It should be simple. But it's not, and he runs everything over in his mind so much that it all blurs together so he can't separate fact from fiction and what he wants and what he needs and what is there and what isn't. So he gets paper and a pen and he tries to separate things into nice, neat categories, like he used to do when he was younger- they helped him to identify runes, differentiate between demons, decide what to buy Jace and what to buy Isabelle and what to buy Max. Things were neat and organized so that he could think and he could breathe and most importantly he could decide.
The very first thing he knows is that he can't have both. It's one or the other- there's no compromise between the two. So he draws a thick, definite line right through the middle of the page, and at the top of one column he writes Jace and at the top of the other one he writes Magnus.
Then he sits there and stares at the paper and tries to organize his thoughts but pretty soon he gives up on that and he just starts to write, to scribble down any though that pops into his head, and his pen is flying and he's not completely sure if he's in complete control or if the pen is completely guiding him or if he's completely guiding it.
His hand cramps and he throws it aside, and it lands next to one of his sweaters but he disregards it and looks down at what he wrote without being completely aware of writing it.
This is what he sees:
Jace- straight. Loves Clary. Clary's brother, can never have her. Technically single. Best friend- parabatai. Would die for me. Almost gets me killed. Shadowhunter. Safe.
Magnus- gay. Loves me. Not related to me. High Warlock of Brooklyn. Almost unlimited magical resources. Loves me. Would die for me. Saves me all the times Jace almost gets me killed. Warlock. Downworlder. Loves me. Loves me.
He stares down at his paper and then crumples it, throwing it over his shoulder and then retrieving it, staring at it again before he rips it up into a million tiny little pieces and throws them all out the window, watching them flutter to the gardens below before they're lost in the darkness and he can't find them and then he sits back down at his desk and rests his head in his hands and tries to figure out just what the hell is wrong with him that he can't figure it out.
Jace is safe. Jace is calm, cool, collected, everything he wants to be in the way he talks and acts and fights, in the way he is so fearless and the way he charges in without a thought of the consequences. Jace is fearless and sarcastic and strong and dependable and safe, safe, safe. Jace is close, close, close, right in front of him, but Jace is far, far, away, wrapped around the finger of a red headed girl with a quick temper who has no scars to show for all her battles and all the times she has kept him safe (not that there are any). Jace is his first love.
(Can you have a first love if they don't love you back?)
Magnus is wild. Magnus is out there, flaming, rainbow pants and glitter and coloured hair and hazel eyes that see right through him. Magnus is fire, electric blue fire whose sparks set the whole world on fire and brightens the world. No, not the world- his world. Magnus sets the world on fire and the truth is he likes it better up in flames but how can he just let go of everything he's held so close to him for the past seven years of his life? Because he doesn't know how to breathe, how to act, how to feel love live without Jace.
His hand reaches across his desk to another piece of paper and another pen but he hardly notices because he's so caught up in eyes. In gold and luminous eyes and hazel eyes, in gold eyes that stare into green and hazel eyes that stare into blue and he's writing and the pen is in complete control and he's thinking about Magnus's eyes when he told him it's me or him. I'm not asking you to cut him out of your life- I'm just asking you to give up on a fantasy that will never come true. And then he looks down at the paper and his name is written all over, in big letters and small letters and block letters and bubble letters and printing and cursive, Magnus Magnus Magnus Magnus Magnus Magnus Magnus, and he's wondering why he had ever thought it difficult because it was simple, so simple, and it was right in front of him. And so he takes that piece of paper and he rips it up into a million tiny little pieces and throw them up in the air and watch them as they rain down on him, so that's he's covered, completely covered, in Magnus Magnus Magnus. And then he gets another piece of paper and on it he writes Jace Jace Jace Jace (just to be symbolic) and he rips it up into a million tiny little pieces and throws them out the window, not bothering to watch as they float down, down, down, away from him.
And then he's rushing out the door and down the elevator and out into the streets and he's wondering just when it got so late, so dark, but it doesn't matter because he could find his way to his house with his eyes closed, so he decides to try and walks into a little girl who yells at him but he doesn't care because he's there, he's there there there and all he can see is that front door and his heart freezes in terror that wasn't there a minute ago (where did it come from?) but he knocks anyway, three hard knocks that rumble through his head, knock knock knock, and reverberate around his brain.
And then the door opens and the world is on fire and those hazel eyes are looking into blue with a hardness that was never there before and the words are tumbling out of his mouth, so fast he couldn't stop them even if he wanted to. I don't know how to love, I don't know how to give myself entirely to someone because I have and all that gave me was hurt and I want to give you what you need but I can't, not without your help, so I'm asking you to help me love you because I want to, and I do, I love you, but not in the right way and you need to teach me.
Hazel stares into blue but they're softening, softening, and they're seeing right into his soul but for once he doesn't care, and then Magnus reaches out a hand and picks something off his shoulder and looks at it, and it's a piece of paper that says Ma and then he picks off another that says gn and then finally one that says us and he smiles beatifically and steps aside just like he did before but this time he doesn't walk past him awkwardly, this time he stands right in front of him and cups his face and says his name and brings his lips to his and Jace never enters his mind once (who's Jace?) and the world is on fire with rainbow pants and glitter and coloured hair and hazel eyes that see right through him and a million tiny little pieces of paper that say only one thing, Magnus Magnus Magnus Magnus Magnus.
I honestly have no idea what I was smoking when I wrote this. Or what Alec was smoking. But whatever- review!