Alexander Gideon Lightwood-Bane died a hero.
That wasn’t to say it was a happy ending.
It was three years after Magnus and Alexander had married, nearly two years after of him being Inquisitor, and one year after Simon had proposed to Isabelle.
Things had been good – perfect even, for the couple. Though a certain redheaded Shadowhunter was missing from their lives, they tried to honor her memory in the only way they could – continue on, focusing their grief by changing the Shadow World for the better. The power couple of the century did just that, repealing law after law until the Clave was no longer feared by Down Worlders and, instead, a place to go when in need of help and guidance.
Throwing themselves into work worked for a long time. Jace, though still clearly in love with Clarissa Fairchild, had learned how to cope with a broken heart through his family’s help, even if some days he would sneak away and watch her from a distance, mourning his own loss.
Magnus had spied in his own way, buying her art, so he was not the one to be judging. Alexander, even, let Jace have this small comfort, even if he told Magnus how unhelpful it was for the both of them.
Simon, to no one’s surprise except his own, became the, as he called it, “guidance counselor” for new vampires. Thanks to the new, accepting laws, Simon was in charge of what Shadowhunters called the “safe house”. Instead of straight to a cell, vampires who had a rough start would be placed with a temporary clan and taught how to manage their instincts.
And Raphael? He was enjoying the Mundane life, was traveling around the world, practicing his religion with a renewed vigor, but still enjoying the finer points of life. He was content, something Magnus never knew he wasn’t until he saw it. It hurt, thinking that Magnus would one day no longer see him, but if this what made Raphael happy, who was he to stop him?
Meanwhile, without Luke, Maia had stepped up wonderfully as well. Though she hated to put her college degree on hold, the idea of a safe house that the Clave wouldn’t bother was too enticing of an offer. When Alexander had first brought it up to the two of them, informally, they had jumped on him, spewing out idea after idea, much to his husband’s shock.
Which led to Isabelle, the new Head of the New York Institute, implementing such a project. Seeing that Isabelle already had close ties to the Down World, and her brother, the Inquisitor, was in full support of it, it didn’t take long. In fact, she was currently married to the one that was his way to become – oh the horror – a leader. The change from Clave arrogance to Downworlder acceptance was a rough road, but between Alexander’s changes, and the leaders of the Downworlder willing to work with him, true peace was becoming reality.
In other words, Alexander was changing the world, Magnus right at his side.
“We’re so busy,” Alexander whined to him, five in the morning and clutching at his coffee as if it were life or death, “I just want a day – one day – without a phone call from the Clave, or an Institute, or anyone. We haven’t been on an uninterrupted date since – since –”
Alexander never once complained about work, never once whined. In fact, the entire speech seemed out of character to Magnus. However, Magnus knew exactly what he was feeling. After all, as the High Warlock of Alicante, he was feeling the same strain.
“Italy,” Magnus grumbled, just as bitter, “Our wedding anniversary, which was three weeks ago.”
Alexander sighed loudly, putting his head in his hands, “I’m so sorry,” he whispered, “I’ve been trying to get our schedules to line up. I mean, I even let Lydia take over for the day when we wanted to go on a date – remember for last Saturday? – but then you had that emergency client and I wasn’t even upset because I needed to sleep and-”
“Alexander,” Magnus interrupted, coming up behind his husband and wrapping his arms around his waist, putting his head on his broad shoulder, “I love you.”
Alexander relaxed in his hold, phone dropping to the counter. He hummed, leaning the side of his head against Magnus’s own. Three years of marriage, and still Magnus got butterflies when his husband reacted in such a way – with complete love and trust. The two of them stayed like that for a bit longer, enjoying the quite and the feel of each other.
“I love you, too.” Alexander whispered eventually, placing a gentle kiss on his cheek. “I’m sorry for ranting at you. I just really miss you.”
Magnus tightened his hold, glad to hear that he wasn’t the only to feeling… Lonely. They saw each other every morning and every night, but it wasn’t the same as going for a walk in Central Park or even going out to dinner.
“Tonight,” Magnus told him, making it a statement before Alexander could object, “You, me, and a candlelight dinner on the balcony.”
“A cheeseburger,” His husband replied, smiling, “No seafood or anything fancy, and you have yourself a date.”
Magnus laughed, rolling his eyes, “Have I taught you nothing of luxury?”
“I don’t need luxury,” He replied, kissing him once on the lips, “I just need you.”
Magnus’s heart must have exploded in his chest – for a moment, he thought he could no longer feel it beating, but it was the feeling of euphoria that Magnus had that had him uncaring if it was still there. It was such a simple little line, but when his husband said it, he meant it – the way he looked at Magnus -with such utter love and devotion, was something Magnus sometimes couldn’t comprehend.
When Alexander went to move away and begin his morning routine, Magnus pulled him back by the waist, placing a hungry kiss on his lips.
If they were both a little late to their meetings, it would be well worth it.
“When was the last time you and Magnus went on a date?”
Alec looked up from his paperwork, surprised that Jace had even asked, “Uh-?”
“He’s right, you know,” Izzy chimed in, her voice a little muffled as she moved away from the phone, “Magnus won’t wait around forever – hopefully he’ll drag you to a private island soon enough.”
“Magnus doesn’t have time to go to any private islands and neither do I.” Alex told them, leaving no room for disagreement. Honestly, his siblings were just a touched too involved in his relationship.
“So, what?” Jace asked, raising an eyebrow, “You’re telling me the two of you are happy jsut seeing each other when you fall asleep and wake up?”
Alec looked at Jace, once again stopping what he was doing. It was such an odd thing to hear from him – Alec never really discussed his marriage with Jace in words. Jace could feel that he was truly happy, could tell that everything was okay, he didn’t have to ask. Still, if he was asking, maybe Alec was missing something. “Jace-”
But Jace raised his hands in surrender, “I’m just saying.”
“What Jace is trying to say,” Izzy said, “is that he’s worried about you. You know, in the macho ‘I-don’t-do-feelings’ Jace Wayland way of his.”
Jace glared at the phone, “Thank you.” He said, voice flat.
“I’m fine,” Alec told them, wondering where this conversation had even come from. “Magnus and I are fine. We’re busy, but we’re making time for dates – tonight, in fact. Now-”
Alec brought up the map of each Institute that was refusing to follow the new Safe House law – only twelve left in the country, but it wasn’t enough for Alec. Especially with the ones that were so close to New York. He wanted Izzy to visit them as soon as she could.
Thank goodness Lydia could be transferred to New York- she was a Head he could trust while Izzy was…Enforcing the new laws at a different Institute. Thank the Angel that Simon was still terrified of him, otherwise he was convinced that he would hear the vampire complain about how much he sent his sister away.
Alec made sure she was home at least three weeks out of the four, not willing to let her suffer the hours Magnus and himself were currently going through. Though Alec still didn’t really get the vampire, he could appreciate that he was good for his sister.
It was now five in the evening and the Lightwood siblings were exhausted from talking about (“boring”) politics all day. Jace was practically bouncing on his feet, watching the minutes pass to when his patrol would start and he could leave. Izzy, even, was rushing Alec along, attempting to finish his sentence.
“I get the hint,” Alec told them, “we all have places we want to be.” He paused, rethinking his speech about the importance of this, but suddenly Magnus’s face appeared in his mind – how tired and overworked he looked, how excited he was at the idea of a simple date.
“Goodbye, hermono,” Iz said, her tone teasing, “I’m sure Magnus will appreciate you reigning in your speech about us not caring enough.”
Alec grumbled under his breath, annoyed that she had caught him. But it was Jace’s knowing smiling that had him rolling his eyes, pinching his nose. “Dismissed.” He told them, barely refraining from yelling at his parabatai as he bolted out the door with a quick, “See you later!”
Alec quickly gathered his notes and shoved them in his briefcase, taking a deep breath. In all, it was an easy day, honestly. He shouldn’t be this tired, but he couldn’t help it - the last three days were the opposite of easy and it was finally catching up with him.
But that didn’t stop him for being excited about tonight – him and Magnus, eating a nice, quiet dinner on the balcony together, enjoying each other’s company without anyone interrupting them. It sounded like heaven.
He walked through the halls of Alicante, greeting those he knew with a polite nod of his head, but not letting any of them trick him into a conversation as they often did. At one point, he ducked behind a rather dark hallway, waiting for Councilwoman Jennifer Warren to pass, seeing as she loved to question Alec on everything he had ever done in his life.
He ran the last few steps, smiling as he made it to the door to his home, the wards greeting him with small familiar tingle. He shoved the door open and closed it quickly, his back leaning against it. Magnus, who was in the living room on the phone, raised his eyebrow at his strange behavior, but Alec raised one finger up at him, listening carefully for any sounds of footsteps outside the door.
“How does the seventieth sound?” Magnus asked the person on the other line, smiling now that he realized what Alec was doing, “Excellent, I’ll be there at three...Thank you.”
And Magnus tossed the phone onto the couch, laughing lightly at him as Alec stayed where he was, still not convinced that the universe would give him this one evening.
“I think you’re safe, darling.” Magnus said, walking towards him and greeting him with a quick kiss on the lips. Alec smiled, finally relaxing completely as Magnus took his hand, dragging him to the couch and making him sit down on it.
“How was your day?” Alec asked, truly wondering. They don’t normally get to discuss what exactly the other was doing, only that they were working in tandem towards their main goal.
Magnus snapped his fingers, a warm cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream topped with cinnamon appearing in Alec’s hand. Alec felt tears spring to his eyes at the simple gesture, feeling ridiculous. They had been married three years, and still Magnus knew exactly what he needed.
“I don’t want to talk about work,” Magnus replied, as if Alec’s heart wasn’t exploding in his chest, “I just want to enjoy tonight – no work and no sudden family members barging in, just us.”
“Just us.” Alec echoed, the passion in his voice not hard to miss in the slightest. Alec put his warm gift on the table and gathered Magnus to his chest, forcing his husband to lean his head against his heart, right where he belonged.
They didn’t say anything for a while, just enjoying each other’s company and the silence that the constantly moving city brought. At one point, Magnus had flipped them around, his hands running calming patterns into Alec’s scalp. The allure of sleep was strong, but Alec had something else in mind.
“Dinner.” He whispered, knowing that Magnus didn’t eat lunch.
Magnus hummed, hand pausing in its loving dance, “Someone promised me a cheeseburger.”
Alec laughed, “Oh no, I believe I was promised a cheeseburger.”
“My own husband,” Magnus said dramatically, pushing Alec lightly to get him off his chest. It was certainly a hard thing for Alec to consider, but he did eventually let him get up, “calling me a liar.”
“I call it as I see it. Besides, I-” He teased, but happily followed him to the balcony, words forgotten and eyes wide when he realized what Magnus had done for them.
The normally bare balcony overlooking Alicante was instead covered in lights – but not just any lights. They were hovering in place, like golden stars, beautiful and bright and blinking lazily. With a wave of his hand, Magnus set the small table for royals. A blue tablecloth with large white plates, cheeseburgers stacked in the middle of a mountain of fries that still, somehow, fit in a comical yet pleasing way – so very them.
And there stood Magnus, blushing slightly when Alec turned to look at him. He was stunning, the most beautiful thing as the lights brought out his kind, loving eyes. Alec paled in comparison to the man in front of him. An involuntary step and Alec was pulling him into his arms again, gently bringing him into a kiss that soon turned heated.
“I love you.” Alec said, not knowing if the words were enough to describe what he was feeling but trying to make Magnus see exactly what Alec saw.
“I love you, more than you could ever imagine.”
Somehow, they managed to detangle themselves from one another, sitting down at the table and staring at each other, both blushing as if it were their first date.
“Honestly,” Magnus said, swallowing a bit of his food, “I understand the beauty of simplicity, but a cheeseburger.”
And that’s how the rest of the evening went, lightly arguing and laughing as Magnus listed of twenty thousand other foods that were ‘better.’ Alec would only shake his head, proudly defending his love of the greasy food. It was perfect.
When the last fry was left, the two of them glaring at each other in a mock fight for it, there was a loud knock on the door.
“No.” Alec said, involuntarily.
Magnus was right there with him, stiff in his chair as they both waited for another knock at the door. Maybe, with any luck, they had imagined it.
“Alec!” Jace yelled through the thick door.
Alec groaned loudly, nearly a growl. “I’ll kill him.”
“No one will find his body.” Magnus vowed, getting up from the table with a loud squeal of the metal chair. Alec hesitated a moment longer, already missing this moment of bliss, but then followed Magnus, anger turning into worry the moment he got sight of his parabatai.
“What is it?” Alec asked, quickly forming himself back into a leader.
“New York has been overrun with demons.”