This is my first Mortal Instruments fan fic. I have another one in the works, but it's going off more of an image than a plot idea, so it's taking more time to structure. And it'd be kind of embarrassing to put up if this one ends up being a flop. It's not my familiar ground for me.

Of course, I don't own any of the characters, and I guess you could say this one shot would take place after City of Glass. I always enjoy an excuse to throw Magnus and Alec together, and sparring sounded almost as hot as the more popular bedroom scenes. And I thought I'd start out T and work my way to M.

Hope you enjoy the appetizer.

"No marks," Magnus named his terms, one corner of his mouth curving up.

"No magic," Alec retorted with narrowed eyes, warning him.

Magnus's amusement shifted and he pressed one hurt hand to his chest, all theatrics. "I'm wounded. You don't think I'd play fair?"

"I know you'll be very tempted. And it's kind of second nature to you, isn't it?" Alec crooked his finger in a come-hither gesture, letting him know it was time. He was also pointing out that it would only take the bending of a single knuckle for Magnus to break the glass in the window, or set the walls on fire. One little unconscious jerk of his finger.

Magnus smirked and nodded his head, lowering his hands to his sides in surrender, agreeing to the rules of the game.

"All right. On go," Alec said, breathless now. He bent his thighs slightly in the beginnings of a crouch, trying to fill his lungs. Slowly. Thoughtfully.

"Go!" he intoned, muscles tensing in preparation. Then he felt a gust of air breeze past his left side, whipping his hair across his eyes.

"Go?" A teasing voice hummed against his cheek. Alec spun around, leg going up. Magnus laughed, arching away from the kick. Alec planted his foot on the floor again heavily.

"Come on now, little Shadowhunter. I'm disappoint—"

Growling, Alec's fist came back and his bent bicep lunged at the warlock, striking at him barehanded. No weapons had been one of the original terms, Magnus's request. No nails had been Alec's rebuttal. He knew the damage that the glittery manicured points could do, especially to his lower back…

His face was heated, and his fist cut through the air. Hitting only air.

"What? I said no magic!" Alec seethed. Magnus laughed, at his right now.

"I thought Shadowhunter speed was renowned. But I'm starting to doubt. Should I bend the rules a little and put up a glamour? Maybe if I didn't look so fetching, you wouldn't have a problem."

The suggestion that he was 'slow' and might 'have a problem' enraged him. He might as well have called him impotent.

Alec threw himself at the snickering warlock again. This time he made contact, the grimy wall shuddering behind the taller man's back. Magnus hissed, neck arching back. Alec flattened his hands against Magnus's clothed shoulders, bunching the simple cotton t-shirt in his fists. It was a very uncharacteristic clothing choice, but Alec figured he was trying to be taken more seriously as a sparring partner.

"No nails," Magnus breathed, lips parted.

"No talking," Alec tried to reply menacingly, using his grip on Magnus's shirt to pull him back from the wall, feeling him tense.

Then the single lightbulb overhead blew with a snap. Alec looked up reflexively in surprise, and the shirt was wrenched free of his hands.

"Stop stalling. This is no time for a make-out session," Magnus tsked from behind him. Alec turned and had to squint to see his lean figure, walking backward. His eyes shone even in the darkness, and his pale lip curved. Then he beckoned with his finger, the same as Alec had done earlier.

"So is this how you tried to impress Jace? With glares and shirt-fisting?"

He'd pulled out the 'Jace' card. It was another effective maneuver; Alec's face tightened and he lifted his fists, nodding his head. Back to business.

Magnus mirrored his stance, though looking significantly less threatening. This sort of fighting wasn't in his blood. It certainly wasn't congruent with his facial features. While his eyes could be intimidating, his lips were too soft for the hard-jawed glower required.

Alec's heartbeat thudded in his ears, ready to spring. Long seconds passed, teeth clenched. Then he slowly pushed off his bare toes and straightened, arms falling to his sides.

"I can't do this."


"I don't want to hurt you."

"That's awfully presumptuous. You're assuming you can."

"Magnus," he sighed, trying not to be goaded into it again.

"Fine." After another snap, the light flicked back on. Magnus turned from him, walking silently over to the table where he'd removed his rings and bracelets. He carefully slid the jewelry back into place, on his fingers and wrists, the metal bangles making a light clinking sound in the quiet of the wide space. He passed his fingers back through the soft spikes, tickling his own scalp. He shivered at the pleasant sensation, and turned to regard Alec, who stood watching him in the center of the room. His shoulders were slumped now, feet splayed out. He looked defeated.

Magnus shrugged, not entirely disappointed. He smiled and crooked his finger one more time. Alec gasped, the shirt torn from his body. His pulse fluttered and his face flushed a deeper red.

"I can think of a better way to release endorphins."

"No nails," Alec breathed, padding quietly across the hardwood, smiling tentatively.

"No screaming."

His blue eyes widened and he paused a foot from the warlock. "I don't—"

"You will," Magnus promised in a low voice, sliding his arms around the bare-chested shadowhunter, using just the harmless ends of his fingertips, tracing up his pale spine before closing the rest of the distance between them.