"Are you going to miss it?"
Alec rolled over onto his side, propping his head up with his hand – a mirror image of Magnus's pose, although Magnus had a way of making it look perfectly effortless. And very sensual. Alec tried not to blush.
Of course, Magnus was also bare to the waist, glitter gleaming like wet flecks all over his skin, everywhere Alec's approving glance happened to travel. His bent arm, his slender chest, down to his relaxed waist and disappearing inside a pair of pinstripe pajama pants and the bunched up comforter that covered them.
Magnus wore his hair down, though, and there were no traces of glitter there. It was the silky smooth texture that Alec liked best, loose and clean, with that sweet scent clinging to the strands like perfume. For all he knew, that might be part of it – why the smell was so strong, and seemed to linger after him.
"Yes. I know it's a special place for you."
Alec nodded in agreement, although 'special place' didn't really sum up everything that Alicante and Idris meant to him.
"I always remembered it…kind of like a place in a fairy tale. Everything was so pretty, so perfect. But it wasn't clear, you know?"
Magnus nodded slightly, inclining his head against the support of his own hand.
"I remember things like how shiny the demon towers were, or the color of the houses. The patterns of the carpet and the smell of burning wood. I think I dream about it sometimes. It's always that damned carpet," Alec mused, lip twitching. He knew it sounded weird.
"Dreams are strange," Magnus conceded.
Alec nodded, wondering offhandedly if the warlock could manipulate dreams in the same way he did memories. Might explain some of his more recent dreams, which definitely weren't about carpets and fireplaces. Telltale color started to slowly creep into his face.
Looking for a distraction, Alec got back to the original subject. "But it's different now. I've got new memories that kind of…"
"Tarnish the ideal Idris you remember from your childhood?"
"Yeah, I guess so. Make it more real, anyway."
"But it's not all bad," Magnus decided for him, sliding his hand across the sheet to touch Alec's arm, warm thumb caressing the inside of his elbow.
"No, not all bad. There are a lot of things I'll miss. But at least I won't have to leave anyone I love behind when I go." Everyone was going back with him, the Lightwoods, Jace and Clary, Luke and Jocelyn. And Magnus, of course. Especially Magnus. So there didn't really have to be a goodbye, not between anyone except the city itself, and the Penhallows.
And Max, he silently added - feeling the heaviness in his chest.
But you're not leaving him, a soothing voice reminded him. His small, broken body was burned. You watched it disintegrate into smoke and ash, taken by the wind and scattered. But his memory - that you will take with you, wherever you go. And he didn't doubt that as much as they tried to keep the grief at bay, not speaking his name or talking about how much he was missed, Alec knew that once he got back to the Institute, where most of his brother's things were still laying out and untouched where he had left them, the grief would find a way of creeping back in. And he would be forced to feel it.
He couldn't ignore his little brother any longer. Even his passing.
But for now, he could keep it buried. He would try to shove it back, and enjoy what might be his last night in Alicante.
"True," Magnus replied to the last thing he had said, with a lazy smile. Quietly, he scooched across the little distance separating them in bed and leaned in to kiss Alec's throat. The shadowhunter shivered, letting his supporting hand slip, cheek falling into the soft cushioning pillow. Magnus followed him down, kiss drawing back up and beneath his chin, pushing against his mouth.
"Are you going to miss this house?" he asked in a low, teasing voice. Alec closed his eyes and shook his head.
"We've still got your place."
"You don't mind the mess?"
"I'll learn to live with it. Unless you let me take me care of it."
"What about this bed?" Magnus continued, in a clever maneuver to avoid the subject.
"What about it?" Alec asked, opening his eyes a fraction and looking up at Magnus's shining eyes, the drooping lids. His wicked smile.
"Will you miss it?" Magnus repeated, sliding one hand back into Alec's hair, nails making light work over his scalp. Alec twitched, feeling the pinpricks of sensation. He hadn't realized just how sensitive his scalp was before.
"Maybe. I like the mattress. But your other bed is nice, too."
"Maybe we can make some new memories there…" Magnus suggested, dark brows bobbing once in blatant invitation.
Alec laughed; it was breathless – excited and anxious. "Maybe we can look for inspiration in our dreams." He was thinking in particular about that one incredible dream when he'd 'woken' to Magnus kissing and nuzzling him in the warlock's bed. The one where he first said he'd loved Alec.
"Excellent idea. Would you like me to tell you about one of mine?"
Alec looked at the warlock for a second – seriously? Intrigued, he tried to sit up, propping his torso upright with both elbows resting against the pillows behind him. "Sure, if you want to tell me." He was thinking about the disturbing dream Magnus had had the first time they slept together – the one that Alec had tried to wake him from, and burnt his hand in the bargain. He had wondered if Magnus would ever feel comfortable telling him about it.
But this was not going to be that night. Magnus was still smiling at him, his left hand sliding down from his hair to cup his cheek. He still looked amused. So it wasn't likely a nightmare he was setting up for.
"Why not? I think you'll enjoy this one."
"OK," Alec interjected, patiently waiting and fighting a shiver while Magnus's hand left his cheek and slid back to cradle the nape of his neck.
"So I was in my bedroom - you know, the fabulous comforter and the shades drawn, back at my old place. Perfect late-aftternoon lounge-in. I think it was even raining, which is my favorite time to nap. I thought about getting one of those sound machines, you know, the kind that make rain sounds, or like crickets and frogs chirping at night? Ambient background noise."
Alec shook his head vaguely.
"Never mind, not important. So anyway, I was warm and comfy in bed, in no rush to go anywhere. I thought about taking a shower, or how long it would take to do my hair. But I wasn't worried about it, because I didn't have anywhere to go. And that was nice."
Alec nodded this time, agreeing that it must be nice. Having the chance to be lazy.
"And then I felt this delicious, wet warmth on my ear." As he said it, Magnus's fingertip passed along the rim of Alec's ear, sliding down, his nail scratching the edge until he was massaging the lobe itself between his thumb and pointer.
"I thought about the last time I woke up to a hot, wet tongue and how disappointed I was to find it was my cat taking advantage of my sleeping person." Magnus chuckled, and Alec tried to smile, although he was losing the battle - trying not to tremble.
"So I let it go on for a few seconds. I didn't move, I didn't cut him off. It wasn't until I felt the little, harmless teeth against my ear that I realized it definitely wasn't Chairman Meow."
Alec blushed, twitching now as Magnus continued to rub his ear, and gave him a sly grin.
When Magnus didn't continue - in fact, seemed to pause and wait for Alec to say something, Alec repeated what Magnus had already started to explain: "So it wasn't your cat?"
"No, it wasn't." And again Magnus waited, and again Alec struggled to speak.
"Then...what was it?" Alec whispered, turning his cheek slightly away.
"Now, don't skip ahead. I couldn't be sure of that myself, so I slowly rolled to my back and glanced over to my right, and you were right there. Sitting up kind of like you are now, only you weren't wearing a shirt, and you weren't blushing. You were smiling - and I'm telling you right then it went from 'nice' to the hottest dream I can remember."
Alec tried not to blush, especially when Magnus had drawn attention it, but he just couldn't help it. He swallowed, glancing down - having an oh my God moment before looking back up, eyes a little wider than they were before.
"I didn't realize how many scars you have. No, it's fine - I didn't mind," he reassured. Alec realized he must have looked self-conscious or unhappy when he said it. "I just haven't had the opportunity to see you, to get a real long look at your body. And I'm sure I borrowed heavily from the fleeting glimpses I have had of you topless, because the dream was pretty vivid. And I have to say, your Marks and your skin and even the white tracery of your scars looked exquisite against my bedspread."
"I know. Getting off track again. So there you were." Elaborate gesture with his hand, long fingers gracefully curled. "Smiling and looking real proud of yourself, real clever and I tried to laugh it off, and told you that I'd mistaken you for my cat. And you started laughing - and I swear, I've never heard you laugh like that."
Alec smiled, taking it as a compliment.
"But I couldn't leave it like that. It's not everyday you wake up to a gorgeous, half-naked shadowhunter reposing in your bed," Magnus purred, and Alec could feel the heat spreading over his chest and down his arms - and he was grateful he had PJs on because the full-body flush was even worse than just having a red face.
"Needless to say, you weren't laughing for long. I leaned in and I kissed your open mouth, and I swallowed the vibrating sound before sealing it with my mouth. And you pulled at my hair, and I grabbed your arm and--"
"OK," Alec interrupted, cutting him off. Maybe it was a buzz kill, cutting Magnus off just when he really seemed to be getting into telling the story. But it was his dream, so it's not like Magnus was missing out on anything if he couldn't finish describing it. Alec, on the other hand, was pretty sure he couldn't take much more.
"I get the point. It was a...nice dream."
"It was a fantastic dream. And there's only one thing that I can think of that could trump a dream like that."
"A fabulous party?" Alec guessed when Magnus paused. The warlock chuckled.
"Winning a rack of new designer clothes?" he asked, remembering how Magnus's face lit up during shows like What Not to Wear where people got an entirely new wardrobe for free.
"Delightful, but this is even better than that."
"Waking up - for real - and having you right there, sleeping beside me."
Alec breathed in, lashes fluttering. "Even better than...having a gorgeous, half-naked shadowhunter in your bed?"
"Mhm. But you were gorgeous, with your white shirt and your wild hair across the pillow, and your face so cute and smooth in your sleep. And I wondered if maybe, when I just woke up from an incomparable dream about you - if maybe you were dreaming about me at the same time."
"Maybe I was," Alec teased, with a small smile.
"Were you?" Magnus asked, eyes wide and eager. He leaned in closer, gripping the ends of Alec's hair.
"Maybe," Alec replied, not ready to tell.
"That's not fair, is it? I told you about my dream. I'm even willing to finish it, if you want to know how it ended...?" he taunted, and Alec shook his head, reaching out to touch Magnus's cheek with his fingertips.
"Maybe some other time."
"OK," Magnus agreed without complaint, nuzzling against the boy's offered hand. They were both quiet for a minute. Magnus had closed his eyes, and was content to nuzzle Alec's hand, leaving occasional kisses against his warm skin, sighing with pleasure.
"Sleepy?" Alec asked, very relaxed now and ready to drift.
"Do you think I should plant a seed for your dreams tonight?"
"Umm...what would that entail?" Alec asked guardedly, assuming magic was involved.
"I thought we'd kiss for a while. You fall asleep easy, whenever we make out first."
Alec choked/squeeked, trying to turn away from him. Magnus wouldn't allow it, still grasping Alec's hand while his free hand went to the shadowhunter's waist.
"Is that a no?"
"Then a yes?"
Alec looked back up at the warlock, whose eyes were bright and intense in the semi-darkness. Alec forgot that he was supposed to be embarrassed.
"Yes," he sighed, and Magnus kissed his hand one more time, smiling against his palm before following Alec down into the soft, sinking mattress. The shadowhunter slid his arms around the warlock's neck and held on as the kisses began, the warm, incredible tingling fanning out across his body - not unlike those electric pulses he always felt when Magnus started to heal him.
Magnus was right. As exciting as his dream had been the night before - the one he was still too shy to describe, it was nothing to this. To waking up to Magnus in the flesh.
Tomorrow, or maybe the next day if his parents decided, they would be returning home to New York. Alec had already said his goodbyes to Alicante, had taken one last, sweeping look at the sleeping city from the awesome view Magnus's balcony afforded. Soon they would take the portal back to the Institute, and all normal activities would resume. Back to reality. Back to work.
But it was still comforting to know, even if there might be busy days, exhausted evenings, and sleepless nights waiting on the other side for him - at least Magnus would be there. He would always be there, as long as Alec wanted him. One call away.
("Call Me" continues in my new fic, "Between Burroughs". Don't mind the plug - it's not selfish advertisment! I just want all my faithful readers to know that the story isn't ending. It's just segwaying into a new set of chapters, under a new name! And this time I'm even working on a new letter of the alphabet for the chapter titles. You've got alot of B's to look forward to in the coming weeks. So don't be sad. It's not a conclusion, but a new beginning)
Thank you again, to all the readers and reviewers! I had no idea this was going to go on so long; didn't really plan to write beyond the one-shot, that first night after the party in City of Bones. I really have you to thank for the fact that this one to two chapter venture turned into 54 chapters - a Malec epic! It's been exhausting, and exciting, and totally worth it. I hope you'll keep reading. I'll get hard on work to continue writing on Between Burroughs in the next day or so. And I think I'll also revise Call Me a little bit to catch any of those hasty errors I missed.
Mad love to everyone who is reading this!