You wouldn't think by looking at him that he was barely eighteen. He looked much older than that, Magnus believed, with the way the boy held his shoulders and head high as he made his way through the crowd, urgently coming toward Magnus.

His dark hair was longer than it used to be, and Magnus watched idly as Alec pushed it out of his deep blue eyes. "Hi," he said breathlessly as he reached Magnus.

Magnus blinked. "Wait, you're talking to me? Like, in public?"

"Shut up. I wanted to see if… if you wanted to, you know…"

Magnus kept his eyes on Alec, still vaguely surprised that the boy had come within reach of him. "No, I don't know. I'm a warlock, Nephilim, not a psychic."

The boy's face flushed slightly. "I meant that… let's be partners. In the battle."

Magnus frowned. "Aren't you afraid of what your parents will say?"

"By the Angel if I care." Alec looked at Magnus fiercely. "I'm tired of being a coward. I'm not a child any longer—I'm a Shadowhunter. Come on."

Magnus sighed. "Okay. All right. Partners."

Alec leaned forward to trace the Mark onto Magnus's waiting hand. His face, though mostly hidden by his dark curtain of hair, was concentrated. When they were both Marked, Alec pushed the stele back into his belt. Alec looked back up. Their eyes locked. They simply stared at each other for ten long, wondrous seconds. Finally, Alec said, "I don't want anything to happen."

"Don't worry," Magnus teased him. "I won't let you get hurt."

Alec smiled lightly. "I meant that I didn't want anything to happen to you."

Magnus was a little taken aback. But before he had time to respond, Alec had wrapped his arms around Magnus and pressed his lips against the warlock's. Magnus stood frozen for a moment, his eyes open and unblinking. But then he, too, let his arms fall around the Shadowhunter and his eyes fall closed, ignoring the gasps and whispers from the assorted Downworlders and Nephilim in their vicinity. Alec pulled his face away, looking into Magnus's eyes calmly, but kept his arms steadily where they were.

Centuries would have seemed millenniums longer if Magnus had known exactly what he'd been waiting for all that time. But all those years could not have made him any more eloquent at this moment. "Hi," he managed.

Alec chuckled. "I think I love you," he admitted.

"Well, you should have said something earlier. Then I might have called you back."

Haha. Just a short little baby, simply because I felt the need and also because, well, you know, I LOVE THEM. They are my favorite characters EVER. I just adore them, I can't help it. Anyway. Yeah. Review, if you got something to say. Or if you don't.