missing scene from Between Burroughs

by ariviand

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

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.

The water continued to run. Alec's feet were covered in at least an inch or two of water as the smallish drain struggled to keep up with the output of the jets. It was enough to contrast the warmth of his feet with the cool exposure of his body.

Alec wasn't sure he had ever felt quite so naked.

It would be one thing if he was standing under the spray of the water, warm and encased in liquid heat. Or maybe if Magnus wasn't staring at him so intensely. It's not like he didn't take a shower every day, absolutely naked. And he was fine with that.

But being absolutely naked around Magnus, that was something he wasn't used to. And Magnus was hoarding the one distraction and comfort the shower had to offer. The least he could do was trade places with Alec, in the hope of easing some of his discomfort.

"Do you ever think of me when you shower?" Magnus asked, suddenly breaking the silence.

"What?" Alec replied stupidly, recoiling as much as he could with the tile wall at his back, refusing to let him retreat any more.

"When you're running your bare hands over your skin and your eyes are closed, and you just relax into the warmth of the water, do you think of me then?"

"I..." Alec started, unable to finish the sentence, or even complete the thought in his mind. His eyes were wide and struggling. This was new territory, the cooperative shower and the intimate teasing, and maybe it was just a little too much at once.

"Here," Magnus breathed, moving forward. Alec sucked in a nervous breath, bracing himself for the contact between them that seemed immanent. Alec's body tensed up, his mind issuing the warning. What was he really going to do when Magnus reached for him? Swat him away? Back up even more? There was nowhere to go.

But there was no time to calculate his next move. Magnus's long arm was extending, his hand moving towards Alec, his fingers brushing the shadowhunter's arm.

Alec refused to breathe. He couldn't even move.

Magnus's fingers curled into Alec's upper arm, gently squeezing. Then with a light pressure, he guided Alec forward, leading him. At the same time, Magnus edged the rest of the way, trying to slide into the small space along the opposite wall in order to trade places with Alec.

It was a subtle, graceful maneuver on Magnus's part, and before Alec realized exactly what was happening, he was standing beneath the spray of water, lucky not to have slipped on the slick shower floor.

It took him by surprise, the shock of the hot jets spraying his chest and trailing down his torso, pounding at his feet. It felt really good, that heat, chasing away the chill in Alec's body.

Unfortunately, it didn't entirely comfort him. He was still standing there naked, with his back to Magnus now. Alec's exposed back wished to hide as completely as his front - or at least have the illusion of being concealed. And he couldn't deny that he felt the warlock's eyes on him, just as surely as they had been staring at Alec before, when they were facing one another. Alec was still tense, unsure of exactly what he was supposed to do. Wash and pretend Magnus wasn't standing there, watching him? Just stand under the water long enough to wet his hair, then move away to lather the shampoo in, so Magnus could have the water back? He didn't have anything to go on! Unfortunately, his extensive shadowhunter training didn't cover What to Do When You Share a Shower with Your Boyfriend.

Fortunately, Magnus's soft voice interrupted Alec's frenzied thought processes, guiding him once more.

"Close your eyes," Magnus murmured.

Alec's brows were drawn in confusion, not sure what the point was. But he listened to that coaxing voice and he closed his eyes, shivering as the water continued to run down his body, his skin warming to the constant flow of heat, absorbing some of it.

There was a plastic snap. Alec jumped slightly at the sound, but tried to keep his eyes closed. He recognized the little noise. It was the top on the bottle of body wash being opened. Soon the fragrance tickled his nose and he was certain that Magnus was handling it.

There was no doubt when Alec felt the warlock's smooth fingers brush the outside of his wrist. The shadowhunter's hand hung awkwardly at his side, and Alec tried to remain still as Magnus encircled his wrist, turning his hand a little until he felt the semi-solid soap fill his palm. Apparently Magnus wanted him to wash his body.

Since that was the entire point in showering, Alec leapt at the chance to do something constructive and get his mind off the naked warlock standing behind him. Lifting his hand, Alec brought both palms together, rubbing the lather between them, before passing the body-wash coated skin over the opposite arms, across his chest, down the path of his stomach. It left a tickling film and the waft of a clean scent, which Alec appreciated after being coated in dirt and smoke and sweat. It also felt nice to massage the sore muscles. Fortunately the soap allowed for a gentle glide of his palms, which were otherwise coarse and calloused, not to mention faintly scarred.

Alec suppressed another shiver as his pores awakened to the attention, tingling happily. It was always a pleasant feeling, being clean, coupled with the warmth of the water. It was one of the few times Alec could say he actually felt content, during his few minutes worth of a shower, when the endless chill of his body was chased away, when he had no concerns beyond getting the shampoo out of his hair and finishing his shower before the hot water ran out.

Speaking of that, Alec really didn't have time to drag this out. He remembered the time that had already passed with the hot water running, so much of it wasted as he stood outside the shower deliberating. Alec tried to make up for it now; he was quick to step more fully beneath the spray in order to rinse off the rest of the body wash.

He had almost forgotten he had a silent witness. Almost.

That is, until Magnus spoke again, his voice very near Alec's ear - which meant the rest of the warlock was also very close as well. "I think of you."

By the angel.

Alec's eyes were wide open again, staring desperately at the opposite wall as if the misty tile would tell him what to do.