Summary: A fault is when something is flawed. A fault is when you've disappointed the people you love most. A fault is what Alec thinks he is. Magnus speaks to Robert Lightwood when he's sure that Alec is wrong. To him, Alec is perfect. It shouldn't be any different for his father.
Notes: Well, this is the first edition of my PerFaPoMo (Personal Fanfiction Posting Month). I have all these fics that I haven't posted and it's driving me mad! The schedule is on my profile page, so if you want to know when to expect the next MI fic, check there. An HP one will be up in about 3 days. None of the fics are related, though all of the MI ones do happen to feature Alec. (What can I say? He's fun to write). I've always loved writing Robert, especially with Alec, but I never really got the chance with Magnus alone. I thought this might be an interesting conversation that they would have. Awkward, but sweet.
Disclaimer: I do not own Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare does. Lucky, lucky woman. I hope my start on FF will lead to the ownership of such a wonderful series one day like hers did.
Magnus had never been happier. Alec was nestled comfortably in his arms and neither paid much attention to the flickering TV. Magnus deepened the kiss slowly, because he knew that Alec could pull away fast if things went too rushed.
And he did.
"What's wrong?" he asked softly and cupped Alec's chin in his hand. The Shadowhunter's blue eyes were sparkling faintly.
"Nothing, nothing." Alec was smiling. "I needed some air."
Magnus laughed and kissed him gently again. "Not that I don't like you breathing… but there's something more. Is this about your family?"
Alec tried to untangle himself, but gave up after a few seconds. He leaned into Magnus's chest. "Dad has been acting weird. He's disappointed, I think."
Magnus sat up and carried Alec with him. "In you?"
Alec shrugged. "Partially, I guess. But mostly because of Max." This time, he successfully separated himself and drew his knees to his chest. "I miss him, too."
Magnus was never good with grief. He never knew how to comfort someone, or how to get over it himself. It wasn't hard – just don't get attached. And if you do, just wait until it fades to nothing. A human life is just a blip in a warlock's.
"He loved you," Magnus said and pushed Alec's hair off his face. "But what does that have anything to do with him being disappointed?"
Alec sighed and leaned away slightly. "I was the only son he had left."
"Was?" Magnus knew with a sinking feeling where this conversation was going. "If you think that he's disappointed because you're gay, you're insane. And I'm pretty sure you're still his son. I mean, I'll love you regardless of whether or not you get a sex change or whatever, but… Either way. It doesn't matter."
Alec shifted and his perfect features were hidden. Magnus wanted to reach out, grab him, and simply kiss him senseless. But it was too late – the boy was already senseless. "I'm not like Jace. Jace is… faultless."
"Oh, boy, here we go again." Magnus sighed dramatically.
"No, no, I mean it," Alec insisted. "He's a great fighter, the best demon hunter in years. He's attractive –" Magnus made a sound, but Alec plowed on, "he's dating Clary Fray, who can make runes that nobody has seen since the angels –"
"Excuse me, are you switching teams on me? Clarissa isn't that attractive," Magnus teased. He knew that Clary was actually mildly good looking, but he preferred Alec's curious gaze, introspective comments, and sweet, soft lips to her… everything.
Alec shook his head. "Don't worry, she's too annoying to make me straight. But –"
"But nothing." Magnus grabbed Alec by the wrist and yanked him closer. "But kiss me."
Alec rolled his eyes and pressed his lips to Magnus's. Magnus slid his hand up his back and tried to hold Alec to him, but he wouldn't have anything of it.
"Dad hasn't looked me in the eye since Idris," he whispered. "And Mom bursts into tears randomly when I'm around. Never when Izzy is there, never with Jace. I asked them. Just me. And my mother doesn't cry, Magnus, she just doesn't."
Magnus shut his eyes and let Alec remove himself from his embrace. He knew what it was like to hurt that way, in the way where you just knew you were the reason for your parents' distress. He had hurt that way for his entire childhood.
"You look a lot like your brother," Magnus reminded him. "I'm sure it's just the resemblance."
"He'd make a better Shadowhunter than me."
Magnus gritted his teeth. Idiot boy. "You're an amazing Shadowhunter. I'd be frightened to fight you."
"You're lying. Anytime we fight, you kiss me and it's over. And I haven't even killed a demon."
"Valentine's ship and the battle –"
"I meant like Jace and Izzy and even Clary do! Even Simon would make a better Shadowhunter than me."
"That's not true, Alec, stop talking like that. It's bullshit!" Magnus didn't understand why he wouldn't look him in the eye.
"You don't understand!" Alec jumped to his feet and spun around. "You don't get it! I'm a Lightwood! I'm supposed to have a Shadowhunter girlfriend who's just as skilled as I am, I'm supposed to be able to kill a demon with my eyes closed, I'm supposed to set examples for the younger Shadowhunters and keep them safe! Yet what am I? I'm a useless kid that can't even spot an intruder when he's about to kill my little brother, I'm a disgrace with a Downworlder boyfriend! I'm not supposed to be like this!"
Magnus took a deep breath. "Are you breaking up with me?"
Alec looked rattled, as if shaken from a trance. "What?" he asked. "No, no, I wouldn't… Why? Do you want me to?"
"Well," Magnus said and stood up. He took a step towards Alec and pulled him in, so their thighs brushed. "You seem pretty unhappy to have me. Downworlder boyfriends aren't exactly part of a perfect Shadowhunter's life. And you want to be perfect."
Alec wrapped an arm around Magnus's neck. "I want you," he whispered.
Magnus didn't argue with this twisted logic.
Magnus was careful not to wake Alec up when he patted the boy down for his phone. He found it in his front pocket, removed it, and tucked Alec in. Jace may have resembled an angel, but Alec was more than that, especially in sleep.
He slipped out of the room and skimmed through the contacts.
Ah. Home. He punched the call button and let it ring.
"Robert Lightwood speaking," Robert answered. "How may I help you?"
"It's Magnus Bane."
There was a short pause. "Oh. Yes. Hello, Bane."
With one hand, Magnus grabbed a wine glass. "You can call me Magnus, Mr. Lightwood. I'm calling from Alec's cell, by the way."
"Is he okay?" Robert asked immediately, slightly panicked.
"Fine," Magnus said. He scanned his cabinets intently. Where was the good wine? "He fell asleep. I wanted to let you know where he was. I thought you might be worried."
"Oh. I, er… didn't even realize he was gone. Mayrse? Did Alec tell you he was going out?"
Magnus couldn't clearly hear her response to this, but he guessed it was a negative. Alec rarely told anyone where he was going. It had led to many frantic calls from Izzy, which was why he had decided to call.
"It's all right, Mr. Lightwood," Magnus said followed by a short laugh. "Alec doesn't do that often. If Izzy asks, let her know. She's flipped out at me way too often for supposedly keeping her brother hostage." There was an uneasy silence. "I don't, of course. He fell asleep during a movie." That was a minor lie, but Robert didn't need to know that they had been making out.
"Call me Robert," he said simply. "Do you want me to come get Alec or something?"
"Oh, no, it's okay," Magnus said. "I wouldn't want to wake him or anything. I can take the couch for the night." Yeah, not likely. They had shared a bed more than once.
"I'm perfectly capable of carrying my son without waking him up," Robert said.
"Robert," Magnus said slowly. "He's nearly nineteen. Not nine. You'll break your back. And are you going to carry him all the way to the Institute?"
Robert laughed. "I have a car, Magnus. And I'm sure you've noticed that Alec weighs about half of what Jace does and Jace isn't that heavy."
Magnus found the wine he wanted and snapped to remove the cork. "Can't say I've picked up angel boy before."
Robert laughed again. Magnus smiled. It sounded like Alec's. "Well, I have, and it's a breeze. I'll be over soon."
Before Magnus could say another word, the line clicked. Shrugging, Magnus set down the phone and poured his drink.
By the time Robert reached the apartment, Magnus was halfway through his glass. He opened the door with a grin.
"Hello," he greeted and stepped aside. "Come on in."
"Thanks," Robert murmured. He looked around the apartment critically and Magnus realized that the Lightwood parents hadn't been there since after the fall of the Circle. "You've changed the place since our imprisonment."
Magnus didn't deny that imprisonment was what it was. "I get bored easily. Eternity drags."
Robert turned to look at Magnus seriously. "Are you going to get bored of my son?"
Magnus shut the door and grinned. "Never."
Robert nodded tersely. "If you break his heart, I –"
"Break me, yeah, yeah, I get it." Magnus held up his hands in defeat. "I've gotten it from Jace, Isabelle, Clary, and your wife. I wonder who's going to hurt him if he breaks my heart."
Robert looked around urgently, clearly ignoring Magnus's comment. "Where is he?"
"The bedroom." Magnus showed him the way, setting down his wine on the table while they walked. He pushed open the door slowly and brought his finger to his lips. "Sh."
Alec was an odd sleeper. When Magnus left him, he had been laying peacefully on his side, his arms beside him. Now, Alec was on his stomach, his legs crooked, arms splayed out. Magnus held back a chuckle.
Robert smiled affectionately. "He's always been like this," he said. "When they were little and Jace was still having nightmares, they used to have sleepovers in the parlor – sleeping bags, marshmallows, a no girls sign for Izzy, everything. They used to pretend to be camping. In the end, nobody knew who had more bruises. Alec from Jace kicking due to dreams, or Jace from… this."
"Jace had nightmares?" Magnus couldn't even contemplate what he could do with that information. "I guess perfect boy isn't so perfect."
Robert raised his eyebrows while he gently rolled Alec to his back. "You can only have one of my sons, Bane. Adultery is frowned upon in the Clave."
Magnus shrugged and waved a hand jokingly. "Alec and I are already frowned on. But Jace is too conceited for me, anyway. And aggravating. I don't see how Clary handles him."
Robert brushed Alec's hair out of his face. "What do you mean, you and Alec are frowned on?"
Magnus looked at the man as if he were an idiot. And, truly, he was wondering if he was. "I'm a warlock. He's a Shadowhunter. We're both men. Have you never picked up on that?"
Robert nodded and looked at Magnus. "I did. But it doesn't really matter anymore. Not to the people you ought to care about."
There was quiet. Magnus swore under his breath. "I wish Alec could have heard you hear that."
"He was flipping out before. Said you wouldn't look at him. Said Mayrse kept crying. I told him it was because his appearance made you think of Max. But…" Magnus trailed off, unable to admit that he was afraid that Alec was right.
Robert looked at Alec with pain in his eyes. "I could never mix my children up in my mind. I think of Max all the time, whether Alec is around or not."
"So you can't find time to love him?"
Robert shook his head. "I'll always love Alec. I avoid his eye because he avoids mine. Mayrse cries because he refuses to come near her. You're only getting one side to the story. He won't let us show him our love."
And then Magnus saw a flash of emotion he recalled too easily. The one where you let the barriers fall, where you could read everything. Robert only did what Alec expected him to do. Like Magnus had done when his father had tried to drown him. Everyone expected magic – so Magnus did magic. It wasn't his fault someone got hurt in the process. Once it started, it was uncontrollable.
"Let me carry him to the car." Magnus didn't wait for a response. He scooped Alec into his arms, his limp body dangling. Robert held doors open for them.
Alec dug his face into Magnus's shirt and they descended the stairs in silence.
"Goodnight," he whispered and pressed his lips to Alec's forehead before depositing him carefully into the backseat.
Robert was standing behind him with a smile. "I've got five parts of my life. My wife, Isabelle, Jace, Alec, and Max. I've lost one. I've almost lost another. I trust you with Alec. Don't make me regret it."
Magnus shook his hand firmly. "Never."
They drove away and Magnus was left alone, bathed in streetlights.
He decided to call his boyfriend in the morning and list all the reasons he was faultless. He was going to keep his promise to Robert, because he had no choice. If Alec was unhappy, so was Magnus.
And nobody as wonderful as Alexander Lightwood should be upset.
Note: Well, I hope you enjoyed that! Reviews and feedback is always welcome. Maybe it'll help me get through the long NaNo days! (Shoot, I should start today's writing session, shouldn't I? I want 3,000 more words by tonight and I've written maybe 5).
One thing about reviews: I love every single one of them. I swear, I adore them. They motivate me, they make me smile, and I wish I had time to respond to them more often. I love feedback, I love hearing your favorite parts and parts that made you "aw" and parts that made you laugh and cry. When I get a review I particularly like, I often wind up texting it to my best friend in excitement. (and if I'm too lazy, I just tell her to go look at the reviews). But one favor, please - I know I can't stop you, but please, if I have intentions of extending a story, I will tell you. Generally, I write oneshots. Any multichaptered fic I write is probably already finished because it was a oneshot that got overwhelming. It kills me to get a great review that ends with "Another chapter please!" I occasionally do follow up oneshots or fics that go together, but it takes me forever and I don't like having to commit to writing a FF daily when I can't even commit to working on my original stuff daily. I finish stuff sometimes, but as you can see, I don't post quickly (this has been done for months and then my HP fic is multichaptered and I believe I finished it a year ago). So, please. Your reviews are amazing. If inspiration hits me and a fic is extended or given another chapter or a sequel or something, you'll find out in some way, I promise.
I feel bad now. I really do love your reviews, I just can't handle the pressure I feel when I get asked for more. I love that you're enjoying it that much, though - and hey, look on the bright side! I may not have many multichaptered fics, but I've got plenty of Malec goodness oneshots!
Again, I hope you liked this oneshot :) See you either November 6th or 9th! (It depends if you're a Potter fan or not)