Takes place shortly before pg. 73 of CoA.

Disclaimer: Cassandra Clare owns Magnus, Alec, Chairman Meow, etc.

Magnus Bane was many things.

He was a warlock, a Downworlder, a creature that horrified his parents to the extent that they tried to drown him and hung themselves in the barn when he was ten.

He was also the High Warlock of Brooklyn, fond of glitter and neon and throwing parties that he couldn't quite remember the next day.

However, most of all, he was in love with Alec Lightwood, who was not a warlock, not even a Downworlder, but a Shadowhunter; who had a family that loved him, but would most likely not approve of him seeing someone who not only was part demon and a good eight hundred years older, but of the male persuasion; who was not fond of clothing that was stolen or bought or sparkly or flashy or colorful or new or clean for that matter.

But none of that mattered with Alec because nothing but Alec mattered when they were together. At least, in theory, when other certain people—Nephilim—weren't brought into the picture.

Unfortunately Magnus didn't have time for a lengthy sob-fest because his boyfriend—it was alright to call him that in the safety of his own head—was still in love with someone else, as Chairman Meow was already crying plaintively and scratching at his bedroom door.

Magnus rolled out of bed with a groan, scattering glitter as he went, and pulled his door open. "What do you want from me, fiend?" he demanded, narrowing heavily outlined eyes at the minute feline at his feet. Chairman Meow blinked twice then cocked his head to the side. "I was napping," Magnus insisted, even though he was doing no such thing. "Alright, I lied," he conceded after a moment at his cat's steely gaze. "But I was in bed all the same."

Chairman Meow seemed to accept this, as he arched his back against Magnus's ankle, purring like a jackhammer and shedding white fur all over the bottom of the warlock's dark purple pants. Magnus sighed and was about to give in and lean down to pet the cat when he heard a sound at his entrance.

Magnus nearly tripped over his cat in his haste to answer the door, though he would never admit that he was capable of such foolish clumsiness. Chairman Meow yowled in irritation and stalked off in the opposite direction, his tail held high. "Oh, shush," Magnus snapped, then composed himself and opened the door.

As always, the sight of Alec was enough to soothe his frustration. It was raining at the moment and the wetness of the Shadowhunter's hair and clothing was enough to betray how long he had waited outside, gathering up the courage to go in. It was quite endearing, Magnus couldn't deny, but one of these days Alec was going to get sick and he would have to nurse him back to health. Not that it would be in any way unpleasant, but he wasn't keen on the idea of his boyfriend—what a wonderful word that was—getting sick when Alec already risked his life fighting demons every day.

Magnus sighed, letting out a breath he hadn't been aware he was holding—what a cliché love turned life into—and leaned against the doorframe wearily. "I gave you a key for a reason," he reminded the boy by way of greeting.

Alec blushed deliciously and ducked his head slightly, peering at Magnus through dripping black hair. "I forgot it," he claimed, which Magnus knew was a euphemism for "I hid it in my pillow case because I don't want to admit to myself that this is becoming a real relationship complete with keys to doors that aren't my own when I can't even give you my whole heart." Of course, Magnus had always been very imaginative.

So instead of pointing out the hidden implication behind the Shadowhunter's words, he wrapped his bejeweled fingers around Alec's forearm and yanked him inside, shutting the door with a flick of his other wrist and a burst of blue sparks that closely resembled shattering glass. Magnus wasn't quite as strong and could have been easily resisted, but Alec was caught off guard enough to stumble along.

"What—" he began, bewildered, but was promptly cut off by their mouths' unexpected collision. Alec made a startled noise in the back of his throat and before he could respond, Magnus pulled back with a beatific grin.

"Silly Shadowhunter," he teased breathily, liking the alliteration, and rested his forehead against Alec's damp bangs.

Alec's bright blue eyes were dazzled as they stared into the gleaming hazel cat eyes in front of them. "Hi."

"Now then," Magnus began, slipping out of their embrace and making his way deeper into the apartment, "what brings you to my humble abode?"

"Humble abode?" Alec questioned doubtfully, his gaze flashing from the bright purple curtains to the green shag rug to the zebra print lampshade.

Magnus shrugged, leaning against the back of the hot pink couch and crossing his arms over his chest. He noted with some amusement that Alec glanced down at the glittery strip of stomach revealed by his tee shirt riding up and blushed. "Magnificent abode, then," Magnus amended.

Alec rolled his eyes, but allowed that, and seated himself behind the grinning warlock. Magnus pushed himself over the back of the couch and let himself elegantly fall onto the unoccupied cushion. "So?" he prompted, crossing his ankles in Alec's lap and folding his arms behind his head. "Was there a reason for your visit?"

Alec looked down at Magnus's fuzzy slippers and pulled at the black material thoughtfully. "I originally just wanted to get out of the Institute," he confessed. "My mom is being abnormally difficult now that we all know who Jace's"—he pretended not to notice how the warlock's face hardened unintentionally at the name—"father actually is. They had a fight and Jace stormed out and I found out about Hodge and—" He stopped, frowning and tightening his grip on the dark fluff. "So I left to clear my head and I wasn't really paying attention to where I was walking and…"

He trailed off again and glanced up at Magnus, who finished for him. "Your attraction to me was far too powerful to be resisted."

Alec's previously morose expression brightened as he cracked a smile. "That must be it."

There was a hint of honestly to his sarcastic tone, which—to use another cliché—sent butterflies waltzing through Magnus's stomach. This was a new one, he noted. The experienced warlock was used to the accelerating of his heartbeat, to the feeling that the room was much too small, to the tingles shooting down his extremities. But this jittery feeling in his abdomen, so different from the anxious butterflies he bred before approaching an important figure or attempting a particularly difficult spell, was strange and new and the most wonderful thing he had ever felt.

Magnus grinned, the dim lights glinting off his teeth, and sat up. He was no stronger than he had accused the boy of being; the startling desire to frequently see the Shadowhunter was growing every day. This frightened him to no ends, of course, but at the moment there were more pressing matters: such as getting closer to those gorgeous blue eyes.

Magnus had prepared a witty remark in response, but it had flown out the back of his head several seconds ago and he had no hopes of getting it back. "Has anyone ever told you how absurdly adorable you are?" These words had not gained permission to exit his mouth, nor had his arms gained permission to wrap themselves around Alec's neck and pull him closer.

The boy wore his heart on his black, ratty sleeve, no matter how hard he tried to convince himself otherwise, so it was clear to Magnus—and probably anyone else who entered the room, including Chairman Meow—how flustered and conflicted Alec was.

"Magnus," he breathed, feebly drawing away, though he was already in such close proximity to the end of the couch that there wasn't much space to flee to. "I can't—you know—I'm still—"

Magus did know. He knew very well—probably better than Alec himself—how the boy had deluded himself into thinking he was in love with the blonde, brooding Shadowhunter. His love was unrequited, ridiculous, unreal, and Magnus hoped—he hoped so hard that sometimes he almost convinced himself that it had already occurred—that one day the two of them would look back on Alec's infatuation and laugh, the way he and Chairman Meow did when his brief flings with faeries were brought up.

But right now Magnus couldn't throw his head back with mirth because the situation still existed and Jace was still a threat and Alec was still trembling with what Magnus could only guess was every emotion that had ever existed.

So, instead, he buried his face in the crook of Alec's neck, then trailed his lips up to his ear, drug in a ragged breath, and intently whispered, "I don't care."

Several minutes later, a strange sound exploded from the living room. Magnus raised his flushed face from Alec's collarbone and raised an inquiring eyebrow. The young Shadowhunter, who was as out of breath as if he had sprinted a mile, delicately fingered the side of his neck, where a bite mark was clearly visible and a red mark was blossoming. Magnus froze, worried that he had crossed the line, and then slipped his hands away from Alec's torso as he shifted backwards. The two sat in tense silence with their gazes locked for a few long moments before Alec spoke.

"Don't tell me: you're secretly a vampire."

Laughter bubbled through Magnus so quickly and unexpectedly that he couldn't stop the guffaw that shook his stomach. The lanky warlock fell backwards into the cushions, laughing until he feared that the glittery charcoal surrounding his eyes would be smeared. When he finally controlled himself enough to look back up at Alec, he found the boy grinning shyly, eyes alight with gaiety.

"This is why I let you into my apartment," Magnus informed him cheerily, flicking at a tear he hoped didn't exist, then turned around and pillowed his head on Alec's bare stomach.

This was not what Magnus wanted to say. Those three simple words that could make or break a couple were still hovering on the back of his tongue, waiting for the right moment to be let free. But now wasn't the right time, nor were the other two times he had almost said it in this visit alone, so Magnus shoved the words back down his throat and chuckled when Chairman Meow hopped onto his chest, missing the attention. It was an unspoken truth between the two of them, and until that troublesome Jace was out of the picture, would remain unspoken. But that didn't make it any less true.

Magnus Bane was—ah, another cliché—head over heels in love with Alec Lightwood.

This is my first Mortal Instruments fanfic, plus my first slash, so reviews would be much loved.

If you can figure out the other two times Magnus wanted to tell Alec he loved him, you get a cookie.