Distantly, he hears the disapproving tilt of Ragnor's voice: scolding, exasperated, worried, all in one the epitome of irritation that is Ragnor's voice. He hears Dot's voice, asking him about the drink in his hands, concern filtering though her voice as she mouths Heartache Drink at him.
Whiskey on the rocks, with two voices that belong to the dead echoing in his head.
Magnus rubs at his eyes with one hand, the other absently sloshing the amber liquid in the thick glass.
Alexander hadn't come back home and it's been about 2 hours since he'd left the loft. 2 hours since the explosion of an argument that they had that was the result of weeks of pent up emotions and frustrations from the both of them. The night view of Alicante did nothing to soothe the burn behind his eyes or the ache in his chest. All Magnus knew was that his wedding band felt cold against his finger and the chilly breeze from the open balcony doors was nothing compared to the cold dread in his stomach. It was nearing 3am, the night dark and endless, not a star in sight.
Magnus finishes his drink and goes to make another.
Really, he didn't mean to snap. He was content to pretend that everything was perfectly alright, and nothing was amiss. So what he was missing the dinners with Alec at their kitchen counter? So what he misses Alec's teasing when Magnus refused to get up from bed on a Monday morning? So what he misses Alec's warm hazel eyes and his hands running though his hair? So what that Alec hadn't had sex with him for a full week; the desperate shower sessions didn't count when its sole purpose was to just get off and not make love. So what Alec hadn't cared enough to come home at a decent time to fall asleep together? So what Alec didn't kiss him good morning or good night anymore?
Alec is his husband. So what if he misses him? His Alexander was busy. It was the way it was when you wanted to make a change and the Clave are right bastards, stuck to their old ways even if they do more damage than they should. He understood that. Did he like it?
Magnus swallows past the lump in his throat, tapping his fingers against the edge of his glass. He didn’t. He didn’t like it at all. But the world didn’t care about the things you liked or the things you didn’t, it was how the world is.
Heartache drink, Dot sighs in his ear again. Magnus chooses to ignore her, ignores Ragnor's stare from across the room as he bitterly drinks the whiskey in his hands, his thoughts too dark and his heart too painful for him to handle sober. He remembers that the fight started from something small, something simple, something about Alec grouchily complaining about how he shouldn't be throwing things around so often after Alec had tripped over a book that was haphazardly thrown somewhere along the hallway from the entrance to the living room.
Alec hadn't even said hello before he was complaining to Magnus about his habits. It's not as if he's blaming Alec, but it had stung. He had a particularly rough day with clients and wards and the Clave biting his ass despite being the one to give him this position as High Warlock in the first place. He had just wanted to have a nice dinner with Alec and stare at his husband for a little while before going to bed. It was one of the few nights they both had free, and Magnus was eager to be with the love of his very long life and have nothing disturb it.
So of course he had lost his temper and snarled at Alec for being nothing but a nag that wouldn't let Magnus be. Then the argument took off from there, Magnus sneering about Alec's lack of attention for his surroundings, let alone him, Alec voicing his frustrations that he just wanted to come back to a peaceful home without tripping all over things that shouldn't be on floors, Magnus snapping right back and saying that they were just pieces of paper. One thing let to another and they were yelling about Alec not being around as much, of empty beds and colder sheets. Of how work was important. Work was what brought change to the shadow world. Magnus had glanced at him in disbelief, summoning the discarded book into his hands and flinging it towards Alec, hitting him on his chest.
Then Alec was shouting and asking him to can we please don't do this right now? I'm tired and this is ridiculous! Magnus shouting at him If we don't do this now then when do we? When you're dead and I'm not and I can't have you anymore? I don’t have a lot of time with you, Alexander! Why can’t you see that?
Alec looking at him in shock. Magnus cursing the words that left his stupid mouth. Alec shaking his head, and storming right back out the door. Magnus had stood shock still. Magnus didn't give chase after him. After his love.
It seemed that when it came to love, Magnus was a fool that couldn’t do anything right.
He wanted, he desired, he chased, and he hunted. Centuries with Alec sounded like peace. In the world, peace always came with a price. He couldn’t ask Alec to give up his life for him, he couldn’t. It was selfish, and he was doing his best to treasure the time he had with Alec right now. Of course that time had to be the one to make him break, to admit that he wanted more time with his husband, the one that made him believe he could have love and be loved.
Yet here he is, alone, pitifully nursing a glass of whiskey with his heart crushed and his fears resurfacing higher and higher the longer Alec stays away. He wonders when the last time Alec told him he loves him, wonders when the last time Magnus had told him he loves him. Another voice in his head that comes from the darkest place in his heart (that sounds suspiciously like Camille) wonders if Alec loves him anymore.
As quickly as that thought had come, he pushes it away. He doesn't need them in his head crushing him any further. (He doesn't want to ponder and wonder if it's true. He doesn't.)
So he waits. He plays with his wedding ring and drinks his whiskey and continues to feel the chilly breeze of Alicante and the exhaustion set in his bones.
He waits for Alec to come home.
If he comes home.
Alec had stormed back to the training halls of Idris, uncaring of the curious gazes of shadowhunters wondering what he was doing back so soon after he had left not even half an hour ago. He had changed into the spare clothes he kept in his office, a raggy pair of sweatpants and a loose black tank top that hung off his frame so much so that it could barely be called a shirt. Alec picks up his bow and quiver, notching an arrow and setting his sights on the furthest target in the room. His frustration doesn’t stop his arrow from hitting its mark, and the next thing he knows, he’s been practicing archery for hours, the recoil of his bowstring that snapped sharply against his fingers leaving red blisters that bled and tore away at his skin.
He ignores the pain, and when his arrows were starting to not become enough, he wraps his fists and starts on the punching bag.
If we don't do this now then when do we? When you're dead and I'm not and I can't have you anymore?
Magnus’ words chant around him, seeping into his thoughts whether he wanted them to or not. He knew mortality was something the both of them struggled with, a subject that haunts them when they least expect it too. Alec distinctly remembers when Magnus had lost his magic. And wasn’t that whole incident a shitstorm? When Magnus had lost his magic, subsequently his immortality, and Alec later found out that he broke down over a stray strand of grey hair.
While Alec revelled in the idea of Magnus growing old with him, of his husband by his side and Magnus not having to suffer centuries feeling the loss of Alec’s eventual death; Magnus had suffered.
Immortality, mortality, two sides of the same coin.
The same cursed coin.
They don’t even talk about the subject. Alec had once brought up searching for ways to remain at Magnus’ side, be it by becoming a vampire or other ways he’s sure exists. The shadow world is full of secrets, some just needed extra prompting to come to the surface. All the legends are true after all. Be it the fountain of youth, the holy grail, some obscure Seelie magic or some ancient warlock spell or potion, something, anything. But Magnus had shot down the idea, quoting the pains of an immortal life. But Magnus didn’t understand. Alec loves him. He’d lose his family; he’d lose Izzy and Jace. But Alec wouldn’t be losing Magnus. He would be right by his side. Why didn’t Magnus understand that?
He knew Magnus wanted it. Wanted his whole life with Alec. He knew it when Magnus would stare too long at him over breakfast, how he stash clothes Alec didn’t wear anymore into a heavy looking trunk filled with all of Alec’s discarded notebooks and broken gear. The words keep ringing in his head: ‘When I’m dead and you’re not’
The argument they had is starting to have way more aspects to it than Alec expected it to have.
Damn it, he thinks, landing a hard punch on the bag and feeling his bloody hands protest. Times like this he wished that Jace were here so he could spar with him, his brother was always willing to kick his ass to prevent him from doing something stupid. But Jace was back home, in the New York institute, and Alec was pretty sure it was date night for him and Clary, so he couldn’t bother him either. He couldn’t take Jace away from Clary when he spent a year living with her non-existent memories of him. Alec didn’t ever want to find out what that must have felt like, if Magnus had ever forgotten him, stopped loving him from memories not present-
Grunting as his fists continues to connect with the beaten bag, Alec doesn’t think to move the hair in his face, blinking away the stinging sensation of sweat in his eyes. The thought was painful.
I don’t have a lot of time with you, Alexander!
“Fuck!” Alec yells, slamming his fist into the bag one last time before slumping against it and breathing hard. “Fuck.” He repeats, dragging his forehead away from the grimy training gear.
He knew that look in Magnus’ eyes, that look of uncertainty. He first saw it when Magnus had walked down the aisle at his first (failed) wedding, again when Valentine and swapped bodies with him, when they first had sex and Alec saw his beautiful golden eyes. The hint of fear in those uncertain eyes when Alec had broken his heart to trade it for Magnus’ magic.
Alec was just tired from his day; he hadn’t meant for his tone to be so biting when he tripped on the book. He knew Magnus was tired too: endless clients and wards repair and the same meetings Alec had to attend with the Clave. Pulling off the cloth around his hands, he quietly curses at the blood streaking down his wrists. Pulling his stele out from his pocket and activating an iratze, Alec’s eyes glues to his wedding band.
Shaking his head, he cleans the training area before picking up his arrows and going through the mindless process of reactivating the runes marked on the metal. He sits on the ground, the adamas gleams under the lights, the length of it glowing from his stele.
By the time he goes through his entire quiver of arrows, he’s a lot calmer. He can gather his thoughts and line them up next to each other. He tilts his head up to look at the ceiling, the decoration of the Angel staring down at him. Distantly, he can’t help but think that Clary’s art was much better, and he should look into getting the murals and painting in Idris updated and replaced.
Sighing, he brings his gaze back down onto his hand, onto the wedding ring adorning his finger. Standing and picking up his weapons, Alec goes to head to the showers, deciding that there wasn’t any use delaying the inevitable talk that Magnus and he had to have.
He takes his phone out and sends in a notice that he was taking the next two days off. Pausing for just a few seconds, he does the same for Magnus. Whatever outcome their talk would be, time for themselves would be good.
Alec has to apologise to Magnus. To tell him that he loves him. Because if there was anything that Alec has faith in, it’s the love he shares for his warlock husband.
Hours later, just before dawn, the door to their home opens. Magnus blearily blinks at the sound, his head swimming from alcohol and lack of sleep. Alec stands at the doorway, unsurprised to see Magnus sitting on the couch, still in his work clothes and looking rough and frayed. The loft is cold from the open balcony doors. Alec sees the glasses by the empty bottle of whiskey sitting by the drink cart and Magnus' smudged makeup and bitten lips. Alec wonders why he even left him to suffer alone for all those hours.
"Magnus." Alexander sighs, placing his bow and quiver by the door before making his way towards his spouse. Magnus hums, quiet as he watches Alec come closer to kneel between his legs. A hand brushes his jaw before cupping his cheeks. Magnus sighs at the warmth, closing his eyes before leaning into the warmth of Alec's hand. "Alexander," he starts, voice soft and dry from alcohol dehydration, "You're back"
His voice holds enough edge of disbelief in it for Alec to feel a pang of guilt. "I'll always come back, Mags." is what he answers, watching as golden cat eyes flutter open for him and tears fill the spaces between them. Alec puts their hands together, rubbing his thumb over Magnus’ ringed fingers soothingly.
Magnus looks at their joined hands instead of meeting Alec’s eyes, spots the remnants of the disappearing bruises along his wrist. "Oh, darling. What happened to your hand?” he questions, concerned even as he’s hurt and emotionally exhausted.
Alec hums, holding Magnus’ hands tighter in his. “I was training.” He confesses, “You know how I get.” He continues on softly. Magnus snorts, “I do, Alexander. I do.”
Silence falls onto them even as Alec continues to hold Magnus’ hands. Eventually, Magnus finally looks at Alec, his hazel eyes warm. “I’m sorry, for what I said. I shouldn’t have brought it up in the middle of an argument. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Magnus says, pulling a hand free to run it through Alec’s damp hair.
Alec’s lips twitch in disbelief. “I’m the one that should be apologising. I’m sorry for hurting you, for not coming home on time and for not spending time with you. I know this whole,” here, Alec waves his hand around as if it’ll make his point clearer, “immortality thing is a difficult subject. You don’t have to apologise for feeling uneasy and scared, Magnus.”
“I missed you.” Magnus admits, tears spilling over and sliding down his face. “I missed you, and I just wanted to spend more time together, Alec. You are the love of my life. I don’t think you quite understand how much I love you, how much I miss you. When you die, you won’t just end up in some box. I don’t know how I will live without you.”
“I love you too.” Alec responds, breathless and a little teary eyed, “We’ll find a way, Magnus. We will.”
Magnus makes a distressed sound, looking at Alec with disbelief when he understands where Alec was going with the conversation, “Darling, immortality is not something simple. It’s not a gift that mundanes make it out to be. Its hard, you live lifetimes and sometimes you live them alone. I can’t make you take that on for yourself.”
Breathing out through his nose, Alec sits on the couch and pulls Magnus into his lap, letting the older man burrow into his neck. “Magnus,” he begins, firmly, “You aren’t making me do anything. I won’t be alone; I will be with you. I understand that it won’t be easy, that I will lose everything that comes with my mortality. But I love you. I love you and you deserve to be loved and I’m willing to give it up for you.”
Magnus sniffles into Alec’s neck, letting the Nephilim cradle him in his arms. “Alexander, immortality. It’s- it’s a lot, my love.” He informs, not knowing what else to say. Alec hums, letting Magnus know he’s heard him. He chooses his next words carefully, knowing this was where weeks of distance between them has come to. “Remember when I said to you, that you and I will always find our way back to each other? I meant it, Magnus. Even if I don’t go through with this immortality thing, I will always find you.”
Magnus, against everything against them at the current moment, snorts. “Reincarnation, Alexander? I don’t think your dear Angel would approve.” He chides, only half-joking. Alec hums, “I mean, if they gave Clary her memories back, I’m sure I can bargain with them.”
“Bargain with an Angel?” Magnus questions, exasperated, he pulls away from mumbling into Alec’s neck to look at him with red eyes. “Such a stubborn shadowhunter.”
Alec shakes his head, running his hands up and down Magnus’ back, giving Magnus some of his body heat to protect him from the cold of the loft. “I’m stubborn for what’s right, and you know this.”
Magnus goes quiet, so Alec takes it as a chance for him to speak again. “I’d prefer if we just… found a way. To keep what we have. I don’t want to wait to find you again, Magnus. I don’t want you to wait for me. I don’t want you to be lonely anymore.”
“Oh, Alexander. You selfless being. How did I ever get so lucky to have you?” Magnus chokes, voice watery as he leans down to press their foreheads together. “You continue to surprise me.”
Alec smiles, the familiar banter falling easily on them, “In good ways I hope.” He laughs. Magnus echoes the smile before tentatively brushing their lips together in a warm kiss. The kiss warms Magnus, making him sigh and relax into Alec’s hold on his body. They languidly brush their tongues together, pressing deeply but with no intent to push it any further. Alec is content to be kissing Magnus, and Magnus is content to simply be in this moment.
Their lips pull apart, but they stay close to each other. Magnus’ hands settle on Alec’s cheeks gently. It goes quiet again, the rising sun casting a soft glow around them and their home. Magnus bites his lips, looking into determined hazel eyes. “Okay.” He finally relents, “We’ll try. But if it gets too risky, too dangerous or too life-threatening, you need to understand that I’d rather wait centuries for you again than to lose you in pursuit of something like immortality. Promise me, Alexander, that you will be careful with this.”
Realising that this was the best he could get, Alec quickly agrees, pressing a quick kiss to Magnus’ lips. “Alright. I promise.”
They spend a few minutes in each other’s arms before Magnus is standing, pulling Alec to his feet with him. “I love you, Alexander.” He sighs, a bit in awe for the lengths that this man was willing to go to for him. Alec smiles, a happy little love filled thing, and its directed entirely at his warlock. “I love you too, Magnus."
Alec stretches, exhaustion catching up with him. By the look on Magnus’ face, he thinks that they both could use some rest. Discussion about how to go about finding immortality would come later. “Let’s get some rest. I let Jia know that we wouldn’t be coming in today. Or tomorrow, for that matter.”
Seemingly pleased, Magnus strides as close as he can to his husband without being knocking their heads together, “That sounds absolutely wonderful. Oh and for what matters, I won’t be tossing books onto the floor anymore.” He smirks.
Laughing, Alec shakes his head, “You can toss all the books you want, Magnus. As long as you don’t toss me away.” He replies teasingly. Magnus rolls his eyes, “You just openly declared that you will always come for me either way, Alexander. I couldn’t possibly ever be rid of you.”
“Did you have to make it sound like I’m some assassin?” Alec questions, eyebrows raised in amusement. Magnus huffs, pulling Alec into the direction of their bedroom. “You know that I will never toss you away, you silly Nephilim.” He sniffs, slightly offended. “You aren’t some book with filled with names for wards repair.”
Alec smiles, fetching Magnus’ silk robe as the man begins to undress, uncaring for magic when Alec is with him to appreciate him. “I love you.” Alec says again, feeling like he owes it to Magnus for saying it now, for neglecting his husband so much and hurting him when he hadn’t mean to. “I love you. Forever, Magnus. I will love you forever.”
Eyes misty and hands pausing over the buttons of his blouse, Magnus nods, a gentle look taking over the features of his face. “As well,” he agrees, “You will have me to love you forever as well. Until the end of my days, my dearest Alexander.”
Forever had never sounded better.