"Blankets," a Mortal Instruments one-shot featuring Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood, owned and created by Cassandra Clare. My first, and I hope you enjoy.
Magnus Bane had dated many people in his lifetime, and even his relationship with Camille hadn't been this stressful. Camille certainly had a way with her teeth, but at least he knew she wasn't gallivanting off at all hours of the night armed only with a few weapons and facing all sorts of demons, unlike a certain someone. The logical part of Magnus knew that Greater Demons didn't tend to inhabit the back alleyways of Manhattan, but logic didn't make thinking about a certain Shadowhunter fighting the denizens of hell any easier. He remembered the run in with Abbadon perfectly, particularly the blood that stained the white floor of the infirmary, the unsteady heartbeat pumping demon poison through his veins, the whitewashed pallor of his face…
Enough. Magnus told himself, plucking up the Chairman from the recliner and scratching behind his ears, perhaps a bit too roughly. The cat made a noise of protest, but Magnus needed someone to hold. Though the Chairman was now kneading Magnus' arm with his claws, worrying was always easier with company. It had been three days since he had last heard from Alec, which wouldn't be so much of a problem if a.) Alec wasn't so damn adorable, and b.) Alec didn't hunt demons for a living. Magnus knew he was hardly on a first-name basis with Maryse and Robert Lightwood; should anything have happened, he'd hardly be the first to know.
The first time Alec had been away for an extended period since they started dating-trailing a rogue pack of werewolves throughout the city and surrounding areas, which Magnus had learned about after Alec had returned-he made it a habit of calling when he got home. Despite the phone often waking him up at the ungodly hours between one and five in the morning, the calls were always an immense relief. Recently, though, the warlock found he couldn't even sleep until Alec deigned to let him know that he hadn't been eaten/dismembered/possessed/gutted and left floating in the East River. It had been so long since Magnus had felt something remotely similar to this; he didn't even know how to deal with it. He'd gladly go and help Alec with whatever he was hunting on any given night (he could have caught those werewolves in half an hour instead of wasting a good four days, and turned them into bunny rabbits while he was at it) but he knew Alec would never ask. He was a Shadowhunter; like it or not, it was his job. Still, it was hard to be so… dependant on a Shadowhunter. And Magnus was dependant on him. Dependant on him coming home safe, on those bottle-blue eyes, on that raven-colored hair that never lay flat, on that silly teenager who didn't have a colorful shirt to his name.
He was the High Warlock of Brooklyn, and he was sure he would know if something had happened but… Magnus fretted. He and Isabelle got along, and Clary wasn't half-bad. Surely they at least would let him know if something too terrible had happened? But there was always the chance that someone had wiped out the entire Institute. Maybe Alexander, Isabelle, Clary, and Jace had been on the subway and something completely normal had happened, like a terrorist attack.
In his arms, Chairman Meow began to purr. It vibrated around the otherwise silent loft.
"You're right, Chairman." Magnus murmured into the tabby's fur. "I would have heard about the terrorist attack, and maybe everything's perfectly fine, in which case he's not calling because he's not interested anymore… On second thought, Chairman, keep it to yourself."
The purring stopped, and cat turned to glare at him. His whiskers quivered, and Magnus sighed deeply.
"Well, what do you want me to do?" He asked. "You know I can't call him or send him a fire message. What if he's hiding from a demon and he forgot to turn his phone off and it rings? And they don't like me calling the Institute. I hate Shadowhunters, Chairman, I really do."
Chairman Meow wriggled in his arms, and Magnus allowed him to jump to the floor, where he proceeded to sharpen his claws on the carpet. By this time, Magnus was seriously debating stopping by the Institute even if it was past midnight, when the buzzer rang from the first floor. He gritted his teeth. If he got any more vampires asking if he could let them walk in daylight or idiot werewolves…
"Unless your name starts with A and ends in –lexander and your last name is Lightwood, which I highly doubt as he's probably off on some suicide mission getting himself killed, I will curse you into oblivion if you do not leave by the time I finish speaking!"
Magnus wasn't feeling very forgiving.
And yet the speaker crackled, scarring the voice of the fool who dared cross Magnus Bane. He could already feel the flames dancing at his fingertips, ready to kill something until he recognized the voice.
"That's convenient, given that my name does start with A and ends in –lexander. My last name's also Lightwood, if that helps."
How was it that this mortal's voice-this Shadowhunter's voice-managed to make his heart stutter? It was a moment before Magnus could speak, utterly overcome with relief that Alec was in one piece, not to mention that he was at his front door.
He pressed the 'call' button, hardly daring to believe it. "Alexander?"
"That's me. And I haven't been killed."
Yet, Magnus thought darkly, pressing the button that would unlock the entryway down below. "Come on up. I want proof, and to address your dismal communication skills."
Shadowhunters were fast, but Magnus was faster and beat Alec to the door. Once he stepped into the light, though, this was no longer surprising. Those lovely blue eyes glowed dully beneath half-lidded eyes, shadowed by circles nearly as dark as his hair, which was, to put it politely, filthy. His steps were slow and slightly unsteady, but he was smiling and looking for all the world like this was completely normal.
Despite the fact that they had been dating for some time, Alec's face still flushed when he met Magnus' catlike eyes. Or perhaps it was because the fact that they had been dating for a while. Magnus would never get tired of that shy smile, even if his boyfriend looked like he had spent the last week in the Hudson. "Hi," he whispered.
"This is what I get for dating a Shadowhunter," he growled to Chairman Meow, who was circling around Alec's legs. He grabbed his shoulders, holding him in place while he looked him over. He didn't seem to be in immediate danger of bleeding to death. He even laughed a little, though the sound was breathy and half-hearted, as if he was too tired to actually laugh. Shame. Magnus loved Alec's laugh, though he didn't hear it half as much as he shoulder. Alec could be remarkably grave and serious for an eighteen year old.
"Magnus," Alec said, his voice rough and croaky. What had he been doing, smoking? He raised his hands to Alec's pale face, tracing his defined cheekbones with a thumb. Magnus could feel the marks left behind from countless runes, the marks of a warrior. "I'm fine," the boy continued. "Really."
But even as he said this, his eyelids fluttered an infinitesimal amount. Explanations would have to wait until later, Magnus decided, pulling the Lightwood boy out of the door. "Alexander," he murmured, guiding him to the couch Chairman Meow had vacated. He was gentle; it looked like Alexander was just completely exhausted, but no matter what Shadowhunters acted like, they could be immensely fragile compared to the demons they fought and their angelic ancestors. It wasn't fair. He took great care to set Alec on the violet cushions.
"What are you doing, meandering around the city like this? You're practically a demon snack."
"I wasn't meandering," he mumbled under his breath, the words sounding garbled. He didn't seem to be aware that he was leaning backwards against the cushions, his eyelids closing even as he spoke. Even dirtied and rumpled, Magnus could not recall anyone as entrancing as Alexander Lightwood. "I came here."
"After days without hearing a word from you, I might add, which I might understand if you had normal hobbies like collecting buttons, but you don't…" Magnus rebuked, unlacing the sturdt Shadowhunter boots. He held them at arm's length, vowing that they would be burned in an incinerator and replaced by something of his choosing. He understood that Shadowhunters couldn't wear glitter while on the job, but that didn't mean they had to look like homeless hooligans. "You get yourself into more ridiculous, dangerous situations than Chairman Meow has cat toys."
Alec murmured something that sounded distinctly like, "That's impossible."
"Not quite. Get up, you useless lump, unless you want to fall asleep in that jacket of yours. Don't you have energy runes or something?"
It was fortunate he was taller than Alec; as it was, Alec was a Shadowhunter, and between his muscle weight and the weapons Magnus could hear clinking around inside his jacket, it wouldn't be easy to move him anywhere. The bedroom, being upstairs, would definitely be tough, but then, Magnus mused as he unbuttoned the black fighting gear, he doubted Alec would be doing anything remotely active for the next twenty-four hours. Shame. He had missed him.
"Strength," Alec whispered, as if reciting from a textbook. "Stamina. Fortitude. They're fading. 'In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men.'"
Magnus tossed the jacket to the floor. The weapons clattered against the wood, but it hardly disturbed Alec. Shadowhunters were a conundrum: strong, but lightweight. Alec's skinny arms were Marked from palm to shoulder, where the runes disappeared under his black t-shirt. Even fading in strength as they were, the dark symbols only accentuated his pale skin, swirling up his throat and no doubt all over his back and chest.
"Not fair," he murmured. "If you can quote Scripture, you can tell me where you've been. You truly have no idea how worried I have been."
Slowly curling up into the corner of the couch, Alec managed to open his eyes. Though he didn't speak, his ocean eyes sparkled, and any argument in Magnus faded. He perched on the edge of the ottoman and watched as Alec's parchment-thin eyelids fluttered shut again. That stunning blue color was visible even through his transparent lids. Alexander Lightwood could have been a dream; a beautiful, ethereal, figment of his imagination.
"Do you need anything?" He asked, reaching out and brushing the dark hair from his face. "Anything at all?"
Lips hardly moving, Alec mumbled something completely unintelligible.
"I didn't know you spoke Gnommish," Magnus teased. "But you need a new teacher."
"Blankets," he whispered. "Some High Warlock you are."
Magnus rocked back, surprised. "Blankets? It's August, darling."
"I like blankets."
Alec did have a problem with the cold. It was one of the more endearing things about him, something that reminded Magnus that he was truly only eighteen, not immortalized at eighteen like some of the people Magnus had met over the years. Alec was always cold. He wore sweaters in the summer and could be trusted on finding a number of blankets if it looked like any relaxation would be on the agenda. Magnus sometimes wondered if his love of comfort stretched beyond mere temperature. At first glance, the Shadowhunter was quite stiff and formal, but his love of blankets and warmth reminded Magnus that he was young and more than just a tool of the Clave. He was an individual. If only his parents would recognize it. Magnus hadn't had the best parents himself; his father had tried to drown him and his mother had committed suicide due to her devil-marked son. It wasn't the kind of legacy you forgot. And yet his parents had an excuse: their religion, which had been everything in the thirteenth century, dictated that he was devil spawn. Maryse and Robert Lightwood were two humans living in the twenty-first century who spent more time travelling than with their son. He had heard of Isabelle's manner of rebellion, and Alec tended to wince whenever he was reminded of her latest Downworlder conquest.
Smiling to himself, Magnus stood and moved to the cabinet, selecting a few choice blanketa of the finest, softest wool. When he faced the figure on his couch again, Chairman Meow had settled himself in the crook of Alec's Marked neck, purring. His Lightwood features always relaxed in sleep. He didn't frown or worry, as was his usual course of action. He looked happy. Silently, Magnus draped the blankets over the two, then settled in beside them.
"Good plan, Chairman," he whispered, running his fingers through Alec's gritty hair. Where had he been, the gutter? He worked out the tangles delicately, and Alec sighed in his sleep, shifting closer. Somehow, his head ending up on Magnus' leg, and it was still there when the first ray of dawn shone through the window. It was hard loving a Shadowhunter, but watching the sunlight illuminate his pale face and knowing that sometime later-probably mid-afternoon later, knowing Alec-he would wake up and they would curl up with some coconut-blueberry pancakes and finally talk about what Alec had been up to, Magnus wouldn't have traded it for the world.