Written for Jess (autumn midnights) because she's fantastic. For the GGE 2014.

Red Thread!AU.


When Magnus Bane is born, he doesn't have a thread. He's got that red loop around his pinky finger, but it's just a loop, just a closed circle.

It isn't particularly unusual. After all, the thread won't appear if the person on the other end hasn't been born yet. Half the world, then, is born with simply a closed loop.

But Magnus waits, closed loop haunting him, for nearly 800 years.

Not that he spends that entire time alone, of course. There are plenty of immortals who don't know when their other half is due to appear, plenty who've lost theirs already, and plenty — both mortal and immortal — who just plain don't give a damn.

But nearly eight centuries is a long time to wait.


He expects to feel something, when it happens.

He doesn't. He just looks down at his left hand one day and there it is, a thin red thread stringing from the familiar loop. A rush of exhilaration floods him, but Magnus is not a fool. Parents really don't tend to appreciate fully-grown beings standing on their doorstep and claiming to be their baby's soulmate, no matter how true it may be. Especially mundie parents, and for all Magnus knows, the baby at the other end of that thread could be a mundie. Could be anyone at all. As much as he doesn't want to, he makes himself wait.

Until the child shows up on his doorstep.


He's not really sure why he agrees to hold the Shadowhunters for the Clave — it's one of his least favorite tasks, really — other than it pays well and his cash supply has been getting lower than he's entirely comfortable with. He's seen Robert and Maryse Lightwood before, heard about them. Knew they had a kid, vaguely, in the way one doesn't consciously know it but isn't surprised to find it's true.

Magnus just glances at the Lightwood boy, just a glance, and this time there is a feeling. A rush of emotions: fondness, protectiveness, possessiveness, love. He feels... complete. Like a part of him has been missing for a long time but has recently been discovered. Someone has shoved that bit back in his chest, but instead of feeling painful, it is the most euphoric feeling he has ever experienced. He's heard others talk about it, but he never could have fathomed something like this.

He glances down at his left hand and there it is, the red thread stringing from his pinky, ending in the mass of blankets in Maryse Lightwood's arms.

Why did it have to be a Shadowhunter?

And a Lightwood, at that. The Lightwoods, particularly this generation, are notorious for treating Downworlders as tools and nothing more. It's an attitude they'll probably pass on to the little black-haired child.

After too long, he tears his gaze from the sleeping boy and returns it to Maryse and Robert, both standing awkwardly in the doorway. Neither of them have noticed the thread, and Magnus wonders if that's because they're otherwise preoccupied, or if they just can't see the threads. Not everyone can, after all. And he notices Maryse has a blackened loop and Robert's string stretches off into the distance.

Shaking the thoughts away, Magnus leads the Lightwoods down the hallway of his apartment to the spare bedroom he set up. He gestures to the relevant door very enthusiastically, but neither pair of eyes catches on the thread that jerks and jumps as he does so. Probably thread-blind, then. Pity. Or perhaps a good thing, since Magnus stands by his point about parents not needing to know about their one-year-old's soulmate.


Alec Lightwood doesn't cry.

Magnus was previously under the impression that all children cried.

Not this one.

He just stares with those somber blue eyes. He stares at Magnus a lot. Magus doesn't mind; he could lose himself in that too-serious gaze. Maryse tries to reprimand the child for staring, but Magnus just laughs and waves her off, and Magnus' laugh makes the child giggle and even Maryse Lightwood can't resist when that boy giggles.

"He likes you," Maryse comments one day. Her tone is surprised. "He doesn't often take to strangers."

Magnus smiles. "I like him," he says. "And I don't usually take to children."

"Did you want to hold him?" Alec has been sitting in one of those little rocker things, staring at Magnus as he sits on the couch.

Startled, Magnus looks up at Maryse. "Really?"

After a moment, she nods.

Magnus smiles. "I... Yeah."

Maryse picks Alec up from the rocker and steps over to the couch. "Like this." She demonstrates the proper way to hold him.

It is the initial euphoria times about a hundred. A rush of joy, of love, of completeness. Of every positive emotion he has ever experienced. He doesn't ever, ever want to let the child go. This is his other half in another body, the soul he's spent eight centuries waiting for. Those endlessly deep blue eyes look up at him very seriously, and then Alec smiles. Magnus fears he might explode.

A small hand emerges from the blanket — the right, the boy's dominant hand, judging by the short red thread attached to the pinky — and reaches out for Magnus.

Magnus's left hand is too tangled underneath the boy to free it, and Magnus thinks that he probably wouldn't, even if he could. They don't need to seal this now, probably shouldn't seal it now. All that would do would be to cause more pain when the Lightwoods leave.

The tiny hand presses against his neck, the highest place Alec can reach. A jolt of electricity hums through Magnus' veins.

When he finally stops staring like a fool at those blue eyes, he looks up and sees the quizzical expression in Maryse's eyes. Magnus just smiles at her innocently, and Maryse shakes her as though convincing herself it's nothing.

Alec cries for the first time that Magnus has heard when Maryse tries to take him to bed. He screams, reaching his arms out for Magnus.

Maryse apologizes, convinced Magnus is going to lose patience with the child. Magnus shakes his head. "It's fine, it's fine. I could…" He trails off, but Maryse seems to understand the offer anyway.

"You don't need do that."

"It's not a problem, I promise."

Maryse seems to breath a sigh of relief as she sets Alec carefully back in his arms. The child quiets instantly. Maryse shakes her head, runs a hand through her hair. "I've never seen him take to anyone quite like this. He usually hates strangers."

Magnus just shrugs. "Children like sparkly things?" He grins. Maryse, cool, ice-queen Maryse Lightwood, almost snickers at him. But he watches her face as she realizes all over again who he is, where she is, why, why her child is being exposed to a warlock at all.

Her face sobers and she turns away. Magnus' grin slips.

It is all so complicated.

Without another word, he stands and carries the child to bed. Maryse doesn't enter the room until he leaves.


As he watches the Clave sentence the Lightwood family to run the Institute in New York, he knows he's going to be remaining in Brooklyn for a while longer. Patience is one thing. Moving away from his soulmate is another entirely.


Nine years later, just before Magnus's patience has quite run out, he gets a call from the Institute about a child who decided he could defy all logic and hunt demons on his own.

His heart goes cold. He has kept up with the gossip wheel, so he knows the Lightwoods only have one son. Alexander.

He doesn't think he's ever prepped for a job so quickly. In the taxi, he can't stop his leg from bouncing — but he knows better than to portal for emergency situations. If it's bad enough to be an emergency call, he probably doesn't have magic to spare. His magic reserves are deep, but siphoning demon poison out of the bloodstream without killing the victim is a slow, taxing process.

He shoves through the doors of the Institute a bit too roughly and then reminds himself that he doesn't function as efficiently while panicked. It doesn't help as much as it should.

Maryse meets him at the door. Her face morphs into relief as soon as she sees him, then turns to business. "Thank you for coming, Warlock Bane." She turns to lead the way.

"Magnus." He strides to walk beside her. She turns and raises an eyebrow at him. He shrugs. "I hate being called 'Warlock Bane'. It's so… stuffy. Besides, using a species as a title is just… awkward."

Something he can't quite place flashes in her eyes, but she nods. "Magnus, then."

Her steps are still a walk, but the pace is so quick it's nearly a run. Magnus is grateful for his long legs.

"What happened?" he asks as they make their way to the infirmary wing.

Maryse just shakes her head. "I don't know what to do with a ten-year-old boy who thinks he's invincible," she says, before explaining what sort of demon and what sort of damage to expect. Magnus is already sorting through his mental inventory when he steps through the infirmary doors and freezes.

The boy in the bed is blonde.

Very blonde.

For the first time since entering the Institute he looks down at his left hand. The thread stretches through the infirmary walls to the rest of the house.

And he wants to ask but judging by the color of the boy's face, he doesn't have time. Instead he just sets to work, shooing Maryse out of the room when she flutters nervously.

Hours later, he emerges, feeling utterly drained. He makes it one step out the door before he trips over a pair of legs and then suddenly he's being stared at by a pair of piercing blue eyes.

"Is Jace gonna be all right?"

The legs and the voice belong to a boy who's been sitting outside the infirmary, apparently waiting for Magnus to emerge.

Magnus runs a hand across his face, can't quite stifle a yawn. After a moment, though, he nods. "Sore, but fine," he mumbles, too tired for complete sentences.

The kid beams and looks like he's about to rush into the infirmary, but then he hesitates, turns back to Magnus. "Are you all right?" he asks after a moment.

Magnus smiles. "I'm fine, Alexander. Just tired."

"How do you know my name?"

And Magnus realizes abruptly that despite the massive role that Alec plays in his life, his thoughts, he doesn't play any role at all in the child's. He wonders how best to answer that question, wonders if Alec is thread-blind as his parents are. Probably. If he isn't, he hasn't noticed yet.

Probably best not to alarm him with the truth - or at least, not the whole truth.

Magnus smiles at the kid, crouching to even their heights. "I've met you before."

Alec's oh-so-innocent eyes widen. "You have?" He looks Magnus up and down.

Magnus, as usual, is sparkling. He was prepped to receive clients when the call came in, so his hair is purple spiked, his eyes are suitably dramatized, his clothes perfectly loud. Alec doesn't have to say a word for Magnus to know what he's thinking.

I'd remember meeting you.

Magnus laughs at the look in his eyes. "You were one year old."

The confusion clears. But then it's suddenly back. "Why did you meet me?"

But he doesn't make a habit of telling ten-year-olds that their parents were arrested. Not when he actually cares about the ten-year-old in question.

"Your mom came to see me."

"For what?"

Magnus doesn't spend a lot of time around children. He'd forgotten how endlessly curious they tend to be.

"For a spell."

"What kind of spell?"

"A special kind of spell."

"What kind of special spell?"

And Magnus cannot help but grin, knowing that at this point the kid is just being cheeky.

"The secret sort of special spell." He smiles, but then a wave of exhaustion hits him and he tips, his balance completely lost. He flails and crashes backward, hitting the floor and then the wall.

He blinks and opens his eyes to a a pair of beautiful blue eyes staring concernedly at him.

"Are you sure you're all right?" God, his voice is precious. Even as utterly exhausted as he is, Magnus is enamored.

"M very, very tired," he manages to mumble.

The blue eyes disappear — probably to go check on Jace — and Magnus feels his eyelids drifting shut. He doesn't actually intend to fall asleep in the hall of the Institute, but he doesn't really have the energy to move at the moment.

The next thing he's conscious of is small hands at his shoulders, and he rouses enough to realize that Alec is tucking a blanket around him, a pillow at his side. Alec frowns, not sure how to manage the pillow.

Keeping his eyes slitted, Magnus feels Alec's hands in his hair and he lifts with the pressure, making it easier. Alec slides the pillow under his head and then sits back on his heels, smiling in satisfaction.

Magnus feels a small smile cross his lips. Did I get the most adorable soulmate in the history of the universe or what?


"You can see them, can't you? The threads?"

Jace looks at him, eyes deep and unfathomable. "Yes," he says after a moment. "I can."

He doesn't offer anything else, so after a moment Alec asks, "Do I have one?"

"Of course. Everyone does."

"No, I mean... I don't know. Is it there? I know it's only there when the person is alive — otherwise it's just the loop. Red before birth and black after death. I could be twelve years older, right?" Because Alec, being Alec, has researched. He finds the concept fascinating, actually. To imagine that there is one person out there who is his perfect match.

He wishes he could see them — genetics are against him on this one — but perhaps it's better that he can't. He'd probably spend too much time staring at it, wondering who was at the other end, wondering if his soulmate was thread-blind too, or if that person stared at the other end of their shared thread and wondered about him.

"It's there," Jace says finally. "It's been there since I've known you." Jace seems to sense Alec's interest, because he slowly continues. "Yours moves a lot. Way more than Izzie's or mine. I think the range of motion means the person lives in New York — it's really the only way to get the full circle of directions. I don't think it's a mundane on the other end; sometimes it disappears and reappears seconds later in a completely different direction — that's really distracting, by the way — which only ever happens with Portal travel."

Alec is hanging on Jace's words, but Jace still stops there. He doesn't mention the fact that the person on the other end is either about ten years older than Alec or an immortal. He watches Alec's thread more often than some others, because Alec's is interesting. It doesn't start moving until about two in the afternoon, but after that it jumps all over the place, wildly unpredictable. It doesn't stop until sometime after Alec usually goes to sleep, so Jace doesn't know how late it goes, but it's clearly pretty late.

Twelve-year-olds don't keep those sorts of hours. And it's been the same way for the past two years, which means the person at the other end of Alec's thread was at least 18 two years ago.

Considering the hours, the Portaling - Jace would guess that Alec's soulmate is immortal. A witch or a warlock, considering the frequency of Portaling.

And an immortal and a mortal, a Downworlder and a Shadowhunter... Soulmates or not, that isn't going to be easy.

He lets Alec dream. He knows Alec is the sort that needs to have a dream to cling to.


Magnus tells himself that if fate doesn't cross their lines again before Alexander turns 18, he will stop leaving it up to fate and seek the boy out on purpose.

He never has to.

Mere weeks before Alec's 18th birthday, the most unexpected quintet shows up on his doorstep and crashes his party.

He honestly does make an attempt to pay attention to the conversation. He must manage decently well, because the Shadowhunters don't really seem to notice his distraction as he fights between the urge to stare at him endlessly and the opposing urge to look away, for fear that if he doesn't he will drag him off somewhere and kiss him senseless before even bothering to explain.

Because the adorable giggling baby who became an adorable, priceless ten-year-old is now 17, is now nearly an adult, and, God, he is the most attractive being Magnus has ever seen — though he admits that he may perhaps be a bit biased, what with the soulmates and all.

But Alexander Lightwood is entirely unaware of what a singular human being he is. He keeps his head ducked down, his eyes on the ground — he is used to automatic deference to nearly everyone around him, and something about that makes Magnus want to whack everyone who ever interacted with him 'round the head for not telling Alec every day that he was a beautiful human being.

He is entirely unaware that he is special, beautiful, strong.

The blond boy, the same idiot Magnus treated for demon poisoning six years before, babbles on in a way that makes Magnus immediately dislike him. But his gaze lingers at a point right in the center of the thread stretching between Magnus and Alec and Magnus can tell that this is not another thread-blind Lightwood.

And the blond talks business but Magnus can see the curiosity in his eyes as he looks at Magnus. Magnus sees the boy silently evaluating him, seeing his eyes linger at his eyelids — which are black — his eyes — which are startling — his lips — which are blue — down to his shirt, which is covered in metal buckles. An eyebrow goes up even as the boy continues to talk. In response, Magnus raises both eyebrows in defiance. One side of the blonde's mouth twists sideways in a sort of to each his own motion.

And Magnus smirks, and not one of the other Shadowhunters — the Lightwoods and two others: Clarissa, who Magnus knows, and some dark haired kid without any marks: a mundane? — notices the silent conversation, only the verbal one.

When Alec finally looks Magnus in the eyes, Magnus's heart nearly stops. Those eyes.

He remembers the initial rush of warmth the first time he met Alec. This is similar, but a thousand times more, because he can see the same reflected in those gorgeous blue eyes.

Alec blushes, ducks his head, turns away. Magnus immediately misses the view.

It isn't until the end of their visit that Alec meets his eyes again, and Magnus uses the opportunity to wink at the Shadowhunter and tell him to call, spelling his phone number in ink on the back of Alec's left hand. The blush returns in full force.

How is it that he's nearly 18 and yet adorable is still the best word?


Magnus begins to wonder if Alec is so terribly closeted that Magnus is going to have to seek him out anyway after a few days of complete radio silence. He wonders if perhaps Alec is one of those who won't be with anyone except the one on the other end of the thread and Jace hasn't told him.

But just hours after he begins to make plans for tracking the Lightwood down and telling him about their threads, his buzzer sounds.

He groans angrily. It's six in the morning. No sane person should be awake.

"If this is not a matter of life and death, please go away."

"I… I…"

Those two simple words are enough to send a jolt of adrenaline through his system, waking him instantly.

"Who is this?" he asks, gentling his voice, wondering if his suspicion is correct.

"Er. Alec. Alec Lightwood." His voice is so small; clearly, he has no confidence whatsoever, and that is… surprisingly painful.

Magnus puts his finger on the button, unlocking the door. "Come up, Alec." It's not a suggestion.

His footsteps on the stairs are at stark contrast to his voice — sure, balanced. Alec Lightwood is entirely comfortable in his body but entirely uncomfortable with his mind. It's quite the contrast.

Magnus unlocked the door to his apartment when he buzzed Alec up, but Alec still stops and knocks. Already splayed across the couch lazily, Magnus merely calls for him to come in.

Alec does so with evident hesitation. His gaze flickers briefly to Magnus's face before returning to the floor.

Magnus swings his legs off the couch easily, sitting up. He stands, crossing the room in easy, loping strides. "Alexander," he breathes.

Alec glances at Magnus's right hand, but Magnus wiggles the fingers on his left, and Alec seems to understand.

"I wish I could see them," he murmurs softly.

Magnus fights the urge to touch him, knowing he has to play this carefully — soulmates or not, there are no guarantees. All the threads mean… the threads only mean that they will fit, like perfect puzzle pieces. It doesn't mean that this will be easy or effortless, and it doesn't by any means indicate that they can't screw it up.

"Blondie told you, then?"

He nods, looking… nervous.

"I wasn't… I mean… I didn't… I… You told me to call, but I'm not, not really good with words." His fingers fiddle with the sleeve of his black sweater. "Is this… erm. Okay? I mean… I didn't mean to wake you. I can, can come back later?"

This time, Magnus can't resist the urge to touch him, lifting his fingers to touch Alec's cheek. "This is definitely okay," he breathes. He hears Alec's breath catch in his throat. "And don't you dare leave now." This is miles better than sleep.

"All right," Alec mumbles, sounding infinitely relieved.

Magnus lifts his left hand in reply, palm facing Alec, and he leaves it there, a silent offer. Alec hesitates only a moment before lifting his right, palm toward Magnus. Magnus waits, allowing Alec to time it, despite the burning impatience threatening to swallow him whole.

And then, abruptly, Alec presses his hand to Magnus's, their thumbs automatically curling around each other. Both gasp at the shock of electricity starting at the point where their fingers meet, lacing down their arms, spreading warmth throughout both of them.

It is… indescribable. It is electrifying and exhilarating and warm and peaceful all at once; it feels like home. The loops around their fingers tighten and merge, forming a single circle looped around both of them.

He feels whole.

Neither Magnus nor Alec has any idea how long they stand there, feeling the electricity thrum through them, bouncing between them, never fading — if anything, the thrum only grows stronger.

"Magnus?" Alec finally says softly, breaking the silence.

"Yes?" Magnus pitches his voice at the same decibel naturally.

"What do we do now?"

Magnus laughs breathlessly.

"I'm not letting you go; I hope you know this."

Alec giggles — actually giggles. God, could he get any more adorable?

Then he moves forward, putting himself firmly in Magnus's space. "I wasn't planning on it," he says, and this is a whole other kind of breathless.

He is a fascinating dichotomy — it's like a confident man stuck in an awkward boy's body, as though he's constantly fighting himself.

Though, frankly, with his entirely attractive soulmate very much in his personal space, Magnus is sort of impressed that he can even come up with the word dichotomy.

He lets his brain shut off. He unlaces their fingers and lifts his hands, cupping Alec's face. Those beautiful blue eyes are so innocent and trusting and that's a heady sort of rush.

"Are you going to kiss me?" The words are half-cheeky and half-breathless and God, this man does things to Magnus. Partly because he desperately wants to and partly to get Alec to stop talking, Magnus leans down the slight inch in between them, closing the space.

It is not Magnus's first kiss by any means, but it is… different. He can't pin down whether that's because it's Alec, because this is his soulmate, his flawless match — or because it's Alec, who is somehow simultaneously innocent and fierce and shy and demanding, and the contrast is intoxicating.

Whatever the intangible difference is, it sends that familiar-foreign thrum of electricity through his veins.

Contrary to his words, though, he does eventually let Alec leave — only after extracting a phone number and the promise of further contact, both of which Alec gives freely.

After the door shuts behind him, though, the thrum doesn't go away; his blood is singing, his body electric, and he wonders if this is how everyone feels after first thread contact. If it is, he truly cannot understand how anyone ever lets it go awry.


A stinging sensation lances through his left hand and Magnus recoils, jerking his hand back from where he's been reaching for a mug from the cupboard.

The mug hits the ground with a spectacular crash. Glancing down, Magnus feels his heart shudder.

The thread, like most manmade threads, is one thicker thread composed of several smaller threads intertwined. Five tiny red strings usually attach to his pinky.

One of them has turned black.

His breath catches.

Nononononono. Alec. No.

The shards of mug remain scattered on the floor as Magnus bolts from the apartment.

Judging by the time, the quickest way to travel without using a portal at the moment is by cab. Magnus flags a cab. The cabbie takes one looks at Magnus' face, follows his panicked gaze to his left hand, and floors the pedal, telling Magnus to let him know if the direction changes before asking if Magnus knows where it's pointing.

"No," Magnus rasps. It's not a location he knows off the top of his head.

The driver glances in the rear view mirror, sees the absolute horror washed across Magnus' features.

"How long?" he asks, an attempt at distraction.

"Ten minutes."

"How long have you known her?"

And it takes Magnus too long to realize that this was what he was originally asking and that "her" is Alec — an understandable mistake, given that most, though certainly not all, threads link males to females and vice versa.

"Him. And 17 years. But less than a month."

Magnus breathes deeply, realizes that talking is keeping him centered where he would otherwise be losing himself in a whirlwind of blind panic, and continues to do so. "I met him by chance when he was-" He cuts himself off, reminds himself the cabbie is a mundie. "When we were kids. But I was the only one there who wasn't thread-blind, so nothing came of it. I only met him properly a month ago." He stops, sucks in another breath. "I can't lose him. Not now, not yet."

The cabbie can clearly tell that the talking is helping, so he prompts with questions. "How did you meet him? A month ago, I mean. Did you tell him?"

"Not right away. I winked at him and told him to call me. Little bit too far East."

The driver corrects his course and nods at Magnus to keep talking. Magnus weighs the costs and casts a small spell to help the cab slip through traffic more easily. "I wasn't sure he would, but I knew I could find him again even if he didn't. Knew I would find him again. But I didn't have to, because he showed up on my doorstep two days later. Turns out his adopted brother isn't thread-blind, and told him it might be worth following up on."

Suddenly the thread jerks, changing angle rapidly. Magnus can tell where it's heading and he reels off the address automatically, having memorized it long ago.

The driver nods and spins the wheel, jerking down a side street he shouldn't have fit on and pressing the pedal down a little bit harder. Magnus bites his lip as another shock of pain jolts through his hand, a second thread fading to black, the red leaching out of it. It could be poetic, but Magnus really doesn't have time for metaphors right now. "Please." His voice is more desperate than he has ever heard it before, and he honestly isn't sure whether he's begging the cabbie to hurry or God to keep Alec alive until he gets there.

Both happen. Magnus tosses a bill at the cabbie and leaps out of the cab, not caring that, to the mundie, it's going to look like he's vanishing into thin air. He crashes through the doors, takes a glance at the thread to confirm its direction, and darts straight to the infirmary.

"Out!" he demands as he enters the room. Isabelle Lightwood takes one look at his face and leaves. Jace murmurs, "Abbadon." The name of the demon that did this. Then he glances down at the short, darkening thread between them and his gaze goes distant. He walks out of the room with heavy steps.

Magnus takes one look at Alec and swears. That's all the luxury he allows himself.

Demon poison is tricky. It gets into the bloodstream, and it can't just be pulled out — it changes the structure of the molecules in the bloodstream, transforming the blood and destroying function. Simple removal would cause severe blood loss and probably the collapse of several blood vessels.

It is a long, gradual process. Drawing the poison out, replenishing the blood supply, drawing it out, replacing the blood. Over and over and over in little tiny fragments. And he can't stop, because it would just start creeping through his veins again, consuming and transforming the blood, undoing all the progress.

It is only hours later that Magnus is finally convinced he's gotten every last bit, and it is then and only then that he collapses.

Magic, like most things in this world, is a force of energy. Using magic involves manipulating the energies of the world around him using his own energy. It's as draining, if not more so, than any form of physical exertion Magnus has ever experienced.

And while his body may be incredibly efficient at storing excess energy, that does not mean that he can store infinite amounts. And when his stores are gone, the magic begins draining the energy that the body is using, draining his very life force. He knows a few warlocks who've died from sheer magical exhaustion.

He will not ever be one of them; he knows his limits. He has come too close to them tonight. He doesn't even have the energy left after he's done to move to one of the beds. He falls asleep in the chair that's already sitting at the bedside — probably Isabelle's.


"Rise and shine, sleepy head." The words are barely above a mumble, but there is a note of fondness to them that has Magnus smiling, even as he rises from sorely needed sleep.

Magnus makes a noise that is most definitively not an actual word in any of the languages that he knows, but eventually he forces his tired eyelids open.

Blue eyes stare back at him. Alec's left hand is tightly gripping Magnus's right, feeling like he might never let go.

"You saved me," Alec murmurs.

Magnus manages a crooked grin. "I told you I wasn't letting you go."