I was woken at the crack of dawn by an irritating nasal ringing.
The doorbell, I groaned, jerking upwards, dazed and blurry eyed. I rubbed my eyelids furiously, trying to wake myself up. Who could be calling so goddamn early?
I stretched and went to swing my legs out of Magnus' wretchedly comfortable bed – too late I realised Chairman Meow was sleeping on my legs, and I tossed him onto the floor in my haste. He twisted in the air and landed with a soft thump, turning to spit at me irately before prowling out of the room.
I mumbled a swift apology at his retreating fluffy back before yanking on my sweater and jeans, the doorbell sounding shrilly in the background again.
"I'm coming, I'm coming," I grumbled, gnashing my teeth as my foot got stuck in the end of my pants. I stalked out to the front door and held the call button.
"Who is it?" I growled, hoping they wouldn't want a face-to-face meeting –Magnus was none too forgiving about panda eyes and early morning hair disasters even before other company was brought into the situation. As gorgeous as I thought Magnus was without the war paint, gawd knows what he'd do to me if I presented him to clients in my current state – bare faced and bleary eyed, my hair no doubt a tangled mess atop my head.
There was a pause as I waited for a reply – finally I heard a low noise that was either a cat dying or a nasty cough.
My face lit up. "Magnus?"
I could nearly him smirking. "Yeah, baby."
Ignoring the inward cringe and oncoming blush at hearing the words said in my voice, I hurled myself down the stairs of Magnus' rickety apartment block, the worn wood groaning beneath my hurried footsteps. My face lit up at the sight of myself standing at the bottom, hands outstretched, an unusual gesture for Magnus.
I walked over to him, grinning, and wrapped my arms around his waist. It was weird to be hugging myself but it was the familiar mischievous glint in his eyes – that I usually only saw in a certain pair of cat slit ones - that drew me towards him. I curled my fingers into the back of his sweater, sighing against his hair.
"I've missed you." I murmured, silently noting how tall I was. Or rather, how tall Magnus was. Did he tower over everyone like this?
"Me, or your body do you mean?" He replied softly, a hint of amusement touching his voice.
I laughed and looked down at him. "Both, if I'm brutally honest. But you more." I kissed his cheek, my lips brushing against the slightly raised skin, the scars resulting of my Shadowhunting years.
His reached around and brought my hands back to my sides, linking our mismatched fingers together. Caramel and porcelain, intertwined. "So, do I get to enter the magnificent abode, or are we going to stand here all day?"
I shook my head no and led him inside, our hands still clutched tightly together. We reached the apartment door, and Magnus opened the door for me, waving me in first, a small smile gracing his features. I walked towards the couch and slumped onto it, Magnus sliding down beside me.
"So, what have you up to lately?" He brushed a strand of his hair off his face while he spoke. I reached over, and tucked it behind his ear, rubbing the skin below it with the side of my thumb. Magnus smiled again.
"Nothing much, I guess. Just taking messages…Relaxing…" I tried to inject just a teensy bit of enthusiasm into my voice. So he didn't get the completely irrational impression I was suicidal or something.
Magnus laughed, that hoarse, cringe-provoking laugh I'd come to associate with myself in the last couple of days. "Are we feeling resentful of not thinking before we make little silly comments we may come to regret?" He teased, his eyebrows twitching, his mouth hitching up at the corners.
My face twisted up in a scowl I was certain was out of place on Magnus' face. Out of place like a parent having a temper tantrum in a supermarket. "You didn't tell me what I was getting myself into. I was just humouring you." Magnus chuckled rather patronizingly, or as patronizingly as was possible in my voice. "No. It's entirely your fault for not reading the fine print. I laid it out for you perfectly clearly, it's not my fault you're only a few brain cells away from clinical retarded-ness."
I wrinkled my nose in confusion. "Retarded-ness? That's a word?"
Magnus snorted. "Point proven."
I shook my head, and stood up. "Magnus, I just have one question. What exactly-"
"- Do I use to get my hair so silky smooth? If I told you I'd have to kill you, Alec."
"No, listen! What exactly is it that you do all day? I mean, I've had-" I paused for a moment, struggling to find the right word, "- potential clients, I suppose, but am I actually allowed do stuff while you're not here?"
He tilted his head at me, a smirk dancing across his face. "What kind of stuff?" An eyebrow was raised cockily. "Oh, Alec. Of course. I mean, if you get overwhelmingly lonely and find that yourself and your hand are having a tad of a moment in the shower, by all means…"
I opened and shut my mouth a few times, not quite able to come up with a steady reply to that. "Magnus, that's not-, I didn't-," I spluttered on the spot for a moment, gaping at him before I regained a scrap of my former composure. I had grown somewhat used to Magnus and his little personal jokes. "Oh, just never mind, what I meant was, am I, I mean, can I…use magic?"
The last word bordered on being forced out, and I felt the heat rise in my face. I felt like a kid asking their mom some sort of horrendously inappropriate question at a fancy dinner. Like magic was a taboo subject.
The silence hung there for a second while Magnus just looked at me thoughtfully through his eyelashes. It wasn't awkward – he was just contemplating. Finally he took a breath, steadied his gaze on me and answered.
"I can't say I haven't been expecting this question." The side of his lip jerked in either amusement or a grimace. "Well, basically I can't stop you. Literally. If you get really mad, or really freaking happy, something will probably just happen. I've tried to use magic since we switched, and it didn't work." He looked rather surly at this and I snickered. How long did it take him to get ready without being able to summon his moisturizer at the click of a finger?
"Anyway, like I said, little sparks may erupt in fits of passion, but please don't try anything big, any spells you come across in books, they'll be too big for you. It would be like Max trying to use a seraph blade the same size as him, you understand?" I did, and told him so. He paused again and ran a hand through his hair. "If you really want to, I suppose I could give you a few small exercises to try. Summoning forward pencils and the likes." He grinned at me, and the small sense of tension in the air was gone, and replaced with Magnus' trademark smirk. "Just to keep you amused. If you can handle them, outstanding. If you can't, then no harm done. Capiche?"