Magnus tapped long slender fingers against his temple, flickering blue sparks darting from beneath his fingernails and cascading around him in a seizuring shower, a cyanotic wedding veil. Think, think, think.

Frowning, Magnus picked a pair of leather chaps off the floor, the material smooth against his palm. Where did I get these? He thought. And then he grinned, tossing them back into the shadowy depths of his closet. Oh yeah.

Turning back to his bed, Magnus let out a frustrated groan. Two piles of clothes were heaped upon his sunny yellow sheets, discarded shirts and hangers strewn around the mattress like a colorful skirt.

Sexy? Magnus sifted through the pile on the right, mesh and leather and vibrant colors sliding over his fingers. It was Alec's birthday.

Sophisticated? He flipped through the second pile. Dark, somber colors and slippery silks. Maryse and Robert would be there after all.

Maryse and Robert Lightwood, whose "tolerance" would surely be stretched towards latent hostility, were he to veer towards the pile on the right. He could imagine it, plastic smiles and pleasantries hissed through clenched teeth. Magnus could deal with that but Alec wanted the three of them to get along—something Magnus thought highly unlikely in any event, no matter what he wore. But tight leather pants and sparkles didn't exactly equal cordial mom and dad.

Sighing, Magnus gathered up the right pile into his arms and heaved it across the room. Clothes fell to the carpet like brightly colored rain, only a few jackets actually hitting their destination—the back of the closet—with a riot of dull thuds. There was a metallic crash as a buckle-covered shirt slammed into a gilded picture frame, knocking it to the ground. It hit with a resounding crack.

Swearing, Magnus walked over to it, throwing aside the shirt and gingerly extracting the glossy photo from it's cradle of warped metal and crushed glass. It was a candid shot, taken beside the Ferris wheel at Coney Island. Magnus stood in the background, laughing, his eyes closed and his head thrown back in mirth.. The gold and red fire of Jace and Clary was just barely visible in the distant bumper car line. Most of the frame, however, was taken up by Alec's face. His eyes were narrowed, his messy hair falling in wayward curls as he fought Isabelle for the camera. It had been a surprise day trip for Clary's birthday and like a good person Magnus had come along when Alec asked him, trying not to make too many disgusted faces and racy innuendos when Jace and Clary started making out on the Ferris wheel, even though it was dreadfully cliché. Hopefully he wouldn't have to sit next to them tonight.

Setting it on the dresser, Magnus took one last look at the picture before plopping down on his bed and rummaging through his remaining pile of clothes. Faintly, as if through water, his alarm clock beeped annoyingly, telling him that it was 5:30 and he had better get his ass in gear if he didn't want to be late to the restaurant.

Groaning and throwing on the first things his fingers touched, Magnus kicked his way through the crap-covered floor and strode out of his apartment, running his fingers through his pin-straight hair and shoving a mewling Chairman Meow out of the way. Gah, if only he had a portal. But Alec wouldn't be mad. He never was. It was Isabelle he was worried about.