Alexander is not particularly good with words.
Magnus knows this and while it can be occasionally frustrating, he mostly finds this trait of Alec’s incredibly endearing. The way that he trips over his response when Magnus uses a pet name, or the way that exquisite red flush spreads over his skin like Magnus’ own personal sunrise with every compliment Magnus gives him…Magnus finds all of these little things absolutely beautiful and he couldn’t imagine having Alec any other way.
Alexander is a man of action, strong and loving and loyal to a fault. He inspires a similar loyalty and a fair bit of awe in those he leads, and Magnus has never been so utterly gone for someone as he is for his beloved Alexander. He could watch him all hours of the day and never tire of the little nuances of Alec’s behavior, small gestures invisible to all but a few and as clear as words on a page to Magnus. Because he has dedicated himself to learning this wordless language of Alec’s, devoted every ounce of his being over the last year to understanding this incredible boy who has burrowed so deeply into his heart.
Even so, it takes him quite a while to translate what Alexander is trying to tell him.
It starts one night after an incredibly tender round of love-making. This night had been for butterfly kisses and reverent caresses, breathy moans and shuddering sighs. With Alexander rocking into him almost tortuously slow, Magnus could think nothing but Alexander and I love you. He doesn’t say it though. Instead they lay tangled together in the afterglow, warm contentment settled over them like a blanket. Magnus lets himself drift, lost in the sensation of Alec tracing a path up his spine and over his shoulders with his lips. He stops occasionally to trace symbols into Magnus’ skin, touch so light that Magnus almost doesn’t recognize the dip and curve and flourish of a rune. He wants to ask Alec what it is, but sleep has already grabbed ahold and gently tugs him under.
He pays careful attention after that. Notes the way Alec wordlessly traces the same symbol into the skin of Magnus’ shoulder or his back or the nape of his neck, revels in the warmth of Alec’s lips as he follows each symbol with a lingering kiss over the same spot.
A part of Magnus wants to ask Alec what it means. But a larger part, the one that knows Alexander and the way he speaks through his actions…that part keeps him silent. Instead he focuses on each line and glide and curl until he can see it in his mind and has it committed to memory.
Magnus pulls Izzy aside the next time he’s at the Institute, sketching it out for her as best he can and hoping she recognizes it. By the way she gasps and the way her eyes sparkle with delight, it can only be something good. She says nothing, just hugs him and scribbles a word underneath his sketch before folding it and handing it to him with a dazed little smile.
He waits until he’s back in his loft before reading what she wrote. And promptly collapses on the couch in shock. Chairman Meow hisses in irritation but Magnus can’t be bothered to care.
The word resounds over and over in his head, rushing through his veins and winding its way around his heart, filling it until he feels he could almost burst with it.
Magnus had barely dared to hope for this, despite knowing he could love Alec from the first moment the boy turned that shy dazzling smile his way. He has lived for centuries, met and loved and lost countless people, but Magnus has never encountered someone as utterly gorgeous as Alec is both inside and out. Alec is a whole new set of firsts for Magnus, but the most important one is that he’s the first to seem to truly care for Magnus in return, the first lover Magnus has felt able to be genuinely vulnerable with. And here is the proof, written upon his flesh with the heat of Alec’s touch in moments meant just for them.
He doesn’t realize he’s crying until Chairman purrs softly in his lap, drawing his gaze down as well as the subsequent tears which drip from his cheeks.
My Alexander, Magnus thinks. My dear wonderful Alexander. I love you, too.
Alexander isn’t good with words, Magnus knows this. But if the way blue eyes widen in disbelief, if the way Alec pulls Magnus to him into an almost bruising kiss when he sees the symbol inked in black and gold above Magnus’ heart the next time they make love is any indication, well…
Magnus is confident that his message is received, no words needed.