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Alec didn’t know what he’d been expecting to hear when his phone rang but he knew he couldn’t breathe, hands shaking as he pulled it out of his pocket. He glanced over at Jace, whose eyes had gone wider than ever as he scooted to the edge of his seat.

They sat in their expensive loft, high in the riches of New York. They’d both been on edge all day, waiting to hear, snapping at any sound the other made. Alec found himself wishing all day that Isabelle was around. She was much better at handling the waiting, at making sure Alec and Jace didn’t kill each other as they grew more and more impatient.

Alec rubbed his hands on his legs, knowing without looking who was calling. He forced a breath out through clenched teeth, hand curling tightly around the phone as he tried to tell himself it wasn’t a big deal.

Alec met Jace’s gaze, waiting for Jace’s nod and taking a deep breath before hitting answer. Whichever way the call went, it affected both of them.

The next few moments blurred, everything happening too fast, leaving Alec stuck in the moment before he answered the phone, unable to believe what he was hearing.

Even as a grin crossed his face, he could barely process things. His racing pulse filled his ears, a rushing sound blocking out everything else. His heart had definitely stopped for a minute there and all he could do the whole time was sit and stare at his phone on the glass coffee table, on speaker for Jace to hear.

Alec reached forward slowly, hanging up the phone before turning to Jace, unbelieving smiles crossing their faces. Alec’s heart beat so hard and fast he was sure Jace had to be able to hear it. He couldn’t move, feeling completely numb from shock.

Jace was the first to move, jumping from the expensive white couch Izzy had insisted on outfitting the apartment with, screaming and pumping his arms.

Alec was in complete disbelief even as Jace pulled him to his feet, screaming and hugging Alec tight.

“Can you believe it?” Jace shouted and all Alec could do was shake his head. He really, really couldn’t. Was this real? Somehow this was more unbelievable than the call that told him he’d gotten the part was. This was…this was big. This was not just getting the part but the season, the series, being picked up. It was actually real, actually happening now…

Alec was grinning, at least he thought he was, that had to be why his face was hurting, right? It was hard to tell.

“Oh my god, we’re on a tv show…on tv!” Jace screamed in a voice that sounded almost angry, but Alec, having known Jace since he was a ten-year-old kid threatening to beat up everyone on the playground, knew that was Jace speak for overly excited. “We have to call, Izzy,” Jace grinned.

Even as he scrambled around to call Isabelle, Alec’s mind was a chaotic blur, he was barely aware of picking his phone up in his still shaking hand. Part of him refused to believe it was real, if he told Isabelle though, that would make it real.

“It was picked up, wasn’t it?” Isabelle’s voice screamed from the phone.

Alec winced, pulling the phone away from his ear.

“Damn right it was! Damn right!” Jace screamed.

Alec had to grin as Isabelle’s shrieks came through the phone. “I knew it!”

***

Magnus was in his crowded loft in LA, trying to write in a room full of people eagerly awaiting…something. Magnus honestly didn’t know what. He hadn’t been paying attention since they all got there, off in his own mind.

Magnus Bane was an award-winning pop-star. One who couldn’t, for the life of him, write a decent song.

Glancing around the lounge, it was easy enough to tell that hadn’t always been the case, awards and records hung on all the walls. Magnus had at least a part in writing every song he ever recorded, and he had three multi-platinum albums. Obviously, he could write. The problem was…he hadn’t written a decent song in almost a year.

Chewing on his pencil, forgetting the glitter that coated it until it was in his mouth, Magnus finally looked up. He’d forgotten anyone else was even there but all his best dancers were in town for their performance the next night, so, of course, they were staying with him. Plus, these people — Raphael and Ragnor, Isabelle, Clary, and Simon — they weren’t just Magnus’ dancers, but the only real friends he had.

So there they were, Magnus trying — and failing — to write a decent song when he should’ve been in the studio weeks ago… Surrounded by people anxiously biting their nails. Well, not everyone was. Raphael looked bored, staring at the dark tv screen and clearly wishing he hadn’t been outvoted in watching a movie. Ragnor — who wasn’t a dancer but was Magnus’ best friend — had wandered off. But Isabelle — Magnus’ best dancer—, Clary— who was practically Magnus’ little sister and a backup dancer —, and Simon — who wasn’t a dancer but a tag along — were all literally biting their nails.

Tossing aside the empty notebook that he’d been staring at, trying to will lyrics to come to him, Magnus wracked his brain to remember what they were waiting for. When it came to him a minute later, it was all too obvious.

Of course, he thought, Alexander would be finding out if his show was picked up any minute.

Magnus tried to ignore the way his heart twisted painfully even now, nearly two years later, when he thought about Alec. And yet, the pain still came even though Magnus knew, in every way it mattered, he’d moved on.

When Isabelle’s phone finally rang, everyone jumped off the dark suede couch. Isabelle moved so suddenly that her phone flew out of her hand, leading to a mad dash to catch it.

Isabelle screamed into the phone right away, nearly deafening Magnus who glared at her. The screaming didn’t stop, merely got louder.

Clary shouted over Isabelle, “What’s happening? Tell us!”

Laughing through suddenly teary eyes, Isabelle pulled the phone away from her ear to beam at the room. “They got picked up for a full season!”

As Clary screamed wordlessly, happy for her friends, and Simon clapped ironically in the background grinning nonetheless, Magnus slipped out of the room.

Wandering down the narrow, dark halls of his house, Magnus ignored his racing heart. He slipped into his music room, sitting down at the piano. He needed to have a new song to his label soon if he wanted to avoid their insisted ghostwriting.

Magnus closed his eyes, letting the feelings that were overwhelming him out through his hands, like he’d been doing his whole life. Since before his shitty parents died, since before Luke took him in, before he was discovered, and…before Alexander.

Magnus couldn’t help picturing Alec sitting next to him at the piano, watching silently as Magnus searched for a new melody and rhythm, the right words.

Shaking his head, Magnus dismissed the image, breathing deeply in and out as he rested his hands over the cool ivory keys, letting the music take over.

***

Alec still couldn’t believe it, lying in bed that night.

Ever since they’d bought the penthouse apartment in New York, which Jace and Izzy had picked out, it’d always felt uncomfortable, too neat and nice for Alec, too big. That night, his whole life felt that way.

This… This was all Alec had worked for, forever. Since he was born to a world famous actor and actress, he’d been groomed to be just like them; smart, beautiful, successful. And yes, most the time it sucked growing up like that with his parents pressure suffocating him, but Alec loved this part. Alec had wanted this, wanted to act. And now…here he was, with a main part in a big tv show. A show that already had a massive fanbase from the books it was based on.

This…this was Alec’s big shot. He’d thought that had been his first big movie but, while it’d launched his career on a small level and made enough money, it didn’t take off the way they’d hoped. The last movie he’d been in had been a complete flop at the box office. But this…this could be it. This could be the part every actor waited and hoped for.

It didn’t feel real yet. Even talking to Isabelle, even going out for celebratory drinks with Jace and Lydia, an old family friend who was also staring in the show… Alec couldn’t shake the feeling it was all a dream.

It was the middle of the night when his phone buzzed on the bedside table. Reaching over, Alec opened the new text without checking to see who it was from. He sat up, heart lurching when he saw the name on his screen.

For a good minute, Alec couldn’t breathe. The shock of seeing that name pop up on his phone short-circuited…everything. He couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe; could only stare.

Glittery Bane of My Existence, the screen read.

Magnus, Alec’s heart said, twitching in his chest. Alec told his heart to shut up, it’d been two years, there was nothing there.

Yet Alec’s brain still flooded with a million pictures, memories that he didn’t want to be reliving right then.

Magnus Bane, he thought with a sigh, staring up at the dark ceiling of his nearly empty room. It was a name he didn’t let himself think often anymore.

Magnus had been discovered when he was seventeen, his first album came out when he was nineteen. Second when he was twenty-one. That was the year Alec met him. Magnus had been in the spotlight for a while but, after the very widespread break up of him and Alec’s then co-star Camille Belcourt, it was hard to glance at any magazine and not see him. And then…

Shaking his head to dispel the memory of the always sparkly pop-star wearing sweats and an overlarge hoodie, hair spiked up with green streaks and lots of glitter. Of eyes surrounded by makeup and shining as he grinned, eyes caught on Alec… Alec swallowed heavily, pretending he didn’t still remember exactly what he’d felt the moment he first saw Magnus.

Finally reading the text, Alec’s heart skipped and he slid the phone back onto the bedside table without replying.

Congrats, Alexander.

***

Magnus laid awake in bed all night, unable to sleep. He tried to keep his mind occupied. Tried doing some light yoga to clear his overfilled head. Even counted sheep. Nothing worked. Nothing helped him sleep or stopped his spinning thoughts that always seemed to land on the same thing, or person, Alexander Gideon Lightwood.

Magnus had known from the second he saw Alec, standing with his sister as she waited to find out if she’d been picked as one of Magnus’ backup dancers; towering over everyone with his dark hair and hazel eyes that immediately caught Magnus’ attention. Even fresh off his very public break up with Camille, Magnus had looked at him, lost his breath, and known…that this, was someone, something important.

Magnus eventually texted Alec, something simple. It meant nothing. Except it meant everything. Magnus and Alec had spent the last year and a half — no, almost two years Magnus realized — carefully avoiding each other. So carefully in fact, that they hadn’t so much as talked or bumped into each other in all that time.

Magnus breathed shallowly, staring up at his dark ceiling, finding Chairman Meow’s soft purring next to his head to be comforting. The truth was, not a day went by when Magnus didn’t regret…everything. Not the singing and dancing. Not meeting Alexander. But everything that came after… Maybe things would’ve been better if they’d just remained friends or… Or Magnus hadn’t been a complete idiot.

Magnus was still awake hours later when a reply came.

Short and casual: thx.

Magnus let out a deep, shaky breath, turning over to finally go to sleep.