Brooklyn was crawling with people.
Well, Brooklyn was always swarming, but especially now, as paraders filtered into the neighbourhood from all over the city. New York Pride seemed to grow constantly, drawing in more and more people every year.
Hooray! And all the Jazz. Except, Alec's out patrolling with none other than Raj. Which is perfect! Since Raj's an absolute delight, overflowing with a stream of endless complaints. And now they've somehow ended up following a little grey cat.
This little thing had given them a proper fright. They'd stood, weapons drawn, bodies tense when Alec had heard a soft mrow and found a cat winding around his ankles. Apparently, it had the Sight.
Alec had barely picked it up in his arms when it leapt out and walked away, looking back after every few steps, as if beckoning them to follow.
"You're joking," Raj had deadpanned, but he was Alec's subordinate.
And they'd been walking a while now.
Alec squinted through the harsh sunlight, watching it disappear into an alley.
"I'm waiting here," Raj said, motioning towards a soda stand.
Not without some trepidation, Alec followed its path.
There was someone else.
"Show yourself," Alec commanded, instinctively reaching for his quiver.
"Relax." The voice was calm, its firmness bordering on arrogance.
Alec took a step, hand tightening around his bow. Then the person turned, the cat preening in strong, affectionate arms.
Both of them halted. Eyes widening, expressions softening.
"I'm Magnus," he smiled brilliantly, and Alec felt his heart stutter.
Alec had never seen anyone so beautiful. Eyes, glittering with pink, purple and blue, complemented the tank-top he wore saying 'This Is The Sign You Are Looking For.'
For several moments, the words died on Alec's lips. He forgot to breathe, forgot the world as its noise faded away, and looked and looked, oblivious to the fact that he was staring.
"Thank you for looking after Chairman Meow, Shadowhunter," Magnus said, amused by Alec's lack of response.
"Alec," he finally said, as you do. "Oh, I—my pleasure," he chuckled at the ridiculous name, seemingly recovering from staring at the smooth expanse of caramel skin on display.
Magnus smiled politely, hesitating a little before beginning to step away.
"Wait," Alec called, startling even himself. "You from around here?"
"Yes, actually." He stopped and turned to face Alec again. "In fact, we're standing in my building's alley." The glitter on his eyelids caught the sun.
"Why 'Chairman Meow'?" Alec asked, stepping near him, unable to help the grin tugging at his lips.
"I'm afraid that's a rather long story." Magnus responded, nuzzling 'Chairman's' head. The cat let out a soft mrow.
"I think Chairman Meow disagrees," Alec laughed softly.
"Yo," Raj poked his head around the corner, "you coming?"
Shoot. The meeting.
"Give me a sec!" He shouted at Raj's direction, before turning to Magnus. "I'm sure that's quite a story."
Magnus beamed. "Drinks tonight? You know where I live."
Alec returned his smile in full measure. "I'd love that."