For those following my other stories, I haven't touched "Playing by the Rules" or "Rules of Foreplay" since I first posted them. I lost that train of thought.

I am working on Chapter 42 of "Call Me". I had a sudden interest in trying out a scene from the battle, but if it doesn't pan out, then I'm FFing straight to the good stuff. The party. Or maybe some cozy scene after the battle and before the party. If not, that'll be Chapter 43.

So this is just something I cooked up while sitting here, trying to fight sleep. It's random and unplanned. My apologies!

The rain came down steadily, deafening, stinging sheets of water pounding on his head, beating his shoulders, and cascading down his back with less force. His clothing was soaked through. His hair was heavy and falling into his eyes, as if cowering from the rain that assaulted him.

Alec fought against the rain with every sloshing step, his eyes narrowed and stinging. Fortunately, he had taken this path so many times, it was engrained. He knew the precise number of blocks from the bus stop – had counted how many buildings he would pass until Magnus's came into view.

His vision obscured now by the rain, he let his other senses guide him. The smells of the neighborhood, typically stale and dirty, were no more fresh now just because it was covered in wet. If anything, it only made these smells stronger, thicker in the air. And yet, nostrils flaring, he was sure he could smell a faint sweetness ahead. And an exotic musky smell, like incense or those strangely shaped candles Magnus usually bought from 'magic' shops.

The warlock's building was up ahead. He stood less than twenty strides from the walkway to Magnus's door, lifting his head and trying to peer through the milky veil of rain.

A light was on upstairs. No, many flickering lights. The front window was open, despite the inclement weather; that is probably how the smell of the candles led him closer.

Shoving his cold hands inside the damp pockets of his soggy jeans, Alec bowed his head and continued down the sidewalk, turning when it was time, and walking briskly up to the door.

Alec slid his key in place with an efficient click, pushing inside to the stairwell. The rain still pounded outside, angrier now that he had found sanctuary and managed to escape. He wrung out the ends of his hair and tried to swipe his boots across the floor – not that there was a mat provided for that purpose.

He was starting to leave a puddle of dripping water. Sighing, he headed up the stairs, the wood creaking, his clothes squishing and sliding. He left a dripping trail in his wake.

He lifted his hand to Magnus's door. He was able to knock once, before it swung open.

Magnus stood several feet inside, looking warm and dry and inviting.

Alec didn't pause in the doorway, didn't make time for his usual study of the warlock before closing the distance between them.

Alec kissed his throat, because it was the best spot within reach without having to lean up. He reaching around him, twining--

Magnus nearly shrieked in objection. "You're wet!" There was extra emphasis on the last word, as if it was any news to the Shadowhunter. He lifted his glance to the warlock's, water running off from his hair into his eyes, beading off his bottom lip, and dripping from his chin.

"And you're freezing!" Magnus gasped, slender hands closing around Alec's arms as he held him back. Alec continued to stare at him in silence, no less uncomfortable than a minute before. He was more disappointed by Magnus's reception.

"Let me—" Magnus tried, wanting to make amends.

"No, let me," Alec drawled, rousing himself. He kissed the shoulder of Magnus's shirt, damp now from contact with him. Alec reached for the bottom of the cotton shirt and tugged, peeling it upward.

Magnus made a disapproving sound – obviously more concerned with removing Alec's soiled clothes than losing his own, but he obliged him, crouching slightly and lifting his arms, so it wasn't impossible for Alec to lift the shirt over his tall head and shoulders without assistance.

Then Magnus's long-fingered hands were pulling at Alec's jacket, pushing it off his shoulders. It hit the floor with a wet splat. Alec breathed a sigh of relief, the weight gone. And his body a fraction warmer.

He flicked a grateful smile back up at the warlock, and it was returned. Once more, Alec reached out – and paused this time, as if to ask if it was OK.

"Patience," Magnus whispered, passing his thumb and pointer across the slick fabric of Alec's shirt, carefully peeling it back from his skin. The warm air that filtered through the breach tickled his wet skin and made him shiver.

Rather than remove the shirt for him, Magnus slid his hand inside and underneath it. Alec moaned, arching at the waist. He jolted at the first touch, his hot, dry palm burning into his cold, clammy skin. It felt electric. Maybe it was.

After a few seconds, he was quite sure it was. Both hands slid over his skin, leaving tingling warmth in their path. Alec fell into Magnus's shoulder, lips flattening out against his warm skin.

The shirt had fallen away at some point. Or disappeared entirely.

Magnus wound his long arms around Alec, embracing his slim waist. He left soft, adoring kisses across his shoulder. Alec responded with his teeth, nibbling.

"Let me dry your hair," Magnus offered, sounding breathless.

Alec nodded, unsettling the water in his hair. It dripped onto his bare shoulders, splattered his chest.

Magnus withdrew, taking his hand. He led him back to the bedroom, where Alec was more than happy to join him, hesitating only to tug on his boots, removing the wet shoes outside and leaving them there. The door slid closed behind them, lock clicking into place.