General warnings:

1) This fic deals with SLASH. Slash as in boy/boy relationships, comprendre? Not your cup of tea, then go get coffee. No flames accepted. You have been warned.

2) English is not my native language so please excuse possible mistakes and kindly point them out so that I may actually learn from them.

Disclaimer: I own diddly squat.

Summary: It's time for Alec to start anew. He knew it. It's just… well, he didn't think a clean slate would be taken so literally. And figuratively as well. Alec/Magnus

A/N: Just so you guys know, this wasn't actually supposed to get posted. Marcy (who named the blasted thing) and another friend had other ideas. Hence the posted disaster. *facepalm*


TABULA RASA

By Anne Shawn

"Was it something we did?" Maryse asked, her voice uncharacteristically low and vulnerable.

Alec looked at her with sad, unhappy eyes and shook his head, fringe tickling his brow where it flopped listlessly. He didn't raise his hand to tuck it away. He couldn't find the energy to do it.

"No," he croaked out and turned around, swinging the heavy backpack on his shoulder, facing the portal blankly. "Goodbye," he said, and stepped through the door, closing his eyes and thinking of the Institute – he still had to grab a few things from there.

oooOOOooo

Alec stood at the end of the street, touching the side of the brick wall with uncertainty. He looked at the bricks, measuring them with his eyes and wishing they'd tell him what to do.

He was confused. Confused about life and about what he was doing there. 'It used to be so simple,' he thought, tired and worn out, like an old man who didn't have enough strength left.

'It used to be so simple,' he thought again. And it did.

It was simple, because he's known exactly what was expected of him. What to expect from his life: no love, to make his family proud, to fight... and maybe, if the fates were feeling generous enough, an early death.

"Alec?"

The voice startled him, and he turned around on his heel, hair dripping more wetness down his face. He looked up in bewilderment. When had it started raining? Alec had no idea, nor did he care enough to be bothered by it.

His eyes met golden, slitted ones that burned him with their scrutiny and with their iciness.

"Magnus," he tried to say.

He winced. His throat hurt too much, and the word came out hoarse and barely recognizable. He looked away then and his back curved into itself, making Alec look smaller and vulnerable.

"What are you doing here?"

The question was toneless, indifferent and Alec wanted to simply disappear. He couldn't be here. He had no right to be here.

"Alec?" Magnus insisted, something slipping through his words, wrapping around their cool smoothness and making them warmer.

Alec opened his mouth to say something, still looking away. Still wanting to be away.

He heard Magnus sigh and he felt, rather than heard, the warlock slip past him, heading towards the door to his loft.

"I kissed Jace," Alec blurted out, wincing and wishing he hadn't said anything - wishing he could take it back.

The tension was palpable now, like fog so thick you could cut it with a knife, looming ominously over them and pressing on their shoulders.

"Is that so?"

Alec wished he hadn't heard how Magnus's voice broke at the end, like ice cracking suddenly, collapsing under sudden weight that shouldn't have been there in the first place. He nodded helplessly though, raising his eyes to the cloudy sky.

"I don't- love him," he continued, hating how he couldn't stop when he knew he should.

"I don't love him," he said again: whispered, like a secret.

Magnus's hand fell on his shoulder, solid and awkward. Alec leaned into it - how could he not? When it was Magnus he'd been in love with all along?

His shoulders shook, twice and then Magnus was pulling him against him with gentle care, minding the black, full backpack. Alec wasn't resisting his touch now.

"Come," said Magnus, gently and he was pulling Alec along and Alec was going this time, willingly.

Magnus led him past the metal-bound doors and into his loft, up the rickety stairs and into the living room which looked empty and desolate and untidy. Alec found that he felt safer here than he'd ever had at the Institute. It was a comforting thought somehow. It meant that he could feel home in other places as well, now that the Institute ceased to be an option.

"What happened?" Magnus asked lowly and -Alec thought- hopefully.

Alec shook his head looking at the couch with sad eyes and shrugged, letting his burden slide on the floor with a heavy thud.

"I don't know," he admitted, truthfully.

He thought he could hear Magnus sigh, but he didn't turn around and he didn't want to see the pain in the warlock's gold-green orbs.

"Alec..." he trailed off.

Alec's shoulders slumped in defeat. He walked towards the large windows and looked outside, shoving his hands in his jeans pockets to keep himself from fidgeting too much.

"Jace asked me to kiss him and- I did," he paused for a moment. "I kissed him, and I felt nothing," he said bitterly. "It was just a useless, meaningless kiss."

He shook his head, self derision wafting off his body like smoke from a candle. "It wasn't-It wasn't like all those times you kissed me. It was..."

He stopped for fear that the words might choke him.

Magnus came beside him then, leaning against the grey wall, watching Alec's face intently.

"What are you saying?"

His voice was expressionless again, guarded.

Alec shook his head and closed his eyes, inhaling deeply. "I don't know."

"What are you doing here?" Magnus asked, tiredness seeping into his voice like poison and Alec didn't have to look in order to know that the warlock was pinching the bridge of his nose.

"I don't know," Alec repeated again, unsure and painful.

The warlock sighed and Alec turned his head in the opposite direction, his eyes fixing on the window frame. He thought he could feel Magnus's fingers caressing his hair, but he doubted it. It was nice to think it, though. Comforting.

"I think you should go home, Alec," said the warlock and moved away from the wall. "Call me after you've sorted everything out."

Alec laughed before he could stop himself: sharp and bitter and loud, bordering on hysteric. He could feel Magnus's gaze on him, but he shook his head and turned around, walking towards his backpack, lifting from where he'd let it fall.

His attention was drawn, briefly, to the fireplace. Its flames had gone green and an envelope was floating above it. Alec paid it no mind. He had to go. Magnus shouldn't have to put up with his presence any longer. It wasn't fair towards him anyway. Alec shouldn't have been there in the first place.

He left the apartment without another word. He wanted to say 'goodbye', though. He wanted – but found he couldn't.

He'd already reached the metallic door on the first floor when Magnus's voice stopped him, sounding desperate and pained. "Wait!"

Alec stilled his motions, his hand halfway towards the door, ready to push it out of the way. He turned around, slowly, and raised his eyes, locking them with Magnus's, who was looking at him from the top of the stairs, a piece of paper clutched in his hand, so tightly his knuckles turned white.

"Is it true?" he asked, and Alec frowned, not understanding, trying to gouge out Magnus's expression.

The silence stretched on. Alec watched as Magnus's descended down the stairs and stopped at the bottom, the paper still in his left hand. "Is it true," he asked again, lowly.

Alec shook his head in confusion and opened his mouth to ask 'What's true?', but Magnus was standing in front of him now, yanking down his black mockneck, jewel eyes searching, and Alec knew then, that Magnus had found out.

His eyes slid to the innocent-looking piece of paper and understood what the message had been. He didn't know whether to be terrified or relieved by it.

Magnus leaned forward, resting his forehead against Alec's. "Where are your marks?"

The question should have been innocent enough. But the answer to it was painful, and it left a hole in Alec's very core. "They're gone," he whispered, shutting his eyes against the world and inhaling Magnus's scent.

"Why?"

Alec said nothing.

Magnus's hands came up to cup Alec's cool cheeks, and Alec spared a fraction of a second to wonder when he had let go of the paper. "What did you tell them that got you stripped of your marks?" he insisted.

"I think you know."

Magnus kissed him then, chastely at first, just the touch of lips, tasting and assessing and simple. And then Magnus's fingers migrated in Alec's hair, wounding themselves around dark locks and his tongue was tracing the seam of Alec's lips, asking for entrance, and Alec couldn't deny him this. Couldn't deny himself this.

The first contact of tongue against tongue was electric and exhilarating, making Alec's senses soar and dance and hot sparks run down his spine. He shivered and made a little whimpering sound in the back of his throat and then he was kissing back, pushing against the warlock with as much force and desperation as Magnus, clutching at his hips hard enough to bruise.

Magnus pulled back then, and Alec whimpered again, curling his fingers further. Magnus licked Alec's bottom lip briefly, drawing it into his mouth and sucking at it for a second before releasing it and resting his forehead against the boy's.

"What did you tell them?" he asked again, whispered, like asking for a secret.

Alec sighed, tired and shaken. "You know. I know you do."

Magnus's fingers in his hair tightened as he guided Alec's face in the crook of his neck, his other hand moving to rest against his neck, rubbing the smooth skin there. Alec took a deep breath and sighed again, curving his body and aligning it to the warlock's, as though trying to soak up any sort of affection.

"I need to hear it from you," was all Magnus said for a while.

Alec pulled back and looked the other dead in the eyes, and Magnus noticed with a start the dark bruises underneath Alec's eyes and the sallow tone of his skin. The impact of the sheer loss Alec was at hit him brutally. He gulped and opened his mouth to tell him that it's okay… That he could wait.

But Alec beat him to it. "I told them I loved you."

It was said fierce and earnest, and Magnus felt overwhelmed for a moment. He smiled, though, and Alec closed his eyes.

"I love you," Alec said again in hushed tones and smiled, burying his face against Magnus's neck and allowing himself to feel, for the first time, a little better and happier.

Magnus wrapped his arms around him, supporting his weight and Alec drifted, content and safe, into the welcoming darkness of sleep, unmindful of the fact that he was standing.

"I love you too."

He was home anyway.


A/N 2: I don't know if I'll post anything more to this. It's most likely a oneshot so... Yeah. Feedback's welcome nonetheless.