It was after eleven when Alec made it back to their loft. He came up the stairs as quietly as he could, knowing it was too much to hope that everyone would be asleep but thinking maybe he could sneak up to his room without anyone—
“Alec!! How did it go?” He jumped as Izzy appeared at the top of the stairs, directly in front of him. She’d clearly been waiting to ambush him when he got home.
He grabbed onto the banister to steady himself. “Jesus, Iz, you could have waited until I wasn’t on a staircase to attack me.”
She shrugged, indifferent to the fact that he’d nearly fallen down the stairs. Sisters. “I couldn’t risk you running away. Come on,” she said, grabbing his hand and dragging him towards the living room, “everyone’s dying to know what happened.”
Everyone did indeed look very eager to hear what he had to say. Clary and Jace were curled together on the loveseat, looking up at him hopefully, and Simon was sitting on the literal edge of his seat in the armchair by the window. Alec wasn’t entirely sure what exactly he was supposed to say.
“So?” Jace prompted after a second. “Do we need to send Izzy on a castration mission?”
“No, Jesus Christ, no. Of course not.” Alec glared at him, then looked down, unable to say this while meeting any of the eyes gazing expectantly at him. “We had a really good time, okay? I’m taking him for coffee on Sunday.”
Izzy squealed and threw her arms around him. “I knew you two would get along! Tell us all the details!”
Alec hugged her back for a second before pushing her away and rolling his eyes. “We went to dinner. It was really good—Clary, I want to take you there, we need to figure out how they make their sauce, because it is good—and we talked a lot.” He shrugged. “It was—nice.”
“And?” Izzy prompted.
Alec sighed. “I walked him home, we made plans for Sunday, and he kissed me goodnight.”
This time it wasn’t just Izzy who squealed. Clary had her hands clasped together in front of her, and Simon had a hand over his mouth as if he could stuff the sound back in. Alec was definitely teasing about that later when he wasn’t dying of embarrassment himself.
“Oh my god, Alec!” Izzy hugged him again. “I’m so proud of you!”
“For being kissed?”
She smacked him on the back of his head. “For giving him an actual chance. Jace told me you almost didn’t go.”
Alec shot his brother a glare. Jace shrugged. “If I hadn’t told her, Clary would have.”
“Did you guys spend the entire time I was gone discussing my love life?”
“Well,” Clary said, looking the slightest bit sheepish, “we did also make a couple pizzas.”
“While discussing your love life,” Jace said. “Sorry, bro. But it is the most interesting thing to happen since Rebecca’s surprise engagement last year.”
“I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that me going on a date at all compares to Simon’s sister calling the day before Thanksgiving and telling Mom to plan for an extra guest and then showing up with a fianc é none of us had even heard of, but okay.”
Jace rolled his eyes. “You know what I’m trying to say. We don’t exactly meet new people all that often, much less go out with famous fashion designers.”
“I still can’t believe, out of all of us, that Alec is the one dating the fashion designer,” Clary added. “No offense.”
“No, I know what you mean.” Alec shook his head. “I’m pretty surprised myself. But—we got along really well. He didn’t seem to care that I didn’t know anything about any of that. Actually, he said it was only fair, since he’s a worse cook than Izzy.”
“I resent that,” Izzy said, pouting dramatically.
“I love your food, Iz,” Simon said. She smiled at him, then glared at Jace as he laughed.
“As fun as this is,” Alec said in tone that conveyed how much it was not, “I’m exhausted, and we all have work to do in the morning, so can we be done here? Have I convinced you not to threaten Magnus with further bodily harm?”
Jace looked at him incredulously. “We can be done, but we’ve got to threaten him, dude. It’s like, practically our job, as your loving family, to threaten your boyfriend should he do you any harm.”
Simon nodded. “It’s in the sibling rulebook, man.”
Alec scrubbed a hand over his face. “You guys are ridiculous.”
“We love you,” Jace said.
“Yeah,” Alec sighed. “I love you too. I’m going to go to bed. Please don’t hurt Magnus, or send him creepy notes, or any of the other crazy things I can see you all planning.”
As he walked out of the room, he heard Simon say, “But creepy notes are my specialty!” and he couldn’t help but smile. They were all crazy people, but they were his family, and he wouldn’t ask for anything different.
“Tessa, I need you.” It was Saturday morning, and Magnus had been pacing his living room, staring at the vase of roses on the coffee table, for the last forty-five minutes, waiting for it to be a reasonable hour to call someone, trying to convince himself that he didn’t need to talk to anyone. He’d called Tessa as soon as it hit 9:30.
“Are you all right?” she asked, instantly concerned. This was why he’d called her, instead of Cat. That, and Cat didn't wake up until eleven at the earliest. “Magnus, did something happen?”
“I went out with Alec last night,” he said.
“Did he do something to hurt you?” She was moving, the muffled sounds of something being rummaged through echoing through the phone. “Just let me get dressed, I can be there in twenty minutes—”
“Tessa, he didn’t hurt me,” Magnus cut her off. “He brought me half a dozen red roses.”
The rustling sounds stopped. “He did?”
“Yes.” Magnus groaned. “What am I supposed to do? I like him, Tessa. He walked me home and asked if he could kiss me goodnight and he brought me roses.”
She laughed, sounding relieved. “What are you supposed to do? You’re supposed to date him, Magnus. That is what one generally does with attractive young men who they like and who obviously like them back.”
“Tessa.” he whined.
Her voice softened. “Magnus, honey, you’re getting worked up over nothing. Just because your last relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to try again. He isn’t Camille.”
“No, he definitely isn’t. He’s about a foot taller, for one thing. And he’d never heard of New York Fashion Week.”
Tessa laughed. “See? All points in his favor.”
“True. Camille never brought me roses.”
“So, what you’re saying is, this is already going better than last time?”
Magnus sighed. “That’s what I’m afraid of. God, I don’t know what it is about him, but I—I really like him, Tessa. And I’m terrified he’s going to see whatever is that everyone else eventually sees and leave me, and I don’t know what I’m going to do. We’ve only been on one date, it shouldn’t matter so much, but…”
Tessa sighed fondly. “I’m coming over. Give me an hour and I’ll bring coffee and croissants.”
“You are a literal angel,” Magnus told her sincerely. “Thank you.”
“I’ll see you soon.” He could hear her smile. “Stop pacing and pet your cat. That’s what you have him for.”
Magnus rolled his eyes. She knew him well. “See you soon, darling. Love you!”
“I love you too, you ridiculous man.”
He hung up and laid down on the couch, scooping the Chairman onto his lap and turning his back to the flowers. There were things he should be doing, designs to work on, fabrics to look at. The apartment needed to be vacuumed. He hadn’t taken a shower or gotten dressed. He found he really couldn’t be bothered to care. Tessa had seen him in much worse shape than this, many times. He wasn’t even drunk. Just worried. Anxious. Possibly panicking.
Someone like Alec just coming into his life, out of the blue like he had, was so improbable that he couldn’t help but distrust it. He half suspected Camille of sending him as some kind of sabotage—not that she cared enough to do something like that, just that she was definitely awful enough to. He had to remind himself that while he hadn’t met Alec face to face until last Tuesday, they had been speaking on the phone for a great deal longer than that. And it would be pretty far to go to force some guy to pretend to run a pizza kitchen for years (and pretend to be family with everyone else working there) just to distract Magnus. Honestly it was the family thing that made the whole idea stupid—there was no way Isabelle was pretending to care about her brothers the way she did. Also, aside from his physical appearance, Magnus doubted that Camille would think Alec was his type. She wasn’t exactly the stuttering, blushy type, and tended to associate those traits with the kind of weak-minded individual who it would never occur to her to use in her schemes.
For Magnus’s part, he found Alec’s shyness endearing, though he found himself hoping that soon Alec would become comfortable enough around him to not get so flustered. Not that he was very optimistic that this would go on long enough for such a thing to be a possibility.
Magnus’s phone chimed, vibrating in his pocket, and he frowned. Maybe Tessa was stuck in traffic. No one else he knew would voluntarily initiate communication before 10 on a Saturday morning.
From: Alec Lightwood, 9:55am
Magnus stared at the phone in his hand. “Good morning”, no punctuation, nothing to indicate tone, just a greeting. An opening for communication, if he wanted one, or just a courtesy if he didn’t. Magnus bit his lip to stop from smiling at it stupidly.
To: Alec Lightwood, 9:56 am
Good morning to you! What has you up so early?
From: Alec Lightwood, 9:56am
Magnus, we open at 11. This isn’t early.
I was trying to wait until you’d be awake to text you
Magnus couldn’t help but feel a little anxiety kick in at that. Maybe Alec had gotten home and come to his senses, and this was him easing into the conversation about cancelling their date tomorrow.
To: Alec Lightwood, 9:57am
That’s very considerate of you
Was there something you wanted to talk about?
From: Alec Lightwood, 9:58am
Not really. I guess I just wanted to check in. Is that okay? I didn’t bother you, did I?
Magnus closed his eyes. I didn’t bother you, did I? As if Alec texting him good morning might somehow be highly offensive, or interrupt some all important meeting. As if Magnus would be anything but pleased to wake up to a good morning from Alec every day for the rest of his life. And, wow, he really needed to get a grip. This didn’t mean anything. This was just something people did when they were dating someone. And they were dating, weren’t they? They’d been on one date and planned another. Alec brought him flowers and texted him good morning. That sounded a lot like dating, but of course they needed to talk about it. Define boundaries.
To: Alec Lightwood, 9:59am
Has anyone ever been genuinely bothered by a good morning text?
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:01am
I don’t have a lot of experience sending them, so I wouldn’t know
Something else they hadn’t really talked about was exactly how inexperienced Alec was. He’d made several comments that made Magnus think he hadn’t been on many dates before, but that could mean anything. Maybe he was shy because he hadn’t done things before, or maybe he was shy because he’d had bad experiences. It was always hard to say. Some people were just shy.
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:02am
As long as you don’t get offended if I’m not awake as early as you are, I certainly don’t mind them
I like the idea of being your first thought in the morning
He wondered if that would be enough to make Alec blush. Probably, he decided.
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:03am
Jace is laughing at me for texting you when I’m supposed to be working
Yes, that had definitely gotten a blush, if Jace was just now calling him out when they’d been texting for ten minutes.
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:03am
Did you tell him I used to call him the arrogant one?
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:04am
No, of course not
They were all waiting up for me when I got home last night, though
Izzy threatened to castrate you if you ever hurt me, and Clary said if you didn’t agree to a second date she’d never make you pizza again
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:05am
I’m not sure which is the more terrifying threat
I guess it’s lucky I agreed to coffee tomorrow
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:06am
Well, I’m certainly glad you did
I had a really good time last night
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:07am
So did I. Especially the last part
Alec didn’t reply for long enough that Magnus started to worry that mentioning the kiss had been to forward somehow, or perhaps that Alec thought he was saying that was all he wanted him for. He was trying to come up with a joke to play it off when he finally got another message.
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:15am
Do you know that was only my second kiss?
Oh. Okay. Well, Magnus had been wondering, and he supposed this was definitely an answer. Not very experienced at all, then. There was nothing wrong with that, of course, but it was a good thing to know.
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:16am
Was it better than the first?
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:16am
The first one was with a lesbian. It’s kind of a long story, but needless to say it was pretty unpleasant for both of us lol
Not that kissing you wasn’t great by any standards, though
I really liked kissing you
Was that too much?
Magnus laughed aloud, holding his phone in front of him and grinning. He definitely wanted to hear the story of Alec’s first kiss at some point, though. It sounded pretty amusing.
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:18am
Not at all. I really liked kissing you, too
Though I don’t think I’ve ever kissed a lesbian, so I couldn’t say how it would compare
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:19am
Jace says I have to either explain why I’m laughing or put my phone away, so I’ll talk to you later, okay?
To: Alec Lightwood, 10:19am
Heaven forbid you explain my humor to your brother, darling. Feel free to text me when you’re well away from him
From: Alec Lightwood, 10:20am
Can do :)
Magnus locked the screen and cradled the phone to his chest, letting the tiniest bit of optimism creep in. Alec was so sweet, and he didn’t even seem to be trying. He was just like this. It felt oddly like taking advantage of an innocent, except he knew that wasn’t true. Alec may not have had much relationship experience, but he was an adult, running his own business. He clearly knew his way in the world, and there was a strength and maturity to him that made the idea of him being naive almost laughable. It was a fascinating dichotomy, one that Magnus was excited to get to explore. And maybe now he could. Maybe this time really would be different.
Tessa arrived only a few minutes later with a white bakery bag and two coffees. “You seem a lot happier than you did on the phone.”
Magnus shrugged, taking the bag of pastries from her eagerly. “He texted me.”
Tessa raised her eyebrows and handed him a coffee cup. “And that miraculously got you out of an ‘I'm unlovable’ funk? I'm impressed.”
“He's impressive,” Magnus told her, taking a sip of his coffee and sitting down on the couch.
“So, when do we get to meet him?”
Magnus choked on the coffee. “Meet him?”
Tessa laughed. “Well, seeing as you're already agonizing about falling in love with him, it seems reasonable.” Seeing his expression, she added, “I'm not saying today, Magnus. But I will admit I'm curious, and you know Cat will be too. You haven't talked like this about anyone since—well, since Camille.”
“I’ve barely said ten words to you about him!”
She snorted. “I think it’s been a few more than ten. And regardless, it’s less what you’ve said and more how you’ve said it. The fact that you called me over here the morning after your date is also a pretty good indicator that you think he’s a big deal.”
Magnus sighed dramatically. “Fair. But I’ll have you know it’s not him that’s a big deal, it’s these damn roses! Who brings roses on their first date? He’s like a Victorian gentleman, if Victorian gentlemen were gay and covered in tattoos. I suppose maybe some of them were.”
Tessa looked appraisingly at the vase of roses on the table in front of her. “He does have good taste in flowers, I’ll give you that.”
“But roses, Tessa? Who does that? I mean, is he trying to court me, old style? Because I am definitely a try-before-you-buy kind of guy. Plus I look awful in white.”
Tessa rolled her eyes as she swallowed a bite of her croissant. “Maybe that’s the kind of thing you should discuss with him, then. Although, really, Magnus, they’re flowers. Plenty of people bring their date flowers. Jem brought me carnations on our first date, and our relationship has hardly been ‘old style’. I think it’s sweet.”
“It is sweet, that’s the problem!” He threw his hands into the air. “What kind of tall, fit, tattooed young man—and you saw him, what kind of guy who looks like that—is that sweet? And he’s so earnest and passionate—the way he talks about his restaurant and his siblings, most of the time he’s anxious and shy but get him on a topic he loves and it’s like he just lights up. It’s like staring at the sun, Tessa, how am I expected to date the sun? What is he doing going out with me?”
“My guess,” she said slowly, as if talking to a child, “is that he’s going out with you because he likes you. It has been known to happen on occasion.”
“Yeah, but you’re different. For one thing, you don’t have to live with me.”
“He doesn’t have to live with you either, at least not yet.” She came to sit beside him and patted his knee. “Look, I know this seems scary. It is scary. But nothing is going to happen if you don’t at least give it a try. If you two fall in love, that will be wonderful. But if you don’t, at least you will have given him a chance. Forget the roses. Do you want to see him again?”
Magnus sighed and leaned against her shoulder, nodding. “I really, really do.”
“Then see him again. Talk to him about what he wants from this, make sure you’re on the same page, and then see where it goes.”
“He’s supposed to take me out for coffee tomorrow.”
Tessa smiled, warm and pleased. “Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a talk.”
He nodded again. “You’re right, of course. Sorry for dragging you over here just for that.”
She knocked her head against his shoulder. “Don’t be ridiculous. You were an excellent excuse to eat croissants and avoid Jem’s pre-concert jitters for a few hours.”
“Oh, that’s right, he has that big thing tonight, doesn’t he? It’s another animal rights benefit, right?”
Tessa nodded. “Yes. This one’s for a cat shelter, I think. Are you planning to come?”
“Anything for the kitties,” he said seriously, and then laughed. “Actually, I think I want to stay in tonight, if it’s all the same to you.”
“As long as it’s not to sit around talking yourself out of seeing Alec tomorrow, I don’t care what you do. You know Jem will never notice if you don't show.”
“Thank you, Tessa,” he said earnestly, and she smiled, and they got back to breakfast.
Alec was excited. It happened rarely enough that he almost didn't recognize it, but when he caught himself humming in the shower Sunday morning, the reason was unmistakable: he was excited to see Magnus again. They'd texted off and on all day Saturday, and the more they talked the more Alec liked him. Magnus always seemed to know just what to say to make Alec laugh or blush—or laugh and blush, more often than not—and he seemed just as interested in Alec as Alec was in him. It was exhilarating, and Alec found himself fighting a grin as he headed into the kitchen.
“Someone's cheery this morning,” Izzy said from her position at the kitchen table. She was staring sadly at an empty cereal box.
“Certainly not you.”
She sighed. “Jace ate all my Cheerios and all we have left is that all berries Captain Crunch Simon loves.”
“I don't know how you put up with him. Such poor taste.” Alec bent to look through the cupboards.
“He has other redeeming qualities,” Isabelle said, watching him. “What are you doing? I thought you had a date this morning.”
“I was considering making you pancakes, but if you don't want them…”
“No! Please!” She threw out her hands. “Although if having a boyfriend means you're willing to make pancakes when you won't even get to eat any, I should send Magnus a thank you card.”
Alec rolled his eyes and got started on the batter. He had plenty of time, and cooking would give him something to do with all this excess energy. “He's not my boyfriend yet. We're just—going out, or whatever.”
“Uh-huh,” she said knowingly. “But you want him to be your boyfriend, right? And that's why you're making me pancakes.”
Alec sighed. “I guess. I–I really like him, Iz.”
Izzy smiled warmly. “I'm glad.”
“You just want us to get together so I'll keep making you pancakes.”
“I will admit, it is a factor. A happy Alec makes for a happy home, after all.” She grinned.
Alec smiled down at his pancake batter. It was going to be a good day.
An hour later he found himself outside of Magnus's apartment building, holding a single white rose. He was ten minutes early, and was hesitating by the bell—should he ring now and maybe make Magnus rush, or wait outside and hope no one asked what he was doing?
As he stood deliberating, one of the other residents of the building came out and held the door when they saw him standing there. Rather than awkwardly try to explain his dilemma, he slipped inside and headed up the stairs to Magnus’s apartment. Of course, now the problem was even worse—did he knock now? Wait? Go back outside? Izzy probably would have just barged right in, or at least tried the door to see if it was locked. At 9:55 he finally gave in and just knocked.
Magnus pulled the door open almost immediately, and Alec saw a smile spread across his face when he saw the rose. “Good morning, Alexander.”
“Hi,” Alec said, holding out the flower. “Um, one of your neighbors let me in. Sorry I’m a little early. I, uh, I didn’t want to be late again.”
Magnus’s smile broadened and he gestured for Alec to come inside, taking the rose from him and inhaling its scent. “It’s quite all right. Let me take care of this and grab my shoes, and then we can be on our way.”
Magnus took the rose into the kitchen, leaving Alec standing alone in the colorful living room. The room was so Magnus, and Alec was curious to see the rest of the apartment, just to see the decorating principles. It was like a whole different world than their loft, which was mostly neutral colors aside from Clary’s bright artwork decorating the walls. They had a matching furniture set from Ikea in the living room, in a dark dull color that might’ve wanted to be blue but was probably closer to gray. Magnus had an orange sofa and two teal arm chairs, with a red metal and glass coffee table sitting in the middle. The lamp in the corner looked like something out of a crazy art deco nightmare, all twisted metal and unnecessary blobs of colorful glass. It was eclectic, but it worked together in a weird way that Alec would never have predicted. He was sure if he ever tried to put that much color together he would give someone a migraine.
“So, where are you taking me?” Magnus asked, coming back in with the (now slightly shorter) rose and sticking it in the middle of the vase with the others. “You just said ‘coffee’.”
Alec smirked. “You’ll find out.”
Magnus raised his eyebrows. “I wouldn’t have thought you’d be big on surprises.”
“Does it bother you?” Alec asked, suddenly uncertain. “Because I can tell you, if you really want to know.”
Magnus rolled his eyes. “I like it. Please, surprise me with coffee. As long as I can acquire caffeine and spend time with you, I’m sure I’ll be happy.”
“Good,” Alec said, and grabbed his hand as he led him out of the apartment.
The coffee place was actually a food cart, but Alec had been coming here with his friends since high school. They had great coffee and even better bagels, and when the weather was nice (as it was—it was early October and the weather was still warm) they had a bunch of picnic tables outside to sit at. Alec had always thought it was a nice place to sit and talk, and maybe it was silly but he had a lot of happy memories here with his friends and he couldn’t help thinking it would be nice to make some more with Magnus.
“Welcome to Java Jones,” Alec said, sweeping his arm to indicate the area. “Home of the finest coffee in Brooklyn.”
Magnus laughed. “They’re busy enough that I believe it. Why don’t you order for us while I grab a table?”
“What do you want?”
Magnus shrugged, smiling. “Surprise me. It’s your coffee cart, after all.”
Alec nodded and headed off to the counter to order. Magnus was acting a little more...reserved than Alec had seen before, and it had him a little on edge. Maybe it was the morning, or the unfamiliar setting? He ordered quickly, wishing he knew more about Magnus's tastes.
Magnus was waiting for him at one of the tables when he turned around, and Alec couldn't help but smile. “I got you a latté, I hope that's okay. And a bagel, but that's kind of non-negotiable here.”
Magnus raised an eyebrow and smiled. “A latté sounds perfect, and I certainly won't argue about a bagel if you're that firm about it.”
They sat smiling at each other for a minute, and then the smile seemed to slide off Magnus's face. “Alec…”
He was interrupted by the arrival of Ms. Jones with their coffee and food, but Alec still felt his blood run cold. This was it, right? The moment where Magnus said, well, it's been fun, but I thought about it and actually this was a terrible idea. He took a sip of coffee to try and brace himself for it. At least he'd made it to the second date this time.
Magnus pushed his coffee aside and spread his hands. “Look, I think—before we let this go too far, I feel like we should probably talk about what it is we want out of this.”
Alec nodded, staring firmly at his coffee. “It's okay,” he said hollowly. “I get it. You don't have to explain.”
“What are you talking about?” Magnus sounded so confused that Alec looked up. Magnus looked completely thrown. “You get what? Because whatever it is, I don't.”
Now Alec was confused. “I thought—wait, what?”
Magnus stared at him, a look of slow realization dawning on his face, and then he let out a self-deprecating laugh. “Alexander, I'm not breaking up with you. Actually, I think I'm asking you if you want to be in a relationship with me.”
“Oh,” Alec said, and then the full meaning of the second sentence hit him. “Oh. Yes! I do. Want to, you know, be with you.”
Magnus smiled, and unlike his other smiles this morning it actually fully touched his eyes. “Good. I'd like that, too.”
“Um.” Alec hesitated, fiddling with his coffee cup. “I've never—I've never really, you know, been in a relationship before? So I don't…”
Magnus smiled wider, shaking his head slightly. “That's perfectly all right. I'd guessed that from our conversation about kisses yesterday.”
“So you don't mind that I've never—”
“Alexander, your experience—or lack thereof—couldn't bother me less.” Magnus looked down. “Just as long as you understand that I—well, I have had relationships, and, well, obviously they haven't worked out, so I might not really be any good at them.”
Alec looked at him then, really looked, taking in the way his shoulders were hunched in just a little and the hope that he was trying to control in his eyes, and realized to his shock that Magnus might be as frightened by this whole thing as he was. He reached out and covered Magnus's hand with his own. “Then I guess we'll have to learn together.”
“Really?” Magnus looked back up at him, eyes shining, and turned his hand up to clasp Alec’s tightly. “You really want to do this? With me?”
“Magnus, I like you. I know we’re different people, and it sounds like neither of us really knows what he’s doing, but—you’re gorgeous and funny and I want to get to know you better. I can’t promise it’ll be perfect, but I can promise to try.”
“Alexander,” Magnus said, and then paused for so long Alec wondered if that was all he was going to say. He would have understood if it had been. “Alec, you’re already amazing. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way about someone before, certainly not so quickly. You take my breath away.”
“I really want to kiss you right now,” Alec said, and then winced. They’d been having a romantic moment and he had to go an ruin it by just blurting the first thing on his mind.
But Magnus just smiled. “You can.”
Alec laughed awkwardly. “There’s a table in the way.”
“I have a solution to that.” Magnus stood, using his hold on Alec’s hand to draw him to his feet against him. “See?” he said, placing his free hand on Alec’s waist and pulling him closer, grinning up at him. “No more table.”
“You’re a genius,” Alec told him, and leaned down to kiss him.
They never did get around to eating the bagels.