushed it off with a joke but Alec could always see the downtrodden look in his eyes whenever she said anything to him, Alec didn’t want that- especially with the way his parents would react. He was sure they would have no qualms ending his career- son or not. And as cruel as it might sound Simon still had the option to marry a woman- he couldn’t do that. And Lydia having found out in the most horrendous way possible made things even worse.

“Please, talk to her, tell her not to tell anyone,” he said, 

“I won't, I have to go, man, use the phone to text Luke when you and Lewis leave tonight, okay?” Jace rushed out, Alec sighed, “please be safe, if this Bane guy is tied to anything we need to get him now, stay sharp.”

“I will, you be safe too, bye.”

The line went dead. 

Alec wanted to join it.



Simon had turned up a few hours later, big goofy smile plastered on his face,

“What’s got you all excited?” 

Simon shrugged, as if not knowing what Alec was insinuating, “nothing- nerves, adrenaline, the usual”

“Or you can’t wait to fuck the new boss,” he grumbled, setting about to make them both a cup of coffee, Simon gave an indignant squeak behind him,

“I can smile and not have a thing for our ‘boss’”

“Sure, just try not to do anything at work- I don’t feel like walking in on you and him jammed up against a wall somewhere.” The look on Simon’s face is enough to keep him laughing for another five minutes.

 

Pandemonium was a stark contrast to the bitter cold of the night, the neon sign glowing a fluorescent pink in the darkness, as well as lights illuminating the windows. Inside, the club was in full swing; beneath the dry-ice smoke swirled an array of deep blues, acid greens, hot pinks and golds. The music played over the dance floor as if had fused with the bodies. Alec lead Simon to the back room where Raphael had told them to go when they got there-

“Keep a lookout, act natural.” He said into his ear, and with a final nod was escorted to a group of aesthetically flashy people near the speakers.

“Singewood,” Raphael’s voice cut through the thumping music behind him, “follow me- you’ll be supervising the VIP section tonight.”

Without looking back to see if he was following, Raph meandered his way to the stairs, leaving Alec to amble after him in an attempt to actually follow him.

 

The VIP section was a lot more… subdued than the rest of the club. It was still rather full, only instead of several hundred writhing bodies on the dancefloor, there were less than fifty. Alec let his eyes adjust to the dim purple lighting, thanking the Angel that the music was slightly quieter than out front. Several couples occupied the sofas to the one wall. Had Alec not been looking so hard in the darkness he wouldn’t of seen him. Even with the volume of people around him, talking, drinking, laughing. He stood out.

“Singewood, the fuck are you looking at?” Raphael tore him from his stupor by stepping into his vision, “have you been listening to me at all?” 

“Sorry,” is all he managed,

Raphael rolled his eyes, something Alec guessed he’d perfected over the years. “ Dios.” Was all he said before leading him to a back room- which in fact turned out to be an office.

“You’ll be taking care of stock checks and supervision of the bar. In your resume it said you have experience with this, correct?”

Alec nodded, he did have experience with this, only it was more patrol personnel and equipment checks instead of alcohol.

“I need you to do a stock check first, talk to Andreas, he’s the one on bar duty tonight.” He handed him a clipboard. “Don’t screw up on the first day, Singewood.”

 

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By the time twelve in the morning rolled around Alec was two hours into his shift and had done stock check of every wine, beer and spirits in the back. When he got back to the precinct Luke was either getting a taser to the ass for putting him through this or a muffin basket for all the times he complained about having to do paperwork. 

The bar curved into the room, dark in the dim strobe lighting, the back of it lit up like the fourth of July as he took down everything that was on the shelves; it was spacious enough to allow two people back there at a time with little scuffle. Although that didn’t stop one of the swirly and drunken patrons as they crashed into him at the edge of it; Alec lost his footing as he tried to keep himself upright and landed flat on his back in the middle of the bar. Obviously Andreas hadn’t seen him as the next second the wind was knocked out of him as the clutz of a barman fell on top of him, sending several drinks and a bottle of what Alec guessed had been pretty expensive whiskey shattering across the hardwood floor. However, as he averted his eyes- mostly to avoid having to make eye contact with Andreas, his eyes caught sight of several packets sitting at the bottom of the bar of what seemed to be silver glitter- but on closer inspection sent his heart racing. Pixie Dust.

In the compromising position Alec found himself both thanking and cursing whatever God might be out there that Raphael’s voice startled the two young men into scrambling off the floor, soaked in what Alec hoped was just sticky cocktails. 

“¿Qué demonios está pasando aquí?” What the hell is going on here? He yelled as he pushed past several people too enebriated to care what was going on around them. “Both of you. My office. NOW.” 

Alec swallowed, straightening his posture and bowing his head. Andreas seemed to see the murderous glint in the boss’s eyes as he followed suit as Raphael began to lead them back to the office they were in earlier that night.

“It’s alright, Raphael. I’ll take these two.” A soft voice calls-

Alec slowly turned his head, Magnus Bane stood behind them in his full glory, the light of the club enhancing the sharp edges of his features. His eyes were adorned with sparkling silver eyeshadow and deep black kohl that made them stand out.Hair styles as a few coloured strands fell adroitly to the side. His golden silk shirt buttoned down to the navel, showing gorgeous honey-coloured skin that sparkled with glitter, making him seem as if he were glowing- maybe he was- Alec wouldn’t have noticed. The man was an angel. Sparkling as the light danced on his skin. 

Raphael gave a huff and Alec felt a blush creep up his neck.

“It’s fine, Magnus-”

“No, no, it’s quite alright.” His gaze slid to Alec who suddenly wanted to cover himself with something, anything. “I’d like to speak to them myself.”

Raphael muttered something in spanish before holding his hands up in surrender and backing away- he turned and shouted something at a few other employees about the mess- Alec didn’t have time to register before being lead up another winding staircase to a large door- he could feel the eyes of the room on him as they ascended, following right behind him and keeping up a mental mantra of don’t look at his ass don’t look at his ass don’t look at his ass.

Alec looked.

It was more than worth it.

 

By the time they reached the office Alec’s face had become a sight Simon would have been proud of- but he had to focus, Pixie Dust was definitely being distributed through Pandemonium. He needed to find Simon, get the message to Luke for further investigation. Magnus turned to the two of them, lips pulled into a calm smile and posture relaxed.

“Andreas, please enter my office-” he motioned to the man on Alec’s left, “and you, pretty boy, wait right here.” His voice was smooth and even, sending a chill down Alec’s spine. Andreas shot him an apologetic look before ducking into the room.

 

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Simon found himself actually enjoying his new job for a little while; it was easy to keep the crowd up-beat as most of them were too piss-drunk to have an opinion on the music. Raphael had come to him with a brief on his schedule for the night. Not that Simon had paid much attention to what he was saying more to paying attention to how goddamn pretty he was. He’d gone on his break and made his way up to the VIP section to see how Alec was handling managerial business when he caught sight of a young man with shocking blue hair slipping into a side room- he wouldn’t have thought anything otherwise but he was closely followed by three others- each one looking sketchier than the last. Wading through the torrent of dancers he made it to the door; cracking it open just enough to see the man with blue hair pass over several slips of paper and a baggie to each person- containing sparkling contents that had to be what he thought it was.

Without so much as a glance back at the shabby storage room he dashed out of the club through the back door- dialing Luke’s number as quickly as his numbing fingers could do in the shocking cold.

 

“Lewis” The Captain’s voice came through and Simon gave a sigh of relief, “what’s going on? Have you found anything?”

 

“I saw four people, three caucasian males, one hispanic male, one of them was handing out Pixie Dust- this place is definitely a hub for distribution to drug mules.” He hurried out, Luke was silent for a moment before replying:

 

“Stay where you are, Lewis- keep up appearances and make sure you get as much information on these people- do not engage, detective, we have a while yet to go.”

 

Simon told him that Alec was alright and that the night had been successful so far; hanging up he turned to go back inside- opening the door and taking a few steps in only to run right into his boss.

Raphael stared at him through firm brown eyes, in such close proximity Simon see the soft contours of his face, a little dimple in his right cheek that made him want to just die because from far away he seemed so tough but he was absolutely adorable up close- especially with a strand of curly brown hair that fell artfully into his eyes- just aching for Simon to push it back from his face. The thought of doing so making him want to swoon like an 18th century Louisiana bride on a hot day in July.

“Your break ended ten minutes ago, Lewis- where the hell have you been?” He demanded, if he had noticed the way Simon had stiffened and started to burn red he didn’t comment on it.

“I-I’m sorry, I lost track of time.” He stuttered out,

Raphael looked him in the eyes- God , Simon could get thoroughly lost in them- “Make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Simon nodded- more vigorously than he intended to as Raph backed away, and hurried back into the throng of partygoers, hoping that Alec might be having a better night as he was.

 

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Andreas had come out twenty minutes later- sniffling into his apron. Alec gulped again before Magnus shadowed the doorway; beckoning him into his office with a stony look in his eye that made Alec feel more exposed than he already did.

“Come on in Pretty Boy- I don’t bite.” Magnus smirked, “unless you ask me to.”

Alec rose from his seat, following Magnus into his office.

 

Chapter Text




Alec ducked into the office- it was more of a lounge, really. The walls were painted the same obnoxious purple as the rest of the club, with two couches surrounding a coffee table.

Magnus took a seat on the chair behind an annoyingly ornate desk and motioned for Alec to do the same across from him. A feeling similar to being called to the Captain’s office bubbled in the pit of his stomach- making a nice home next to the adrenaline of finding the Pixie Dust. The light in there was a significant upgrade from the rest of Pandemonium, allowing Alec to really see how piercing Magnus’s gaze was,

“You’re the new recruit, aren’t you?” Magnus said thoughtfully, leaning back in his chair,

“I am, yes, Alec L-Singewood.” He mentally slapped himself for the slip up- he needed a way out of this, or at least a way to get information without tipping the guy off.

“I know. Raphael showed me yours and your boyfriend’s file-”

“Simon is not my boyfriend-” Alec flushed, 

“Oh? You arrive and leave in the same car- I merely assumed -”  

Don’t.

He blanched at Alec’s outburst, before schooling his features back into cool amusement,  nodding as if understanding something that Alec hadn’t said- “Okay, I’m guessing Alec is short for Alexander?” Magnus asked, and gave a small smile when Alec nodded. “Would you like a drink?” He rose from his seat behind the desk and sauntered over to a drinks car by a window,

“No, thank you- um-” think, think, think “what happened at the bar-”

“Don’t worry about that, darling, it was an accident.” He said, spinning around and placing a drink in Alec’s hand, “I was planning on calling you in anyway- just to get a feel of what you’re like and what you bring to the business-” he carried on about lights, music, security; Alec didn’t pay too much attention to his actual words, more how he said them. Had he not have had so much practice reading people and what makes them tic he wouldn’t have noticed the slight jitteriness to his voice- the anxious twitch in his jaw, nor the way he kept twisting the many rings around his fingers. The man had something to hide, and the best way to get information out of someone was to let them do all the work.

“I originally didn’t think of applying for the position, actually,” Alec started, taking a sip of the cocktail and internally grimacing at the sickly sweet burn running down his throat, “I’d heard a lot of rumours about the club before hand.”

“What changed your mind?” Magnus asked, leaning against the desk, leaning forward slightly with a quirked eyebrow,

“Lily- she got into contact with Simon about the DJ gig, he’s the one who told me about the assistant manager position,” Alec gave a tight smile and took another sip of the cocktail in an attempt to keep from noticing just how much skin the man was showing,

“What business isn’t subject to rumours? What horrendous thing happened here this time?” Alec felt his lips tug at the corners at Magnus’s lackadaisical reaction- good, he thought, keep him unsuspecting.

“Drugs, mainly.” Alec gave himself a second to think- “the party stuff- Hallucinogens : LSD, Pixie Dust.”

Magnus snorted, “you get that at any club.”

“I’ve heard that Pixie Dust crap is insane- can’t understand why anyone would want to sell it.” Alec shuffled uncomfortably in his seat, hoping it would seem linked to the drug discussion and not how his operation depended on how he handled this.

That caught Magnus’s attention. Alec’s heart began to beat wildly in his chest from the look he was giving him; something flashed in his eyes that extinguished before he could read it properly.

“Why not, Alexander?” Magnus leaned in ever closer, close enough so that Alec got a breath of whatever cologne he was wearing, something deep and heady that made Alec’s head swirl. 

“I guess it’s just glorified ecstacy.” He swallowed, meeting Magnus’s eyes, noting the mischievous glint in them.

“I heard it was more than just that-” he edged closer and for a startling moment Alec thought Magnus was going to kiss him- but his head ducked further to whisper in his ear, “but I guess I wouldn’t know anything about that, would I?” He pulled back, a mocking smile spread across his face.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit Alec’s brain short circuited, “I wouldn’t know, Mr. Bane.” He forced out, trying to regulate his breathing.

“You seem to be rather interested though, Alexander.” He said, Alec’s full name rolling off his tongue like smoke- sending a chill down his spine, “and please, call me Magnus,”

“I suppose you could say I’m interested,” Alec said, going to take another sip of his drink only to find it empty.

“How so? The drug world is a nasty business, Alexander- and you seem…” Magnus raked his eyes over Alec’s figure with a smirk, “-too respectable to be interested in that line of work.” 

“I hear things, I see things; I’ve heard a lot about you, Magnus. ” Alec replied, emphasising his name and suppressing a grin when something flashed in his counterpart’s eyes.

“Really? I can’t say I’m surprised, my name is always thrown around here and there- keep everyone on their toes-” He took a breath, swirling the drink in his hand before taking a sip, “what have you heard? I love learning new things about myself.”

“That you work for that Peter Pan. The one who created Pixie Dust.” Don’t blow this , a voice (that sounded irritatingly like Luke’s) pestered in the back of his mind. 

“Oh?” 

Alec hummed, “I guess that makes you Tinkerbell? I mean- it fits, don’t you think? The glitter an attention and all that.” He chuckled at the thought of Magnus ten inches tall with pixie wings. The man in question gave him an incredulous look before stating:

“Too bad the rumours aren’t true- and I am certainly not a Tinkerbell . That’s a horrific mob boss name.”

There was a moment of silence between the two, Alec took the opportunity to rise from his seat and join Magnus over by the drinks cart. The city was beautiful from this point of view- the window giving a stunning perspective of the East River and the Manhattan skyline shrouded in a thick blanket of cloud illuminated with the light of the city. “Pixie Dust isn’t as great as everyone hypes it up to be,” Alec pondered, “It’s just a glorified tab of ecstasy,”

“You’ve taken it?” Magnus looked him over with disbelief, handing him another cocktail,

“No, but I’ve heard what it’s like from people who have- it’s really nothing special.” He shrugged, taking a sip and silently thanking Magnus.

“Well, since you’ve never taken it.” Magnus pointed out his footsteps coming closer so that he stood behind him- “you can’t exactly have an opinion- and take it from me-” he leaned in again, lips brushing against the shell of Alec’s ear and revelling in the way his breath hitched. “It’s magical .”

“I find that hard to believe.” Alec retorted, gaining his backbone, 

“Pixie Dust is a lot different to other drugs, it’s manufacturing is incredible.” Magnus shrugged, withdrawing from Alec,

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” He challenged, spinning around to face Magnus head on yet finding himself almost missing the close proximity. The excitement at the prospect of gaining a foot over the man in front of him coursing through his veins.

“Let’s just say I have a healthy understanding of alchemical components.” Is all Magnus replied, hiding a smug smile behind his martini glass.

“Bullshit, Tinkerbell.” Alec said, the alcohol limiting his mental filter, “everybody knows you work for Pan.” Magnus gave a mirthful laugh and sashayed over the sofas, swaying his narrow hips. Alec followed and sat down; Magnus leaned on the edge of the seat closest to him.

“Oh, darling,” Magnus drawled, ducking to whisper in Alec’s ear once more, “you have no idea who I am.” Alec knew he was doing this just to get a reaction out of him, but thankfully he regained his composure before the man could get too smug,

“You’ve got a good business going here, Magnus” Alec turned his head to whisper in Magnus’s ear- quietly congratulating himself on regaining control of the conversation with the way he stiffened, “I wouldn’t be saying anything that could get me into trouble with the wrong people, if I were you.”

Magnus backed away, stalking with a cat-like grace to the drinks cart once more, “and what’s that supposed to mean?” The soft tinkling of glass filled the following silence as he decanted some whiskey into a crystal tumbler.

“I’m just saying if you’re as high profile as they say you wouldn’t be telling me this- especially if you actually had something to do with Pan.” Alec said, eyes wandering around the room to feign distraction; the purple walls worked nicely with the chestnut wood flooring, although Izzy did have more experience with interior design he thought the leather tuxedo chairs blended nicely with the arabian rugs that muffled Magnus’s steps as he appeared back at Alec’s side.

“And what exactly am I telling you?” He mused, taking a long sip of his drink without breaking eye contact,

“Nothing directly of course- you don’t seem that naive, but you are insinuating you work for or with this Pan character, which ultimately might be dangerous for you.” Without meaning to, he found he’d been edging closer to Magnus, and his voice had come out husky from the after-effects of the liquor, 

“And how exactly might I be in danger?” Magnus seemed just as bad- and Alec really hoped it was solely because of the alcohol, which was more than he could say for himself. 

“I might work for a rival of yours, or the cops.” Alec said slowly, tracing a finger around the rim of his glass and meeting Magnus’s unwavering gaze,

“Do you?”

“No,” he lied,

“Then that’s why I’m ‘ telling ’ you.” Magnus made air quotations,

“Doesn’t answer my question,” Alec breathed again, finding himself a lot closer to Magnus than he intended, “why tell me all this at all?” the air between them grew thick with suspense,

“Because I trust you.” Magnus said bluntly, setting his drink down on the coffee table and turning to face Alec completely; he sat cross-legged on the arm of the chair, staring at him with cool amusement that made Alec want to cover himself up again.

He blanched, his throat becoming dry, “and what would make you do that?” He rasped. This was good, if he could gain Magnus’s trust it could lead to breaks in the case, links to not only the distributors of Pixie Dust, but hopefully a significant link to the murders currently taking the precinct by storm.

“I don’t know-” Magnus bent down, even closer now so that their breath mingled, “you’ve unlocked something in me, Alexander.” 

He turned away again, sliding off the couch and going to make another glass, “Stay with me for a while. I’m sure Raphael won’t notice you missing for a little while longer.”

 

They talked for a while longer, politely ignoring the previous conversation as neither of them seemed to know how to contribute further. Alec still had the unsettling nag of doubt bubbling in his stomach, but the alcohol seemed to have soothed its relentless badgering. Magnus seemed like a nice person, they talked business, leisure, the like- he had a way of speaking that captured every single on of Alec’s senses, they way his name rolled off his tongue in such a way that differed so greatly to when his parents had used it. It wasn’t harsh and biting. He didn’t use it to be patronising or to make him feel small, quite the opposite in fact; Magnus spoke animatedly, using his hands and his body language that enraptured him. In another life Alec well and truly could see himself beginning to like Magnus. Alec steeled himself, that wasn’t why he was there, he couldn’t allow himself to even think like that. It could compromise the case- the operation- everything. He was a detective. He had a job to do. There was a killer loose on the streets and Alec had to do everything he could to bring them to justice, he couldn’t let feelings get in the way of his duty. 

But with Magnus, he wasn’t Detective Lightwood, son of the Deputy Chief of Police; expected to make his way through the ranks to follow in his father’s footsteps, to marry a nice girl and settle down with a family. He was Alec, a guy having a drink with his boss. It was a pitying thought that away from everything he ever knew, where he really was masquerading as someone else was where he could really be himself. Alec allowed himself a moment to feel sorry for himself. To look at the man sitting next to him on the sofa, talking about everything with such gaiety that matched his outfit, his lifestyle, his pride , and for even just a moment to see how beautiful he was. And maybe, just maybe, Magnus might think he was beautiful too.

In another life. The voice in the back of his head answered the question he had wanted so desperately to ignore.

Alec had a mission, a purpose, a duty to serve his city and protect the people of it; an obligation to be who his co-workers, his Captain, his parents expected him to be. Nothing could change that. No matter how much he wished he could, and if it meant putting the gorgeous man in front of him in prison. So be it.  

Chapter Text

 

“Wayland! Branwell! Roberts!”

The precinct stilled at the Captain’s command. Jace shared a quick glance with Maia before rising from his desk and they filtered into his office.

“Is there something wrong with Alec and Simon?” Maia asked,

“Have they found anything?” Jace piled on,

“We haven’t found much on the victims- whoever-”

Luke held up a hand for silence. His hand went up to scratch his chin as he regarded the three of his detectives, “I got word from Simon last night. Pixie Dust is being distributed there through mules. We don’t have enough evidence to bring Bane himself in- Alec and Simon need to get a sample of the stuff so we can get conclusive proof that this is Pixie Dust that killed them and not just a copy-cat.”

“But we know that Bane is supplying it-” Jace tried to cut him off, but silenced from the glower that darted his way,

“It’s not what we know, Jace. It’s what we can prove.” Maia said pointedly, “We need to call Alec and Simon and see what they’ve got.”

They all nodded in agreement- Lydia slinked to the back of the group, visibly grimacing as Luke pulled out the phone and dialed Alec’s number.

 

“Captain.” Alec’s steady voice cut through, “have we got anything?”

 

Luke sighed, “We got a call from Simon last night, he said he saw mules picking up Pixie Dust.”

 

“I saw some baggies hidden behind the bar- has the lad report come through about the victims?” Everyone in the room looked to Maia,

 

“They found high amounts of ecstasy, as well as a mix of methamphetamines and Heroin in all the bodies.” She reported,

 

“Is that the cause of death?” He asked hesitantly,

 

Maia swallowed and looked between the group for a moment before answering, “no. The cause of death was blood loss from the wound. Which the coroner seemed to confirm came from a Parang Machete.”

 

“Fuck. Alright.” He said, “what about the victim’s personal lives? Any connections?”

 

Jace leaped towards the phone, “Hey buddy, I found out about the victims, the first one, Eliot Nourse, worked at a bookstore in Brooklyn. You’ll never guess who owns it,”

 

The receiver crackled in what Jace decided to take as an exasperated sigh, “Magnus Bane?” 

 

“Yes. That’s not even the worst part. The other two victims also worked at establishments owned by Bane. It looks like you and Lewis will be stuck there for a while.” Jace looked up from the file and towards his boss, who stared at the phone with a grave expression- he then looked to Maia, who was biting her lip and listening intently- and Lydia stood stock-still by the door, having not moved since they came in. Alec groaned,

 

“Who are the other two victims?” He asked, 

 

“Dorothea Rollins and Iris Rouse. Dorothea worked as a bartender at Pandemonium and Iris at an apothecary store in Park Slope. Dorothea has no prior arrests and no family- however Iris recently lost a custody battle of her goddaughter to the mother.”

 

“If they all worked for Bane and had Pixie Dust in their system, I think it’s safe to say that either Bane is killing them to send a message- or someone is trying to get to him.” Alec was silent for a couple minutes as he waited for someone to reply- surprisingly, it was broken by Lydia,

 

“The problem is;” She began, still not moving from her space by the door, “Pixie Dust is a high class drug- and according to records none of the victims were making enough money to buy the stuff.”

 

The air grew thick in the office as they all processed the information, Luke suddenly stood up and began pacing- which was a good sign. Ever since Jace and Alec had joined the precinct Captain Luke had always walked in an attempt to think things through. Maia told them that he had started doing it to ‘get his mojo going’. Jace had found him on multiple occasions doing several coffee runs within an hour on a tough case. It was the way he thought through the possibilities of a problem, and how he could best use his team to solve it.

 

“Alec,” he said abruptly, “I’m going to need you and Simon to stay undercover at Pandemonium, we need a sample of Pixie Dust in order to match it to the drug found in the victims systems. We still don’t know the original ingredients for Pixie Dust and what makes it so special- if you can, find what Bane does to the ones that try and get it somewhere else or steal. What we do know is that it’s expensive and highly potent- and whoever is killing these people is trying to send a message. I need you both to try and get as close to Bane as possible during this assignment. If he has any connection whatsoever we need to bring him in.” He took a breath, Jace smiled and some little part of him knew that Alec was too.

 

“So we have a plan?” He said. Maia let out a long breath, leaning back on the wall and closing her eyes for a moment,  

 

“Lydia and I will see what we can find out about the other two businesses- hopefully Alec and Simon will have Pandemonium covered- how is he by the way?” She said, 

 

“Simon seems to be doing okay, he’s actually enjoying the DJ gig.” They all shared a sigh of relief before Alec continued, “ We’ve got everything under control, Roberts. Don’t worry Captain- I’ll get Simon up to speed on everything- he’s been making headway with Bane’s right hand man. We’ll keep you updated.”

 

“Alright,” Jace sighed, “Be safe, both of you.”

 

“We will be.”

 

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Magnus paced his office. Staring at the photos on his desk. Whoever left him that message knew where he was. Knew his home. 

He didn’t have any other choice.

Did he?

He could go to the police?

And tell them what? A voice in the back of his head pointed out, 

No. This was his only option. He couldn’t tell Raph- he and Dot had been close. He couldn’t exactly confide in any of his staff- and if Catarina found out she’d tell him to go to the police. Ragnor was off in Peru on a business trip and even then would only tell him this was a bad idea. Maybe it was? Could he call and cancel? No. No he had to do this. This was a mess. 

He thought back to the night before, when Alexander had stood in his office. He had shown an interest in him that he couldn’t exactly understand- people had obviously shown an interest in him before; they sought him out for a good time. As if he were nothing but a means of stress relief. The party goers looked for him- stared at him in admiration through their inebriated and fever-bright eyes and thought of him more of a product than a person. Something you could buy, not a man with feelings- Alec hadn’t done that. Quite the opposite actually- he had been calm and collected, his smile turning up the corner of his mouth and making his entire face light up. He had talked to him, really talked to him, not as a boss, or a potential hook-up, but as a person. Of course they hadn’t all treated him like that. Imasu had left him for other reasons. And Camille… 

 

A gentle knock at the door.

 

Camille.

 

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  Raphael Santiago was no nonsense. He did his job and got on with it. At least that’s what he liked to think of himself. Of course nobody knew that he was the one who took care of Chairman Meow while Magnus was away. Or that he loved the terrible christmas jumpers Catarina always made him wear. Or that his 50s Swing Music record player from Magnus was his pride and joy. Nor the fact that being around Simon Lewis was as refreshing as it was frustrating. 

He was annoying. Talkative. Lively. Goofy. Caring. Considerate-

Raphael scowled at himself more than anyone else as he checked the wine stock in the back room.

After he had run into him during his break and even in the low light of the back hallway and getting a closer look at the young man. Raphael had a moment to realise that Simon was pretty , his big eyes seemed like a deer in the headlights and that stupidly goofy smile had spread across his face when he saw him. It was infuriating. 

The rest of the night he hadn’t seen him, only caught glances as he laughed with the other workers. Raphael had no intention of getting involved with the young man. No matter how soft-spoken, friendly; Dios, how pretty he was. He certainly didn’t feel excited at the thought of seeing him again. Simon’s stupid puns were of the worst kind, and if Magnus ever jumped on the band-wagon he would never be free of the torturous dad-jokes, he internally groaned at the thought, making a vow to never allow Simon and Magnus in the same room together. He’d probably adopt him.

 

He made his way to the front bar, Lily making finger-guns at him as he passed- which he absolutely did not return as she giggled into her hand at his scowl. Although Raph let his lips tug at the corners, he liked to think of Lily as his second in command, and had actually offered her the job as an assistant manager; she had turned it down because it was so much more boring than working behind the bar and you don’t get all the good gossip . Hence why he had to hire that Singewood, Magnus had insisted they need more people on the floor, what with Dot leaving and a DJ dropping out last minute.

 

 Magnus had brought him into Pandemonium when it first opened, gave him everything he had lost. A family, a purpose, and a sense of belonging. Pandemonium’s employees were like his clan, they trusted each other, and trust was a frail thing with his boss’ line of work. He obviously knew about Pixie Dust. He was the one to coordinate the distributions, to make sure everything was in order and the people who got them to their ‘ clients ’ were out of sight before anything went south. Magnus was the mastermind however, and Raph would always admire him for that; more than once he’d found him slumped over in his lab at home, ingredients and potions scattered about his desk. He still didn’t know exactly what was in it. Just that it was a party drug, but he knew Magnus would never do anything to harm people, it wasn’t in his nature. He had seen the business offers come and go, creating enemies as he went- many of which had vowed to take him down after his blatant refusal to add anything dangerous- or sell it for anything less than what he deemed it was worth. But Magnus, above all else, was protective. Protective of his family, his friends, and his business. 

 

That was when he caught sight of her. 

They all did. 

Her long dark hair flowed down her shoulders in large ringlets, face covered in a thick mask of make-up, paling her complexion so much so she seemed like a vampire; floating on her heels she sent a wicked smirk to Raphael as she stopped next to him, who only glowered in return,

“Close your mouth, sweetheart,” She drawled, “you’ll catch flies.” She stalked past him and without a second glance, set her predatory gaze on the door to Magnus’ office. 

Camille Belcourt had returned. And Raphael was going to damn Magnus to hell if he didn’t explain why.

 

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She knocked again, and Magnus couldn’t prepare himself enough for what was on the other side of the door. He knew it was her, her presence had once been something he wanted, loved, craved . Now it rested on his shoulders like a heavy cloud, making his stomach churn. He had to do this. He had to.

Magnus ,” Camille breathed, resting a porcelain hand on his chest after he had opened the door, “I was surprised you called me,” She swayed past him and into the office, just as graceful and just as deadly as she had always been. Magnus forced himself to breathe properly. 

“I didn’t call for anything good, Camille. And even if I were I would not be calling you ,” he shut the door behind him and strode over to the desk, “I need you to do something for me.” He said after a moment. A sly smile spread across Camille’s face as she stepped towards him, and reattached her hand to his chest, gripping onto his shirt. I’m going to have to burn this, he thought bitterly.

“Why would I do that? You bored with the little playthings? Want something real? ” she said, her voice sickly sweet and dripping venom. She edged closer, sliding her hand up to cup his cheek. Magnus braced himself on the desk behind him, gripping it so tightly his knuckles turned white.

“What we had was never real. And you owe me, you owe me after what happened with your addiction. What I’ve kept quiet about.”

She scowled at that. Her sweet smile contorting into something twisted and cruel, her nose scrunched and her lip pulled into a sneer, “I had no control over that.”

“And yet you wouldn’t be here today without me. So, I need you to do something for me. Think of it as payment.” He replied,

She seemed to get the message and gracefully stepped back, “what?”

“I need you to find out as much as you can about who’s interested in my… enterprise- and someone going around under the name ‘Hook.’ ” He said, Camille instantly began to smile again, showing off brilliant white teeth; when they had been together he would have done anything to see her smile. To make her happy. Now it just filled him with dread.

“You’re still keeping up this Peter Pan charade? Magnus, I thought you had matured.” She let out a dainty laugh, “I remember you telling me, don’t you?” Magnus remembered all too well, and found himself grimacing under his ex’s gaze, nevertheless, she continued, “we were lying in bed one morning. You were so good the night before; I had just told you about this deal going down between someone or other, and you,” she sighed dreamily, “you told me how you had developed something that could let you have the time of your life,” she stepped towards him again, retaking her position in front of him, “how you believed you never wanted to grow old when you took it,” she placed both her hands on his pectorals, “ how you didn’t believe you actually would, ” she whispered the final part, leaning in closer as her hands trailed down, becoming dangerously close to his- 

 

Someone knocked at the door. Magnus thanked every God in existence that it did as he pushed Camille away in a hurry. “Be quiet.” He warned her, straightening his shirt and opening the door, “Raphael I am rather busy-”

“Magnus- Sorry, but I wante-” They both said simultaneously, 

Alec stood at his door, in a crisp white button down with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows, dark hair falling in his face as he frowned over a bunch of papers in his hands. Magnus thought he had been attractive, but he was stunning. Their eyes met and a soft blush spread over his cheeks- Magnus was confused for a moment before realising his mouth was hanging open,

“Alexander,” he recovered quickly, closing the door slightly so that he hid Camille’s form standing by the desk, “I’m sorry but I’m rather tied up at the moment,”

Camille laughed behind him, girly and shrill, catching Alec’s attention immediately, his gaze snapped away from Magnus’s, realisation dawned in his eyes in the worst way possible as she called out, “ Magnus, what’s taking you so long?”

Alec’s lips parted in a silent gasp and his eyes widened, “sorry- sorry, Mr. Bane, I- I didn’t- I didn’t realise you were busy.” He stumbled over his words and frantically began shuffling the papers in his hand, pulling out several and thrusting them towards Magnus without meeting his eyes, “Mr. Santiago wanted me to give you these,” 

Magnus felt his heart clench as Alec walked away, making him want to call to him, to explain . But explain what? ‘ It’s not what it looks like ’? Why did he care? Why did Magnus care that he cared? Why did he care if he didn’t care?

Magnus didn’t have time to ponder any of his questions. Instead he shut the door and returned to Camille, who stared at him with her usual predatory gaze.

“Took you long enough,” she hummed, advancing on him once more, “where were we?”

Magnus backed away from her, holding his hands up to block her from getting any closer, “I have no interest in doing anything other than business with you, Camille.” He said coldly, Camille merely rolled her eyes,

“If it has anything to do with that tall, dark and handsome young man I’m afraid you’ll be getting nowhere with him.”

“What are you talking about?” Magnus replied, composing himself and trying to figure out a way to get the point across to Alec that it was not what it looked like .

“Oh, nothing, my darling. Nothing at all.” She pouted her lips and smiled that cheshire cat smile again, making him squirm. 

“I’ll find out what I can.” She concluded. Magnus felt relief flood through him, “but,” she continued, “I want something in return.”

“What?” He stiffened,

“A favour.” She said, “that’s all. When I need you, you’ll help me.”

This was the Camille he knew. The calculating, cunning killer he had once thought he loved. This was why she had never told anyone about his pseudonym, because where there were names there was power. She knew that, and she intended to abuse whatever she could get out of him, for as long as she could.

“Fine.” He gritted out, grinding his teeth together. She stepped forward, planting a kiss on his cheek and running her hands through his hair as Magnus stood frozen, eyes squeezed shut under her touch.

“Until next time, my darling.” She whispered, lips brushing against his ear.

Magnus didn’t open his eyes again until he heard the door bang shut. And he let out a breath he knew full well he had been holding.

 

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Alec certainly hadn't been expecting that. Raphael had told him to go give the finalisation papers for the stock coming in that week- of course he had failed to mention that Magnus was with someone at the time. He wasn’t going to dwell on that. Nope. Not even a little. It was better like that anyway- whatever he had felt, or thought he felt, was now null and void. He had a job to do, and the first thing he needed to do was get his hands on that goddamn Pixie Dust. 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Thankfully, the bar had been left unattended. The VIP area barren in the early evening. Everyone was setting up out front and Alec pushed any thoughts about Magnus to the back of his mind and returned to the spot where he had fallen the night before. 

The floor wasn’t as sticky as he had thought it’d be and the lighting was a lot better, which was a help. He moved a few bottles of expensive wine and reached to the back of the cubby, fingers grasping a filmy plastic baggie; his heart skipped a beat, he pulled back and tucked the Pixie Dust into his jeans pocket. Alec was about to stand up again when a sharp voice sliced through the silent air like a dagger,

“What are you doing?” 

Alec moved so fast he banged his head on the bottom of the bar, hissing a curse before straightening to look at the intruder. He was tall, but still a little shorter than Alec’s six-foot-three frame. His eyes were an unnatural black that seemed to stare at Alec’s soul and pick it apart like a vulture, his hair fell in neat curls around his crown, the same unnatural midnight black as his eyes that contrasted his pale skin like a Tim Burton film. His cheekbones stood too high on his face and his mouth split into a wide, toothy grin,

“You must be the new manager! I’m Sebastian Verlac- Head of Security.” His voice was inviting- almost friendly , but his eyes, they held nothing. He stuck out his hand which Alec hesitantly took, 

“Alec Singewood.” He replied, squaring his shoulders and feeling the Pixie Dust in his pocket weigh down like a kettlebell. 

“Are you looking for anything specific? I saw what happened last night- are you feeling okay? That looked like a nasty fall” Sebastian- to all appearances- was being sincere, but there was something off about the man. Everything in Alec’s mind screamed at him to get away from him, instead of doing so he stiffened and squared his shoulders, remembering that he had dealt with much worse than a bad feeling.

“I’m alright, thank you- and, uh, no, I was just checking that everything was restocked. I noticed I knocked a few things over when I fell. Thank you, though.” He rushed through his words, trying to get them out at a brisque enough pace to allow him to end the conversation as quickly as possible.

“Alright, if you don’t mind- Raphael asked me to give you a brief on everything-” he smiled again, sending a disgusted shiver down Alec’s spine; without meaning to, he nodded.

 

They spent the next forty minutes going over everything Alec needed to know about the security systems, Sebastian kept smiling crookedly at him, similar to the way Magnus did, but not at the same time. Sebastian had this off-kilter air about him, the closer you looked the less human he seemed to be. His voice was too soft. His smile was too friendly. When he made a gesture, like touching Alec on the shoulder or arm- it sent waves of revulsion skittering across his skin. Whenever he moved Alec bristled.

   Luckily, when Sebastian stepped away to deal with someone he sent a text to Simon saying he got what they needed.

Sebastian reappeared a second later, knocking into Alec as he went and causing him to drop his phone,

“Oh, shit, sorry, man-” Sebastian knelt down and picked it up- “Lucky it’s not-” Alec’s heart skipped a beat for the second time that day. The phone was unlocked. Of course it was unlocked. His luck had given him a swift kick in the crotch and left him with Sebastian’s sadistic smile playing across his lips.

‘Got what we need, meet you tonight’ ” he read aloud with a frown, “sent a few minutes ago- huh,” he shrugged, handing the phone back to Alec, who stood stock-still, waiting for something to happen. Sebastian regarded him for a moment, “Magnus is a good man.” He stated abruptly, “he’s a good boss and he takes care of his employees. Don’t do anything stupid.” Alec opened his mouth to reply but no sound came out, it wouldn’t have mattered if he did say anything as Sebastian had stormed away.

 

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Simon had gotten the message fifteen minutes ago and was currently setting up with one of the other DJs on the far end of the dance floor. He didn’t have to work that night but Raphael said he needed him to come in to do something or other for him. The club was weird during the day- granted it was only a few hours before opening but Pandemonium seemed like a completely different place. The overhead lights were no longer flashing differents colours and instead gleamed a blinding white. The dance floor wasn’t covered in smoke from the fog machines and Simon could see the remnants of glitter and plastic cups.

Raphael called him over to the stage as he arrived- Alec was nowhere in sight and he guessed that he would be in the VIP section, 

“Lewis.” He nodded, Raphael wore a black button down that was undone at the collar, cufflinks that caught the light flickered on his wrists as he held out his hand for Simon to help him get onto the dais. He took it and was hoisted up- Simon willed himself not to say anything stupid,

“There’s a showing of Star Wars next Saturday.” He blurted, Raphael seemed startled, but Simon noticed a small blush dusting across his cheeks. 

“Yes, so?” He sputtered, Simon felt his stomach drop for a second

“I-um- would you- if- if- you want to of course I mean- I - don’t expect you to say yes - I mean it’d be great- if you- if you-”

Dios, shut up, Simon.” Raphael rolled his eyes, making him curl in on himself in embarrassment- he should have kept his mouth shut, 

“I’m sorry, it was inappropriate for me to ask you that. I don’t expect you to say anything.” He made to walk away and carry on with whatever he was supposed to be doing but Raph placed a hand on his shoulder, and for the first actual time- Simon saw him smile, it was small and sweet and his dimples made him swoon, 

“I didn’t realise you were asking me on a date,” He said, “I’d- I’d like to go- I’ve never seen Star Wars before.” Raphael smiled again and Simon felt himself smiling too. He was about to say something when a pale hand reached out and grabbed his boss by the shoulder

“Raphael, I need to speak with you,” the man said, Raph turned to him

“Is there something wrong, Sebastian?” He asked- the smile on his face vanishing and being replaced by a frown, Sebastian nodded,

“I need to talk to you,” he shot a pointed look at Simon, “ alone.

Before he could say anything else Sebastian dragged his boss away and across the dais. Simon watched as Raphael’s frown deepened as the man gestured towards the VIP section and leaned in closer- whispering something urgently to him. Raphael scowled and turned on his heel towards Simon, giving him a tight smile before swiftly passing him and stepping down from the stage in one swift movement.

Alec. He thought suddenly, he must have been caught or something. Simon looked at Sebastian, who stared back with a cruel smile on his face- as if he were enjoying the coming chaos. 

As fast as his legs would go without seeming suspicious he rushed to the VIP section only to find Raphael had already gotten to him. 

Alec stood at attention, the way he had seen him on so many occasions with the captain. His brow was furrowed as the manager pointed an accusing finger at him; Simon tried to catch his eye but to no avail. Raphael signalled for him to follow as he stalked away and his eyes flicked to Simon, giving him a wide berth as though he was a wild animal about to attack him. Alec shot him a look and then glanced at the floor, Simon followed his gaze and lying on the ground was the small baggie of Pixie Dust- without a second thought he scurried over and scooped it up, hiding it in his back pocket. Simon prayed that Alec could pull through as he watched him follow a fuming Raphael to Bane’s office.

 

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Alec’s palms began to sweat and his mouth dried when Raphael scowled at him, out of the corner of his eye he could see Simon staring helplessly at him. The manager hadn’t said too much to him, only that Sebastian had told him that Alec had been doing something he shouldn’t have. He knew Sebastian had been suspicious of him, and of course he played the hero and went running to the boss. Alec was in trouble, and he knew it.

“Stay here. Don’t move. I’ll speak to Magnus.” He didn’t knock and walked straight in, making Alec wonder if that woman Magnus was… with earlier was still there and Raphael would come out with burnt eye sockets. The funny feeling in the pit of his stomach came to say hello when he thought of Magnus and someone else, then mentally chided himself for getting off track.

 

It was a little over ten minutes when Raphael materialised in the doorway, closely followed by Magnus, who didn’t give him a second look before telling Raphael he could handle this. Unease weighed heavily on his shoulders as he stepped into the office, the light and playful atmosphere he once felt in here was now gone, leaving a cold and muted shell in its wake. Magnus didn’t look at him. He didn’t say anything as he leaned on the side of his desk, the tapping of his ringed fingers the only sound in the room. 

“Sebastian, my head of security, says you’ve been acting strange after he caught you snooping in the bar.” He paused, but held up a hand as Alec opened his mouth to reply, “he also said that you sent a message to someone- who? I do not know, but,” he took a deep breath and finally looked him in the eye, which was somehow worse than before. They were dark and sorrowful, he looked hurt at the thought that Alec had taken advantage of his trust; he had trusted him. Alec felt guilt well up in him even though he was just following orders, he had to keep reminding himself of that. Every second he stared into Magnus’s eyes he felt his heart tug. Alec wanted to explain but bit back the words and they lodged in his throat like a too large bite of an apple. He couldn’t say anything, and even if he did, he hadn’t had time to come up with a good cover, thankfully, he had dropped the baggie for Simon to pick up. 

“Alexander,” his voice was quiet, testing, as if he were waiting by a hospital bedside, waiting for someone to wake up. “Who are you?”

Alec blanched and felt his chest tighten, no, no, no .

“What do you mean?” 

Magnus sighed, “empty your pockets, Alexander,”

Alec did so, turning out his pockets to reveal his keys, his phone, and a small pack of gum. He didn’t think he was supposed to notice Magnus’s shoulders slump in what he hoped was relief.

“Please don’t expect me to tolerate something like this again.”

Alec took that as his cue to leave and swiped up his things, a polite nod to Magnus, who had gone back to avoiding his gaze, and left.

On the other side of the door, Alec’s lungs seemed to start working again, but only for a moment before he saw Sebastian with a sadistic smile playing across his features. Guilt and anger mixed together rose in him, he was doing his job. He reminded himself, forcing his thoughts to focus on anything but Magnus’s dejected face, how he refused to look at him- he couldn’t feel guilty. He couldn’t .

Sebastian brushed past him, making his way into the office, black eyes not leaving Alec's. He couldn’t help but linger by the door of Magnus’s office, trying to catch fragments of their conversation on the other side:

‘Keep an eye on him.’ Magnus’s voice was distinctive, strong and commanding, even when it was muffled through the wood.

‘I don’t know if we can trust him, if he works-’ he could feel Sebastian’s scowl without having to see it.

‘I’m giving him a chance. That’s why you need to tell me if anything happens.’

Alec heard footsteps coming closer and quickly ducked out of the way, hoping to seem unnoticed by the two men.

 



The night went by faster after that. Simon had given him back the Pixie Dust and told him that Jace would be round later on to pick it up for testing. He didn’t see Sebastian or Magnus for the rest of the day- and was subject to a countless number of glowers and sullen looks from Raphael; for some reason when Simon tapped him on the shoulder he almost seemed to smile , replacing his trade-mark grump for something softer. He’d have to ask Simon about that later. At least he was having better luck than he was in that line of life.

Alec flopped down on the couch bonlessley as Jace started up the coffee maker, it had just gone 7:00am and he had been rudely awakened after only four hours of sleep, thank the Angel he didn’t have to go to Pandemonium until 21:00pm- and even then if he got called in early like yesterday it would be an absolute nightmare. 

“How’s the work going? Miss me yet?” Jace placed a bright red mug on the side table next to Alec’s head,

“I miss you so much, man,” he sighed, “I almost got caught out taking the Pixie Dust- the head of security freaks me out.”

“Bad vibe?” Jace asked, sitting on the chair across from him and hooking one leg over the arm.

“Yeah- can you do a background check,” Alec sat up, taking a hearty gulp of his coffee “he said his name was Sebastian Verlac,”

The blonde nodded, “hows Bane? As a boss?” This elicited a loud, irritated groan from Alec, Jace let out a boisterous laugh, 

“I don’t want to talk about him,” he said, taking another life-saving sip of coffee, desperately trying to suppress a blush that threatened to creep its way up his neck. He refused to think about Magnus and his flamboyant, lackadaisical aura, his smirk that made you think he was a hundred years old and know everything you don’t, the hairpin curve of his lips and the way his eyes glinted like precious metal in the dim light of his office. 

“Nice to see that you’re at least trying not to compromise your position.” Jace said nonchalantly, as if he didn’t notice Alec straightening up in his seat and sputtering profanities, nearly spilling his drink all over himself in an attempt to tell Jace how wrong he was.

“I’m not compromising anything. I’m not attracted to Magnus!” He said, noticing his voice raising an octave,

“I never said you were, I also didn’t think you were actually attracted to Bane until now,” Jace smirked, taking a sip of his own coffee- Alec could feel him loving his partner’s anguish.

“Shut up,” 

“So, Magnus, now is he?”

“Shut up.

“Do his eyes sparkle?” Jace bat his eye-lashes comically, 

Shut up.

“Do his lips look so kissable-”

SHUT UP!” Alec shouted at him, only to be drowned out by Jace’s cackling, he hugged his sides and gently placed his mug down on the coffee table before looking up at Alec and descending into fits of laughter. Alec huffed angrily and downed the rest of his drink and glowering at the dregs until he stopped.

“I’m sorry ‘Lec,” Jace said after another few minutes of his barely contained wheezes, “you just got this teenage-fault-in-our-stars look on your face when I said his name.”

Alec didn’t reply and went back to glowering at his mug,

“What’s up with you then?” Jace continued, “do you actually like him?”

“I can’t compromise the investigation.” Alec admitted. “He’s still a possible suspect.” 

Jace sighed and sat next to him on the couch, folding his knee beneath him so that he faced his friend front on. “You like him? Dude it’s okay if you do, I know I haven’t been completely innocent when it comes to the underbelly of New York.”

“I don’t know,” he breathed, almost inaudible, “he seems like a great guy- you should hear the way everyone talks about him. Everyone keeps telling me how nice, friendly, good , he is. I was called into his office on my first day, he was calm, calculating, but not in the way that we see usually-y’know? He was interested and curious about everything I had to say. Fuck, I sound like an idiot.”

“No, you don’t.” Jace’s serious tone pulled Alec out of his all-consuming thoughts of Magnus,

“What?”

“You’re not an idiot.” He said finally, “I don’t believe Bane is behind this either- if what you’re saying is true, that everyone who works at Pandemonium goes on about how great he is, and Maia said that from the work she’s done on one of his other businesses- the one Eliot Nourse worked at- everybody said how good of a boss he was, and how sad they all were to lose Eliot. If Bane really does care so much about his employees, why start killing them?”

It made sense. If every impression he had had so far held any sort of truth then there was no reason for Magnus to harm any of his employees. Alec found himself nodding,

“Have you sent the drug out for testing against the samples?” He asked, directing the topic of conversation away from his disaster of a love life- or whatever you call ‘having a crush on your fake boss as you’re investigating him for murder’- Jace seemed to pick up on his reluctance to carry on the conversation, 

“Yeah, we won’t get it back for a week or so; how’s Simon doing?”

“No better than I am- he’s got a crush on the manager.”

Jace, who had been taking a large gulp of his half-cold drink, promptly choked on it.

WHAT?” 

Alec felt laughter bubble in his chest. It was no secret that he loved the attention he got from Simon, half of Alec believed that had he not been dating Clary, he so would have gone after the poor dork. 

“Yeah, and the best part is that Raphael likes him too,”

Jace’s eyes nearly popped out of his head, before he sank back into the couch with a muffled hmph .

“He’s actually enjoying it, I suppose if we can prove there’s no real threat from them he’d be happy to go out with him.”

Jace just sighed, “too bad, I kind of enjoyed messing with him.”

“You’re an asshole, and Simon is happy.”

“I guess, but I’m not worried about if Simon is happy- you deserve to be happy too. And if that includes fucking an alleged mob boss then that’s cool. Just remember that because we need to prove he’s innocent means you have to keep your head in the game.”

Alec just smiled.



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Sebastian stalked out the club when his shift ended. He could feel his irritation rise up in him. There was something off about that Singewood character- he was up to something and his idiots of bosses couldn't or wouldn’t see that. He pulled out his phone as he slid into the driver’s seat of his car,

 

“Johnathan.” His father’s voice cut through, “What’s happened?”

 

Sebastian grunted, “Bane got the message. I saw the envelope in his office today- we have a problem.”

 

A growl fuzzed across the receiver, “what. Now.” He forced out

 

“There’s something fishy going on with the new assistant manager. I’m afraid we might have competition.” Sebastian heard something shatter on the other end of the line- he rolled his eyes. Valentine was always so dramatic, 

 

“Name.”

 

“Alec Singewood.” He stated, “how have the negotiations been going?”

 

“Wonderfully. My contact is expressing extreme interest in Mr. Bane, don’t worry, my son, you won’t have to deal with them much longer.”

 

The line went dead. And Sebastian started the car with a rumble,

Soon.

Chapter Text

Without noticing, two weeks had gone by in a flash of late nights, drunk people, and fleeting looks towards Alexander whenever he got the chance. It was usual for Magnus to join the swarm of people dancing- to lose himself in the heat of the moment with someone- or even a number of people. It wasn’t normal for him to shy away from being the life of the party- and it all came down to the war raging inside his head, he wanted to pound out the voices that told him instead of lazing about and cowering at his club should be doing what he’d been raised to do. Fight.

 

Magnus lounged on his favourite chair in the VIP section, masking his inner turmoil with a cool, bored expression as he scrutinized the stumbling partygoers giggling by the bar. His eye caught the raven black hair of the young man currently in heated conversation with one of his other staff, the dim light did wonderful things to his features, the sharpness of his jawline contrasting wonderfully with the soft curve of his lips- in another life Magnus though he might have been an angel; he would have been someone Da Vinci wanted to paint, just to capture the way his eyes flashed in the darkness, or the way he moved so effortlessly and the way his muscles flexed beneath his shirt.

Their eyes locked, and Alec’s mouth tugged into a coy smile; Magnus didn’t have to see it to know he was blushing. In a swift movement he stood up from the couch, discarding his drink and making his way over to him, heart stuttering in his chest. Alec stood and watched him get closer- whatever conversation he had been having forgotten, the heat in the air palpable as their gaze never wavered from the other. 

Magnus stopped less than a foot away from Alec, who looked down at him with the same coy smile and shining eyes. The voices screaming in Magnus’s head silenced under the amorous light dancing behind Alexander’s eyes. He really did look like an angel in the stark blue lighting of the club. Several people swayed around them, not really noticing the way they just looked at each other. Magnus felt fluttering in his stomach, and after a moment cleared his throat and reached out to straighten the taller man’s collar,

“It’s driving me crazy,” he mumbled defensively, tugging at it and setting it right,

“I know the feeling,” Alec said under his breath- something that Magnus knew he wasn’t supposed to hear,

Magnus glanced up at him for a second, their breath mingling in the space between their lips; all he had to do was just- tilt his head up slightly and-

Alec took a step backwards, when did he get so close? The grasp Magnus had on his shirt collar slipping away.

“Sorry, Mr. Bane,” Alec mumbled, “I didn’t mean to- I’m sure your girlfriend wouldn’t want you to-”

Magnus’s eyes went wide, he still thought Camille was his girlfriend. His stomach lurched, looking at Alec again, who was staring intently at the floor with a furrowed brow; Magnus grabbed his hand and all but dragged him towards his office. Raphael caught his eye and shot him a sour look that said ‘You’re so screwed’ which he ignored in favour of looking back at the gorgeous face behind him, staring with wide hazel eyes as he willingly followed Magnus into the privacy of his room.

“Camille is in no way, shape or form, in any life, century or otherwise- my girlfriend.” He stated plainly, shutting the door behind him. Alec still looked tense his shoulders were stiff and his jaw clenched.

“We shouldn’t- we shouldn’t get involved, Magnus.” He said, although the way his eyes bored into his said otherwise,

“I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.” Magnus replied, toying with his ear cuff, 

“You didn’t!” He blurted, stepping towards him, “I- I just mean it would be inappropriate- for you and I to-”

Magnus hadn’t realised he had also been drifting closer to Alec. They stood in such close proximity that he could map out every constellational fleck of green in his eyes; the way he had to lean down slightly to meet Magnus’s gaze; the way he wet his bottom lip as he stared at him; how whatever cologne he was wearing swathed his senses,

“To what?” He breathed,

Alec didn’t reply, leaning in closer and bringing his hand to cup Magnus’s cheek, “To do this.

Alec’s lips brushed up against his, sending shocks through his body, turning whatever apprehension he had felt towards the man in front of him into nothing but tingles; radiating across his skin where Alec touched. Magnus felt himself move to deepen the kiss, questioningly brushing his tongue against Alec’s bottom lip- causing Alec to let out one of the most beautiful sighs he’d ever heard as he opened his mouth to let him in. Placing his hands on either side of Alec’s waist, Magnus gripped him tightly, wanting to bring him closer, closer, and he realised it would never be close enough. The office seemed to melt away and there was nothing around him but the way Alec’s arms encircled him, his chest pressed flush against his own and his lips moulded perfectly into Magnus’s. Every nerve in his body lighting up with the sensation of Alexander’s lips on his.

 

The harsh pounding on the door had Alec springing out of his embrace as though he’d been burnt. His face flushed pink and his lips red and kiss-swollen, his eyes glazed over and wide as he stared at the door as if half-expecting it to be knocked down and reveal the police. Magnus was in a similar sort of daze, one that grounded him and made him feel freer than he had ever been before, he could feel Alec in every part of his body; he wanted nothing more than to pull him back to him and finish what they started.

The pounding came again, and Alec seemed to wake up. He looked at Magnus, pleading for him to do something, anything .

 

“Come in,” he called out.

 

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Simon was exhausted. His break was a little longer tonight, thank God, he flashed a bright smile to Christopher, the bouncer as he let him into the VIP section. The crowd was a little larger, but not as stuffy and humid as the one he’d just been stumbling his way through. Simon squinted, trying to get a good look at the bar- hoping to see Alec so that they could chat, they’d been getting along lately, even though he still had to drag him into the front seat of his van when it was his turn to drive. 

Alec was standing next to the bar, animated in conversation with someone- Simon recognised him as Sebastian- the guy that almost caught him with the Pixie Dust a few days ago. He began to gesture wildly, before pointing to one of the catwalks above them, Alec looked around- Simon almost followed their line of sight, but something caught his eye. Sebastian took two drinks out of the bartender’s hand and slid a glass of something dark, coke, probably, to Alec, had he not been staring so intently he would have missed the way Sebastian’s wrist flicked, dropping something into Alec’s glass. It was so fast and so precise he had to blink a few times to make sure that it was real.

Did Sebastian just drug him? Simon’s panic started to become evident as he took a step towards the two men, Alec taking a large gulp of his drink made his stomach swoop- when a hand gripped his shoulder,

“Simon?” Raphael’s voice came, “You look like you’re about to be sick,” he spun him around and placed both hands on his upper arms, grounding him. “ ¿Qué pasa, luz del día?” Simon’s spanish wasn’t that great but he remembered some from middle school spanish class

He’s asking if I’m okay, His brain supplied; he opened his mouth to speak, forcing out the words-

“Alec- I need to-” He whipped back around, fuck. Alec wasn’t at the bar, neither was Sebastian, oh god oh god oh god. Simon frantically searched the crowd of people for any sign of him- a flash of white light amongst the blue illuminates the room and at the other end he could see Magnus leading Alec away and into his office. His stomach clenched, Magnus was a bad person, he knew that, but… he had prayed not as disgusting as that .

Simon tore away from Raphael, who scowled in confusion and called after him. He pushed past a group of people and rushed towards the stairs to his boss’s office, taking two at a time he skidded at the top and pounded on the door, loud enough to be heard over the music.

His mind was running wild, if Magnus was going to try anything with Alec- or why Sebastian would drug him like that. Maybe they found out about him being a cop-

He pounded on the door harder, this close to just barging in and dragging Alec out of there.

“Come in.” He heard Magnus call casually, Simon felt protectiveness bubble inside him,

He threw the door open to see Alec with his back to the door, breathing hard, and Magnus facing him, in no better of a situation, he was playing with one of the rings on his fingers and Simon snapped.

“HOW FUCKING DARE YOU!” He screamed, not caring that the door was still cracked open- or the horrified look on Magnus’s face, “HE WAS DRUGGED YOU FUCKING IDIOT! AND YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MY FRIEND LIKE THAT? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

The door swung open again and Raphael rushed in, followed by a smirking Sebastian, Simon stormed forward and grabbed Alec by the arm, dragging him out of there- sending a withered look towards the head of security on his way out.

 

Alec was silent as Simon hurried him into the back of his van, sitting him down on one of the benches and examining him. In his uniformed years he’d seen multiple assault victims, he usually had to take the Harlem patrols, going around all the clubs in the area. More than once he had found a young girl, or boy, unresponsive in an alley. It was never a good feeling when he found them, alone and helpless. He prayed that Alec wouldn’t have to go through the same thing.

“Alec, can you hear me?” He asked softly, not touching him but kneeling in front of him,

Alec looked up at him and gave a reassuring smile, “I think I took Pixie Dust,” he whispered, “I keep seeing things,”

“Okay, like what? Can you tell me what you saw?” Simon asked slowly, not wanting to trigger anything- if Alec really did have drugs in his system then a panic attack would make everything a lot more difficult.

“Magnus had these eyes , they were yellow like a cat, they were beautiful , Simon, and you- you have fangs like a vampire- so did Raphael, and- and Sebastian’s eyes were completely black , even the whites” he made motions with his hands, his voice was so soft, barely audible, even in the stillness of the van, “-and I saw wings on people in there, some were butterfly and some were angel . Angels exist, Simon, well, obviously they do- Magnus is proof.” Alec sighed dreamily and leaned back against the wall of the van,

“Can you tell me what Magnus did to you?” This was it. Even if they couldn’t get Magnus on drugs they could possibly get him on assault.

Alec furrowed his brow, puzzled by his wording, “Magnus… didn’t do anything to me. I kissed him . I really like him, I’ve been wanting to kiss him for a while.” His voice was far away and affectionate, the way you might expect one to talk about a lover, not a man they had just met.

Simon sighed. He really needed sober Alec right now. The best thing for him to do was get his friend home and safe, and call Luke to let him know that they needed to do an extensive background check on Sebastian.

 

Alec seemed to sober up during the car ride, he became quieter and quieter the closer they got to his apartment. Magnus Bane had grown on him, he’d constantly gotten his name wrong, but had always remembered to remind all his staff to take a break, and check up on them throughout the day. He was beginning to seem like a good person. Fuck that. 

“I’m sorry,” Alec spoke quietly, staring out the window,

“It’s not your fault, Alec, you had no control over anything and the way Bane took advantage of that was-”

“I knew what I was doing.” Alec interrupted him, still not looking at Simon. “It was my choice. Magnus didn’t force me to do anything.”

“You’re not fully sober, okay? We can talk about this tomorrow- first we need to get you home. I also need to take a swab test to send to the precinct and make sure what Sebastian put in your drink.”

“Okay,” he mumbled in reply.

 

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Alec’s heart was racing. His brain was foggy and his stomach was doing somersaults. He kissed Magnus, he really had. It was wrong, and inappropriate and amazing. The drug had had some weird effects on him, he could see a number of things that in the back of his mind he knew didn’t really exist, but hadn’t cared; he didn’t care at all, about anything, not about the mission, or about his actions. He just wanted to do what he’d been trying to suppress for two weeks. He wanted Magnus. And to hell with the rest of it. 

He had seen him across the room, and the closer he got to him the more his eyes had morphed into a beautiful yellow-gold, slit in the middle like a cat. It had suited him. And he had fixed his collar that wasn’t skew- and the little voice in the back of his head was gone; the one that told him something was wrong. Nothing mattered, Alec felt light , for the first time in years, he didn’t feel as though he had to be anyone but himself. Looking at Magnus was incredible, to be so close to him in the middle of the crowded club- and then they had gone to his office, Alec’s thoughts of being caught or being fired or compromising the whole fucking operation were gone. He had kissed him the way he’d been dreaming of, and Magnus was intoxicating , his hands on Alec’s hips, his heady sandalwood scent that made him just want to melt and stay in his arms for as long as he possible. He wanted to regret it, to feel ashamed of what he’d done and how he might just have screwed everything up. But he didn’t. He didn’t and he hated it.

 

Simon insisted on escorting him into the building, quickly grabbing a first aid kit from the back of the van and shoo-ing Alec to the elevators. They travelled in silence to his front door, as Alec unlocked it Simon put a hand on his shoulder- one he didn’t try and shove off- and directed him towards the couch.

“Okay buddy- I’m going to take a swab test, bag it, and then I’m going to get you a cup of water, you okay with that?” His voice was soothing, and he was thankful for it. They all busted on Simon a lot, but he was a good man, a good cop.

Alec nodded, “Thank you.”

Simon took out the swab test and asked him to open his mouth, after doing so stuck it in one of the little pots and placed it in a plastic baggie. 

“I’ll take it down to the station so Underhill can test it. I don’t think it’s anything too dangerous, you haven’t been sick, do you feel nauseous or dizzy?” His voice was still calm and steady, but Alec could see the worried look in his eye,

He didn’t feel any different, the hallucinations were gone, and his brain less clouded- he didn’t feel sick or dizzy. That was good. “No, I’m okay, Simon,”

He let out a sigh, straightening up and taking a deep breath, Simon had taken out a little flashlight and held it up to his eyes,

“Proper dilation, good,” he mumbled, shining it in each one a few times. Alec blinked and rubbed his eyes,

“I’m okay. I- I think he gave me Pixie Dust.” He stated, chewing his bottom lip; from what they’d heard about and from what he’d read in some of the reports, Pixie Dust was elusive, it gave you weird hallucinations and a lack of self control- apparently making you do what you wanted to do, when you wanted to. Your inhibitions and self-conscious were squat, you just didn’t care about consequences, like a child. 

“That might explain why you couldn’t control yourself.” Simon said, pulling his lip into a sneer, “That’s shitty.”

“What do you mean?” Alec asked, confused,

“Bane shouldn’t have taken advantage of you like that, did he do anything to you- touch you?” His tone was slow, attentive, Alec shook his head,

“No, he didn’t. He didn’t take advantage of me, I kissed him.” Alec’s voice was firm, even to his own ears, “Magnus didn’t do anything.” He insisted,

“Okay, but we should still pursue Sebastian, he was the one that drugged you- you making out with the boss - consensually- ” he emphasised with a worried look, “shouldn’t be a problem.”

“I’ve screwed up this whole operation.” Alec murmured, “I need to quit- we can send Jace-”

“Whoa- hey- don’t worry!” Simon rushed, steadying Alec as he ran frantic hands through his hair, “you haven’t screwed anything up. And the operation has only helped us- we have a possible suspect for Pixie Dust distribution, and maybe even the murders- and you should only swap with someone else if you feel uncomfortable going back.”

Alec shook his head, “It’d be way to suspicious I suppose- and then there’s no guarantee we’ll get in this time. I’ll be okay.”

Simon pursed his lips, “Alright. You need to sleep, and drink lots of water- I’ll get you some-” as he was about to get up Alec stopped him, giving him a tight smile,

“I’m okay, Si, I’m just going to go to sleep.”

He seemed conflicted, “If anything happens-”

“I’ll call you,”

“-And call Luke!” 

 

It took another ten minutes of deliberation to get Simon to leave. Alec scrubbed a hand over his face, a soft, insidious plea sprouted in the back of his mind- calling his name and begging him that being under the influence of Pixie Dust hadn’t been that bad- he had felt free, light, happy . The crushing weight of what was expected of him burning through his thoughts like a wildfire, and Magnus at the forefront of it all. He had screwed up, badly. 

Alec needed sleep, and a lot of it. He had wanted to kiss him, since the night he stayed in his office for drinks, and it was incredible. He had looked up at him, beaming with pleasurable anticipation when Alec had held him close- under the effects of the drug Magnus’s eyes were cat-like and stunning, they fit perfectly against his caramel skin. 

He stood from his seat on the couch and stumbled to his bedroom, discarding each item of clothing as he went until he was just in his boxers, he didn’t see the need to pick up anything- it’s not like he was going to have important company any time soon. Alec pulled open a draw and shoved on a ratty pair of pajama bottoms before promptly falling into bed and with a sigh succumbing to the fitful black waves of unconsciousness.



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Simon reached the precinct in record time. It had just gone midnight and the squad was not happy to be getting a call so late- that was until they heard that Alec had been drugged. Simon had left out the fact that he had caught Alec and Bane making out in his office, he thought that would be something Alec himself would be able to disclose or not. 

Jace met Simon outside the station and immediately began demanding to know what happened, 

“Alec is alright, I did a swab test and an examination and he said he wasn’t dizzy or sick-” He pressed, taking in Jace’s fever-bright eyes and bed-mussed hair. He visibly relaxed after that and lead him into the bullpen where Captain Luke, Maia, Clary and Lydia were waiting- he handed off the test to Underhill, who quickly disappeared into the elevator down to the lab.

“Oh, Simon,” Clary whispered, pulling her best friend into a tight hug, “how is he?” Believe it or not, after Alec’s initial (blatant) dislike of Clary Fray, she had grown on Alec, and they still had weekly chats where they would diss Jace and talk about their common love of coffee or something. Simon could see in her eyes that she was overly worried about him, as well as her boyfriend because she knew, they all knew that he would do anything for Alec.

“He’s doing okay,” he looked past her shoulder and nodded, letting them know that the operation wasn’t bust- they all let out a collective sigh,

“He should be seen by a medical professional anyway,” Luke settled, “I’ll make sure to send a worried ‘friend’ around tomorrow to make sure he’s not in any sort of danger,”

Simon nodded in agreement before turning to Maia and Lydia, “I need a full background check on a man named-” he cast a wary glance towards Clary, who stood next to Jace with a comforting hand on his shoulder, she nodded and walked over to the break room, mumbling something about coffee for everyone.

Simon turned back to the team, “Sebastian Verlac,”

Jace’s eyes widened in horror, “Alec mentioned him to me, said he gave him an off feeling in there. I checked him out already- the guy is clean-” he hurried over to his desk and shuffled a few papers around before picking up a fairly thin file and all but throwing it to Simon, “grew up with his aunt in Paris, only moved here seven years ago after living in London for a year and a half.”

Jace was right, it was there on the page, he didn’t even have a parking ticket. Simon’s head spun-

“Why would he do this then?”

Nobody replied. 

“We need to do some digging on Verlac- I’ll see what I can get out of some of my old contacts in the Downworld.” Maia said, of course, she had gone undercover in a rival gang for six month- they called themselves the New York Pack- a few of the members kept in touch.

“I suppose you guys are going to be staying here for the better part of the night.” Clary’s voice chimed, they all turned and gave a collective groan of thanks to see that she had made coffee for them all.

“Thank you, Clary-” Lydia said in a small voice, speaking for the first time that night, “we will get to the bottom of this.”

Chapter Text

Magnus hadn’t gone after Alec and his friend. Simon’s words racing through his mind in a maelstrom of anxieties. Drugged . Alec had been drugged. Who? Why? Raphael had stood in shock for about five minutes after the two of them charged out of the club before whirling on Sebastian- demanding he tell him what had happened, Sebastian’s voice was lost in the white noise that slowly took over Magnus’s ears. 

Sebastian slipped away a few minutes later- saying he was going to go and check the surveillance footage for anyone who might have been around him at the time. Raph and Magnus stared at each other for a few minutes, before one of them eventually broke the silence.

“I have to make sure he’s alright, Rapha.” Magnus said,

“You can’t, if Simon is there he won’t let you see him- and if he calls the cops and you’re found out -”

“To hell if he calls the cops! To hell if they snitch- Alexander was drugged. I need to find out what happened!” He yelled, “Rapha if he was drugged I need to know if he’s alright, I’ll talk to him through Simon, I’ll explain-”

“Explain what exactly?!” Raphael cried back in frustration, “what were you actually doing with him? Are you two together?” He looked as though Magnus had grown another head, 

Magnus shook his head, and ran a hand through his hair, “no, no, that was- ugh,” he groaned, snapping back to reality and looking at his friend anxiously “Raphael this is a mess.” He didn’t wait for his friend to reply and pushed past him, making his way back into the thumping organ of the club.

the crowd moved like a multi-headed beast that shared only one brain, everyone jumping and moving to the beat, Magnus forced his way through to the bar and yelled for Lily,

“What is it, boss? Margarita? Scotch?” Lily asked, shooting a dirty look to someone clicking their fingers at her, 

“None- I need Alec’s address.” 

Her eyebrows knit together, looking him up and down, “Why?” She asked skeptically, “Is he in some sort of trouble?” She picked up a bottle of whiskey and filled a glass, sliding it down the bar to one of the other patrons, Magnus shook his head vehemently,

“I- I just need to talk to him,” He pleaded, Lily raised an eyebrow, but pulled out her notepad and pen, and scribbled down Alec’s address. 

“Go get ‘em” she winked, watching him dash away.

 

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Alec woke up for the third time that night. It had only been a few hours since the drug had worn off but it still wasn’t completely out of his system and he was tossing and turning to keep his mind at bay. His heart beat a little too quickly and the wind whistling outside made his brain tic. It wasn’t that he wasn’t tired, he was. Alec could feel it in his bones, and yet he couldn’t get any more than an hour’s worth of sleep.

He lay in bed, sheets twisted and pulled around him from his thrashing. Everything seemed to hurt, his chest felt heavy with some phantom pain that made pulled him down like a cinder block had been tied around his neck; his joints were too tight in their sockets and every move Alec made added to the heaviness. Eventually he forced himself to move out of bed- if he wasn’t getting any sleep there was no point in trying to force it. 

Coffee sounds good right about now. He thought.

 

The apartment light was still on, since he hadn’t thought to turn it off in his sleepy haze- by the same token he was able to dodge the clothes he’d thrown off earlier. 

Coffee was a Godsend, his chest still ached; still weighed down on him, but with every sip he took he could feel himself calming down to a more normal level.

The apartment was peaceful, the busy street outside embracing Alec in a familiarity that he appreciated in the moment; the lounge light was a warm, soft glow, anyone at two o’clock in the morning would have found it easy to fall asleep where Alec was, sitting back on the couch with a steaming hot mug in his hands, instead, Alec focussed on the sounds of the city outside his window, the honking of the cars, the thumping of the music that poured out into the street, the buzzing of the intercom- wait.

 

“Alexander?” Magnus’s voice was distinctive even in the distortion of the speaker, Alec’s heart sped up again and he leapt off the couch, racing to the intercom. 

“Alexander, I’m so sorry. If I had known someone had drugged you I never would have kissed you- I’m so sorry if I crossed a line I don’t want to make you uncomfortable at all- I’m so sorry. I didn’t know- I-”

Alec’s heart broke. The words he wanted to say died in his throat. Magnus sounded so upset, almost scared at the thought he might have hurt him- the doubting thoughts in the back of his head told him he just didn’t want a law-suit, but he pushed them away. He tried to speak again but found he couldn’t,

“I’m so sorry, I never meant to take advantage of you like that- I would never have done anything had I known that someone had drugged you, Alexander, please” he said, before sighing in defeat, “I understand that you won’t want to speak to me at the moment, I truly am sorry.”

Alec did the only thing he could think of and buzzed Magnus into the building. He paced for a while, waiting to see if Magnus would really come up to his apartment. 

After a few minutes there was a hesitant knock at the door. Alec took a deep breath, knowing that on the other side of the door was a whole world of problems waiting for him. He knew he couldn’t hide forever and the best way to salvage his façade was to deal with everything head on. No matter how anxious he was. Alec opened the door, revealing a slightly dishevelled Magnus, still in his dark blue collared shirt and waistcoat from earlier- the black kohl under his eyes was slightly smudged that made Alec’s heart clench, it made him seem more human, that he could be just as much of a mess as the rest of the world. He wasn’t untouchable.

And yet for Alec, who noticed that Magnus’s lips were still plump and slightly redder than normal, knowing that he had kissed him less than two hours ago- something special with Magnus was something he could never have. The man’s eyes widened at the sight of Alec at the front door, at first he looked up at his face in shock- then his eyes flicked downwards and Alec was hit with the brutal reminder that he was dressed in nothing but an old pair of pajama bottoms that hung loose around his hips. It wasn’t that Alec was ashamed of his body- police training and years of sports camps forced on him by his parents kept him in good shape; it was more the fact that Magnus’s eyes had widened and a faint blush spread across his face, averting his eyes and staring intently on a rather interesting notch in the door frame that made him more self-conscious.

“Um-come-come on in,” Alec choked out, “let me just get a shirt on-” he closed the door behind Magnus as he stepped inside and ran into his bedroom, throwing on a plain black shirt- it was old, and a little small but he really didn’t want to be picky at the moment. He reappeared in the living room to find Magnus staring at the ground awkwardly, he seemed to have heard Alec’s footsteps and stiffened,

“Alec, I’m so sorry- had I known-” he started, his hands clasped together and instinctively twisting the rings on his fingers, 

“It’s alright, Magnus,” Alec said, “I came on to you. It was my choice- you didn’t take advantage of me.”

Magnus’s lips set in a thin line, but he nodded- although the slump in his shoulders and the tension in his jaw told him he still felt responsible. “I’m sorry I woke you up- I’ll leave-”

“No!” The words left Alec’s mouth before he had a chance to stop them, “I- I mean I couldn’t sleep, I- I think Sebastian slipped me Pixie Dust or something-”

“Sebastian is the one who drugged you?” Magnus’s voice was tight, Alec nodded,

“It couldn’t have been anyone else- he gave me a drink- and Simon told me he saw him pour something into my glass. I didn’t have anything otherwise.”

“And he gave you Pixie Dust? ” Magnus asked, taking a step towards him, he nodded again, “By Lillith, Alexander- it must have been in powder form- that’d explain why it affected you so quickly- how did he even get that? Oh, Alexander I am so sorry .” He babbled, Alec stepped forward again, steadying Magnus by resting his hands on his biceps.

“I’m alright, I promise,” he said,

“If Sebastian gave you Pixie Dust you need to stay away from Pandemonium for a while- you could-”

“What’s going on, Magnus?” Alec asked, Magnus took a deep breath, 

“Pixie Dust isn’t given to just anybody , Alexander, it- while in tablet form it can be great- there’s not too much harm done- powder is more potent, stronger- it can become addictive.” He replied,

Alec sighed, the operation was fucked.

“What do I have to do? Wait for it to get out of my system?”

Magnus nodded, then stepped away, “I really am sorry,” he said, “if you just wait a few days, it should be out of your system- don’t come back to Pandemonium until you’re better- I love my club, but it’s not the best place to be to get away from drugs.” As he turned around, heading to the front door. Alec reached out- going to grab his arm but felt their fingers intertwine, Magnus looked at him, unsure of what to do,

“It’s like three in the morning, stay until it gets light out- I’ll make breakfast.” Even to his own ears Alec sounded nervous, he wanted Magnus to stay, to be around him for just a little while longer, to see him before it all came crashing down. Magnus smiled softly, “thank you, Alexander,”

Alec told himself that this was just to get information about Pixie Dust. This wasn’t about him wanting to be the reason Magnus smiled like that. A small voice in the back of his head told him to shut up.

 

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Magnus had expected Alec to yell at him, to quit, to just plain ignore him. An invitation to stay for breakfast had caught him off guard, Alec’s voice had been shy but determined, after everything that had happened that night he still wanted him around, his hand unconsciously went to his lip- maybe… maybe it meant something to Alec… Magnus smiled at the tall, slightly dishevelled man in front of him, who still gripped his hand and found himself not wanting to let go, but he had to as Alec lead him to the tiny kitchen. It was livable, reminding him of his first apartment in Brooklyn, he chuckled softly. Alec was easily six-foot-three, built like a soldier, he had no place weaving his way around a three foot wide expanse of kitchenette.

“Eggs and bacon okay?” He asked, leaning down and checking the fridge, almost having to bend in two, 

Magnus suppressed a giggle, “Yes, that sounds great,”

Alec closed the fridge door and straightened up- nearly banging his head on one of the hanging cupboards as he leaned on the counter with a quirked eyebrow, “What?” 

Magnus shrugged innocently, “nothing, I mean it’s not every day you see the BFG knocking about in the kitchen” he flashed him a grin, 

“Oh shut up,” he said, a smile forming on his face, “I can’t help it” he turned back around- knocking a cup on the counter over- “Shit” he mumbled, putting it back in the cupboard above his head. Magnus laughed, stepping across the threshold, 

“Okay, slow down there- you’re flustered and overtired- I’ll make breakfast-”

“But-”

“Nope. Shush.” Magnus held a finger up to Alec’s lips, “I’ll be able to get around here much better than you, step aside, Alexander.” 

Alec stared at him, mouth hanging open, “I can’t ask you to do that-”

Magnus rolled his eyes, the small kitchen didn’t allow for much space between them, even less so when Magnus cupped Alec’s cheek. His skin was smooth beneath his hand, and his features softened for a moment, his mind went back to the way Alec’s lips had felt against his own, and his gaze flicked downward, Alec was so close to him. 

Magnus stepped back, shuffling so that they could switch places. Alec closed his eyes for a second before following his order and standing by the door, watching as the great Magnus Bane potter about his kitchen, asking where the pots and pans are, and making breakfast for the two of them. 

“Where did you learn to cook?” Alec asked him, 

“When I first arrived in America, I lived in a shitty little place in Brooklyn, the landlord was terrible ,” he chuckled, “honestly- he wouldn’t let Chairman into the building, so I had to hide him in my room- and then when I started my first business and he did an inspection and later on I found out my weed stash was gone!” It was easy to talk to Alec, he realised, sprinkling some salt and pepper in the pan, 

“Who’s Chairman?” Alec asked, chuckling and watching how gracefully Magnus rolled up his sleeves, 

“It’s a bit of a story, Alexander,” Magnus replied, Alec just shrugged and gestured for him to continue, “Chairman Meow is my cat- I found him in an alleyway after being mugged.”

“You were mugged?!” Alec’s eyes went wide, “did you call the cops?!” 

Magnus almost laughed, “I couldn’t. I was in a bit of trouble with a gang and if I’d gone to the cops I would have had to tell them what happened,” he shrugged, “besides, I was a fifteen year old alone in the City, they wouldn’t have cared about me,”

Alec blanched, “what- why?”

“It was 2004, I was living on the streets, an immigrant with a questionable background, and bisexual- if I had walked into a precinct with a knife in my back they would rule it an accident.” Magnus shrugged- the cops had done nothing for him when he had first arrived- begging them for help, they had looked at him as nothing more than dirt on the ground. He had learnt that people would see him as what he was. The bastard son of a criminal.

“I’m sorry,” Alec muttered, he smiled at him, 

“It’s okay- I found Chairman in a box next to where I passed out, little thing climbed into my jacket to keep warm. I took him back to the homeless shelter- and well, I’ve had him ever since.”

“I’m sorry you had to go through that- to get no help from the people who are meant to protect,” Alec said sadly, Magnus bumped him on the shoulder, 

“It’s okay, every cop would have done the same back then.” He pulled out a few plates from the cupboard (with some direction from Alec) and plated the Eggs and Bacon.

“Thank you, Magnus, and hey-” he leaned closer, “if I had been there, I would have helped you,”  Alec said, taking his plate. Magnus followed him to the living room, a warm feeling spreading through his chest- to where nestled against a side wall was a little dining table, Alec quickly ran back to get them both knives and forks while Magnus got comfortable.

Alec’s apartment was modest, to say the least, the floors were sturdy wood, and the furniture was cozy and dark. Magnus noticed the lack of picture frames, making him wonder if Alec had any sort of family- maybe he was alone, like him.

“Sorry, I completely forgot,” he handed Magnus the utensils and sat down, digging into his breakfast,

“By the Angel, Magnus, ” he moaned, “This is fucking good,”

Magnus smiled, a little more than distracted, first he had opened the door shirtless, showing off a gorgeous body, then he had put on a tight shirt that made Magnus’s knees go weak, and then when he was so close in the kitchen- and now , making that noise- he felt the blush creep up his neck,

“My mother taught me how to cook- when we still lived in Jakarta.” He said, “and hey- I’ve told you all about me, and I still know nothing about you. Spill it, Singewood.”

Alec’s expression darkened at the mention of his last name, Magnus worried he had crossed some sort of line by asking about his personal life,

“Well- I- um,” Alec said, the sadness in his eyes quickly disappearing, “I have a sister, and an adoptive brother,”

“That’s nice, what are their names? If you don’t mind me asking,” he said,

“Um- Jason and Sophie,” he smiled, “Jason is a firefighter, and Sophie works upstate with a friend of hers, she’s incredible at martial arts and has her own dojo. She’s been doing so well, they both have. ”

Magnus listened intently- it still didn’t escape his notice that there were no pictures of his family in the house, and by the way Alec spoke about his family seemed to love them a lot. It didn’t make sense that he’d hide any family photos.

“Tell me more about them,” Magnus leaned on his elbow, resting his chin on his hand and smiling as charmingly as he could, Alec smiled, crinkles forming at the corner of his eyes in the most adorable way,

“Jason got a girlfriend six months ago- she was loud, obnoxious and didn’t think before she did anything- I hated this girl, she’s an artist, says there’s ‘meaning in everything’ and it pissed me off to no end,”

“Yeah? What about now?” Magnus smiled at him, taking another bite of his food, Alec rolled his eyes, 

“She’s still loud and obnoxious, but she’s grown on me- eh, Fray isn’t that bad.” Alec shrugged.

Magnus froze. Fray. It couldn’t be, he couldn’t be talking about Biscuit, she was dating a guy named Jace and he was a- oh.

When Clary had started dating a cop Magnus had been mad, worried- ‘what if something happens to you?’ He had pleaded, Jocelyn had made him promise to protect her no matter what, and he had, but she had told him that he was someone she loved, truly loved. And he didn’t have the heart to stop her, she said that she was happy, and that was enough for him. She hadn’t told him her new boyfriend’s last name, mainly to keep him safe- had it not been for the trouble Jocelyn had been in he would never have known their original names; Magnus understood, and she hadn’t told Jace about him, because they were family, and they protected each other, cop boyfriend or not. 

Alec was not who he said he was- maybe this wasn’t even his apartment, and looking at him sitting across the table, with bed-hair and a dreamy smile he wished with every fibre in his being that he was wrong. If Alec was a cop then none of this was real, Magnus was nothing more than an assignment to him, of course he was, Magnus was nothing to Alec, it explained all the questions- the hesitancy to share stories. In a second, everything he had hoped he could be with Alexander was gone.

 

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Sebastian had left the two idiots staring at the ground- making out with the boss wasn’t his first guess when it came to being doped, then again, Alec Singewood had been a bit of an enigma getting so close to Bane so quickly. And here, on a silver platter, was his chance to prove his father wrong. You don’t need calculations to get what you want . Simon had left- and he was almost certain that the fucking moron was a cop, they would go to their station before doing anything else. 

He followed Simon’s stupid van for ten minutes, heading into the city. They pulled up at an old apartment block, he could see their silhouettes from across the street heading inside.

Only Simon appeared around half an hour later, looking around the street Sebastian leaned back, melting into the shadows. He started up the car, tailing Simon through the city, making sure to stay out of mind. Valentine was a fool. Thinking that the best way to get into Bane’s enterprise was through trust, ha . The only way they were going to get anywhere near Bane and his precious business was by eliminating every threat they had, taking him for everything he is and watching him hand over what they wanted. First his father had told him not to engage- that they’d find out whether Alec and Simon were cops by other means. 

Slower, cowardly, more like

He turned down 116th street, then another left- then another- shit . He was trying to lose him, Sebastian hung back a little, watching him take a right and following not long after- only to find the street void of life. Simon was gone. The world blurred as Sebastian saw red, slamming his fists on the wheel, digging his nails into his palms until they bled. A strangled roar tore from his throat, he had missed his chance.

Chapter Text

Alec’s heart stopped. He knew he’d let it slip, but there was no way Magnus would know Jace’s girlfriend. He couldn’t- she and Jace told each other everything, for fuck sake they shared a toothbrush , and for a man as sketchy as him to know innocent and boisterous little Fray was… insane

He was a bad person. Magnus Bane had a foot in the devil’s door. Alec knew that. He had to know that.

But the man sitting across from him at the shitty little dining table was also Magnus Bane; midnight black hair sticking out at all odds and ends from being run through countless times, makeup smeared slightly and brown eyes tired, smiling softly. 

Alec, just for a moment, let himself smile back, something he hoped was soft, and sincere- and believe that maybe the man in front of him, beautiful in the first rays of light, wasn’t as bad as he wanted to think.

“I’m sorry,” Magnus said suddenly, “Alexander if I crossed a line and made you feel uncomfortable-”

“Magnus,” Alec said softly, reaching out across the table and tentatively resting a hand on his wrist, “it’s okay, you did nothing wrong,”

The older man looked at him with pleading eyes, remorseful and… hurt? No, he was just reading into it too much. Alec promptly picked up their empty plates and returned them to the kitchen; he felt better after having something to eat and hopefully Magnus would stick around. He checked his watch: 4:30am. It was still pretty dark, but getting lighter by the minute, and a small part of him wanted Magnus to stay, an even smaller and much more foolish part of him wanted to kiss Magnus again, to savour the moment in a way he wasn’t able to do before. Alec shook his head at the thought, it was impossible for anything to come out of his feelings- hell, he wasn’t even out yet. He couldn’t even tell the people he lay down his life for day after day- how could he tell them he was crushing on their prime suspect in a murder case? He couldn’t. 

He strolled back into the living room, Magnus stood in the same spot he did an hour ago, lost in thought. Alec slowly put a hand on his shoulder, feeling the muscles tense beneath his shirt.

“You okay?” He asked quietly,

“I should be asking you that, Alexander,” Magnus rolled his eyes playfully, sending Alec that show stopping smile that made his heart somersault in his chest. Magnus turned to face him straight on, letting Alec’s hand on his shoulder fall back to his side,

“I’ll make sure that nothing like this ever happens to you or anyone again.” He stated darkly, there was an edge to his voice he hadn’t heard before. It was something that came from deep within his chest, emotion spiking every word. 

“I’m alright, don’t do anything stupid,” Alec felt his hands twitch- Magnus’s collar was skew; with a small smile he brought his hands up to Magnus’s shoulders, skimming over his collarbones in featherlight touches. He fixed the collar, tugging it back into its rightful position,

“It’s driving me crazy,” he huffed a laugh, 

Magnus sighed, lips parting a little, lips tugging at the corners as he gave him a knowing look. Like an inside joke between the two of them, “I know the feeling,” he said, barely audible 

In a second Alec’s stubborn heart gave in, telling him over and over that the only reason he was going to do this was for the case, not the fact that they way Magnus’s lips moved against his made his brain turn to mush, not the way that his hands fit perfectly on the man’s narrow hips, his body melting into his own and sending shivers down his spine. A gravity pulling his pounding heart towards Magnus, Magnus, always Magnus . The rational side of his brain screamed at him to focus ; and he was focussing, focussing on Magnus’s ringed hands gripping his biceps, reaching on his tiptoes to let Alec’s tongue explore his mouth. And for a moment, he let himself get lost in Magnus’s kiss. His head swirled in the best way possible, the moment didn’t last, however, as at the same time Magnus pulled away for air a nasty thought burrowed its way into Alec’s mind: we shouldn’t start like this- not with a lie. 

Alec dragged his eyes away from the still gorgeous sight of Magnus’s kiss-swollen lips, but what flashed back in their owner’s brown eyes hurt him more than anything; torment. Magnus stepped back, giving a pained smile before saying:

“Alec, the drug hasn’t completely left your system” Alec swallowed, “-and it would be inappropriate for us to… to get involved anyway.” He said, avoiding his gaze, “I think I should go.” 

Magnus righted his shirt, tucking it back in when Alec himself hadn’t even realised he’d untucked it and headed for the front door. Alec didn’t go after him, instead he watched, frozen as the possibility of something he knew he could never have shut the door behind him.



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Jace’s head fell down on the desk with an audible thunk . Simon shook his shoulder, they had spent the past three hours pouring over files and witness statements and every. Single. Crime Bane has ever been accused of over the past five years and nothing. Only several cases that all came down to circumstance with no viable base that made Simon want to rip his hair out. 

Alec was still asleep thank God, he would have called if he were awake. Jace and he had gone through nearly twenty cups of coffee supplied by Clary while Maia and Lydia tried to get as much information on Sebastian as possible. So far they had very little to go on except an address for his apartment and an estranged Aunt in Paris. Luke had told them to go home an hour ago to get some sleep but Simon could see by the way his team huddled together that that wasn’t an option; Alec was their anchor, he was the cop that the rookies looked up to. He was caring and honest and loved his job. Alec was the man to follow every ideal the NYPD stood for. For him to be hurt and broken and violated like that was a harsh reality check for them all. Nobody was untouchable, not even Alec Lightwood. 

 

“We can go see Alec- I’m sure Underhill won’t mind coming in.” Simon said, “we need to get him fully checked out.”

Jace raised his head and nodded, “I need to see him, Simon. He’s- he’s my brother.” 

“Then let’s go, I’ll call to make sure he’s awake-“

“Can I come too?” A voice said quietly, Clary put a hand on her best friend’s shoulder. “I’d like to make sure he’s okay too.” Simon could see the worry in her eyes and knew that neither of them could deny her.

Jace nodded and got up off his chair and grabbed his coat, one track mind telling him that he needed to get to Alec. They all did and hopefully they could get some conclusive evidence from all of this. 

 

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Magnus watched quietly from the other side of the street. His years surviving on them taught him how to blend into the shadows; to go unnoticed when alone and command attention in a crowd. 

The black Mercedes stopped abruptly in front of Alec’s building and his heart plummeted. Stepping out of the car holding tightly onto a blonde’s hand was his Biscuit. The little girl he had babysat when she was a toddler, running about his tiny apartment, pulling his cat’s tail while Jocelyn took some time to herself. Her once bubbly and happy face was grave and lined with worry as she held onto the blonde he assumed was Jace like their lives depended on it. The boy she loved and friend to the man that made Magnus’s heart stupidly believe he could be happy. They entered the building and once again Magnus was alone. Like he always was. Always would be. 

 

The ride back to his apartment was stifling. The phantom feeling of Alec’s lips against his didn’t help. It hurt. He should have known it was too good to be true. Now his problem proceeded his love life (or lack of); he needed to talk to Raphael and Ragnor, if anything they could look into Alec and who he really was. Hell, maybe he should be thanking Sebastian, maybe he saw something that he hadn’t noticed. Ugh. It still didn’t make sense why he’d drug him, and with the powder form of Pixie Dust, the raw form was more potent than anything he had ever made. Sebastian was not one to underestimate, Magnus knew that when he hired him, still, something didn’t add up with the two of them. He planned to find out what. 

 

“Idiota” Raphael mumbled, stalking into the apartment and pulling Magnus in for a hug, Ragnor had gotten to the apartment a few minutes earlier and had reacted in much the same way, “lo siento mucho, lo contraté y resultó ser un maldito policía y oh dios ... Simon es un policía y Magnus es mi culpa, ¿estás bien? podemos deshacernos de ellos.” He mumbled frantically into his shoulder. Raphael was barely ever this emotional, and only now Magnus realised just how taken with Lewis he had been. Seems as though they were in a similar boat. Magnus hugged Raphael tightly, his Spanish was okay, and he picked a lot up over his adoptive son’s sullen teenage years, 

“Do not be sorry, this is not your fault, Raphael and don’t you dare think that it is.” He said, holding him tighter, he felt him nod into his shoulder and let go, “I know you and that Simon boy-” 

“That doesn’t matter, Simon and I- it was nothing.”

Magnus clenched his jaw, “Raphael, I’m sorry,”

“He smiled too much anyway.” He muttered, though the pain in his eyes was evident, “wouldn’t shut up either.”

 

The two men made their way to where Ragnor sat in the living room, leaning over several files and a dozen papers spread across the coffee table. As much as Magnus teased him about his departure of their white collar lifestyle for a more reasonable income, he was still the best tracker and thief  in the game. Even at 35. His sandy brown hair parted neatly at the sides and Magnus found himself wondering how he could look so put together at six in the morning. He also noted a few streaks of fading green hair dye- something little Madzie was no doubt to blame for. 

“You two done wallowing over lost love lives?” He said irritably, shooting them both a glare that conveyed more pity than annoyance,

“Have you found anything?” Raphael said, rolling his eyes,

“Not much on Singewood- Lewis was easier to get something on- actually-” he shuffled the papers on the table, picking one with a triumphant aha! “I knew your Clary had a close friend, so I looked into him- Simon Lewis joined the NYPD several years ago,” he handed Raphael the paper, “I must admit finding out just that was harder than expected- I spent half an hour on the phone with one of my contacts in Manhattan. You can’t really blame yourself though- the fake profiles are incredible.”

“They’ve used their real names? That’s… odd,” Raphael said,

“Well- you know what they say- the best lies are the ones closest to the truth.” Magnus interjected, “is there anything else you could find?”

“Anything on that bastard Singewood?” Raph growled, 

Ragnor’s mouth set in a thin line, “No- I checked several social media platforms and couldn’t find a picture of him at all, do you have a picture on record, Rapha?”

He thought for a moment before pulling out his work phone, scrolling through his files app and holding the phone up for Ragnor to see, “That’s Singewood,” he said,

Ragnor’s eyes widened, before glaring at Magnus with such an intensity he thought his old friend’s head were about to explode, 

“DO YOU ABSOLUTE FUCKING IDIOTS NOT KNOW WHO THAT IS?!” He roared, standing up so fast the armchair he had been sitting on nearly fell back. “That boy is the son of the deputy Chief of Police!” 

Magnus deflated, he didn’t pay attention to the higher ups families, just their operations- “Oh my fucking Gods,”

“Lightwood. He’s a fucking Lightwood.” Raphael mumbled nihilistically, “well, I’m moving to Europe, care to join me, Rag?”

“I hear Paris is beautiful in the winter,” The eldest man huffed out a laugh, then turned serious, scooting his chair closer to the table as he sat back down, “why now? What made them come after you now?”  

Magnus groaned, “we are not going anywhere.” He stated. He had to tell the two of them- maybe not about Camille, they’d chew him alive if they found out he contacted that soul-sucker before he spoke to them. He still had to tell them about the murders, 

“give me a second- I think we can spin this our way-” he rushed into his office, reappearing a few moments later clutching the letter and pictures, he dropped them onto the table, watching as his friend’s faces contorted in disgust. “This is why- I got these a few weeks ago.”

‘Come back to neverland?’ ” Ragnor quirked an eyebrow, “What did you do? Is this because of-”

“I think so.”

“Shit.”

Raphael rubbed his eyes, “I’ll book a flight and get us new passports,”

“We can use this.” Magnus said pointedly, “if I go to the cops with what I know- maybe I can use this to my advantage?”

“Magnus they think you’re a killer,” Raphael said, “you can’t just show up and give them images of these crime scenes and expect them to just take your word for it!”

“We can’t do it straight away, well, not at this exact moment. They’re cops, they’re on the edge of a breakthrough and they don't want to screw this up.” He mused, pacing behind the back of the couch,

“What’s your plan then?” Ragnor leaned forward, discarding the little paper to the coffee table,

“If we go to them,” Magnus began, “make sure it’s on our terms, tell them we know who they are and that we want to know what they want with us,”

“And then what?” Raphael asked, 

“We hope that they cooperate; if they do and tell us the truth, we work with the cops- inadvertently and under the radar, obviously.”

“And if they don’t?” The youngest asked,

“I’ll pay for our tickets.” Magnus replied with a humorous eyebrow wiggle, “the cops are too close to this- and we need to keep a close eye on Sebastian- something’s off about him- shit doesn’t make sense.”

Ragnor and Raph shared a look, but saw the strangely determined look in his eyes and nodded slowly, 

“Alright,” Ragnor said for the two of them, “we’re with you, old friend.”

 

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A sickening crack sounded through the room, a large red welt forming on the side of Sebastian’s face,

“How dare you.” Valentine spat, his voice like poison dripping off a rotting carcass

Sebastian tried to squirm free of his vice like grip to no avail, “don’t.” Crack. “Ever.” Crack! “Disobey me .” Crack!  “AGAIN!” CRACK!

Each slap sent another wave of pain radiating through his skull. His father had found out about his little mishap a few hours ago when one of his little rats had snitched on him.

“I’m sorry, father,” he sputtered, the metallic taste of blood washing over his tongue,

“You should be,” Valentine said, his black eyes void of all emotion as he stared at his only son; bloodied and beaten by his hand. “Go clean yourself up. You have work in the morning.”

The door slammed shut. Through his blurred vision he could still make out the office- stark white walls and chemically clean cabinets. Renwick was deserted and isolated, made it easier for them to get information. Nobody but them could hear the screams.

 

Sebastian stumbled to the bathroom across the hall, the mirror held a ghastly sight. His left eye was swollen and he could more feel than see the blooming patches of purple bruising on his face. A large gash across his forehead still beared congealed blood and his clothes were an utter mess. Had he not been so used to the sight of himself in such a state he would have felt sorry. No, he wouldn’t pity himself. His father was too weak to see that he was ready for more than being Bane’s lackey. It was humiliating. 

Soon . He told himself, his father’s empire could only go so far under his direction; the Morgenstern name would be revered under his rule.

Chapter Text

Jace all but crashed into Alec as he opened the door, bringing him into a rib-crushing hug,

“Are you okay?” He asked quietly, Alec just returned with a tight squeeze.

“I’m going to need to do a check-up on you, Alec,” Underhill’s voice came, “Jace- Jace you need to let him go so I can make sure he’s healthy,”

The blonde reluctantly stepped away from his friend with a frown, “do you need anything? How long have you been awake?” He prattled on about how he knew a safe house was a good choice and that he should have called the second he woke up and he was so worried and fuck dammit Alec Lightwood. 

Alec just smiled, allowing Underhill to lead him to the couch as Simon had done so many hours before,

“Alec, I’m going to need you to all the nasty shit, m’kay?” Underhill’s tone was calm and casual- Simon was standing a few feet away, looking on both worriedly and appraisingly; they both worked together when it came to testing and Alec was still a little fuzzy on their dynamic. Simon was more the one to fret while Andrew kept the victims calm. Somehow it worked. It was unnatural for Alec to think of himself like that. A victim. It was foreign and didn’t sit well in his mind. The drug had been euphoric, but had left him feeling a little rough and shallow as it passed.

“I’ve put the kit Simon gave me in for testing and it’ll take a few hours, I’m going to need you to answer me honestly: have you felt dizzy over the past-” he checked his watch- “seven hours?”

Alec thought for a moment, the only time he remembered feeling at all dizzy was when he had kissed Magnus- he didn’t want to think about that. No, downright refused to think about that.

“No,” he answered, mostly honest.

“Any trouble eating or drinking?” Underhill questioned, fiddling with a compact drug test kit in his bag,

Alec’s thoughts went back to Magnus again, and the breakfast he’d made for them both. His stomach twisted, “No,”

“Sleeping?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t sleep much, restless.” Finally, something that didn’t correlate to Magnus. Underhill seemed satisfied with his answer,

“That’s good, restlessness is normal, you aren’t puking up and have no trouble walking or any disorientation- I say it was a small dose of something fast acting and potent but otherwise harmless.”

Jace let out a breath and tackled Alec again, over his shoulder he saw Clary smiling and waiting patiently. His brow furrowed unwittingly, remembering how Magnus’s face had changed at the mention of her name, how he almost looked panicked. It made him wonder about the sort of company his best friend’s ‘soulmate’ kept.

 

After another half hour of Jace and Simon and Underhill fussing over Alec, asking him if he was hungry every five minutes and shoving several cups of tea down his throat he finally got a chance to tell them what had happened from his perspective, leaving out the fact that he and Magnus had kissed and that the latter had been there a mere hour and a half before them, engaged in lip-lock with the detective. He spared a glance at Simon, who just looked back sympathetically, not wanting to say anything in front of anyone. 

Underhill and Clary had to practically pry Jace away when Alec asked to speak to Simon alone, vehemently refusing to let him out of his sight for more than a second.

“I won’t say anything.” Simon said as soon as the rest had filed into the kitchen, “not if you don’t want me to.”

“I- I don’t.” Alec said definitely, “Jace knows, so does Izzy- and now you.”

“Okay, I’m sorry you had to tell me like this, and I’m sorry that I have to ask-”

“If I’m going to compromise the operation?” Alec gave a mirthless laugh, “I won't, I was high and not thinking straight,” 

Simon chuckled a little, happy to see the usually grumpy detective Lightwood able to make a joke. He had been through so much shit over the past few days. Having to come out to his friend like that only made it worse. Simon knew how that felt, to not only have your right to choose taken away from you and your heart to clash with your head. Alec was strong, he was stubborn and loyal to his job. Sometimes to a fault, and he noticed a flash of defeat in his eyes, one that said more than words ever could. 

“What are we going to do now?” He asked, sitting forward in his chair, Alec shrugged,

“We wait, lay low, keep an eye on all of them and keep our guard up.” He replied

“Sounds reasonable, business as usual then?”

“Yeah.”

 

Clary gripped Alec in a bear hug, well, as close to a bear hug as she could get. Her head came up to Alec’s armpit for fuck sake. They were saying goodbye and the rest had already gone downstairs, “Are you okay?” She asked faintly, 

“I’m okay, don’t worry,” Alec looked down at her and the worry that had lined her face was slowly dissipating. “Clary I need to speak to you about something-”

Before he could get the words out Jace rushed in, eyes wide, holding his phone to his ear and panting heavily, 

“Alright.” He said, “Okay. Got it. Be right there. No Alec. Got it.” 

The two of them looked at him quizzically, “What’s-”

Jace shut his eyes for a moment, taking in a deep breath, “There’s been another body. I need to get to the precinct.” He stated,

“I’m going too,” Alec protested, knitting his eyebrows together, 

“No, first off, you need to rest, secondly, you’re still Alec Singewood and can’t be anywhere near the station until we’re clear.” He said defensively, squaring his shoulders making a gesture to nothing in particular. Jace always spoke with his hands when he was anxious, the action made Alec back down slightly. Anxious Jace meant reckless Jace was not far behind him.

“Keep me updated, and bring the files round tomorrow. I want to know everything ” He said, stepping forward and giving his friend one last hug, making sure to watch them leave the building safely. Clary’s bright red hair making her easy to spot on the busy street.

 

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Simon walked into Pandemonium, sporting a sleep-deprived headache and an aching in his chest at the sight of Raphael standing behind the bar, scowling as one of the waitstaff motioned to several broken glasses. He caught his eye and immediately his expression turned cold, closing him off to figuring out what he was thinking. He tried for a smile, it was small, and trying to be a little goofy; unfortunately it might have looked painful, but he was hoping to get something in return. Maybe even the way he smiled at him when they went to see Star Wars and he started babbling about Wookies. But he got nothing but the cold shoulder. Raphael turned back to his conversation, snapping something at the poor waiter and storming off. Simon pursed his lips and headed over to the DJ stand to start getting the tracklist ready.



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Raphael hated Simon Lewis. He hated him for lying, he hated him for being a cop, he hated the fact that that date was nothing but a scheme to get information. Hating his smile and the hopeful look in his eye. He hated all of it.

He stormed into Magnus’s office, throwing himself down on the chair like the overly dramatic, angst-ridden teen Magnus had taught him to be. The man himself sat on the other side of his desk, watching sympathetically as he prattled on about how the stupid server knocked over a shelf full of 100$+ glassware, and how the bill would be coming out of their paycheck and-

“He’s here, isn’t he?” Magnus asked, 

“Yes.” Is all Raphael allowed,

“I’m guessing you don’t want to talk about it?” Magnus asked, looking just as pained as Raphael felt. Magnus liked to believe he was immortal, that his heart was closed off and for a long time after Camille it had been. But he was over her, and sometimes his age showed in the tenseness of his shoulders and the faraway look in his eyes.

He turned on him, scowling harder than when Simon had tried to explain Wookies to him, “que diablos piensas?” What the hell do you think?

“Raphael Santiago.” Magnus’s voice changed into the one he used when he was going all father figure mode on him. Raphael’s mouth clamped shut. “You can face him. I need you to keep your head and you need to keep your head clear, okay? I promise you that things will be okay,” his voice turned soft again, “you’re strong, anakku, and I believe in you. We will figure this out, and if that Steven won’t cooperate, and won’t see you for the man you are, then he doesn’t deserve you.”

Raphael stood up, Magnus following suit, and hugged him, resting his head on his shoulder. Only letting a few tears fall,

“Gracias Papá” Raphael’s voice was muffled. He had called him that accidentally one day- when he first arrived in America and Magnus had taken him in.

He had been sick with the flu, and Catarina had him hopped up on so many antibiotics he swore his hand had spoken to him. It was in his delirium that when Magnus had handed him a bowl of soup he had let it slip, and ever since he had only called him that when he was feeling particularly beaten down.

 

Raphael left Magnus’s office a few minutes later, after agreeing that the meeting between them and the cops was going to go down tomorrow night. He didn’t see Simon for another few hours. The young man looked at him sorrowfully before returning to his task. It made his heart ache a little, but he remembered Magnus’s words, stay strong. And he carried on with his work.

 

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Sebastian smiled, cruel and dark and twisted. His white-blonde hair matted against his forehead and his teeth were stained with blood, his chest rose and fell heavily, adrenaline coursing through his veins; that’s what the hunt did to you, after all. You saw the light leave their eyes and like a crashing wave darkness overtook them. Death was a beautiful thing to Sebastian. His mind longed for it, his heart begged for it. Watching them break and scream and cry, knowing that with the flick of a wrist or the click of a finger you could end their life. Just. Like. That. 

The young man’s body was propped up against a wall, blood still oozing from the wound slicing across his gut, spewing its contents over the sidewalk. Beautiful. His own little piece of art. Sebastian reached into his pocket, and like a professional chef over the most scrumptious plate of food he’d ever made, sent sparkly glitter flying through the hair and coating the body.

There. Perfect.

Come along Magnus. He though musically, Don’t keep us waiting.

 

Sebastian tapped the steering wheel along to the song playing on the radio, it was upbeat and bouncy, the nasally voice of some popular artist singing about parties and shit. It was nice, although doing laundry that night was going to be a nightmare. It was worth it. Always would be, to see Bane’s torment, his conflict with his father playing out like a little game. And now with the added bonus of that Singewood poking his nose in Magnus’s business made it all so much more fun. He threw the letter out the window to his right, watching in the back mirror as his mule picked it up and hurried off into the distance, on their way to drop it off for Bane. 

Soon indeed. He smiled to himself, I will not need to hide in the shadows like a crocodile.

Chapter Text

 

Lydia sat in the head office, waiting patiently. Back straight, hands crossed and gaze firm. Commissioner Penhallow mimicked her stance with one just as cold. The leather backing to the chair uncomfortable enough to make her uneasy, however it was not enough to make her regret what she was doing. Commissioner Penhallow’s office was pristine, clean maple wood accents to match the uniform blue walls. Lydia’s heart warmed a little to see a picture frame of Jia’s daughter, Aline, sitting on the shelf behind her, it was calming to know that even she had emotions, considering how ruthless she could be.

“You want to report something? Branwell?”

“Yes, Commissioner. Inadequate leadership in the 5-1-1 precinct, Commissioner.” She said seriously, her face set in stone.

“Why?” Commissioner Penhallow leaned forward, folding her hands on her desk, 

“The Pixie Dust case- I believe, is not being handled with the right- finesse-” she gave a tight look, her brows knitted together, “-one might expect from such high ranking officers. I am here to ask that someone would visit the station and help out with our case.”

Jia thought for a moment, appraising the situation and the woman in front of her. Top of her class at the academy, highly regarded, cop family, trustworthy. Lydia looked back at her with a mix and cruel determination and admiration. She liked that. 

“I will see what I can do.”

Lydia gave a respectful nod and left without another word.

 

Jia dialed the phone on her desk, “Hello, this is Commissioner Jia Penhallow. I’ve been informed your services will be needed in the 5-1-1.” Her tone was short, leaving no room for argument.

 

“Of course, Commissioner Penhallow, I will do whatever I can.”

 

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Today was the day. Magnus paced his office, feeling Raphael’s eyes following his every move like a ping-pong match. Alec and Simon hadn’t arrived at work yet, and he had given the bouncers strict instruction to bring them up here as soon as they arrived, guarding the door once they were secured inside the office.

“You still keep that gun stashed in your draw?” Raph asked,

“Of course I do. I’m civil, not an idiot,” Magnus waved dismissively. 

Camille had given him that gun for his 23rd birthday, as well as having sentimental value it was the perfect weapon, licensed under a fake name, bought with a fake bank account, off the grid, all that and a lot more. Camille had told him that she wanted him safe, and would do anything to see that happen. It was a bitter thought now. Thank Lilith she hadn’t seen it when she’d been there; Raphael still didn’t know the real reason, Magnus told him it was just her looking for trouble, a quick fuck; he didn’t want to lie but he didn’t have any other choice. He prayed he didn’t have to use it. Not now.

“Want to go over everything again?” He asked, Raph nodded,

“So we get them to calm down, let their guard down, tell them we know who they are and mean them no harm. No mind games, no nothing. We want to help them because we are just as much of a victim in this as they are. Only if they agree to our terms do we give up the information we have.”

“Okay,” Magnus said, breathing deeply. The photos and notes were in his desk draw, the newest one sitting at the top. Magnus’s gut clenched at the memory of last night.

 

It was after Ragnor and Raph had left, leaving him alone with his thoughts and a 20-year-old bottle of whiskey he’d been saving for a special occasion. Magnus deemed the possible threat to not only his business but his future to be occasion enough to pop the bottle.

He sat on the couch, the jasmine incense burning in the corner making him feel wonderfully sleepy, letting the tension ease out of him as the alcohol went down smooth. He was deep in thought when the doorbell rang, heart in his throat his mind had gone through all the possibilities in less than sixty seconds: Had Alec found out where he lived? Was it Ragnor or Raph? Was it… Oh Lilith… Magnus slowly opened the door, blood pounding in his ears. An envelope, identical to the first he had been sent, lay in the same place the first one did, with his name written in the same untidy scrawl.

Magnus’s hands shook as he ripped it open, tears clouded his vision as he stared at the face in the newest picture, his dark skin and hair matted with blood, and his angular face slack with death. Elias had worked for him. Been close to him. God dammit they all had. The note attached made his blood run cold:

 

I Taught You To Fight And To Fly, 

What More Could There Be? 

 

Something welled up within Magnus, bringing him to the floor like dead weight. His heart beat too quickly in his chest, his hands were numb and shook like autumn leaves, his brain felt heavy in his head, a distant sound piercing his ears, making his skin prickle and his core go cold. 

He lay like that for a while, eyes seeing but not comprehending his surroundings. Elias had been special, someone he trusted. Gone.

He hauled himself up Angel knows how long later, forcing his limbs to move at their protest. It was a long night after that, when sleep refused to come.

 

The knock at the door yanked Magnus out of his troubled thoughts; if Raphael noticed the quiver in his voice as he spoke he didn’t say anything,

“Come in.”

Raphael’s calm face contorted into a glare as the two cops stepped inside, Simon’s eyes immediately went to Raphael, who continued his steely glower. Magnus signalled for the bouncer to leave them and guard the door. Magnus could feel Alec trying to catch his eye and refused to look at him, opting for a more dramatic way of beginning their little meeting. 

“We know who you are,” he said, finally meeting Alec’s eyes with a challenging look,

Simon was the first to speak: “what are you talking about?” He cocked his head to the side,

Raphael rolled his eyes, “ Dios mio,”  

“Detectives, if you’re going to play dumb I think I’ll just kick you out my club and be done with it.” Magnus said derisively, with a feigned bored expression,

Alec’s mouth set in a thin line, “what’s that supposed to mean?” He said, Simon’s eyes widened,

“It means, Detective Lightwood,” Alec flinched slightly when Magnus said his real name, good. A sadistic little voice in the back of his head whispered, he deserves to know that you know he lied. “That we have something you might want, and in return you might have something we want.” He cast a glance to Raphael, who only nodded solemnly. 

“What do you want?” Simon asked, “tickets to see Fleetwood Mac?” 

Nobody laughed. 

“Immunity.” Magnus stated simply, Alec looked confused,

“If you’re ‘innocent’ in all of this- why do you want immunity?”

Magnus shrugged, hoping that his cool demeanor didn’t have so many cracks that Alec could see the way his heart pounded in his chest. “Call it an insurance policy.”

Simon looked bewildered, blinking rapidly with his mouth hanging open, “ NO! ” He cried, gesturing passionately at the room, Magnus glanced at Raphael, who still held strong with his signature eye roll. 

He toyed with his ear cuff, “well then- enjoy your investigation, officers. I’ll have your release forms ready within the hour.”

Alec blanched, “What?” His voice was hesitant, unsettled,

Magnus forced out a laugh, hoping it sounded as genuine and mocking as he hoped, “I don’t want you here then, two cops working here is…” he huffed, “bad for business, don’t you think?”

He looked away, not meeting his eyes. Raphael stepped towards Simon, motioning to the door,

“Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to come up with a good excuse for you-” a wicked smile graced his features, one he had picked up over the years, eyes sliding over the two of them, “I’m sure making moves on the boss would be enough.”

Magnus’s mouth went dry. Raphael was talking to Simon, you could see it from the way he was looking at him, but he noticed the sudden tenseness in Alec’s shoulders, the panicked and pained expression flashing across his face before returning to that stoic façade. 

Simon scoffed and stormed out, throwing open the door and expertly dodging the bouncer. Raphael followed, telling the bouncer to go with him to make sure Simon didn’t do anything stupid. That left Alec and Magnus alone, standing on opposite sides of the office, not knowing what to say to the other.

“How do you know Clary?” Magnus asked hesitantly, like he was approaching a skittish cat.

“How do you?” Alec replied, setting his shoulders,

Magnus smiled sadly, the sarcastic frontage melting away, Alec tended to have that effect on him.“I care about her very much, she means a lot to me.”

Alec didn’t reply. His eyes stayed on the ground,

“I’m doing this because it’s beneficial to the both of us, Alexander. If you want to work with us then-”

“We aren’t working together yet, Magnus,” Alec said, finally looking at him,

“Yet?” There was a twinge of hopefulness in his voice, even he could hear it.

“I’ll need to talk to my superiors, so maybe.” Alec turned to walk out, only to be caught by the wrist,

“Alexander-” Magnus pressed a small piece of paper into his palm; “call it collateral.” He said humorously, “I still trust you, darling. Don’t forget that,”

Something flashed in Alec’s hazel eyes, warm and eclectic, staring back at him with an emotion he couldn’t quite pinpoint. “I won’t.” He said, before turning and leaving.

 

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Magnus and Clary were close. Alec didn’t know why but the thought of him and Clary being close made his skin crawl, the same way it had when he’d been with Camille. Alec didn’t know why he cared so goddamn much about Magnus and who and who not he’s ever been with. He’s kissed him twice for fuck sake, there was no point in getting attached, not even if the thought of Magnus kissing, touching, being with someone else made his stomach turn. And Fray; he knew something was wrong with that girl, the fact that she hadn’t told Jace about her affiliation to Magnus was damn good enough reason to bring her in. He needed to speak with her. 

He looked down at the note in his hand, it was an address for a place in Brooklyn, a message at the bottom in neat, loopy handwriting:

 

I trust you, only use this if you have to.

 

It was unsettling to Alec to think that Magnus would give him his address, for a man like that to tell him this… maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe he really did trust him. Or maybe it was a set-up, get him alone before Magnus showed him where his feared reputation came from.

Alec rushed out to the front of the club where Simon and Raphael were arguing heatedly, Raphael sometimes slipping into Spanish and Simon frantically pacing and yelling back at him.

“Simon.” Alec said sternly, Simon immediately stopped and nodded. The two of them made their way to his car, thank god it wasn’t the van otherwise Alec didn’t think his dignity could take it.

“How did they find out?” Alec asked slowly, noting Simon’s laboured breaths and the tears forming in his eyes,

“I don’t know- they must have- they must have-” his voice broke a little, 

“It was my fault. I- I’m sorry.” Alec said, “If I hadn’t been fucking making out with Magnus this never would have happened.” 

Simon pulled out of the club parking lot, “this wasn’t your fault. This was not your fault. Alec both of us have compromised this.”

“It might be a good idea to start working with them, Si,” Alec said suddenly, “they wouldn’t be doing this if they weren’t innocent,”

Simon sighed, “we still need to get clearance and if they’re going to cooperate with the police they’re going to have to go through checks and shit and I really don’t believe that whatever they’ve got on these murders is going to have any real effect on the case.”

Alec leans his head back against the headrest, sagging into the seat, “then what are we going to do?”

“We’ll take it back to the precinct, see what Luke says and see what we can do to make sure Bane doesn’t destroy this case before it’s really begun.”

“I’ll call Luke.” Said Alec, taking out his phone and dialing the number,

 

It connects after the second ring “Lightwood, Lewis. Jade Wolf. Ten minutes.” He hung up.

 

Alec inhaled sharply through his teeth. Jade Wolf was a run down chinese take-out place in chinatown. Luke had set it up for the squad to be a safe zone to meet during clandestine operations. For Luke not to know what was going on and still call them to the Wolf meant something was going down. 



Alec and Simon jumped out of the car, rushing into the establishment, the yellow sign peeling and flashing neon light. The inside was no different with peeling vinyl booths and plastic tables, flecked yellow paint and smelling like stale egg-fried rice. They walked in, coming face to face with Jace, Maia, Luke and Lydia, standing around the table in the corner, they looked up worriedly, 

“What’s going on?” He asked,

Luke looked at him ruefully, “They’ve sent someone in to help out with our investigation.”

Maia’s lip curled, “Victor Aldertree is a rat-bastard.” 

“Detective Roberts” Luke warned, Maia rolled her eyes and went back to the several heaps of paper on the table, flitting through them and sticking a paper to a whiteboard a few feet away. 

“What’s Aldertree doing at the precinct?” Simon made a face like he’d eaten something sour,

“He’s been sent by the commissioner after an anonymous request was sent in.” Lydia said, frowning. 

“We don’t know who the fuck they are but I swear to god he’s going to screw this up.” Jace muttered, 

Alec had met Aldertree a few times, ranging from when he was still a rookie cop at one of his parent’s fundraisers to last year at some awards ceremony. He was a vile little man, short and bald, with the face of a hard-boiled egg. When Alec had first met him he was cheery and had an air of unsettling friendliness about him, that soon changed when he had sauntered into the precinct and began to belittle everyone in sight- not the way you might think; not by yelling and kicking and screaming, not like a stab wound, that debilitates you all in one go; more like a million tiny paper cuts. Chipping away at you until there was nothing but a shell left. He was especially cruel to those who he saw as different. How he would blatantly ignore them in conversation- refuse to acknowledge their achievements. Alec remembered when he’d had to come in after Simon had come out, he was the primary on the case. Aldertree had disregarded him like a paper cup. 

“How so?” He asked, “he doesn’t have that much control over this- does he?” He takes in their deplorable expressions and rubs his eyes, “shit.”

“Have you told him about the undercover op?” Simon’s eyes scanned the table, looking at the array of papers littered with mentions of Bane, Pandemonium and anyone vaguely associated with them at all.

“We had no choice. He says we have to pull you and Simon out- Aldertree and the rest of Major Crimes believes that Bane is responsible for everything . Including the murders, as well as several other financial crimes dating back to 2008.” Lydia said professionally, handing over a seemingly newer file than the one she had just been referring to; Alec kept his eyes anywhere except her as he quickly took it out her hands.

The file was on the latest victim, Elias Rogue, there were several pictures of him and Bane, they seemed too close to just know each other casually. Jealousy suddenly pricked across his skin at the thought of them being… involved. It was bullshit. He didn’t care about what Magnus did, or who he did. Alec shook the thought from his mind and kept reading: Rogue had been working for Bane at a bar in the Village. A few misdemeanors, petty theft, a couple DUIs, nothing too crazy. Alec’s eyes trailed over the familiar lines of Magnus’s face, smile distinct despite the rough black and white image.

“What do you mean?” He asked, 

“It means,” Luke said, “that they are pushing to get Bane into custody, without motive or sufficient evidence, and if we do that-”

“He could go underground,” Alec finished, “disappear, never to be seen again.” The knot that had been forming in his gut twisted.  

Never is an awfully long time, he thought.

Chapter Text

“So we’re being extracted? Immediately?” Simon’s voice was soft and removed. 

Luke nodded solemnly, “we won’t be able to make any more progress on that front. He wants to wait for the lab results to come back about the Pixie Dust- which should be the day after tomorrow. Then he wants to bring Bane in within the week.”

Jace made a face, “why not just ask him for help?” 

Everyone turned to him, Alec’s heart started to race in his chest, there was no way Jace could have had any sort of idea about the meeting earlier. No.

“What do you mean?” Maia asked, 

“Why don’t we try a deal with Bane? He could become an informant of ours?” Jace’s proposal was met with several uncomfortable and disapproving looks,

“Jace…” Lydia’s face twisted, “Bane is not innocent in all of this. I think you’re all forgetting that.” She sent a glare towards them all, she looked Alec in the eye, and with a superior huff said: “Magnus Bane is friends with far more dangerous people than you’re willing to look for, he’s a criminal and I would have expected better of all of us than to harp on the possibility of him being innocent! There is a very real chance that he is in fact a murderer! Maybe Aldertree has a point!” 

The room went silent. Lydia’s heated glare daring them to challenge her. A sinking feeling pulled at Alec, a part of him wanted to shut her down, to tell her that Magnus couldn’t be a killer. Not the man that laughed with his whole body, who made fancy cocktails and played off dropping a glass for a cool trick, who wore outrageously tight clothes and who’s smile could light up a room. A darker, louder part of him said that Lydia was right, he was supposed to be a criminal, someone who was meant to be in prison. 

“You’re right.” Luke said, “we need to start treating this properly.” There was something in his eyes that said he didn’t believe what he was saying, but nobody seemed to pick up on it.

Alec and Simon shared a look, guilt suddenly waved through him. Simon and Raphael. He had been so fucking caught up in worrying about himself that he forgot about Simon’s happiness, the defeated and heartbroken look in his eyes when they’d left earlier that day.

 

The conversation seemed to fizzle out after that. They all seemed to realise that they had been acting as though Magnus was their friend. Not their lead suspect. Outside Alec pulled Simon aside, a little way from the spot they’d parked at. The light was dimmer and the heavy night air numbed his aching muscles,

“You okay?” He asked, Simon looked at his feet for a second before giving him a pained smile,

“I really do like him.” His breath shuddered, sending a puff of translucence into the cold, “I just wish I could explain…” 

“Hey-” Alec put his hands on either of his friend’s shoulders, “it doesn’t matter what Lydia thinks or what we should be doing. Okay? You and I both know that there’s got to be more to this than what it seems, we have to go back tomorrow anyway.”

Simon took a deep breath; Alec’s thoughts went to the small scrap of paper weighing heavily in his pocket, wondering if he should tell him about it. Tell him that it wasn’t his fault because it was Alec who let Clary’s name slip. Alec who let Magnus into his house knowing full well who he was. This was on him. 

“Do you want to take Magnus and Raphael up on their deal?” He asked hesitantly,

Simon looked at him hesitantly, “I was arguing with Raphael about it… I don’t know if I can face him again…”

Alec’s chest tightened, “okay, don’t worry, we just have to go tomorrow. We don’t have to decide now.”

Simon nodded.

The guilt in Alec’s stomach growled when he caught the flicker of hurt in his eyes.

 

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Jace stacked the papers on his desk, Aldertree stood off to the side, speaking in hushed tones to his newest stooge. Malachi Dieudonn é stood, back straight, tight-lipped and smug. Jace could feel his hackles rising at the sight of him. Just as entitled, just as haughty and hard-boiled as Aldertree. He came from a long line of rich white cops. He turned to Maia, who was currently downing more coffee than humanly possible at eight in the morning. She had taken up Alec’s desk during the investigation, they both knew it was more for comfort than efficiency.

“I can’t believe he’s already bringing Malachi into this.” She sighed, Jace just huffed,

“Fucking Malachi, fucking smug-faced-brown-nosing-little-dicked-”

“Detectives!” Aldertree announced, spreading his stubby arms wide in welcoming, Maia gave a tight-lipped smile and sipped her coffee, Jace had no qualms in sending him a hateful glower,

“Yes, Aldertree?” He put on his best ass-kissing voice, sing-songy and fake as fuck. Aldertree rolled his eyes and clapped a hand on his back- albeit a little harder than necessary, causing Maia to hide a smile behind her mug.

“I’m sure you know Detective Dieudonné?” Malachi stepped closer, hands clasped behind his back. Black hair slicked back- Jace was sure he wanted to seem professional, but he came off as more sleazy than the pimp currently singing his own drunken version of My Heart Will Go On in their holding cell.  

“Nice to see you again, Malachi,” Maia said, returning to her computer, silently praying that they’d go away, Malachi didn’t acknowledge her and instead opted to speak to Jace.

“Nice to see you, Wayland.” He said, wide mouth curling into a cheshire-cat smile. “Do you have any information you can give me on the Pixie Dust case?” He picked up a random file and began flipping through it,

“I can give you the backgrounds on the victims- they all worked for Bane at some point or another-”

“We should bring him in then? Correct?” Malachi interrupted,

Jace sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, “no, we need to be smart about this-”

“But if Bane has something to do with it- shouldn’t we follow up on that?”

“We were until Aldertree had us pull Alec and Simon out of undercover work-”

“And you were just going to allow Bane to kill more people?”

“There’s no solid evidence-”

Maia looked between the two men, Jace’s shoulders were tense and Malachi’s lip curled back in a sneer, “Detectives.” She said sternly, catching both of their attention, “we will figure this out in a way that we all approve of.” She turned to Malachi, “Captain wants to speak with you. I suggest you not keep him waiting.”

Malachi sent a final dirty look to Jace before stalking off towards Luke’s office. Jace quickly leaned across his desk to Maia- “did Luke really call him in?” He asked, 

Maia’s head went back as she tried to contain a laugh, “no- I just said that so you wouldn’t start clawing each other’s eyes out.” 

Jace snorted. Watching as a rather red-faced Malachi reappeared from the Cap’s office before he strode down the corridor to go bully some rookies. 

 

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Alec had sent Clary a text an hour ago, telling her to meet him for coffee at Java Jones- they’d started going there when Simon’s band had played and he and Clary loved their drinks, piled with whipped cream and a large enough caffeine dose to kill a horse. He’d arrived freakishly early, anxious for what was to come. Alec toyed with the slip of paper in his pocket, not wanting to lose it, he used it as a sort of anchor- a reminder as to why he was there.

“Alec? Hey!” Clary’s bubbly voice carried across the busy room, the cheeriness to her face and the bounce in her step made his heart plummet to his feet.

“Hello, Fray,” he stood up and hugged her, tight. 

“You okay?” She asked, pulling back and giving him a worried look, he nodded quickly,

“I just need to talk to you about something. To do with the case.”

He watched as the colour drained slowly from her face, she took a seat across from him, twiddling her thumbs on the table, Alec sighed, leaning forwards as he sat down.

“Magnus Bane.” He said lowly, keeping an ear out for anyone who might be listening, Clary shut her eyes, 

“I- I don’t- I don’t know who you’re talking about.” She stumbled, keeping her gaze zeroed in on her chipped red nail polish.

“Don’t lie to me, Clary.” Alec said firmly, but not unkindly; Clary’s fingers were twitching, the way they did when she was anxious and wanted to sketch something, her normally rosy cheeks were pale and she refused to look at him, “who was he?” He asked, “a friend… a boyfriend?” Alec waited for the answer, his heart doing funny things to his breathing in the silence. He forced himself to control his goddamn lungs and not get emotional.

Clary’s eyes widened in horror, “ By the Angel, NO!” Alec’s racing heart settled, Clary sighed and put her head in her hands, “Magnus… he’s… I can’t explain it. I’m sorry Alec, but he’s sort of like an older brother- or a weird uncle- I don’t know!” Clary desperately reached over the table, leaning in and whispering “Magnus is a good person, he- he’s been there for me since I was a kid- Alec- tell me that he isn’t…” 

“He isn’t dead.” He reassured her- Clary was almost as bad as Jace when she got hysterical, she visibly relaxed and rubbed her red-rimmed eyes, smearing her mascara slightly. “Clary- he’s our suspect-” he said slowly, but rushed on at the growing fear blooming on her face, “I don’t think he’s guilty.”

“He’s not a bad person. He let me have ice cream for breakfast when I was little for fuck sake. He has a cat that he dresses up!” She shook her head, “I can guarantee you that Magnus is not everything others tell you.”

Alec breathed out harshly, Clary’s fearful yet challenging stare telling him all he needed to know, “Thank you,” he said sincerely, she nodded.

Alec got up quickly and pulled her into a hug, “I won’t do anything without evidence, no matter what.” He muttered in her ear, she sniffed against his jacket, a muffled thank you going unspoken between them. 

Alec ordered his little red-headed friend the sugariest drink he could before she left, making sure she got into a cab safely. Before he’d even realised it his hand was in his pocket, running his thumb over the penned in Brooklyn address. Clary’s words playing over in his head, a good person. Magnus, by all accounts, seemed to be just a man running his business- caught up in a world that has something against him. Magnus is not everything others tell you. Alec brought out the slip of paper, smoothing it over and staring blankly at it. The coffee shop buzzed around him, nobody taking notice of the young man in the front window, staring into space, their thoughts on other things- a young woman placed her order, her nurse scrubs rumpled and her dark eyes tired. The barista moves fluidly between his colleagues, reaching and grabbing and mixing. Nothing stops. Time doesn’t stop. Not for him or anyone else. 

 

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Simon waited outside Alec’s apartment, sitting in the driver’s seat patiently for him to emerge from the shoddy old building. He really didn’t understand why he lived there- the fucker had grown up in a penthouse for God’s sake. Then again the Lightwoods could be real assholes-

“Simon? You ready?” Alec tapped a gloved hand on the passenger window, Simon’s head snapped up and took in his friend’s ruffled appearance, as if he’d been walking through a hurricane- well at least his hair did- the curls were more pronounced and windswept. It looked kind of good- in a surfer-boy sort of way.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”

 

Alec got a weird sensation of déjà vu along the ride, remembering the first time they walked into Pandemonium. Remembering how Simon had been completely dumbstruck by the manager in the midnight black suit- now he sat in the driver's seat, sallow-faced from lack of sleep and heartbroken. Alec wondered whether he looked any better.

 Magnus had been the most beautiful daydream he’d ever had- of course he’d thought about being with someone before… and not just the occasional hookup. When he was a teenager he’d imagine him and his crush happily holding hands around school, and then as he got older it would be this faceless man, strong and kind and loving. He had always known it was nothing but a fantasy. He knew that it was stupid, to believe that anyone could really love him. Not with his parents, and his heartache and his baggage. But for one shining moment, Magnus had taken on that dream, and it felt right.

The numbing cold distracted them both from the walk into the club, the cheerful smile from an oblivious Lily went unnoticed by Simon, who’s eyes searched the club for Raphael. Alec, too, found himself looking for someone, someone with glittering skin and jet-black hair.

What he was faced with was far less pleasant. 

Sebastian smiled widely at the two of them, “Nice to see you back, Alec!” He clapped him on the shoulder, a little too hard to be friendly. “I thought you’d caught the flu-” he went on, mindlessly talking about several things that had happened in his absence- completely ignoring Simon; not that he seemed to mind- his eyes had found their target and he was quickly disappearing into the slowly dimming lights of the club preparing for the onslaught of drunken madness in the next ten minutes. 

“So-uh- how have you been?” Alec asked hesitantly, a pang of hurt rushed through him. Magnus had sounded so… furious when he had told him it was Sebastian who was responsible for him being drugged, and now he stood in front of him, as animated and bright as ever. Magnus did nothing to him. Alec supposed he deserved it, the betrayed look in Magnus’s eyes when he had called him Detective Lightwood seemed reason enough for him to not give a shit about him any more.