In an ancient time, in an ancient place...
His feral, flaming eyes are piercing the young warlock who just turned his back and left with no intention of ever coming back. His eyes narrow into slits as he is barely capable of holding his rage in place. He wants to rip him apart, make him beg for forgiveness, watch the youthful arrogance fade and make room for grave pain and despair. A plan is forming in his deluded mind. He will wait, wait and watch, and get his revenge one sweet day, he has forever after all. And he will make sure that the warlock will suffer the utmost possible when his time comes. When true love will be his demise.
[April 23 - 20:51 - To: Magnus]
Just finished mission, be there in 30. Warm up that lasagna for me, will you? I'm starving! Love you.
Alec smiles to himself as he sends the text to his boyfriend, his whole body feeling jittery with the anticipation of seeing the man he's been in love with for quite a while now. It's been a long day but thinking about his lover always provides him with new, exhilarating energy. His neck tingles and his step feels lighter, and he never gets tired of it.
[April 23 - 20:53 - From: Magnus]
Alexander, finally! Be assured that something hot will be awaiting you! Also food and your favorite cocktail. Hurry! Love you, too.
His smile broadens as he reads the message and his step quickens, he feels a surge of uninhibited want and love and he needs to get to his man, now! He jumps a fence to use a shortcut, a sudden coldness creeping up in his chest which elicits unwelcomed goosebumps. He freezes, listens carefully and observes his immediate surroundings.
Something feels... ominous. Wrong. Alec's natural skills and profound training make sure he is seldom mistaken in these situations. The coldness is creeping further into him, all along his limbs, getting too close to his heart, and his fingers are twitching.
He can't see anything but the houses, streetlights, cars and the road before him. His intuition is uncannily telling him to run. But he's not one to flee from danger. He goes for his bow and quiver. It takes him almost a minute to realise that his arm, his hand, isn't moving. He can't. He can't move at all, not even a toe.
Dread is forming in his gut. He's trying to move again and again, just to take a step, to fish his phone out of his jacket pocket, to open his mouth. He can't. He can't even try to shout for help. A cruel sickness is taking him over, sweat is breaking out on his face, his neck, seconds later it's covering his skin everywhere, his heart is pumping with fear and adrenaline. He's completely vulnerable and helpless.
There's movement on his right, but he can't turn his head. A swish and he loses consciousness.
27 weeks later...
There's a man sitting in a loft in Brooklyn. The rooms are dark, no light could penetrate even through a tiny gap, he made sure of it himself.
It is silent, the kind that feels oppressive, crushing. A few bottles that used to contain strong liquor are lying around him, all empty. One left broken as he smashed it against the wall a few minutes ago, or maybe hours. He has lost the ability to gauge time.
His cats are gone, taken in by Isabelle who wouldn't play the silent onlooker any longer. It's as well, as he couldn't take care of them anymore. He can't take care of anything.
He hasn't left this loft, this room, this spot on the floor for days probably, maybe more. He feels nothing, he is nothing, nothing is left.
He's had dreams, visions, nightmares. He has seen someone that wasn't really there. Someone, always the same person. Always him.
Alexander. His Alexander, who vanished from the earth so many weeks, months, ago. Without leaving a single trace.
Magnus feels as if he's succumbed to madness. He has been talking to Alec. Has seen him in their empty rooms. Striding to the kitchen with fast, secure steps, when he was hungry. Leaning against the counter, his arms crossed in front of his chest, smirking lightly as he was watching Magnus, probably telling him of some grandiose skirmish, or some lascivious joke. Laughing, smiling, observing. Magnus always sees him, hears him, even smells him, but he can never touch him, never make him stay. He's but a ghost in Magnus' home that doesn't feel homely anymore.
He's a mere shadow of his former self, no longer caring for his appearance, clothes, hair, make up, daily hygiene. It doesn't matter.
The first time he saw Alec, his ghost, was when he was lying in their bed, he had been shivering from a coldness he couldn't explain, a low light illuminating the room, he suddenly felt a shuddering sensation crawling up his arm. As he turned his head, Alec was there, lying next to him, his cheek on his hand, a soft strand of dark hair falling into his left eye, watching his boyfriend, a gentle, loving expression on his face that was painful. Magnus stopped breathing. He could feel his lover's breath, his body heat. He was so real, until he reached out a hand to touch him. He felt him, but it was just a reflex, a muscle memory. He grasped nothing but air. The pain was all-consuming.
He's consumed by it now. There is nothing left but his memories, which provide endless torture. He's given up questioning, searching. There's nothing and no one to be found, he tried, he tried absolutely everything.
For months he's been looking, following leads that revealed nothing as there was nothing to be found in the first place. He's been traveling everywhere, looking into any possible scenario, any possible enemy who could be responsible for Alec's disappearance. He's made a few new friends on the way, more enemies. But he doesn't care. There's nothing and no one he cares about now. Alec is gone. His Alexander is gone, and his tortured mind has started to accept that he's gone for good.
It shouldn't have been possible. There was always a clue, a hint of a spell, some magic, a witness, a rumor. Blood. Evidence. A rune. Jace had stopped feeling his parabatai that fateful evening. There was no abruptness to it, not even a moment to pinpoint when it happened. It was a fleeting sensation. Alec was there. Alec was gone. As simple as that.
They have all been looking, exhausting every possibility they could come up with, cashing in on every favor anyone's ever owed them, doing favors and indebting themselves. To no avail. Alec was gone. And no one knew a thing. Not seelies, not vampires, not werewolves, warlocks, mundanes or even demons.
Magnus had sweet talked, bought, used magic and threatened everyone he could think of, or was pointed to. Ragnor, Catarina, Raphael, Luke and other friends had helped them. No search had ever had such a gigantic and widespread scale, beyond and above worlds, as the one for Alec Lightwood.
Hope had faded with every passing week, every impasse they encountered. They were all so determined, no one believing that their friend, brother, lover, could have disappeared just like that - or even be dead. There was no body, no trace evidence.
In his worst, most despaired moments, Magnus felt as if his Alexander had never truly existed. Just a figment of his warped imagination. A punishment for his crimes, for being the monster he conveniently forgot he was.
They saw it. The real him. Izzy, Clary, Jace and Simon. They know the real him now. He had gone just a little bit insane as yet another doubtful path had led them nowhere. And some demons had thought it to be the best moment to attack them. He had let his rage and desperation, all that dreadful pain, take him over. He had killed them all before the Shadowhunters could even react. But he couldn't stop. He needed to destroy. He needed to get rid of the anguish, the distress, the sorrow. As there were no demons left, he had demolished a row of buildings that luckily had been abandoned. The girls had tried to stop him first, talk sense into him, but when Izzy came too close, she had been hit by the force of his magic, been thrown a few hundred feet to the ground where she lay motionless. Only when hearing Clary's shattering scream could Magnus calm himself enough to help his friend. He healed her and she was going to be alright. But nothing is as before. Nothing can be.
“Alexander?” He speaks into the darkness, his voice timid, his body and mind weak and shaken. He blinks. There is no one here. He withdraws more into himself, wishing his mind was wiped, free of every painful thought, every image, every memory. He can't let that happen, though. This will be his sentence for eternity, his punishment for having lost the one person he would give his life for. His one true love. His Alexander.
He's in a state of half dreams, half consciousness. Reliving the best part of the little over a year they spent together as a couple. Seeing Alec for the first time (second time, the very first time he hadn't had a proper chance to look!), the tousled dark hair, the slight dent in his nose, that deep voice, that tall, slender but muscley body, that enchanting smile, and those eyes.
Blue eyes had always had a special appeal to him, but seeing those hazel hues made all the blue he thought he treasured appear pale in comparison.
Something had drawn him undeniably close to the wonderful, strong, gorgeous, young man. Every pore of his body had felt it. Every one of his thoughts had led back to the Shadowhunter. He had fought with all he had had, held back, learned so much about respect, patience and mindfulness. Realised what happiness was and that he would have given him up, should Alec not have found the same happiness in Magnus.
Alec had made dreams come true the warlock hadn't even known he'd had. He was perfection with all his imperfect quirks and behavorisms. He was endearing, adorable, beautiful, trustworthy, a savior and a warrior, the gentlest, bravest, kindest and most loving soul who could be fierce and wild as well, as Magnus had found out over time, when Alec had learned in return to let go, be who he wanted to be. Alec had given Magnus his heart and soul and the greatest gift of spending his life with the much older man, accepting him, his history, the dreaded immortality, all his mistakes and shameful actions. And the cats adored him, even Church liked Alec more than he ever did Magnus and Magnus so got it. And Alec adored them just the same.
Alec had accepted every part of Magnus and loved him and Magnus had never loved the same way before the young man. Alec had surprised and amazed him in more ways than he would have thought achievable. Alec was everything. But Alec was gone, so Magnus had nothing.
Except those fucking condemning memories that wouldn't stop haunting him.
Their first, amazing, passionate kiss in front of the whole Institute on Alec's wedding day, when the young Shadowhunter finally chose himself over his parents, his duty, the law. And later on he had chosen Magnus, making the warlock the luckiest one in the history of everything.
They'd had awkward, yet funny and unforgettable dates none of them would change for anything, they had spent many nights trying to find Alec's favorite alcoholic drinks, Magnus becoming more creative than ever. Magnus will never forget the day Alec agreed to go out dancing with him, his insecure look, his stiff body, working against everything he was used to, eventually letting himself go and enjoying himself, being comfortable with Magnus holding and guiding him. And the one time he had let Magnus put eyeliner on him. Nothing glittery! Plain black eyeliner, but honestly, it was all Alec needed to be just that bit more compelling to Magnus. And the boy basically possessed his whole being anyway.
Alec had given him his trust, his love, his fantasies. Together they had explored their growing affections and attraction, and Alec had learned to trust Magnus with his trepidations grown from his insecurities, his desires and wants. And Magnus had been patient, kind, sometimes challenging but never forceful, never pressured the younger man into anything he didn't want to or wasn't ready for. And Alec had surprised him again with how well he knew himself and what he wanted and was ready for in the end. Magnus would have waited forever just to be with him. And Alec was everything and more, and again the older man had realized that there was still so much he hadn't known, hadn't experienced about love and making love in so many ways. Magnus had been Alec's firsts in many ways, but Alec had also been Magnus' in more ways than the warlock was able to express.
All of it was shredding him from the deepest part within himself to the bare, sore surface. He had thought Camille had killed him, but now he could only laugh at himself for having believed such ridiculous nonsense. This felt like dying. Being ripped apart over and over and over and over again. It never stopped. It hadn't stopped since April 23rd when Alec hadn't come home as he'd promised to.
Magnus remembers every second spent with him from that day. Waking up next to his boyfriend very early, kissing him awake lazily, his heart missing a couple of beats when sleepy hazel eyes gazed at him, how he slowly and lovingly burned Alec's body with ecstasy. Afterwards he made breakfast, well, snapped his fingers because he couldn't be bothered to get out of bed, yet. They talked and laughed and kissed and kissed some more, took a shower together, made love again, kissed and talked and kissed until Alec was called to the mission, promising he'd be back soon. Magnus couldn't stop thinking about him at all that day. He had felt such deep satisfaction, an understanding that no matter what happened, this was what he would live and breathe for, for as long as he was graced with.
He hadn't stopped smiling that day, Church and Chairman Meow giving him the strangest looks he simply ignored, as well as their hissing when he grabbed them to cuddle them senseless. Then he cooked, one of their favorites Alec had taught him; before Alec he never had had the urge to cook regularly himself, and they texted a few times, Magnus enjoying how he made Alec envious of the food, though he didn't really want to eat it without him. And then he was waiting impatiently to hear from his boyfriend that he was well and on his way home. It had taken him long enough, but as soon as he got Alec's text, he turned into a ball of excited, happy energy.
And then Alec hadn't come home after those 30 minutes. And neither after an hour. And he hadn't answered his phone, and Magnus hadn't found him, and no one else had known where he was, either.