Magnus first met Ragnor and Catarina when he was young. He had just escaped the Silent Brothers for another daylight excursion when he saved a delightfully blue girl from being burned as a witch. She thanked him as best she could, the two of them becoming friends when Magnus used his gifts to magic her a safe haven. He sneaked out every now and then to visit her, the two of them making secret plans to travel. It was on one of these trips out that he discovered he wasn't the only one with his eye on Catarina. Ragnor had found her, thinking she was alone. The two of them found a kinship, recognising the similarities in each other. It was only when he was caught spying on them from behind a wall that he learnt the term warlock. The Silent brothers were good at many things, but talking wasn't one of them. They gave him books they expected him to read. But when they had an illiterate boy, and could no longer form the words on the page to teach him, it was hard to expect him to know what those books said. So it was Ragnor who eventually told him what he was. That he wasn't what people called a 'monster.' He was in fact a warlock. A creature of immense power.

It took some coaxing on their part for him to actually come travelling with them. Despite his confidence now he was actually quite reluctant to return to the world that had shunned him back then.

Eventually they took to the world, Ragnor and Catarina showing him places he never dreamed of. Ragnor introduced him to his powers, Catarina building upon it with her own experiences. The two of them taught him how to make things appear from somewhere else. How to manipulate the world around him to do his bidding. They also taught him restraint. Especially when he started making the simplest thing appear.

Ragnor started calling him lazy. By now they had been travelling together for a few years, reclining in Venice while Cat explored the streets. They were sleeping in Ragnor's house that night, one he 'won' at cards the week before.

The reason for him being called lazy this time was because he had just vanished a months worth of dirt from himself. Ragnor was scowling from his chair, his own skin still dripping from the bowl in the corner.

'Just because your powers can be used for anything doesn't mean they should be.'

'You're just jealous because the last time you tried to do the same you vanished your horns,' Magnus snapped back, eyeing the Venetian water distastefully.

It was that look that eventually clued Ragnor in. Magnus had told them about his upbringing, the reason for why he was with the Silent Brothers. The two of them had been raised by kind parents, ones which didn't immediately reject him. Ones who didn't hang themselves in the barn and try to drown him.

The next five times he did the same, clean blood or dirt from his face or body he could see Ragnor watching him from the corner. Thinking. Figuring it out.

He did the sixth time, cornering him with a jug and cloth. 'Magic can't do a thorough job,' He said, holding the cloth out.

'Then I guess I'll have to live with a half assed job.'

Strangely, Ragnor never laughed about his aversion to water. When they had to travel overseas he hurried Magnus into their room, knocking him out most of the time so he wouldn't feel the rocking of the vessel. He dealt with the nightmares afterwards, the panic attacks and flashbacks in his sombre way. Never once did he find joy in this fear Magnus had. But that wasn't to say he completely let Magnus get away with his behaviour.

Around the thirtieth year of being friends Ragnor started forcing him to take baths. He had a point, magic couldn't get him fully clean. So once a year his friend would turn up, pin him down and give him a thorough cleaning. He endured the scratches and punches in good faith, sitting back when he was done most satisfied with himself. Magnus would only thank him three days later, the nice feeling of being clean finally registering through his water drunk mind.

Of course, once a year turned to two when cleanliness started to become a thing. Then three. Four when he started getting serious with Camille. She thought he was having a long term affair with the man. He would have gladly clued her in had she not been a vicious vampire just waiting for him to show some semblance of weakness.

Breaking up with her didn't lessen the baths. In fact it just increased them. According to Ragnor he needed to look his best for the many singletons that would be coming his way. He was surprised when Ragnor clued Will Herondale into their ritual. The warlock was more wary of Shadowhunters than Magnus, yet there Will was in all his glory as Ragnor subtly tried to fill a tub.

'I thought a pretty face might distract you,' Ragnor filled him in later, when the scratches on his face were almost fully healed.

It didn't. In fact the idea that Will was witnessing his lowest moment was worse. It filled him with a nervousness he hadn't felt since he had tried dating the first time. Would Will think differently of him now he knew? He was sure those eyes were judging him.

Will showed up again with an annoying joke on his lips as Ragnor came for their second bath of the year. Nothing seemed different. Will reassured him there wasn't anything different.

'It's not like I can help it,' He still defended.

The smirk fell, Will nodding gently, 'I know. I just want to help.' It came back full force, 'Besides, you're starting to stink up the place.'

He denied that vehemently. He knew for a fact his magic kept him smelling better than roses. But the joke helped him feel better. Especially when Ragnor told Will to take his shirt off. He felt like purring when all that muscle was on display. Before it was turned against him to pin him in a claw footed hell tub.

He wondered, when daily washing became a thing, whether it was possible to follow demons back into their realm. Surely one of them had a world where there was no such thing as water. Hell, lava would be better. Anything but water.

When Will was gone it was down to Ragnor again. He tried to enlist the help of Catarina every now and then. Especially when she went into medical care, he figured she would be ideal to help deal with Magnus at bath time. But Cat was busy, and never had time for anything anymore. Even Ragnor couldn't get her to take a break for something as trivial as Magnus' hygiene. So it was just the two of them.

He didn't know whether it was a blessing or a curse when the shower was created. On the one hand, he much preferred the trickle of water over his head than the submersion of the bath. It felt like rain, the only form of water he allowed to touch his precious head since he couldn't stop nature. So, with rain being something he got used to over the years, and the shower being almost like a small shower, he was able to clean himself for the first time in his life. Even if it was the quickest shower known to man when he did so.

Ragnor seemed satisfied with this new invention. For about five months. It all came to a head one night. Magnus had invited him out to go drinking in New York, the two of them out until five in the morning. Ragnor was still sleeping when he went to clean the nights sweat away, or at least he appeared to be. When Magnus came out Ragnor was scowling over at him, asking if that was really how long he spent in there. He even performed a spot check, and didn't like what he found.

Apparently Magnus didn't do a thorough enough job. So, the next time they met up he was dragged over to another hell tub and scrubbed within an inch of his life. He really didn't see what all the fuss about being clean was.

Magnus drew the line at monthly. It was bad enough he had nightmares about the next time his friend would force him in to the bath, he didn't need that feeling for a full month. They compromised with every other month. Well, Ragnor compromised, Magnus had no more say in the matter when he tried for three months. That had not ended well, he had just came back from the attack on the Accords, covered in Shadowhunter and Downworlder blood. Ragnor had been there too, the man arguing there was no way Magnus was putting off his bath for more than three if these were the times they were living in. Of course, they weren't to know then that Valentine was supposedly dead. So, the agreement made, he suffered through every other month.

When he met Alec, he was almost happy for their agreement. His life of parties left him covered in body glitter and paint, something he needed to scrub off if he wanted to make a good impression on his Shadowhunter. Turning up in month old pink paint while trying to flirt just made him look manic instead of the sophisticated Downworlder capable of stealing his heart.

Which was why, three weeks after Ragnor's death he was in a mood worse than Camille's betrayal. He missed his friend, Valentine was back. Everything was going wrong in his life and he kept finding glitter from four days ago on his body no matter how hard he tried.

He knew what he needed to do. Especially after he visited the Institute to wake Jocelyn. He had found Alec and made things somewhat right. Asking him on a date, and seeing where their lives went from there. When Alec accepted, a small smile on his face as he tried to hold back how happy he was he knew he was going to try his hardest to make sure their lives tangled very far into the future together. He was just leaving after that, a brief handshake when Alec squinted down at the glitter clinging to his skin. It was then Magnus knew he needed to do something to get this crap off him before their date.

He tried everything. Showering twice as long as he usually did. Sponge baths. He eventually admitted he needed help when he still woke up to glitter on his pillow.

'You've got to be kidding me.' Raphael Santiago wasn't the most cheery person on the planet. He was prone to sulks more often than Ragnor. Since the Warlock's death he was sure they were even more common, the two of them being good friends.

'If I was, surely I would have chosen a better joke. You know my humour's more tasteful than this.'

'Dios!' was the Vampire's last words before he was being let in to the Dumort.

The place reeked of Camille. From the priceless artefacts to the penthouse layout itself. He knew she always hated doors, more people walking in on them when they were alone than they did any other time of the day.

'So how exactly does this work?' Raphael asked. They were in Camille's former bathroom. The whole thing was almost as big as the room beyond, the bath itself a pool of doom. Raphael's things were mixed in with some of the more luxurious bath products, something Magnus was looking at to keep his mind off the rushing water. 'Did Ragnor wash your hair or just let you use his bath products?'

Raphale laughed when he explained. He was like Will in that respect, it was also nice to see the teen happy for a change. Of course, like Will, he soon sobered up when their plan was put into action. Magnus had never heard the boy swear as much as he did in those ten minutes.

'Never again,' Raphael vowed when they were done.

He wasn't so happy himself, huddled on Camille's couch trying to get the image of clear water from his mind.

'You're going to have to,' He huffed. 'I can't handle this on my own.'

Raphael was mad at him for a few days. But the Vampire did start returning his calls again, even making plans for the next time he needed his assistance. He didn't bother telling Raphael that those plans would be fruitless. Over the years Ragnor had tried everything. From teaching him to swim to get him over his fear, to getting one of his lovers to try and coerce him in.

'… Raphael is being so weird. I mean, first he wants me around...' He tuned Simon out. He forgot that usually a trip to the Institute meant putting up with Simon. It was annoying how many wards he put on the place only for them to invite one of the most boring Downworlders in without a second thought.

Still, he thought watching Alec crack up at something he missed, it was worth it if he got to see that brief glimpse of happiness on his face. '… restrain a warlock. I mean, warlock blood tastes disgusting, so unless he has a girlfriend I don't know about I'm starting to worry why he has me asking you.'

Perhaps he should have listened more carefully, he thought as he replayed what Raphael had requested over again. He was looking for a way to restrain a warlock. Probably him. Not that he needed to. Magnus more often than not used his fists rather than his magic at bath time. Still, he didn't know how he would react until the next time he was forced into the steel tub. It was probably a good thing Raphael was looking in to this. He somewhat trusted the Vampire to let him go afterwards. Still, should the Vampires get this power over his kind?

'I'm surprised he asked you at all,' Isabelle chimed. 'Isn't he still trying to kill you?'

Simon nodded sheepishly, as if the reason he was kicked out wasn't sitting around the table with him. 'He is. But he said it was best I ask since I have the best relations with you guys. So, do you? If you do I might be reinstated in the hotel.'

Clary, the whole reason the Vampire was there in the first place, turned hopeful eyes to the Lightwood children. 'You must know something.'

Alec scowled at her, a usual look when dealing with Clary. 'Even if we did have a way, there's no chance we're telling you. That information is not for Vampires, and shouldn't be a topic when there's a warlock sitting right next to you mundane.' He spat the word like a curse, Simon huffing at the familiar name.

'Magnus doesn't mind,' Simon defended. 'He's only here to admire Alec anyway.'

He ignored the playful smiles sent his way. Even if it was true, that didn't mean he wasn't still a little offended at the idea of someone trying to restrain him. Alec seemed to get that too, since he sent one last scathing remark Simon's way before tugging Magnus to another part of the Institute.

They ended up in the library, the two of them merely enjoying each others companies. He rather enjoyed this perk of dating a Shadowhunter. Instead of being chaperoned by prejudiced men and woman he was now allowed anywhere so long as Alec was with him. That meant he was allowed in the library, where they kept some of their more important books. One of which was currently in his lap.

He stretched his legs, curling further in to the chest at his back. He also liked this part of coming to the Institute too. Usually when Alec was around Magnus' loft it was with the intention of doing something. The other way around Alec just wanted an excuse to relax. This being the second time he had been to the Institute, the first time they had also retreated somewhere quiet so Alec could have a nap. Not that he minded, the soft puffs in his ear were soothing beyond belief. So domestic he felt like staying here forever. He would give up his club if it meant he could keep Alec.

A few hours later, and another three classified books, he felt Alec's fingers on his neck. A soothing little motion that had him turning in to it.

'Why does Raphael want to restrain you?'

He turned, seeing those blue eyes close to his own. So pretty.

'Don't know.' there was no use denying it. Alec wasn't stupid, and any arguments against it would only put him further into Alec's bad books. 'Maybe he's jealous of my fashion sense. He seems to have an obsession with suits.'

Alec's laugh bounced him in all the right ways. He was sinking further in to Alec's laugh the longer it went on. He was more than disappointed when it ended. They had only really shared two kisses between them. The one at Alec's wedding, and the one on their first date. Both of them had been memorable, amazing in their own ways.

'If you say so.' He heard a hum, one of Alec's fingers swiping his collarbone. 'Is this body paint?'

He looked at the offending finger where, sure enough, there was blue paint on his finger. He cursed his lapse in judgement. To celebrate the success of his first date he had held a Seelie party in his apartment. The furniture had been easy to clean, his body however was proving difficult- again.

Raphael wasn't happy when he received his text.

'I'm having Simon get restraints,' he said when they were done. Four neat scratches were almost finished healing on his arm.

'I know.' He didn't know how he sounded so coherent. Usually it took him a good hour before he started feeling like himself. 'He was telling the Nephilim when I was over. 'You should probably tell him to be more discreet in his methods. He has them on high alert now. Thinking you might want to take out a bunch of Warlocks for them. Actually,' He mused thinking on the Lightwood matriarch, 'Perhaps go with that idea and tell the fledgling to ask Maryse.'

He saw the hint of a smile on Raphael's face. Of course it was only a hint, Raphael wouldn't actually allow himself to smile, especially around Magnus.

'One would think you were embarrassed Magnus.'

He tried not to hiss over at him. That tone did not sound friendly, and if he was going to be blackmailed for something he would much rather it be for a murder. It was just wrong to actually use something like this against him, especially when he considered Raphael a sort of friend.

Instead, he kept his thoughts to himself and stalked out like the drama queen he was.

Alec was around his loft for their fourth date. Their original intention had been to go to the cinema. Magnus was appalled that Alec had never been to the cinema before. Apparently, anything mundane was frowned upon, including the popcorn sticky sweet experience of watching a movie.

Only, when Alec had turned up he was so tired from looking for Jace that Magnus cancelled their plans in favour of a night in front of his TV. He figured this was better. Alec was just as fascinated/ bored, and within the safety of Magnus' apartment the two of them could cuddle up in a way the cinema could never allow.

About half way through some film Magnus had forgotten the name of, that cuddle had ended up with Alec trying his best to take his shirt off.

'Are you sure?' Alec asked, like he was the one that needed reassurance and not the virgin in the room.

'Alec, I assure you, if you do something I don't like I will tell you immediately.' He may have made grabby hands and helped take that offending shirt off. He had runes to explore after all.

He left four hickeys before Alec went a step further and undid the last three buttons keeping Magnus' shirt together. He was loving how bold his Shadowhunter was. It was such a quick transition from two kisses to full on half nudity. If he was honest with himself he was half believing this was a dream. A dream, or Alec was going to come to his senses and bolt any second.

He was pinned under those dark runes thinking that nothing, not even Camille, was ever like this. Nothing was as good.

Alec was mouthing along his neck, something else he had never done before. Magnus was honestly overwhelmed. He was honestly worried for this boy now. Especially when his snake cuff was tugged. Not many people were brave enough to do so when he brought them home, probably worried that they ruin his look and he would chuck them out. But Alec was always more of a blunt man, it figured that would translate to the bedroom. Alec wanted to do something, hesitant though he might be to ask for it, he would do it.

Speaking of which: 'I think I might be ready.'

He was pretty sure that sentence would haunt him for the next few months.

'Ready?'

There was a hesitant pause, then Alec's hips made a very specific roll against his own. He heard himself moan, image upon image of Alec spread out on his sheets rushing to him. Of course another image came to mind with that. The party the night before, where there had been paint. Glitter. Foam. Quite a lot of other sticky liquids as well that he was sure still stuck to him somewhere. Could he really defile Alec like this? Surely his Shadowhunter deserved better.

So he flipped Alec over, subsequently toppling them to the floor and slowing Alec down as best he could.

'We should speak beforehand,' He proposed, the best way he could think of to stall. 'Work out the kinks. And the actual kinks later.' He supposed this was actually a good idea the more he talked about it. It would save them the awkward questions in the heat of the moment. Something that had happened to him more than once. Yes, this was actually a good plan.

'Do we have to?' Already Alec was trying to defy him and tugged on his snake again with his teeth. He had to force himself off the boy. 'I thought we could just go by feel.'

He knew Alec was more about courage than taking it slow, just proving that maybe he wasn't actually ready for this yet. Which was how he ended up cockblocking himself. Also how he ended up breaking in to the Dumort and demanding Raphael turn up to his loft three days later.

He didn't actually own a bathtub. Every move he made he somehow just omitted that thing from his loft. It made getting him clean slightly harder, but he hoped that with the Vampire's help he could stay in his shower long enough to get himself clean for Alec's arrival at seven.

'I hate you,' Raphael told him when he arrived.

'No you don't.' He led him in to the bathroom. The water was already running, his favourite shower gel sitting prim on his sink. 'Now, I can actually shower by myself. For about two minutes. At least that's what Ragnor timed it as.'

'So after that you just want the usual procedure?' Raphael guessed already taking his blazer off. 'Dios I hate you.'

'No you don't,' he repeated, looking to the clock on his phone. He had about an hour before Alec came. Really he had made sure he had as little time as possible so he couldn't chicken out of it.

Just as he said, he lasted two minutes before he tried to retreat out of the shower. Raphael was there a, 'You didn't even start getting washed,' on his lips as he pinned Magnus under the spray.

He was huddled under his blankets twenty minutes later now knowing why Ragnor hardly forced him in his own home. It felt like more of a violation. Like his safe haven wasn't his anymore.

His buzzer went, Raphael shouldering his blazer as the bleeding finally stopped. 'Your Shadowhunter's early.'

He wasn't able to answer. This was such a bad idea. He should have told Raphael to come hours ago.

'Do you want me to send him away?'

'He has a key,' He heard himself say. The lock turned seconds later, Alec announcing himself in the loft.

'I can still send him away,' Raphael offered.

Magnus curled further under his blankets, Raphael huffing when he got no answer and sending Alec in when the boy came knocking. The bed dipped, vague curses sent Raphael's way as Alec tried to pry him out.

'What happened? I swear, I'll kill that vampire. Should've known something was up when the mundane came asking about restraints.'

Despite the harsh words his hands were gentle as they stopped trying to undo his cocoon and instead went to his wet hair. He knew if Raphael was still there things would be a lot different. He almost felt bad for the next time they would cross paths. No doubt, even when he came up with a good lie for why Raphael was here, the vampire would still get some kind of warning from his Shadowhunter.

A few hours later the haze lifted, his limbs relaxing in his soft sheets. He leaned back into the hand in his hair, feeling Alec start at the first sign of life.

'Magnus?'

Those blue eyes held nothing but concern when he turned. He needed to come up with something. Make this night right. The whole reason Raphael was around after all was so he could make tonight special for Alec. Maybe a bit for himself as well.

He breathed deeply, hoping his voice didn't waver as he pulled himself together. 'Why don't we watch a movie?'

Alec nodded before he even finished, hopping up and rushing over to the TV, like he was afraid Magnus would retreat again if he didn't. Luckily for Alec he had his relapses under control. Still, he didn't feel all too comfortable until he had half of his bed on his couch.

Alec, good sweet Alec, didn't complain at all. Even if his living room was boiling from the fire, his heating and the multitude of blankets piled on top of them. He even willingly suffered through some of the worst films Magnus owned in an effort to make him feel better.

He really should tell Alec that half of those movies he bought to torture the Shadowhunter. After seeing how much he hated Mundane culture it was just too precious not to buy a few of the worst movies alive and make him sit through them. Usually because when Alec was bored he would look to other means of entertaining himself. Like making out.

Sure enough, half way through the fourth film they watched, when Magnus was fully out of his cocoon, Alec leaned over to distract the two of them.

Somehow, Alec's lips were cold. He didn't mind. The cool was soothing, refreshing in the Sahara of his loft. Unfortunately it didn't last long. Alec pulled back with one last kiss, leaving Magnus to follow him to his side of the couch.

'Are we seriously going to forget what I walked in on?' Alec asked, officially killing the mood.

Magnus sighed, using his overdramatic nature to stall for time. Collapsing on to Alec's blanket covered lap and casting one arm over his eyes he thought up many lies that would be feasible.

Settling on, 'Raphael walked in on a private moment. It took a while for me to regroup myself.'

Even he could hear the holes in that story. It was one of the worst lies he had ever told, he started to worry for his sanity.

Sure enough Alec called him out. 'I'm pretty sure you're the most shameless person I've met. What's the real reason?'

'We're having a secret affair.'

'Magnus.'

He really should be able to lie better. Why couldn't he lie better?

The quiet must have went on for too long since Alec backtracked on their conversation. 'You don't have to tell me. Not if you're not comfortable.'

He cast his arm aside, seeing the sincerity in what Alec was telling him written on his face. If he was Camille, he knew by now she would be threatening him with something or other. She lied like the best of them, but when it came to their relationship only she could be the one telling falsities. More than once he had been blackmailed into spilling his secrets, at the time believing it was because she loved him and wanted to get to know him. Now he just wondered if she was digging for future circumstances. He knew more than one thing he wanted to keep quiet that she was holding close to her chest, for now.

'I'm not.' He started at how quiet that came out. Clearing his throat he tried again. 'Not yet.'

Just proving that Magnus had made the right decision again, Alec didn't press. He just said, 'Okay,' and leant down to kiss him again.

Much to his disappointment, nothing much happened. He blamed himself. His little panic attack had changed the whole night from sexually charged to a fun night of cuddles. Still, he ended up waking up next to Alec in the morning. With their movie marathon running later than planned he offered the spare room for the night. He was more than surprised when Alec gently asked if he could keep an eye on Magnus, from his bed.

'Just so I know you're okay.'

As far as Magnus was concerned Alec didn't even have to ask to sneak in to his bed.

He was most content to wake up not only warm, but snug. Alec was wrapped around him like a Koala, those long limbs finally put to good use. The shirt he had loaned Alec last night had ridden up, tightly bunched just below his chest. He wasn't ashamed to admit he spent the better half of that morning just staring at all that skin, content with each rhythmic puff against his hair that Alec was still there, asleep, in his bed.

If this was how happy he was without a night of passionate lovemaking, he was sure he would be wrecked when it actually did happen.

Alec left around noon. Not that he wanted to. As soon as he woke Magnus had three seconds to admire morning Alec before the boy was checking his phone and running off with a word about his mother on his lips.

Cursing the whole existence of Maryse Magnus tried to get on with his day.

Raphael called early evening to ask how his night went. To say the Vampire was distraught he might be called around sooner than planned again was an understatement. For a Catholic, he sure knew a lot of curse words, he even mixed a few Spanish ones in there.

'Find someone else to do it,' he hung up on.

He knew the Vampire was just throwing a fit. He didn't really mean it.

Alec was around the next night for a date. For the first time in their courting Alec wanted to pick the venue. Magnus was intrigued.

Even more so when they ended up standing in front of the Dumort.

'What's going on?'

Alec didn't say anything, but then he never said much in general. Magnus was left gauging what was going on from his body language instead as Alec led him through the front door.

He didn't look mad. His shoulders were relaxed and there was no bow on his shoulder. The daggers were still stashed in his holsters, which meant the Vampires were expecting them. Strange.

Raphael was in the penthouse, relaxed until he spotted Magnus trailing behind Alec.

'Shadowhunter,' Raphael greeted, composing himself. 'I thought we were to be alone for this meeting.'

Alec nodded, 'We were. But then I thought if you wanted a way to restrain a warlock, a warlock should be present when you get that information. Just so he can alert the rest of his community.'

Magnus was both touched and a little embarrassed. Raphael looked to be in the same situation. Alec really was something. No other Shadowhunter would have given their kind the same courtesy and heads up Alec was giving Magnus. Even if the heads up was for nought.

'Of course,' Raphael acquiesced. 'So you have it?'

Alec handed over some papers. Nothing as fancy as a file, it really looked like someone had scribbled it down on a notebook. Still, the information looked to be good enough as Raphael didn't have any follow up questions.

'Let's hope this works.'

He ignored the pointed look sent his way. From Raphael first, then Alec when he caught the gaze.

After that they had their actual date. A lovely affair consisting of a midnight stroll through Central Park. Usually, he knew the Fair folk would be in their lair under the pond when a Shadowhunter came walking. They preferred to keep their mystery about them. Tonight however, Magnus was with him, and the fair folk loved to show off to him. It was both a way to outdo him, sparkly wise, and in a Downworlder superiority way. They had both angel and demon blood after all, the angel blood they always loved to lord over his kind.

That walk through Central Park was something else. He had to cover Alec's ears more than once to stop his innocent Shadowhunter from joining the Fae dancing. They ran out after two hours, trying to get away from the angry pixies chasing them for ruining their fun with a homeless man.

'You can't prove anything!' Magnus yelled behind them. Small angry curses were flung back at him, drowned out by Alec laughing like he'd never heard before.

'I think they're really mad at you.'

Magnus scoffed, trying his hardest to keep up with that swift rune keeping Alec a few leagues ahead. 'It's their own fault. If they want to try enchant a mundane to their deaths, they should choose a night I'm not in the same vicinity.'

'I didn't know you cared so much.'

His lungs were starting to burn. It probably wasn't a good idea to talk while running, it was wasting energy. 'We all have to keep the peace Alexander. Even pesky pixies who think they're above it all.'

He got his reward for that comment when they got back to his loft.

He was right. He was wrecked the next morning. His legs felt like lead and quite frankly couldn't move without wanting to sigh. Alec was amazing. There were no other words. Even thinking about what happened felt like he was tarnishing it somehow. It was something that couldn't be improved or tainted.

A kiss on his shoulder brought him out of his blissful daze. Alec met his stare head on, a shy smile on his lips.

They shared flirty pleasantries, both enjoying the morning.

At least they were until Alec had what would ordinarily have been a brilliant suggestion.

'I know your magic is great, but I kind of want a shower. Care to join me?'

'Oh.' If only he could lie to this boy. 'How about I make breakfast while you're in instead?' Good thing he could deflect.

Just like that the magic of their morning was broken. Alec's smile dipped, but he was still amendable to breakfast. Magnus made it the best breakfast he could. A buffet of the best food he had ever tasted. Pastries from France, buckets of ice cream straight from the heart of Italy filled his fridge. Bacon, eggs, sausages, pancakes, waffles, everything he could think of so that when Alec came dripping into his kitchen that smile was back on his face.

'Good?'

Considering Alec's mouth was too busy trying everything in sight he guessed his Shadowhunter was content with breakfast.

He didn't know why, but shower sex seemed to be high on Alec's list of things to do. No matter how many times he relocated them to the couch or his bed, or hell the nearest desk if they were in the Institute, Alec was determined to get him in that shower.

If he wasn't certain they would be in there more than two minutes he would have said yes. As it was, he knew his own experience, he also knew Alec had a stamina rune, and knew for a fact he would be trapped under that spray for at least seven. Five minutes more than he was comfortable with.

Of course, with the new passion ignited in Alec came the fact he needed to keep clean more often. Magic really couldn't get rid of everything after all, and some things Magnus didn't even want to try and clean in case something went wrong.

Enter Raphael.

'I hate you, so much.'

Magnus didn't deem that with a response, right now he was hating himself after all.

'I say dump the Nephilim,' Raphael went on, nursing his sore shoulder. He had used the restraints. Magic induced cuffs that kept his hands and magic from flaring up. It was all going well, pinned in the Dumort's bath while Raphael scrubbed him raw. Unfortunately none of them had counted on Magnus going vampire on Raphael and biting him when it all got too much. 'Or at least top more.'

'I'm surprised you know what topping is. Doesn't your church frown on such relations?'

The vampire rolled his eyes, putting his shirt back in place as the bleeding stopped. 'Fifty years and you're still making religion jokes.'

'Of course. A self hating vampire who still believes in God is quite laughable after all.'

'What's laughable is the fact I have no demon blood and can't utter His name, yet the prince of Hell's spawn can blaspheme all he likes.' He sighed, 'Look, just try and douse the hormones down a bit. At least for a week. I have more important things to do than clean a prissy warlock.'

Magnus made an affronted noise, about to make some witty response when Simon ruined the moment by bursting in.

Raphael didn't look at all surprised. 'Learn to knock Fledgling.'

Simon nodded, his mouth already running about something or other. Magnus wished his legs were working so he could get out of there. He pitied Raphael having to put up with it again. He supposed it was his punishment for asking Raphael in the first place. The whole reason Simon was back in the hotel was because he asked the Nephilim for those restraints. Restraints which proved useless.

After about ten minutes, or two that just felt like forever, Simon noticed the added presence in the room. It looked like his suspicions about his mouth being bigger than his nose were right. Any other vampire would have known he was there before they entered the room.

'Magnus, what are you doing here? Wait,' Magnus could see the cogs turning in Simon's mind as he noticed Raphael's dishevelled shirt, and the blood stain on the collar. Not to mention Magnus was still clad in only a towel. 'I think I have to go.'

Magnus could see the wrong conclusions forming as Simon ran out. No doubt he was over at the Institute now, telling all about Raphael and his sordid love affair.

'Looks like you have an uncomfortable conversation coming up,' Raphael noted not unkindly.

Magnus hummed, searching for his clothes. 'You know, you should really try and keep that fledgling of yours under control.'

Alec was an avoider. He had tried his hardest to avoid Magnus in the beginning, scared of his feelings and how he reacted. He avoided Magnus when he was sure of his feelings and couldn't admit to them for fear of what others would say to him should they know. He avoided his brother, his sister when they did things he wasn't happy with. So Magnus was sure that this would be another thing he would avoid.

He was surprised therefore when Alec came knocking at his door the next morning, Isabelle in tow, looking like Magnus had just killed his puppy. He was surprised Alec hadn't used his key, but when you were coming around to accuse your lover of an affair Magnus assumed it was just common courtesy to give him a heads up. Just in case someone needed to hide.

Isabelle wasted no time with pleasantries, charging over to Magnus' bedroom. He could hear her rooting around in his things, the clang as she moved over to his bathroom.

Alec was still stuck in the doorway.

'I take it Simon has been gossiping again,' Magnus opened with.

Alec shrugged, that whole move confirming that he had some doubts about Magnus' sincerity. He wondered how long it would take before he could get that insecurity out of him. Alec was it. There was no one else.

'I'm not having an affair,' Magnus offered before Izzy finished with her snooping. Once she came out there would be no stopping her from a full verbal assault. Magnus was already bracing himself for it.

'I know.' Alec said, like there wasn't a lynch going on.

Magnus frowned, turning towards where things were definitely breaking. 'Then why is my apartment being raided?'

Alec bit his lip, saved from answering when his sister came storming back into the room. 'Alright Magnus, where is it?'

'Okay, I think something got lost in translation.' Even Isabelle didn't look mad at him, worried more like it. 'What exactly did Simon say?'

Alec came in, leading Magnus to his couch like he was something precious. The Lightwoods took their places, looking supportive and worried as they crowded around him. He was going to kill that vampire when he got his hands on him.

Isabelle started. 'We know Magnus. We know Raphael's been draining you.'

'What?'

'The scene Simon walked in last night. The restraints he was asking for,' Isabelle explained.

'You were comatose for two hours that night I came over. Remember?' Alec tacked on, and Magnus definitely remembered that night.

'Not to mention the number of times Simon's heard Raphael on the phone or complaining about you. And when he does come back to the hotel, Simon said he's usually got blood on his shirt.'

'So you think he's bleeding me.'

Isabelle sighed, 'Well, we were a bit hesitant at first. I mean, Warlock blood is repulsive to Vampires. But you have to admit it makes sense.'

He stopped them there, 'He's not draining me.' He repeated it again to Alec, seeing the belief sink in.

'Then what?' Alec asked.

He huffed, knowing that perhaps it was time to tell Alec at least some of the truth. So he asked Isabelle to leave. The girl didn't go without a fight, almost adamant that Magnus had the restraints Raphael asked for somewhere around his loft. She wanted them back, was planning on going to the Dumort for the plans just to make sure Raphael couldn't use them again.

He sent her on with his blessing, he could steal the restraints back the next time he was at the Institute. He even opened up a portal to get her out his loft faster.

Alone, with Alec, he tried to sort his thoughts out. He started from the beginning, if he could see how well Alec took his tragic backstory he could see how he would take the rest of it.

When he finished his daring escape to the Silent Brothers he waited, and wasn't disappointed. Alec wasn't revolted, but Magnus didn't like the pitying look on his face either.

'It's fine, I'm over it,' He hurried out, in case Alec thought he needed comfort for something that happened hundreds of years ago.

'Still,' Alec said, 'I'm sorry you had to go through that. It wasn't your fault.'

Magnus shrugged, he had long ago given up on trying to put blame on someone for that.

'So what does this have to do with Raphael?' Alec asked.

Magnus huffed, he had taken things good so far after all. 'Well, you know how sometimes people have bad reactions to things that happened to them in their past. Triggers and stuff?'

Everything clicked with an, 'Oh.' Alec repeated that one word more than once as his thoughts went rampant. 'So- and I- oh'

'Ragnor used to help me with it. But...'

'So, Raphael's been teaching you to swim?' Alec guessed, apparently not fully comprehending the problem here.

Magnus sighed, 'Even if it is still called a hotel I doubt they've had a working swimming pool for at least seventy years.' He got up, pacing as he forced out words he'd held close to his chest for years. 'No, Raphael's been helping me with something much more... intimate. Well, not intimate, more-'

'Oh.'

He hoped Alec had it now.

'It's been happening for a while. I go over to the Dumort and Raphael does what he has to do. He usually comes out of it worse than me, I've been known to be quite violent. Ragnor used to use magic some of the time, but more often than not it would backfire. Raphael of course, didn't have that advantage and he asked for restraints. Which worked, I suppose, but we didn't count on me biting him-'

'You bit Raphael?' there was a hint of pride there.

'Yes,' He waved off, back to his rambling. 'So you see, what you walked in on wasn't Raphael bleeding me dry, he was getting me appropriate- for you.'

He had a lot more to say, but managed to bite his tongue on spilling anything else. The silence reigned for a while, Alec taking in what he'd just learnt.

'I have to go,' Alec said, not really what Magnus had been expecting to hear after his big reveal. Then again, Alec was an avoider.

'Alright.'

He let him leave.

He collapsed on to his couch for an afternoon of 'The Real Housewives' to make himself feel better. An hour went past, his limbs finally relaxing in to his couch when the lock turned again.

'You're back.' Magnus noted as Alec took his boots off and joined him on his couch.

'I had to call Jace and Clary off. Izzy was just here as a distraction, in case you called Raphael.'

'Oh God.' He was sure he'd have more than one angry voicemail on his phone.

'So,' Alec wrapped an arm around the back of the couch, his fingers brushing Magnus' neck. 'Is this why you don't shower with me. Actually, I don't think I've actually seen you shower at all.'

'I do,' Magnus corrected. 'Just not for long. It's why Ragnor still insisted on the baths. He said I didn't get clean enough in two minutes.'

He noted the nod. Was surprised with the talk they had the rest of the afternoon. Alec asked more about what happened, what it was like when he went swimming or even tried to go in the bath himself. He asked about Ragnor, Magnus having story after story about his friend and their antics through the years. He asked about Raphael, the sullen vampire's reaction when Magnus asked him with his little problem.

'So nothing helps?' Alec asked.

Magnus shook his head, 'Not really. Ragnor tried distractions, he even had Will pose provocatively, much to the Shadowhunter's delight. Unfortunately that encounter ended with two black eyes and Will needing an iratze somewhere unmentionable.'

'Wow.'

'He also tried drugs, once. I don't remember that encounter much. My magic makes it so we have a sort of immunity. Ragnor commented that I woke in the midst of him scrubbing my hair, as the kids say freaked out, and promptly tried to drown him. The wound from his horn impaling my leg left a scar.'

Alec was looking at him oddly. Something he didn't blame the boy for.

'You're kind of vicious,' eventually slipped out. Alec backtracked, 'I mean, you don't really look it. I mean, of course you look it, you're very ferocious. But, you know, sometimes I just forget it because you look, you, and- you really bit Raphael?'

'Right on his Latin collarbone.'

They sniggered together.

Things got better after that. Alec didn't ask him to join him for his showers, he didn't pressure him in to doing anything he didn't feel comfortable with. He did however, insist the next time he was considering calling Raphael around that he told Alec too.

Which he did. He had thought it was so Alec would know when it was safe to come over. Instead, when he turned up to the Dumort it was to find Alec seated primly on Camille's old couch.

'I didn't tell him,' Raphael defended, taking Magnus' coat like the good host he was.

'No, I did. What are you doing here Alexander?'

Alec got up, bypassing the snappy Vampire stalking past him and took Magnus aside. 'I wanted to be here. for you. I remember what you were like that night I came around, and how you described it... I don't want you going through that alone.'

'You're not going in there.' Even the image of Alec being hurt, and him being the cause, had his blood running cold.

Thankfully Alec was on the same page as him. 'No. I'm just going to sit out here. So you know I'm here, and I can wait with you, after. Until you feel better. I'm not going to do anything you're not comfortable with.'

This time it was his turn to go 'Oh.' Pleasantly surprised by Alec again. This boy really was too good for him. 'And Raphael is okay with you sitting in his penthouse?'

'So long as he doesn't stake anyone,' Raphael called, his blazer gone and sleeves rolled up, the tips of his fingers still dripping from the bath he had been pretending not to hear.

'Make sure they don't give me a reason to,' Alec countered, the hostility usually there gone.

Agreed, Raphael called him over to the bathroom. Magnus saw Alec flinch as he gripped his hands hard. Every time was both better and worse. He knew what was coming, knew those restraints were already open and waiting for his wrists.

He ended up dragging Alec over to the bathroom, hoping the boy would tell him he didn't have to do this and whisk him away back to his loft to a few hours of steamy lovemaking. Instead, knowing he had to do this, Alec carefully pried his hands away and sat, leaning against the wall to the bathroom.

'I'll be right here.'

'I know.'

The water was still as foreboding as it was before. Gleaming clearly since Raphael had learnt the bubbles did nothing to mask what it really was. They also made his hands slippery and before he had the restraints slippery wasn't something Raphael could handle. The body wash was open, within reach and seated primly next to the other liquids Magnus had never used himself in one go.

Raphael tugged on his shirt sleeve, 'Off before I crease your pretty shirt.'

He scowled, trying to keep composure as long as he could, knowing Alec could hear him outside. 'I'd like to remind you I'm a taken man Raphael. If anyone is going to take my clothes off it will be Alexander.'

'Fine,' Raphael agreed, blocking the doorway, something else he had learnt to do when Magnus made a break for it before he even got him in the tub. 'Take them off before I call the Shadowhunter in.'

His hands were shaking, struggling with the buttons, eyeing up the cuffs that would soon be around his wrists. He wished this was already over with as he flung his shirt at the vampire. Until then he would be content with tormenting Raphael for as long as he was still in control.

That wasn't long. Really he lasted until Raphael got the manacles on, his powers like a dead weight in his chest, before falling back into old memories of water over his head and everything safe gone.

He came around to strong arms around his chest. If he didn't feel awful he would have thought he'd just spent the night dozing peacefully next to his Shadowhunter.

'... he'll be fine,' Raphael said, decanter in hand and seated in a chair more throne than comfortable. He looked like a spoiled rich boy who'd just discovered his father's liquor cabinet. A comparison Magnus would be glad to throw in the vampire's face when his throat was working again.

Those arms tightened slightly. 'I know.' Alec cleared his throat, 'How's your ear?' From the tone it sounded like this wasn't the first time he'd asked this question. He felt sorry for the boy, forced to make conversation with someone he'd probably only spoken to in dire situations.

'It'll be better when I get some blood.'

Magnus peeked an eye open, having his suspicions about what happened to Raphael's ear. His suspicions were confirmed by the bloody mess that was the side of the vampire's head.

'Is he always so... dead to the world afterwards?'

'Sometimes.' He heard a few clinks as Raphael no doubt poured himself another glass of animal blood. 'So now you know Shadowhunter, what are you going to do?'

'Do?'

Raphael growled, 'It's one thing to hear about it, another to see it. And you were outside, you haven't seen the gritty side. This, is a tame night. I heard from Ragnor he once ripped a horn off. Are you sure you can handle this?'

He was snug against Alec's chest now, held much like a teddy bear. 'It's not something he can help. If it was the other way around he would stay with me. And I'm not leaving him either. This is just something I'm going to have to work around.'

He was pretty sure the 'l' word was going to be spilling from his lips any day now. This boy was too good for him.

Still, Raphael being the stupid vampire he was couldn't help stirring the pot even more with, 'So you're fine with another man handling your warlock every month.'

Magnus gained enough strength to reply to that one. Alec didn't have the wit to go toe to toe with Raphael yet after all.

'If your definition of handling is being mauled I despair for your romantic partners.'