Magnus sat in his apartment, Chairman Meow on his lap, purring. Alec had gone to work at the Institute before Magnus woke up, so he was alone for most of the day. He didn’t have any clients scheduled for today, so it was reruns of Project Runway that would keep him busy.
Well, at least that’s what he thought before his phone rang. Magnus picked it up, sighing when he saw it was Alec. Maybe he was calling about their date tonight. Hopefully he didn’t have to cancel. “Alexander, what is it-”
“Magnus Bane.” A cold voice answered.
His heart seemed to stop. “Who are you and where is Alexander? I swear if you’ve taken him-”
The person chuckled. “Relax. Your boyfriend is at the institute, safe and sound. For now.”
His hands shook, but he didn’t drop the phone. “What do you want from him?”
“Oh, I don’t want anything from him, Magnus Bane.”
Magnus sucked in a breath when he realized what was going on. “What do you want from me?”
Again, a cold, dark laugh. “I want your power. I want your knowledge,” they paused, “I want your secrets.”
“You’ll never get anything from me,” Magnus growled back, about to hang up.
“You’ll come with me willingly, Magnus Bane,” The person laughed again. “If you want your little shadowhunter boyfriend to survive, that is.”
Magnus froze. He had to protect Alexander.
“That’s right. I’ll be at your apartment soon. I’ve, well, slipped something to your dear Alec, but it won’t activate until I say so. Don’t try anything, or he’ll die a slow and painful death. You can call him one last time before we go. I’ll get the phone back to him. It’ll probably be the last time you hear his voice, after all.”
He swore as the person hung up. Magnus pulled the very confused Chairman Meow off of his lap, standing up. His finger hovered over Alec’s contact. He pressed it. Almost immediately, his boyfriend’s tired voice came over the phone. “Hey Mags, what’s up?”
Magnus sighed in relief. “Nothing, Alexander, I just- wanted to see how you were doing. I’m going to help a client tonight, nothing big, but I probably won’t be home when you get here.”
“Alright, how late will you be?” Alec sounded confused.
Tears filled Magnus’s eyes. “I don’t know darling. I just didn’t want you to worry.”
“Oh, well, thanks for telling me. I’ll feed Chairman tonight, don’t worry about him.”
“Thank you, Alexander.” He took a breath, trying to keep his voice from shaking. “I love you.”
Alec’s voice was worried when he responded. “I love you too. Are you okay?”
He responded quickly. “I’m just a bit tired. I’m okay.”
“Alright,” Alexander sounded suspicious. “I’ll see you later, Mags.”
“Yeah.” Magnus hung up, tears running freely down his face. Maybe he didn’t have to go with the person on the phone. Maybe he could beat them before-
The unmistakeable sound of a portal opening behind him made Magnus turn around. He raised his hands, but he wasn’t quick enough.
A wave of magic grabbed him and pulled the warlock through the portal, leaving poor Chairman Meow sitting alone.
Alec set his phone down in confusion. His boyfriend was acting weird, and he wanted to know why. Maybe he should call again.
The phone rang a few times, then went straight to voicemail. Yeah, something was definitely wrong. He just didn’t know what.
Alec put the phone in his pocket and walked out of the room. He had a meeting today, but that could wait. After all, he was the head of the institute. He called that meeting, and he could cancel it.
“Izzy!” Alec called out to his sister when he saw her talking to Jace. “I need to talk to you.”
She stopped her conversation. “What’s wrong? Is it demons? Who do we need to fight?”
Jace tensed up. “I’ll go get my stuff.” He turned around, only for Alec to stop him.
“It’s nothing like that. Something’s going on with Magnus, and I don’t know what it is.”
They both relaxed. “Alright, do you think he’s okay?” Izzy asked, narrowing her eyes thoughtfully.
Alec sighed. “We had a really weird phone call. He seemed tense, almost like he was expecting something. He said he had a client tonight and didn’t know when he’d be home. I called him a minute later to see if he was actually okay, and it went straight to voicemail.”
“I’m sure he’s fine, Alec. He’s probably just nervous about the client and put his phone down for a bit,” Jace said, putting his hand on his parabatai’s shoulder.
“Maybe, but he never misses my calls.” Alec pushed Jace’s hand off his shoulder and started walking towards the exit. “I’m going to our apartment. I need to see if he’s alright.”
“Alec, wait. If something happened to him, you can’t go alone.” Izzy said, following with Jace close behind. “We’re coming with you. We’ve got nothing else to do.”
Magnus opened his eyes to see a dark, dank room. He must’ve been knocked out as soon as they got through the portal. He tried to stand up, but realized that he had been forced into a kneeling postion, hands bound behind him.
Chains ran from his wrists to the ceiling. There was a collar around his neck, also connected to chains. His feet were bound as well.
His magic was throbbing beneath his skin painfully. It was being suppressed by the cuffs around his hands. He couldn’t do anything.
There was a steady light coming from the collar. The red glow reached Magnus’s eyes, and he immediately knew what it was.
It would send electricity into him through a remote, like an animal.
“Well, it’s nice to see you awake, warlock.” The voice from the phone call echoed around the space. Magnus could only see what was in the circle of light from the bright spotlight above him.
“Let me go.” Magnus kept his voice emotionless, hiding his worry for his boyfriend under a mask of calm.
The person’s laughter surrounded him. God, he hated that laugh. “Why would I do that? The great Magnus Bane is in my possession, all because he couldn’t protect his little boyfriend.”
Magnus lunged forward in his chains.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” The voice was amused.
Finally, the person stepped into the light. It was a woman, a warlock who looked to be about twenty years old. Of course, she was probably much older.
She held a remote in her hand. “With this, I can shock you at any moment. There is metal all over you. It wouldn’t be a pleasant experience, I imagine. It’s also set to go off if you use your magic. I can’t imagine you could get out of those cuffs, but I like to take precautions.” Her eyes sparkled with menace.
“You’re a warlock too, why do you need me?” Magnus asked, trying not to upset her. No matter how much she insulted him, he had to keep Alexander safe. Also, getting shocked wouldn’t help anything.
The woman sighed, taking a step forward. “I’m dying, little one. I’ve been around for thousands of years. I watched the world change before my eyes as I hid in the shadows. And my magic is slowly turning against me. Another warlock did this to me, but I killed them before they got the chance to reverse it. I didn’t realize what they had done. My most trusted friend, and they did this to me. A fate worse than death itself. So now, I need your magic.”
She crouched down in front of him, lifting his chin up with her hand. “I need your powers., Magnus Bane.”
Magnus jerked his head out of her grasp. “How?”
She glared at him. “I’m working on it. Your magic is too attached to you for me to remove. It’s incredibly strong, but everyone breaks sometime.”
Magnus laughed. “I can’t give my magic up. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
“There are methods of removing one’s magic.”
“Yes, but a magic transfusion requires consent, and even then, I wouldn’t be able to give much. And if you removed my magic, you would never be able to get it into you.” Magnus put as much venom into the words as possible without provoking her.
“Do you want me to activate the poison?”
A shudder ran through his body.
“That’s what I thought.” She circled him, holding the remote up in the air.
Magnus heard a click, and then pain encompassed his entire body. He vaguely heard his own screams before everything went black.
Alec, Izzy, and Jace stood before the apartment door. “Well, are you gonna go in?” Izzy prodded.
Alec nodded and stepped forward, putting his hand on the knob. It was locked, which wasn’t unusual. They liked to keep themselves safe. As he pulled out the key, Alec dreaded what he would find in the apartment. Would Magnus be there? Would he be hurt? Or was he just asleep?
He pushed the door open, Izzy and Jace following close behind, tense and ready for a fight. “Magnus? You in here?”
It was only then when he noticed the unmistakable crying of Chairman Meow. The kitten sounded terrified.
Alec ran to the living room where the cries were coming from to see a cup of tea on the table near Magnus’s favorite chair. His phone lay there too.
Chairman Meow was sitting there and ran to Alec as soon as he saw him. He picked up the kitten and petted him, turning to his friends. “Something’s wrong. Nobody’s here.”
Izzy nodded in agreement. “This is really weird. He would’ve told us if he was going to see a client this early. I thought he said he had one tonight, not at ten in the morning.”
“We need to find him. Where could he have gone? Do you think somebody took him?” Alec looked down at the terrified kitten in his arms. “Chairman seems really shaken. He never acts like this when we leave. Something scared him.”
Jace’s worried voice came from behind them. “Guys, there’s a note.” He handed the slip of paper to Alec.
Alec squinted at the cursive writing. It said:
Dear Whoever sees this note,
You are never finding Magnus. By the time you are reading this, he will probably be dead. Alexander Lightwood, I would advise you to be careful when looking for your boyfriend. There is poison in your veins, and I can activate it at any time. Your boyfriend must care about you. He came willingly to save your life.
Alec swore and handed the note to his sister. “We have to find him. I’m sure this note was meant to be found tonight. He’s still alive, I can feel it.”
Izzy paled as she read the note, but nodded. “We have to go back to the Institute and get you checked out. I’ll get a team to search for him while you’re there. He has to be somewhere.”
As much as Alec hated it, Izzy was right. There would be no point in Magnus’s sacrifice if he ended up dead. He loved his boyfriend, and he would die for him, but this wasn’t the time.
Magnus’s voice was hoarse, and his body shook with pain. The torture had been going on for what seemed like forever. His mouth was filled with the coppery taste of blood from when he bit his cheek.
The woman was getting frusturated. She had already tried to probe into his mind, but there were so many memories locked away inside that she got overwhelmed. He didn’t know why she didn’t think about that before trying.
After all, she was old. She had more experience than him, more memories.
But she was also desperate. Magnus could see it in the way she walked, the way her cold voice would suddenly show bits of actual emotion.
“Please, just, just stop. You can’t get anything out of me, please.” Magnus knew he sounded weak, but if that was the price he had to pay to get home to Alexander, he would do anything.
“NO! You need to suffer. You still have all of your magic. It doesn’t attack you at every turn. There is pain in every cell of my body, Magnus Bane. If I can’t get what I want from you, I’ll make you feel what I feel every single day.”
There were involuntary tears running down his face. He just wanted Alec. He wanted his friends, his family. Not all this. Not this pain.
The remote clicked once again, and electricity ran through his body. He screamed, voice breaking and salty tears reaching his tongue, adding to the metallic taste of blood.
His nose was bleeding too.
The current stopped, and he heaved in breaths.
“I still don’t think you understand, warlock.” She was in front of him again. Magnus weakly lifted his head to meet her eyes. He tried to muster as much hate into the glare he gave her.
She pulled out a knife.
Magnus’s eyes widened in fear. “No.”
She trailed the knife across his neck, then raised it to his face.
She slashed a cut through his cheek, smiling at him when he gasped in pain.
The woman in front of him was insane. Magnus just had to hope that someone, anyone, would come in time.
And that if he got home, Alexander was okay.
Alec sat in the infirmary, waiting. All he had been doing was waiting, waiting, waiting. It had been five hours since they had gone to the apartment and found the letter.
Five hours that Magnus, his boyfriend, was trapped somewhere, probably dying. Alec knew he was alive. He felt it in his heart.
The poison that had been used wasn’t extractable unless it was active, and they had drawn his blood and identified it. Thankfully, there was a cure.
They had brought it up from the Institute’s stocks. The warlock that took Magnus obviously hadn’t thought about destroying the cure.
They injected Alec with the cure, but he couldn’t walk for thirty minutes following it or else it wouldn’t work. It had to settle into his bloodstream. The cure would activate one minute after the poison was activated, and they also had a lot of spares in case that didn’t work.
It had been 29 minutes, and Alec had been itching to get up ever since the cure was injected. Finally, the timer went off and he moved to get up, only to realize that his whole body ached.
He groaned and layed back down on the bed. Hopefully after a few minutes, the feeling would pass.
Three minutes later, he was up. Alec brushed past shadowhunters and walked briskly through the institute. Izzy and her team were coming back with news.
They had found a possible lead to Magnus’s location.
Pain was all Magnus felt. It encompassed his whole body, all of his senses. From the pain of the multiple cuts on his body to his newly bruised ribs to the magic thrumming under his skin.
He could barely breathe, every inhale causing a new jolt of pain to shoot through him. He had stopped screaming a while ago. It had to have been six hours that he had been here. Six hours that he had been tortured.
Six hours without any knowledge about his friends. Six hours without Alexander, spent in agony. Six hours of not knowing when or if the pain would ever stop.
And two hours wishing that she’d get tired of him and go too far. Two hours wishing that the electricity would end the suffering.
But it never did. When she wasn’t shocking him, she was there with her knife. And when she wasn’t cutting him, she was beating him.
The woman was slowly detiriorating before his eyes. Her lack of sanity gradually trickled through her composed front and her cold, dead voice.
This wasn’t about his magic anymore. This was about vengeance. This was about greed. This was about pain.
He just wanted Alexander.
The pain of not knowing if he was okay was strong. The woman had finally left him alone, but that meant he was also alone with his thoughts. What if she lied about the poison not being active, and Alexander was suffering?
What if he was dying?
Magnus could feel that he was alive. But what if that was only temporary. What if Izzy was there, crying for her brother and angry that Magnus wasn’t there to help. What if Alexander hated him for not being there, hated him for not being able to help, hated him for being so weak, so stupid.
The mix of blood and tears tasted horrible in his mouth. But the feelings that maybe he deserved this were worse. Nobody would ever come to save him. He was a pathetic excuse for a warlock.
An hour passed. A blissful hour of a break from new pain. She still pressed the button a few times, shocking him, but they were further apart and less intense. Magnus was grateful for that, at least.
Suddenly, he heard shouting from outside. The sounds of fighting.
He knew there were guards at this place, but why would they be fighting each other? A dispute was possible, but he didn’t think this was all that important of an operation.
The woman would probably hear it and come back. And then there would be more pain. More agony.
The sound of the door slamming open alerted him to the presence of others in the room. He hung his head and closed his eyes, awaiting the inevitable pain of electricity flooding his veins.
Was that- Alexander?
He lifted his head to try and see.
“MAGNUS!” He saw Alexander running towards him. He was alive!
But he saw him like this. He was probably angry. He would never want to live with him anymore, not after this.
Alec skidded to a halt and crouched down to Magnus. “Oh my god, what did they do to you?”
He saw the collar and gasped. “Mags, it’s gonna be okay, you’ll be fine, we’re getting you out.”
Magnus’s voice was weak when he responded. “Alexander, you need to go, she’ll hurt you-”
The collar beeped in warning. Alec knew what was about to happen.
The electricity began to course through Magnus’s veins. He let out a hoarse cry of pain.
“NO!” Alexander’s shout was distant. And the pain stopped. The sounds from the fight outside could still be heard. The guards weren’t giving up.
His boyfriend’s voice echoed in his ears. “Stay with me, Magnus. Take deep breaths, come on Mags.” The comforting sound was interrupted by the cold voice that would haunt his dreams forever.
“Alec Lightwood. How nice to see you’ve joined us.” The woman stepped out from the shadows. “Too bad it won’t be for long.”
Alec’s eyes widened as a bolt of orange magic shot towards him. It hit him square in the chest. He fell backwards, gasping in pain. “What the hell?” His eyes widened as his nose began to bleed.
“The poison in you has been activated.” She laughed manaically and turned to Magnus. “All that you’ve done was for nothing, Magnus Bane. And now your poor little boyfriend is going to die. Because of you.”
Magnus choked out a sob and looked to Alexander. “Magnus-” He choked out in pain. His skin was graying already, the color fading away.
That was it. Magnus screamed. His magic crackled across his skin in red sparks, surrounding him in a cloud of energy. He felt his bonds crack and break. The collar began to send painful electricity through his body, but he didn’t care.
His boyfriend was dying. Because of her.
The woman’s eyes were fearful as Magnus stood up, magic fueling his every move. The electricity mixed with the red sparks, making it look like red lightning was surrounding him. And it was.
The energy blasted outwards from him, going above Alexander and hitting the woman. She screamed in agony as she turned into ashes.
The collar was still sending it’s electricity through him, but the magic was restless and angry. He saw guards run inside, pursued by Izzy and Jace. Jace realized what was happening, grabbed Izzy and ran back outside.
Another wave of red magic shot out and decimated the guards. There was about to be more, but Alexander’s tired voice reached Magnus’s ears. “MAGS, STOP!”
Magnus looked at his boyfriend. The color was returning to his skin and he was no longer gasping in pain. “I’m okay Magnus. They gave me the cure before this. It just took a minute to kick in, that’s all. I’m fine.” Alec stood up carefully, slowly taking a step towards his boyfriend.
Magnus stumbled backwards, the adrenaline fading away. The red magic faded away, but the collar was still crackling. His eyes rolled bakc into his head and he collapsed to the ground.
“MAGNUS!” Alec ran towards him, cradiling his body in his arms. The warlock was seizing. Alec quickly activated his rune and, with the help of his anger, tore the weak metal of the collar. He had no idea how it survived the blasts, but then again, nothing on Magnus was harmed. His clothes were still intact.
Magnus stopped seizing, but he didn’t wake up. “Come on, Mags. You’re gonna be okay. I’m fine, you saved me, now please wake up.” Alec’s voice broke with a sob. “We can go home now. We can stay there forever if you want. You just have to wake up. You have to be okay!”
Alec let out a sob. “I love you.”
Jace and Izzy ran in, having defeated the guards.
“Alec are you-” Izzy gasped. “Magnus. Oh my god, we have to get him to the infirmary. I’ll call Catarina.”
Jace’s hand was suddenly on his shoulder. “I thought we were gonna lose you. When I felt that pain, I thought you were going to die.”
“We’re gonna help him.”