Malec by Katara-Alchemist
A/N: OK, so not only does this piece inspire me, I think it's awesome as a stand-alone. Like I don't even need to write a short for you to look at it and be all like "yeah, that's totally hot. I must go pick up City of Bones". Haha, only, you're not going to find *that* moment in the books. Maybe behind the scenes. Maybe in a future book.
Maybe right here, right now? I'm going to give it a try.
I know you're one of the people that regularly reads and reviews this fic, Katara-Alchemist, so when you read this chapter, I hope you like it. And I really enjoy your work too. Thank you for the inspiration.
It took so much energy just to make it up the stairs. It was one of the few things he couldn't magically fabricate. Walking still had to be done by placing one foot in front of the other, and repeat.
At least he could unlock and open the door at the top without reaching for it, the welcome heat rushing out to greet him.
Speaking of rushing out to greet him, Magnus expected an undersized feline to rush at the open door. Chairman Meow typically rubbed against his ankles, or tried to make a clever break down the stairwell. As tired as he was, he would just have to let the cat go and hope he'd return by the end of the week.
But his cat didn't come out for a hit and run, didn't appear from behind the couch or run from the bedroom at the sound of the door opening and the jingle of keys. The keys were for Chairman's benefit. He rarely used them to unlock the door.
Frowning, Magnus let the door fall shut behind him, absently twisting his wrist to send the lock closed. Head cocked, he scanned the open apartment for any telltale signs of cat. The couch was shredded on the left side, but that was nothing recent. There were no hairballs, no gutted pillows, no random pieces of trash strewn about.
He was so focused on the missing cat, it finally dawned on Magnus that the place looked different.
It smelled different.
It was clean.
He was fairly sure he would have remembered giving Faery Maids a ring.
It's not that the place didn't need a cleaning. The organized chaos of the communal spaces was what most people would call untidy, but Magnus felt he made up for that by not cluttering the place with useless pieces of furniture or tacky wall coverings. Besides, there were plenty of walking paths and it was never so much crap that it couldn't fit in the closet in time for a last-minute party. So it's not like he was letting the place go, by his own standards.
Alec would probably disagree, and shake his head at the sheer laziness. Well, of course a do-gooding, floor-licking, hospital-folding shadowhunter wouldn't understand. Cleaning came second to slaying demons. It was a strange combination Magnus never fully understood. One might think someone with such a dirty, very physically-demanding job wouldn't be so anal about dusting their drab church-turned-demon-hunter-dorm, but somehow they found the time and made the effort. Not that he had seen them do it - but someone, probably Alec much of the time, worked their way through the large space on a regular basis, giving each room an once-over.
Magnus lifted his head. A vacuum roared to life from the bedroom. There was no mistaking that sound, in spite of the fact that he never touched the device. A moment later Chairman Meow came sprinting across the room, clawing his way up the back of the couch, only to leap over the cushions and clamor under the couch. What a queen.
Alec. It had to be. Ever since they'd made their peace, Chairman Meow followed him like a shadow. Even when Magnus was around, the cat seemed to find Alec infinitely more fascinating - that is, until his scary carpet-eating machine roared to life. Magnus wondered offhandedly if Chairman Meow felt betrayed. Probably not. He'd forgive Alec as soon as he shut off the vacuum and the cat felt the coast was clear. That meant Magnus only had a small window of opportunity for getting in there and shutting the cat out. After his long day, he deserved to have his boyfriend all to himself.
Forcing himself to move, Magnus stalked his way to the bedroom, finding the door cracked, just enough room for Chairman to make his fast escape. Magnus lazily waved his hand, forcing the door open wider.
Alec obviously didn't hear him approach over the sound of the screaming vacuum. He continued to walk up and down, in even rows, cutting through the carpet precisely, as if he were mowing the lawn. It even left curious lines in the carpet. That was kind of unappealing. But Magnus supposed that meant the area was clean.
Magnus leaned back against the door, forcing it shut behind him. Still Alec didn't register that he had company. So much for shadowhunter instincts. Obviously Alec was very vulnerable to a surprise attack while wielding a vacuum. On those grounds, perhaps he should avoid using them altogether. Too dangerous.
Alec had reached the edge of the room, his back turned to Magnus still. Apparently satisfied with his work, Alec's thumb slid down the top of the vacuum, turning it off. Then he walked over to the wall, unplugging the long cord.
"What do you think?" Alec asked, looking up at Magnus, expectant.
Damn. He hadn't surprised him at all. Magnus had the most delicious plan of attack -- ah, well. Next time. "You've been very busy."
"...do you mind?" Alec asked, unconsciously worrying on his lower lip.
"Of course not. As long as I can still find my stuff, you're welcome to be domestic while you're here." Magnus grinned, casually approaching his boyfriend. "Maybe we can even get you a cute outfit with a bow tie and no shirt. You can be my hot butler."
"Umm. No. I have a day job," Alec pointed out, trying to sound unamused and unembarrassed, though the slight blush gave him away.
"You even made the bed, baby," Magnus sighed happily, stealing a kiss from Alec before sinking back against the welcome mattress, arms thrown out.
"You know it really doesn't take long to make your bed. You can cheat the fold if you're in a rush--"
"Alec," Magnus cut him off, eyes closed and nuzzling what smelled like freshly cleaned sheets. "That's all very fascinating, but you know what I'd really love from my hot butler right now?"
There was a pause. Maybe Alec was debating addressing the butler comment, but he didn't. "What?"
"Come to bed."
"What?" Magnus asked in surprise, opening his eyes again. Alec had his arms folded across his chest, regarding the tired warlock. As Magnus stared at him in disbelief, Alec's face softened and he managed a little smile.
"I've still got work to do."
Magnus scoffed, realizing how selfish and needy this was going to sound. But he couldn't sleep if Alec was fussing around him moving his furniture and dusting corners he never looked at anyway. He wanted Alec to join him in bed. He wanted to cuddle against warm skin and kiss Alec's hopeless hair, and have happy dreams of how they'd spend their morning when Magnus had recovered some of his energy. "Can't it wait? I'm tired."
"No, it can't."
Magnus frowned, brows drawn as he stared at Alec. He propped himself up on his elbows as Alec wound up the cord on the vacuum. But before he could work up another objection, Alec came round to the end of the bed and started unlacing Magnus's boots.
Magnus smiled, catching on.
Alec glanced up at him, making sure this was all right. Magnus nodded his approval, watching as Alec set one shoe down and started on the second, unlacing, tugging, and setting it aside as well. Then the rainbow-striped toe-socks had to go. Alec shook his head at these - he had admitted that the only socks he ever wore were black cotton. He probably couldn't understand why Magnus chose to accessorize something hidden inside his shoes. But pretty socks were fun. And toe-socks were comfy.
And what Alec was doing felt really good, his palms sliding up Magnus's calves, drawing upward beneath the hem of his pants, rubbing the sore muscles, massaging. Magnus closed his eyes and lay back, savoring it.
"Don't go to sleep," Alec warned. "I'm going to need your help with the pants."
Magnus listened as Alec moved around the bed, then felt his warm fingers tugging at the end of his shirt, easing it up his belly. Magnus arched his back, then lifted his arms helpfully, allowing Alec to remove it with ease. As it slid away, a rush of air touched his bare skin, and Magnus shivered happily, enjoying it.
"Are you cold?"
"I could turn the heat up."
"And then we'd be sweltering under the covers. It's fine. I can wait."
Alec was leaning over the bed, fingers removing the end of Magnus's belt from the metal prongs, before slowly sliding the belt loose from each of the loops. Magnus lifted his hips, allowing the belt smooth passage.
Alec hesitated at the button above his fly, but only for a moment. He had seen Magnus undress countless times, although Magnus definitely preferred laying back and having Alec do the honors. It felt so much better, someone else's fingers working over his clothes, pulling and smoothing fabric aside. The zipper buzzed down, then Alec was pulling at Magnus's pants. They were always loose at the hip, but skin-tight as they climbed down, so Magnus arched his hips and offered helping hands, peeling the fabric away from his skin. Alec moved to the legs, pulling the pants down the rest of the way until Magnus stretched, relieved of his clothing.
"Mm. Your turn," Magnus purred.
"Is that what you want?"
"That's an order," Magnus grinned, pulling back the opposite corner of the comforter, unmaking the bed. Alec seemed to twitch at the destruction, although he had to realize it was necessary if they were going to go to bed. Unless he honestly expected Magnus to sleep on top of the bedding.
Alec moved a lot more quickly with his own clothes, fast, efficient jerks removing his long-sleeve shirt, pants, boots and dark socks. Alec walked closer to the bed in his briefs, as if he needed to be within range of cover before it was safe to remove the last barrier he had. Alec hooked his thumb in the waistband and pulled them down, then climbed up into corner Magnus had unmade for him, claiming his usual side of the bed.
Sighing happily, Magnus rolled over onto his side. Not disappointed, Alec slid into place against him, all warm skin and rippling muscle and a gentle mouth pushing against his bare shoulder. "Rough day?" Alec asked, fingertips trailing down Magnus's arm.
"Exhausting. I should start charging more if this is how I feel when I'm done."
"You should," Alec agreed, nuzzling Magnus's neck. "You look drained."
"Ugh. Is that an euphemism for 'look like shit'?"
"You look tired," Alec rephrased, careful fingertips playing across the warlock's still-styled hair, teasing Magnus's scalp.
"Mmmhm. I am," Magnus murmured, leaning back into his boyfriend.
"Relax now. It's over," Alec breathed against his ear. Magnus shivered, catching his lip between his teeth.
"You just keep doing what you're doing."
"What?" Alec inquired, sliding his arm around Magnus's stomach, drawing him closer.
"This. You're perfect," Magnus sighed, placing his palm over Alec's, rubbing a circle over the scarred skin with the pad of his thumb. He felt the brush of Alec's shoulder against the back of his, and Magnus turned his cheek, glancing behind him. Alec was watching him, pale eyes passing over his face. Magnus smiled, enjoying the caress of those gorgeous eyes, although his lips would be even better.
Magnus reached up with his left arm, fingertips brushing Alec's cheek. Alec knew what he wanted, leaning down the rest of the way until their lips brushed and their mouths met.
Magnus hummed in pleasure, deepening the kiss. It was exactly what he needed. The perfect end to an exhausting day.