Silhouette
missing scene from Between Burroughs

by ariviand

A/N: So I'm a firm believer in keeping a fic's T-rating once I've started. I try to tone down the language and mature content, no matter how tempting it may be to cross the line. This is one scene I thought about detailing in Between Burroughs, but for obvious reasons, I think if I had included it, it would have crossed a definite line. So, instead you probably thought I was a tease.

Well, I'm hoping to make up for it now. Here's a what-if one-shot, on what you might have read if that part had made it into the story.

Disclaimer: Both characters depicted in this ficlet are from The Mortal Instruments, and belong solely to Cassandra Clare.

One last warning: This is an M-rated read. M for mature material, M for Malec, M for mmmmgoodness. You were warned. Read at your own risk.


Excerpt from Ch. 51 of Between Burroughs:

"Come. I'll make it up to you."

"I'm not ready for coffee," Alec replied.

"That's not what I had in mind," Magnus replied, ominous.

Alec started to look away as Magnus rose from the bed. He was expecting the sheet to pull away from the tan skin, and there to be nothing all the way down but bare warlock - But then he caught the flash of black material, and he was surprised to find Magnus had changed into a pair of boxers. They were small and tight and very shiny, but still, a welcome layer that hung low on his hips and kept him for the most part covered as Magnus headed into Alec's bathroom, starting the hot water.

Well, that had been the first item on his agenda. Alec couldn't deny that it was welcome, when the steam from the shower began to trickle into the bedroom, warming Alec's face.

But he didn't expect to see the black material clearly hit the floor through the steam. Eyes gone wide, Alec heard the shower curtain rattle as Magnus stepped into the shower himself, his silhouette still visible through the thin material of the curtain.

This was one line they had not crossed, and if not for that single word of invitation, Alec would have thoroughly talked himself out of it, convinced that Magnus intended to shower alone from the beginning, and he wasn't asking Alec to get out of bed and join him.

But that one word clearly proved that Magnus wanted him to join, was perhaps even daring the shadowhunter to conquer his fear and reservations, and go for it.

It wasn't like Alec to back down from his fears, especially when this had nothing to do with the threat of death, a vicious demon, or even anything remotely painful.

His boyfriend wanted him to join him in a shower. Spelled out like that, it didn't sound all that frightening. It was only the part about there being no clothing between them that gave Alec pause.

That was a fairly significant detail.

But you walked into the fire to find him.

All he had to do now was remove his pants, cross the room, pull the curtain aside and step into a steaming shower.

As Alec remained alone in the unmade bed, the breeze coming through the broken window making gooseflesh break out across his arms, he heard the scrape of the metal rings against the bar and the crinkle of the shower curtain.

Then Magnus's voice, calling over the water.

"Alec?"


Alec bit his lip, as if prevent himself from automatically replying to that call.

But if he didn't respond, Magnus might wonder at his silence. He might be concerned. He might be able to smell Alec's fear in his hesitation.

And so Alec released his lower lip and found his voice. "What is it?"

"Are you coming?" Magnus replied, his voice wavering behind the curtain. It was the echo of the tile, the water also obscuring the sound. It gave the warlock's voice an almost vulnerable quality that wasn't actually there, but Alec responded to, all the same.

The shadowhunter swallowed, shivering in the cold of the bedroom.

The shower was bound to be warm and comforting, whereas sitting there in the middle of the abandoned bed with the harsh morning chill breezing against his naked back, that was not.

In the bedroom, he was alone and an outsider. In the bathroom, his boyfriend waited for him, his silhouette moving fluidly behind the light shower curtain, making it seem transparent. Alec could clearly make out the shape of Magnus's thigh as he turned, his loose, wet hair flicked back off his face and clinging to the nape of his neck as he stepped back into the spray of water. The jet hit his back and trailed down his body, showering against the floor of the bath at his feet.

Alec listened to the even cadence of the water, the different notes of it hitting the walls versus the softer way it smacked against Magnus's skin and trickled down. The shower curtain shifted and crinkled every few seconds as if the warlock was brushing up against it as he moved.

Then there was a low sound of approval. It was a moan. Eyes wide, Alec lifted his chin and watched Magnus's silhouette as his head tipped back and the water hit his throat. Both long-fingered hands were sifting back through the warlock's hair, guiding water through the loose strands.

Outside, the early morning traffic roared, horns blaring, brakes protesting. Someone shouted from the street corner, receiving an answering shout full of expletives.

It was surprising how well Alec managed to ignore the jarring background noise, and yet, how strongly attuned he was to every single noise that came from the bathroom. He thought he heard the press of a wet hand against tile, the shower curtain crinkling again.

Compelled towards these sounds and the feeling of warmth, Alec finally rose from the bed. The sheet slipped, releasing him. The floor was cold beneath his feet, but Alec's face was warm. Maybe it was the steam from the bathroom. Maybe it was how self-conscious he felt, entering into the small room where he had to step over Magnus's discarded boxers in order to cross the threshold.

As soon as he did, Alec reached for the doorknob and slid the bathroom door shut behind with a resounding click, closing them off in the humid room. It was final. It was done.

And the shower went silent, save for the constantly running water.

Then Magnus's voice, calling over the water.

"Alec?"