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In which Alec regrets wearing black

Chapter Text

It was all his own fault really. Two little mistakes and BAM his plan for a quiet future was shot to pieces without him even realizing.

He came by the tickets by accident. His friend, Helen, had a thing with one of the models in the show and had mentioned offhandedly that Aline was the opening model and it was her big break. She was going on about how in demand Aline had become when Alec recognized the name of the designer.

It was during their leg stretches when he realized how he knew the name and, by the time their whole warm up finished he had convinced Helen to try and get him two tickets. She agreed but only if he gave her give some extra lessons over the summer after work, it was the quickest offer he'd ever said yes too. Of course the tickets to 'The Hottest Fashion Show of the Year' weren't for him. He wouldn't have even known whose show Helen was yabbering on about if not for his fashion obsessed sister. So, the tickets were for Izzy and whichever poor unfortunate soul she would make go with her. And, to avoid Helen's predictable lecture on how he should treat himself for once, he never told her the tickets were both for Izzy. This was the first mistake.

'Alec oh my GOD! I cannot believe you got these for me like I cannot. I can't believe this'

Alec was genuinely happy that Isabelle liked the present so much. It had been a rough couple of months on her with their parents divorcing, her new job with a high end fashion magazine and all the pressures that came with Jace and his newfound acting career. Being the only child still living in the Lightwood mansion with all the arguing and lawyer visits had to be hard. Alec was glad he had his little dingy apartment to take refuge in and that Jace had his own not-so-dingy apartment to hide in.

After a million more kisses and thank you's Alec left his sister ringing Clary (Jaces newest girlfriend, an annoying redheaded artist) to tell her the news and to probably invite her. Isabelle's other girlfriends were few and far between and the ones she was closest with liked Karate and kick boxing not leather pants and floppy diamond encrusted hats. Clary and Izzy had bonded instantly over their shared love for The Bane clothing line when Jace brought Clary over for dinner. They giggled on like 12 year olds at the designers preference in romantic partners (From what he could hear over the awkwardly loud crunching of his bread roll Bane had been seen with some socialite named Camille whom Jace hated with a vengeance)

It was only when he had wandered into the kitchen to grab a bran muffin and to check on his mother who was sitting at the table writing furiously on headed paper did Izzy drop the bomb and he realized his second mistake.

Her cell phone was nowhere to be seen as she clacked into the kitchen. Their mother's car keys were jangling from her fingers. 'Mom can me and Alec use your car? We need to go shopping'

Alec dropped his muffin but couldn't swallow his mouthful quick enough to correct Isabelle before Maryse could answered. 'I guess Iz, why do you need more clothes though?'

'Because' Isabelle let out slowly, her face glowing 'Alec got tickets for us to see Bane's fashion show on Saturday and he has nothing to wear to it'

'Oh Alexander that was very nice of you'

Alec forced the bite down, a sharp piece of almond scratching his throat as he struggled to find his voice.

'What do you mean us?' Alec wiped at his mouth, his tone made both his mother and sister turn to face him 'Why do I need clothes, I'm not going!'

Isabelle rolled her eyes but her smile was wider. 'It says clearly on the tickets 'Front row - seats 23 & 24, Mr Alec Lightwood plus one', you have to go it says your name!'

And whoop there it is, he never checked the tickets.

Alec sprawled himself over the countertop and moaned. Of course this was his life. The only good thing from the situation was that Maryse, even with her tired eyes, laughed loudly at the predicament her eldest son was in. Isabelle had begun kicking petulantly at his calves and jingling the car keys at his head.
'C'mon we've only got 5 hours till the shops close and today is Thursday!'

'Do what your little sister says Alexander, don't let her down like the other man in her life'

Maryse's tone was enough to make him pull himself up and follow Isabelle solemnly to the car. Her words had dampened any chance of him getting out of the expedition as Isabelle's normally hard to read face was twisted into a pained expression. They both needed to get out for a while even if it was to shop.

*

By the time Saturday rolled around Alec had been in so many shops that he was feeling angry just looking at people in clothes, also he could tell who was in tune with this seasons trend and who was failing miserably. Isabelle had finally settled on a mostly black attire that Alec was relatively comfortable in. A black sweater with a grey shirt with black jeans and black dress shoes. The dress shoes were stupid but Isabelle had told him they tied the outfit together and to shut up and that was that. She called him goth at least four times over breakfast and Jace prenteded to faint at the sight of the lighter colored shirt. His siblings were pests.

They found their seats easily, having front row tickets meant the staff went the extra mile to help you out, they obviously thought they were dealing with two celebrities instead of a student ballet dancer and a lowly intern for a fashion editor. Izzy was taking pictures of everything for her Instagram account and kept hitting Alec shoulder in excitement. Alec owed Helen more than just a few lessons, Izzy's smile seemed permanent.

When the show started and the models started strutting by, Alec began to worry that he was going to fall asleep but Isabelle kept pinching at his arm when high profile models passed them and the sharp pain thankfully kept him conscious. He would definitely be bruised in the morning.The catwalk was a lower than the ones Alec seen in Izzy's favorite modeling show, he wondered what would happen if they tripped up in their high heels. At least a broken arm depending on how they fell and what they fell on. Izzy told him to shut up and stop being so morbid. Aline looked great opening the show even though she had on just a white lacy bra and white flared rubber pants. Isabelle seemed in awe but Alec couldn't understand who would wear this stuff in public. He knew there were laws about only wearing a bra into restaurants, he'd witnessed people getting thrown of Olive garden for less. He had expressed his concerns to Isabelle who shushed him furiously. He didn't comment on any of the other TWELVE models that swished past them in weird outfits.

He was counting the jems stuck on Izzy's right high heel when she pinched him the hardest yet. The show was coming to end and obviously the boredom had numbed his ears but he still caught the incredibly posh MC announce that Mr.Bane himself would be closing his own show. Alec thought that was kind of pretentious. He looked up in time to see a stunning, like jaw droppingly stunning man waltz out onto the catwalk. He had black hair that was spiked up and sparkled in the lights, his eyes were like a cats and his skin was a beautiful honey colour.

And there was a lot of honey skin to see. Mr.Bane sashayed up the long glimmering catwalk in a pair of white wedges, a blue blazer and purple shirt and nothing else. He had, as Jace would say, legs for days. And damn pretty ones at that. Isabelle was whistling alongside others but Alec just stared at the man as he passed. He was a thing of beauty. Alec wasn't bored now! He watched as Mr.Bane posed at the end of the runway all the while Izzy shouted into his ear that she wished her bum could look just as good in black underwear. Alec was getting itchy in his stupid shoes. He hadn't noticed the magnificent bum because he was looking at what the long slim fingers were doing, but now his attention had been drawn to it he couldn't look away. The cameras were still flashing but Bane turned on his his heel and strutted back down to the end of the runway. All the other models had appeared and were clapping for him beside the MC's podium.

And then the weirdest thing happened. The turning point in Alec's life according to Isabelle.

As Bane waltzed back to where he started he was waving and blowing kisses as he went. He had turned his head to the other side as he approached Izzy's and Alec's seats and Izzy was pouting. And, as if someone had shouted his name the cat eyed designer whipped his head around in Alec's direction and stared, slowed his strut down and stared.
Stared straight at Alec.

And Alec stared back with the soft grin that had been for Izzy's signature pout stuck on his face.
Mr.Bane's face split into a smile as he stared at Alec in those milliseconds. And before Alec knew it the designer had turned to face straight ahead again. People on the other side were staring at Alec intently and the people either side of him and Izzy were whispering curiously. Alec was convinced he was having a stroke. Isabelle had a vice like grip on his wrist and as soon as the lights went on and the music finished and the models and Mr.Bane disappeared backstage she used her grip to haul her dumbfounded brother up off his seat and drag him through the crowd of people milling aimlessly around.

When they reached the foyer where Isabelle had made him take a selfie with her when they arrived she let go of his arm but only so she could grab his shoulders.
'What on earth was THAT?!?'

Alec shrugged. Was he going to tell her it felt like time slowed down when their eyes met, when he looked into a pair of golden green eyes that were somehow staring into his own boring blues? Was he going to tell her that for once in his life he had actually felt like he'd been seen and by a complete and utter stranger no less?
No he was not. Time to move on.

'It was nothing. He probably was wondering why I was wearing these stupid shoes to his fancy show'

Isabelle rolled her eyes 'They're fancy shoes Alec. It wasn't nothing, everyone could see it was something because' Izzy leaned in close and looked around cautiously 'Magnus Bane never smiles'

'But he smiled at me'

Isabelle grabbed her face and squealed 'I know Alec oh my god I know' A woman with blonde hair and blue highlights passed the siblings and smiled at them as she went. Isabelle smiled back but Alec just crinkled his brow. 'Do you know her?'

'No but obviously she recognizes you Mr. I-made-a-world-renowned-non-smiler smile'

'Isabelle shut up'

He was pulling her towards the exit when a voice called out their names excitedly. Helen came running over and bowled Alec over with a hug and when she went to hug Izzy Alec seen Aline, the model that opened the show standing awkwardly behind Helen with a white robe on.

Alec nodded at Aline and she grinned back, something was up with this situation, there were no other models out with the general public.

'Isabelle meet Aline! Izzy works at The Shadow' Helen said, gesturing behind her. 'Hi Izzy, that's actually my favourite magazine!'

Izzy slinked over to the model and was taking pictures with her before Alec could even blink. Helen's face turned serious and she pushed Alec's shoulders back until they were a good bit away from the brand new friends.

'Models aren't supposed to be walking around but Magnus sent Aline out here with me to get you'mHelen looked serious and worried and that worried Alec as Helen hardly ever worried. 'Wait who's Magnus?'

Helen shook his shoulders 'The Asian man that was mentally undressing you from the catwalk Alec! He's Bane, Mr.Bane. The Bane'

Alec's eyes widened in horror, and his face went red. 'Why does he want you guys to get me? Get me for what?'
Helen sucked in her cheeks and tilted her head 'Dressing room sex is what the other models are betting on. Magnus Bane normally doesn't smile and certaintly not at people who aren't known' If demons existed Alec would like it very much if they could come and like stab him in the neck or something. His face was on fire, his palms were sweaty and worst of all, his trousers were tightening. 'I heard about the stupid no smile thing, I'm not going with you Helen. He can smile at someone else' Helen loosened her grip and grinned, she tucked a strand of blonde hair behind her ear 'I know Xander that's why I swiped model number 10's fake blood, wipe it on your lip and get the hell out of here before he has you rounded up by his bodyguards'

Alec looked stricken and hastily undid the lid. Helen left Alec to get down to work and she crept up to her girlfriend who was actually talking animatedly to Isabelle and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

'Alec has a bad nose bleed Ali' Isabelle turned around just in time to see a trick's of blood run from between Alec's thumb and index finger. 'Sometimes he faints if they get too bad, right Iz?' Isabelle nodded distractedly and bid a quick goodbye to the couple.

'There's no way he can see Magnus now' Aline frowned. 'He was so excited, he was going to ask him out on a date. He said the man was ethereal looking. The minute we all got off the stage, Kendall had to fan him he was getting so hot and bothered!' Aline watched as Izzy dabbed at Alec's nose with a tissue even though the hottie was batting her hands away.

'Yeah I'm sure he was going "to ask him out on just a date" ' Aline raised an eyebrow as they turned from the Lightwoods. 'Did you cause this?' Helen laughed 'You think I punched my best friend just so he wouldn't be sexually exploited by your new best friend?'

Aline rolled her eyes at her girlfriend
'You're very overprotective of him, plus Mags would never do that. Camille was a different thing, they were toxic together and I should've never told you about that'

The girls pulled away from each other as they reached the door leading backstage. Helen was mocking the fashion designer's new nickname and Aline was tutting. They exchanged dirty looks but linked hands. Aline was heading off to Stockholm after she packed her stuff and Helen had to go home to LA for family stuff. They kissed goodbye.
'I'm going to take a picture of Magnus' face when I tell him that his crush got a "severe nosebleed" and "needed medical attention" and therefore couldn't come back for a CHAT. You'll regret interfering when you see how heartbroken he'll be!' It was Helens turn to roll her eyes but never the less she blew her girlfriend a kiss as she headed down the corridor. Helen turned to head for the exit. The Lightwoods had gone.

*

Alec had successfully pulled out of the parking lot and had at least two miles between him and the fancy hotel before Izzy realized he was bluffing.

'Alec it looks pretty bad. Pull over and let me drive'

'Iz I'm fine'

Isabelle stopped looking at him and scrolled through the photos she took at the show. She reached over to show Alec the one of them together while he was stopped at a traffic light. Alec grinned at the picture and a glob of "blood" dripped from down onto his chin. Isabelle pulled a face.

'I'm going to call Jace, I don't know how to deal with these nosebleeds'

'Izzy I'm fine. Jace left his phone at home anyways'

Isabelle clicked her phone off and stared out the window. Alec was still rattled from Helen's confession. Why would Magnus Bane even want him like that? How did he even see him from the stage? The fake blood was drying on Alec's face and it was really itching. 'Iz can you wipe this off, or scrape it off or something'

Isabelle rummaged around in her bag and pulled out a tissue. She dabbed at Alec's chin getting a majority of the blood off. She pushed the wad of tissue into the doorbin and a glob of blood smeared onto her hand.

'Euh gross' Alec was focused on the road and didn't see his sister closely inspect the stain on the side of her finger. 'Alec why does your blood smell like sugar and why does it have glitter in it?!'

Isabelle looked more angry than worried as she stared at him from the passneger seat. There really was no use. The jig was up.
'It's not real blood Iz' Alec sighed and pulled the small bottle out of his trouser pocket, hoping he wouldn't be seen by any of his mom's friends steering with only one hand, and tossed it over to her. Isabelle sat back against the leather seat with a loud huff. They still had 20 minutes before they reached their black gates.

So he told Isabelle the story. How Mr.Bane wanted him, how Helen was a good bro and how Alec was no ones casual hook up and definitely not anyone's bitch. He left out the bit about his heart skipping a beat when he seen how gorgeous Bane was and how his pants got tighter. He thought it was best Iz didn't know that.
She took it better than Alec would've first thought. She didn't shout or punch him which was great.
She went very quiet in her seat and pressed her lips together exactly how their mother does it. She drummed her nails against the arm rest. Eventually she spoke.

'You, Alexander Lightwood, turned down the Magnus Bane when he was asking to meet you' she stated it, it wasn't a question but Alec felt the need to answer her.

'Not meet me, to sex me, I've heard your stories about him Iz and Helen obviously knew stuff about him too'

'Alec please you're 24 years old. Just say fuck like everyone else'

Alec's cheeks tinged pink and Isabelle rolled her eyes. 'I'm proud that you stuck up for yourself.. Even if you could've just sucked it up, done it and got me an autograph, I'm still proud'

'Gee thanks'

The rest of the car ride was silent-ish. Every once and a while Izzy would whimper something about all the shoes she could've stolen and all the people she could've met backstage while waiting for Alec to finish up. When they reached their gates they had to wait for a black delivery van to move out from in front of their gates. Alec was complaining about rude delivery men while Isabelle clicked the button on her keys to open the large iron gates. Once up the drive Alec pulled off his belt and followed his sister inside. Jace's car was in its usual spot and he wanted to find out how his adopted brother did in his audition. He hung his coat up on its rack and pet their crabby old cat Church. Walking into the kitchen his eyes winced at the sight of the gaudy flowers that towered over the fruit basket on the table. The bright pinks and oranges stood out like a sore thumb against their dark oak table. Jace had obviously nabbed the role.

'Oh Alec, did you have fun? Get dressed. We're going to dinner Jace got the part'

'Izzy had fun. I know I see his flowers, it's hard to miss them mom'

'What flowers?' Maryse turned her head to the table, she was in the middle of hooking an earring through her ear. 'Oh I never seen them'

'Never seen what?' Jace appeared from the hallway in his pyjamas. 'Your flowers' Maryse turned to him switching her focus to her other ear, she sighed 'Jace when I said get dressed I meant dinner clothes not the ones you were in this morning'

She swished past him as Isabelle began calling her from upstairs about missing curling tongs. He looked confused. 'These aren't mine although I do deserve flowers. I was glorious'

Alec rolled his eyes 'Where'd they come from then?' Jace shuffled around the petals looking for a card 'Delivery, came just before you guys got here actually'

Alec sipped his water and shrugged 'Clary's weird friend probably sent them to Isabelle'. He made a mental note to be nicer to the delivery men the next time they came to the house; he shouldn't have honked so many times.

'I wouldn't be so sure about that Xandypops' Alec rolled his eyes hard at Jaces nickname and plucked the card from between the blonds fingers.

To Alexander,

I hope to meet you again
Feel better.

MB x

It was printed on a cream card in black swirly writing. Alec's heart dropped into his stomach. Jace eyed him curiously 'MB and a kiss? Who's this Alec?'

'An instructor at work uh Matthew Baldwin, yeah he was nice'

'You were sick?' Jace was grinning with his eyes squinted in an accusatory fashion. 'Headache, I had to cut our tutor session short, yep'

Jace was wondering whether or not he should laugh and call bullshit straight away or try and catch Alec out in his obvious lies. He never came up with an answer though as Maryse clattered into the room and ordered Alec, who slid the card into his pocket with one fluid motion, home to his apartment to get something to wear.
Jace decided he wasn't going to let this go and smirked at a retreating Alec.

 

Seeing Jace be pulled away by his ear didn't do anything for his nerves. How did the man know where he lived? He had literally only left the hotel 45 minutes ago. His stomach fluttered but he forced it down, they were ugly flowers that hurt his eyes sent to him by someone he didn't even know and yet he felt like smiling and laughing.
The card in his pocket burned into his thigh the whole way home and the whole way up the steps to his building. He was in a world full of greeny-gold irises when a sharp voice snapped him awake.

'Alec there's something for you' Bat his apartment buildings receptionist trundled off to the backroom as Alec wandered over to the front desk. When Bat returned Alec honestly nearly peed himself. Another bunch of flowers, only instead of poppies they were roses and instead of pink and orange they were black and white. Alec's fingers twitched to take a picture for Instagram, they were so perfect.

'These are for you, sign here'

'Was it a black delivery van Bat?'

Bat shook his head and sat down. 'White.The guys said to say they were from Magnus Bane' p>

Alec's finger slipped on his signature when Bat said flower givers name. Hearing it out loud made his heart beat harder. It looked like he was called Alexander Lightwool. Shoving the papers back at Bat he grabbed the beautiful monochrom vase. 'If Magnus Bane ever comes here don't let him know what room I'm in!' Bat looked startled and nodded fiercely before scribbling something down on a yellow post it note. Bat doubled as a bodyguard for his tenants.

Then Alec got to his room he was more freaked out than anything. The flowers were gorgeous, Magnus was gorgeous but the fact that he knew both Alec's addresses was not gorgeous. Goosebumps were spreading on his arms and his fingers were getting twitchy and not for his favorite photo app either. As he put the vase on his counter he spotted a deep red envelope with his name on it in the same swirly design.
He ripped it open with shaking knees. He was acting rather girly.

Dear Alexander,

I thought these would be more your pace. You're a fan of black I believe.
I'm also still hoping to meet you again. Of course at a time when your nose is no longer waging war against you.

At least black doesn't show stains!

Magnus Bane x

P.S my number is on the back

He didn't have time to take it all in as his mothers voice spilled from his answering machine to let him know he better be ready by the time they arrived in 8 minutes. He stuffed the letter behind his couch pillow and dashed into his room.

There was a rather large smile on his face.

Chapter Text

It was a sight to behold. Catarina should've taken pictures, many many pictures. Magnus Bane, the current front runner on the fashion scene and the number one hottest man in New York had stomped into her hotel room and threw himself down onto her pink futon with a heated towel over his face. This actually wasn't a uncommon scene but it was the fact he was wearing pawprint flannel pajama pants accompanied by a pair of yellow crocs that made the need for photos so relevant. No one would believe that The Mr.Bane would willingly put his own lower half into two somethings so atrocious. On a good day Magnus would call Crocs the 8th deadly sin. This was not a good day. After 6 minutes of complete silence Catarina set down her planner and crossed her arms.

'Okay spill'

The man remained silent. Catarina sighed, he was in that kind of mood. Great.

'Let me guess what's wrong, don't say a word' Magnus' face was still covered but Cat could feel the scowl. 'It wasn't your show because it was fabulous and went off without a hitch, there's nothing about you in any magazine today and the fans have all well and truly taken your side in the messiest break up of 2015. So I'm kind of stumped Mags' But Catarina was smirking, she so wasn't stumped. 'Unless' the towel twitched and she knew his eyebrows had probably disappeared into his hairline 'Unless this is about that boy. The blue eyed one that didn't want to come back and meet you'

The reaction was immediate. The towel flew off his face and Magnus Bane was sitting upright with his bare arms crossed. His scowl was a level 10 on the fierceness scale. 'He couldn't come back because he was sick'

'He was fine when I seen him in the lobby' The towel was flung across the room. 'How do you even know what he looks like?'

Catarina ran a hand through her hair and caught hold of a dyed piece. She inspected the ends for any splits.         'It was obvious really. Cute, pale, blue eyes and black hair just your type.  Plus' Catarina paused watching as Magnus helped himself to the mini bar liquor 'I've seen all the fanedits on Instagram'

Magnus flopped down with a glass of god knows what, he had a soft smile on his lips. Normally it took a lot more glasses of mystery juice to get Magnus back in good humor. 'Show me the pictures, any fanfictions yet?'
Catarina rolled her eyes, sometimes she felt more like a personal assistant than a best friend. 'Just one, it's called 'The one who made me smile', it's very poorly written and you have sex four paragraphs in'

Magnus's teeth clicked against the rim of the glass, he had a wicked smile. Catarina threw him her phone, Instagram was open and all pictures with hashtag BaneFashionShow were displayed on the screen.  'That sounds fantastic! Read it to me while I look at these'

A knock on the door made Magnus stop waving his phone at his friend. Catarina got up to answer it. She looked over her shoulder at the fashion guru and sighed 'You bottom in it, and you're not a power bottom either' Magnus scoffed and kept flicking his thumb through the pictures. He dropped his phone into his lap. Catarina, now smiling, peeked through the peephole and flung open the door. 'Rag! Babe you made it'

'Of course! I could hardly miss my once poor student best friends star studded fashion show, now could I? I hung around the back row though, they were too many fur coats for my liking'

'Hello Ragnor darling, have you brought food?'

Ragnor rolled his eyes and put the Indian on the table. He spied the yellow crocs and despite Cats best effort to convince him to drop the subject via her eyebrows he grabbed hold of a tan ankle. 'Why are we wearing the 'I hate my life' shoes?'

'Because I hate my life'

Magnus wore those shoes when he got turned away by five different sponsors in one day.

When his mother accidentally spilled his cousin's juice on his favorite white pants.

When they canceled Firefly.

When his favorite model got disqualified for head butting in ANTM.

When there was a moth in the bathroom and he couldn't get to his hair straightener.

He wore them a lot.

'What's wrong this time?'

Magnus held a slender finger up to Ragnor to shush him. He was flicking through pictures at lightning speed. Ragnor looked to Cat. 'He met the love of his life and said love refused to meet him backstage'

Ragnor laughed while Magnus corrected his best friend with the bloody nose spiel once again. 'Oh god I like this kid already! The only one who's ever refused Mags. What's he look like?'

Magnus' thumb stopped moving and his eyes widened. 'My oh my Alexander where have you been hiding' he whispered. Catarina seized her phone from his ring adorned fingers. Ragnor wrapped an arm around her waist and peered at the picture that Magnus had stopped on. It was a boy and a girl. The girl with pale skin and brown eyes was smiling widely, her neck was adorned by a beautiful necklace with a single red stone and her hair was a cascade of  ebony locks. Beside her the boy was even more breath taking, Ragnor, being the photographer, itched to have him on a photoshoot. He had porcelain skin much lighter than his sibling. He wore an awkward grin that showed a hint of a dimple and through impossibly long lashes were his eyes. They were an cobalt blue, one like neither Catarina nor Ragnor had ever seen before. His raven locks swept across his eyebrows and curled at his neck. Ragnor was dazzled.

'He's fucking beautiful Mags' He couldn't tell which one said it but whoever it was was correct. Magnus smirked and grabbed the phone back. 'His name is Alexander' Catarina raised an eyebrow, 'So you've said, but how do you know this?'

'Duh Catty, look it says hashtag BaneFashionShow, hashtag wewokeuplikethis, hashtag Xanderishavingthemostfun. And tagged is an AlecLtd so obviously Alec Xander. Alexander!'

'You're a freak'

Magnus flicked off his shoes and stretched his back. 'That model Aline was good. I think I'll give her a call, ask her to model some clothes for the next shoot and then I'll ask her for Alexander's address'

'She wouldn't give you his name so I doubt she'll give you his address'

Magnus waggled his finger as he strut into Catarina's room to place the call. 'That was when her impish girlfriend was there and not when I was offering her work. Ragamuffin find out the names of some flower companies that deliver same day. The more expensive the better'

Catarina had to pinch the bridge of her nose when she seen her boyfriend actually googling places.

*

When he finished winning Aline over Magnus found out the address (one of the poshest houses in town) and rang their chosen flower shop. He ordered the brightest flowers he could find on their website and sent Ragnor off to the shop with a little note and the address for The Lightwood Mansion.

Then he stalked Alec's Instagram. It was full of buildings and coffee and cats and it was on his Instagram that Magnus realized he may have made a mistake with his choice of flowers. Black was more the boy's thing. Magnus thought it was fitting as the All Black Errythang had made him stand out from the florals and fur sea. So he pulled out another piece of card and wrote a more personal note for this bunch of flowers, this one probably wouldn't be seen by others. And so he found a shop that specialized in black flowers, sent Catarina to give them the note and the other address he'd received.

Oh yes Aline had been very forthcoming. Magnus knew now that his little beauty was allergic to grapes, loved avocados, had only one scar and it was on his knee and he was very prone to bad nosebleeds.

When they came back and both bouquets had been sent, Catarina ranted and called him manipulating. Ragnor thought he was just being crafty. All that mattered to Magnus was that he could send Alec presents and lure him into going on a date with him. Both Catarina and Ragnor agreed 'lure' was a bad word to use. They both then left to do annoying heterosexual things while Magnus imagined Alec's reactions to the flowers.

*

Honestly, the reaction Alec had to the flowers were what Magnus had been imagining. A small grin with flushed cheeks, but by the time box of chocolates numero 3 arrived Alec Lightwood lover of bats and coffee was not having it.

'Jesus fricking Christ, you weirdo'
He shoved the really, really expensive looking Egyptian caramels into his teeny fridge and ran a hand through his hair. The flowers were dead and gone now and the letter was stuffed into his bedside drawer. He had to hide it from Isabelle who was frequenting his apartment more and more lately. As previously stated there had been two other boxes of choclates that had been delicious, one obnoxiously large stuffed black bear with a blue bow and a pair of Kanye West shoes that he donated to Isabelle who sank to her knees and cried when he flung them at her. He couldn't even look at the caramels, his teachers were going to murder him if he put on weight. And there was no way that all the triple chocolate truffles he had already eaten hadn't settled on his hips.

Each present had come with notes and Alec couldn't even deny the rush of color to his face whenever he read them. They mostly asked him out on dates and gave him times and locations but he never went obviously. Knowing his luck he'd go to the meeting place and be roofied and taken to Mexico or something. His dad would love that.

Anyways, Jace had warned him to stay away from the man in the bathroom of the Lightwood's favourite Indian restaurant. It had taken him the entire drive to the restaurant to figure out that MB stood for the fashion designer and not an obscure work friend. Alec was actually impressed.

'Bane is bad news blah blah, woman and man eater blah blah, he'll just use you blah' all said while they were peeing. Alec just made "mmhm" noises until the blond stopped ranting. He told Jace that he had no intention on ever ever meeting Magnus again, that he didn't want to either. Which was a lie. Magnus was the most attractive person he'd ever seen. Both Izzy and Jace would die if they heard him say that.

Jace had smirked and looped an arm around Alecs shoulders as they exited the bathroom and said  'I'm glad you listen to me'

He shook his head and mournfully filled his sports bottle with water. It was Bane's fault he had to go into practice today, he seriously would be murdered if he got too heavy to be lifted and those chocolates were too amazing not to eat. The little notes were stacked in his fruit bowl and Alec bit at his lip. He wasn't entirely sure if he was creeped out or not. He slipped his gym bag onto his shoulder and turned his lights off before leaving.

As he walked through the lobby he could feel Bat's eyes bore into him.
'Your boy was here'

Alec nearly tripped over his own feet, that was a first. 'Came in with the chocolates, asked if the gifts were actually getting delivered. He's cute'
Bat was deadpan as usual and Alec would've laughed if not for the fact that Magnus Bane had come in to his apartment building at 7:00 in the morning.  'W-what did you say, uh to him?'

'I told him to leave, that he was on my black list and I wouldn't hesitate to call the cops. That Mr.Lightwood was a protected tenant' Alec pulled his hood down onto his face and groaned 'Bat!'

'You told me not to let him up. I just hurried on the process and got him to leave before he actually decided to go find you. Plus now he knows not to bother you'

You could always count on Bat.

'You know what thanks Bat, I appreciate it. Really, I'll bring you some of the chocolates when your on back on desk tomorrow'

Bat dinged the bell in response and went back to his paper. The walk to the studios was brief but it always goes even quicker when your overanalyzing what your famous crush/potential stalk many by coming to your apartment building. Which is exactly what Alec was doing, which is exactly how he nearly walked into a fire hydrant, twice. The air was cold and Alec's chest was tightening. He hated this kind of weather.

He signed his name into the chart. He scanned the list for any of his friends but they weren't as crazy as him and, they hadn't gained 2 pounds in the last two weeks. The receptionist was leaning back in her chair, a steaming cup of coffee on the desk. She clearly didn't like these cold and early mornings either. He sat in the changing rooms and tried to clear his mind from turkish delights and cat eyes. He took out his phone to text Helen. She was living it up in sunny LA with her gazillion siblings while he was freezing his ass off.  He was pleasantly surprised to see she had already text him. It was pathetic little things like this that made the dancer actually feel wanted.

From Len -

Hey loser, I already have a killer tan. I seen an owl that looked like you yesterday! xoxo

Alec laughed out loud and set his phone down. He pulled out his ballet slippers and set them on the floor, once he had his socks off he picked his phone up to reply.

To Len -

Currently practicing my turns. Have fun trying to catch up when you get back. Stay Classy Blackthorn.

He knew she was going to appreciate his hip goodbye. And he knew she was going to be practicing her own turns in the spacious Blackthorn house just to spite him.

Stepping into hall was weird as it was so silent. Normally the studios (where he, and other Joffrey students practiced when school is out) was loud and boisterous. Today it was as sleepy as the receptionist was. Alec passed by a few empty dance rooms and stopped short when he seen a group of little kids doing mime routines in the theater studio room. Leaning up against the mirror watching them and probably speaking words of encouragement was the heart throb that is Jordan Kyle. He wasn't Alec's type but you couldn't deny he was good looking. Jordan was a close friend now that he and Maia had gotten their act together. Alec caught his eye, and the blond waved at him causing all the little girls to stare over their shoulders and wave too. Alec ducked his head and carried on to the end studio where the best ballet bar and the best flooring was. Normally he'd have to share floor space but this morning it was abandoned. Maybe he wasn't so crazy after all, an empty studio 8 was a rarity. He had Bane and his fattening gifts to thank.

The room was cold and his wife beater was doing very little to combat it. Alec rolled up his tracksuit bottoms and laced up his black ballet slippers properly. He plugged his phone into the speakers, selected his dance playlist and set off with brief warm ups. He loathed warming up. He was in his groove soon enough and all his thoughts and worries left him with each spin and leap. He had no way of knowing what was in for him in the coming hour. The real pivotal point in his love life.

*

He had actually started his turns when a strange voice cut through the beat of his music and echoed through the room. It startled him so much so that he fell out of his leg grab turn. His ankle twisted painfully and crashed to the floor, landing sideways on his left hip. If that happened on stage he would die. 'What the-?' He pulled the remote to the speakers out from the waistband of his pants and turned the song off. He flipped his fringe out of the way and looked around for the source of noise.

Standing in the doorway looking very pissed but mildly concerned was a very tall, very gorgeous man. Alec blinked twice and stared. The man was wearing trousers today and a long coat, and a scowl.

'Can I uh help you?' Alec straightened his back and pulled himself into a seating position only wincing once. The designer inspected his nails, Alec didn't notice but as soon as he winced the Asian man dropped his gaze guiltily. 'You know who I am? Right?'

Alec nodded, and the tone of Magnus's voice made his arms goosebump. It wasn't a nice one. Magnus paced in the doorway. His hands folded across his body 'Ok, so you do know who I am, and yet, you didn't respond to any of my notes, or text me, oh or meet me. No you just let me wait for hours at two different restaurants. How nice of you'

Alec stood up and felt the urge to flee but Magnus was blocking the doorway even though he was no longer standing in it. His arms were no longer across his body either. He had his right hand raised to his face, his fingers like splayed out, his elbow resting in his left palm. He was staring intently like a cat getting ready to pounce. Like he was trying to figure out how to kill Alec without anyone noticing straight away. Alec knew the gift giving thing was a weird situation, he definitely shouldn't have let this go on and now he was paying the price. He should've learnt his lesson but nope, he was Alec Lightwood and apparently Alec Lightwood was a beacon to weirdo stalkers. The guy probably had a gun concealed in his velvet coat.

'I didn't, I don't-'

'No no lemme guess! You don't like boys? You're not even gay hmm?'

'You, I'm sorry but, my sister'

'Oh yeah your sister, you both came to my show! Well, this morning I found out that Camille's newest tell all interview is going to be with Isabelle's magazine company' Magnus pushed his hands into his pockets. Alec thought he looked quite sad to be saying all this stuff so angrily. Every step back Alec took he took a longer one forward. 'So what was it? She paid you, or was it sex? Make him desperate, get him to send gifts, stand him up and we'll laugh about it. He'll never guess cos he's an idiot'

Magnus was right up in Alec's face now and all Alecs senses were going haywire. He wanted to punch Magnus in the beautiful face or kick him in the well toned shins but of course he went with the only thing he was apparently good at in these situations which was cry.

'I feel really intimidated right now and I would like for you to step away please, please' he managed to get it all out clearly which surprised him giving the fact that his tongue felt the size of his cat. Magnus recognized those words, recognized that tone of voice. C'mon, he'd been a gay flamboyant teenager who had to walk to school everyday of course he knows the 'don't hit me' speech. It was a desperate move. He was making this beautiful man desperate. And it wasn't in a sexy way either.

He stepped back of course, feeling like a bully. The dancer had backed away in a flash when Magnus stopped looming over him and was sitting under the ballet bar in the far corner. His knees drawn up under his chin, his eyes had closed for a brief moment but they opened quickly and he eyed Magnus warily as the designer sat Indian style on the ground facing him but still a good bit away. The fashionista looked horrendously out of place against the worn floor.

Magnus went to speak but Alec got there first and, 'God' Magnus thought 'His voice is beautiful'

'I don't who Camille is, I mean I do my brother hates her cos she dissed his acting but I haven't met her, ever. How would she even know that you'd see me?'

'She knows my type, you're hard to miss, Mr. Lightwood'

Alec's mouth twitched 'I swear i've never met her' Magnus watched him carefully, trying to find where the lie was. He couldn't find it.

'I went to your show with my sister because she thinks you're cool. She's also only an intern' Alec lifted his chin a little and Magnus could see that there was unshed tears glistening in those ethereal blues 'I didn't answer your notes or meet you because, I dunno. I wasn't sure what you wanted with me'

'I want to date you Alexander'

'Xander everything okay man?' The new voice startled them both. Jordan was standing a little in the doorway with a big frown and his phone in his hand. He stepped in some more when Alec didn't answer. 'Who are you?' The surfer dude style irritated Magnus and he rolled his eyes at the boy, ignoring him. Jordan came closer edging around Magnus as if the designer was a danger.

'You need me to call Bat or Luke? Xan is this that guy?'

Alec hauled himself up and smiled at Jordan. Magnus felt the air leave his lungs as dimples and pearly whites rocked his world. Alec walked quickly over to him, and the surfer dude and Magnus felt a shiver run down his arms. But he bristled at the closeness as Alec leaned into the blond's personal space and shook his head reassuringly. A tanned hand taking one of Alec's. 'It's OK Jord, really! We know each other, sort of. It's not, he's not him.'

"Jord" made his way out of the room after a couple more reassurances but not before glaring at Magnus for a full 5 seconds. He also spun on his heel and faced the pair again and declared that he was going to be in the next room for the hour with a bunch of strong male hip hop dancers. Magnus raised his eyebrow as Alec came to sit a little closer to him.

'That's your boyfriend I take it?'

'My friends boyfriend' corrected Alec 'His name is Jordan'

Magnus picked at his jeans pretending not to be jealous but not really succeeding much to Alec's delight 'Luke and Bat, those guys are?'

'My brother's girlfriend's stepdad and my buildings receptionist whom I think you met already'

Magnus sniffed 'So you haven't got a boyfriend that stopped you from coming to meet me and you aren't in cahoots with Camille'

Alec scratched his neck uncomfortably and nibbled his lip. Magnus could've jumped him right there and then but something told him that not only had he read the situation wrong, he had done something very wrong also and, Alec probably wouldn't appreciate anymore sudden movements.

'I thought you were being weird. Persian chocolates aren't cheap and we'd never even met. I didn't know why you'd be so into me'

Magnus contemplated this for a while, he was going to answer with 'Duh you're gorgeous' Alec's words striked something in his memory. 'I did meet Bat today, you're right' Magnus gasped 'You blacklisted me!!'

Alec looked mildly amused at Magnus arm gestures and he grinned 'Bat is overprotective. There was this thing with this guy and long story short he stalked me, only it was like death threat stalking and-'

'And you thought it was happening again! You were reliving your worst nightmare because of me and my willynilly spending. Alexander you must forgive me, I wouldn't have sent you anything, god I wouldn't have even come here if I knew' Magnus' face was a picture and Alec was really glad he had turned out not to be a creep. 'Here you are dancing so passionately and I come and shout and accuse and I have you cowering in the corner. I should've listened to Cat,' I'm an idiot. Oh my sweet Calvin Klein I am a monster. I'm like a half demon and you're like a half angel you....Why are you pouting?'

'I wasn't cowering Magnus'

'Okay you were huddled' Alec blew out a breath and he was close enough for Magnus to feel it on his wrists. 'It was a while ago, he was a superfan of Jace's but somehow got to be my stalker? His name was Jonathan' Magnus reached out and lightly stroked Alec's pale cheek. He was delighted when there was no flinch. 'I just, I'm not used to being given gifts by non-weirdos I guess'

'It, I really like you and I thought it would be nice to court you? And that's how they do it, courting I mean, they give presents to the object of their love' Magnus spoke with a velvety smooth voice and Alec could feel his nerves thawing out. He knew that he should've been more wary of the man in front of him, the one he had felt so initimadated/turned on by just minutes ago, but having the smell of sandalwood waft into his nose ever time Magnus moved was an odd comfort. It felt worringly good. Taking peace in another's company was somewhat alien to Alec.

Magnus stared for a while, his chin resting on his hand. Looking as if Alec was a magnificent painting that needed to be admired. He was just taking in all the little details that he couldn't have cataloged from up on the catwalk. Alec stared too, shyly, half hidden by his fringe. Magnus knew that Ragnor would be snapping away if he were here, a picture worth a thousand words he would say.

They eventually pulled their eyes away but only because the chorus of an up tempo song playing in the next room made them both jump.

'Alexander, darling, would you like to go on a date with me? Now that you know that I'm not stalking, but trying to woo you!'

Alec swallowed hard. Jace wasn't going to like this. His mom would carve him up. Helen would eat him. Isabelle was going to make him shop for new clothes again. He didn't know this guy all that well. He had been "cowering" in the corner because he was half scared and half so done with being stalked. He knew this guy wasn't a relationship type. That he ate people like Alec for breakfast. According to Izzy and her magazine article he was a "free wheeling bisexual" who wouldn't get out of bed for someone who didn't know how to apply eyeliner correctly and couldn't name at least 5 fashion kings/queens.
Alec could name one which was Magnus himself and the only way he knew eyeliner was for your eyes was because it has the word eye in it. Magnus was not a good choice. He was a bad choice that would leave Alec sad and feeling worthless and ugly. So no he wasnt going to go in a date with the 6"3 gorgeous cat eyed honey skinned god that had stroked his cheek and made him tingle. He wasn't.

'I uh yeah sure, I'd like that heh'

What.

He resisted the urge to punch himself in the face by biting his tongue. He was an idiot. Magnus clapped and Alec swears he saw glitter poof out 'Fabulous! The Olive garden on main? I'll pick you up at 7, Saturday?'

'I can walk! You don't have to pick me up' Magnus' smile faltered a bit but he nodded his head. 'Okay then I'll see you at 7:15'

Magnus got up and dusted himself off. Alec felt kind of indignant. The floor was cleaner than clean. His stupid brain to mouth filter had obviously smashed when he fell out of his turn because the next stupid thing to come out of his mouth was 'That's 7:15 PM this Saturday, right'

Magnus whipped his head up from where he had been inspecting his white see through top thing. 'Of course it is Alexander' His laugh was deep and gorgeous and there was a hint of an accent in it. Alec was jelly.
'Ha yeah um I just wanted to make sure, I don't want to stand you up by accident uh again'

'I look forward to it' Alec shot out his hand to shake and Magnus smirked and grabbed it. He shook it once before tightening his grip and bringing the soft pale hand close to his mouth. He kissed Alec gently on the knuckles never breaking eye contact. Alec was practically drowling. 'Au revoir, Alexander'

He clicked out of the room, his steps loud on the wood flooring. When his bum was no longer in sight Alec turned to stare at himself in the large mirrors. He looked like a blushing school girl from a Manga comic. Urgh.
His cheeks were red, his lips looked swollen from his constant nibbling at them and there was a sheen of sweet on his neck. Oh and he had a hard on. A magna girl probably wouldn't have that though. He flexed his toes and tried to remember how to do anything when quick footsteps sounded from the hall and Magnus reappeared in the doorway.

'I forgot to mention Alexander' Magnus panted slightly with a cheeky grin 'You look awfully ravishing with your leg over your head' He swirled away and Alec was left, once again, blushing and hard. No one ever complimented...Well that wasn't true, no one he ever like liked had ever complimented him. Alec shook his head at his use of like like as if he was in the 6th grade again. He picked up his remote and headed for the stereo, there was no way he was going to be able to continue practicing. Helen might have one up on him after all.
He shoved the iPod in his waistband and headed for the door. His throat was dry and he cursed himself for not being in his bottle with him. The studio had livened up and now 4 out 8 main studios were full with varying dancer. Alec just hoped the showers were empty.

They actually were and Alec was relieved, he wouldn't last till he got home. He leaned up against the cool albeit grimy tiles of the shower cube and thought of those little details he had taken in.

Greeny gold with flecks of silver.
A tiny nose stud.
Clear skin.
Long fingers.
A birthmark in his collarbone.

He thought about them like a mantra, over and over again until he spilled out over his own hand and had to brace himself against the opposite wall. He panted out a laugh, and straightened up instantly when he heard the bang of a door and someone whistling.

*
Catarina was pinching the bridge of her nose. Ragnor was rubbing at his forehead. Magnus was signing an autograph and when he finished that he stole a fry of Cat's plate.
'So let me get this straight-'

'Poor choice of words Catty'

'Magnus enough! Okay so you, after a week and a half of sending gifts with no replies and getting stood up, decided it would be a good idea to confront this poor creature'

'I thought he was working with Camille, she's being interviewed by his sister's magazine. I was never good at connect the dots okay?!'

'So you confront this kid and make him fall over and then after you finished shouting at him you find out that he done nothing wrong and that you were the bad guy'

'I was using similar methods to a crazy stalker he had before. Which is true as I checked his obnoxious brother's Wikipedia and it's on there'

Catarina chewed her pickle slowly and Ragnor uses her full mouth as his chance to get a word in. 'His brother is?'

'Urgh golden boy Jace Lightwood'

'Ah okay' Ragnor went back to his couscous. Catarina was back in action. 'So basically you terrorized when I told you not to, and then you asked him out on a date?'

'And he said yes!'

'So can we crash your date like how you're crashing ours right now?' Magnus glared at Ragnor and plucked a slice of tomato off his salad.  'Uh no because this is a fresh start for me and Alexander while you two have been dating for like 800 years or whatever'

Catarina rested her head on Ragnor's shoulder and grinned. Magnus wiped his fingers on a napkin and studied his nails while the couple cooed at each other. Did he want to coo at Alexander? Yes. Did he ever want to coo at Camille? No. Was Alec giving him more feels than anyone ever before? Yes. Was that freaking him out? Hell to the yes.

Speaking of Alec...

'Ragamuffin I tell you, when you meet Alexander you'll be begging him to be your muse' Ragnor looked interested. Catarina raised an eyebrow. 'You're gonna let us meet him? That's a first'

Magnus slurped his green tea 'I've even told mom about him, where'd you think those caramels came from?'

Catarina looked to stunned to answer so Ragnor, still focused on Alec, spoke up. He was having a good day. Normally when he was with the terrible twosome he couldn't a word in edgewise. 'Tell me more, what makes him so muse worthy?'

'He has the bluest eyes I have ever seen. Like seriously I'm thinking of basing my entire fall collection on their shade. He's got this etheral porcelain skin completely untouched. No piercings, no tattoos. He's short and lithe and so fluid. His hair, it's the darkest black Rags. It's long and it curls at the ends. And to top it all off he has this one tiny, tiny freckle on his left ear and it's perfect'

'I think I may be a little in love with him, sorry Cat'

'It's alright, he is definitely cute enough to replace me'

Magnus grinned at his friends reactions and as they continued to talk and stalk Alec's Instagram (there were zero pics of the boy on it, he looked twice) he gazed out the window wondering if this was the game changer

Chapter Text

Alec didn't notice the fact he had walked into two different fire hydrants on his way back from the studios. Or the fact that his mother's best friend had greeted him cheerfully and then again slightly worriedly and then AGAIN while taking out her phone. He didn't notice the fact that people were giving him a wide berth because his hair was still wet and dripping on his sweater and his face was split into a huge smile. To them, he was a pretty young tweaker who was going to puncture their jugular with a scalpel if they got too close. To anyone that knew him they would double take and more than likely give the Lightwood a wide berth as well. Alec wasn't like Magnus Bane and never smiled. He smiled, occasionally. No, Alec Lightwood detested having wet hair and the fact he was wandering down the streets of New York with pep in his step was worrisome as Helen would say.

None of the people that passed him knew that he had a date with Magnus Bane, that Magnus Bane was indeed not a stalker but a man. A sexy, tall, talented man. No one knew but him and that's why he wasn't stomping over the fact the hairdryers at the studios had all simultaneously malfunctioned. Nothing would dampen his day.

He was glad that Bat was off shift now. If the man had seen the happy look on his face he'd do that annoying thing where he waits till the elevator with Alec in it starts moving and then shuts it down so he can roast Alec and his facial expression over the intercom that's only for emergencies. It's happened twice since he moved in 14 months ago.  The receptionist on now was a mousey haired woman whose name Alec for the life of him could not remember. He shot her a grin and made his way to the elevator. He placed his face against the cool metal and chuckled. The Magnus Bane. With his long legs and long fingers and long coat. Liked liked him! Him!

The elevator dinged and as soon as he stepped out of the metal box and through the doors that led to the carpeted hallway he knew his day was about to be considerably dampened. From where he stood with his bag slung over his shoulder in the middle of the hallway he could see his apartment door, number 511. It was slightly open.

He had half a mind to high tail it out of there and get reception to call security. He knew he closed it when he left, he had heard the creak as the rusty bolt slid into place. He inched closer to the open door, trying to be as quiet as possible. His neighbors were at work and Mrs.Donovan across the hall would be as useless as a rubber duck with her bad hip. He continued on. He peeked in through the crack and couldn't see any mess or broken things. In fact his wallet was lying on the counter where he had left it that morning. The only thing that seemed disturbed was the fruit bowl on his little dinner table and it's contents. An orange lay a couple of inches away and, Alec squinted his eyes, yep all Magnus' little notes were spread out in a neat line. His heart skipped a beat. And he groped his pockets for his phone. Was Sebastian aka Jonathan back to punish Alec for sending him to jail? How had he broken out? He still had another 30 years to serve for all the other bat shit crazy things he did. Alec held his breath and pushed open the door. He could see his tombstone now.

Here lies Alec Lightwood.
He never got to kiss Magnus Bane.
Or see him naked.
May he rest in peace.

His inner dialogue was interrupted by four loud claps in quick succession to each other. Instantly he relaxed, dropped his shoulders and let out a long breath. He  flung the door open the rest of the way and his suspicions were confirmed. Wrapped up in his duvet was Izzy looking dejected and pale. Alec dropped his bag and kicked the door shut. He wasn't sure whether to shout at her or rush over and hug her. He leaned against the counter. Neutral territory.

'I thought you were Jonathan coming back to get me'

Izzy's eyes never left the TV screen. It was the one where Rachel lost Marcel.

'He's in a jail for the criminally insane, I am sure the security there is pretty good'

'I never gave you a key'

'I jimmied it open'

Alec sighed, grabbed an apple and sat down beside her. She moved her feet slightly but didn't respond to his presence. Alec bit into it and was pleased it was crunchy, he detested soggy ones. While he chewed and Izzy stared at the screen he tried to work out how to voice his concern/annoyance over the fact she broke in and ultimately find out why.

'How's Simon?' That was a new thing. His beautiful sister had decided to give the geeky "musician" a chance. Maybe it went sour.

'He's fine, we haven't broken up'

Hmm

'How's work? I thought you were in today'
Alec hoped she hadn't gotten fired. Working at The Shadow was like her dream job.

'It's good.  Lily had a family emergency so she sent me and Kaelie home for the day'

This was tough. His last guess was a risky one, he could get viciously mauled.

'Uh have you got cramps? I mean like girl cramps. Cos I have Egyptian caramel things in the fridge if you need sweet stuff'

Izzy paused the TV and turned to stare at him. 'It's not my period'

Alec held his hands up and shrugged his shoulders. He was at a total blank as to what could be wrong. Isabelle picked at the buttons on his duvet. 'Mom has a new boyfriend'

That was as unexpected as you could get.

'Wha?'

Izzy nodded her head. 'I came home early and lo and behold mom and Hodge are holding hands watching a cooking program' Alec nearly choked on his tongue
'Hodge as in our self defense teacher Hodge'

'Xander how many Hodges do you know? Yes it's self defense Hodge'

'Ew, oh my god'

'That's exactly what I said!'

Alec leaned back against some pillows and shook his head. Gross. Isabelle was still frowning. 'There's more isn't there?'

Isabelle rolled her eyes but she looked guilty. Alec stretched out his legs. His calves were aching. 'I said Ew oh my god and then I said some expletives and then I started shouting and Church hid under the table and then Mom slapped me'

'Isabelle! Are you serious? She hit you?!'

'Yeah but only because I said stuff along the lines of 'You're the reason Dad filed for divorce. I hate you. I want Dad to move in and you to move out' and then she slapped me'

Alec slapped himself on the forehead. He was so going to tell Helen this. 'OK that's wow. You're staying here for a while yeah? I'll get Jace to talk to mom for you'

'Just for a while, I brought some clothes. Why won't you talk to her?'

'Because Hodge Isabelle. I used to have a crush on Hodge! This is disgusting' Isabelle pulled an 'I knew it face' and turned the TV off pause. 'Dad wouldn't want to move back in anyways. His new house is the same size as like four of ours put together' Isabelle shrugged and mumbled something about the heat of the moment. There was silence then. Alec put his apple core in the bin and wandered around his apartment finding things to cosy up his spare room. He was rummaging round his cupboards for a hot bottle (He wasn't entirely sure Izzy was telling the truth about her cramps thing but then again he hadn't seen Hodge touching their mother like she had) when said sister sidled up behind him. 'What was that about caramels from Egypt?'

Her eyebrows were raised and she held the second note, the black roses one, between her index finger and her middle finger.
'I see that mom's not the only one with a new boo'

Tupperware clattered at his feet and Alec shoved them all back in hastily. He took the caramels out of the fridge and handed them to her without making eye contact. She followed him to his room.

'So you weren't going to tell me that you're dating my idol?'

'Not dating'

'I read all the gazillion cards. Two dates were discussed. Two dates officially means you're dating'

Alec pulled out his oversized hoodie from his wardrobe, it really belonged to Jace but he could afford to lose some pieces of clothing. 'Those dates didn't happen'

Isabelle looked worse than she had when Alec walked in to his apartment. The caramel she had unwrapped was caught between her teeth and her eyes were unblinking. Somehow she managed to hiss perfectly at him. 'You stood him up didn't you?! Alexander Gideon you are the dumbest person I have ever met and I have met Simons friend Eric. Oh my god'
Alec feeling slightly offended slipped his arms through the black sleeves, and pulled at the hood. 'I stood him up because I thought he was being a weirdo stalker' Isabelle threw herself down on his bed with a cry 'But' Alec continued 'He came to the studio today, cleared everything up and we're going on a date on Saturday night'

Isabelles cheer dance was amusing and Alec let go any feelings of animosity he had towards her. When she shut up they both settled back down on the couch and started Isabelle's favorite movie of all time which is of course Mean Girls. Alec was feeling good. He had a date. Isabelle's cheek was a little red but she was in better spirits and now he had someone else to kill the spiders in his apartment for a while. He was feeling like he had when he first left the studios but of course all good things come to an end.

He should've noticed when Isabelle was furiously tapping away at her phone instead of nudging him with her toes when the Sex Ed scene came on like she always did. He figured it was Simon, or one of her friends she was texting. He let it go.

He should've noticed when Isabelles camera flashed and nearly blinded him. 'Why are you taking pictures of me?' Isabelle looking as innocent as she possibly could just wrinkled her nose 'Josie, you don't know her, but she thinks you're cute so I was just sending her a Snapchat of you to cheer her up cos her dog died'  Two people thinking he was cute in one day was a rare occurrence not to be taken for granted. Plus he loved dogs. So he let it go.

He finally noticed that something was up when Isabelle asked him for the 5th time where his phone was. She advised him to check it just in case mom had texted. He did as he was told and when he typed in his password and turned on his WiFi he found out why she had been so insistent. Apart from his usual candy crush notifications Alec's bar was filled with the little Instagram notifications. Alec hadn't been on Instagram since he received the black roses. Every time he thought of going on Instagram he had the uncontrollable urge to post a picture of them. And he couldn't do that, he just couldn't.

He clicked into the app and read through all the notifications.

•Izzyisme has tagged you in 6 photos.              12 mins ago
•RealJaceL has tagged you in a photo.
5 mins ago
•HelsBells mentioned you in a comment.       4 mins ago
•Maiadances mentioned you in a comment.
3 mins ago
•Jdawg10 mentioned you in a comment.
1 minute ago

Alec didn't know if it was fear or anger that was making his fingers shake. Isabelle had a pillow stuffed in her mouth, this was only going to get worse. He clicked into the first notification.

The first picture was him and Jace. Jace had an arm slung around Alecs shoulders and was staring at the camera with a half grin. Alec was looking away, but he was grinning too, right cheek dimple on show.
Izzy had captioned it with a bunch of emojis and  #throwback #Italy
#myboys #muchlove. It had 40 hearts but it was the most recent one so Alec prepared himself.

The next one was nice, given the situation Alec couldn't enjoy it but later he saved it and set it as his screensaver. It was him and Izzy. She was in her work clothes aka the most expensive dress she can find that morning, and he was in his own uniform, tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt with the activity centers logo on it. Both of them were laughing in the picture. Izzy had hold of a pink bow and Alec was behind her, holding her arms so she could shoot properly. It was a happy memory. Izzy had captioned it with two strong arm emojis and  #hesnotjustaprettyface #bringyoursiblingstoworkday #wheresjace #legolasandkatniss. It had 96 hearts.

The next one was embarrassing and Alec wasn't entirely sure it was him. It was in black and white and the background was a plain white wall. The person was on top of a see through box that he recognized from Joffreys last production and damn it was him. He was mid pirouette when the picture was snapped. His feet were pointed and his back was straight. His teachers would be proud. Isabelle had captioned this with a
'I can't even do the hokey pokey' #ballet #showoff #buthegotmadskillz. This one had 250 hearts already and Alec felt nauseous.

He scrolled down for the next picture and snorted. Isabelle took this as a sign he wasn't going to strangle her. She was refreshing her own feed all while staring at her brother. The next picture had been a Snapchat that Izzy had saved. All you could see were his fuzzy socked feet that were firmly planted on a kitchen counter top. Below him was a black speck that had been circled with the pink color. The text read 'Can u call 911 over a spider sighting or no?

Isabelle's caption on this one was just a laughing emoji and her hashtags included jems such as #thosemidnightsnaps #bigbrother #prettysurehecalledsecurity #needsaninhousespiderkiller. Alec sighed dramatically but a smile was fighting its way on to his face. This one had 80 hearts and Alec couldn't help but feel a teeny bit proud that his pictures were getting so much love.

The next picture was one that made him scoff and roll his eyes. It was the picture Izzy had taken for "Josie". It was a side profile and Alec's jawline was taking center stage. He was paler than usual compared to the dark jumper he was swimming in. It was a really boring photo but of course Izzy's caption was the kicker.

On Thursdays we wear black.
#Alecisameangirl #DMCsandachickflick #bestbrother #sorryJace  #weatetoomuchcaramels
It had 92 hearts.

Alec's face colored at the mention of the caramels but he was compelled to see this nightmare (which hadn't actually been too cringy, Izzy must be really be upset over Mom) through and face the last photo.

He scrolled down for the final picture and was actually pretty pleased with what he seen. It was him lying on a leather table in a tattoo shop. The artist was leaning over Alec and working away, Alec was staring and smiling over at Jace who was lying in a similar position, his hands over his face. In the middle between the two tables sat Izzy. She was leaning over the back of her chair while a pink haired woman worked on her back, and her face was caught in a moment of laughter in the direction of Jace too.

It was the only picture of the three of them Alec had seen in a while. Izzy's caption was perfect, with little star emojis on either end it said 'Fide currit altius quam sanguine/Loyalty runs deeper than blood'
Her hashtags were #Latinthings #famalam #Jacecried #ribsbackribs #threemuskateers all of which were very accurate. It had 106 hearts and Alec double tapped to bring it up to 107.

Alec stared over at Izzy who was back to watching him carefully.
'I actually really like all those pictures'

'I knew you would'

'But why?'

'Why what?' She was staring down at her phone again. Alecs phone was left in his lap, he was completely ignoring the other tags he had received. 'Why upload all these now, at the same time? I know it's not an brother appreciation day or Jace would be demanding a special dinner so don't say it is!'

Izzy flicked her gaze up and Alec shivered with the look she gave him. She licked her lips 'It's just a little experiment, that's all' Her phone buzzed and her eyes widened. Alec went to speak but Izzy clambered out of her nest of blankets and over closer to him. She shoved her phone into his line of sight. 'A successful experiment at that! Have a look'

Alec was staring at Isabelles own list of notifications which was full of '@........ Liked your picture. There were dozens of names he didn't recognize and then there was some he did recognize and then there was  one he did and didn't recognize and that same name was repeated 7 times.

MrBaneofficial likes your photo.
MrBaneofficial likes your photo.
MrBaneofficial likes your photo.
MrBaneofficial likes your photo.
MrBaneofficial likes your photo.
MrBaneofficial likes your photo.

MrBaneofficial likes a photo you are tagged in.

'He seems very interested!'

Alec was smiling and Izzy was smiling. Izzy was really screaming on the inside because the real Magnus Bane was liking her photos and hello! He's her idol!! She had spaced out for a second, imagining Lily asking her for tips on how to get celeb besties but shook herself just in time to see Alec's smile slip to a frown. Uh oh.

'What's up?'

'What are you tagged in that he likes?'

Izzy grabbed the phone back and Alec leaned his head onto her shoulder so he could still see. She clicked into the notification and Jaces name and icon popped up but the picture was still loading. Izzy scrolled down and looked at Jaces caption.

You're doing an Alec appreciation day without me @Izzyisme?? Nah uh I'm in! My man crush Thursday is Alecltd
#watchingoutforevilseagulls #andducks
#Hawaii #hegotburnt
It already had 3000 hearts thanks to Jaces fanbase. Their comments ranged from 'omg ily Jace' to 'please follow me'

Isabelle was refreshing the page constantly eager to see the picture and on her third try Alec noticed a worrying comment.

'Iz why is CarlyJace4ever saying that I'm too sexy to be human'

No sooner had the words left his mouth the refreshed page had the picture.
Which was of him.
In a pair of agonizingly small swim shorts. That were pink.

He was looking up at the sky over the camera and he actually looked semi tanned but he was practically naked.

Isabelle was cackling and had liked the picture. She was adding in her own comment when Alec finally took a breath. He had stopped inhaling when he seen his nude torso pop up with now 5,608 likes.

'This is the worst moment of my life. I'm going to punch myself in the face Isabelle'

Isabelle was not listening. Alec was spazzing out beside her but she was taking no heed. 'So not only has Magnus liked my photos, he's liked Jace's one which means he's Instacreeping on you! This is so cute'

Alec was still wheezing and shaking his head. The only thing stopping him from ramming his head against the coffee table was the fact he still had to see what damage his three dumb friends had done. He ignored Izzy, giving her a taste of her own medicine, and clicked back into his notifications. To his great, great relief they were all just comments on funny pictures. Alec wasn't sure if his heart or brain would've been able to deal with much more.

'I have loads of pictures maybe I should put mor-'  'Izzy NO! If you do I'm canceling my date, you know I will'

It was a battle of the trademark Lightwood brows and the battle was long but Isabelle placed her phone on the arm of the couch and nodded once at Alec. They both turned to finish the movie. Isabelle was grinning though and Alec was still beet red.

'You know you looked really hot'

'Isabelle'

'Even Simon commented on it and said how hot you looked'

'Isabelle'

'Man I bet Magnus can't wait to climb you like a tree'

The only Lightwood girl got a pillow to the face and a threat of being left homeless for her trouble.

*

Catarina Loss, the only size 8 in a dressing room full of 0s and 2s, had her head buried in her hands. Not because of all the pimple free faces around her but because she was the only one there that had to deal with Magnus, and the fashion designer would just not shut up. She thought she was home free when he finally finished his indepth description about how their meeting in the dance studio went. He hadn't left out any detail. He mentioned quite frequently how, although she was right about him coming off as stalkerish, the fact that she told him after he found out (From Aline) what he did in his spare time (Ballet) and where he danced (NYDS) not to confront Alec  could've been the undoing of their whole relationship.

Alas the very minute they got out of the car and on to the set to oversee the dressing and the make up for the shoot Magnus and his mouth started up again. This time it was because Alecs little sister was posting 'a delicious series of photos in honour of Alexanders beauty' on Instagram. Seriously, he said delicious and made it sound ridiculously erotic.

Now, Catarina had to admit Alec was fab but Magnus' love struck voice was not.

First it was the brother shot. Magnus grumbled about Jace ruining the picture and cooed at the dimple in Alecs cheek. He also made Catarina make a list of places he wanted to take Alec to. Italy was one. Indonesia to visit his grandparents was another. Catarina barely managed not to fall off her chair in shock. Bringing lovers to meet the grandparents was completely unMagnus like.

The next was the bow and arrow. Magnus was saying something about Alec being cute and dangerous while Cat was eating the chocolate covered strawberries that everyone seemed to be avoiding like the plague. He made her add 'Have fun staff trip to his work place SOON' and 'Make sure I look hot but casual' to the list (that now had a subheading called 'Other Alec inspired ideas and reminders')

The next one nearly made her stab Magnus with her toothpick. He seen the pirouette and immediately launched into the whole 'he got his foot and like his leg up over his head Catarina. Up over his head!' spiel. This time she wrote her own note on the list. *show Rag this pic, he'll die with envy*

The spider one was funny. She laughed, Magnus laughed, Cara laughed. When they stopped laughing Magnus became deadly serious over the fact that he was an expert spider killer. He reminded Cat about Peru and they both shuddered.

The mean girl photo was cute but it was the hashtag about the caramels that made Magnus beam (even more so). 'I knew he would like them, oh my god I love him'
Catarina added 'Check if Magnus has a concussion to the list'

The last one took the biscuit in Catarina's opinion but that was obviously because it was before Jaces upload. She had to leave the room. The normally cool and collected Bane was fanning himself with a Vogue magazine. He'd discovered his blank canvas of a love interest was actually tattooed with swirly Latin words. Cat swore to the models that knew Magnus personally that he swooned and was still swooning. Before she stomped away she underlined the concussion note three times with a red own.

She stayed out of the little room set up especially for the fashion designer and his entourage and complained about him to the girls. They asked about Magnus' new beau as they heard about the whole curfuffle with him smiling at someone in the audience. She showed them the pictures and of course they cooed too. She was checking up on the clothes that had finally arrived when she received a text. From Magnus. And then another one. She rolled her eyes. She was literally 30 feet away so why couldn't he walk out and find her.

The first was a screenshot of an admittedly sexy picture of Alec that was posted by Jace. The next message was what made Catarina question her choice in friends.

'Gon2 bathrm. 10 mins. He's 2 hott 2 handle'

Ah so that's why he couldn't walk.

Cara peered over her shoulder at the picture and the text and snorted. 'Oh he is so going to climb that like a tree'

*

There was a lull the rest of the day and when evening came Alec and Izzy were sitting down to his little table to a dinner of Indian and Chinese food. Alec had made his Instagram private while Isabelle took hers off and gained at least 1500 new followers between randomers and Jace's fans and Magnus' fans. She advised Alec not to look at the numbers Jace had clocked up on Alec's body pic. He trusted her.

She was daring him to eat a red chilli from her curry when someone knocked on the door, or rather kicked at the door. Izzy opened it with a prawn cracker sticking out of her mouth and in sashayed Jace.

'First you're having a PJ day without me and now you're eating dinner without me, I'm cutting you out of my will!'

Alec lift the lid of a black bean noodle dish and Jace threw off his scarf with a sigh.
'How'd you know to order food for him?' Isabelle asked handing Jace some chopsticks. 'I text him because' Alec put down his fork and turned to the blond 'I needed to shout at him over posting my nude and we need to tell him about mom'

Jace snorted, not registering the last bit yet. 'Alec you were hardly nude. You looked smoking, my fans want you as my acting partner. They're writing fanfics. We're Jalec'

Alec rolled his eyes 'Why does your letter get to be first?!'

'Wait what were you saying about mom?'

Isabelle swallowed a spoon of Alec's dumpling soup. 'Mom Hodge dating'

A noodle hung out of Jaces mouth and Izzy took a picture of it. Alec cleared his throat. 'Izzy caught them holding hands and she shouted at mom. Mom slapped her so she's hiding out here for a while and we need you to talk to her'

He sucked the noodle in. 'So basically Izzy started talking smack and mom clocked her and I have to talk to her because she's mad at her and we all know Alec fancies Hodge. Man that's going to be a weird wedding' His eyes were looking out the window as he stated exactly the whole situation.

'Mom and Hodge aren't getting married'

'I do not fancy Hodge'

Isabelle and Jace both raised their eyebrows at him, he sighed 'I do not fancy him anymore. Anymore okay?'

'Yeah I believe you. Do you want to know why I believe you?'

Isabelle was scowling at her rice. Alec knew he couldn't count on her to defend him. She was muddled up over the entire Mom situation. Alec didn't want to know why Jace believed him, he really didn't. Jaces eyes were dark and he was tilting his head in a slightly aggressive fashion. So he knew he was going to have to ask.

'Why do you believe me Jace?'

'Oh you know because you can't fancy Hodge when you already have a boyfriend'

It was Alec's turn to tilt his head. 'I don't have a boyfriend!'

'I have 4 notifications telling me that MrBaneOfficial likes my pictures. All the pictures have you in them'

'That means nothing'

'He also commented under one of us together and asked me if I could crop myself out of it'

That got a laugh out of Izzy. More of a guffaw actually. Alec blushed hard.

'So you ignored me and my warnings and pursued Glitterballs and now what?'

'They're going on a date'

'Izzy!'

'Well, you are!'

'Okay so when and where? What time? I'll drop you off and pick you up. I'll get Clary to tell Luke just in case. Do you still have that pepper spray? I'll get you some more if you've run out and if you still have some I'll get you some more anyway' Jace had turned to face Alec fully, his noodles forgotten. Alec stopped chewing his dumplings and listened and protested and flailed at Jace. 'Don't give me that look Alexander. You're going on a date and- Oh actually I may as well come along I'll bring Clary we'll sit like a table or two away'

'Jace nO'

'Oh Jace YES'

Isabelle sat back in her chair. She watched as her brothers argued. Jace doing most of the talking. This is what family is about she thought. Her stomach turned as she thought of her mother and her new boyfriend. Maryse didn't care that Alec had a date. And Robert, he was off god knows where doing god knows what with The Homewrecker. He didn't care either. They were all each other really had in terms of a caring loyal family.

The look of fear/fond exasperation on Alec's pale face was comical. Comical and adorable. Jace was making wild hand gestures. Only his pierced ear and his gold locks were visible from how he was position. Izzy thought one more picture would make her feel better. Lucky number 7. That was number of rings Jace wore on his fingers, the number of heroes in Simons favorite book series, and the number of trophies Alec brought home in his first year doing ballet. 7 was good.

Her other pictures had a frightening amount of hearts and she reminded herself to tell Alec the number for each first thing in the morning.

She caught the perfect picture. Alec with the same expression he held throughout and Jace with one elbow leaning on the table, his fingers splayed out dramatically.  His face away from the camera. Neither noticed the click. Isabelle found a good filter and uploaded it.

Shovel talk at dinner! RealJaceL is a mother hen
#Alechasadate #Jaceisfreakingout #Alecsolder #butJaceistaller #myboys #peppersprayandpanicbuttons

Izzy wasn't surprised when she seen who the first heart belonged to but she was happy.

MrBaneofficial likes your picture
25 seconds ago

Chapter Text

It was typical of Alec's life to be stressful. Typical for it to be stressful on an important day.

'It's just lunch Alexander'

'Helen stop right there. It isn't just lunch, it's lunch with my dad and his girlfriend and my mom and urgh Hodge. This is a disaster. A disaster'
Alec was pacing, his shoes were thrown around his neck. The class had finished 20 minutes ago but Helen was still sitting in her warm down position because the eldest Lightwood, her Lightwood was in crisis mode.

It had been one single text. That's all, a text! He was eating his special K at the counter while fiddling with his iPod, it kept dying for no reason.

His phone buzzed and he grabbed it distractedly. And there it was.

Lunch @ 1 today with Robert and Elise. Tell Isabelle and Jace. Do you need a lift from Hodge?

Alec choked on the dried strawberry from his cereal. He raced into the guest room and shook his sister awake and showed her the text, he was not being shot for being the messenger. She told him to text back that Jace will collect them but not before she screamed profanities into Alec's spare pillow.

Helen pulled at her hair in the mirror. 'My dad has offered countless times to adopt you. He adores you'

'Well I may take him up on that offer, if this goes how I think it will'

Helen loved Lightwood drama and as long as Alec wasn't really upset and crying about what was going, Helen really enjoyed it. 'I wish I was going to two restaurants today' she pulled at her slippers. She was teaching a under 10's beginner class in 10 minutes. 'Aline is in Cairo for some reason and I can't go alone for dinner!'

Alec stretched his leg over his head. 'You should come with me on my date tonight. I think practically every member of my family is coming to watch me make a show of myself. Even my cousins in Spain have been notified of the occasion'

'Your Dad knows?!'

'Okay well, not every member of my family then. I'm hoping to get through the lunch without either parent finding out. Elise will have a fit if she hears, Isabelle says she idolises Magnus'

Helen smacked her lips at the mention of the fashion designer's name. She did not like Magnus Bane and she did not like that he liked her Alexander. If Alec would tell her what restaurant they were going to she'd be sitting at their table before they even got there.

'I have to go. What time is it?'

'It is 9:12'

'Why does Randy insist on early morning classes on Saturday?'

'Because he likes to see you first thing in all your dopey half asleep glory'

Alec flipped her off and let all the screeching little girls in to the studio with a smirk. He just hoped he didn't have a group of Girl Scouts for archery this morning like he had last Saturday. Their leaders let them have way too much sugar for breakfast. Way too much.

He smirked to himself as Helen's stern voice filled the hallway. Such a bossy big sister.

Randy was hanging out in the reception when Alec walked through.
Ahh great.

'Hey Lex, those were some great turns in there'

Randy was a part time teacher and a TA at school and he had a crush on Alec, according to Helen. Anyone who called him "Lex" was his goddamn enemy. Magnus never called him Lex and he had spoken to Magnus yesterday in fact.

*

'Please don't answer, please don't answer, please don't-'

'Hello Magnus Bane speaking'

'Uhhh'

'Who is this?' Magnus sounded suddenly irritated.

'Um well'

'Oh my. Alexander is that you, Darling?'

'No'

Magnus laughed and it sent shivers up and down Alec's spine.

'Hello Alexander, how are you?'

'I'm cold' Alec rolled his eyes so hard he nearly blinded himself.

Magnus didn't laugh this time. Alec felt a little disappointment in his chest.

'Are you alright? Where are you? I'll buy you a jacket'

Alec flushed. He sat down quick on his couch so he wouldn't swoon.

'I'm in my apartment, I uh my heat is broken. The whole building's generator like blew up this morning'

'Oh'

'Yeah, so anyways bye'

'Wait Alexander did you have a reason to call?'

Oh god was Magnus annoyed at hin for calling.

'To just see if your number was your number I guess'

'Well why stop there? Tell me about your day Alec'

'Aren't you busy? I mean you're Magnus Bane. You have a really successful clothing line'

Magnus laughed again, Alec was glad he was sitting down.

'Oh well I usually take Fridays off anyway dear, so go on spill'

And so he spilled and he told Magnus about Jace and Izzy and how they fought continuously on Thursday night and Friday morning. Magnus hated all the things about Jace that mildly irritated Alec and he loved all the things about Izzy that really irritated Alec. At one point someone interrupted Magnus to tell him that Karl Lagersomething was outside waiting and Magnus snapped back, telling the woman that he was talking to someone more important, again Alec was glad for his couch. His knees were weak enough without Magnus melting his heart.

It was only 7:00 when Alec started yawning through his sentences. Magnus was smiling down the phone.

'Goodnight Alexander, stay warm'

'Goodnight Magnus, stay, um talented?'

That last laugh echoed in his dreams throughout the night.

*

'Thanks Randy I appreciate it'

'So uh-'

'Sorry Randy I have to get home to change for work'

'Ah right okay, I'll text you'

Urgh please don't. 'Okay'

The wind whipped around Alec, and invaded his thin jacket. He quickened his pace until he was at a near jog, all he wanted was his warm work jumper.

He pushed through the glass doors and grimaced at how cold he still was. His apartment was going to be 10 times lower than the temperature outside and his shower was going to be Arctic. Urgh.

He was doing well for time but if he wanted to have a hot breakfast in Taki's before his shift he'd have to pick up the pace.

He quick stepped it through the lobby and took the stairs this time. Get some blood pumping before he froze to death. He opened his door and surprise surprise Isabelle was on his couch. In a t-shirt.

'Iz it's freezing in here. Must you suffer for fashion?'

'Alec shut up, it's fixed'

Alec stilled. Oh. It was warm inside. Oh.

'When did that happen?'

'This morning after you left. Someone donated a generator apparently'

Alec froze. Not in temperature of course, thanks generator.

'I told Magnus about being cold last night'

Isabelle's jaw dropped and a twizzler fell out of her mouth and into her lap.

'That's.. Why haven't you ever bought my appartment building a generator?'

Simon came out from the bathroom. He had a spiderman shirt on.

'You live in a house and i'm a struggling, starving music student'

'Hey Simon'

'Hey Alec, you got a nice boyfriend'

'He's not, uh thanks Simon'

'You were talking to him last night? Hmm?'

'I was, for a long time actually and he wanted to talk to me. I mean he cancelled an appointment with some guy just to talk to me!'

'Alec, brother dearest, he loves you more than Jace loves himself. Like seriously get it through your thick ballet head'

'Okay, okay. Jeez he loves me'

Alec was making his way to the bathroom when Izzy slung herself over the back of the couch, nearly decapitating Simon with the uneaten twizzle in her hand.

'Who did he cancel with?'

'Karl Lagerklein, Lagersomething?'

Isabelle was still screaming when Alec flicked on his shower.

*

'Magnus?'

Uh oh.

Catarina's heels clicked against the tiled floor. The whole let's-tile-my-hallway-floor was a moment of madness that unfortunately happened while her ridiculous best friend had a phone and a phone book. The payment for an unholy amount of pink marble tiles was put down before Catarina could even get across the room the strangle him with his scarf.

'Yes dearest?'

'Why' Catarina tapped her foot on the (thankfully) carpeted floor of Magnus' office. 'Why are Mr.Lagerfield's people ringing me and asking whether or not you want to collaborate for the fall collection? You had a meeting yesterday?'

Magnus winced/smiled.

'You did have a meeting yesterday, I scheduled it myself!'

'Welll'

Catarina took a deep breath through her nose, her nostrils expanded frighteningly wide. 'Louise!?' Catarina stomped back out Magnus' door and down the hall to Magnus's PA's desk. Magnus winced again into his laptop but hearing Alec's voice yesterday night was worth Storm Cat.

Oh Alexander, that gorgeous boy.
The phone call had been the nicest surprise he ever had until he realised that this could be a cancelling the date call. He needed to find out so he could talk the dancer out of it and get some more words out of that pouty mouth. And well when Alexander explained his reason for calling he couldn't just leave it at that, could he? Louise had been knocking at the door insistently but here was Alexander telling him he had frostbite. Well not frostbite but near enough. He scribbled down "buy generator thing" on a dress design for a Hilton as they talked. And nearly scribbled all over said design when Louise had walked in to tell him Karl was waiting, she was quiet as a mouse and startled him.

His glass door slammed. 'You blew Karl off!'

'Ah yes, I did'

'You. Blew off. Karl Langfield'

'Yaw but for Alexander'

'Don't yaw me Magnus, this is Karl Langfield we're talking about'

'Yes and I was talking to Alexander who tops Karl any day'

Well hopefully not tops. Shit.

'Nice choice of words Magnus, but really Karl!'

'And whose people rang to see if we were still on? Karl's! So that means he still wants moi. So all is well Catty'

'Magnus you pull another lovestruck stunt and I will tell your mother that you and Alec are eloping'

'You tell her and you'll be on the phone for hours listening to her cry about me finally settling down'

'What?'

'Oh yes she's downloading Instagram to her new phone so she too can stalk Alexander'

'Like mother like son'

'And you know my father loves a good ballet recital'

'I can't believe this, you haven't even slept with each other yet'

'That's tomorrow, my darling. You can't rush a flower to bloom'

'Did you read that on a cereal box?'

Magnus swept out of the room past Catarina. He had to go grace Karl with his presence at some point. 'No, a fortune cookie'

*

Jace pulled up outside Alec's apartment. Late. Izzy was hobbling down the steps in a pair of Magnus' shoes that looked ridiculous. Ridiculous and tall. Jace was sitting in the front of his red Masarati eating a chocolate bar.

'You both look smokin'

'Wow, Jace that was actually nice of you'

'Yeah now give me a compliment back'

Alec rolled his eyes and slid into the passenger seat. 'You're getting zits from the chocolate'

'You whole face is a zit'

Alec rolled his eyes. By the time Isabelle had settled herself, her legs and her dress into the back seat they were heading towards the really late zone. 'Jace you put the top up or so help me I'll slash your tires. This hair took me two hours'

'It really did'

'Urgh fine, anyways I get sick of cleaning out all the bras girls throw at me when I go through town'

Both Lightwoods rolled their eyes at the exact same time.

By the time they got to the restaurant they were past the really late zone. The two couples were sitting across from each other.

'How nice of you to join us' Robert smiled.

Alec nodded at his father and then to his mother, he looked down quickly when Hodge came into view. 'What's this even for Dad?'

'Isabelle I'm glad you asked. Jace, Alexander I asked your mother to gather you for lunch so I could announce mine and Ellie's engagement'

Jace nearly swallowed the toothpick he was chewing on and Isabelle shouted at the nearest waiter (who was 4 tables away) for a cocktail, Alec said congratulations. And got a kick by a spiky shoe.

He let most of the awkward conversation wash over him after that, he was content to slowly chew his fruit salad. 'I'm just not that hungry mom, I had lunch at work'

Elise was three years older than him. Yes you read that right. Three. She met Robert at some charity thing that her lawfirm was hosting. Not a lawyer, just a receptionist part time and a model the other part. Isabelle hated her. Despised her because she was drop dead gorgeous. And was now officially soon to be the prettiest one in the Lightwood family. Elise and Izzy sniped at each other every chance they got. Elise got a Michael Kors watch, Izzy got her job at The Shadow. Isabelle got a Louis Vuitton, Robert flew Elise to Paris for fashion week. They were talking about the wedding and Elise was bragging about her private meeting with Pnina Tornai. It was Isabelle's move next and really, Alec didn't think Izzy would do what she did.

'So Alec, how's ballet?'

'It's good Mom'

'You seeing anyone Alec? Cos I know a super cute lawyer! You're still gay right?'

Maryse coughed into her hand and Hodge rested a hand on her shoulder.

'He's seeing someone. Soz Elise'

Alec swallowed his strawberry like it was a brick. What was it with people freaking him out while he was trying to eat? Jace leaned forward as if he was going to say something but didn't.

'Oooooo who?'

'Magnus Bane'

'Isabelle!'

All four "adults" froze and then it began.

'Magnus Bane..the millionaire?'

'OMG'

'Hodge, he's not a-'

'According to Forbes he is, Alexander'

'Ohmygod'

'Mom, Forbes is fake'

'Oh my GOD'

'You're dating a fashion designer, of course'

'Robert, please'

Elise had gotten out of her seat at the third cry to God and was practically sitting in Alec's lap.

'So, you could um get him to sign me right?'

'Sign you where?'

Isabelle snorted into her salmon. Robert scowled, Maryse scowled, Hodge ate his noodles. Jace looked somewhat concerned.

'To his modeling agency, duh'

'Elise he doesn't have a modelling agency, he just uses models for his shows, duh'

'Isabelle don't speak to Elise like that'

'Well how about you stop speaking to Alec like he's something you found in the trash'

Elise was stroking his hair now, ignoring the fight her fiancé and future stepdaughter were engaged in.
'So you'll talk to him, and get me in there?'

'Um no, well I can't really do that Elise. It's only a first date'

'Should be lucky number three' Isabelle mumbled under her breath.

If looks could kill, Magnus and Izzy would be weeping in matching white outfits over his coffin.

'Yeah, fine, whatever' She strut back to her seat and glared at Isabelle and Alec the rest of the meal. That's gonna be another awkward wedding.

When it finally, finally, finally ended. Alec had been grilled to the extreme. Even Hodge had been questioning him on their relationship. No one would listen when Alec told them it wasn't even a relationship yet.

Robert and Elise left first. Robert kept kissing Elise's hand at dessert and everyone was glad to see them go. Isabelle went to the bathroom after saying a very brief, very cold goodbye to Hodge and Maryse. Alec knew she'd be skulking around in the foyer until him and Jace were leaving. And that she was. Maryse let the boys go but not before giving Jace a kiss and Alec a warning to behave on his date. Like he would misbehave, how do you even misbehave on a date?

The air was still cold outside and Alec was eager to get into the shower. To warm up, wash all the green marker he stupidly let some boy scouts use on his bare skin and then to drown himself under the spray. That lunch was a d i s a s t e r with a capital Urgh.

Isabelle thought it was fun, Jace swore he was never bringing Clary to visit. Alec nearly swore to himself to never bring Magnus home but then they probably wouldn't last that long. Magnus could get anyone he could ever want, anyone! So why pick Alec for the long run?

Jace could feel the frosty atmosphere when he slid into the driver's seat, he needed to distract both siblings before there was a blow up.

'So, Alec you still haven't told me which restaurant we're going to tonight'

'Jace' Alec was getting really worn out with his siblings - he wasn't talking to Isabelle and she was pretending not to know why. 'You and Clary aren't coming for the last time'

'We'll find you and if we can't find you after 4 restaurants then I'm gonna call Luke'

'Jace!'

'He's a goddamn slimy octopus Alec'

Alec thumped his head against his door. 'Jace' he said it with such despair Jace stopped staring ay himself in the rearview mirror. 'Okay alright, I promise'

Isabelle was saying something from the back but he chose to ignore it. He also chose to ignore the glare that pierced his back when he hopped out of the car and ran up the steps to his building's front door, and didn't open her door like he usually did.

He had the kettle boiling when she plowed through his door.

'I sit in the back everywhere we go, you open my damn door. It's a deal'

'You sit in the back because I get car sick in the back. I open your door because I'm polite'

'So you were being rude just there!'

'And you were being a bitch so I'm allowed be rude to you'

Jace came in with his hands up, he had parked the car and gave the two a couple of minutes head start in the fight, not that it helped. 'Woah let's settle down'

'I was not a bitch!'

'You're always a bitch, Isabelle'

Isabelle flung a pillow at Alec's head while he was pouring his tea. Jace caught it just in time. Maybe he should've let the pillow hit him, a trip to the emergency room was better than letting Alec go on a date.

'There was not one time when I was a bitch to you at the restaurant'

Jace looked at Isabelle with a raised eyebrow.

'You told them about Magnus, Isabelle!'

'So?'

'Iz it wasn't your place to tell Mom and Dad that Alec lost his mind and has decided to date a disco ball'

'Jace do not take his side!!'

'He's right Isabelle! Just like how it wasn't your place to tell Mom and Dad I'm gay!'

'Oh my god again with that? Are you ever gonna let that go?'

'Well it was a pretty big deal Isabelle'

Isabelle knew she was in the wrong but most of the time she had one of the brothers on her side. She grabbed her keys from the counter. 'Whatever, I'm leaving'

She slammed the door so hard Alec's diploma from ballet camp fell off the wall. Jace caught that too. He was in training for a ninja movie.

'I'm going to take a nap'

'It's 3:30 Alec'

'I was up all night with the cold, I need to go dream about killing Isabelle'

'Okay well, text me when you wake up. I'm meeting Clary to go to a dumb art thing'

Alec yawned but managed to remain frowning. 'Have fun'

Jace shut the apartment door quietly. Maybe, just maybe Alec would sleep through his date. Fingers crossed.

*

'Chairman I think you should get a medal for living with that thing'

The Chairman meowed loudly.

Magnus was squeaking around his apartment (or the apartment version of a mansion) flustered and semi-naked and in his crocs.

Is this a familiar scene?

'Magnus maybe if you stopped trying to coordinate your outfit with your underwear then you could move on from this stage'

'Ragnor. Shut up you're wearing hemp and I'm still letting you drink my Cab Sauvignon'

'Blehblehbleh'

Magnus rolled his eyes and squeaked into his wardrobe. Yes. He walked into his wardrobe. But not the wardrobe that he had in his bedroom. The one he had beside the sitting room. There were 2.

'Where's Cat? He shouted from the wardrobe.

'Shopping with her sister' Ragnor roared back. Ah friends.

'I need her, like right now'

'Magnus you're the bloody fashion designer'

'Ragnor, call Tessa or Jem or hell even Will. I need help'

'Out of town, out of town with her and so not going to help you any more than me but I'll still call him and we can laugh at you together

'Don't you dare. Do not'

Magnus kicked at the pile of discarded clothes. What was he even thinking buying any of those..Oh wait,
They're nice jeans.

Magnus picked up the skinny denim jeans and squinted at them. These were good. He could work with this

'I found pants, Ragamuffin'

'Oh wow, that only took an hour'

There was a worrying silence and then.. 'No, I changed my mind. These send out the wrong message'

Ragnor opened another bottle of wine.

*
Alec shook his leg anxiously. He had set an alarm before he fell asleep. He would not stand Magnus up this time. No siree. Now, his problem was he was too early. He had walked from his apartment at 6:30. Why? Because he's an idiot.

He was now currently hiding in a bus stop. An old woman who smelled like his Grandmother at Christmas was talking to him about Faeries.

'And they can never lie you know? But they're very tricky. They're ruled by a Queen, she's real nasty'

'Ah i see, that's nice'

'No it isn't silly boy, they're evil!'

'Oh, oh no, he's here'

'The Seelie Queen is a girl'

Alec winced and gave her the 20 dollars she had been asking him for since she sat down and began her rant. He had spotted Magnus strutting down the street towards Olive garden. He was early too. That was good.

Alec dithered some more outside a shop selling knitwear.

Isabelle hadn't come back to the apartment so Alec had to suck it up and google search what to wear on a first date.

Black jeans (Fuck you website who said they were the sign of laziness), white Vans, and a blue Henley. Seeing Magnus in his spotless white pants and fitted coat a cold sweat broke out across his neck. The tag on his shirt was itching and he was feeling really exposed, even though he was now hiding in the doorway of the knitwear store.

This was ridiculous, he could be reading in bed right now or practising his turns or talking to Helen or ohh shit.

Alec nearly knocked himself out on the doorframe with shock. Clary and Jace were standing across the street. Jace was standing tall and handsome but his brow was furrowed. Clary was glaring up at him and from where Alec was hiding they were arguing. Good, she was probably telling Jace how big of an ass he is for stalking.

If Jace looked over he would for sure see Alec, he had no choice. He was going to have to go in. And see Magnus.

'Welcome to Olive Garden, do you have a reservation? We're full'

'Oh uh, well no. I'm meeting someone'

'Oh right' the woman behind the desk smiled sourly 'Well I'm sure whoever you're meeting will be here soon so why don't you just wait outside'

It was artic outside and Alec's shirt wasn't much of a windbreaker.
'Oh well see-'

'Just leave sir, we have very important clientele tonight'

'Lindsay, is there a problem here?'

'Of course not Mr.Bane!'

'Oh well then you can stop harassing my date, how about that?' Magnus' grin never wavered and Alec felt butterflies in his stomach.

Magnus looked even better up front, he had a black and white long sleeved top with writing at the bottom of it.

'Good evening, Alexander' he took Alec's hand gently from where it swung at his side and kissed his knuckles much like he had done at the dance studio. It had the same weak kneed effect on him.

'Hello Magnus'
Oh God, he felt so shy.

Magnus kept his fingers curled around Alec's and led him away from a gaping and red faced Lindsay. As they walked to their table people stopped and stared but Alec strangely didn't mind it, especially with Magnus' warm hand wrapped around his.

They stopped at a secluded table for two and a waiter held out his chair for him. Who knew Olive Garden could be so fancy?

'Alexander, my my you look delightful'

'Thank you, you look great, amazing too'

'Red or white wine sirs'

'Red please and Alec?'

'Just ice tea please'

Magnus watched him with curiosity as he handed the waiter his wine menu with a small smile. 'Not a big drinker?'

'Not really, I mean with my training they advise not to drink just because of the calories but it's more of a thing where I don't think it's a good thing to do I guess'

Magnus raised an eyebrow. Now, if there was one thing he didn't like it was when non-drinkers claimed drinkers were doing a bad thing or immoral or whatever. That ruffled his pompoms a lot. The waiter came back before Magnus could put in his tuppence. Alec sipped at his ice tea, he looked adorable but he had rubbed Magnus up the wrong way.

'So' Magnus took a mouthful of wine for dramatic effect 'You don't think consuming alcohol is good, it's bad and immoral?'

Alec paled visibly, there was a little more bite in Magnus' words than intended. 'No, no I mean for me. For me, alcohol and my family don't go well together. None of my family drink'

'Ah so it's immoral to all the Lightwoods to drink'

Alec was getting even more flustered, neither had looked up when the menus had been placed in front of them, even the waiter could feel the tension. 'My little brother was killed when his friend's mom drove them to hockey drunk. It's just something we can't bring ourselves to do'

Well, shit. He'd read about that, it was all over the news. Robert Lightwood, biggest business mogul in NYC, and wife Maryse Lightwood, District Attorney, lost their 9 year old child in a car accident. Jace had dedicated an award to the boy, and did a speech and cried. Magnus had cried, loudly next to Jennifer Lawrence.

'I'm very sorry Alec'

Alec was grinning, slightly.

'It's alright I have him in my heart'

Magnus felt like a dick. What more could he do than bury his head into his menu. When he glanced up Alec was smiling, and it was bigger this time. 'You're cute when you're angry Magnus'

Alec's brain to mouth had obviously fallen out his butt because why in the hell would he say that?

Magnus bit his lip. Now was not the time to start flirting back or rubbing his foot up Alec's ankle. There was time for that when the subject was changed from Alec's poor little brother.

'So you're a ballerina but you still eat chocolate?' Magnus grinned thinking back to the Instapic about the caramels he sent. Alec laughed 'Yes it's very dangerous to have a sweet tooth at a prestigious dance school. You gain one pound and bam they're making you run laps for the next two weeks'

'Mm well I like my men with a bit of meat'

Alec's blush was hilarious. And the people at the table behind them found Magnus' comment hysterical.

'I should say that to my partner next time we have to do a lift'

'Is your partner a girl?'

'Sometimes' Alec sipped his drink 'We're doing The Black Swan this year only it's a gender swapped one"

'Alexander! That's amazing who do you play?'

'Nina or well Nico'

'So you're the lead?!'

The waiter had come back and was hovering. 'Well, heh I guess I am'

The waiter came back and looked relieved that the tension had left.

'For you Mr.Bane?'

'Eh the duck please'

'And you, sir?' The waiter's voice changed enough to make Magnus stare hard at him. He was smiling a little too big at HIS date, his ballet star date.

'Yes darling' Magnus shot a pointed glare upwards 'What would you like?'

Alec was grinning again and looked down at his menu.

'Well, darling' Alec flicked his baby blues up to Magnus and then to the waiter 'I'll have the tagliatelle please. Thank you'

Magnus laughed into his glass. This boy was going to do him in.

'So, tell me more about your dancing, Superstar. I've heard that you are extraordinarily talented and obviously I've been well informed'

'No, no tell me about you!'

'There's nothing to tell really' Alec raised his eyebrows. 'I have a family of 4. My mother's Canadian and my father's Indonesian. I wanted to be a fashion designer since forever and I have a nephew and three nieces'

Alec leaned forward 'Really? What ages?'

'Oh God, um Jacob is 8, Katie is 6, Olivia is 3 and Sunny is 1? 1 and a half'

'Wow, I bet they're adorable'

'They're cute but messy, very messy. My sister believes that them decorating every surface in a layer of  paint and peanut butter is artistic. She teaches art in a high school'

'My friend Clary wants to be an art teacher'

Woah. He said "my friend Clary". Magnus really was a miracle worker.

'That's an interesting name. A boy?'

Alec smirked and shook his head.

Good.

'So that's all about little old me' Alec squinted but Magnus ignored him. He needed to know more about this blue eyed boy.

'Well lately I just rehearse, work, fight with my family. The usual'

Magnus could tell from the way Alec was picking at his napkin that something was wrong. Does he ask Alec now and ruin the mood or change the subject and bring it up during the postsex spooning.

Yes you read that right, Magnus Bane wanted to spoon someone for the first time since he was 16 and covered in acne.

'Ok then favourite holiday destination?'

'Italy definitely. We haven't been there in a while you know'

'Mine is France. Somewhere you want to go?'

'Norway! To see the whales and the northern lights!'

'They're beautiful Alexander, I went with my father once'

'Where would you like to go?'

'Ireland, it's adorable'

'Jace was there once. He fell down a bog hole and lost a shoe'

Magnus laughed loud and clapped his hands. The bracelets on his wrists jangled. 'Oh Alexander your brother does annoy me'

Alec laughed loudly and Klein on a crutch his smile was intoxicating.

'He's quite an arse alright'

The food arrived and Magnus picked up his cutlery.

'Now that the food has arrived, I'm going to bring a little matter up'

'Oh ok' Magnus leaned forward and he looked deadly serious. All Alec could think was 'Isabelle has done something, Isabelle has done something. Oh no, oh no'

'Excuse me?'

A small voice from one side of their table made them both turn their heads. A girl no more than 13 maybe was standing at their table, with a hopeful smile and a napkin. Magnus loved the attention he got from fans. Loved it. Especially if he was with Camille and they interrupted her boring account of how her hair was done that morning. He did not love when they interrupted his date with hot men.

Are you starting to see why people say he never smiles?

'Hi there, I'm actually busy right now '

The girl looked at Magnus once with a strange look and then she turned to Alexander.

What.

'Can I have your autograph Mr.Lightwood? I seen you in Swan Lake'

Alec's blush spread from his neck to the tips of his ears. He looked to Magnus, who was smirking and leaning his chin in his hands.

'Uh yeah, sure of course'

'Oh my god thank you! I'm Kerry'

She was staring into Alec's face with such adoration, like he had hung the moon. Magnus excepted the fact that sooner or later him and Alexander were going to get pappped and his face was probably going to be contorted in the same look of love that Kerry wore.

'Are you a dancer Kerry?'

'Yep! I did you're routine from your masterclass and I got into the summer program at Joffrey!'

'Wow! That's amazing! Your mom must be really proud'

Kerry grinned even wider 'I have two dads and they're super proud!' She cast a glance in Magnus' direction and smiled even wider when Alec laughed.

Alec slid back the napkin and cleared his throat. 'Uh Kerry if you want I can get you tickets to The Black swan, I mean if you want'

Kerry looked like she was going into shock. 'Ohmygod yes please'

Alec smiled and nodded his head. 'I'll put some aside at ABT and you can collect them'

Kerry wrapped her arms around Alec's neck and Magnus found himself internally awwing. He  pinpointed Kerry's two dads in the restaurant. They were looking over at the table with gratitude, one caught Magnus' eye and nodded.

'Thank you so much, thank you'

Kerry shot Magnus a smile and pranced back to her parents.

'Magnus, I'm so sorry. That has honestly never happened before'

'Alexander you're adorable and talented and my boyfriend so get used to it'

Oh shit.

The tops of Alec's ears were purple.

'Ah well' Did Magnus feel embarrassed for the first time since 2nd grade? Uh maybe, yes. 'Well, Alexander I can't pretend that I didn't just say that nor will I pretend that I wouldn't want you as my boyfriend. Is that ok?'

'I'm, yeah it's fine. I mean yeah, but I have to take you on a date before I decide anything'

'Oh you do?'

Alec smiled into his pasta 'Mmhm yeah I do, I have to see what you're made of Bane'

Oh.

The sound of his last name rolling through those pink lips went straight to his lower region and hit him hard. 'I'll very skilled Alexander, in many things' Magnus winked and took a long drink from his glass.

Alec crossed his legs under the table. Was the whole of Olive Garden 200 degrees or was it just him. He knew that the colour in his cheeks was slow fading and that tag was irritating him again. The black jeans were really killing him. Magnus looked into his eyes and it felt like he was reading his goddamn mind. Magnus licked his glossed lips and cleared his throat. Woah did Magnus feel the heat of the room too?

'So, ehm tell me A-Alexander, why am I blacklisted in your apartment building?'

For the second time Magnus was blinded by the Lightwood's smile.

*

'Jace'

'Mm?'

'Jace'

'Mm?'

'Jace I'm thinking of asking Simon for a threesome'

'Cool'

Clary pursed her lips and kicked her boyfriend in the shin. 'Ow Clary'

'Oh hello there, welcome back'

'Sorry, I'm sorry! Where are the menus?'

'We ordered already. Well I ordered and you stared into space'

'What you get me?'

'A burger with ch-'

'Cool thanks'

Clary sat back in her chair 'Oh great,  Jace what are you staring at!?'

'Clary, I have to look out for him!'

'Jace Lightwood if I look over and see your older brother I will end your life, I mean it!'

'He left his goddamn pepper spray in the fridge' Jace snapped his eyes back to her and she could see the worry in his eyes.

Jesus Christ.

There he was, Alec, on his date with Magnus Bane. Clary was having difficulty pretending to be mad at Jace right now what with an actual God sitting in the same restaurant as her.

'Magnus looks great, Alec looks great, I wish they weren't gay'

Jace huffed and sat back against his chair, he was still staring at the pair. They were seated across the room near a water feature.

'He looks happy as well, Jace'

Jace pulled a disgusted face. Hah Alec didn't think they couldn't see him from his ridiculous hiding place outside. Jace wasn't going to go in to Olive Garden, he honestly wasn't! But Clary's art thing was rescheduled due to lack of interest which Jace laughed at, which got him shouted at in the street. He seen Alec out of the corner if his eye in a pair of tight, tight, tight, TIGHT trousers. He text Isabelle who he knew snuck back into the apartment after Alec left. The panic button was in the fruit bowl and the spray was in the fridge. And that is what prompted him to drag Clary for dinner as a "sorry for laughing" present.

Magnus had his hands where Jace could see them and he could see that there was no leg rubbing action going on thanks to the short table cloth.

'We could have some ice cream in Taki's if you want to leave them'
Clary was looking hopeful and cute and sometimes she let him get the deluxe banana split all to himself.

'Urgh fine'

They got up off their seats and Clary smirked at him as Alec's laugh could be heard over the multiple other voices. Jace rolled his eyes and shrugged on his jacket. Just as they left their table a group of teenage girls came through with a waiter. It was someone's 16th birthday according to the pink and white balloons. It was too late to duck his head and Clary was too short to hide behind.

'Oh my GOD IT'S JACE LIGHTWOOD'

Alec couldn't believe his eyes as he seen Jace hugging a blonde girl with a pink sash. Him along with Clary were near an empty table for two. Alec put his head in his hands. He couldn't believe that Jace had been serious about following him, had broke his promise.

Magnus' bitch face was so fierce Jace could feel it on his back.

'Waiter, can you get Lindsay for me'

Alexander raised his head, his cheeks were pink again. 'You're gonna get him thrown out?'

Magnus chuckled 'I wish'

Lindsay rushed over 'Yes Mr.Bane?'

'Could you get us out of here? And call my car?'

'Of course, Mr.Bane. I'm so sorry about the disturbance'

Magnus raised out his chair and held out his hand to Alec.

Finally Alec had someone who preferred him over Jace.

He took his hand and they walked together out the back entrance. As soon as they were out in the cold air, Alec wrapped an arm around Magnus' middle. Magnus' driver was very prompt, he was rolling up to them after hardly a minute of them leaving. Magnus wrapped an arm around Alec's shoulders and pressed a gentle kiss onto the side of Alec's head using that little freckle on his ear as a target.

'I'm sorry Jace ruined the date'

Magnus smirked. He opened the door for Alec and his driver, silently, choked on his own spit in the front. Bane helping others!?! Unheard of!

'Not to worry, you know why Alexander?' Magnus whispered as he went to climb in. 'No, why?'

'I have dessert at home'

The damn jeans were gonna kill him.

*

Normally, having two against one and the two being two girls was Jace's dream but in this instance one was his sister and the other was his very angry girlfriend. And they were shouting at him, loudly.

No matter how many times he said he couldn't help Selina picking Olive Garden to be her party meal destination or her being his number one fan - they wouldn't listen.

No matter how many times he said that Alec forgot his pepperspray and he had heard all about Magnus' octopus hands from Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas - they wouldn't listen.

No matter how much he asked Clary to not tell Isabelle how happy Alec had looked she wouldn't listen.

No matter how many times he asked Isabelle to stop hitting him she wouldn't listen.

Jace Lightwood was not having a nice Saturday night.

*
'You're apartment is amazing'

Magnus was amazed that the place was tidied up. He had left The Chairman on the sofa surrounded by a pile of clothes. He had remembered the mess in the car and sent a desperate text to the groupchat he had with his friends.

'Why thank you Alexander' he made his way over to his fridge to get the chocolate stawberries. He pulled the door and was surprised to see a note in his fridge.

I cleaned all your ugly clothes so I get your expensive wine. Yay.
WH x

He dreaded to think where Will had shoved everything. He rolled his eyes and picked up the strawberries.

'Here we are' he sat next to Alec on the couch. The Chairman was curled up on Alec's lap purring. 'He's sweet'

'He's normally very crabby'
Alec went to get a strawberry but Magnus grabbed his fingers and pushed them back onto Alec's lap. He grabbed one himself and held it to Alec's lips. Oh god. Oh god. Alec didn't think he had ever kept eye contact with someone for so long. Magnus' eyes were bright and colourful and was that lust hooding them? Slowly and hesitantly, real hesitantly (it had been over 3 years since Alec had any action like this, yes really) Alec opened his mouth and let Magnus push the strawberry in. This was very sexual, Alec was starting to feel both parts turned on and turned off. Alec was hard, the stupid jeans were killing him. Magnus was hard, his white pants were hiding nothing. Alec really liked Magnus, but this was their first date. Even Izzy (if she ever talked to him again) would be appalled if he came home saying he had spent the night in Magnus' penthouse apartment/mansion having sexual sex. As far as he was concerned the furthest they would get tonight would be maybe, maybe mutual handjobs. Maybe.

Magnus had other ideas.

As soon as Alec swallowed his bite of strawberry Magnus leaned forward and caught Alec's mouth in a dirty kiss. Normally the sound of lips smooching together made Alec cringe especially if it was Isabelle and Simon but right now it didn't sound so bad.

In fact it sounded hot.

Magnus had one hand holding Alec's waist. His shirt had ridden up and Magnus' bare fingers were rubbing gently against his skin, his rings giving a nice cooling effect to the heated area. Magnus was biting at Alec's lip and he wondered if Magnus was to gentlemanlike to stick his tongue in. There was a moan, a loud one, making it's way up from Alec's vocal chords. The friction between his jeans and Magnus' knee was getting to be too much. But he was determined not to break first. He pulled his lips out of Magnus' grasp and to his delight Magnus made a disgruntled noise. He kissed down along Magnus' jaw and stopped just under his ear. Magnus' breath hitched and Alec became exhilarated and forgot all of his reserves. He bit gently and hard and then gently again all the while sucking at the honey skin. He'd only ever seen this on tv and felt it done to him, it was fun.

Magnus had his hands running through Alec's hair and was breathing heavily. Alec bit down one last time and Magnus moaned, loudly, and it was Alec's name.

Alec pulled away and grinned impishly. Magnus was smiling lustfully and Alec felt a tiny bit of worry slip into his brain. There was hardly any chance of them being able to say goodnight and shake hands now, was there?

Magnus grabbed Alec up, a bit roughly, and kissed his mouth again. He was kissing back eagerly when all of a sudden his feet left the floor. Magnus had grabbed his thighs and had effortlessly lifted him up so that Alec was quite literally clinging onto Magnus with his arms and legs wrapped around his tall figure.

Who knew Magnus Bane was a total beefcake?

Magnus walked forward and had moved down to Alec's neck, kissing and biting as he went all the way down to Alec's collar bone. Alec in all his horniness noticed they had entered a new room. One with a bed. He scrambled down out of Magnus' arms but his brain was having a hard, excuse the pun, time leaving Magnus' embrace. They were both moaning loudly now, every few minutes. Alec had left his embarrassment out with the strawberries. The backs of his knees were hitting the side of Magnus' bed and warning bells were going off.

Magnus had his arms all over Alec, like an octopus. He grabbed at Alec's bum and then Alec's face and then one had wrapped itself into Alec's black locks and tugged gently. The other made it's way back around to Alec's chest and then down past his navel. Alec bit Magnus' lip hard but couldn't stop himself from gasping Magnus' name. Magnus' hand reached lower and cupped Alec through his jeans and squeezed with just the right amount of pressure Alec thought he was gonna to lose himself.  But then.

There's always a but in poor Alec's life.

Magnus' hand reached up and undid Alec's top button and while working on his zip of his jeans began to push the dancer backwards onto the king sized bed.

Alec had just enough willpower left to push Magnus back forcefully.

'Alec?'

He sounded so sexy and confused. Urgh.

'What the fuck do you think you're doing!?'

'We, uh sex?'

'I am not a one night stand, I am not one of your fans who'll run into bed with you and I am not your bitch'

'Alexander!!'

'Jace was right. You are an octopus'

With that the eldest Lightwood stomped out of Magnus' bedroom. And then stomped right back in.

He grabbed Magnus' face and going on his tiptoes kissed Magnus hard and slipped his tongue between Magnus' glossed lips. Magnus was too shocked to react and by the time his tongue woke up Alec had pulled away with a pop. He gave him one last dirty look and a sharp kick at Magnus' leg. And left.

'Ow, Alexander wait!!'

But he was gone, out the front door and down the stairs. It was cold and dark outside but it wasn't raining and Magnus' place was near enough to the subway. He stomped down the street and didn't stop till he reached the public bathrooms next to the ticket vendors. He had 10 minutes till the last one going to his stop left but it wasn't like he had to work up to anything. Once again Magnus Bane had reduced him to leaning hot and sweaty up against a grimy wall. It wasn't barely 2 minutes before he came hard, a moan escaping his throat. Someone in the stall next to him tutted and on the other side someone asked if he needed company. He cleaned off his hand and walked briskly to wait for the subway, he kept his head down and cursed Bane for existing and existing in such an attractive body.

*

Catarina opened the door and jumped when she saw Magnus.

'What in the world are you doing here?'

Magnus just walked in and sat down slowly on her white couch. His face was a weird mixture of emotions. She stared at him from the door only barely having enough presence of mind to close it.

'Magnus?'

Silence.

'Magnus?'

Catarina's sister came out of the guest room but Cat shooed her back in via wild hand gestures.

He still hadn't answered her or even blinked.

'Magnus you're scaring me!' Catarina crept over to him slowly 'What happened? I seen your text in the group chat and that was like 30 minutes ago, what happened? Oh god what did Will do yo your apartment?!'

Magnus swallowed hard. His adam apple bobbed up and down.
'I made a move'

'What?'

'I kissed him, we were kissing and then I uh tried to take off his trousers'

Catarina winced at the bluntness of his actions. She had hoped Magnus was a gentle lover but her sneaking suspicions were true; he was demanding in business and demanding in bed.

'And then?'

'And he shoved me away and said "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" And stomped out of my room'

Magnus Bane = Rejected

Magnus had his hand hovering over his mouth. 'And then he stomped right back in and kissed me with tongue and then kicked me in the shin'

Catarina slumped forward her mouth hanging open. Neither her nor Ragnor had pushed Magnus away that one time he got drunk and decided it was for the best if he licked everyone's tonsils. He was just too damn pretty and too great of a kisser.

'He kissed you-'

'With tongue'

'With tongue and then he kicked you'

Magnus took his hand away from his mouth and behind it lay a megawatt smile, one that Catarina had never seen before.

'Catarina' he said and even though they were just shoulder to shoulder she could feel his heart thumping excitedly. 'I actually think that for the first time I, Magnus Bane, am in love'

'What?'

'I have never been so turned on'

'Magnus ple-'

'No seriously I would've been here 10 minute ago if I left the proof '

'Okay that's gross'

'He's so feisty, and short. I love him I actually love him'

'Really?'

'Will I invite Ang and all the kiddies to the wedding? Alec likes kids'

'Oh wow yeah you really do like him if you're talking about letting under 18's attend'

The smile slipped off Magnus' face as he remembered Alec and how angry and not turned on he had been.

'Oh god'

Magnus had jumped off the couch and had begun pacing but now he was still. 'I took things too far, I pushed him too far! That's horrible, I don't even know if he's a virgin or not!'

'You scared him! He probably thinks you're like Christian Grey or something' Violet shouted that from her bedroom. Catarina told her to shut up but Magnus had a horrified look on his face at the mention of Mr.Grey.

'Oh God, Cat what do I do? He needs to like me to get married to me. Shit, fuck, shit. How do I fix it? He's the one'

'Go talk to him. Keep it in your pants and don't touch his pants unless he's on fire'

'Or if there's a spider'

'Oh you remembered something about him!'

'I' Magnus looked her dead in the eyes 'Love him Cat'. And with that glint in his eyes and the way he held himself, So vulnerable and honest Catarina knew, she fucking knew that Alec was Magnus' end game and she would have to step it up with her advice giving.

'Don't buy him anything, go straight there and be honest. Let him shout at you, then hug him. No sex Magnus I mean it' Catarina had to shout it after him. She had never given him relationship advice before. She was a treasure chest of it with her and Rag being together so long and her own mother was a love guru book writer but Magnus had never needed it. He knew how to play women and men and pulled them into bed with him with ease. And they stayed in bed for a while without any real sentiment or passion. This was different.

She pulled open her curtains just in time to see her stupid best friend reverse haphazardly out of her driveway.

This was new.
A challenge
A new chapter
Magnus Bane was in love and pigs were flying and somehwere in hell demons were having snowball fights.

Magnus Bane loved someone, and please, please, please let that someone love him back

Chapter Text

Isabelle was filing her nails in stupid Alec's guest room when said idiot burst into the small apartment. Isabelle jumped and nearly ruined the nail varnish that had taken her two hours to perfect. Alec breezed past her door and went straight to his room. Did Isabelle see flush in his cheeks? Was it the cold outside or was it...

She clambered out of bed, nearly tripping over her handbag, and flung herself against Alec's closed door. To her surprise it wasn't locked.

'Are you crying?!'

Alec looked at her. He was taking off his boots. 'No' he snapped.

His cheeks were reddened but it was the tell tale splotches dotting Alec's cheeks that made Izzy scoff softly.

'Did you accidentally mace yourself again?'

Alec begrudgingly snorted and threw his boots into the corner. 'That was one time, it was Jace's fault and you know I left the can here' Isabelle sat down beside him gingerly.

'Did he, you know, hurt you?' She was almost fearful, every single person she had ever idolised had turned out to be cheats or liars. Was Magnus Bane following the trail her father, mother and others had left?

'No, no he didn't' Alec said firmly, he was rubbing his hands up and down his duvet to warm them up and to maybe stop them trembling. 'I kicked him, so I hurt him really'

'Why did you kick him?!' Isabelle couldn't help feel slightly hysterical at the thought of her crazy brother assaulting The Magnus Bane.

'He was, we were kissing and then he just started getting really handsy, and then a bit pushy'

'Alec, he's Magnus Bane, he's known for this sort of thing'

'Just because other people have let him do whatever he wants with them whenever he wants doesn't mean I will! I'm not his bitch'

'Okay, alright calm down'

'I'm calm. Can't you see I'm calm?'

Tears were back in Alec's eyes. Why? Because Jesus, Magnus Bane was a good kisser.

Isabelle chose to ignore the threat of waterworks and nudged her brother, who had seemingly forgotten about their argument earlier, with her shoulder. A subject change was a good way to stave off Alec getting upset and kicking her out of the room.

'Guess where we're going tomorrow?'

'Don't say it'

'Robert Lightwood's brand new hotel for Sunday breakfast with our new mom'

Alec flopped back on his bed, his head just missing the sharp corner of the book Helen got him for his first birthday as an out of the closet man. It was called This Book Is Gay and Alec called Helen a dick.

'I hate Elise'

'I hate her more'

'She's going to ask me about Magnus again'

'I'll punch her in the face'

'Dad would really love that'

'Everyone would really love it'

Alec rolled onto his side and sighed. Isabelle was gently rubbing his leg, the bottom of his jeans were wet from all the puddles he stomped through.

'Why can't I find someone who's not an asshole, or a stalker or heterosexual'

'If it helps I think Simon has a crush on you and your bow'

'That's because he likes watching Arrow. He called me Olivander the other day'

Isabelle lay down beside Alec and turned to face him.

'I really liked him Iz'

'I know, Xan, maybe it'll work out'

'I'm hot date number 12 and that's only this month'

'Alec..'

'Read TMZ if you don't believe me'

Isabelle was silent. Alec was right, TMZ was right.

'I really wanted to, be with him you know. But it felt wrong. I felt like a hoe'

Isabelle snorted into Alec's shoulder. Alec smiled slightly. 'That's the first time you've ever said the word hoe'

'I call Helen a hoe all the time'

'Helen is anything but a hoe. But seriously, if it didn't feel right then you know you made the right choice'

'I feel like nothing Isabelle, like I'm nothing. I was nothing to him'

'You're anything but nothing Alec. One day, you're going to be someone's everything'

Isabelle wiped away the last tear that was slowly making it's way down to dampen a lock of Alec's dark hair.

Alec had always been the thinker, the thoughtful one that found injured birds on the sidewalk and nursed them back to health, or gave them beautiful burials. He had always been so giving and people always took.

Isabelle was going to unfollow the shit out of all Magnus' accounts. He wasn't allowed hurt Alec.

Alexander Lightwood was this beautiful dancer, this beautiful person but he was so shy and his self-esteem was so low he couldn't see what she and Jace saw in him, Isabelle knew he couldn't understand why they still hung out with him now that they're all over 18 and no longer living together as one family unit. He had asked her multiple times when she had stayed in and watched tv while he studied or stretched why she wouldn't go out and find some better company. Alexander Lightwood was a loving loyal person but no one stuck around long enough to see it, he had so much to give and no one to appreciate it.

Isabelle left him to get changed for bed. His slow movements made it obvious to Izzy that as soon as his head hit the pillow he would be asleep. She was going to slip in beside him later on and not yell when he put his cold feet near her legs. She sat on the couch waiting and thinking. She looked through her Instagram, the influx of followers and likes she was receiving was unimaginable. People at work were finally noticing her and her boss was even thinking about letting her run The Shadow's social media accounts. All the comments were boring though. The usual 'follow me' and 'cute pic' were in their tens and thousands and even Izzy's boring pictures of cats and teapots got thousands of hearts. Every few pictures there would be one asking about her brother. 'Where's that guy you posted all the pictures of? He's so cute' and 'More Alec!!!!' People were tagging their best friends in the shirtless picture of Alec and, to Jace's delight, writing cringey and obscene comments about what they'd like to do the eldest Lightwood. Jace had screenshotted most of the worst ones and was currently making them into a Flipagram.

Her social climbing was really all thanks to Alec, and Magnus and Magnus' obsessed fans. Alec wouldn't take his account off private for some insane reason and he wouldn't accept Magnus' follow request; Isabelle couldn't see his logic. Everyone loved Alec, like strangers loved him and he couldn't see it. She would make him see the truth somehow.

Isabelle swallowed hard when a knock came from the door. She locked her phone and tucked her little idea away and squared her shoulders. She had texted Jace about the date disaster, but this wasn't him at the door. He had a big party thing with Zefron and he wasn't going to miss that.

Looking through Alec's peephole Isabelle saw a very handsome (even with his image distorted) very dishevelled Fashion Designer. Speaking of the delightfully handsome and sparkly Devil, here he was. The person behind the door was about to become very, very shouted at.

She swung open the door, Alec's soft breath was the last thing she could hear before she started tapping her socked foot against the ground. It was good he was asleep for this.

'Look what the cat dragged in'

'Isabelle, is Alec here?'

'I'm putting you back on the no-entry list when you leave'

'So he's here then, please let me talk to him'

'He's asleep'

'Please Isabelle'

'You're not coming in, you're not talking to him. I take karate, krav maga and kick boxing. I will break your neck, and kick you'

Magnus flinched. Hah.

'I know I fucked up, it was an accident'

'As Dr.Phil says "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior" and your past consists of broken hearts, one night stands and octopusness'

'Oh Jace it's always a pleasure'

'It's always about pleasure with you, isn't it Bane?'

Isabelle had to hold in her guffaw. Trust Jace to slay the unslayable Magnus.

The two tall men stared hard at each other, Jace only a half inch shorter than Magnus but making up for it with his icy glare.

'God Sparkles, just leave. You smell like a vineyard!'

'I do not recall asking you your opinion' Magnus gritted his teeth at the blond. He turned to Isabelle. 'I really care about him, I really truly do'

Jace looked disgusted but Isabelle could feel his sincerity coming from every minuscule pore.

'You can't do anything now, right now I mean. He's asleep, exhausted. He was up late all this week helping some kid with an audition. Give it time. You'll only just up his stress and anxiety levels barging in on him'

'Yeah, I'm just glad he didn't have a panic attack while you were with him. I bet you would've filmed yourself attempting to help him so your doting fans could see how much of a humanatarian you are, what with the PCAs just around the corner'

'How dare you insinuate I would do such a thing, how very dare you'

Jace looked at bit taken aback at Magnus' fierceness. Magnus turned to Isabelle, his voice low 'I didn't know he suffered with anxiety, I wouldn't purposefully try and-'

'Magnus it's okay, it'll be okay'

'Um no-'

'Jace shut it'

Magnus shuffled back from the door and Isabelle had to try contain herself at the sight of Magnus' beautiful shoes. 'I'll leave you then, could you tell him to meet me tomorrow?'

Isabelle furrowed her brow 'He has a family thing, work, class and a doctor's appointment so I don't think tomorrow will work out' Magnus' face screwed up in concern. He wanted to ask why Alec needed to go to the doctor, he wanted to take Alec to the doctor and hold his hand and shout at the Doctor if his stethoscope made his little ballet dancer jump. He didn't want Alec to be on his own with his evil blond brother.

'I'll make it up to him, and you. Tell him I was here, tell him to call or text me, please Isabelle''

'Yeah no not gonna happen'

'I will, Magnus, promise'

And with that Magnus Bane cast one last sad look over Isabelle's shoulder where he could see his little love notes piled neatly in a stack, and nodded. He left with a small frown and didn't reciprocate the glare Jace shot at him.

He limped away, why Alec had steel toes on seemingly normal Vans was a mystery, and a horrifying turn on.

Jace glared at Magnus' back until it disappeared through the double doors that led to the elevator. He slipped in past Isabelle and kicked off his shoes.

'You're not telling him he was here'

'Yes I am! Magnus had tears in his eyes J, not only is he known for not smiling, he doesn't cry either. Not even when Camille publicly dumped him at the BIFTAs last year. He laughed and brought one of the Doctor Who cast home'

'He probably had some glitter stuck in it'

Isabelle rolled her eyes and locked the apartment door. Jace hit the lights and it was only then Isabelle noticed he was in pajama bottoms.

'Zefron throws pajama parties?'

'I was waiting for the call that the date had gone arseways, me and Clary watched The Notebook'

Isabelle couldn't help her eyes roll into the back of her head, it was just automatic when Jace was around. 'Of course you were. She knows your staying?' Jace tiptoed into the cream and black bedroom. 'Yeah she also told me not to come back until Alec was okay and that if he was okay before the art show started she still didn't want me to come back'

Isabelle sighed 'What did you do?'

'Pretended that I spilled cereal on one of the donated paintings that apparently costs more than Elise's second nose and actually nearly did spill cereal on a different one that costs more than both her noses and boobs'

'Idiot'

'I thought it was hilarious, Clary and Jocelyn not so much'

Isabelle pulled Alec's phone out of his pocket and plugged it into charge. She gently pulled down the duvet corner. 'You lied' Jace whispered as he took off his hoodie revealing a pale grey cotton t-shirt.

'About?' Izzy had changed before Jace had arrived, she was taking her necklace off.

'His appointment is on Wednesday, I know because I'm going with him for moral support'

'You're going so you can get a lollipop'

Jace shrugged his shoulders and folded his arms at her. 'I lied because if Magnus knows we're going to Clary's art and wine thing then he's going to show up too and I honestly don't trust you and Alec and Magnus in a room with priceless paintings and sculptures'

'You're a smart one Ms.Lightwood'

'Why thank you, Mr. Lightwood'

Jace slid in beside Alec on one side and Isabelle got in the other. Everything was quiet until a loud bang made them all jump. Alec blinked awake and Izzy smacked Jace's forehead for kicking the hardback book off the bed.

The three of them had always got into bed together when there was a fight, Alec was always worried Jace would get so scared with his new parents screaming at each other that he'd run away and take Izzy with him. They'd stopped it once puberty hit and Alec started having very confusing thoughts about his foster brother's shiny hair, Isabelle was too cool to be minded by anyone and Jace had taken to listening to the audio of movies on his iPod and acting them out when voices got raised, plus their parent's relationship settled down some when Max arrived. Now and again, if one needed it, the tradition continued.

Like the time Meliorn cheated on Isabelle. And the time Jace lost out on the role of a half angel warrior to some Dom guy because he wasn't blond enough. Cue Simon snorting about hair dye; it just added insult to injury.

'Why? Why siblings?'

Isabelle curled up against Alec, her back against his shoulder and ignored his question.

'Why do you feel the need to suffocate me?'

'Because we love you, shut up'
Jace forced Alec's raised head down onto his chest and rested his arm around Alec's shoulders hugging him close. Izzy's long hair kept Jace's exposed fingers warm.

God forbid anything ever happen to Alexander Lightwood by the hand of Magnus Bane, no one would be able to save the fashion designer from Jace Lightwood, no one.

Their breathing was all starting to even out and the traffic was quiet outside when, of course, Jace had to have the very last, last word.

'14 year old you would actually cream his pants if he seen me and you all cuddled up so nicely'

'Jace for Christ's sake, I did not fancy you as a kid'

'Your first boyfriend had hair like mine, Leslie!'

'His name was Leo, and we only held hands for the two weeks he was on holidays here'

'Ha Leo, you were so gay Alec how didn't I realize sooner than 17?'

'Shut up the pair of you, we have Elise to deal with tomorrow'

'Kill me Jace, roll over and smothered me'

'I will smother both of you if you don't shut the fuck up'

And that was that.

*

Magnus picked up 6 bottles of wine and threw 3 hundred dollar bills on the counter. He'd been drinking on his own couch for 3 hours and then spent the rest of the night on Will's. He reclaimed his Cab Sauvignon and sat cross legged with his make up free eyes staring into space until 6 am when he finally succumbed to the alcohol and exhaustion.

Will was sitting beside him when he woke up. All the bottles were gone and there was a packet of ibuprofen on the coffee table.

'Hey best friend'

Magnus regarded Will with a glare. Catarina and Ragnor were sitting on the love seat opposite, staring sadly at him.

'Is this an intervention?'

'Are you alright?'

'Yes fine perfect! Me and Alexander made up! I just decided to get off my face and leave him in my apartment all sexy and adorable for fun'

Magnus had called Will, crying. Will was skyping Jem and Tessa when he got the call and now the couple were on the first flight home.

Magnus Bane never cries. He kicks the shit out of things in his crocs but he never cries.

'I'm going to make you some coffee Hun'

'Whatever' Magnus gave Catarina a small smile despite his tone and Catarina winked at him. Ragnor was wearing dress shoes and a tie but Magnus' voice escaped him when he seen the most recent picture uploaded on his feed.

'Let's watch some Project Runway Mags'

A fat tear rolled down Magnus' cheek and Ragnor nearly fell off his perch.

'Magnus?'

'I fucked up so badly'

Magnus pulled a pillow over his head and groaned. Will pulled the iPhone out of Magnus' hands and center stage on the screen was an Instagram picture.

'Is this him?' Will whistled

Ragnor pulled the phone from Will's grasp and Catarina leaned over his shoulder, coffee pot in one hand, to get a better look.

The photo was from @Izzyisme who Catarina and Ragnor knew was Alec's sister. The picture was of three people. Alec was in the middle, asleep, with his dark locks half on the pillow, half on Jace's chest. Jace was asleep too, his fingers were curled around Alec's small shoulder. Izzy was awake and smiling widely. The light was hitting the trio just right and made them all look flawless. Ragnor was jealous of the photo, such beautiful people. Catarina scrolled down careful not to heart it and looked at the caption.

My boys #threeinthebed #unexpectedsleepover #theonlytimeJaceisquiet

At least there was no passive aggressive hashtag to rub salt in Magnus' wound.

'I'm going to order some breakfast, a calorific one. You staying, Rag?'

Ragnor left Magnus' phone on the coffee table.

'No I have a photo-shoot at the new place on 47th, some rich family brunch thing'

*

Robert's text interrupted Isabelle's snapchatting. She had hoped when she was trying to click out of the app that Robert had cancelled due to Elise's sudden explosive diarrhea, or something.

He started it with 'Hi sweetheart' which made Isabelle roll her eyes. He never called her sweetheart unless he wanted something.

Hi Sweetheart. Could you and the boys dress up for breakfast? Tell Alec no sneakers, and Jace no skinny jeans. Also Elise is wearing yellow don't clash.

Isabelle rolled her eyes so hard they nearly got stuck.

There was no time to get clothes for Jace at his house so soz Elise she was going to have to make do with whatever jeans Jace had stashed in Alec's closet. She had the perfect dress that would make Elise wish she was stashed in a closet, and Alec probably had a shirt somewhere, maybe.

'Guys. We literally have 20 minutes to get to breakfast'

'Ugh nghhh'

'Nghhh urghh'

'The sooner we get there the sooner one of us can fake vomit into one of Dad's fancy toilets'

Alec rolled over and yawned. Jace cracked an eye open to stare at his sister, she was hanging clothes up on hangers on Alec's curtain rail. Alec sat up in the bed but Jace pulled him back down.

'Honey, come back to bed'

'Dammit Jace, let go of me'

Alec wriggled out of Jace's grasp and climbed out of bed. He eyed the clothes hanging up.

'I hate that shirt'

'Alec, it's silk! You can't hate silk'

'Why the fancy dress?'

'Because Elise is a dick. Shower before you put silk on'

Alec pulled his duffel bag out from under his bed. 'Iz, I'll only shower if you put my work shirt and track suit bottoms in that bag and also my biketard and my pointe shoes and, um that grey shirt over there'

'Showering is a basic human function, why would I reward you?'

'Because I'm very fragile at the moment due to my unattractiveness and all around suckyness. I reek of rejection so I'll have to scrub hard'

'Oh my good God Alec, just go'

Jace sat up and stretched, he threw Alec's black ballet slippers into the open bag beside him. Alec grinned and went into the bathroom, tugging his shirt off as he went and shut the door.

'I'm wearing my pajamas to breakfast. Elise can suck it'

'Play nice, your only rebellion are these jeans'

Jace curled his lip and got out of bed. He threw a dirty look over at the clothes Isabelle had found for him and put his hair up in a bun. He headed straight for the bathroom door.

Isabelle rolled her eyes.

'Let me in, I need to pee so much it hurts'

'Just hold it'

'It hurts so much, I won't look! Even though I seen it all when the fire alarm went off in the villa while you were in the shower and you couldn't find a towel'

'Jace why do you have to bring up such embarrassing things all the time?'

Jace rattled at the door some more until Alec let out a huge sigh from the bathroom and the sound of the lock clicking accompanied Isabelle's tutting at the state of Alec's denim jeans. Jace slipped in through the crack Alec opened the door at.

'Woah Alec, I said I wouldn't look but hot damn you look fine'

'Jace stop or I will swallow the bleach under my sink'

'Alec relax we're not related, I can admire the goods'

Isabelle heard a thump that was either Alec's head against his tiled shower wall or Alec hitting Jace's head off the floor.

'Great idea, let's take a selfie; my fans want more naked you'

'Jace GET OUT OF HERE'

*

Ragnor was setting up the lights in the little meeting room. The hotel was amazing, chandeliers and marble galore. This was definitely a good location for Magnus' next meet and greet, if he ever gets off Will's sofa.

'Hiiiiiiiii, hi there photographer. It's me, Elise!'

Oh god that voice was like a perfumed drill rattling around in his head. It was worse in person. He had had to have Cat massage his head to stop his brain leaking out his ears after he got the phone call from Elise Webber asking for his "fabulous photo taking skills". Ragnor jumped down from his ladder.

'Yes, hello I'm Ragnor Fell. Your assistant manager told me to go ahead and set up'

'Okay so Rags, can I call you Rags?'

'Uh-'

'So Rags, welcome to The L! Me and the fam are gonna be sitting for brekkie at 10:30 so photos in 20 minutes, at 10? You can totally take a walk around our lush gardens and I'll have the staff bring you in some yums'

'Uh yeah cool 10 o'clock that works. Yums uh work too'

'Awesome!! So are you vegan, veggie, any allergies. My stepson has a crazy allergy to grapes??"

'I, uh, I don't like almonds or meat'

Who did he know that was allergic to grapes?

'So, you are just adorable. I love the hippie vibe. Are you single? I have lots of single girlfriends! I'm only 27!'

'I have a girlfriend, Catarina'

Elise's eye twitched and she looked like she was going to say something but instead sighed happily and turned on heel and left the meeting room.

'Courtney get Mr.Fell some non-almond non-meat yums!!'

Ragnor went back up his ladder to adjust that one stupid light, thanking his stars he wasn't Courtney.

He hit the light with his fist and it flashed on and off until he jabbed at it again. His phone buzzed in his pocket and he slid down his ladder and folded it away before checking it. 5 concussions later he finally figured out the texting and laddering was not a good idea.

Magnus is not crying anymore but he's eating doughnuts.
- Catty

Magnus is gluten intolerant!!
- Me

Magnus does not seem to care right now.
- Catty

Two doughnuts is only, like, one slice of bread, it's chill.
- William

Ragnor winced at his friends and their casual attitude towards Magnus killing his intestines. A harried looking woman with a bob clicked into the room pushing a trolley of actually delicious looking "yums".

*

'This place is pretty upscale'

'Your ripped jeans really stick out'

The trio had been sitting on the leather couches in the lobby of Robert's hotel. They were on time amazingly but were informed at the front desk that their father and his fiancée were gone to freshen up. Jace honest to god got a little sick into his mouth.

Isabelle had been reading the latest edition of Mortal, she was pissed that her Dad hadn't included The Shadow in the magazine collection that was splayed on top of the small glass coffee table that Jace currently had his feet up on. Now, she was skulking around the lobby and checking all the tables for any copies of her magazine. If she didn't find any Robert was going to get an earful and someone was going to get fake food poisoning very early into the breakfast.

'Alec, put down your phone and talk to me. Unless of course you're looking at those guys'

'We're not continuing this conversation'

'Scott Hoying, super tall and cute and talented. Jonathan Groff, really sweet and funny and cute. Ezra Miller, tall and tanned and he has a pretty sweet jawline. But if you're really into the whole make up wearing thing then I know for sure Adam Lambert is single and ready to mingle'

Jace had spent the drive verbally making a list of all the guys he knew that would jump at the chance to be with his big bro. Alec wasn't having it and argued every time Jace paused to take a breath. Isabelle remained quiet, the subject of Magnus' visit last night was better left till after they were free from Elise.

'I appreciate you trying to help and you have helped, honestly. But trying to set me up with those guys isn't going to work'

'Whyyyy nottttt??' Jace was whining and drawing attention, even more attention, to himself.

'Scott Hoying is like legit married to that Mitch guy. Jonathan Groff was Jesse St.James in Glee and I can never forgive him for hurting Rachel. Ezra Miller is so out of my league it's ridiculous and Adam Lambert is most definitely not single, everyone knows he and Sauli are still secretly dating'

'Okay whoa. How do you know all those guys?!'

'Contrary to popular belief I don't live under a rock. I read Izzy's magazine and I watch TV'

'I never said you lived under a rock! You live in a closet!'

Alec blushed furiously.

'I do not'

'Alec..'

'You, mom, dad and Izzy know. Hodge and Elise know. Helen and Aline know, and like some of my teachers and classmates. And Magnus'

Jace held up his hands and sank back into his chair. It was a losing battle. Alec's blush was fading and Jace decided to wait till he was back to his normal milky white to bring up the subject of love again.

Alec was still pink when Jace sat upright. 'Ezra!!'

'I told you already..'

'Hey J, long time no see!'

What.

Ezra Miller strode across the lobby over to Jace with his arms wide. The two men embraced.

'J you gotta tell your dad he is slaying with that breakfast menu! Seriously my mom has just gone from an 8 to a 14'

'I will if he ever detaches himself from sucking face with his girlfriend'

Alec was edging along the couch, trying to escape when Ezra's eyes fell on him.

'Hi'

'Oh Ez this is Alec! Alec this is Ez, it's funny we were just talking about you'

'Good things I hope' Ezra was looking at him like Magnus had looked at him.

Sexually in a sexual way.

'Yeah we were talking about how you loved his blog post on orientation and gender conformity'

Alec's eyes widened and so did Ezra's.

'Ohmygod it was amazing! You killed it, like I was tearing up at your understanding of like everything'

'I am glad you liked it, yes thank you I have experience in those areas I guess'

Why was Alec's voice sounding all flirty? He hadn't intended it to sound that way. Did he?

Jace was smirking. Ezra sat down beside Alec and Alec decided that shuffling away would be really rude. And turning his head the other way would be rude too. So he had to think fast, now that the Adonis was sitting right beside him. With his curls tickling his ear. And his clasped hands dangerously close to Alec's leg. Compliments were always the way. This was the second boy/man/male that Alec had found attractive and was actually able to talk too, well sort of able. He was staring, into Ezra's eyes. Not talking just staring.
Jesus Alec open your mouth.

The first thing that popped into his head was something he remembered Simon blabbering on about when they were on the way to the emergency room. Spouting random nerd facts was Simon's attempt at helping people relax in tense situations. Simon's attempt hadn't really worked but something he said must have stuck even though Alec was in and out of consciousness.

'I like you as The Flash' came out of his mouth but 'God, please let me not be confusing him with someone else' was flashing in his brain.

'Well, thanks! That's a change to what I normally hear. You're a sweetheart'

Oh, Simon, you beautiful Jedi.

'It's hard to take on a character when people have set ideals on how that character should look and act'

Ugh Alec so owed Simon a fruit basket, or a comic.

'You speaking from experience, Nico?'

Alec bit back a smile and Ezra leaned his chin on a long tan hand. Jace had slouched back down, but he was sitting up straight now. The only thought running through his mind was that Alec was a stripper with the stage name Nico. He was imagining it, Helen was Alec's pimp and she was in fur. Alec was on a pole and Helen was standing smoking a cigarette.

Jace's stomach was turning and he focused hard on Alec's mouth willing words out to cease his anxiety. He would not allow his brother to become a hoe.

'You're coming?'

Jesus Christ going where?

'Of course, already reserved my tickets! I seen Swan Lake twice. You killed me'

Jace was no longer smirking. His twisted stomach had calmed but anger was bubbling in his veins.

Alec.

Swan Lake.

Tickets.

It was all clicking.

Jace preferred Alec-the-Stripper-hoe more than Alec-the-Ballet-Star-that-doesn't-tell-his-own-family-that-he's-dancing-in-Broadway-shows-and-leaves-them-to-find-out-from-a-curly-haired-flirty-Flash.

'Okay well, Ez, okay wow you are super close to my little brother and your hand is on his knee okay'

'Jace, I'm older than you'

'Whatever, Ezra seriously just take your hand off his..okay thank you. We really need to find Izzy now'

Ezra stood up, sensing the tension and feeling like Jace was going to beat him up next time they met which was next Monday. Very soon.

'Yes and I must go back and stop my mom from going into a croissant induced coma'

Alec laughed, Jace didn't.

'Alec do me the honor of having your face on my Instagram'

What the hell? If Jace was going to beat him up later might as well get his money's worth and get a little bit better acquainted to the ballet dancer. This picture would be a serious one-up on Sam Smith, the British singer was rumored to be trying to get Alec in his next music video.

'I, well'

The picture was taken before Alec could protest but he managed a smile and it didn't look too hideous.

'I love this. I will hopefully see you soon Alec, and J I'll see you for the Marc shoot' where you kill me was added in Ezra's head.

'Bye'

'Bye Ezra' As soon the Perks star was out of earshot both brothers turned to face each other, each looking furious.

'How do you know about my blog?!?' Alec hissed.

Jace crossed his arms. 'Simon rerouted some IP address or something for me. Not relevant. Why didn't you tell me you were in Swan Lake?!?'

Izzy came back just in time to hear Jace hiss back. Of course.

'You were in Swan Lake? What? When? What?'

'Kiddieeesss, hey guys you look..okay I guess'

All three ignored Elise.

'Is that the monochrome body-con from Magnus' new line Isabella?'

'Isabelle tell your nerd boyfriend to stop helping Jace stalk me'

'He's not a nerd!' Isabelle folded her arms at the mispronunciation of her damn name and her idiot brothers being stupid idiots again.

'I'm not stalking you! I'm just keeping an eye on you. God you're such a drama queen'

'You called me a drama queen when I wanted to tell Luke about Jonathan a year ago, and the next day he held me hostage in my apartment for three fucking hours'

Jace's eyes blazed; it was a touchy subject. He had made Alec brush the weird texts and phone calls off and he had told him to leave Luke to deal with real problems and, then he had cried onto his mother's shoulder when the Lightwood's were all standing outside Alec's apartment building with the SWAT team while a negotiator tried to get Jonathan to drop his baseball bat and let Alec go. He had blamed himself ever since. Low blow Nico.

Alec glared from his brother to his sister.

Elise was standing watching the exchange. It was boring her and they simply would not listen to her.

'Robbie, fix your children' Robert came rushing down one of the staircases like a lap dog.

'I'm 24 years old Elise, seriously'

'Well you look 12 Alexander'

'Well YOU look 12. Don't call me Alexander I don't like it'

'What's wrong sweetie? Magnus find a new boo?'

Jace flung a pillow at Elise and threw his arm around Alec's neck.

'Alec is too good for Magnus, and BTW he would never sign you as a model because of your crow's feet that BTW we could see from the parking lot'

Alec couldn't find it in him to shove Jace's arm off his shoulders. He had served Jace a burn with the Jonathan thing.

'Jace Michael Lightwood how dare you speak to your stepmother like that!'

'I think he bruised my shoulder, RobRob'

'You're just engaged Dad, people fall out of love all the time. Example: you and mom'

'Alexander! Jace apologize!'

'I'm pretty sure we were in elementary school together so I can talk to my peer however way I want'

'I'm so young but I have crow's feet is that right, Blondie?'

'You're not aging well, you look like Hilary Clinton. You should ask our Mom what wrinkle cream she uses'

'Why don't you have my magazine on show Dad? You have Mortal but not my one? Why didn't you go to Alec's Swan Lake show, he's literally on Broadway. What the hell is wrong with you?!'

'How dare you compare that witch to me!'

'Our mother is not a witch, she's a damn warrior'

'Ms. Webber are you, oh'

All 5 quarreling Light woods (and soon to be) turned to face a young man with green eyes, and long hair pulled into a bun. He had a camera around his neck and green spikes going through his ears.

'I can wait'

'No we said 10, it's 10. Let's go'

'Go where?!' All three shouted at Robert. The young guy snorted, and discretely (although Jace could tell) started taking pictures.

'A family photo-shoot'

The couple started making their way to the meeting room the hippy was standing in front of.

Alec ran a hand through his hair, 'I am going to go drown myself in the pool'

Elise was looking at herself in her compact mirror as she and Robert strolled passed the photographer. 'There's 4, be my guest'

'I'll use the hotel down the street's one, it's fancier' Alec turned to follow his father and the guy nearly swallowed his toothpick.

Jace cracked his neck in irritation, another guy to ogle his brother.

'Mr.Fell lead the way' but Mr.Fell ignored Lightwood Senior

Robert squinted at the colorful young photographer but put his hand on Elise's back and walked through the oak doors of the meeting room. Jace pulled Alec and Isabelle along by their wrists.

'Let go of me'

'Stop bitching'

Alec pushed Jace with his shoulder and Jace fell into Isabelle. Isabelle huffed and ripped her wrist from Jace's grip. 'You're both so immature!'

Isabelle stomped ahead of them, only slowing to spare a small smile at the cute photographer who was oddly familiar. Jace and Alec stood together a little bit away from the photographer who was watching them with interest and still snapping away.

'Izzy's dress is horrible, black and white print is so 2014'

'Shut up Jace, you think flip flops make your legs look longer'

The pair were unintentionally loud and Ragnor Fell was trying very hard not to laugh.

'You're not allowed date Ezra'

'Jace seriously'

'BOYS HURRY UP'

'Her voice is like nails on drywall'

Ragnor was looking at them expectantly and Jace grabbed hold of Alec once again and moved them forward one step.

'So, tell me why I'm not in any of your blog posts?'

Alec swallowed hard.

'I'm not in any but the "tall handsome stranger that haunts your dreams" is in multiple'

'He's more noteworthy than you are' Alec was bright red.

Jace squinted and breezed past the photographer rather rudely.

'That was low, I am really truly mad at you now...Squirt'

'Jace I swear to God I will fucking stab you in the eye if you ever call me that again'

*

'Jace I swear to God I will fucking stab you in the eye if you ever call me that again'

Ragnor followed the brothers into the meeting room. He couldn't believe this was happening. There in front of him with a really great ass was Alexander Lightwood; Magnus' true love. The Grape Hater. Ragnor studied the young man as he stood with his family near the white backdrop. He was all soft angles apart from his upturned nose. Cerulean eyes brought his whole body to life, they divided Alec's snow white skin from his inky black hair. Small and lithe. Dimples and moles. His lips were pulled into a pout and his hair was sticking up from pushing it back.

The eldest Lightwood was the perfect muse.

Ragnor decided that he would only tell Cat, not Will and certainly not Magnus. He would inform Tessa and Jem about everything when Magnus glutened himself unconscious. He had wondered why Magnus never mentioned how short the boy was. A mere 5"4 compared to Magnus and his 6"2ness.

As the Lightwood family arranged themselves on the white sheet, Ragnor pulled his phone out of his pocket.

Magnus sure knows how to pick 'em. I'm breaking up with you for him x
- Me

'Jace you don't always have to be at the front'

You're not serious?! He's there? Is he really hot up close? Don't be weird! Get pictures!
- Catty

'Yes I do, I'm beautiful and people need to see it'

Right in front of me. Hella cute and sassy.
- Me

'No, Isabelle maybe go somewhere, like, not beside me and your Dad'

I forgot he was Robert Lightwood's son! Never say hella again, love you.
- Catty

'Alexander take that stupid nose stud out! You look like white trash!'

'Dad, you know I hate Alexander'

'Take it out now'

Love you too. Don't tell Mags yet, I don't want him storming into The L in his crocs; they'll squeak something awful on the marble floor. Mr. Lightwood is an asshole babe x
-Me

Tess and Jem got Mags some shoes at their stopover. We're collecting them at the airport tonight. Make his photos really ugly then! x
- Catty

Ragnor left his phone on his little collapsible table.

'Okay, Lightwoods, let's get to work'

Alec grimaced and Izzy raised an eyebrow at the colorful photographer.

'Tallest at the back, yes thank you'

Jace moved to the back with a sour look.

'Mr. Lightwood at the back also. Ms. Webber a little in front of your fiance with his hand on your waist'

Ragnor had to bite the inside of his cheek to stop from laughing. Alec looked positively nauseous.

'Can the beautiful young lady, Ms. Webber please stay where I put you. Now, the beautiful brunette can you go beside Ms. Webber?'

Isabelle flicked her hair and grinned smugly. Elise just got owned by someone she had hired.

'Lovely, Dad put your hand on your daughter's right shoulder'

Ragnor seen Isabelle's eye roll and Alec's wince. He added it to his mental list of things to tell Magnus, eventually.

'Last but not least Alec, can you go to beside your sister and wrap an around her waist'

Alec paused slightly before shuffling over in front of his brother and beside his sister.

'Um excuse me?'

'Yes Ms. Webber?'

'How did you know Alec's name?'

Ah. Shit. Dammit. Shit.

Alec stared curiously into his face and Jace was looking defensive.

He had never been able to lie on his feet, never. Nothing had changed from yesterday when he admitted to Cat that, yes he had been wearing her high heels and tripped and that's why the heel on one had snapped.

'Magnus Bane is my best friend. He's obsessed with you. Like really'

Ragnor could see the little smile fighting it's way onto pink lips, he could also see the tall one, the up and coming actor, Jace clench his fists.

'So, can we just take the pictures please Mr.Fell instead of talking about my son's, eheh, relationship'

Ragnor added Robert's discomfort and mocking tone to his list that was shaping up to be one that was going to make Magnus feel worse.

'Okay then let's go'

Ragnor took a series of photos, shuffled the Lightwoods around occasionally and let Elise see the pictures every 3 frames. At 10:29 Robert and Elise finally picked a set of 10 photos they wanted printed; 7 of which only featured the happy couple. Jace was sitting on the ground subtly glaring at Mr. I'm Magnus' Best Friend. Isabelle and Alec were standing close together. Isabelle was talking and making large hand gestures and Alec was looking like Robert had, uncomfortable.

'Okay kids, Jace get up you're making those knee holes bigger. Go into the breakfast room, through those doors'

'Yeah, Dad, Alec isn't feeling too great'

Ragnor looked up quickly from where he was clearing away his equipment. Alec was squinting and hollowing his cheeks. He had the same pretending-to-be-sick face as Magnus.

Robert gave Ragnor his cheque and shrugged his shoulders at his daughter. 'Maybe he should get more exercise outdoors'

Alec popped his hip and and crossed his arms. 'I work in an outdoor activity center, Dad'

'Go have some fruit and stop sassing me'

Ragnor smiled at Alec as he left, he got a shy one in return.

'Kids these days, eh?'

'Haha yes certainly'

Elise was looking at Ragnor closely.

'So, you're Magnus Bane's best friend?'

'Yep'

'You should so come to my stepson's girlfriend's art show tonight. There'll be wine and paint and some high class people attending. Unless of course Alec already invited you through Magnus'

'Uh well Magnus and Alec-'

Elise laughed and threw a glance over at the wooden doors to make sure her stepchildren weren't listening.

'See darling, I told you a billionaire like Bane wouldn't be at all interested in Alexander for long. Dropped him like a hot cake I bet'

Robert looked to Ragnor for confirmation but Ragnor was trying too hard to regulate his breathing to grunt or nod or shake his head. What kind of people say things like that in front of parents of the child in question?

Robert Lightwood scoffed at Ragnor's silence and put away his cheque book. 'Yes well my son's a bit too dull for someone like Mr.Bane. All he does is the dancing and the archery. If I had to pick which son was a gay I'd pick Jace, he might be able to get in with the likes of your friend with his looks and talent. But not Alec, he's a bit of a lost cause I'm afraid'

Elise patted Robert's arm affectionately like her fiancé needed comfort over the fact Alec was his son, his gay son. Ragnor seen a shadow move from under one of the half closed doors. He clenched his fists.

'Magnus and your son are in fact still together. Magnus and myself and all our high class friends think he's marvelous. Exceptional actually, he must get it from his mother' Ragnor slung his camera around his neck and stuffed the dumb cheque in his pants, he'd donate it to the animal shelter later. 'Also I won't be able to make the art show as I have to collect my friends, but Magnus already has his outfit picked'

Robert seemed unfazed by Ragnor's defensive tone over his son. A bit surprised on the inside but a really good businessman never loses face. He held up his hands in defeat but Ragnor was on a role. If Alec accepts Magnus as a derp and takes him back the kid will have one unholy support system.

'Because you've insulted Alec which indirectly means you've insulted Magnus WHICH indirectly means you've insulted me I will be onto all my contacts to boycott your hotel'

Robert's eyes nearly popped out of his head and his face paled.

'Why on earth would you do that?!?'

'BECAUSE YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE'

Ragnor grabbed his camera and ladder and stormed out of the stupid marble palace. He started sweating halfway to his Jeep, and not from the pace he was at. He hadn't grabbed anything else and with the way Elise was looking she would probably snap his lighting poles in half.

'I'll get someone to drop them to you'

Ragnor skidded to a halt on the gravel (it even looked expensive). Standing up against a red sports car was Alec, looking blotchy. He had been the shadow under the door, and Elise hadn't been making sure her stepkids-to-be weren't eavesdropping, it was the opposite.

'That would mean a lot to me'

'It might be Jace who drops it, he has the car' Alec ran his finger along the shiny paint. He looked at the doors of the hotel hopefully 'And Isabelle knows where your studio is'

'Isabelle is my favorite member of your family other than you'

Alec puffed his cheeks. 'I'm assuming you know-'

'Yes I know Magnus was a major dickface to you last night. He's really dying over it. His friends, me and a fair few others, are your number one fans'

Alec laughed. 'You don't even know me, I'm not that great. I'm dull' Alec wriggled his eyebrows and Ragnor just wanted to roll him up in a blanket and eat him.

'I, We, are heavily invested in you and your relationship with our best friend. You're the only one that makes him smile, and cry'

Alec straightened his back and stopped looking at the hotel doors. 'Cry? Did I break his leg?!'

'Not even a bruise, he's upset because he really likes you. Like, like like likes you.

Alec pushed his fringe down into his eyes. Ragnor could see the blush. He had so much skill he took three pictures in the space of two seconds before Alec looked up again.

'He went to see you afterwards but you were asleep, so your brother and sister tag teamed him'

' I didn't know I, did they really upset him?' Alec felt his stomach flip, his siblings may have ruined what little chance he had of being with Magnus.

'Pfft no. He's just sad because he upset you'

Another blush.

'Are you waiting on them for a ride?'

'My car is being "revamped" by my friend Lydia'

'My van is over there, tell me where you wanna go'

'No, no you don't have too. Really I -'

'Come on, it's the least I can do. Magnus can be a bad person without a reality check, or a swift kick to the shin'

Alec snorted, he relaxed his shoulders. He popped the trunk and took out a black sports bag. 'He never locks this part of the car. I honestly think he hopes a fan will stow away and he'll make it on the Ellen Show because of the hilarity of it'

Ragnor laughed loudly and a woman in a ball gown (yes they're still in the parking lot, yes she was wearing a ball gown in the parking lot) glared at him.

Alec took hold of one end of the ladder.

'This will make a great story to tell at your wedding in Italy. I'll raise a toast to you and me being best bros'

'My wedding in Italy? What story?'

'It'll go like this "The Bane-Lightwoods all started when me, greatest photographer and dog owner in the world, bundled Alec in my van and made him see that Magnus was only a semi-cheeseball with good intentions" You like?'

Alec pushed the ladder into the boot and went to the passenger side of the yellow van. 'No' he hopped up onto the beaded seats. Ragnor hopped in as well and began to reverse. 'Why ever not?'

'If anything, it's going to be
Lightwood-Bane or maybe even just Bane because of his fashion house and label'

Ragnor nearly lost control of the wheel, Jace nearly got a massive dent in his car.

Alec put his hand over his mouth and shook his head. 'Don't tell him I said that, I'm still mad and I don't think he actually really cares about me at all. I was joking, we're not getting married it won't get that far.'

Ragnor nodded silently. His stomach clenched at the self-loathing in Alec's voice. But he wouldn't tell anyone or say anything about their conversation.. until the wedding of course.

'How did you know I like Italy?'

'Magnus texted me everything you told him about yourself when he was drunk on Will's sofa, he loves talking about you'

'Who's Will?' For the first time in 6 years Alec felt a wave of jealousy. 6 years ago a certain red-head had encroached on his territory, his territory being Jace but he had gotten over it once Clary got him tickets to a sold out ballet show and he realized that Jace was not his type. His type was tall, Asian and sparkly.

'Will is one of our best friends, he owns a club'

'Oh'

'Why Alec! What lovely green eyes you have'

'Oh my god, you're like Jace'

'Where am I leaving you?'

'The Carmichael Activity Center, it's beside-'

Ragnor put a hand over Alec's face as he was stopped at traffic lights. 'I know where it is, Magnus is a thorough lover'

Alec turned beet red and slid down in his seat. Ragnor tried very hard not to laugh but didn't succeed.

*

Ragnor walked into Will's apartment and inhaled. Catarina was hardly going to be able to keep from blurting out the news if Ragnor didn't stop looking so excited.
He walked into the living room/Magnus's bedsit and sat on the love seat he had sat in this morning when poor Magnus was semi-unconscious. Fully conscious and freshly showered Magnus waved a finger at him from opposite on the couch, his gold iPhone was pressed to his ear.

'Anda akan bisa bertemu dengannya jika ia menerima ibu maaf saya. Saya datang terlalu kuat!'

Magnus sounded irritated which could only mean it was his sister on the phone or his mother. Both Bane women had a knack of winding their little brother/son up.

'Maafkan saya!'

Ah! Ragnor knew that one! It meant I'm sorry. Definitely his mother then.

'Urgh okay bye'

'How's Mama B?'

'Positively heartbroken that I fucked things up with Alexander. She wanted to feed him up, Luna reckons he doesn't eat enough either so now they're both pissed'

Catarina emerged from the kitchen and ran a hand through Magnus' hair. 'It's fine, you'll get him back'

Ragnor snorted and lost all control of his tongue 'Not if you keep calling him Alexander you won't!'

Magnus's eyes narrowed into slits and he leaned forward, Catarina was staring at Ragnor with her eyebrows drawn up tight and Will was leaning against the door frame with Chairman Meow (whom he had rescued from Magnus' apartment after Ragnor left) in his arms.

'What do you mean?'

'Yes Raggy enlighten us'

'He doesn't like to be called Alexander'

'And you know this how?'

'Because I uh heard him say it?' Ragnor was wincing, he was biting at a hangnail. From behind Magnus' bare shoulder Catarina was glaring at him.

'I feel me and Magnus have missed something' Will grinned.

Ragnor looked to Catarina in desperation and Catarina sighed, cursing her choice in life partner.

'Ragnor had a photo-shoot with the Lightwoods today'

Magnus froze and Will dropped Chairman and ran over to sit beside Ragnor. 'This is better than any of Tessa's drama novels! Keep going Catty'

'Ragnor what did you say to him?' Magnus' voice was like a whisper. Will stopped teasing immediately.

'That you like like like him and that you're a thorough lover but that embarrassed him'

'Did he go red? God he's so adorable'

'Oh yeah, super red. He's really short too'

Magnus sighed wistfully.

'We didn't want to tell you because we didn't know what you were going to do' Catarina explained.

'He got jealous when I mentioned that you spent the night on Will's couch' Ragnor added.

Magnus slapped his forehead 'Great, now he'll think I'm an alcoholic, he hates alcohol!'

Trying to diffuse the situation he had caused Ragnor thrust his camera into Magnus' face. 'Here, I got some pictures'

Magnus took the camera and Catarina died a little inside at the shake in his hands. He looked at Ragnor once before staring intently at the shots. 'Keep telling me'

Ragnor frowned 'I dropped him to work, he seems like, like he doesn't think you actually are besotted with him. For some reason he doesn't think he's good enough'

Magnus shook his head.

'His Dad is really horrible to him, he made me feel sick actually. He forced him to take out his teeny nose stud and called him trash. The complete opposite to any of our Dads. Oh and also we're probably banned from his hotel now'

Will laughed.

'I didn't know he had his nose pierced, that's so hot'

Will watched his childhood friend in awe, never had he seen Magnus like this.

'These are really beautiful pictures Ragnor' Magnus' voice was husky and Catarina wrapped an arm around him. 'Magnus please don't cry, you're going to make me cry'

Tears were falling onto Will's knitted blanket and the camera was trembling in Magnus' hand.

'I think he really likes you Magnus maybe..' Ragnor trailed off.

'Maybe what?' Magnus didn't look up but Catarina did and nodded at her boyfriend even though she wasn't sure what he was going to say next.

'Jace's girlfriend has this art and wine thing tonight. It's in the Fray Art Galleria, it says it on Facebook. Alec might be there, he clicked attending. Maybe you should go and talk to him'

Magnus looked hopeful, his face was free from any make up now so there were no black tear tracks staining his face. 'But if he's not there?''

'Grab his sister and get her on your side' Catarina said.

Magnus sighed but Will stood up and clapped his hands. 'We're going to get you something to wear, right now. Come on'

*

Isabelle and Jace sat across from each other as Elise and Robert cooed at each other. Both had eard Mr.Fell, who Izzy remembered was 'Magnus Bane's frickin' best friend', smackdown with their Dad. They both agreed that whatever the photographer blew up over was probably what made Alec turn tail and run. He had fled without a word and by the look on his face they should follow soon and get the scoop. Isabelle stabbed at her fruit salad viciously and Jace was twirling his granola around in his yogurt.

Robert spoke to each of them twice.

'Jace congratulations on the Ninja Warrior movie, are you keeping up with your fitness regime? You're looking a bit-'

'Thanks Dad. Yes Dad I'm going everyday'

'If you say so, just remember to mention The L in upcoming interviews'

'K'

And

'Isabelle, the staff rotate which magazines are put out on the coffee tables, I'm pretty sure I saw your one yesterday. Even though Elise was telling me you're just an intern'

'I manage their social media accounts, so suck it Elise'

'Isabelle! Manners! Are you still not back with your mother?'

'We're slowly mending our relationship but I'm still staying with Xander because she's gone to visit Aunt Laurel'

Elise, not liking to be out of the spotlight for too long, grabbed at Robert's face and planted a big wet one on his lips. Jace's orange juice was coming back up.

After a long while (Isabelle's blood boiled hotter after the minutes went by) Robert remembered he had another son. 'Where is Alexander?!' Robert straightened from where he was holding Elise's hand. Isabelle growled and speared an apple slice onto her fork 'He hasn't been here since you sat down, in fact he left when you were bitching about him'

'Where's he gone?'

Jace put a sugar cube in his mouth and sighed 'The same place we're going, right now' Jace pushed back his chair and scraped the hardwood floor. Isabelle was more delicate in rising from her chair but she petulantly knocked over her glass of apple juice with her purse.

'Isabelle sit down immediately!!'

'No Dad, I'm going to make sure my brother is alright and then I'm going to write a really shitty review about this crud hole, and, then I'm going to tell Perez Hilton all about your sordid affair so he can print before you give Forbes the scoop and piss them off, so HAH'

'Izzy...' Robert pinched his the bridge of his nose but Elise jumped up.

'You do not have Perez's email address! Why would someone as fat as you have Perez's email address?'

Isabelle rushed at Elise but in one quick motion Jace calmly caught her around the waist and walked her out of the meeting room. Isabelle was struggling and thumping Jace's arm but he held tight and Isabelle's feet were off the ground. Finally his height came to his advantage, after years of Isabelle calling him Giraffeboy and Alec ducking behind him if Isabelle was looking to try out her new karate moves he finally had some advantage.

'Put me down, Jace, NOW!'

'Alright, alright sheesh' Jace let her down and her heels clacked against the marble floor. Jace could've sworn the receptionists were smiling at Elise's screeches.

'I should be a bouncer in a ghetto club, I'd be a really useful member of any team'

'I am so mad'

Jace pulled his phone out of his pocket and hit Alec's number on speed dial. They were outside the hotel now and there was no sign of Alec in the parking lot.

'He's not going to answer, he's at work'

'He only had one group today, he's definitely at the studio by now. Let's go'

Isabelle was shivering in the shade but her face was determined. 'Not yet, I need to make some calls'

Jace looked at his sister and smirked 'Alec's not gonna like this is he?'

'You'd be surprised how an appreciation tag can make someone feel'

Jace extended his arm to his sister and she took it with a small laugh.

'Clary is my first call'

'Tell her to meet us at Taki's, she more than likely hasn't eaten anything all day'

*

Alec rushed through the doors of the studio. It was 1:40 and warm up started at 1:30. Goddamn Timmy had decided that if he threw his bow after he missed the target it would somehow improve his score. Both him and Raphael had spent the last half hour trying to fish the expensive bow out of one of the oak trees lining the archery field.

He was just stripping of his work shirt when Randy came in to the changing room.

'Hey Lex, Toby called in sick today so I'm taking your class and' Randy sat down beside Alec's bag and smiled at Alec 'Since you messaged that you were going to be late I went ahead and called someone in for a masterclass, just to give you another 15 minutes'

Randy was eyeing Alec's bare torso and then his legs which, fortunately, were still unexposed. Alec winced internally; Randy was just insanely too nice.

'That's awesome, Randy. Thanks'

Alec quick stepped it into a changing cubicle. Randy's voice floated through the cubicle's door 'I'll catch you out there Lex, studio 2'

'K'

Alec sighed and dropped his bag on the floor. One of these days Randy was going to call him 'Lex' and Alec was going to use one of Izzy's karate moves on him. You kiss a guy once at a Studio party and he holds a torch for the next 6 years, jeez.

He pulled out his shoes and grey t-shirt and smiled when he seen his water bottle was full. Isabelle could be nice sometimes. His smile disappeared rather quickly when he realized the tight black material lying under the bottle was not his full legged biketard but a pair black spandex booty shorts. Alec shivered at the word "booty". Never in all his 7, nearly 8 years of coming to this studio had he worn anything that didn't cover his legs. Attached to the ghastly shorts was a post-it note.

"Had a dream u stabbed me wit a breadstick. Dis b payback 4 that. Get rekt. Jace xoxo"

Alec ran a hand through his hair and cursed Jace into oblivion. He would have to wear them, if he wears his track suit bottoms he'll slip and he can't afford another fall. He pulled them on and they thankfully covered his whole butt and the tops of his thighs. He pressed his water bottle against his cheeks to stop his flush of embarrassment and left the cubicle so he could stuff his bag in his locker. He caught sign of himself in the full length mirror as he passed through the rows of lockers and stalls. His hips bones jutted out through the shorts and he was so glad that his grey t-shirt was long enough to cover some of the embarrassment, front and back. He walked out of the changing rooms and into studio 2. He wished Helen was around but her younger brother Mark had run away from home and she was going out of her mind with her family trying to find him.

Studio 2 was a bit full, there was three boxes pushed against the mirrors which was odd because Gary who ran the studio hated clutter. Alec walked over to Maia and Jordan who were both eyeing his clothes. Alec tried his best to ignore the goosebumps on his legs.

'Don't say a word, do not'

Randy clapped his hands and everyone fell quiet. 'Okay guys, extra special treat today. Yanis Marshall and his band of boys have agreed to take you guys for a class today!!'

Everyone apart from Jordan, Alec and three or four others cheered. Alec didn't know who Yanis Marshall was. Three tall guys, really tall guys, strutted into the room. They were waving and blowing kisses and when they reached where Randy was standing Alec realized why they were so tall. They were in heels, high ones.

'Okay bitches, we're going to give you a master class in dancing with heels on and you're going to love it'

Macho Jordan was pale and Alec was feeling a little overwhelmed but relatively calm with the knowledge that Isabelle had been making him dress up in heels (and fairy dresses) since she was 2 and he was 6.

The three dancers were handing out shoes and by the time Yanis got round to Alec and his friends his box was nearly empty.

'Please, please let them not have my size' Jordan was praying under his breath so hard Maia had to answer for him.

'He's a 10, I'm a 6'

'Here you go babes'

Jordan whimpered behind Alec's back. Yanis turned to him.

'What about you babe?'

'A 6 as well'

'Last pair lucky you'

'Lucky me'

Jordan poked Alec in the back and Alec broke the steady eye contact he was holding with Yanis.

'Why does everyone fancy you?! Why?' He hissed.

'They don't, shut up Jordan!'

One of the taller guys, Mehdi, whistled. 'Okay, pair up guys and try a basic Waltz just to get you used to the height'

Yanis turned back to Alec 'Be my partner?'

'Uh yeah sure'

Alec leaned over and started to slip the heels on. Yanis put a warm hand on his shoulder to steady his wobbles. The music started and Yanis wrapped his arm tightly around Alec's waist.

'Your knee? Is it okay?'

Alec glanced down at his right leg with a deadly glare at the black bandage wrap. 'Just a bruise'

Yanis left the subject and twirled Alec, he looked around at the other couples. His friends both had very wobbly and unsure partners but Alec was graceful.

'Have you done this before. Worn heels?'

'A couple times' Alec very nearly told him about the fairy dresses.

'You're in pretty high heels and you're not breaking a sweat!'

'Well you know, nothing less than 7 inches'

Yanis stumbled slightly and went slack jawed. Alec was 2 seconds away from throwing himself to his death out of the heels when Yanis laughed and snorted loudly.

'That was amazing! You're amazing! Marry me please!'

Jordan was sitting on the ground in the corner rubbing his feet and making kissy faces that thankfully only Alec could see over Yanis' shoulder.

'I meant the heels, cos they're high. Not anything weird, sexual. Heh'

'Is being sexual a bad thing?' Yanis was close to him, very close. Sweat was beading on his neck. This was the second man in one day to show him interest and Alec couldn't help but feel disappointed and a little bit sick.

The music stopped and Yanis took his hands slowly off Alec's waist. 'We're resuming this conversation later'

Alec swallowed thickly, Jordan hobbled over and leaned on Alec's shoulder. 'I just want this to be done'

'Me too, Jord'

'Nah uh! You're having fun over here with that French heel master while I was stuck with Betsy who has definitely broken at least two of my toes'

'He's from France?' That tidbit of information on Yanis only made Alec think of Magnus, the designer had said it was his favorite holiday location.

'Yep, I wish he stayed there, I'm dying'

The trio had started choreography for the group of 20 to do and Alec and Jordan were trying to copy the moves and not fall at the same. Both guys were proud that Maia was being hailed a diva (which apparently was a good thing in this situation) and was moved up to the front.

The group split up to practice and Yanis made his way over to Alec again. Jordan cruelly disappeared.

'I know I said we had to resume our conversation, but first. Hey, blond hair! Oui take our picture please, make sure to get our feet'

Alec internally screamed as Yanis wrapped an arm around him and turned them to where Betsy was holding Yanis' phone. Yanis lowered his hand and placed it right on Alec's butt. Alec didn't jump but only because the picture was going to look bad enough with him in heels; he didn't need to look bug-eyed too. The flash clicked and Betsy handed the phone back with a smile and an eyebrow quirk at Alec.

Yanis turned them so they were facing each other again. 'So, we were talking about sexual things?'

'Yanis, I don't think, uh'

Yanis looked positively ready to just have sex right on the floor so Alec would have to revert to an Isabelle tactic, the old 'I'm with somebody' trick. Which according to Isabelle had two key rules.

1) Never specify gender of said somebody, so they can think they've picked up someone on the wrong team to them and be confused the entire night

And

2) Never ever tell them the name of said somebody, if it's a fake name they'll find out if they check your social media and there's no friends of yours with that name and if it's real they could possibly know said somebody or meet them by chance and mention your cringey lie.

'Yanis, I have a boyfriend, Magnus'

Rule 1 and 2 = broken

Yanis' eyes bugged out and Alec was glad he hadn't done that and ruined the picture that had already been uploaded on Instagram. 'Magnus? As in Magnus Bane? Ohmygod stop! You're the stranger that made him smile!!'

The fashion show seemed like a decade ago, it was almost like a closed chapter.

'Um well it's complicated but yeah I guess'

'Well that makes me really sad'

Alec removed Yanis' hand from his bum, it had not moved an inch.

'I'm sorry, you're cute but I mean you have a lot of choices! Randy is giving you bedroom eyes right now'

'He's giving you bedroom eyes'

Alec cursed mentally, he had really thought this was his chance to unload Randy.

'I guess he is but he sometimes wears glasses so he could actually be looking at you and it's just his eyes being crooked'

Yanis chuckled but it was half hearted and Jordan and Maia and Betsy and everyone else were occupied practicing.

Alec struggled to find something else to say because Yanis was full on staring wistfully into his eyes when an angel appeared in the form of the receptionist, Olivia.

'Alec, there's two people in the waiting area for you. They say it's urgent' Alec slipped off the heels and put them in Yanis' arms, rushed out and left the Frenchman without a word of goodbye. He hoped it wasn't his family, he really hoped it wasn't bad news about Mark Blackthorne.

His brother and sister were waiting for him when he burst through the door of the waiting area that was usually reserved for misbehaving Dance Moms.

'Is everything okay?!?'

'Switty Swooty look at that booty!'

'Alec! You look hot brother mine'

'Guys! Is everyone okay?'

'Yeah duh! Why?'

'The last time you came and said it was an emergency Jace's appendix burst and the time before that..'

All three bowed their heads. The emergency before Jace had appendicitis was when news of Max's car crash broke and they all needed to get to the hospital immediately because the crash had been so bad there wasn't much time to say goodbye.

'Okay well nothing is wrong, and we just wanted to swing by and see if you were okay'

'I'm fine, my legs are cold though, thanks for that Jace'

'It was a really vivid dream! Also I think this makes me noteworthy just saying'

Alec rolled his eyes and scoffed. Isabelle smiled at one of the hip-hop dancers from over Alec's shoulder but clapped her hands as if it was Jace and Alec who weren't paying attention 'Okay well now that we have you, Clary's thing starts at 5 and we need to get groceries and you need to help me put fake tan on. So, can you leave?'

Alec normally wouldn't leave but since he had only one class that day and it was taken over by 3 high heeled bandits, he agreed.

'Lemme just get my bag'

'Leave your shorts on' Jace called after him.

'Your silk shirt better not be stuffed in that gym bag, Mister!' Isabelle shrieked.

*

'So this Alec guy?' Will whispered. Magnus was in the changing room and the three of his best friends were sat on a pink sofa a little bit away from it.

'We think he might actually be the Real Deal, so does his mom actually' Catarina was playing with a piece of her hair. 'I mean he even told his nieces about Alec, they were the ones who suggested he send a bear'

Ragnor was watching the velvet curtain of the changing cubicle closely, they were in some really, expensive shop where all the staff spoke French and there was a small sushi bar near the the crystal tills. 'His parents only found out about Camille when she broke up with Mags, and that was after their 5 month fling. He doesn't tell them things unless they're end game, for definite. He's told my mom'

Will's mouth dropped open and Ragnor nodded. 'And mine. I bet if you rang your Mom she would say she has indeed received a transatlantic phone call about Alec'

Will grinned and picked at the frayed holes in his jeans 'Tessa is so excited, she's so happy about him finding someone good. I heard Jem reminding her that Magnus possibly could've ruined things completely when I rang her in Dunkin' Donuts this morning and I could practically feel the smack she gave him'

'Man, I really hope tonight works out'

'Are they a good match though?' Catarina was stress-braiding her hair now. 'From what Magnus has said to me about Alec, they couldn't be more opposite. Alec suffers from anxiety and has panic attacks sometimes, have we ever seen Magnus freak out in a stressful situation? No, never! Magnus is a fashion designer celebrated for his color palettes and patterns and Alec wears black, grey and black. Alec likes the outside and Magnus carries bug spray around with him and doesn't like grass. Magnus is pushy and loud and fabulous while Alec is thoughtful, quiet and-'

'My soulmate'

All three heads turned to see their oldest friend standing before them. He was wearing a black lace see-through shirt with yellow detail on the shoulders, skin tight black jeans and yellow chunk boots that exposed most of his tanned feet. He looked better than he had in a while.

'Magnus' Catarina sighed 'You know I'm only trying to make sure what you're doing is right, that he's right for you'

'I honest to god feel like I've been dead for the past year and he's just woke me up' Catarina stood and put her hands on his smooth face.

Ragnor coughed 'But there are an awful lot of differences between the two of you'

'If he's the one who panics and I'm the one who stays calm, doesn't that make us a good match? If Alec is comfortable in what he wears and I'm comfortable with what I wear and produce how is there a problem? We're both happy and black is stunning on him. I'm ignoring the outdoors thing because I don't hate going out if it's a hike or like a picnic on a blanket. And just, okay, Cat you went to Stanford and got a degree in Business, Rags went to art college with me. You two definitely shouldn't work. Tessa is outgoing and thinks she's going to live forever while Jem gets scared if his heart beats too fast. So, please, just'

'Okay, okay. We just want the best for you' Catarina putting up her hands in surrender.

Magnus looked at himself in the mirror that was suspended from the ceiling 'He's the very best'

*

'Jace stop putting things in, you don't live in my apartment' Alec sighed as he put three mangoes back in their box. Isabelle was pushing the cart and checking her Instagram at the same time so Alec had to keep steering her away from old ladies and stacks of cans. This was why he usually said no to grocery trips.

'You only have one bar of chocolate, why one when you can have 12?'

'I can't afford 12'

Yes you guessed it, Alec is a starving poor college student with insanely rich parents.

'Well I can' Jace threw in the rest of the case and strode ahead to find more things to annoy Alec with.

'Are we going left or right up here?'

'Left, Isabelle. Pay attention'

'Both Ruby and Amy tagged me in something on Instagram but this shop has got the slowest Internet and it won't load'

Alec grabbed the end of the cart and pushed it into the next aisle. Ruby was Isabelle's best friend from kick boxing and she also frequented Jazz classes at Alec's studio. Yes, he was sweating, the heels were haunting him. Jace dumped at least 8 things into the trolley and zipped back to a different shelf. Isabelle's eyes broke away from her phone and Alec felt the urge to grab it out of her hands and fling it like Timmy had flung his bow.

'Hey woah Gigantosaurus! Check the ingredients for what you're putting in' Isabelle shoved a pack of Oreos back on the shelf menacingly.

'Ah yes, the biological Lightwood children and their wheat intolerance' Jace studied a jar of coffee studiously.

'That's why Alec is short, there was an article about it on Buzzfeed. If you're coeliac and you don't realise until later in life it does all sorts of things to your body'

'You're coeliac too?'

'Yes but it didn't mess up my height, it messed up my periods. Which actually reminds me..'

Isabelle stormed ahead with the cart and Alec and Jace trailed behind.

Jace hugged the coffee to his chest and sighed. 'I don't like talking about menstruation'

'Grow up Jace, you don't get an opinion on the topic'

'That's great coming from someone who hasn't got to deal with women'

They found Isabelle in the feminine product aisle, she was loading brightly coloured packages into the cart.

'Alec, these are for your bathroom because there's no where to put them in the guest bathroom'

'I have to deal with that woman, don't I?'

'Jace catch!!'

Jace made a really hilarious noise and flinched away from the box of tampons. And refused to pick the box off the ground.

'Jace seriously, you need to be a good role model for your fans and acting like uterus things are gross isn't good!' Alec put the Lil-lets box back on the shelf, Isabelle had already left; cackling.

'You sound like Clary, go away'

They loaded meat and potatoes and baking stuff into the cart. Jace kept them entertained the whole way around..well kept Isabelle entertained.

'Al do you want some sausage?'

'How about some of these buns?'

'Are you glad you have time to ketchup on your college assignments? I hope you relish your month off'

'You looked tealightful in your dancing shorts. I'm berry sorry I tricked you into wearing them'

'What did one al dente carrot say to the other? "I'm so hard"'

'Look at that butternut squash! I bet you'd love to butternut Ezra's squash, or is it the other way around hmm?'

'It's the other way around' Isabelle said now holding her phone over her head for better reception.

Alec reddened. He had reddened at the first food joke so really, he reddened even more. He purpled.

'Alec no! I didn't take you as the squash. How do you know, Iz?'

'A girl just knows'

'Well you don't need these if you're not putting it anywhere' Jace picked a pack of Durex out from under the rice and slipped them behind a lonely tin of soup.

'God, stop'

'Alec my name is Jace, not God. Even though I AM godlike'

Alec shoved Jace and he grabbed Alec into a headlock. Both were waiting for the usual scold from Izzy but she was still standing at the top of the aisle, blocking other shoppers, and staring at her phone.

'Isabelle' Jace called 'Can you focus, like me and Alec please?'

'And stop dissecting my sex life and telling Jace your findings'

'You mean your lack of sex life'

Alec stomped on Jace's instep and freed himself from Jace's hold. Jace leaned up against one of the shelves and scowled. Alec grabbed some tins of peaches for his future flan and walked back to Izzy, glaring at Jace over his shoulder as the blond tried to knock the stacked tins out of Alec's grip.

'Yeah well it certainly doesn't look like you're lacking in the sex area from these pictures'

Jace raced down the aisle and grabbed the phone, his mental image of Alec on a pole coming back. Alec was slowly putting the cans into the cart, ignoring the picture.

'Oh, phew. Ah yes, dear Ezra'

'This is a really cute photo Alec, like I melted a bit'

It was captioned The Flash and Nico but Alec had to look away before he could make out the dizzying amount of likes it had.

'Ezra is very nice' Alec mumbled as he rearranged his lettuce.

'Alec you're gonna be Instafamous soon enough' Jace and Isabelle exchanged looks but Alec was busy looking at his toothpaste choices to avoid the actually okay looking picture on the phone and see their suspicious faces. He knew what was coming next. He knew Ruby had screwed him over, unintentionally.

'Did both your galpals tag you in that?'

'Oh actually no, Rubes tagged me in something else'

Alec couldn't take it, he grabbed the cart and mumbled something that sounded like 'Funna oh speck ow' but actually meant 'Gonna go check out'

He had made it out of the aisle before Isabelle's guffaw and Jace's 'Oh ma Lawd' made people turn around.

He had started piling things onto the conveyor before the terrible twosome caught up with him. He heard them coming before he saw them. Jace was still snorting and Isabelle's heels were clacking loudly as they raced down the aisles towards Alec. Isabelle looked not so fabulous as she would hope; her cheeks were red from laughing and her shoes were making it difficult to run like a human. And Jace literally looked like a blond Giraffe galloping down the plains of Africa.

Alec tried to adopt the look of confusion and disgust that the young cashier had on her face, as if his siblings were just delinquents, which they are. But as soon as they seen him at checkout point 5, his cover was blown and now Lindsay with braces on her top teeth was going to know that unfortunately he knew the two morons.

'Alec, oh my Jesus'

'Ezra is not going to like that, at all'

'You were with Yanis Marshall before we called you?! Why didn't you say?'

Lindsay looked at Alec in awe and Alec was happy she didn't hate him.

'I didn't know he was a big deal'

'He is, everyone knows him! Right um Lindsay?'

Lindsay nodded, smiling at Isabelle and Alec was annoyed.

'Come on Jace'

'Come on with what?'

'Bully me for wearing heels'

'Later'

Isabelle lugged the ice tea and ginger ale up from under the cart, Alec had already, somehow, got both 12 packs of bottled water up. 'He's checking who liked it'

'Helen, Uncle Max, Aline'

'Uncle.. Wait am I tagged?'

'Yeah it says 'With the one who broke my heart, @Alecltd you're a superstar baby' and then there's a whole bunch of tags, one of which says boy got booty. Was he touching you inappropriately?'

'I wonder how he found out my name. Actually who am I kidding, it was Maia'

Isabelle rolled her eyes and took her phone off Jace. Alec piled cans of fruit and whipped cream on the belt, in the deepest, darkest corner in his mind he just wanted to hear one name come from the list.

'Ooh Ezra liked, Ruby, Kaelie, Jordan, Maia, Lydia and Simon liked, and and the rest are just fans and dance people me thinks' Isabelle slipped her phone into her pocket and gathered up all the meat and chicken so they could go in the freezer bag together.

Alec felt the same disappointment he felt when Ezra looked at him, when Yanis held him. But still, he decided it would be better of if Magnus didn't see the picture in case he commented and Yanis replied thus, eventually probably catching Alec out in his cringey lie.

When Jace finally stopped winking at Lindsay and got involved in the throwing things on the belt game the process went a lot quicker and soon Alec was keying in his pin code to pay. Isabelle and Jace grabbed the cart and ventured ahead to the car, Alec lagged behind. The cold hit him hard and from the time they had go in to do the shopping a layer of ice had somehow formed, invisible and dangerous, on the car park tarmac and Izzy and Jace were out of sight. Either they slipped and fell under a car or they had made it safely back to the car with the precious, hard worked for groceries.

He hoped to god that a little old lady wouldn't ask him for his help getting to her car, he would probably take out both their hips. He pushed his numb fingers into his pocket to call his stupid siblings for a hand, when the stupidest one appeared from behind a Jeep.

'Need some help, twinkle toes?'

'God Jace, shut up'

Alec moved off the pavement and down to where Jace was standing, just barely out of the cars way.

'Wanna hold hands?' Jace bumped his shoulder against Alec's and clearly forgetting the entire situation with his stupid leg and the slippy ice, Alec shoved back. Jace caught himself on the edge of a bin but Alec went toppling forward.

Only to be saved by a little teeny old lady with ladybirds on her hat and an even tinier child holding her hand.

'You nearly took a spill, young man, don't wanna lose those hips just yet'

Alec righted himself and thanked her, she waved him off and her granddaughter stuck out her tongue at him.

'C'mon young man, we don't want any more spills'

Alec laughed to spite himself and was heartened at the fact that Jace actually paid attention to him as they trekked through the hailstones that had started falling during the whole nearly-crush-an-old-lady-only-to-have-her-save-your-butt fiasco.

'Aw don't you two look like a lovely pair' Isabelle cooed from the back seat.

Jace removed his hand from Alec's elbow 'I do what I can for cripples'

Alec rubbed his temples and Isabelle tutted.

'I'm not a cripple Jace'

'Well, we would know for sure if you didn't skive your doctor's appointment last Wednesday to spend the day with Helen'

'Aline was in a picture with some lesbian Victoria Secret model, I was on box number, like, two of expensive chocolate and a cute stuffed bear had been added to the mix.. We needed to be with each other for mental health reasons'

'Well, I'm glad spending the day watching chick flicks and eating Bane's chocolates improved your mental health. Pity about your physical one though Mr. I needed help getting down out of the bath this morning'

Alec was just glad he always kept an emergency towel (the horrors of running out of the Villa naked haunted him) on the inside of the shower.

'Actually' Alec winced, he didn't want to bring this up at all, it was really hurting his heart but the anxiety of Wednesday was only getting worse with Jace mentioning how difficult it was to do things recently 'Speaking of those Chocolates, do you know how I got to work today?'

'You shouldn't even be at work, you're not allowed go to college so you shouldn't allowed be at work, or fricking dance class either!'

'How, Al?' Isabelle was tapping away on her phone.

'Magnus's best friend.' He couldn't call him Bane, it sounded too harsh.

Isabelle paused and Jace stopped his threat on how he was going to tell their mom about Alec's accident. 'He told me you were horrible to Magnus last night, and you upset him'

'Yeah, so what?'

'It's not your place to hurt Magnus' feelings Jace'

'Alec, it's not his place to hurt yours'

'When I told Clary her hair was the same color as Cheeto dust you didn't talk to me for a week, so you shouldn't be getting involved'

'Clary is my girlfriend, Magnus is your?'

'Shut up Jace. Xander as your sister and brother it is our place to help you fight some/all of your battles. We'll leave him alone for now but if he ever breaks up with you I will leave a whole book's worth of voicemails on his answering machine with varying degrees of aggression and threats'

They're not getting back together so there's no chance of them breaking up' Jace said

'There's no chance Iz' Alec said with barely concealed sadness 'Jace is right'

Na-uh Isabelle was not having this. 'You're telling me that Ragnor lied to us all when he said Magnus was obsessed with you, and that he told you on your way to work that there was no chance of you getting back together'

'He seemed nice Iz, he was hardly going to tell Alec that Magnus already had a date lined up for tonight' Jace glared at Isabelle in the rear view mirror for entertaining the idea that they were going to let Magnus anywhere near Alec again and Isabelle glared right back at Jace for trying to ruin Alec's hopes with his negative vibes.

Alec rubbed at his knee 'This is not worth fighting over. Even if we do reconcile, somehow in the future, it's not like it'll be long term or anything'

'And why not?'

'Because he's Magnus Bane and I'm just Alec'

Jace nodded his head in agreement and Isabelle felt like throwing herself out of the car but not before clawing Jace's eyes out. He had clearly been so interested in his stupid deluxe ice cream split thing that he hadn't heard hers and Clary's plan to boost Alec's confidence at the same time as showing Magnus what a hottie he's missing out on. Magnus will be lying in bed tonight and weeping at all the glorious pictures of Alec with or without Jace's help. It would soon be time to initiate Operation Alec Appreciation.

*

'Maryse, I need you to come home immediately. Alexander is off gallivanting with Millennial Liberaces, Isabelle needs a goddamn etiquette lesson and I don't think Jace is going to the gym as much as he should'

'Leave Alec alone, I think he's happy Robert. Isabelle does need some restraint I'll grant you that but your floozy irritates her'

'Don't call he-'

'And' Maryse breathed out quickly, a smirk on her lips 'Jace is sticking with his fitness regime, Amatis threatens to cut his hair off if he misses a session'

'Well that's all well and good but Maryse, you seem indifferent to the fact Alexander is turning into a hooligan and it's rubbing off on Izzy'

'If anyone is a hooligan it's Jace' Maryse laughed, she could imagine Robert pacing his office. Hodge never paced. 'Alec is a good, smart boy'

'He was, but then he decided to throw my good hard-earned money back into my face and accept that stupid scholarship to that stupid school'

'Robert! You're being utterly ridiculous! He's the top of his class in the top ballet college, he's been on Broadway for Christ's sake, our other two children have only a year and a half done of college between them'

Robert huffed 'How did you know about his little shows?'

It was Maryse's turn to huff 'They were hardly little shows, Barbara Streisand was at one performance. In answer to your question, a mother just knows these things'

'Enough about his choice in education, it's his choice in friends that worries me'

'Helen, Jordan, Lydia and Maia worry you?'

'I have no idea who they are'

'They're Alec's friends Robert!'

'I meant that fashion designer, he has trashy friends and Alexander now has his nose pierced'

Maryse sat back in her chair, her boyfriend was on the porch showing Laurel's twins how to perform a roundhouse kick. 'Magnus Bane is more than just a friend, and his friends consists of a world renowned author, a violinist, a entrepreneur that makes more than you, a photographer who did Vogue last year, and the CEO of Bane Fashion House. Not so trashy after all'

'You know this how?'

'Because I care about my son's love life and who he's dating even if that someone is another man'

'You weren't saying that when he first told us and you wanted to kick him out'

'I NEVER wanted to kick him, how dare you say that'

'All I mean to say Maryse is that you've changed your tune about Alec's prolonged phase'

'Yes well I realized, thanks to that crazy stalker, that Alec is more important than my traditional views and I want him to be happy. I want Max's older brother to be everything Max wanted him to be'

Robert was silent, Hodge had appeared and was rubbing Maryse's shoulders.

'Also, Robert?'

'Yes?' Robert's voice was sullen

'I brought Alexander to get his nose pierced, and there was a two for one so we got his navel pierced too. See you soon, bye'

*

Jace was running his arms under the cold tap in Alec's apartment. He had carried at least 12 plastic bags full of groceries up from the parking lot. The elevator was broken due to two stupid twelve year olds. Alec had tried to talk him out of it.

'Jace you don't need to bring everything. I have two, Izzy has two and we'll come back again fo-'

'No, no Alec. I'm not doing more than one trip. No, this is about honor and justice'

They let him off, as usual. And now he had several angry welts across his forearms and damp sweaty hair.

Alec put the last of the jars away, and made for his bathroom. He shoved his ibuprofen packets in with his prescription medication in his little vertical shelf that lined one side of his mirror. Sure enough two packets of tampons and one of towels lay with his first aid kit in a little basket under the sink. He sighed and put his shampoo and conditioner into the shower rack. He knew if Jace had a shower later half the conditioner would be gone before sunrise.

'Alec!'

Alec trudged out of his room and scanned the open space living room/kitchen, Jace was leaning on the counter top fiddling on his phone, the only actual thing that distinguished the end of the living from the start of the kitchen (apart from the three seater little table of course). Isabelle called for him again and Alec rolled his eyes.

'Alec! Come on, I haven't got all day'

Alec was stood in the doorway of his guest bathroom with his hands over his eyes.

'Isabelle you need to put on clothes, more clothes than a thong and bra'

'Alec please, put my tan on. You retweeted a #freethenipple thing on Twitter, so man up'

Alec sighed so heavily Isabelle almost felt bad, almost.

'Do my back first, not too much and rub it in-'

'Circles, I know I know this isn't my first rodeo jeez'

'It'll look fab with my pink skirt, hopefully my bruises from Kick boxing will blend in'

'These gloves better work'

*

'Mom, I'm so nervous'

'We'll be great hunny!'

'You'll be great I'll be awkward and nervous, I'll be Simon, oh god I'll be Simon'

Jocelyn chuckled at her daughter as they loaded the van, she was so grateful that Luke had saved her from her abusive ex-husband all those years ago. How would a little thing like her Clary survive without a mom?

'Where is my pretend son?' Jocelyn asked swallowing her emotion.

'Practice, he's catching a ride with Jace much to Jace's dismay'

'They'll get along eventually, it's like introducing a new dog to an old one'

Clary had a quip to make but her mom's gasp distracted her.

'You're putting it in?'

'Yeah I think he deserves the limelight don't you?'

'Definitely'

They both got into their respective seats in the van and Clary leaned her head against the window. 'Do you think we'll make any money?'

'Clary, we're trying to show off the art'

'I know, I know! It would just be nice to get some new oil paints, myself without Jace flashing his gold card'

'Well, fingers crossed we get at least 150 to pay for all those bottles of water and finger sandwiches'

'Finger sandwiches'

'Luke's idea, not mine'

*

'Is the whole car ride going to be this quiet?'

'Will, man I am so nervous for Magnus. I have a bad feeling'

'He looks so great, he looked so determined when we dropped him off'

'Poor Alec, he's not gonna know what hit him'

'Guys' Catarina rubbed her forehead, her phone had dinged seconds ago. Ragnor kept his eyes on the road but sweat was beading his neck. 'What is it Cat?'

Will rest his head on his head rest, surely Magnus hadn't been thrown out already.

'Magnus just text me and I'm too afraid to open it'

'Gooooo'

'Do it!!!'

*

The Gallery was brightly lit, save a few corners, and there was already people wandering around looking artsy, the hairs stood up on Magnus' neck. What the hell was he doing here on his own? What the hell was he going to do if the beautiful Alexander appeared from behind one of the sculptures? What the hell was he going to do if Jace appeared, fists and harsh words ready to go?

What the hell am I doing here? Why did you even let me go? I feel so sick!!!! - Me

He was aimlessly wandering around looking at pictures with things that resembled Chinese symbols in them. Cat's long awaited reply finally came and Magnus opened it immediately.

Stop over thinking it! Find him, apologize, tell him that you care about him, that's all! - Catty

Magnus sighed at the message he was about to slip the phone back into his yellow clutch that Will made fun of before he left when it buzzed again.

Also, Raggy says to not go near his genitalia, and to not get into bed with him!! - Catty

Magnus would normally respond with a witty retort and indeed get into bed with whoever they had advised him to leave alone but this time, he wasn't sure if he would even get to talk to Alec let alone get him anyway near a bed.

'Hi'

Magnus whipped his neck up so fast it crunched. He was faced with a red haired girl that was even smaller than Alec.

'Hello there, biscuit'

The girl raised an eyebrow at the nickname that Magnus usually reserved for his nieces, not strangers. She folded her arms over her chest, a green dress hugged her frame and Magnus recognized it instantly. Catarina was adamant that Christmas Tree Green wasn't going to sell. So she probably knew who he was then. She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, it was literally the color of Cheeto powder.

'You're Magnus Bane'

'And you're familiar looking but I have no clue who you are'

'Clary Fray'

Ah. Yes.

'This is a lovely exhibit?' Magnus felt a tiny bit embarrassed as the tiny girl grinned and rolled her eyes. She grabbed his arm tightly and she smelled like paint and perfume. 'I'm sure you're looking for Alec so it's my duty to bring you to him'

Magnus tried to pull out of her grip but it was vicelike. 'You know, for a cute little cherub you got a mean hold'

'You try lugging around sculptures and dozens of canvases everyday ' Clary smiled sweetly and Magnus doubted she was going to hand his ass to Jace.

'I really don't think he wants to see me'

Clary stopped abruptly and Magnus looked around for the mop of unruly black hair and those big, nervous blues.

'The Lightwoods aren't actually here yet. I sorta banned them from arriving on time so I could set up everything without having to stop my waiters from ogling Izzy and Jace from poking at things'

Magnus chuckled softly but something on the wall in front of him made him catch his lip in between his teeth.

'This, that is stunning'

It was an oil painting in blacks and whites and pastels. It was obviously of Alec, his blue eyes popped in the middle of the large canvas. He was looking over his shoulder in the painting, his slippered feet were in Third Position (yes he had looked up everything he could on ballet) every muscle was tensed and Alec's shoulders and torso were bare, purples and yellows captured the dips and curves of his back while blues and blacks formed to make pants; the contrast was stark but not as effective as Alec's eyes to the whites and pale pinks of his face.

'Thank you' Clary breathed out, she watched him as his amazing eyes scanned the picture, taking in every detail, inhaling the painting as if it were oxygen. Clary wondered if Jace ever looked at her like Magnus was looking at this image of Alec. Such wonderment in Magnus' face, his roaming eyes were filled with love and lust and longing. And it was just a damn picture. It was good, she knew it was good. She had painted it recently, a month ago, just out of curiosity. She liked it but she knew Alec wouldn't. He would assure her it wasn't her ability that turned him off it, nevertheless Jace would glare harshly at Alec and Clary would feel like she had back when she first started dating Jace (their first date occurred shortly after they met when he used her favorite art supply ship as refuge from a screaming crowd of fangirls, having ditched his security, and made her drop all her brushes ) and first met the overprotective, jealous boy that had been Alexander Lightwood. So she kept the painting to herself, and it gathered a few weeks worth of dust in her large canvas shelf until she got home from Taki's after her meeting with two out of the three Lightwoods. She knew that instead of embarrassing Alec with an Instagram post (she really wasn't sure she had any pictures of him) she pulled it out and mentally decided which wall it would go on.

'Ballerino de ombre?'

'Shadow Dancer, it's weird but'

'It suits him, it wow. 10 grand'

Clary startled and her eyes widened up at the fashion designer. She had been doing really well, she wasn't hyperventilating over the god that was in front of her or drooling like she had been in Olive Garden. Emphasis on HAD.

Magnus looked down when she failed to coherently respond.

'20 grand?'

'You want to buy it?'

Magnus smiled at her slowly as if she was a little girl 'Yes, it's beautiful'

'Uh you, you can, uh Mom?!'

Jocelyn Garroway hurried over to where she could see her daughters fiery hair, she was standing beside a tall, handsome Asian man.

'Baby? What's going on'

'Lovely to meet you. I'm Magnus Bane'

'Jocelyn, thank you for attending, the place is really filling up!'

'Mom' Jocelyn wrapped an arm around Clary as she looked at her daughter in concern. Magnus was pulling out his chequebook from his yellow clutch. 'Mr.Bane wants to buy it'

Jocelyn looked at the picture and smiled 'You want to buy Alec?' That sounded weird .

'Yes for 30 grand'

Jocelyn's face now matched her daughter's as they struggled to comprehend the amount of dollars he was talking. Magnus had the cheque signed and was staring patiently at the duo when a tall, black man joined the group. He slipped an arm around Jocelyn's waist.

'That group over there want to know when the painting will begin'

Neither of them answered and the man looked at Magnus and surprise filled his face.

'Magnus Bane, I had to take your name and picture off our most wanted list back at the station after Jace stuck it up there. I'm Detective Luke Garroway'

Magnus snorted at Jace's creativity and all round brazenness. 'Well thank you for taking it down'

'So, what's got my two ladies in a trance?'

'They have lost the ability to move their arms it seems' Magnus held out the cheque to Luke, and Luke, to his credit, only flinched a tiny bit.

'This is for?'

'That painting'

'I'll take it into the back, mark it down in the book that it's been sold and you can collect it here tomorrow'

'Why thank you'

Magnus went to shake Luke's hand and over the Detective's shoulder spotted an unmistakable blond birds nest arriving through the glass doors.

'I'll see you around ladies, Detective'

And with that Magnus Bane shamefully fled to a dark part of the gallery where some neon paintings hung. He was just a tiny little bit afraid of being eaten by Jace before he got the chance to talk to Alec

*

'I'm gonna head in and see Clary'

'Not if I get to her first, Poindexter'

Alec rolled his eyes as Simon and Jace battled to get through the single glass door to the gallery at the same time.

'Why do I have to stay out here with you when Dad specifically asked for you?' Alec whined. Isabelle smoothed out her pink skirt and sighed 'Because, I might get mugged or something if i'm on my own'

'Like you wouldn't be able to kill any and all who threatened you'

'Aw Alexander that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me'

Alec just sighed in response.

The cold air was whipping around Alec and his cardigan was barely keeping any heat in, he was actually glad when he seen the flash black Hummer pull up at the sidewalk. He dashed inside before he had to converse with his father or the she-devil.

The Gallery was brightly lit and he squinted as he searched for somebody he knew. Jace made him promise not to skulk around the darker corners of the gallery.

He looked over at the coat rack and seen a bright yellow plastic jacket, there was only one person who could possibly pull that off. But there was no way he was here, was there?

*

Some idiot was lecturing him on cubism and he still hadn't seen any sign of Alec. Catarina's plan of getting to Isabelle's good side didn't look plausible as anytime he seen her from a far she looked dreadfully angry (but absolutely stunning in a flamingo pink skirt that he had seen on Asos)

'I'm leaving in the next 5 minutes if you don't shut the hell up'

'Did I mention it was created by Pablo Picasso?'

'About 12 times, i'm sure that's all you know about the subject'

*

Alec looked at the dumb finger sandwiches.

'Hey, Alec! There's some gluten free ones there'

'Hi Clary, the Gallery looks great'

'Did Jace really give you a script?'

'He doesn't think i'm capable of making friends'

'I'm pretty sure you have more friends than he does'

Alec smiled at the midget Jace called his One True Love, he still disliked her, but no longer despised her which he knew she appreciated.

'Actually Alec I have something-'

'Clary! We need to set up!'

Jocelyn interrupted whatever Clary was going to say and successfully ruined Clary's chance of explaining to Alec his ex? future ex? was lurking around in Dolce and Gabanna.

'Alec, come to the painting. We have soda and black paint just for you'

Alec smiled despite himself, he liked Clary's mom.

'Jace will drag me in regardless so I might as well go willingly'

'That's the spirit, C'mon ClarBear'

Alec turned from the table and out of the corner of his eye thought he saw black spiky hair.

He shook his head and went to follow Clary into the next room.

*

 

Magnus watched as his adorably dressed One True Love talked to Clary, was she telling him how he was lurking around the place?

Clary's mom interrupted before any suspected damage could be done but Alec turned around before Magnus had time to properly hide behind his column again.

He was breathing heavily but he didn't think Alec had fully seen him.

Cubism Guy had finally given up educating Magnus and exited their secluded corner.

'Catch ya later, Mr. Bane'

His cover was blown, so totally blown.

*

Alec whirled around when he heard the name.

Clary's weird cousin Ralph was the one who spoke and he was coming from the same direction Alec had seen the hair.

*

There was no way Alec didn't hear the ginger idiot. So he was just going to have to pretend he wasn't hiding before Alec came to investigate. He needed to look less pathetic.

IF THAT WAS POSSIBLE.

*

No. Way.

Magnus Bane was not at Clary's art thing just to see him, he couldn't be.

He didn't care,

He doesn't care,

And yet

There he was looking engrossed in the only piece of wall not covered in a paintings or sketches or drawings

Alec snorted at the hilarity of it.

*

Magnus's head snapped up at the sound of Alec's little snort and he stared guiltily as the Lightwood made his way over to him slowly, cautiously.

'Alec! Darling, why on earth are you here?' He was feigning shock and not very well either.

'Magnus!' Alec shuffled them into another dark corner where white chalk sketches were hanging on black backgrounds. 'Magnus, what are you doing here?'

Magnus straightened his back 'I came to see you, to apologize'

'You look amazing' Alec caught himself just after the words left his mouth, blush rose from his neck. Magnus tried not to sigh contentedly at the sight of Alec, his Alec being all adorable. He also tried not to catch the stray piece of hair falling into Alec's eyes and push it behind a pale ear. He tried but not hard enough. Alec melted into the touch of Magnus's hand as his fingers brushed his cheek on the way back from fixing his hair. They had gotten closer to each other somehow and Magnus smelled like Sandalwood and something fruity, while Alec smelled like mint and rain. Magnus just wanted to grab the boy and bury his nose in his soft hair and stay there for the next century.

Instead he put his hands gently down on Alec's shoulders.

'I'm, Alec, I'm so sorry for last night'

Alec sighed and leaned against a free wall. Here Magnus was being all sexy in a see-through top while Alec was in a cardigan with both elbows missing. Typical.

'Do you even know what you're sorry for? I mean I know I'm sorry for kicking you but do you know?'

Magnus dragged his hands down the sides of Alec's arms until they reached his fingers. Alec had to suppress a goddamn moan, just being in Magnus's space was having an embarrassing effect on him. How was he supposed to stay mad and in need of an apology when all he wanted to do was shove Magnus's big but somehow dainty hands down his pants? Why on earth hadn't he just let Magnus get on with things last night? Cos he had too much damn pride and he was a stupid prude.

Magnus intertwined their fingers and neither could deny the tingle that was spreading from their interlocked digits to their hands to their arms. Alec couldn't pull away.

'I'm sorry for being so pushy, so rude. I'm sorry for not giving you the respect you deserve. I just, I'm not used to loving someone romantically. You inspired so much emotions in me and I didn't know what to do with it, all I knew is that I wanted to be with you'

Alec watched Magnus with big eyes and Magnus took this as his cue to carry on.

'All I've had for the past 4 years are one night stands apart from Camille of course. But we were dysfunctional, we weren't a real couple. She wanted fame and I wanted someone to be with. I've had no meaningful relationships'

Alec looked and felt heartbroken, he was trying desperately to stop his lower lip from wobbling but it had a mind of its own. 'Magnus I can't be like her or any of the others, I can't just be your hook up' Magnus's own heart clenched and he was fucking this up already. 'I know I don't deserve much but I don't think I deserve to be used for sex'

'Alec no, baby you deserve the world' Alec hung his head but Magnus lifted it back up and stared longingly to those devastating blue eyes. 'It's all I could get, all anyone would give me, just sex' Magnus scrambled to explain before Jace found them and hauled Magnus' into the street or before Alec spent one more second upset. 'I don't want just sex. I just, I just came to believe that's all I needed, no one could see or wanted the real me. So it became a defense mechanism, become the one that parties late and breaks hearts so no one can see that I'm lonely. I thought sex meant love but I know now. You've changed me, I can see that I'm capable of loving. I don't want random, meaningless love. I need the connection and passion and caring that Ragnor and Catarina have, I need what Tessa and Jem have, what my parents have. Alexander Lightwood, I need you'

There were tears dripping down Magnus's face, Alec couldn't see them but he could feel them when he launched himself into Magnus's personal space and smushed his lips against Magnus's own glossy ones. Magnus pulled him closer even though it was humanly impossible. They were flush up against each other and the only ones watching were the chalk people from their places on the wall. This kiss wasn't like last night. Last night was rushed and exciting and fast. This was slow and deep and needy, Magnus had a hand curled in Alec's hair and a fist clenched in his cardigan. Alec had both arms wrapped tightly around Magnus's neck, he was unsure of where else to put them. They were making the smacking noises that come with kisses but for the second time Alec wasn't embarrassed. Magnus's tongue was hesitantly lapping against Alec's lips, and the Lightwood boy felt safe, safer than he had last night. Alec opened his mouth and let out a weird half sigh half moan as Magnus explored his mouth but Magnus's grip got a little tighter in his hair and the flush of blood from embarrassment quickly changed direction from his cheeks. Magnus suddenly cupped Alec's face and pushed back. Alec's mouth became woefully empty and he leaned his head against Magnus's forehead, they were both panting.

'Did I do something wrong?' He didn't think he had but maybe Magnus was having second thoughts.

'Heavens no! Your legs were shaking, from leaning up to me'

Alec looked up at Magnus and then down at the tall boots the man was wearing. 'You're abnormally tall' He hid his grimace as pain shot up his right leg as he straightened himself.

Magnus laughed and the sound brought tears to Alec's eyes. Okay so the pulsating pain in his leg also contributed to his welling up.

'And you're delectably short. Here' Magnus grabbed Alec gently and changed their positions so Alec could lean against the free wall. Magnus bent his head down and kissed Alec's neck, it was probably even more uncomfortable for Magnus but the dizzy feeling swirling in Alec's stomach was distracting him from caring too hard. Magnus was nipping and sucking and Alec was trying hard not to interrupt the painting session that he knew was happening less than 30 metre away behind one single plywood door. Alec wrapped an arm around Magnus's neck and was going to ask him to stop before he ruined his trousers when Magnus did stop, abruptly.

'Magnus?'

Magnus put a 6 ringed hand over his mouth and stumbled away from their secluded corner and out where people who were just interested in the wine and viewing paintings instead of creating them were milling around. Alec stood stock still against his little piece of wall as he watched Magnus ask Luke, who was making sure no one stole anything while the demonstration was going on, something and then watched as he dashed off, gracefully even in those boots, out of sight. At Alec's feet lay Magnus's yellow clutch, not thinking Alec knelt down to pick it up and a wave of pain shot up his leg.

'Dammit' Alec hobbled over to Luke who was standing near a piece of wall that had a name plaque on it but no painting. Magnus was nowhere to be seen.

'Luke, where did Magnus go?'

'Hey Al, Magnus went to the bathroom, said he was going to be sick. Did Clary te-'

'Ohmygod'

The only thing running through Alec's mind was that this was somehow his fault. How embarrassing to have your boyfriend? Potential boyfriend? Kiss your neck and then vomit because of how your neck tastes or whatever. Alec pushed his way into the small men's bathroom. He had had a shower before he came, he had had to scrub all Isabelle's fake tan off his hands. (Those gloves never ever keep it off his skin)

'Magnus?'

Silence.

'Magnus?'

Retching and coughing.

'Magnus?'

'He's unavailable for comment right now'

Alec rolled his eyes fondly, and located the cubicle the designer was in and stood in front of it. He knocked at the door, feeling stupid. 'Magnus, can you unlock it for me?'

'Alexander go away'

'Mm no, you're sick'

'I'm not sick, I'm fine'

Alec took his apartment key and twisted the lock from Occupied to Free, triumphant that that had actually worked he slowly pushed open the door.

Magnus was crouched over the toilet but he was silent. Alec slid the lock back in place and took in the scene before him. Magnus's hair had come lose from its spiky up do and was hanging down. Alec gently brushed it back from Magnus's face and worked it into a sloppy bun with the hair tie that lived on his wrist, it was necessary to have one there for when Helen is having one of her forgetful mornings. If one hair is hanging down for the 10:00am technique class than the whole group have to do sit-ups. Alec wears a goddamn stupid hairband to push his back. Magnus heaved and vomited violently while Alec rubbed his back. The last time he was rubbing in circles his hands turned orange. After a long while Magnus sat back on his heels and sighed and Alec removed his hand cautiously. Alec reached over Magnus's head and flushed the toilet and then opened the bottled water he snagged from the refreshment table, he held it out to Magnus.

'Are you able to...?'

'I'm perfectly capable of holding a bottle of water' Magnus snapped, his eyes were dark.

He jumped up, pushed past Alec and unsteadily stomped out of the cubicle, he flung the water in the bin after just one sip and leaned over the sink. His stomach clenched painfully.

Alec appeared behind him with a calculating look on his face.

'Alexander' Magnus closed his eyes tightly 'I'm sorry for snapping at you but I need to go'

'Okay, it's okay, but you're coming home with me'

'What! No! No I am not'

Alec grabbed Magnus's hand and dragged him out of the bathroom.

The painting demonstration was finished and the guests and the Lightwoods had all spilled back into the main Gallery. Alec didn't even pause, if he had paused he probably would've died on the spot. Here he was holding hands with another man who had mascara and skinny jeans on, in front of family and friends and strangers and he was also holding a bright yellow clutch under his free arm. Again, if he had stopped and seen the looks on everyone's faces he would've died.

Magnus had time to gaze around at the faces that were staring as he didn't have much else to do except move his legs. it was a bit annoying, okay a lot annoying being dragged out of the Gallery like a bold child but Alec's warm little hand clenched around his own felt good, and it made him feel good. Clary was smiling and some bespectacled dork beside her had a lopsided grin on his face, Magnus managed a wink. Jace was scowling and surprisingly so was Isabelle, Magnus quirked an eyebrow which seemed to infuriate Jace. Magnus was about to tell Jace where he could shove his middle finger but the look on whom he assumed was Robert Lightwood's face as they passed shut him up. It was pure disgust, a facial expression he himself had never been exposed to.

Robert stood with his fists clenched and Elise petting his back. He grabbed Alec roughly as his son passed.

'Ow Dad!'

'Alexander, you are besmirching the Lightwood name, let go of that thing immediately' Robert hissed.

Magnus's stomach rolled at Robert's tone and because of his nausea. Alec whipped his head away from his father and to Magnus's utter horror let go of his hand.

'People hold hands all the time' Alec used his now free (somehow his palm was covered in glitter) hand to rub at his shoulder.

'Alexander, how dare-'

'No, how dare you for calling Magnus a thing, you can call me names but not him'

Magnus reached forward and caught a hold of Alec's hip and moved them forward. Alec pushed open the glass door and gently pushed Magnus out ahead of him.

'I'll get a cab'

Choosing to forget about the incredibly tense situation they had just had, Magnus stomped his foot. 'I want to go home, alone'

Alec successfully grabbed the attention of the first cab cruising by and ignored Magnus.

'I'm serious Alexander, I will sue you' Magnus folded his arms as the cab pulled up.

'Whatever'

Magnus's mouth fell open and he scowled harder at the adorable lump that was his soon-to-be boyfriend as said lump glanced back at the brightly lit studio nervously. Turning back to the cab, Alec put his hand of Magnus's back 'Get in, darling'

'I don't know this man, call the cops driver'

'Where to?'

'Alicante Apartments please'

'Please drive me to the Penthouse on Main, that's where I live'

'Yeah and I'm the queen of Sheeba'

Alec threw his cardigan over the shivering lump that he was hopefully going to get to call his boyfriend as he climbed in and smiled at the cab driver. Magnus sighed loudly.

'He drunk?'

'Wasted, I'll pay the fine if he gets sick in the back'

'You bet your ass you will'

Magnus pouted at the lies and drew the cardigan around him tighter, they left without his damn coat. He sat up against the window as far away from Alec as he could get.

Alec was more worried about him getting sick in the backseat but at least he wasn't sitting on the hump and it wasn't that long of a drive. He glanced over at Magnus who was hunched away from him and frowning. A cold sweat broke out on Alec's neck. Isabelle and Jace were insufferable when they were sick, Magnus was acting just as bad as them but maybe he wasn't just being uncooperative because he was sick maybe he actually didn't want Alec anywhere near him and it actually was Alec that had made him sick in the first place and he had ruined any chance of...

'Alec'

Alec's frantic inner monologue was interrupted by his name said in a very aggressive voice.

'Mm yes?' he whispered, barely able to contain the wobble in his voice. He was going to need to pay for all the sweat puddles he was definitely making.

'Hold my hand' Magnus flung his right arm out from underneath Alec's cardigan and waggled his fingers impatiently at him. Alec slipped his hand into Magnus's big one, which was clammy and cold but it was the nicest feeling Alec ever experienced probably in his entire life. Magnus still wanted him even if he was still scowling out the window.

*

'This isn't my apartment'

'Thank you, have a good night' Alec paid the driver the fare and turned to Magnus who was looking pale. 'I know, it's mine'

'It's dingy' Magnus sniffed with disdain.

Alec's heart dropped a little, he grabbed Magnus's hand and led him towards the doors. Magnus looked down at his companion's scrunched up face and sighed. Alec looked like a kicked puppy. He is the worst, meanest sick person in the world but even Magnus Bane isn't immune to The Lightwood Pout.

'Oh wow this yellow carpet is so in this season' Magnus enthused, nudging Alec with his shoulder.

'Thanks Banezilla, means a lot'

Magnus glared at the receptionist that had put him on the blocked list but was pulled along by Alec before he could retaliate.

'Stairs' Magnus popped his hip and tapped a foot on the ground, Alec was cute and rule 1 of The Dating Club is don't throw up on your date. Magnus needed to leave like immediately.

'The elevator is broken, some kids broke the doors with their scooters. But, I can, I'll carry you'

Magnus looked down at Alec with his small albeit muscular arms and legs and rolled his eyes. He unzipped his boots and dumped them at Alec's feet. 'You can carry these' Magnus marched up the stairs with his nose in the air.

'Alec, I'm calling security' Alec turned to look at Bat who was standing up behind his desk with his arms folded.

'Bat, I asked him up, I swear! I asked him to come here!'

'I'm ringing up to check in 20 minutes'

Alec blew out a breath of air and turned to make his way the stairs, somewhere above him a door slammed shut angrily.

'Make that 10 minutes' Alec conceded and followed up the stairs.

By the time he reached his floor he was wondering where Magnus had got to, and how he hand managed to put such a huge hole in the wall behind the swinging doors on the 3rd floor landing. He was almost worried that Magnus had made a wrong turn somewhere and was lost on the wrong floor. For the second time in as many weeks the door to Alec's apartment where he kept important and valuable things was open but he doubted that he'd find Izzy watching her cult show this time.

His cardigan was draped on the back of his couch and his keys lay on the coffee table and Magnus was getting sick again, loudly.

Alec dropped the boots on his couch and kicked his door shut, he really needs to stop doing that. He grabbed blindly at anything in his kitchen that would help Magnus.

He rushed into a now quiet bathroom and was greeted by a quiet, less hostile Magnus.

'Hi, Alexander'

'Hi, are you okay?'

Alec felt stupid dithering in the doorway with his arms full of random things. He was just glad Isabelle was staying with him thus forcing him to hide anything incriminating (like his Silent Brothers calendar). Magnus looked like a supermodel in an obscure bathroom photoshoot. His head was resting on his arms which in turn were resting on the toilet seat. His long, long legs were stuck out awkwardly, his toe nails were yellow and sparkly and nice.

'I'm fine, I made a poor life choice this morning and it's coming back to haunt me'

'Here' Alec held out the newly bought ginger ale, it was in a cat shaped mug that he had gotten on his hands and knees to find in the back of his cupboard. He hoped Magnus wasn't going to get sick again, he was definitely unable to kneel down to comfort him after being down on his knee so long for that stupid mug 'You don't have to be nice, I know I'm a demon to deal with when I'm sick'

Alec threw down all his supplies onto the countertop and ran the tap over a cloth. Magnus appreciated the view of Alec and his well-fitted jeans. 'Izzy is a nightmare and Jace is honestly an otherworldly terror when he gets so much as a stuffed nose' Alec knelt down and pressed a cold compress to the back of Mangus's neck, he tucked the few stray locks of hair he missed into the the hair tie. There were deep blues and purples hidden beneath Magnus's spikes that Alec had never noticed. 'Besides, I want to be nice'

*

Magnus watched as Alec cut into a lemon. 'Apparently the citrus settles a nauseous stomach' Magnus couldn't help but smile, not even Catarina stayed around this long into his 'sick diva' routine and remained pleasant..

'I'm fine now, it's over'

'Are you sure? What was it?'

'An allergic reaction to the wheat in the doughnuts I should not have had this morning'

Alec fumbled his lemon and sliced into his thumb. 'Ow! You're gluten intolerant?! So am I!'

Magnus unfurled and rose from his awkward seat. His nausea was completely gone and he was feeling tons better, but he didn't want to leave Alec, he didn't want the night to end.

'Well, The Olive Garden was a good first date choice then wasn't it what with the little GF symbols beside every option?' He stood behind Alec and took the knife from Alec, who was sucking at his thumb and watching the fashion designer fervently in the mirror.

'I was relieved, it's only me and Izzy in our entire family and people tend to forget'

'I won't forget' Magnus looked up from where the knife lay in the sink and at the same time Alec turned to give Magnus his water and lemon and they were practically nose to nose.

Magnus's heart was beating out of his chest.

Alec pulled his thumb out of his mouth. And subsequently dripped blood all over the floor.

'Oh, have you a First Aid kit Darling?'

'I do, it's behind you on the floor, in the basket'

Magnus bent over to root out the red bag and Alec averted his eyes quickly, so quickly he only got a tiny little glance, a tiny one!

'Are these tampons?'

Alec clenched his teeth, dammit Izzy.

'Uh yes they are, there's probably some towels in there too. They're clearly Isabelle's'

'Clearly' Magnus grinned, looking less pale and more cheeky 'Does she live here?'

'No! No she does not and I wish she would realize that' Magnus wrapped a bandage gently around Alec's sliced thumb.

'Well my sister is convinced my private jet is for sharing and uses it for date night which is infuriating when I actually have places to be in different countries and she's just flying one town over'

Alec blanched and took his sore thumb (reluctantly) away from Magnus's warm hold. 'You have a private jet?!'

'Well I do when it's not being used for random outings and dinners'

'Huh'

They stood awkwardly in the bathroom and Magnus realized Alec was probably trying to figure out how to kick him out. Alec sighed when the shrill BRIIIIING broke their silent moment.

'It's Bat, if I don't answer he'll call SWAT'

Magnus trudged after his ballerina, he didn't want to be closer to the damn front door.

'He hates me'

'He hates everyone that's tall, he only likes Jace because they like to snark at the same people'

Magnus spotted his boots on the couch and sighed.

'Hey Bat, no no i'm fine, I swear. No, don't call either of them. I am an adult, it's not that I can't kill them it's just that I don't like killing them because I have to be close to them to do that. No. No. Bat stop, Magnus is oh, I have to go' Alec threw down his little black phone and wrapped his arms around himself.

'You're leaving?'

Magnus was standing with his shoes on and clutch at his side.

'I did not want to outstay my welcome, especially after how rocky I made things. Again i'm so extremely sorry for my behavior, Alexander'

Alec tried to hide his shiver but it started at his shoulders and rippled down his spine.

'Magnus I would like if you stayed'

'You would?'

'Yeah but' Alec was losing the little bravado he had started his sentence with 'You don't have to, you can leave if you want and I can just text you'

'No! No I would love to stay!'

They stood in Alec's cosy, gray apartment grinning wildly at each other like two fools. Alec in a grey button down and jeans and Timberlands staring at Magnus in his yellow and black lace ensemble, grinning.

'We could watch movies I have Netflix, I think Izzy set it up'

'Disney movies?' Magnus asked, almost shyly, almost.

'Yeah, definitely. But not Dumbo!'

'Oh god no or The Fox and The Hound!'

'Never The Fox and The Hound, never'

Magnus slipped his boots off and Alec dragged his duvet off his bed and brought it to the couch.

'I once accidentally showed Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 to my nephew and nieces'

'Well then your sister is definitely entitled to use your jet'

Magnus thumped Alec with a pillow and he got a coaster in between the eyes for his trouble.

They settled eventually, sitting together under the duvet but not touching.

'So what'll it be?'

'You can pick'

'No I dub this our second date and since I said our second date would be my responsibility you get to pick' Alec was red in the face and his heart was beating like a damn rabbit's. He hadn't had any wine at the Gallery so his reckless mouth was doing everything on its own accord.

'Well' Magnus' voice crackled and the man scooted a teeny bit closer and Alec's heart soared with relief. 'Let's have a look'

*

Alec was pouring his Starburst into a bowl when Magnus made a triumphant noise. 'I got one'

Alec handed Magnus the bowl and looked to see is choice. It was Up.

'Oh'

Magnus looked up at Alec, his face was pulled into an odd expression and Magnus was worried he had ruined the actual best night of his life, again.

'You don't like this one?'

'No, no it's mine and Max's favorite actually'

'Oh Alec, i'm so-'

'It's a great choice Magnus, thank you'

Alec slipped back under the duvet and neither man said anything when Alec let his head fall onto Magnus shoulder and neither said anything when Magnus let his arm curl around Alec's waist and squeeze him close.

'So' Alec whispered as they waited for the movie to load 'Are you seriously going to sue me? Because I honestly have no money'

Magnus let out a loud dorky guffaw and entangled his long legs in Alec's short ones.

'If you're a good movie companion, i'll talk to my lawyers'

Chapter Text

Isabelle watched as Alec fled inside and pursed her lips. She could already see how packed it was and they were just using the side entrance. The door to her Dad's newest Hummer was flung open and Elise clambered down onto the pavement. Her blonde hair had been straightened and hung like a satin curtain on her shoulders. She had just gotten her stilettoed feet on to the pavement when she saw Izzy, and Izzy, who had been rolling her eyes at her Dad's custom number plate, saw her Step-mom to be. The two women stared at each other with a heavy silence. Isabelle was more pleased than pissed, Elise was the opposite. Izzy couldn't help the smirk on her lips.

'You little bitch' Elise had a Gucci tucked under her arm and Izzy was sans handbag but that didn't help Elise's ego at all.

'I'm completely showing you up. You're not the prettiest tonight, Stepmom'

Robert came around from the driver's side in a flash, why he was so unlucky was beyond him. Elise's voice was nearing its highest pitch, and with the possibility of paparrazi due to Jace's presence Robert couldn't risk his wife-to-be throwing a bitch fit, especially not in front of his new car that had The L advertised on its licence plates.

He took in the scene and soon as he steppend up on to the pavement. There was his fianceé and his daughter in identical dresses and, there was no way of hiding the fact that Isabelle's smaller chest meant the cocktail dress better suited her.

'Ah hah, well! Great minds think alike, don't they?' Robert slipped an arm around Elise and dropped a kiss on her ear. Damage cobtrol, pure damage control. The blonde was standing with her arms crossed over her front, half scowling half frowning.

'Tell your daughter to stay away from me tonight' She stomped past Isabelle and flicked her hair for good measure. Her perfume, definitely Chanel, clung to Izzy's nostrils.

'Don't worry, I can't be seen near walking fashion disasters, I could get fired' Isabelle called after her as the door swung shut.

'Isabelle how dare you... '

'Did you not hear her call me a bitch? Your selective hearing is out of control'

'Stay away from Elise. Your catty behavior has gone on long enough, I won't have you upsetting the best thing in my life any longer'

'Well' tears were pooling in Izzy's eyes and damn it, it had taken her 40 minutes to get those flicks 'Maybe I'm the one that's upset'

Robert just shrugged his shoulders and dug his hands into his pockets. 'That's none of my concern'

It felt she had been kicked in the stomach, and she had been kicked in the stomach a couple of times. He stepped into the gallery and Izzy could hear the loud conversations as the door shut. She sniffed deeply, fanned her face and scrunched her toes, and then she walked into the gallery after her father with a grin fixed in place and her shoulders back, just like her mother used to do.

*
'Where did Alec go?' Jace asked through the multiple cheese cubes he had in his mouth.

'Um, off to look at something maybe' Clary had been heading into the painting room with Alec in tow when she simultaneously spotted her boyfriend stuffing his face and lost sight of Alec. She had a sneaking suspicion that the corner Magnus was haunting was not good enough cover for the hyper-aware Alec.

Jace grabbed the bowl of pretzels as Jocelyn tried to herd everybody into the painting room. 'Was Alec nice? I saw him talking to you' He started licking the salt off them one by one 'Did he actually say he was going to look at something? Because last year I brought him to Cannes and he just hid in the bathroom and video called Helen'

Clary rolled her eyes but there was a tinge of red on her cheeks, she was dying to tell him how much Magnus had given them for Ballerino de Ombre. With the money, she could actually treat him for a change. 'Yes Jace, you don't have to give him a script anymore, we're friends'

Jace raised an eyebrow as he stuffed some more cheese into his mouth, he had put the licked pretzels back down on the table and as Clary grabbed bowl she reconsidered spending the profit on her boyfriend. 'You're friends now?'

'Okay, okay he tolerates me enough to be polite, and he's really polite' Clary grabbed his hand as he went for some cold cuts 'The food is really for afterwards Jace, if you're hungry bring the pretzels in with you'

Jace took the bowl from her with a pout. She slipped her hand into his and looked up at him with a puzzled look. 'Hey, I haven't seen Izzy yet?'

Jace looked behind him and shook his head. 'I'm not sure what the Lightwood siblings have against the buddy system, but it's becoming more and more obvious' Simon appeared by them then and Jocelyn had raised her voice loud enough for the trio at the refreshment table to hear her. 'It's nearly about to begin everyone, find a spot, grab a glass and paint from your heart!'

'Hey guys, have you seen Izzy?'

Clary shook her head as Jace took his phone out. 'I havent seen her at all yet'

As he looked around from the table a shock of red hair caught Simon's eye.

'Hey Ralph!'

Simon and Ralph got on well, like really weirdly well. Maybe it was the fact they both hated Jace, or maybe it was just that camaraderie that starving artists had; Ralph was a Potterer.
'Hey Si, hey Egotist, hey Clary'

Jace glared but he was busy tapping out a message to presumably Isabelle to retort.

'Hey Ralph, coming in to paint?'

'Yeah sure thing! I was just explaining cubism to that fashion designer and I got a lot of creative ideas from the conversation'

Clary froze as did Jace who lowered his phone and swallowed in a dramatic fashion; gulp included.

'Fashion designer?'

Clary grabbed Ralph by the arm and pushed him in front of her, her older cousin had known her long enough to be able to tell from her face that he had put a clog-clad foot in it. They were all of a sudden walking passed the refreshment table and towards the painting room. The bowl of pretzels were slipping out of Jace's grip with all his energy going on glaring at Ralph and looking quizzically at Clary. Simon grabbed the wooden side of it before it completely went through Jace's fingers

'Simon, don't eat those! um Yeah Fashion Designer, yeah, Dot' Clary smiled sweetly at Jace who was looking very very suspicious.

'Dot?' Jace was still walking with them slowly towards the door where Jocelyn was still herding people through but he was looking around the big open room rapidly.

'She makes hats, hats and scarves' Ralph was anxiously flipping his fringe out of his eyes. 'Also mittens'

Jace opened his mouth to protest because the pair just looked so guilty but he was cut off by Simon who had been watching the back and forth exchange with his mouth open.

'Izzy is seeing my messages but not replying, and she's on ghost mode. She's legitimately disappeared'

They were next to go in and Ralph stalked ahead to claim a good spot with the group in front of them, Jocelyn followed her nephew in so she could deal with the dramatic occurrence of a shortage of white paint at the very end table.

'There's a lot of that going around in the family' Jace was scowling.

'Maybe she's already in there? Eager to get started?' Clary offered Simon, even though it was highly improbable that that was the case. An arm snaked around her shoulders and someone pressed a kiss to her head 'Get it over with more like'

'Ha ha Luke so funny' Clary pushed her step-dad off her. She glanced at Jace who was staring into the painting room. 'Hey did you do that thing, the big thing?'

'Yes, Clary, I'll catch him tomorrow. I can't seem to find him right now' Luke ruffled Clary's hair and walked off to assist his wife with percuring more white paints.

The pair had definitely found each other and Clary felt her heart soar a little. Jace paused in the doorway, he could see Izzy's head at one of the many tables but not Alec's.
'Well, there's one of them. He actually better not be hiding in the bathroom' Clary bit back her chuckle and scooted over the threshold of the painting room. Simon hurried over to Izzy as Jace pulled out his phone to text Alec. Clary put a small hand on his wrist.

'No phones in the painting room, we'll find him eventually' Jace stared into Clary's face which of course had flecks of paint hidden beside her freckles. He pressed a sweet kiss onto her lips and let himself be pulled the rest of the way into the room sans older brother, still suspicious but placated by the hope of some more kisses.

*

The whole night was going by in a blur, Simon was by her side and then he wasn't, Jace was by her side and then he wasn't. Both fussing over Clary. No one seemed to notice anything was wrong, not even when she had 4 glasses of wine one after the other which was unprecedented for a Lightwood and painted with only blues and blacks, she didn't even know how she got into the painting room. She was startled out of her thoughts when Simon joined her pulling up a chair adjacent to her easel. Jace sidled up beside her, he asked about Alec but she hadn't seen him since he went inside which made Jace more on edge. Clary sat opposite them with her paints all squeezed out and ready to roll.

She literally sat in silence, blocking out the sounds all around, Simon was incessantly asing her why she was ignoring his texts, and his actual voice now. She knew that if she could just find Alec he would notice, and care and hug her, and let her wet his ratty-but-still-a-Westwood cardigan with some secret tears but he was nowhere to be found, Jace said he appeared once next to Clary and had disappeared without a trace.

The painting room was a large colorful one, full of people but she knew if Alec was in there he'd be beside her or at the very least she'd be able to spot him, the all black errythang sticks out more than one would think, just look at how Magnus came into their lives. The mention of Magnus made her wriggle her toes, she was in his high heels. She didn't get a chance to look at Elise's shoes.

Her frown was finally noticed by Jace who had only drawn his name in graffiti style.

'You look you're going to puke' Jace was painting his nails with the muddy brown he had mixed together with all his paints. 'I need some air' was all she could say and the weirdness of her voice made Jace aware of the something very very wrong with his little sister.
'It's nearly over, I'll take you outside'

They were the first out of the room when Jocelyn clapped her hands and announced it was time for refreshments while she picked a winner. They headed straight for the door, Elise and Robert were in a secluded corner having not bothered with the painting but of course, Elise still had a glass of White in her hand, and a familiar looking wooden bowl in the other. She looked positively stuffed in the dress that fit Isabelle a little too well if you asked Jace. She completely ignored them as they passed, keeping her steely gaze on Robert's face. Jace followed her example and kept walking straight ahead as their father called his name. The pair were nearly at the front door when loud gasps and murmurs broke out around the room.

'Is that..?

'No, it couldn't be'

'Darling if he bought something we need to buy something'

The siblings stopped dead in their tracks as did Clary and Simon who were tailing them. Clary had pointed out Izzy's subdued behavior as Simon put the finishing touches on his picture of himself as the unknown Skywalker after he left Izzy in her silence, and the best friends were hot on the siblings' heels as soon as they left their seats. Izzy turned to see her eldest brother making his way toward them looking flustered and exhilarated holding hands/dragging a scowling Magnus Bane. The people still spilling out of the painting room had formed a crowd. Isabelle couldn't help glare at the sight of her brother being pre-occupied with someone else. The pair stepped out of the way in unison both ignoring Alec's grin of gratitude. Jace was glaring and gesturing rudely at Magnus, pissed off by the smug look on the Designer's face and by the goofy grins Simon and Clary were giving him. Clary so knew what was going on. As he watched Alec and DiscoBall pass, his eyes caught Robert's, he looked like thunder while Elise looked at the yellow Prada clutch that was tucked under Alec's arm enviously. Jace felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and he dropped his finger, Robert wasn't directing his poisonous looks at just Magnus. Jace shifted his gaze to Alec who was looking determinedly at the door, and pointedly not as his father who was in touching distance.

Maybe it was the wine but Izzy couldn't help the nasty smirk that contorted her face when her Dad grabbed roughly at Alec's arm. She narrowed her eyes as they met with Magnus's own who reutrned a confused look. Jace was disgusted at his father, more disgusted at his Dad than at the scowling Big Bird impersonator attached to Alec's hand. He balled his fists taking little comfort to Clary's soothing hand on the small of his back. Luke was making his way to them, attracted by Robert's harsh words, as Alec defended himself in a way he never had before. The swell of pride Jace felt wasn't even ruined by the way Magnus' tanned arm snaked its way around Alec's back as they left the Gallery, it was however ruined by the daggers Izzy was throwing at Alec's back and the tantrum Elise was throwing over the clutch she thought belonged to Alec, and wanted to belibg to her. Jace let his scowling father deal with his princess and turned to Isabelle.

'What's your problem? You were Magnus' biggest fan this morning and in the car'

'Just shut up Jace, I'm leaving' Isabelle flicked her hair over her shoulder and stomped towards the door. Alec and his questionable choice of partner were no longer in sight.

'Isabelle!' Simon scrambled after her but she slammed the glass door behind her, nearly taking his nose off.

'Just let her go, Simon. God knows what's wrong with her this time'

'That's not fair Jace, she's having a rough time' Simon still had a hand on the door handle. Clary was closing the space between the two of them but was slow in her movements noticing the odd thickness in Jace's voice.

'Yeah, well, I wouldn't know, it's not like anyone talks to me in this family' Jace popped the top button of his red shirt and stalked off towards the back of the gallery. Around them, people were still watching the front doors as if expecting something else to happen. Jace pushed passed them as he went, causing a new wave of whispers to kick off. Clary grabbed onto Simon's arm as he tightened his grip on the handle.

'Simon, she obviously wants to be alone. You know Izzy, she needs time to come around' Simon sighs and drops his hand 'I'll leave my Lightwood to cool off if you leave yours' Clary rolled her eyes and let out a breath 'They both clearly need time'. Simon made a noise of agreement as over Clary's shoulder he spies Jocelyn looking calm and collected and, standing on a chair.

'Okay everybody, the auction is beginning. We've already had an offer over 30 big ones, let's see if anyone else has taste' Jocelyn's cheeky nod to Magnus's offer was all it took to get people out of the stupor. Soon all that Simon and Clary could see were the backs of all the lookyloos. The duo linked arms as they approached the crowd. In the same spot as they were before Robert and Elise stood with Luke who was clearly irritated, Clary could see his "annoyance" vein throbbing. She made a mental note to probe him about it later. With Jace nowhere to be seen, and Izzy god knows where the pair resigned themselves to listening to Ralph doing his best to imitate the guy from Storage Hunters.

*

Isabelle stomped until her feet hurt and then headed to the park, she knew better than to get more drunk but she needed something to focus on instead of the rejection from her own father, and her betrayal of the vow her and her siblings silently took for their little Max as the alcoholic soccer mom was handed her sentence. What better thing to focus on than seeing how high she could swing.

Alec always pushes her on the swing, she never has to ask she just sits down and then there he is right behind her. Without Alec behind her, she wasn't getting as high as she normally did. She swung until her legs ached and her hair was crispy from being windswept. Her long discarded heels watched on as she wiggled her toes as she swirled around in circles lazily. Alec hated when Jace taught her how to do that, he thought they were both going to decapitate themselves. Her toes were blue and her tan was better than it had been in a while, that was all due to the older brother that she glared at earlier on. Her stomach twisted as she thought of how seeing her dad grab him made her happy; at least he didn't just hate her. Alec was always there to get treated worse. She shook herself and the chains of the swing jangled loudly. She hated how mean she was sometimes. As she sat on the cold, plastic seat she realized that no matter whatever happened to her in life Alexander would be her constant, and she needed him to be happy. So, with the hope that he hadn't seen her glare and that he had made it back to his apartment with Bane keeping it in his pants Isabelle grabbed her phone that was nestled in the sawdust near the swings and scooped up her heels and all but ran to the subway to find out where the hell she was.

*

Magnus woke up bleary eyed and confused. His ceiling did not have water stains. The weight on his chest and the raven hair tickling his chin brought back all the memories of last night. After they had intertwined their fingers the movie had started and Alec instantly became teary eyed as the montage of Ellie and Carl's life flashed on the screen and Magnus couldn't help his heart from thumping with the brand new emotion he was feeling as he watched Alec watch the screen. They had inches closer to each other throughout the movie until they were shoulder to shoulder .

He moved his hands, one was by his side against the soft couch fabric and the other was touching bare skin, Alec's back was exposed due to a riled up t-shirt. Magnus closed his eyes and ever so slightly moved his fingers in a circle pattern on the presumably porcelain skin. All he could smell was Alec, and he smelled like rain and something sweet, something almost intoxicating. He remembered telling Alec quietly all about how he bought all his Niece's girl scout cookies in one go and made her promise not to tell her Mom because he didn't want her wandering around her neighborhood. He remembered how Alec's laugh had enhanced that new feeling.

He can't pinpoint in the movie when they had moved as one into the horizontal position but he can clearly remember asking Alec if he was okay with lying down with him 15 times, and Alec's shy 'yes, I'm sure' that came in reply every time. Now, Alec had gone from lying tucked into Magnus's side with his head on Magnus's shoulder, a ring clad finger resting on his ribs to lying atop Magnus, his head tucked into the crook of the Designer's neck and his legs straddling one of Magnus's long ones. One of his hips was pressing against a place Magnus had ignored and was still trying to ignore now because that place had gotten him into the mess in the first place, you know?

A quilt was draped on top of the duvet that hadn't been there before; Magnus pressed a kiss to whatever part of Alec's head that was nearest his lips. He couldn't feel his phone anywhere on him and he internally groaned at the abundance of texts that Cat and Co had probably sent him throughout the night. Him sleeping over was definitely not what Cat had wanted him to do. He moved his head to the side slowly, looking for his phone his eyes fell on the bright LED of the television monitor, it said that it was only 00:20 am. He moved his head back closer to Alec's, seeing how early it was made him feel tired. Magnus let his eyes close and his hand fall flat on Alec's back as the silky feel of his skin was making his heart pound. As he stilled he heard a rustling sound coming from behind him, he craned his neck to see that the hallway light was on. Panic had started to ebb in when he remembered that Izzy was a temporary lodger and was probably the quilt culprit. A pair of his heels lay in the hallway just in his eye line.

'Hello' he whispered, Alec didn't move but Magnus brought his idle hand up to cover his ear, the movement shifted the sleeping man and something hard but blunt stuck into Magnus's stomach, thinking it was the damn button from his jeans he rolled his eyes. He would have to put up with it if he wanted Alec to stay cute and peaceful.

The sound of bare feet on wood sounded and floral body spray tinged the air. Isabelle appeared in his direct line of vision, blocking the TV, and sat down on the coffee table. Her hair was wet and her mascara had run, she was in mix-matched pajamas and looked very unIzzylike.

'I'm sorry if I woke you, your phone is charging on the kitchen table. And I know, I know I look like a homeless person, I can't help it. Wanna know why?'

Magnus wet his lips and nodded, not even bothering to tell her he had woken up by his own accord. She took a deep breath, eyes were already watering.

'I look homeless because I am homeless. My Mom hates me and so does my Dad and Alec lets me stay here and what do I do? I get mad at him when he finally does what I've wanted him to do since we were kids which is to stand up for himself, and I don't defend him against my Dad who had the audacity to touch him. Alec probably has a huge ugly bruise right now cos he bruises like a peach, like a little pale peach. I didn't do anything about it because I am a bitch and neither did Jace because he very rarely does anything to stand up to Dad because in the back of his mind he stills worries Mom and Dad are gonna disown him which is so dumb because he's the favorite child' Isabelle whisper-shouted all in one breath and Magnus had to blink a couple of times to realise what the hell was going on. He opened his mouth to say something to the Intern that had new tears rolling down her face when Alec began to stir.

'Let's put him in bed, and then I'll look after you'

Izzy looked doubtfully at him and Magnus wasn't sure which part she was dubious about, but she rose to her feet, peeled back the quirky and the duvet and gently pushed Alec off of Magnus who slid out from under the sleeping man effortlessly. She slowly let Alec down by his shoulders until his cheek fell gently on the couch, he rubbed his cheek against the plush fabric and Izzy pretended not to see the literal heart eyes Magnus was making at her big brother.

'We could leave him there, he'll wake up if we walk him, his knee will be stiff'

Magnus tore his eyes away from Alec actual kitten Lightwood's sleeping form and was stretching his arms but paused at the mention of Alec's knee, he vaguely remembered a limp as Alec brought the popcorn and starburst from the kitchen. He decided not to ask as Isabelle still had tears flowing down her face.

'I'll pick him up, it's fine'

He knew how light Alec was from their previous *ahem* encounter and picked Alec up like a bride so effortlessly that Isabelle swooned a little. She padded ahead of them, the duvet bundled in her arms. She spread it out evenly on the double bed, and as she fixed the pillows Magnus gazed down at Alec in his arms, he was surprised the thumping of his heart wasn't waking him. Izzy pulled back the top of the duvet to and Magnus couldn't help but take one last chance to admire Alec's little face in the moonlight. He placed him on the bed, careful when he was slipping his legs under the covers not knowing which leg was the supposedly bad one. Isabelle had disappeared into the darkness of the room but reappeared with clothes in her hands.

'These are Jace's pajama bottoms and t-shirt, more comfortable than your very expensive and amazing Dolce and Gabbana'

'I'll uh change in the bathroom then'

'I'm just going to take his jeans off' Izzy watched from the corner of her eye as Magnus tiptoed into the bathroom with the bundle gripped tightly in his hands. She quickly pulled Alec's pants off, she knew he was going to be mortified in the morning even though she had literally seen every inch of him as he sprinted from their smoking villa; she had been trying to make pizza. She pulled the duvet up over his pale legs, tutting at the discoloration of his right knee. Magnus slid the lock open quietly and came into the bedroom just in time to see Izzy in the middle of removing Alec's t-shirt. His porcelain skin was dotted with itty bitty moles, like the one on his ear. Magnus's green eyes swept over the expanse of skin but stopped and widened at the unexpected metal piercing in Alec's navel, so it hadn't been his jeans' button digging into him. Isabelle left Alec shirtless and pulled at the duvet to fully cover him up which was good because heat was pooling in Magnus's belly. Izzy did not miss the widening of Magnus's eyes or the clenched fists, he had even as he discarded his designer clothes in a pile on the floor.

'My mom took him to get his nose done as an 'I'm sorry I was homophobic' gesture and the piercing studio was doing a two for one deal' Izzy smoothed Alec's hair down, and gave him one last look, deciding against checking for a hand shaped bruise on his arm; she didn't need that image on top of her current self-loathing. 'She can never pass down a bargain'

'Maryse was homophobic?' This came as a genuine shock to Magnus.

Isabelle padded out of the bedroom, the fashion designer hot on her heels.
'Oh yeah, not as bad as Dad though. I think she was just largely worried about our public image but again I think that was just Dad's influence'

Magnus followed her until they came to the little table that was just outside of the kitchen, he sat down feeling oddly at home. His phone was at 50% and decided to leave it off, enjoying being disconnected. 'I remember seeing your family on E!, it was like a documentary type thing'

Isabelle had pulled a phone out of the waistband of her pajama bottoms and plugged it in to charge beside Magnus's. As it took to charge the screen lit up showing multiple notifications; many from a Simon. Magnus picked at his nail polish in an attempt to pretend he hadn't been snooping as she swiped them all off her lock screen. He mentally wrote 'PJs with pockets - comfort line' in the notes part of his brain that had literally thousands of ideas, most of which Cat hated until she saw his sketches.

'Yeah that documentary was fun to film, we were really young though. It was like 4 years after we adopted Jace' Isabelle had moved to the kitchen countertop and was trying to pull jars and bags of sweets out as quietly as possible. 'What age were you when you saw that? Did you take note of my crimped hair that Mom and I nearly came to blows over?'

Magnus chuckled and remembered how they had watched it as a family one Sunday night. His mother had commented on how mean Robert looked. She was going to die when he told her that she had been right.

'I did! I think I was 21? It was on right before I graduated Design school' Isabelle was pulling out Nutella and jam and suspiciously enough, marshmallows. She whipped around with a spoon in her hand. 'Oh my god Magnus! Are you over 30?! I have to tweet this, I've found out your age'

'I'm 31 Isabelle, please don't remind me'

Isabelle chuckled at his crinkled face. It was true, Magnus' real age had been a much-speculated piece of information. It was well known that all of his close circle were over 30, so it was thought that he was too.

'Wow, so you were 21 and Alec was 15, no 14! Oh did you think he was cute??'

Magnus's hands fly to his face to cover his eyes. 'Isabelle that's illegal'

'It's fine now! He's over age! Did you think I was gorgeous?'

'Also illegal'

'Oh yeah, I forgot you liked girls too'

'A lot of people forget which is why I was glad it came up in my 73 questions video'

'Oh my god you did a video for Vogue?! When is it out?? I have to watch it!'
Isabelle had whirled around from the counter and had her mouth hung open. Magnus squinted at the open jars behind Isabelle but kept a smile in his face. 'Well I did the morning after But to give you some sort of answer, I thought that Max was utterly the most adorable child ever'

Isabelle paused from the toaster type thing that she was fiddling with. She turned to face him again, a watery smile assured Magnus she too liked to have Max mentioned regularly.

'God he was adorable. He was 4 in that documentary. I was 11 and Jace was 12. They were good times, it was right before the real really, really bad fighting started between our parents' Isabelle looked lost in thought after she finished her sentence, she had her lips puckered with a faraway look in her eyes. She was very different to Alec but so similar.

'What are you making over there, Izzy?'

She came out of it instantly, and her face relaxed. 'A Lightwood special, Alec makes them for us when we're sad'

Magnus rested his chin on his hands and grinned, this boy was going to kill him. 'He makes them still?'

Isabelle grabbed a knife and plates, the smell of chocolate wafted into Magnus's nose. 'Um yeah, you'll literally never meet someone as motherly and generous as Alexander. Boy troubles? Alec let's you cry for hours and then will arrange for his tough hip hop class to scare the boy shitless if requested' Isabelle grabbed a loaf of gluten free bread which was A-okay with Magnus 'Fight with your girlfriend? Alec will buy you tickets and attend a Redsox game with you even though it's on at the same time as the Hamilton musical he bought tickets for 6 months in advance'

She grabbed a can of whipped cream and filled glasses with milk and Magnus could barely be worried about what concoction she was making in the corner 'Period Pains? Alec will offer you his very expensive Egyptian caramels and won't complain when you eat all the butterscotch ones even though they're his favorite'

'He deserves the world' Magnus did not mean to say that out loud, in fact, he had a hand clamped over his mouth as soon as the last word left despite the fact Isabelle had her back to him.

'You're right, he deserves nothing less than the very best, glad we're on the same wave length' Isabelle threw her spoons in the sink and turned slowly with two plates balanced on one arm and two glasses of milk clutched to her chest by the other. Magnus took the two plates which were balanced precariously on Izzy's pale arm and set them in the middle of the table, to anyone who hadn't seen the ingredients they looked like your run of the mill toasted sandwiches.

'These are monstrosities'

'Not yet they aren't' Isabelle set the glasses down and reached over the messy counter to grab the whipped cream. She sprayed some in her mouth before dropping the canister down on the ground. 'They aren't monstrosities, but soon'

'I thought I offered to look after you? Shouldn't I have made you something?' Magnus took a sip of the milk, it was full fat but he couldn't concentrate on his figure when he was sat still enjoying the memory of Alec's warm body pressed against him with Alec's still mascara streaked little sister in Alec's apartment and just, Alec.

'It takes years, I'm talking YEARS of experience to master these, so no you just sitting there helped. But the reason Alec would make them is because they take a while to make so we'd have time to calm down from being upset while he made them and then when they were made we couldn't eat them for 10 minutes because they're like molten lava in the middle and so-'

'And so in the 10 minutes, it takes for them to cool you would talk about what upset you and then be instantly picked up by a sugar rush'

'I told you, he's the biggest mother hen you'll ever meet'

'He's very special, this is like a level of caring you can forget exists' Isabelle tilted her head at him, her eyes filled with curiosity. They were round and a deep brown, opposite to Alec's almond baby blues 'But anyway, right now you have me so spill'

Isabelle rested her head on her right hand, her left checked her phone. More notifications had popped up. Some from a Simon, some from Jace and some from Clary.

'I told Jace you weren't here when I got home after I put the quilt over you. I told him not to come over, I'm surprised he obeyed'

'He's very protective'

'You're preaching to the choir. He'll never really get over with what happened with Alec's stalker, so he makes it his mission to not nearly lose any more siblings '

He wanted to push the issue but she was trying to skew their conversation, and the Stalker story was a story to be told properly by Alexander. Magnus moved forward to catch her idle left hand that hadn't bothered to get rid of the notifications from the screen this time. He paused slightly as he reached out to her, thinking he heard some rustling but shook it off. He rested his ring clad hand on hers, it was cold.

'Why were you out so late?' Magnus never had a younger person to mind, him being the youngest out of his friends and the youngest in his house, excluding the nieces and nephews of course but it wasn't like Sonny was stumbling in at 1 am in need of a confidant; she barely had all her baby teeth up, so it wasn't like he was used to this "adulty" vibe.

Isabelle looked down at his hand and then back to his face, tears brimming. 'I knew you were a fan of this gluten free bread because I watched your 73 questions Vogue video and found out that you too are a coeliac'

'Alexander told me you were one too, but I think you're trying to change the subject'

Isabelle raised her eyes to the ceiling as tears spilled down her face, there was a packet of tissues in the fruit bowl next to the little stack of Magnus's love notes.

'My Dad said that me being upset wasn't his problem, even though I'm his only, his only daughter. He loves Elise more than me and that's hard, I always thought he would still have me, in in his h-heart'

Isabelle was wiping away tears furiously and Magnus was smart enough to piece together that Elise was Robert's new lady. 'He said that to you?' Magnus's heart hurt thinking of how he would feel if his own Dad ever froze him out like that.

Isabelle nodded 'Granted I was a bitch to Elise but it's not my fault she looked ugly for once in her life' Magnus raised an eyebrow and Isabelle sighed. 'She's gorgeous, she's going to be the prettiest Lightwood now'

'Impossible'

'Very possible apparently, and urgh I basically have no parents now because my mom hates me too'

'Also impossible, you said she got over Alec being gay and apologized? Apologizing after years of "conditioning" from Robert is a big thing, especially for a District Attorney I bet. She seemed to genuinely love you all in that documentary even when Jace put his tie on his head during the photoshoot thing'

Isabelle laughed loudly remembering the stifled laughs of her mom and the camera crew as Jace pulled the tie tighter and tighter around his head until he started to turn a funny color. 'She does, you're right, I just fucked things up as usual'

'Isabelle you wanna know what I think? I'm going to say this to Alec if the occasion ever comes of it'

Isabelle sniffed and took her hand out from under Magnus's, she grabbed his fingers and nodded.

'I think you need to distance yourself from your Dad, not in terms of how far apart you are from each other in the city, I mean emotionally. If you think of him as this man who doesn't deserve to get to call you his daughter and have a hold over you, his behavior won't hurt you so much, and I think without your frustration at his failure to be a proper Dad you'll be able to relax somewhat and then it could turn out to be less combative as you simply don't care as much anymore'

'It'll be hard Magnus like that's my Dad'

'If you feel like that, which I thought you would then the other option is to talk to him about this, and unfortunately pull back with your obvious dislike of this Elise'

'I could sorta do that' Isabelle stuck a manicured nail in her mouth to nibble on 'I might have to try the first option for a while though'

'At least you have a plan, muffin'

Isabelle raised an eyebrow and took her nail out of her mouth 'And what do I do about my mom'

'Text her, right now and say that you miss her and that you love her and that you're sorry for whatever it was that happened'

Isabelle unlocked her phone and began rapidly texting so she wouldn't forget what Magnus told her say.

'I found out about her new boyfriend which was an old teacher of ours, and flipped out and said mean things and then she slapped me'

'Ah mothers and daughters, what fun I had watching my sister and mother kill each other during Luna's teenage years'

'I texted her what you said, I put in some of the emojis she likes'

'I think you should text that Simon too, you don't want to push away other good relationships while you're brooding over one stupid one, trust me'

Isabelle thought better of asking him given the look of regret that passed in his eyes. She text Simon too, starting it with a 'hey Batman', giving promise of an explanation and finishing with a declaration of strong like, they weren't using love over text just yet. Meanwhile, Magnus was looking around at his surroundings, finding something new to look at every time his eyes scanned the small apartment. Pictures of the trio, pictures of two raven haired boys differing hugely in height but similar in the smile and porcelain skin, trophies, cards that were obviously made by adoring fans filled a wooden cabinet. He was examining, by straining his eyes, a picture of Alec and two good looking men that Magnus had not seen before when he heard another rustle. He stilled but could only make out Izzy's slowing tapping on her phone and then the click of it locking.

'Ready to eat?' Isabelle pressed her hand on her sandwich to feel its temperature.

'No definitely not'

'Too bad' Isabelle picked up the forgotten can of whipped cream and sprayed the white fluffy calories in a zigzag motion on the sandwiches. Magnus's first. 'Now, they are monstrosities. I can't wait to see your face'

Magnus picked up one half of the sandwich to inspect its contents. Nutella and peanut butter were the obvious main components in his.
'Isabelle, what's in this? I'm actually too afraid to bite it'

'You'll love it! It's a base layer of maple syrup, then Nutella, peanut butter, choco chips, marshmallow all melted together by the sandwich press, got some gluten free cookie bits in there too. I have all the same except I have a base layer of jam in mine'

'I actually was ill earlier, so I think I should pass on this'

'Nope, I'm taking a picture, it'll go on the internet and people will ask if you enjoyed it and I will tell them that you chickened out and that you're nearly 40'

'Oh my god'

Magnus took a tentative bite out of the corner and his eyes widened as pure sugar rushed into his mouth, he took another.
'This is disgustingly good, I hate that I love it'

'Can you feel the sugar induced acne rising to the surface? Because it's not made right if you can't'

'I can and I hate that I'm still eating this absolute sugary shit'

Isabelle couldn't help but guffaw at the sight of Magnus Bane, Fashion Designer to the stars, the billionaire in the Forbes top 20 with a smear of melted marshmallow on his plump bottom lip.

She was tucking into her own pausing every once in a while due to the sound of rustling in the hallway when movement over Magnus's shoulder caught her eye. Standing in the doorway that leads to the hallway was a sleep ruffled Alec, he had his oversized plush jumper on and had put on plaid pajamas bottoms, much to her disappointment she had hoped to tease him the next morning when he woke up in his undies. He looked to all the world like he was still asleep.

'Well, look who it is' Isabelle watched as Magnus turned around quickly as Alec shuffled in towards them, his face did a weird thing where it lit up and just became more youthful by just seeing Alec.

The eldest's Lightwood limp was non-existent and that's how Izzy knew he was still asleep.
'I think you're still asleep, Xandy'

'What are you doing Bells?' His voice hoarse. Isabelle rolled her eyes at the nickname despite her use of one of his. Alec came to a stop at the table, Magnus never took his eyes off him. The third chair which was predominately used by Jace was occupied by Isabelle's makeup box that she had left there before they left.

'Making SadSandwiches™'

'Oh'

'I think you're still asleep, Alexander'

Magnus's voice startled Alec despite the fact he was standing right next to him. Magnus put a hand on Alec's arm to steady him, all with a look of wonderment on his face. 'Hi Magnus, are you feeling better? '

'Much better, thanks to you'
Isabelle nibbled her sandwich and watched as Magnus just stared at her brother, and her brother just stared blankly around the place. It was as comical as it was cute. Alec rubbed his eyes with his fist and yawned. He looked down at Magnus's hand that was just lightly holding him under his elbow and moved his arm up out of Magnus's touch, Magnus stiffened and was recoiling his hand when Alec caught it in his own.

Isabelle found this more exciting than the British Love Island show and finished off her first sandwich half as her new favorite pair (sorry Marcel and Gabby) clasped hands.

'Did we wake you, Alec?'

'Um no, I'm thirsty'

Magnus stood up, keeping their hands together, and Izzy stood up too.
'I'll get it, water?'

'Juice, please' Izzy rolled her eyes at his ability to maintain manners while he was asleep.

'I'll bring it to you, go back to bed'

Magnus slipped his hand from Alec's and rested it around his shoulders. Gently guiding him towards the room he had been in less than 40 minutes ago. Upon seeing his bed Alec broke from Magnus's touch and crawled over the made side of the bed to his side where the duvet had been kicked back. Magnus slept on the side that Alec didn't - they were destined to be together.

Alec pushed his legs in and lay down straight away, Magnus had to hold in his chuckle. He rounded the bed as Alec re-positioned himself on his pillows. He looked to the doorway to see if Izzy was watching, she wasn't.

She actually was but her spying and camouflage skills were no match for Magnus's eyes in the dark no matter how apple green they were.

Magnus perched on the side of the bed, close to Alec's arm. He looked down at Alec, someone who he had very very very nearly lost all chance with. He reached across Alec's chest to stroke his cheek. Those blues opened and stared at him tiredly.
'Goodnight, Alexander. Sleep well'

'Night, Mags'

Hearing shuffling in the hall Magnus stood up and fixed the duvet so it was up over Alec's shoulders. While he was bent down he just couldn't resist giving the smooth skin of Alec's forehead a kiss, or three.

'Is he actually asleep after I just diluted his dumb juice'

'Yep, out for the count' Magnus straightened slowly, his head tilted as he watched the moonlight on Alec's sleeping face for the second time that night.

'Are you getting in?' Izzy put the juice down on the little bedside locker. She moved his phone up onto the shelf next to it; just in case clumsy Alec struck again.

Magnus jumped away from 'Into the bed? With? Oh no no'

'No? '

'I think I should give him some space in that respect given the past experiences' Magnus was now standing at the foot of the bed watching as Isabelle nonchalantly took the batteries out of Alec's alarm clock.

'You seemed pretty cozy on the couch though?'

'Well, I was able to make sure he was okay with that. He's skittish, for good reason of course'

Isabelle followed him out of the room and they both faced their backs to the wall right outside Alec's room. She was happy with his answer. There were three more doors in front of them.

'Okay then so this next door is the main bathroom, room after that is now yours and the door next to yours is where the washing machine and tumble dryer are, one of them rumbles at least once a night so don't get freaked out. Also, that's where your clothes are'

'Wa-wait where will you sleep?'

'Right there!' Isabelle pointed through the seemingly always open doorway to the couch.

'No no I'll take the couch'

'Nope' Izzy said popping the P 'You're sleeping in my bed, sleep tight'

Isabelle walked away from Magnus leaving him to decide when to lose the gentlemanly vibe and go to bed. She turned off all the lights in the kitchen, leaving the mess of chocolate spread and spilled melted marshmallows and half eaten SadSandwiches™ for the morning.
It was 2:58 when she settled on the couch, her phone was fully charged which meant she had at least four hours of continuous texting to the friends she knew would be up. She snap-chatted her close friends who were in vastly different time zones about the fact that The Magnus Bane was going to be asleep in her bed and that she had touched his still warm thousand dollar clothes. As she was typing for the 9th time all the happenings to one of her gals, her phone buzzed with a new message, from Mom.

Iz I love you too, I always will no matter what. Thank you for being the mature one out of the two of us and texting me first. I'm sorry for the way things went, I'm sorry I hit you, sweetheart. I'll call you tomorrow morning, get some rest xxxx

Isabelle had never got such a response from either of her parents like that, her hands shook as she tapped in a simple 'night, talk soon' with some heart emojis. She couldn't believe that Magnus's advice had actually worked. She locked her phone and let it hit her chest, she would fill Lydia in tomorrow at her house warming. She let the minutes tick by as she lay in darkness, she couldn't let Magnus Family fixer Bane get away. Alexagnus had to be endgame.

*
It felt like she had just fallen asleep when loud banging jolted her awake. Her first thought was that the washing machine had finally given up and was slowly dying a loud, tragic death. But as she cracked open her eyes she realised the noise was coming from the front door. Light streamed in through the blinds in the kitchen and Isabelle threw her arm over her eyes as she listened to the banging which was more like intermittent knocking now that her ears were adjusting. Her pulse sped up, if Jace Lightwood, who had an early training session, was at the door, Magnus was going to have to hide in the crawl space or exit via the fire escape. She threw off the quilt and creeped over to the door. If it was Jace he would've been yelling at her to hurry up by now, instead of the slowing knocks. Izzy opened the door without checking the peephole first, something which always gave Alec heart palpitations. Right in front of her was Helen, looking like she had just come from the airport.

'Helen! Hey!'

'Hey, Iz!' Helen enclosed her in a big hug, her blonde hair tickling Izzy's nose. 'Alec's sleeping, how are you though?'

Helen let go of her best friend's little sister and walked over the threshold as Izzy closed the door. 'I'm fine, I'm a lot better than how I was yesterday, thanks. I'm just going to get in beside him, I really missed him'

Izzy barely had time to register the fact that Helen would probably freak out worse than Jace if she seen Magnus by the time the blonde was in the hall, she just hoped Magnus was a heavy sleeper.

'Knock, knock'

Helen creeped in to the dark room, Alec was sleeping on his back, his arms above his head. Helen rolled her eyes hard at his position, even in his sleep he practiced. She tiptoed closer to the bed, and muted her phone, multiple notifications from Aline were continuously popping onto her screen. She slipped off her shoes, she could feel Izzy's eyes watching her from the sitting room, she was either wondering how badly her trip to LA had gone or she was hiding something. She put her sunglasses on the unused bedside table, and put her phone facedown beside it. She crawled in beside Alec carefully, and rested her head on the spare pillow. She couldn't close her eyes, or relax so she took to staring at the sleeping face of her best friend.

'Stop' Alec's voice was thick with sleep and he made Helen jump with his abruptness. 'Stop it, Iz'

Helen bit the inside of her cheek to stop herself from laughing. She reached a hand out and began poking him in the cheek.
'Not Isabelle'

Alec had been woken by the footsteps and he felt the dip in the bed, he knew it wasn't Jace, no matter how hard he tried, the man couldn't creep or tiptoe or be quiet to save his life. His heart nearly stopped when he realized that it wasn't actually Izzy and that he possibly just snapped at Magnus Bane, whom he nearly, nearly, nearly lost all chance with. He didn't even register Helen's voice.

His eyes popped open and he whipped his head to face Helen. He was hugely surprised to see her.

'Len! You're back so quick!' Alec turned over onto his side to properly face his best friend. Helen tucked her arm under her head, and furrowed her brows.

'Dad shared the jet for once. Now, who else would be in your bed, hmm?'

'No, I just, you gave me a fright. How's Mark? You didn't text me back'

Helen dropped his reaction quicker than he had expected, which meant something was wrong.

'I'm not texting anyone back anymore'

The pair stared at each other for a second, Helen was now convinced something was going on.

And Alec was now so caught up with the fact that there was something hugely wrong with his best friend he forgot all about the fashion designer that was somewhere in his apartment.
'I will tell you, if you tell me why you have worry lines and bags under your eyes' Alec conceded

'Well, okay then. Newsflash my family are now as dysfunctional as yours'

'That's not possible, nope.' Alec scooted closer to Helen, she wouldn't say something like that without a reason. 'What happened with Mark?'

Helen just sighed and pushed her fringe out of her eyes.

'I get there, I was still in the sweaty clothes you seen me in at the studio, and Dad has honestly at least 5 FBI Agents in the sitting room. Jules meets me in the hallway, on his way to school with a police officer tailing, and he informs that the younger kids are being kept home and are in the playroom, with three other officers'

'Helen, oh my god!!'

'Oh no hold on, it gets worse. I walk in, they're in the middle of talking about potential kidnap, potential ransom, and I'm like, woah I thought he just ran away because he got Detention for forgetting his calculator for the fifth time and didn't want to get grounded. And my dad is like Helen, the school's security show him getting into an unmarked van'

'Shit, shit Helen, why didn't you call me!?'

'Because you have your own stuff!'

'You are my stuff' Alec crinkled his nose at the weirdness of his sentence but tears started to prick Helen's eyes. She reached out for Alec's hand under the covers and gripped it, Alec interlocked their fingers.

'So, I'm like woah okay what? And Dad, who's tie is wrinkled which is like.. '

'Like the end of the world, defcon 1'

'Exactly! So he says 'it's been 48 hours, there has to be a phone call soon, all my bank accounts are ready to cleared for the potential ransom' and then, the phone rings'

'Kidnappers?? Mark??'

'It's Mark, and he's like 'oh hey Dad can you put money in my account for the Bus, or send a car, I wanna come home. I promised Liv I would help her with her solar system project, and I miss your cooking, for once in my life' '

'What??'

'What, exactly.. So then Dad is like 'Oh my god you're okay, my little boy, I love you' and this agent guy grabs the phone and is like 'Are you being threatened? Are you okay? Where are you?' And he put it on loudspeaker so we could all hear and Mark goes 'What? Yeah of course I'm okay, I'm with my Mom' '

Alec mouth fell open and he shot up in bed, just like Helen knew he would. 'What??? Are you actually serious right now?'

'Yep, Nerissa is back in town, she's back to take over the running of this big allotment in town, hence the van. It's her van from like the 70's'

'I actually can't' Helen smirked at Alec's basicness but didn't have the energy to laugh at him.

'Yup, so turns out she collected Mark from school on the day he "ran away" and told him that there was a new custody agreement and he was supposed to be with her, and he could do detention next week, and for some reason he believed her'

Helen pushed her fringe out of her eyes for the umpteenth time and Alec went to peel the hair tie from his wrist but his fingers just scratched bare skin, it must've fallen off when he was asleep.

'Helen, he obviously missed her. It's been years'

'She basically kidnapped him. He doesn't remember what it was like living with hippies, he didn't even know we had hippy names until he was 12'

'But he's home now?'

'Yeah, Nerissa took his phone for environmental reasons so he had to call home on a payphone. He looked pretty shaken up when they brought him back' Alec was rubbing his thumb up and down the back of Helen's hand, he was staring at Helen with a scary intensity. 'So, now, of course he's all mixed up, he's mad at Mom for kidnapping him, and he's mad at the police for wanting to press charges. He's mad at the other kids for having had a stable mother, and he's mad at me because I live here, also because apparently I didn't warn him how crazy Nerissa is, which I did, multiple times, and also he's probably mad at you. But he's not mad at Dad which is actually great and Dad made him his favorite chili dinner so that's at least a solid relationship'

'Aw that's so- wait, what? Mad at me? Why? '

'Because I explained that now that I knew that he was safe I had to get back here before the storm blows in and grounds the airlines'

'What's that got to do with me?! I like Mark!'

'He knows I wanted to get back before your appointment'

Helen, stop telling people! No wonder your Dad sent me a good luck thing on Facebook. This is not a big deal'

Helen propped herself up on her elbows, her Dad was lethal for sharing things to people's pages on special occasions, and not special occasions instead of just tagging them in the comments. Alec had been talking to the window for the last part of his sentence. Helen moved her hand from his, and squeezed his wrist. 'Alec, you might not be able to dance again, you have to acknowledge this'

Alec dropped his head. 'So, how are you gonna make it up to Mark?'

Helen couldn't help but roll her eyes, this was how every conversation she tried to start about his knee went, and they had had many since the accident, accidents.
She lay back down, conceding with his need to ignore his potential future.
'I don't know Alec, I might just leave him to sulk. He's hard to deal with lately'

'Len, he's in the middle of puberty, there's stuff still going on with Ty, and this on top of it, he's bound to be jumbled up and mad. At least he's safe at home'

'Holed up in his room'

'Still at home, Len. Your Dad is the master at coping and he has loads of help. You can't be beating yourself up'

'Shut up, stop being right. I wish you listened to me as much as I listened to you'

Helen threw an arm over her eyes and Alec lay back down, now all of a sudden nauseated. He had to keep Helen's problems in his focus though. 'So if you're not texting anyone back, I can assume you're shutting Aline out too'

'She doesn't want to hear about my family problems'

'Helen... '

'Nope, don't defend her! I told her Mark was missing and she said and I quote 'Oh no, that sucks. Gtg I'm having dinner with Bella'

Alec pursed his lips and Helen sighed deeply 'I still love her'

'I know that, I know. You're allowed to be mad, I'll allow it'

Helen scooted closer to Alec so she was resting her head on his shoulder. He noted a new piercing in her ears.
'Oh wow, thank you so much for your permiss-'

Helen trailed off, as if someone took out her batteries. Alec glanced down from where he was staring at the pale pink stud, it was a nice colour.

'Permiss?? Did Nerissa not teach you English in the commune?'

'Did Maryse not teach you how to get rid of hickeys?'

Helen had her eyebrows raised and her tongue in her cheek. She thoroughly enjoyed watching all the colour drain out of Alec's face. She moved before Alec could throw her off.

'Oh no. Oh no, no no no' he shouted, really loudly, as he raced into the bathroom, now he really felt nauseated. Isabelle quickstepped into the room, a dirty spoon and a dripping j-cloth in either hand. She had been trying to hear the conversation since it was obvious Alec was awake and after ten minutes with no sign of Magnus and no tantrum from Helen, she let herself relax and was cleaning up the Sadsandwiches™ when Alec let out his manly yelps.

'Everything okay?'

'Isabelle your brother has hickeys'

Isabelle's mouth fell open and she could not help the shriek of laughter that ripped out of her, Magnus be damned.

'Oh no. Oh no, no no no'

'Helen, he's catatonic'

'Izzy, get a heated spoon stat. I got the toothpaste, and I think I have aloe lip balm'

Helen clambered out of the King size bed, her tracksuit bottoms were patched up with multi coloured squares and Izzy wanted them, badly.
'Helen! Your pants!'

'I sew when I'm stressed, hot spoon!'

Isabelle dashed back out into the hallway.

Alec was just staring at himself in the mirror. There were three blotches going down in a diagonal pattern from under his ear to his collar bone. He looked like a tramp. He would have to wear a turtle neck to dance. He was going to have to skip the doctors appointment.

'Helen'

'Alec, stop freaking out. This is the real world. Jules comes home with hickeys all the time'

'Jules is 17!!'

'Exactly, so you shouldn't be embarrassed'

Isabelle rushed back in, a huge grin on her face.

'Iz, don't say a word'

'Aww, remember when I got my first one and you gave me your scarf to wear, after you finished shouting at me' she folded her arms and leaned against the doorframe, she was still in her pyjamas.

'Oliver Montclaire was 16 and you were only 14' Isabelle pressed her scalding spoon to the biggest blotch under his ear in response. Oliver Montclaire was a great kisser.

'Ow!'

'Don't be a baby, if this doesn't work I have many other techniques'

Helen perched on the counter, applying a liberal amount of colgate onto Alec's toothbrush. 'So, Ezra or the dance teacher ?'

Isabelle sucked in her cheeks and pressed the spoon a little harder into Alec's neck. Helen turned on the hot tap so Isabelle could reheat the spoon. The stress rash he was developing was nearly blending his hickeys in. 'Uh, neither'

'Neither?' Helen raised an eyebrow and leaned forward. She began rubbing the paste covered bristles in a circular motion. The third hickey was on his collar bone directly in line with his chin.

'Neither' Whenever Alec lied he crinkled his nose, there was no nose crinkle this time.

'So, who? ' Isabelle ran her spoon underneath the tap as Helen interrogated her brother. He was going to crack, or else Helen was going to shove the toothbrush down his throat.

'That would be me'

~

He slept until 8:00am, his body clock was hard wired to waking up early, which often led to him waking up still drunk. He had gone to bed after watching Izzy make herself comfortable on the couch. He had fallen into bed the minute he pushed closed the door. But now in the morning light, he could take in his surroundings. The room was a typical guest room, neutral colours and no real decorations but it still screamed Izzy. Heels littered the floor alongside magazines. Clothes spilled out of the wardrobe and the chest of drawers. Magnus could spy some of his line, and some pieces from lines he liked; Izzy knew her fashion.

He lay with one arm under his head, this ceiling had water stains too. He thought back to last night when they just got settled on the couch, Alec had said he was a poor student and this apartment, the entire building really, screamed low budget. Both Maryse and Robert have been in the top 20 Forbes list on their own and together multiple times, surely they could afford to move their eldest son to a more comfortable living situation. It didn't sit right with him, his mother and father had not especially wanted him heading into college with slim chances of a solid career but they still made sure he had accommodation that actually had standards, that wasn't an icebox, and that he had food in his belly.

He resisted the urge to snoop in Izzy's wardrobe and sat up, rolling out his shoulders, he grabbed his phone from the bedside table, a picture of a young Izzy and Alec was held in a sparkly picture frame, Izzy had braces and Alec had one of those shaggy haircuts that Zac Efron made famous in HSM. Magnus smirked at the thought of a young Alec, and smiled hugely at the thought of the Alec that cuddled with him, and looked after him and kissed him last night. He unlocked his phone and his screen was full of notifications, he swiped away all the social media pop ups, and skimmed his emails, and his calendar reminders for the week, it was all in procrastination of opening the multiple snapchat, viber, facebook messages that he had from all of his friends, all of them.

He flicked through them, they varied from 'how's it going?' To 'MAGNUS BANE, WHERE ARE YOU? ANSWER YOUR DAMN PHONE! YOU BETTER NOT BE IN BED WITH ALEC OR IN ALEC'

He winced as he read the rest of Cat's texts, they were definitely more animated than the rest of his friends' but even Tessa seemed to be losing her cool by the time her last text came in at 4 am. It simply said

We better hear from you before 9 am or else - Tessie

Tessa was the biggest fan of the emoji movement and her lack of hearts and cat faces made Magnus honestly fear for his life.

His thumb hovered over the call button beside Tessa's name, but he thought better and found Will's name in his contract list - he was the safest bet.

There was barely a dial tone, the call was picked up straight away.

'Magnus Bane, where are you?'
It was Catarina, it was always going to be Catarina who picked up who was he kidding.

'Heyyy, Kitty Cat' Magnus kept his voice low, Isabelle had probably been up later than he had been last night and definitely needed the rest.

'Where. Are. You?' Cat was obviously speaking through gritted teeth and he could hear the shuffling in the background, she was definitely with the whole gang.

'I'm in Alec's apartment'

'Mag-'

'There was a situation at the art gallery, we came back here, we watched a movie and we uh slept in different beds'

He did not need to mention the cuddling, or the kissing in gallery, at all.

'Situation?? What did you do?' Catarina was talking normally now, her mouth un-clenched, she was obviously relaxing.

'I ate 4 doughnuts yesterday morning, that's what I did, but his Dad caused a scene too'

There was murmuring in the background, Rags was probably telling them that Robert Lightwood causing a scene was completely plausible. Magnus used the brief interlude to get up and go to the en-suite that he mistook for a wardrobe last night.

'So, where are you?'

'Oh well, I was in Isabelle's bed but I'm going to the bathroom now'

There was considerably more scuffling and Catarina was back to her gritted teeth.

'Magnus did you sleep with Alec's sister'

Magnus dropped his phone onto the counter, he had been admiring the small hickey Alec had left in the most visible part of his neck possible - which he loved. He could feel anger in his finger tips.

'Of course I didn't sleep with his little sister, Jesus Catarina. She slept on the couch'

'Magnus..'

'No, honestly I'm not stupid, or a sex-crazed monster'

'Magnus, we're not trying to imply that' Jem took hold of the phone and his soft tone stopped the tingling in Magnus' extremities. 'It's just we all know how important this Alec is to you, and after Camille'

'Jem' Magnus ran a hand through his hair, he felt the hair-tie that Alec had tied his hair back with when he was ill.

'Just listen, after Camille you tended to sabotage all your other romantic relationships'

'I didn't have any other romantic relationships! '

The phone was passed to someone else and Tessa exhaled down the line.
'Exactly, you went on multiple dates and then wouldn't text them back, or you would ghost them, or have multiple people on the go'

'Okay, point taken but'

'And Magnus, I don't think that Alec is able for those games y'know. He's young, younger than you've ever dated'

Magnus lifted his head up from where he was staring at his screen, he looked at himself hard in the mirror what they were saying was all true, all of it. And Alec at 24 made him a baby, he was a baby. But he wouldn't push this one away, he needed him.

'Magnus?'

'You're right, and yes Camille had more of an effect on me that I care to admit but I won't hurt Alec, i'd rather die'

There was silence on the phone, Cat hadn't spoken since he snapped at her and he knew he had upset her.

'Magnus, you scared me on Saturday night when you thought you messed it up, I just don't want to see you so soul destroyed ever again, I just want this to work out for you so, so badly'

Magnus closed his eyes, a multitude of emotions running through him. 'Keep me on the straight and narrow, but put some trust in me, please Catty'

'Poor choice of words, but I will, I promise' it was a watery promise but there was a smile in it.

'Mags' Ragnor's voice sounded elated, like he had just witnessed a revelation, maybe he had, maybe they all had. 'Come over for brunch, soon. An apologetic, gluten free brunch'

Magnus smiled, opened his eyes and looked down at his phone. 'No apology needed, I'll be there'

'Take your time, son' was Will's only contribution to the conversation. He hit end call and when he finally got around to actually peeing on outburst of adorable proportions startled him

'Oh no. Oh no, no no no'
It was muffled but Magnus could tell it was Alec. He finished in the bathroom and creeped back into Isabelle's room. He could hear murmuring and loud footsteps and he chanced opening the bedroom door. He stepped into the hallway, faced with the door to the room that housed the washing machine and his clothes. He watched as Izzy raced through the hallway with a spoon, she didn't even notice him. He stood stock still trying to hear what on earth was going on but not wanting to impose, yet.
Isabelle's huge laugh lifted him off his feet with fright and it was followed by a new, commanding female voice. His eyes followed Izzy as she darted out of the room and back into the sitting room. With obvious new company Magnus decided to slip into the washing machine's room and throw on his clothes, good impressions and all that; Alec's mother could be in there.

He dressed quickly, he easily found his clothes, they were folded precisely and left on a little wooden shelf that housed detergent and laundry baskets. He dropped Jace's pyjamas into a basket that had similar clothes in it, wondering how the actor would react if he knew Magnus had not only cuddled with his brother but worn his raggedy pyjamas too.

When he crept out of the laundry room there was an animated conversation emanating from Alec's room, but he couldn't hear Alec's sweet voice at all. As he got closer and the smell of toothpaste, and the steam drifting out of his boyfriend's, scratch that, his potential boyfriend's ensuite gave him an inkling as to what was going on.

He walked quietly in through the room taking in the bed that was undone on both sides now, and the pair of pink converse lying askew on the carpet on what had been the free side of the bed.

'Ezra or the dance teacher ?'

The hairs on his arms stood to attention, he had seen those picture alright. He had even been tagged in one of them by fans and Luna, ever the gossip lover, relationship meddler and all round typical big sister, had sent it to him in the groupchat they shared with their 6 first cousins.

The Ezra one came to his attention first via multiples of his eagle eyed, die hard fans who created a whole Twitter thread of evidence that proved Alexander Lightwood, ballet dancer and son of the once power couple of New York was in fact the one that made Magnus smile. Will was playing with The Chairman and Cat was pottering around in the kitchen, making coffee and texting, all the while glancing at him every 8 seconds. His stomach had dropped and it wasn't from the like, 5 doughnuts he just ate, he wanted more wine. Alec looked positively adorable, a big smile made his dimples the focal point of the picture. Magnus checked the comments he was tagged in, many of them saying 'fight for yo man' and 'notp'. He hoped Ezra seen them and went scrolling through to see if he had liked or replied to any of his Banies' comments. There was only one comment that Ezra had replied to and Magnus found himself taken aback at it, and smug.

•RealJaceL Stay away, my friend :)
•EzraM I can't tell if you're mad or not!

Catarina had stared at him 5 times before picking up her phone to check what he could possibly he engrossed in only to find Ragnor was having a situation of his own.

Jace's comment had received Lol's and 'Aw what a protective bro' but Magnus knew Jace, even though it was a tiny, tiny bit and he knew that Jace did not mess around when it came to Alec. And despite the fact that Jace hated Magnus more than anyone in the world at the moment it still felt nice that the actor took a swipe at Ezra too.

Catarina made him put his phone down then, an odd flush was on her cheeks as she sat beside him and turned on Project Runway.

'Did you see him?'

'Yes, Magnus maybe you need to move on'

Magnus crossed his arms in silence and Cat shared a look with Will who was on the sette. She kept his phone out of reach until she seen Luna's name pop onto the screen, thinking it was safe, family drama. Little did she know Luna was bringing more bad news.

Alec looked less happy in this picture, you could tell by his eyes. Both he and the teacher stood in heels, and it too had received a lot of praise. Magnus liked the caption though. He could almost feel the hope that Alec didn't detest him rising in his heart. He has obviously declined the teachers advances, maybe even told him he was seeing someone, maybe. Magnus didn't dare say it out loud, he didn't want to jinx it and he definitely did not want Cat or Will hear him sound so desperate and needy.

'Magnus...'

'I didn't look for it, Lu sent it to me. Blame her!'

'Come on, just put that down and watch this, please, you're torturing yourself'

Even thinking of how bad he had felt yesterday made him understand how right Catarina was, of course she was worried for him and for Alec. He was in deep, and he had hurt little Alec. It was that fact that Catarina had concern for Alec that tugged at Magnus's heart . The fact that his friends who were an admittedly hard group to get in with all properly cared for Alec made him even more sure, sure that Alec was his one.

He took some tentative steps forward, he didn't catch what Alec had murmured in response but he caught up right in time.

'So, who?'

Hoping he was right in assuming what neither the teacher or Ezra had done and he had, he swung around the door frame and into full view of the occupants in the bathroon.

'Me'

Isabelle swung her head around, her hair was in a high ponytail and thwacked the shower curtain as she turned. Alec had whipped his head around fast too, his eyes took Magnus in with a look of embarrassment and that little something that his parents had when they stared at each other. The woman, who was blonde with elfin features, looked at him with surprise and she was familiar, definitely one of the few people that made it on to Alec's Instagram, and by few he meant it was just her, Izzy and Jace. She let her hand drop from Alec's neck, leaving a blue, red and white mess in her wake.

'Magnus Bane, it's nice to meet you, in Alec's bathroom, on a Sunday morning'

Magnus did not let it faze him, he had been dealing with Jace Lightwood these past few days, he was immune to sass but Alec was looking at his friend's face with pleading eyes.

'It's a pleasure to meet you, but I'm afraid I don't know your name'

'Jeez, Alec. It's not like I'm your best friend or anything'

Alec ducked his head and his best friend extended her hand. She was much more mannerly than the other blond in Alec's life.

'Helen Blackthorn, my girlfriend Aline was in your most recent show' Helen threw a pointed look at Alec 'It was the one he got a nosebleed at'

Magnus grinned at how long ago that was and at how far they'd come. And then he remembered.

'Oh! You're Aline Penhallow's girlfriend! That girl is going to be a star'

Helen puckered her lips and ran the toothbrush underneath the still flowing tap without breaking eye contact. 'Yup, that's what they all say'

Magnus didn't even sense the upset coming off of Helen, but he still managed to fix it. 'I thought I recognized you from Alec's instagram but I think I also seen you on Aline's dresser'

Helen cocked her head and Alec rested his hand on her knee. Izzy was ignoring the entire conversation and was marveling at just how amazing Magnus looked in his outfit, even though it was a day old.

'She stuck it up on the mirror when they were doing make up, I seen it during final checks. You make dungarees work in an odd way'

Helen straightened her head and lost the look of absolute relief and appreciation in a millisecond. Alec knew exactly what picture Magnus was talking about, and the fashion designer may have unknowingly saved the relationship of the people that gave him the courage to officially come out.

'I have one of her in my wallet, it helps' Helen said her voice was softer than she had meant it to be. She cleared her throat 'So, you took Alec's hickey virginity last night, hmm?'

Isabelle snorted, her eyes not leaving the embellishments on Magnus's shoulder. Magnus winced at the change of conversation and at Alec's head drop, he looked embarrassed. He could feel his cheeks start to heat up under the glare at Helen's pale eyes. 100% Catarina was going to kill him if she found out he behaved the way he had on Friday night with an inexperienced virgin. She was going to get mad all over again and he was going to have to talk her down while feeling guilty himself, all over again.

'I, I uh'

Helen smirked and rolled her eyes but there was a warmth flooding into them. 'Well if that noise you made meant yes, I thank you for showing him that hickeys aren't that big of a catastrophe'

Magnus felt his shoulders slump with relief and watched, delighted, to see Alec lift his head to reveal a dark blush, but a small smile.

Isabella woke up, aware that he was bound to notice her staring at him and kicked at Alec's left leg.

'I bet his complaining woke you up'

'Oh yeah, big time'

Alec shook out his hair, in the space it took Isabelle to speak and Magnus to grin and wink and answer the intern, the best friends had had a whole conversation via their eyebrows.

'I'm going to have to wear a scarf, because Bat will get mad, Luke will get mad, Randy will cry, Doct- Dad will disown me, officially this time'

Magnus hadn't missed the slip of words or the mention of a Randy but he was too focused on what he was planning to reveal in response to Alec's complaining.

'I guess then, Alexander, that we'll just have to get matching scarves' Magus peeled down his black collar revealing the purple mark Alec had left on him, all the while staring right into Alec's eyes. Alec crinkled his brow with immediate embarassment but it dissolved as Magnus stared into his soul and smiled warmly. Helen and Isabelle looked from one smiling man with a marked neck to the other man with a marked neck and then at each other. Helen raised her eyebrows in a way that said woah and Izzy sucked in her bottom lip and nodded in a way that said oh, I know.

They were all knocked out of their stupors by a knock on the door.
'Before anyone has a shit attack, it's not Jace, it can't be, he had a training session at 9 and it's only half past. There's no way Amatis would let him go that quick' Izzy said as she tightened her ponytail, she fake punched one of Helen's knees and the blonde responded immediately by throwing the clean toothbrush back in its holder. Magnus blew out a sigh of relief as Helen hopped down off the counter, she took a wet wipe from the toiletry basket and handed it to Alec as Isabelle brushed past Magnus.

'Hey, Iz, is there cereal?' Helen brushed past Magnus too, sparing him a small smile.

Isabelle's answer wasn't heard as Magnus found himself stepping further into the bathroom despite not instructing his feet to do so.

Alec was watching him in the mirror as he wiped at his neck. Much as they done last night they stared at each other in the mirror, the front door closed with a bang. Alec knew it was Simon just from the way he slammed the door, kicking it shut just like everyone did and shouldn't do. His inner monologue was interrupted by Magnus closing the space between them by standing behind him slightly off to one side, hands ghosting on his sides. How could you not melt, with those green apple eyes boring into you via a relfective surface, and his gentleness.

Alec dropped the wipe, the last of the toothpaste was gone but his hickey was still darker than ever. He had hickeys now, he was an adult, Helen had emboldened him and he rocked back slowly on his heels and completely shut the gap. His shoulder blades hitting against Magnus's chest. There was an electric pulse buzzing between their two bodies as they remained staring at each other. Alec waited for Mganus's next move, he couldn't take the next step on himself, Rome wasn't built in a day. They remained staring at each other, Alec marveled at the fact that if he was just a tiny bit shorter, Magnus could rest his chin on the crown of his head . He didn't have time to decide if he would like that or not because Magnus made his move and was kissing lightly down Alec's neck, the marked side.

'A hickey virgin, hmm?'

Alec swallowed hard, and then mentally slapped himself because Magnus probably felt that. 'Yeah, I yeah. I didn't think I could pull them off, and you know the whole disowning thing.'

Magnus could feel himself bristle at the thought of someone else getting close enough to Alec to possibly give him a hickey, but he continued lightly pressing his lips against the bites. And Robert Lightwood was not someone he wanted to ever think about, at any time let alone this kind of time.

'That's the only virgin I am though' Magnus paused and looked into the mirror that captured Alec looking frazzled. 'I mean, okay no I am other virgins, but not the actual main one'

Catarina would not be murdering him over Alec this time.

Alec brushed his hair off his forehead. The steam was still making the room hot y'know? Magnus stared at Alec in the mirror for a moment longer and let his hands slide from where they hovered at Alec's sides down to his hips. He slowly turned the dancer to face him.

'What other types of virgins are there?'

Alec licked his lips nervously but there was a glint of excitement and Magnus could see that this boy was blooming into something from his wildest dreams. 'Well, a Cheesecake Factory virgin for one'

Magnus let his forehead rest on Alec's and laughed and it almost brought a tear to Alec's eye, it was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard, and he had been to Hamilton.

'Oh well we can't have that now, they have an amazing gluten free chocolate cheese cake that you'll die for'

'We'll have to go then' Alec whispered for no reason at all and Magnus moved his head so their noses were almost touching.

'I'm excited for you to experience it, with me' Magnus' breath tickled Alec's lips.

'And I'm anxious to try it' Alec's heart started thumping and Magnus swallowed hard, were they still talking about cheesecake? Was the hot tap still running?

Magnus moved down from Alec's forehead and tilted his head so the tip of his nose was just grazing Alec's cheek. Their lips were about a inch apart. Some hot tap somewhere was definitely still running. Or the newly acquired generator was working overtime. Alec went to move his hand up to touch Magnus' hair but got one of his fingers caught in the bottom of Magnus's lacy shirt. He ruched it up just enough to expose one of Magnus's tanned hips and that was all it took. Magnus pressed his lips against Alec's as soon as the cold air hit his bare skin. He was gentle, he always started gentle now but Alec wasn't going to break and he kissed back, rougher, and despite his nervousness let his tongue be the first to make an appearance. In the many scenarios he made up in his head in the milliseconds after he decided to be brave, Magnus responding well and grabbing his butt was not one his negative mind had accounted for.

Magnus moving his arms made him remember he too had arms, and he brought both of them up onto Magnus's shoulders, letting one hand weave its way into Magnus's hair. Magnus was unable to think at all once Alec had lifted his shirt and asked for permission to explore his mouth via his tongue. He had some of Alec's bum and Alec was playing with his hair, everything was good, going great, better than great. He didn't even mind that they were in a bathroom and he was in his bare feet but then, he went to lift Alec up onto the counter.

Magnus is a great kisser, an amazing kisser with hands that look really pretty with their ornaments but are actually really strong, and large. And this was everything ever Alec wanted, even if his sister, best friend, and sister's boyfriend were probably all listening in the hallway. This was great, amazing, better than last night but then, Magnus went to lift him up onto the counter.

And Alec was all for that, yes he wanted that, but his knee did not. It didn't take kindly to any sudden movement, or bending movement, or any movement that didn't have it straight at all times really.

So as Magnus went to lift him up and Alec's knee bent their moment was completely, entirely ruined by Alec's sharp intake of breath that was most definitely an under reaction to the pain he was in. Magnus let him down gently, he knew that was an ouch gasp, not a sexy gasp. That was a gasp that he heard at Paris Fashion Week when one of Moshino's models slipped out of her heels and landed sideways on her ankle. He had been careful to make sure the sharp edge of the counter was hitting his hands instead of any part of Alec's back, he hadn't bitten Alec's lip, he was actually the most restrained he had ever managed in his entire life. He looked down and into Alec's eyes.

'Are you okay, did the counter scrape you? Is this too much? Did I hurt you?'

'Yeah, yeah no I'm fine sorry. You're great, I just remembered something'

Magnus couldn't help but smile but he remained worried and pressed his forehead against Alec's. 'Alexander, come on'

Magnus was the only one he liked calling him Alexander and he wished really badly that they were still kissing right now. He couldn't lie to those eyes, well not completely anyways. And he wasn't really feeling like lying either, he was feeling quite faint actually.

'I have a bruise, on my knee. It's just kinda sore' He did have a bruise, it was a good effort.

'A bruise?' Magnus raised his eyebrows, a bruise would explain the limp.

Alec closed his eyes, he wished it was just a bruise. 'Mmhmm' The room swayed around him.

Magnus pushed his hair back, satisfied with Alec's answer.
'I'll be more careful then' he began kissing the bare side of Alec's neck and Alec put all his focus into that instead of the tears in his eyes.
'Mm Magnus'

Magnus made his way back up Alec's throat and he was just back at his lips, and Alec was feeling this and he could feel that Magnus was feeling it and the room was swaying and his head was pounding and so was his knee but his heart was hammering and just when they put their lips together a shout startled them both apart.

'Enough is enough, we have scrambled eggs and Simon wants to say hello to Magnus' Izzy said with a few obnoxious giggles thrown in.

Magnus let his head fall onto Alec's shoulder and Alec forced out a laugh, his breath shaky. He could feel the searing pain travelling up his back now and dark spots were coming into vision.

'Enough is enough, Alexander you're a bad influence' Magnus whispered into Alec's shoulder and Alec felt like the luckiest person in the world for some reason even though he felt like he was dying.

'I-I'm a positive influence, and you're going to love Simon'

Magnus took his head off Alec's shoulder and Alec mourned the loss of weight, it felt like Magnus was the only thing anchoring him to consciousness. They grabbed hands, with Alec trailing just far enough behind to swipe at a tear that was tickling the corner of his eye. He needed to sit, or eat or something to keep him from face-planting the floor and embarrassing himself.

Helen was in the kitchen dishing up the eggs much to Alec's relief. Eating Izzy-made eggs was a sure way of losing all chance of a relationship. Izzy was in her usual spot, but she was turned in her chair so she could watch them come in to the living room space. Simon was at the table too, he was liked enough by Isabelle to take her make up box's place. He stood once he seen Magnus.

'Hi, I'm Simon, I'm Izzy's boyfriend'

'Magnus Bane, it's a pleasure'

'You won't say that again to him, Magnus, he prefers DC to Marvel'

'Izzy!!! No, I'm really cool'
Magnus tutted and walked with Alec closer to Simon, he walked by him and reached out and Simon almost thought he was going to back hand him but he pulled the last free chair out, and gestured for Alec to sit down. There was a moment of silence as the two stared at each other, and Izzy didn't miss the tanned thumb that rubbed the back of the pale hand. As Alec sat down and Magnus turned and narrowed his eyes at Simon, Izzy didn't miss the pale face of her brother as he sat down.

'I'm probably not going to remember your name because you're a traitor, Soloman'

Alexander caught Izzy's eye and she gave him a worried look, Alec jumped into the conversation despite the burning, searing pain the short walk from the bathroom caused and his double vision. 'Simon, you've made a great enemy'

Alec's tone was steady but his unfocused eyes were big and pleading at her to drop her anxious facial expressions at least for now. And she complied, for once.

'Sorry Simon, I had to out you'

Magnus winked at Alec before throwing a dirty look at a flustered Simon.

'No, okay listen Batman, I mean come on, he's amazing'

'Ironman is much better puh-lease'

Isabelle was staring holes into Alec's head who picked up his phone which Helen had brought with them when they exited the bedroom. He tapped a message and sent it and tapped another one out but neither of them went to her, or Helen whose phone was sitting on the table top too. He managed to text and get in sneaky lovelorn glances at Magnus who was arguing over StarLord versus Green Lantern as the Fashion Designer pulled on his yellow boots.

'Magnus do you want eggs?'

'Oh no Helen thank you, I have to go meet my friends and apologize for not contacting them all night and leading them to believe that I was murdered by Jace'

Helen placed some eggs down in front of Simon 'That's still hugely possible'
Magnus froze and Alec grinned at him but it wasn't reassuring at all.

'I should definitely leave then, in case he can sense me'

Helen placed eggs down in front of Alec and caught sight of the conversation he was having on messenger. She dropped a quick kiss onto his head. Magnus smiled at Helen's action, Helen was Alec's Cat.

'It was lovely to meet you Helen, I'll try and give that girlfriend of yours some more local photoshoots'
Helen couldn't help the grin on her face and she almost gave the fashion designer her infamous toothy smile, she put Izzy's plate down and touched his arm as she passed 'That'd be kinda great of you'

'Samuel, we're going to have to have another argument soon' Simon shook his head as he spooned his eggs into his mouth mournfully.

Magnus approached Alec, Alec's heart sped up. 'What is he going to do?' was running through Alec's mind. One time he had a boyfriend in his first year of college that never touched him in public or in front of their friends, and that had not been a good first proper relationship, or a great first time either. He bent down, and put a finger under Alec's chin and gave him the sweetest kiss Alec had ever experienced.
'I'll see you soon, Alexander. Text me'

'Bye' Alec didn't mean to whisper but hey ho.

Magnus righted himself and winked at Izzy. 'You know where to find me, Isabelle'

Isabelle could only nod as Magnus turned to face the door and grabbed the handle.

As soon as he had closed the door behind him Simon completely nerded out. 'He's so cool, ahhh' and when Simon nerds out and gets excited his arms flail and unfortunately so do his legs. And his left one landed a strong kick to Alec's right.

Alec didn't scream or shout, it was just hard enough to send him over the edge. Isabelle watched in horror as her brother's eyes rolled back into his head and his head slammed down on to the table.

Simon jumped up and put his hands on Alec's shoulders and shook him gently. Helen had come around the side and was on her knees, talking quietly to Alec, trying to rouse him. Isabelle was panicking silently with a phone in one hand and a glass of her orange juice in the other. Simon was mentally preparing himself to maneuver Alec to the floor and into the recovery position when Helen let out a breath and moved one of her hands to Alec's face 'Hey best friend, you scared us'

Simon moved his hands as Alec's head slowly lifted off the table, Helen's hand was cradling one of his cheeks.

Isabelle thrust the orange juice into her brother's line of sight and he took it dumbly. Tears were falling down his face.

'I'll get an ice pack' Helen shouted as Isabelle came out of her stupor and jumped from where she had been rooted to her chair and around the table to where Helen had been, by her brother. 'Oh, Xandy'

Simon took her phone out of her shaky hand as she knelt down 'I am so sorry, do I, will I bring you to the emergency room?'

'Yes' Helen and Izzy both said, defiantly. And Simon grabbed his keys from his pocket. Helen arrived back beside Isabelle with the ice pack, that was one of many, wrapped in a tea towel.

'No, no Simon I'm fine. The ice pack will help' Alec's voice was scratchy as pulled the leg of his pyjamas up slowly.

'Alec' Isabelle's tone was cautious but he put his hand on hers. 'I promise, let's just wait till Wednesday. It was just the pain' Isabelle looked ferocious, but moved silently to what had been Simon's chair as Helen tended to her brother.

'What did Lydia say? ' Helen was on her knees pressing the ice pack against the mottled and now swollen knee of her bestest best friend. From where Simon as standing, behind Alec, he could that Alec's knee looked worse than it ever had.

'That I should go to the emergency room, because she's a worrier, like all the people in my life'

Helen was gently putting pressure on his knee to get the ice pack to actually work, she could see Alec gripping the side of the table, his knuckles white. 'Did you tell her you weren't going tonight? She's right, you do need to go'

Alec wasn't able to get control of his tear ducts in time to stop them from emptying more tears down his face. Helen used her free hand to rub Alec's thigh. 'Iz, he knows his own body. He's taking it easy by not going, just, give him some space' she sounded dubious but she knew Alec better than anyone and he wasn't going spend any unnecessary time in a hospital.

The anxiety was clear on Izzy's face but Simon moved from one Lightwood to the other and put a hand on her back and tried to melt away her anxiousness.

'Okay, okay but you're going straight back to bed, and you can't move'

'Izzy, I'm not going to Lydia's tonight, okay but I have to go into the studio-'

'Alec!' Izzy couldn't help the shriek, Simon couldn't help the wince as his girlfriend pierced his ear drums.

'I promised I would cover Maia's teen hip hop weeks ago!'
Helen got to her feet, she replaced her hand that was holding the ice pack with one of Alec's. She turned silently towards Alec's cupboards.

'Helen! Help me here' Izzy was seeing red, and her fingers were slowly wrapping around her phone in Simon's lax grip.

'I am taking this Tupperware to put my scrambled eggs into, I'm taking the tupperware with my eggs in it to the studio to cover Maia's class. Maia is free to bring Jordan on his surprise picnic and Alec is free to lie in bed, and watch tv, and finish his essay about cultural dances, and angst over his hickeys, and NOT MOVE'

Alec dropped his head onto his hand and sighed. Helen grabbed her bag from the couch, the Tupperware steaming in her hands.
'It's at 11:30, studio 5' Alec's voice was muffled but you could still hear the agitation.

'What were you giving them?'

'My Swalla routine'

Izzy was too wound up to even pause and laugh at the fact that Alec was capable of teaching hip hop let alone owning a hip hop routine to the sexy Derulo tune, and she was now too engrossed in her phone.

Helen paused from her place in front of the door and pranced back to the table. She grabbed Alec's head and kissed the top of it. She winked at Simon as she passed and made her way briskly out the door. A Lightwood argument was imminent, and god bless those in the vicinity.

Simon could see what Izzy was texting from where he was standing and he could feel the hairs standing up on the back of his neck.
When the incoming call popped up, Simon resigned himself to more possible screeching and left Izzy's side to take his plate to the couch. Despite Alec being poor, he still managed to have Netflix.

Izzy's ringtone was the nasally voice of one of her favorite drag queens saying 'Hiiiiiiiii' and normally Alec laughed at it but today it got under his skin, instantly.

'Are you going to answer that or are you too busy meddling, Isabelle??'

Isabelle gritted her teeth and held her phone out 'It's for you, Alexander'

Alec swiped at the phone but ensured he had it properly before taking it out of Izzy's hand, even at his most annoyed the eldest Lightwood had too much of a heart to be rough. If that was Izzy at her most annoyed the phone probably would've been smashed in a trillion pieces by now.

Alec never checked the caller id just swiped to answer without breaking eye contact with his sister.
Simon had the TV at 30 and could still hear the screech, and it wasn't on loudspeaker.

'I can not BELIEVE what you sister is telling me'

'I'm'

'No, no! You are going to do irreparable damage if you do not give that leg a REST. You should've gone straight to the specialist instead of letting this fester and missing your doctors appointment'

Alec moved the phone away from his ear and now the screeching was hysterical, Simon looked over the back of the couch and he couldn't believe the pale of Alec's face, and he had been looking back at the very unconscious body (even more unconscious than 10 minutes ago) of the raven haired Lightwood at every red light. Once the voice quietened down Alec put it back against his ear. Simon had never understood the dynamics of Jace's biological grandmother and the Lightwood kids.

Imogen Herondale couldn't take custody of her grandson when he was orphaned by a house fire because of her being the American ambassador of some small but incredibly wealthy European country, and she was more than happy to sign over her rights to Jace to the seemingly stable Maryse and Robert. Maryse offered Imogen visitation rights whenever she was in the States, and according to Izzy she showed up the first time to take Jace for the weekend and took Alec and Izzy too, without a word. She would take Max when he was old enough as well.

She was a force to be reckoned with, one of the only few people able to put Jace in his place, and apparently the only one that could properly scare Alec into submission. They had no grandparents still living on either side of the family and Imogen was normally Izzy's favorite parental figure on any given day.

'Okay, I will. I won't. I promise. I swear. He's kind. Okay, yes. I will. Love you too. Bye'

Alec handed Izzy with a dirty look, he rose from his seat and gathered his plate and fork.

'And just where do you think you're going? '

'I'm going to bed, like Imogen told me too' he hobbled passed Izzy at a really embarassingly slow pace.

'Well, good, that's where you need to be'

Alec shook his head as he made his way past Izzy. 'Alec, come on! You weren't listening to any of us'

'You just like meddling'

'You just FAINTED'

Izzy screeched as she watched Alec's back head into the hallway. She gave Simon a dirty look when he caught her eye.

'I had to do it, he just fainted, right in front of me' she looked very faraway all of a sudden.

The sound of Alec's door slam put the icing on the cake as Izzy flopped down beside her boyfriend.

'Iz?'

'What!?' it was a whisper, angry but still a whisper.

'Do you uh, still want me to post that picture?'

Izzy cracked her knuckles Alec was being such a stubborn idiot that he didn't deserve people to take part in Operation Alec Appreciation but if Izzy looked at how much followers and traffic she got on social media once she stated posting pictures of Alec, who (everyone was convinced) was the one that made Magnus Bane smile she justified the idea, giving Simon a simple nod in response. She was going to help him pick an appropriate picture but now that Alec was being so annoying she was going to leave her eldest brother's faith in her boyfriends hands who was going to post something either extremely cringe worthy and something unattractive, so HA.

*

'But you just left the art gallery!'

Clary threw her keys and her purse into her handbag as she bemusedly ignored her boyfriend's complaining. 'You were there less than 12 hours ago!'

Amatis had rearranged his workout to be after lunch and all Jace wanted to do was have breakfast at Taki's with the company of his utterly adorable girlfriend. 'I have to go pack all the paintings we sold last night, do an inventory, and cash bank checks. So I'm going to have to give you a rain check'

Jace pouted from his seat on his counter and swung his legs so they thumped against the marble cupboard doors underneath him.
'Besides, you need to make sure your family is still in one piece'

Ah. They had managed to avoid that conversation last night when they got home to his apartment by having a Well-done-Clary joint shower, twice. But Clary was on a mission and had been on a mission ever since Izzy text Jace to tell him both her and Alexander were home safe and Jace threw his phone to the other side of the room as if he hadn't been anxiously staring at it since he lost sight of the duo.

'They're fine!'

'You need to make sure, Izzy especially seemed really cut up'

Jace was about to say something about their Dad having that general effect on everyone when Clary looked at her phone and snorted.
'Izzy has Simon on the Alec Appreciation bandwagon so they at least reconciled'

Jace unlocked his phone as she filled her travel mug with coffee.

Simon had put up one of the photos that his band's dedicated groupie/photographer took. It was one of the audience from their last big gig in October. Alec was seated in the front row in between a smiling Izzy and a mid shout Clary. He was sucking from a capri-sun and was looking directly at the camera, an unimpressed facial expression topped with an eyebrow raise made him look like the sassiest Queen either Clary or Jace had ever seen. Underneath the picture which was already getting an abnormal amount of likes for Simon's page was the caption:

Alecltd is a huge fan of Capri-suns but an even bigger fan of The Mortal Instruments! Photocred: Maureen_TMI #notanad

Jace normally didn't like Simon's pictures because they were all hipster and music junk but he double tapped quick and went in to the comments.
There was an obvious presence of Izzy/Magnus followers because they were referencing to Alec like they personally knew him just like they did on Jace's page. Simon's own friends were commenting on it too and Jace was drawn to one in particular.

GeorgeLL: He looks how I feel when you make me listen to Sheep Thief

Jace liked the message with more gusto than he had liked the picture. Sheep Thief was a god awful song that TMI had written in their early stages aka 8th grade and never binned. It was about this @GeorgeLL who had moved to New York in the 8th grade and made the mistake of telling his field trip roommate Simon that his ancestors were, you guessed it, Sheep thieves.

Jace clicked on to George's page from the comment. The Jockey was fit and attractive and set to achieve a gold in horse riding at the next Olympics.

'I like George, he's the least dorky of Simon's friends' Clary was pulling on a yellow Mac that had blue flamingos on it. She shook out her hair and spoke threw the hair tie between her teeth 'George is so nice, I had coffee with him and Simon last week'

'You like him, I like him, I'm sure Izzy likes him. I heard he dates whatever he feels like dating' Jace was exiting Instagram and entering Snapchat, well Snapmaps to be specific.

'He's pansexual, Jace' Clary had her bun tight and was officially ready to walk out the door.

'And Alec is gay'

She grabbed her keys while shaking her head. 'Nope, not having this conversation with you. Alec likes Magnus, and Magnus really, realllly likes Alec so nope'

'At least give me a kiss goodbye' Jace locked his phone and puckered his lips once his girlfriend took her hand off the door handle and made her way over to him. She was up on her tippy toes and he bent his head down to catch her pale pink lips.

'I love you, Fray'

'I love you more Jace'

She gave him one last look beneath her long eyelashes and headed for the door. She would go through the underground parking lot to avoid any and all paparazzi that were sometimes outside the building that he shared with multiple other celebs. Her beetle was parked in his guest spot. Jace watched her as she disappeared from behind the door, as it shut he sighed. He had to head home to feed Church while his mom was away, and he had to learn lines for Gillette advert, and he had get ready to meet Amatis, AND he had to go talk to his siblings who were still both together on snapmaps. He had to find out why Magnus Bane was attached to Alec's arm, which was another conversation him and Clary avoided last night. He too tied his hair up in a bun and closed his eyes. Sundays were normally for rest and here he was rushed off his feet without even taking his evening errands into account. He rolled his shoulders as he slid off the counter; Church was his priority everything else that needed doing would fall in to line eventually, hopefully, maybe.

*

Across the city the sickeningly busy lobby of The L was graced with the presence of its owner, who nodded to his patrons who couldn't help but gawk at the business mogul and all round looming figure that was Robert Lightwood. His leather shoes were soundless against the white marble as he joined his doormen and the The L's event coordinator at the brass doors. A celebrity, one of more status than the those milling around reception, was arriving.

The limo was obnoxious and Robert loved it, and he knew that if Elise was by his side and not organizing their Platinum Meeting room she would fall in love with the chrome rims and Louis Vuitton interior.

The door was opened long enough for him to have a good look in, and then she slid out, effortlessly. Her blonde hair was curled within an inch of its life, and her emerald eyes peered out at Robert from half frame sunglasses. Her white pant suit was paired with a pair of coral stilettos and Robert extended his hand to the socialite as she ascended the black carpet that adorned the steps leading to the front doors.

'Ms. Belcourt, it is truly an honour to meet you' Camille let the older man kiss her pale hand and put on her most gracious smile.

'Please, it is an honor to meet you Mr. Lightwood, hopefully the soon to be Mrs. Lightwood!'

Robert led her in through the doors, Ciara leading the way to where Elise was waiting. 'My fiancee is waiting for us in the Platinum Meeting room with refreshments'

Camille kept her pace with the Hotelier but had her eyes darting a mile a minute. The hotel really was extravagant, which made her plan even more sweeter. Ciara opened the cream double doors with one movement, and Elsie was standing beside a little table that had tiers upon tiers of cakes and fruit and pastries. Glasses of champagne were all standing to attention on an ivory coffee table. Camille was at home.

Despite Robert's fiancee looking like every other bleach blonde Cali girl, Camille takes a huge step back with faux shock on her face.

'You're even more beautiful than Mr.Lightwood said' Elise can't help her giggles and holds out her hand to catch Robert's. 'Let me see the rock then' Elise complies easily and Camille is mere inches away from completely making the couple fall in love with her. She lets out a whistle as she sees the huge princess cut diamond sparkly on Elise's bony finger. 'I dont think i have ever been jealous of another woman before, but I am now' Elise's face went from red to pink to white and back to white again, and then she just swelled up with pride and ego and stuck out to admire her ring once more. 'Oh stop it, you're making me giddy'

Camille shifted in her shoes, her toes cramping. It was nearly in the bag

'You know, I have friends in the media bizz who swear your wedding is set to be the occasion of the year'

It was Robert's turn to swell as he pulls out the seat for their guest, a chuffed smile engulfing up his face. 'That's what we're hoping. It'll be better than my first anyways'

Camille clinked her champagne flute against the still gaping Elise, internally cringing at her baby pink blouse. 'Oh? Your first was something lass than desired?'

Robert sat then and Elise out her hand atop his. 'It was basically a shotgun wedding, my ex-wife was pregnant with my eldest Alec at the time'

Camille barely, BARELY, concealed her eye roll at the mention of the precious little ballerina that everyone was talking about even though there was no concrete evidence they were together, yet.

She recovered quickly, this was her cue, now or never.

'Ah I see, well I do hope you're having it here. The architecture is exquisite, the ballrooms are to die for, this food, the service. I, for one, am glad to partnering up'

'We are actually! And then we're honeymooning in the Bahamas!' Elise couldn't help herself and completely ignored Camille's revelation, despite it being the very reason of the meeting. Robert picked up the courtesy where his young fiancee dropped it. 'Thank you so much for your kind words, I do hope this means you've decided on our hotel as your venue?' Robert's fingers were twitching with excitement.

'Oh god yes! Where else would I launch my new fashion range!? This hotel screams elegance and class, and refinery. All the things my brand is!'

Camille was in. Robert clicks his fingers and a waiter appeared out of nowhere with the celebratory glasses of their imported 500$ wine, his chuffed smile turns into a smug one. Who needs the business of ruffians like that Fell fellow when you had New York's most eligible socialite fawning over your hotel.

'You take the first glass, Ms. Belcourt. This is a celebration of your new ingenious Women in Power line'

'And of your hotel, our partnership, my very first clothing line and your upcoming nuptials, may you get the family you have always wanted and deserve, Mr. Lightwood'

*

'So, then Helen, Helen is his best friend and Aline's girlfriend, you know Aline, Cat?, anyways she was like 'You want some eggs?' and then I took my leave to meet my favorite rag tag group of friends'

'Watch who you're calling ragtag, I have a Tony'

'Jem, you're wearing a black robe thing and you've a emerald stone choker on, that's the exact type of ensemble ragtag would wear'

'It's a jade stone choker from Shanghai' Jem threw back but Tessa put her hand up to stop any further argument. 'Nevermind how ragtag we are, how did you say goodbye to him??'

Catarina had her fork in mid air as she waited for the penultimate answer. Magnus and her always butt heads when it came down to the really important stuff because she needed him to be happy and safe, especially after the disaster they all let happen with Camille. And no matter how much he reassured that he had his big boy pants on with the eldest Lightwood, it was his actions with Alec that made her believe this was the big leagues. Magnus had been texting when he stepped out of the cab which parked right in front of their breakfast spot. They forced him to put his phone in Tessa's huge straw bag once their food came and that's when he began he exciting recount of last night and the morning, all the bits he had left out in his phone call and all the extras that just happened.

'I gave Alec a peck goodbye and said goodbye to Helen, and Izzy and Izzy's boyfriend Sherman' Cat and Tessa eyed each other. And Jem and Will and Ragnor were agog.

Magnus didn't smile, which was publicly known.

Magnus didn't cry, which was publicly known.

And Magnus didn't close mouth kiss anyone, especially not once, and especially not as a goodbye, which is not publicly known unless you put together all the paparazzi pictures of him kissing someone and realise you can always see tongue action.

'Oh so you're kissing people goodbye now, like a husband? A committed husband who pecks their husband goodbye' Will teased but it was a testing tease, and Catarina still had her fork in the air. The mention of marriage had normally evoked reactions such as silence, gagging, or a guffaw, or the consequential ending of whatever relationship with the person they had been him teasing about.

But Magnus grinned and popped a strawberry into his mouth 'Raggy pecks Cat all the time and they're not even engaged'

'We're waiting till the house is 100% finished'

Tessa held her tongue from asking Ragnor how the construction of his and Cat's avant garde house was going because Magnus looked thoughtful and she didn't want to distract what could possibly be unfolding.

Jem noticed the look on Magnus' face too. 'Penny for your thoughts, Maggy'

Magnus pursed his lips as if he didn't trust himself to speak but Jem's eyes were boring into him, as were his fiancee's, and Cat's and Ragnor's. He now wished that their usual table in their little breakfast place wasn't round so they couldn't all swivel and stare at him.

'Well, I guess I was just thinking about how I never thought that I would be anyone's, you know'

'No, what?' They genuinely were unsure of where this was going. They weren't expecting his answer, at all.

'Anyone's Husband'

Catarina finally let her fork drop, and it landed with an undignified clatter on her plate.

'Woah, Magnus'

Magnus stopped spooning avocado into his mouth and put his hands up.
'I haven't bought a ring, I haven't booked a venue. I'm just saying, I never felt like I would be comfortable enough with someone to want them to see all of me, all the time'

Tessa couldn't help her eyes prick with tears. You couldn't write this stuff, she would never be able to capture this vulnerability in any of her stories, it was too raw.

'And with Alexander?' Jem coaxed. 'And with Alexander I feel safe, which is odd because he's small and shy but he makes me feel brave'

The group fell into a silence but for once Magnus didn't feel the hit embarrassment he normally got when he talked about his deepest feelings.
He even decided to break the eternity long silence with a thought that was worrying him and could possibly get him into trouble.

'Also, Ragnor, I was wondering, when you photographed them, the Lightwoods I mean. Did uh did you notice Alec limping?'

Ragnor swallowed his granola quickly and shook his head 'Uh no, but to be honest I was caught up with how photogenic he was and how much they were all fighting to notice'

Jem cut into his waffle with gusto, his brows knitted together 'Why Mags? Is he hurt?'

'Well I don't know we were uh talking, and I went to lift him onto the counter top so he could uh hear me? And like the movement really seemed to hurt this bruise he has?'

He was staring into grapefruit to ignore the amused faces of all his friend, he had yet to show them his hickey. Cat chewed her bacon slowly as Tessa giggled into her mushrooms. 'That was so kind of you to try and help him hear you better'

Magnus could feel blush creep onto his face, saying what happened out loud lessened his anxiousness about it.

'Anyways Magnus, teasing aside, dancers get aches and bruises all the time. Some of the guys that come into to dance for hen parties we host get boshed and banged with all the gyrating and rolling on the floor they do' Will said through a mouthful of banana pancakes. Magnus couldn't help his grin and Will's wording but appreciated the sentiment.

'Yeah you're right. I was just worried'

Cat sipped her juice 'Big question here though, do you introduce Alec to Luna when her and the kiddos come on Tuesday'

Magnus nearly spilled his boiling tea all over his lap in fright 'Cat that's not this week??!'

Cat simply nodded an Magnus pulled out his phone to check his calendar. Sure enough it had been one of the reminders he had ignored this morning.

'Well shit. Okay well, maybe? She wants to do all the galleries Tuesday morning and they're coming to the shoot on Wednesday. Maybe lunch? she won't embarrass me too bad in front of her nuggets. Yes okay Lunch. He loves kids and kids adore him, and Luna is self admittedly obsessed with him already so yes? Only if he wants too, so maybe. I wonder how many he wants'

Will was the only one that was not thrown by Magnus's readiness to introduce the fam to Alec and caught his last question.

'How many what?'

'Hmm oh kids, I wonder how many kids he wants' Magnus spooned some yogurt into his mouth nonchalantly as he thought about it.

If the Husband thing had thrown them for a loop, the kid thing had blown their minds. Tessa and Ragnor couldn't close their mouths.

'Speaking of Lu and galleries, someone remind me I need to swing by the Fray gallery, I bought the most exquisite artwork. It's of Alec of course, it encapsulates his essence which leads me on to my next subject. I want to make a line inspired by him, moody Blues and dark purples, black of course'

'I'll remind you, we can take pictures of you and her, showing your support. Also you should start that line after the WIP wear is finished, you'd have it done for the Summer'

Tessa, Jem, Will and Ragnor were all eyeing each other in disbelief over Magnus' revelation as he and Cat talked clothes. They were shocked, as was Catarina but she always had her COO head on her shoulders and the only one that could regain her voice.

'My Women in Power line is done! I mean, a couple finishing touches and it'll be out for Spring!'

Catarina grinned at her best friend, his face had lost the shadows that had been clinging to it over the last couple of months. 'Awesome, I'll get Lottie to send everything over'

'We never brought them with us?'

'Well, they're not in either of our warehouses here so they must be in London! I'll give her a call later'

Cat exhaled into her coffee cup, recovering from Magnus's rambling about Alec. She hadn't seen him so invigorated in a long long time. Will licked cream from his hot chocolate off a marshmallow not able to stop himself be smart. 'Make sure I'm not there when you call her, I can't stand hearing her go on and on about the master inventor that is Henry'

'They're in love, William' Tessa scolded, noticing how Magnus didn't back Will up over how disgusting love as usual.

'Yes well they weren't in love three months ago when they told us they were dating solely to be named the entrepreneurial couple of the year.

The friends all chuckled, no one having an argument against Will, because really he was right. They had gotten together out of necessity more than love, but things changed. They fell into a silence that was less intimidating than the last one, all left with things to ponder, majorly being who was this bright eyed Magnus, could they bottle what ever Alec Lightwood had that made him so alive, and how long had he been so lonely for.

*
Alec could hear the Friends theme tune okay for the umpteenth time from the sitting room. He couldn't help but glare at his closed door.

Imogen had eaten him, devoured him. She was mad at him over his leg because he didn't tell her when it happened in the first place so this just infuriated her. He didn't tell anyone when it happened, apart from Randy who was skulking around and heard the thump.

He didn't like Isabelle being the sensible one. That was his job, and he also didn't like the fact that she was doing exactly what he would do. All he could do now was throw her a dirty look as he hobbled past. He didn't even really mean for it to be a dirty look but he had his brows tightly furrowed and his nose scrunched up because of the pain. Oh my god the pain. It had been bad enough when Magnus had accidentally caused it to bend, in fact it was an instant boner killer, instant! But when Simon kicked at it something definitely shifted hence total loss of consciousness, and Alec was almost too scared to think about it but he's sure its been made worse, if that was even possible. He let himself sink onto his bed, the only reason it was a good mattress was because he had brought it from Lightwood Manor. He straightened his leg out as slowly and gently as he could, which took a full minute and caused a total number of 5 tears to fall from his eyes.

He felt like a child, a baby. He was just glad Magnus had gone before he started blubbering or dramatically fainting, now that would be an instant turn off. He shouldn't be crying, he pulled the comforter up over himself, too exhausted to maneuver himself under the duvet just yet. He definitely did not deserve to cry. If anyone should be crying it should be Helen what with Aline being elusive and Mark being a troubled teen. And hell, Lydia who was so kind and understanding in her texts, should be non-stop crying with her Husband over on his second (unplanned) tour in one of the worst war devastated places in the world. Here he was crying into his pillow because his bruise was hurting him. Honestly.

He was more mad at himself than Izzy really. He let his head fall back deeper into his pillow and he was just letting his eyes shut when his phone buzzed, vibrating on the bed. He picked it up and half expecting a text from Lydia confirming a coffee date before Wednesday or a 'Randy is mad he can't watch you twerk' snapchat from Helen, he swiped to unlock his screen quickly. He was very surprised to see his messages open on to a conversation that didn't belong to Helen with her emoji overuse or Lydia with her perfect grammar. It read 'Thank you for taking care of me, I truly have never had a better night' and with a quick look at the previous messages and a triple check of the name at the top of the conversation, he began to type out his response to Magnus.

Alec's heart pounded in his chest, Magnus made him feel like the best person in the world but also the most nervous. His thumbs were shaking.

'You can just call me Nurse Lightwood anymore'

He sent it without too much over analyzing on his words and was proud that he had managed to construct a whole sentence without changing his mind halfway through. He was going to put his phone face down on his chest to stop himself from willing a text to come back when it buzzed again. No one ever text him back so quickly. Helen took minutes, Izzy took days, Jace sometimes waited till the next time he seen him to answer whatever he had sent verbally.

'I hope that's an invitation to call you, and to come over more'

Just seeing Magnus replying so quick made Alec smile, and made his leg not hurt. Basically Magnus was healing him, basically.

He sent back 'You might just get your wish' before putting his phone down on his bedside locker and grabbing the pill bottle of the stupid dime sized painkillers that cost him 30$. They made him drowsy and he figured that he was in the best place for them. His phone dinged once more before his eyes started to shut and he just registered it as an Instagram notification before he fell into a long and hopefully painless sleep.

Chapter Text

Hi Magnus! How are you?

I'm good, welcome welcome. How are you?

I'm great! This is a lovely place, is this your permanent home?

This is my New York home! I'm here most of time but I have a place in Los Angeles too

Awesome, are you ready to start?

Born ready.

•Cool so, dogs or cats?

Oh my god, Cats of course. I share an apartment with my cat, Chairman Meow. He's very spoilt, if he wasn't off sunbathing. the spotlight would be on him.

•What’s your favorite flower?

Oh Sunflowers! There's some beautiful ones growing out back, I'll show you.

•Flowers are really positive so let's go the opposite way. When was the last time you cried?

Oh hmm, actually recently like last week.

•Why were you crying?

I finished my friend Tessa's latest novel, it was heartbreaking. She's a star.

•Speaking of writing, do you like your handwriting?

I do! It's very messy though, sometimes I have to translate it.

•Do you bake?

I like it, but I can only bake certain things. I like to cook though.

•What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

I can be mean, so watch out.

•Oh gosh haha, okay. What is your most favorite thing about yourself?

Good next question, I like that I'm able to think on my feet in a tense situation.

•Who do you miss most?

One of my close friends, Woolsey Scott. He was murdered during a home invasion gone, when we were teenagers.

•I'm sorry to hear that.

It's okay, his memory lives on. There's a dog park in London dedicated to him, he loved dogs. Everyone watching should visit if they find themselves at a loose end in London.

•Okay so, what are you listening to right now?

I have Lorde's album on repeat, she's a visionary.

•Favorite smell?

Rain.

•Interesting, who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

Let me check. Ah it was Cat, my best friend/PR manager/COO of my line. She rang me to make sure I was not in pyjamas for when you arrived.

You're in your pyjamas though…

They're too cute not to show off, Gucci has out done itself.

•Will Catarina be mad?

Most definitely.

•Who was the last person you sent a text to?

I know this without checking, my mom! I asked her if she wanted me to bring dessert to our family dinner on Sunday.

•Are you going to bring one?

I am! I'm making Spekkoek which is a multi-layered cake, it's one of the few things I can bake!

•If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

I really want a tattoo, I'm too much of a scaredy cat to actually do it. I would have it on my ribs I think, which is the worst place to get it.

•To be or not to be?

That depends on my mood.

•Right now?

To be.

•What's your sexual orientation?

Bisexual.

•Bird-watching or whale-watching?

Whale-watching, I've been to Norway with my Dad, it was great!

•Best gift you’ve ever given?

When I made my first Million, I bought my parents the house they always wanted. That was the best feeling.

•Last gift you gave a friend?

I sent my friend Hypatia a pair of these star shaped sunglasses I found in San Francico. She runs a warehouse in London, very high fashion but very partial to odd accessories.

•What’s your favorite board game?

Life! It was my first love!

• What’s your favorite country to visit?

France. I love the food, the fashion, the people; everything.

•What’s the last country you visited?

Australia! I went for some sports wear inspo! The beaches are exquisite.

•What country do you wish to visit?

Ireland, there's just something about it that seems magical.

•Speaking of countries and travel, what happened in Peru?

I have no comment for that one, that's my answer.

•Okay, what’s your favorite color?

Blue

•Least favorite color?

Camille Belcourt's hair colour.

•Shady! What’s your favorite movie?

I have watched Vantage Point at least a million times but anything Disney is a definite.

•Favorite TV show that’s currently on?

Grey's Anatomy, I'm waiting for the day Meredith and Alex get together.

•Contorversial, if not Grey's Anatony then?

America's next top model.

•Can you tell us about the infamous guy who made you smile at your last Showcase?

He's the most exquisite being I have ever laid eyes on.

•Wow, are you dating?

Not yet, but its my mission to have him, on my arm of course.

•Keep us updated, Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram as long as they don't have a screenshot notification in their next update, I'll be exposed.

•Who should EVERYONE be following right now?

Me

•Favorite family member?

Oh tricky! I'd have to say my niece Katie, she says the most honest, most innocent things.

•What’s your favorite food?

These little gluten free brownies you can get in Starbucks.

•Are you allergic to gluten or is it a lifestyle choice?

I'm allergic to it, unfortunately.

•Guilty pleasure?

Comic books!

•You're a nerd! Marvel or DC?

I am a proud nerd, Marvel always.

•Favorite drink?

Wine

•Favorite dessert?

Chocolate covered strawberries!

•Nice, dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate.

•Coffee or Tea?

If I didn't have Coffee, I don't know where I'd be.

•Favorite song?

Girls just wanna have fun by Cyndi Lauper

•Great choice! Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds.

•Heels or flats?

Heels, God of course.

•Haha okay, Pilates or yoga?

Neither. Channel surfing.

•Best way to de-stress?

Scream, wine works too.

You seem to be very relaxed, the screaming is working.

Oh yes, it's very stabilising.

•If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Super speed, so then I could out run the paparazzi, and like get more stuff done.

•What’s the weirdest word in the English language?

Coagulate

•That is a weird word, okay so a sport you wish you could play?

I never could get my head around baseball.

•Hair color?

Black with the odd strand of blue, or turquoise, or purple.

•Eye color? They look like a cat's

Green, stop flirting with me gosh

•Haha sorry, favorite season?

Fall, but I think every season can be your favorite if you are with the right person.

•Aww, hugs or kisses?

Kisses

• What would your friend say you're not very good at?

Being sick, apparently I'm a diva

•Where were you born?

Indonesia, while my family were visiting our relations! My sister was born in Canada.

•What would be the title of your autobiography?

Oh that's an interesting one! I'd have to go with The Bane Chronicles.

•That sounds awesome! What's the first thing you notice about someone?

Their eyes.

•Thing you find most attractive to in a partner?

Their eyes.

•All about the eyes, what are you tired of?

Kids being killed for no reason.

•Amen. What do type of dance do you like to watch?

Umm, my Dad used to bring us to ballet shows all the time, so ballet.

•Favorite cocktail

Sex on the beach

•Oh there's your cat! Can I pet her?

If she allows it, she's cranky.

•Your first pet's name?

Rollo, a little dachshund.

•Can you show me a trick?

I can touch my nose with my tongue.

Do it.

Tah-dah

•That was awesome. Best advice for your teenage self?

Your skin will clear up, you'll make it eventually and you'll find your best friends soon.

•Aww, if you could be one female celebrity who would you be?

Jane Fonda

•A male celebrity?

Liam Neeson, he does the best movies.

•Your inspiration?

My parents.

• Did you enjoy these questions?

I did, so did The Chairman.

Thanks so much for having me!