Z is for Zero
"We should dress you up," Magnus smiles as he loops a tie around Alec's neck and pulls the Shadowhunter for a quick peck. "It would bring out your eyes. And trust me when I say that when I'm done with you, people won't even look at me. That's quite the compliment,"
But Alec only smiles and shrugs because no matter what and wherever, Magnus would always look better, always be more beautiful. And Alec has no qualms about that even if all the attention was going to go to Magnus in his own birthday party.
Alec flips through a book as Magnus rummages from a trunk by the closet and then after five full minutes he throws his hands in the air and gives out a victory yelp.
Ten more minutes passes and Alec is still seated by the bed while he tries to ignore Magnus and whatever it is the warlock's doing. By then Magnus enters the room and pulls Alec out and Alec is greeted to the sight of their living room looking like an island, sand and all – the kitchen has disappeared and so has every other piece of furniture and there is suddenly the sound of the waves crashing against the sands and Alec blinks at Magnus who looks pleased with himself and expectant of Alec's reaction.
"Happy birthday!" Magnus announces and confetti falls somewhere from the ceiling and Alec just laughs and plops himself down on the sand that feels rather warm.
"You're finally legal!" Magnus practically screams one day and Alec rolls out of bed, ready for whatever danger poses behind their doors and ends up in a tangled heap of blankets.
"W-what?" He stammers, trying to stifle a yawn. Magnus only shakes his head and throws the curtains aside.
"I said you're legal. Twenty one!" Alec doesn't remind him that as a Shadowhunter, he's been legal since he was eighteen and just lets Magnus fuss over him for the rest of the day.
There is a faint barking from somewhere in the kitchen and Alec is instantly alert and on his guard, a blade in his hold as he makes his way to the kitchen and sees Chairman Meow on top of the fridge. Alec looks down to the source of the noise and sees a small puppy that is now barking and running and jumping around Alec, ecstatic at the sight of a human.
Alec lets out a sigh and slips the blade into his pants and picks the pup up. He runs circles around the pup's back with his thumb rather absently and walks into the bedroom. Magnus bends around the bed, looks under the covers and huffs, hands on his hips as he turns at the sound of Alec.
His eyes widen at the puppy in Alec's hands and he grins. "That's a Hell-Hound! Perfectly safe, yes, I assure you."
Alec just looks at the too eager and hyper puppy in his hands and back at Magnus and he just sighs. It's only Magnus Bane, after all, who'll give you a hell-hound for your twenty-second birthday.
They sit beneath a tree somewhere in Central Park, in the deepest confines of the park where the Mundanes dare not tread. Magnus keeps pointing at the constellations and Alec's beyond the point of telling him that no, the moving 'star' in the sky is not part of a new constellation that moves at will but an airplane.
But when something shoots down from the sky and rockets down to the earth, Magnus straightens and points at it and Alec remembers about Shooting Stars and what they really are and tells Magnus about them but before he reaches the end Magnus asks him to shush it because he's making a wish – a warlock making a wish on a star – yet Alec does so and smiles rather softly and makes his own wish, too.
Seconds later his wish is granted and Magnus is in his arms and they share the rest of the night in very comfortable silence.
"We're dressing you up," Magnus says and he pushes Alec to the bed and throws a heap of clothes down beside him, Magnus pauses for a few seconds and checks his choices and nods.
When Alec runs a hand through his messy hair, Magnus smacks it away. "No, no, your hair is the bed-hair-after-a-wild-night kind of messy and it's sexy so do not touch it. Alexander, I said don't." Alec drops his hand and rolls his eyes.
"Really, Magnus, I don't see why we have to dress up." Alec says for the fifth time that night and Magnus just tuts at him.
"We're gonna have a candlelight dinner in Paris, dessert in Switzerland and a little stroll in the beautiful streets of London. All in one night. And I need an excuse to rip perfectly expensive clothes off of you after dinner."
Alec raises an eyebrow. "I thought we were going to have dessert in Switzerland?"
"I'll be damn well pleased at my self control if I don't start ravishing and tearing at your clothes five minutes into dinner, if you ask me." Magnus says rather off-handedly as he leads the way to the living room.
"Really, Magnus-" Magnus senses a complaint and shoots Alec a stern look. The Shadowhunter grins, the grin that lights up his eyes and Magnus feels his knees go weak. "I was only going to say how you're the only one who'll even think of such a date."
"That's why you love me," Magnus snickers and kisses Alec as he drags them both to the portal. "Happy twenty-fourth, Darling."
"You are not spending your birthday fighting demons all night!" Magnus seethes with anger and reaches for Alec. There's that sad and lost look in Alec's eyes and Magnus knows that if he pushes harder, he'll break through it and convince Alec to take a well deserved break.
"I don't care if Manhattan goes down in flames tonight. We are going to celebrate your twenty-fifth birthday and I will not, repeat, have you going after demons the whole night." Magnus pouts then and Alec thinks that isn't fair because he's never been good at denying Magnus every time he pouted.
But Alec only shakes his head and apologizes to Magnus and heads out the door.
"Alec!" Magnus calls as he walks down the stairs. "You're not going-"
Alec stops him short with a forceful kiss, his hand reaches for Magnus's collar and he crashes their mouths together. Magnus tears away from the kiss but he's smirking and Alec is about to open his mouth to tell him that it's his duty but Magnus walks ahead of him and out into the street.
"Come on, Shadowhunter. You can sit and watch me while I slaughter a few of the damned."
Alec is only stunned for a second before he laughs, a full out laugh that makes Magnus grin.
"Magnus…Does this cake have…Oh…Wait, no, the cake's suddenly gotten bigger? Wait…Please tell me the cake doesn't have over four hundred candles and please tell me that I am standing on a carpet and not on frosting. Magnus, please tell me the whole flat hasn't turned into a giant cake and that said cake has flaming candles that I think are still producing and at this rate it's going to reach eight hundred and – Oh, by the Angel! Are you making eight hundred candles? Magnus! The cake, Magnus! The cake is eating me…Just thought you'd know."
Magnus snickers as he glances around the room and Alec just rolls his eyes.
"You're twenty-seven now! Accidentally burning down our flat was a great excuse to move out and get a bigger place." Magnus says with a grin and Alec winces.
"Tell me you didn't plan the fire, Magnus."
The warlock tilts his head a little bit higher and Alec knows that the whole fire was an accident.
"Okay, fine. We'll check the place out tomorrow. No, don't give me that look. I know you already have one in mind."
"In honour of my beloved Alexander's birthday, I will sing a song." Isabelle groans from her seat and Alec hangs his head. Magnus is already beyond tipsy and is now badly drunk.
"I think it's time for us to go…" Clary says with a playful grin and Jace gestures for her to stand but Magnus snaps his fingers and sparks start to erupt from them. The two of them sit back down and Jace drowns another glass of his drink and for the next two hours the whole group is treated to Magnus's off-key singing.
"He doesn't seem to be losing much of his youth, does he?" Isabelle whispers to Alec leans his head against the table, body rocking with laughter.
"Keeps all of us young, I guess."
Alec smiles very softly to himself as he dusts the stone of the dirt and grime that's accumulated over the week that he hasn't visited. He puts the flowers down and a small birthday cake and sits down. His finger follows the trail of the name etched into the stone and he closes his eyes as a cold wind blows against his face, cooling his surroundings.
"Happy birthday, Magnus." Alec whispers into the cool grave and into the cold loneliness. Magnus has always told him that he doesn't remember his birthday and as such chose to celebrate it a day after Alec's. Alec is here now, a day after his birthday with cake and flowers for the warlock that recently passed. As Alec stares at the elegant swirls of 'Magnus Bane' upon the stone, he swears he hears the man's laughter as the wind blows once more and Alec notices how it's not as cold, how warmth suddenly settles around him.
FINAL AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the last chapter! Can I say that I enjoyed every bit of second that I had writing all of these. I love all of you guys who reviewed, who just read silently and I love all the suggestions and prompts and I love how you guys ship MaLec just as hard as I do. I am thankful for all the support and encouragement in my writing (sometimes I am very insecure about my skills). I feel like I've accomplished the greatest thing by finishing this series.
As I said, I am very thankful for all the love and support and I wish I could hug each of you for it! But please accept the virtual glitter and cookies that I will be sending your way very soon via owls. I can't express my gratitude enough so here is one great THANK YOU! I feel proud to finally choose 'Completed' in the settings.
And I know some of you will have my head for the ending of this last and final chapter but you guys should know how I like my angst. So if you want to murder me or something of that sort then just leave me your death threats via review.
One final request! Tell me what your favorite Letter-Chapter was!
Goodbye, lovely readers!