CCHS
63: Family Dinner

A/N: Yes, I'm still alive. Yes, I'm still full of fail.

I don't expect you to continue forgiving me like this. Just don't break up with me over text, OK? We've been together so long.

Cassandra Clare owns all of this.


Magnus:
Can you use chopsticks?

Alec:
sure

Magnus:
Mm. Good

Alec:
why?

Magnus:
I love a boy with talented hands

Yes, it was a very cheesy, very predictable pick-up line - at least to anyone but Alec, who didn't see it coming. His only response was a searing blush that caught the curious eye of Jace, the mocking glance of his sister, and a mild glare from his mother. Alec tucked the phone back in his lap and picked up his chopsticks again, nudging the rice around on his plate. But after the previous text, it was hard to focus entirely on the food.

Damnit, Magnus.

Dinner was already an uncomfortable affair. Even though Alec had already had his formal ice-breaker with his mother, in which Maryse Lightwood chided him over the ruination of her beloved couch and his disorderly conduct at public school - the seed of all deviance in our youth today, apparently she wasn't finished. That was just the appetizer. She was saving the rest for dinner.

The only good thing, if it could even be counted as a good thing, was that Alec wasn't alone this time. The attention of her cool disapproval was split between all of the Lightwood children, save Max, of course. He was nine, a virtual angel except for a possessive streak that came up whenever anyone messed with his things, and he had spent the last few weeks with his parents, so he was safe.

Jace, Isabelle, and Alec, on the other hand, had given Maryse plenty of ammo. On every point she brought up between careful bites, their father remained silent. Robert Lightwood spared them neutral glances periodically, when he wasn't focused on his disappearing plate of food. It was clear that Maryse ran the household and was in charge of the disciplining of the children, and for whatever reason, Robert was content to be the silent King. It was hard to say if he was worried or content or just toning the rest of his family out. When he did speak up, it was only to throw off Maryse with something utterly out of place like:

"Dear, would you please pass the soy sauce?"

Irritation obvious, Maryse would level her glare in his direction, then order one of the boys carry out the request while picking up her sentence exactly where she'd let off.

"Your Coach called me this afternoon," she was saying to Jace, who did not look up. Unlike Alec, who had been sneaking in texts between bites of food, Jace was just staring absently at the tablecloth. He hadn't eaten much at all. The crystal glass of water was loosely held between his fingers.

"Jace." Maryse addressed him in a tone that demanded the attention she felt she deserved.

Finally Jace looked up, but the glass between his fingers tipped over, sloshing the water all over the expensive linen. Even though it was only water, Maryse gasped as if the offense was as serious as crumbs on the couch.

Not waiting for further recrimination, Jace asked woodenly: "Can I go now? I'm not hungry."

Usually it was the type of thing that would have set their mother off, the idea of leaving the dinner table abruptly without coming close to finishing, but maybe she caught that something in Jace's tone. Maryse nodded stiffly. Jace's chair scraped backward and he got up, Alec's concerned glance following him out of the dining room.

"Alec."

His head snapped back at his mother's call, unconsciously pushing the cell phone further along his thigh, hiding it beneath the overhanging table cloth.

"Put a napkin on that spill," his mother instructed. Relieved it wasn't something else, Alec picked up Jace's discarded cloth napkin and set it down over the pool of water, dabbing it.


"WHO ARE YOU TYPING?"

Magnus sniffed in indignation, but didn't turn his head to look back at his mother - or slow the pace of his reply.

"It's called texting, mom. Texting."

"TEXTING, TYPING. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT, IT STILL CHARGES ME EVERY TIME YOU DO IT, AND I DO NOT PAY FOR MY OWN SON TO GET SMART WITH ME WHILE HE TEXT WHO KNOWS WHO ON MY DIME!"

"It would be a moot point if you let me have unlimited texting," he muttered under his breath, not wanting to start a new tirade about how he should be providing for himself and how she slaved for his education and to pay his phone bill, blahblahblah. "I'm texting Alec, if you must know."

"Ohhh. Alec." A grunt from his mother, as she stooped to plug in the vaccum. "He is a good boy."

"He's great," Magnus amended, smiling as he received a reply.

The vacuum roared to life, causing his mother's already loud voice to upgrade to a scream - in case he couldn't hear her over the machine. "TOO BAD YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE HIM! HMPH."

Magnus rolled his eyes, then looked to the heavens for help. Why couldn't he have a sane mother? Was that too much to ask for? A mother who knew the meaning of an indoor voice - aside from when she spoke to or about his boyfriend, not that he didn't thank God for small miracles.

At least she liked Alec.

And maybe one day, when and if Alec ever decided it was time to introduce Magnus to his mother, she would like him too. He wasn't afraid of Maryse Lightwood. He knew all about women who ruled with an iron fist. Maybe he could compliment her on her heel collection and her fine taste in furniture, and he'd have one foot in the door. Maybe he could win the woman over with his natural charm.

Or maybe he'd style his hair differently, tone it down for his visit to the Manhattan elite.

But this was all hypothetical planning until Alec popped the question. And Magnus definitely wasn't going to force him. He had enough to worry about, like his trigger-happy brother and his hormonal sister. Magnus did not miss out on having siblings these last few days, having spent some time with Alec's. But he did envy them the amount of time they got to spend with Alec. More quality time would be nice. More snuggle time, more closet time to work over his drab wardrobe, more DVD marathons and study sessions meant to be a cover for hot make-outs.

Grinning, Magnus couldn't wait for tomorrow to come.

"HEY!" his mother called from across the room, the old vacuum roaring as it snagged on something.

"Yes, mother?" Magnus groaned.

"WHAT TIME IS IT?"

"7:58. Why?"

"WHAT! I WILL MISS DANCING WITH THE STARS!"

Magnus turned to look over his shoulder with an exaggerated look of horror. "Then you better hurry!"

His mother did not appreciate his sarcasm, and she bumped the vacuum into the back of the couch before barking out her reply. "I WOULDN'T HAVE TO MISS MY FAVORITE SHOWS IF THIS APARTMENT WAS CLEAN!"

"I'm sorry, mom. Maybe I should drop out of high school so I can help you out around the house."

"DON'T BE STUPID! GET YOUR EDUCATION FIRST. TCH. THEN YOU CAN GET A GOOD JOB AND I CAN HIRE A MAID TO DO ALL THE CLEANING."

"Hmmm. It's nice to dream," Magnus hummed, sending out another text to Alec. The vacuum shut off. His mother padded across the room in her slippers, suddenly shoving him to the opposite side of the couch.

"QUICK! TURN IT TO ABC!" she snapped.

Magnus picked up the remote and did so, then sent out another text to Alec with an annoyed frown at the screen.

Magnus:
My mom is crazy for reality TV.

Alec:
yeah?

Magnus:
And I'm going to be totally deaf by 20. It's a good thing I don't have aspirations of being a musician

Alec:
lol. you could be one

Magnus:
Because of my rock star good looks?

Alec:
...yeah

Alec:
and your voice

Magnus:
What about it?

Alec:
idk

Magnus:
Really. Tell me

Alec:
i like it

Magnus:
Thank you. And just for your information, I was pretty good at the violin in elementary school

Alec:
cool

Magnus:
I've got talented hands too

Magnus:
WINK

Alec:
you know what

Magnus:
You're thinking inappropriate thoughts of me?

Alec:
what?

Magnus:
Nm. What were you saying?

Alec:
My mom is crazy too

Magnus:
idk I think I got you beat

Magnus:
Mine is screaming at the television right now

Alec:
yeah well my mom is having the table cloth dry-cleaned

Magnus:
Why?

Alec:
dad spilled the soy sauce

Magnus:
LOL. Tragic

Alec:
it was scary. my mom was so pissed

Magnus:
She really needs to get over her fixation on upholstery

Alec:
yeah

Magnus:
I hope she doesn't inspect your sheets.

Alec:
no

Magnus:
Cause that would be inconvenient

Alec:
?

Magnus:
I can't wait to see you tomorrow

Alec:
me too

Magnus:
Here's a thought. Why don't you wear something green?

Alec:
why?

Magnus:
For me?

Magnus:
Please?

Alec:
fine

Magnus:
I'll wear something for you too

Alec:
im scared

Magnus:
Don't be. I won't embarrass you, darling

Alec:
k

Magnus:
Sweet dreams.

Alec:
night