WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS FOR CITY OF LOST SOULS. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET, DO SO, AND DON'T THROW IT ACROSS THE ROOM. Also, implied sexual relationship between two men. But really. If you're here to read Magnus/Alec, you shouldn't have a problem with that. :) And possible overuse of ellipses...
Author's Note: Recently, I've not dabbled in fanfiction, mostly only reading the excellent authors I have found and not writing my own, as I'm working on other projects. Occasionally, though I need to write some, for therapeutic reasons. This is only the second time I've ever written an ending to a book, as I generally suck at picking up characterizations. (The other time was for Ranger's Apprentice Book Two The Burning Bridge. THAT ending made me cry.) But this ending just... PISSED ME OFF. Having come off the veritable high of reading Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince (and wanting to kill everyone but Charlotte and Magnus), I was expecting CoLS to be funny, Jace to piss me off, and for Magnus and Alec to make me happy. Instead, we got... this. . City of Heavenly Fire can't come soon enough. I needed a happy ending for this, but Magnus just seemed so betrayed by Alec that he wouldn't get over it easily, and I don't think this story quite does the betrayal justice, but I wrote it as therapy, and not quite for the accuracy of characters.
PREFACE: This story makes some assumptions about things. It takes place after the final battle with Sebastian that's implied in the ending of CoLS. It also makes assumptions about Magnus' parentage that you might not quite agree with. I'm sorry if you don't.
Wings That Fly You Higher Than Heaven
Alexander Lightwood sat on a bench in Central Park, half-heartedly throwing pebbles into the pond in front of him. He had come here to escape the Institute. It was too damn happy for his mood. Luke and Jocelyn had recently been married, bringing a full complement of Shadowhunters to New York, and overflowing the usually quiet Institute. On top of that, Jace and Clary were constantly making mooncalf eyes at each other, and Simon and Isabelle could be found with misbuttoned clothes and rumpled hair. All the cute lovey-dovey couples made him sick with regret and nostalgia.
The war with Sebastian and the armies of Hell had taken off his situation for a few weeks, but now… Now Camille was dead by Maureen's hand, Maureen by his own. Sebastian was gone, his soul taken by some magical means, Alec had seen the body dismembered and burned, doused with holy water, and thrown into a volcano. The Seelie Queen was being sanctioned by the Clave for breach of the Law, much to Alec's secret pleasure. All that taken care of, his world had come to an unusual lull, refocusing his attention on the thing that had ripped half his soul out, or so it seemed.
The footsteps on the gravel path behind him were nothing unusual, it was a lovely evening, and people were out for a stroll. It was when they stopped that he broke out of his self-pitying reverie and turned to look over his shoulder. A second passed before he believed his eyes, and the tear in his heart ripped deeper.
"I thought you never wanted to see me again," he said, turning back to the handful of pebbles he was still dispatching into the water.
"I was…very angry that day. I felt betrayed by the person I loved the most. I said some things I didn't mean, and a lot I did. When Maryse sent me the message that you had nearly been killed in the final battle with Sebastian, and they weren't sure you were going to survive, I dropped everything. I made it nearly to the Institute's gates before realizing I was probably the last person you wanted to see," the warlock said.
"Angel, Magnus, what in the world made you think that? You're the one who dumped me. You never did let me explain why I was going to see Camille that day," Alec said, throwing the rest of the rocks into the pond with a flick of his wrist.
Magnus was silent for a long while. "Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago, Camille and I were at the end of a relationship, if you can call it that. Will Herondale, that's the Will you were so intent on knowing about, came to me, asking for help with a demonic curse. Turns out it was never actually a curse, just a nasty demon bite. Anyway, I…used Will to get away from Camille then, as payment for my demon-summoning services.
"When his twin showed up on my doorstep, I very nearly turned you away. In fact, I vowed never to let Will get to me and get involved with pesky Shadowhunters again. But as you kept coming back to bother me, I realized that though you had inherited Will's coloring, those beautiful blues and gorgeous hair, that it was not you, but your parabatai, Will's actual descendant that had inherited his arrogance and shiny-boy attitude. I guess that last bit is quite literal on Jace's part now, isn't it?" Magnus rambled.
"Magnus, that's exactly it. You've just told me more in those two minutes than you did in nearly three weeks of practically living together. That's why I went to see Camille that day. I could've just sent her a note, yes, but I needed to talk to her. She's the only person I knew who knew you for the real you, with all your faults and quirks, not just as the almighty Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn. Really, truly, I hated Camille. If she had still been alive after you dumped me, Law be damned, she would've been dead. Well dead-er," Alec said, resting his elbows on his knees and putting his head in his hands.
Magnus put a hand on the Shadowhunter's shoulder and Alec stiffened. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
After another long pause Alec replied, "So am I. You said you loved me, but that it didn't make any difference. I loved you, and it made all the difference in the world. Magnus, you changed my life. I realized who I was, that Jace was my brother and I wasn't hopelessly in love with him. I finally understood what all the novels say about love giving you wings that fly you higher than Heaven."
"Alec," Magnus said, his voice catching on the syllable. "I've been with more people than I can count." Alec flinched at that. Magnus continued, "But of all of them, I've been in love with very few of them. And only with you had I ever considered an extended relationship, one that would end with both of our deaths. Only with you have I considered spending the rest of my life, and actually having a tangible 'rest of my life', not an infinite number of years as I once remarked to Sherlock-I mean Simon. Alec, why didn't you just talk to me about it?"
"Because, Magnus, how was I supposed to know that? You never even told me. I feel like I learned more about you from Camille than I did from you!" Alec said, lifting his face and turning to look the warlock in the eyes.
"Damn it, Alec." was all Magnus said.
Studying his face, Alec realized how different Magnus looked. His hair, usually encrusted with glitter and spiked, was lying limp against his forehead, looking unwashed for days. A baggy sweatshirt, one Alec recognized as the one he had left behind in his furious moving out, covered Magnus' torso. His pants were not much more fashionable, nondescript straight-leg jeans and running shoes. He wore no makeup, and the dark bags under his eyes attested to little or no sleep. Magnus, the Magnus that the warlock presented to the world, was always dressed up and ready for a party. Alec's Magnus, though not always shiny and perfect, was always happy, even dressed in stolen flannel pajama pants and a concert tee shirt from the seventies. This Magnus was depressed and washed out.
"Damn it, Magnus," Alec replied. "Sit down. Looking up at this is going to give me a kink in my neck." He moved over to make room for the warlock. "You look like hell. I know what I'm talking about. I've seen Hell, and you're the spitting image."
Magnus laughed weakly, his smile not quite reaching his eyes. "You're not looking that much better yourself. Have you been forgetting to eat again?"
"Worse. Mom's been busy cleaning up loose ends and organizing the arrival of all the Shadowhunters for Jocelyn and Luke's wedding so Izzy's been cooking," Alec said.
"I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone, even Sebastian. Okay, maybe on Sebastian. But not even Jace," Magnus said.
"Hey! That's my brother you're talking about!" Alec exclaimed.
Magnus waved a hand, "He's adopted."
Alec broke down laughing, for the first time in weeks. He was trying to control it when his phone buzzed. A text message from Isabelle read: "Mom wants to know if you're going to be home for dinner." Alec quickly typed a reply, "Probably not. I'm out with…someone."
Magnus raised an eyebrow. "I'm just someone?"
Alec looked him in the eye. "Isabelle may or may not have a desire for your head on a platter…"
"Oh, dear…" Magnus said slowly.
"So… where do we go from here?" Alec asked suddenly.
"Where…do we go from here?" Magnus repeated. "Where do we go from here? I said it before Alec. I felt betrayed by you. I still don't know if I'm over it. On the other hand, I realize now part of that was my fault. I was so focused on everyone else's problems that I never took the time to notice that you were slipping away by night to go meet a vampire. I just don't know Alec."
"I'm sorry Magnus. I really am. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. This truly will be the last time you see me. I plan to go to the London Institute for a while, and perhaps travel the world. I don't know. I just need to get out of New York for a while. Unless you're going to stop me, I'm leaving," Alec said, standing up.
He began to walk away, and could feel the yellow-green eyes trained on his back when Magnus suddenly shouted, "My middle name is Mary! My favourite colour is blue! The first man I ever slept with was a farmer! I can't even remember his name! I actually hate tight pants; they cut off circulation to my feet! William Herondale was an arrogant bastard, but he was still a good person! I love you!"
His declaration brought a few raised eyebrows from passersby, but stopped Alec dead in his tracks. He almost didn't dare look over his shoulder, but a further stream of admissions from Magnus caused him to turn around and stare at the warlock. He stood, gape-mouthed, at him. "Mary? What were your parents thinking?" was the first thing he could think of to say.
Magnus stopped his babbling and cocked his head. "It was given to me by the Silent Brothers. They thought it might ground me and bring me protection from the Lord… considering who my father was…"
Alec didn't move his feet, but crossed his arms over his chest. "Your father…"
Magnus sighed. "I never told you… I never told anyone really. There's a reason I'm so powerful, Alexander. And you're not going to like it. My mother committed suicide when she realized the truth of what I was. My father has many names…The Dark One, The Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, Satan, The Devil."
Alec felt the blood drain from his face. Magnus… was… the son… of… the Devil? But… Magnus was the sun in Alec's darkness, his other other half. He realized as soon as he thought that that it didn't matter who Magnus' father was, he was still Magnus. He was good and… not exactly pure, but good nonetheless.
As the emotions flickered across his face, he knew Magnus was waiting for an answer, and that if he didn't reply soon, he was going to ruin everything. Suddenly, Magnus turned away from him, and his shoulders started shaking. Alec took a few hesitant steps back toward him before running to him. It only took him a moment to realize Magnus was crying, actually crying. Alec, not used to having to deal with tears awkwardly wrapped an arm around his shoulders. The warlock turned into his Shadowhunter's arms and rested his head on Alec's shoulder, crying out his feelings.
"Magnus… I don't care. Your parents don't make you who you are. Just look at Clary, her father had tried to destroy the Shadowhunters, and yet she is beloved of the Clave, for the most part," he murmured into Magnus' hair.
"I'm…" Magnus hiccupped.
"Shh," Alec soothed him. "I know. Why don't we go somewhere where we can get food and have a long talk? Unless… you don't want to…"
"Alexander Gideon Lightwood, I'm going to follow you to the ends of the Earth, using my considerable power, if you leave me," Magnus threatened weakly, reaching up to wipe the tears from his eyes.
Alec chuckled, brushing stray strands of hair from Magnus' forehead. "And I know you would, too. I don't suppose you'd want to go back to the Institute. It's rather overrun with Shadowhunters here for Jocelyn and Luke's wedding."
"No, you're right. I wouldn't. We… could go back to my apartment… if you wanted to…" Magnus trailed off. Alec didn't know how to react. The last time he'd been in Magnus' apartment had been hellish, but… he still considered it a second home in his heart.
"Yes, we should go back to your apartment. I just have to make a quick call," Alec said. Digging in his pocket for his phone, he unlocked it, tapped Isabelle's name and put the phone to his ear.
She answered on the third ring, sounding harried. "What, Alec? I'm trying to keep feuding people from killing each other."
"I'm not going to be home tonight. If you really need me, call me, but otherwise, don't worry. I'm somewhere safe," Alec said. Not just somewhere safe… somewhere at home.
"Fine. NO! ANGEL! PUT HIM DOWN! Sorry Alec, I have to go. Night!" Isabelle said, distractedly.
"Bye, Iz," Alec said, but his sister had already hung up the phone.
Turning back to Magnus, he said, "Well, shall we go?"
Magnus nodded and started forward. Alec walked alongside him, hands in his jacket pockets. He saw Magnus looking at them a few times out of the corner of his eye before he took the left one out and proffered it to his warlock. Magnus took it, squeezing it silently as they walked out of Central Park.
By the time they reached the Brooklyn apartment, nearly a half-hour later, a short cab ride included, both were quietly smiling. Magnus pulled a key out of his pants pocket and unlocked the front door. They stepped inside, went through another set of doors and into an elevator. Still having said nothing, Alec's breathing suddenly quickened. He realized he was in a small metal box with Magnus, the same Magnus who had broken his heart not six weeks ago. Magnus heard the change and looked at Alec, obviously reading the deer-in-headlights expression on the Shadowhunter's face.
"Alec. Relax. I'm not going to do anything you don't want. I promise," Magnus said, resting a hand on Alec's cheek.
Alec didn't flinch as he feared, but his emotions roiled just below the surface, ready to burst through at any moment.
"Seriously Alec. Breathe. In, out. In, out," Magnus said soothingly as the elevator came to a halt on his floor. The doors slid open and he pulled Alec out. "Do you want to leave?"
Alec, not trusting his voice at the moment, shook his head. He wanted this so much, but this was Magnus. But he'd been with Magnus before. But Magnus had broken his heart. But it had been his own fault. But Magnus hadn't told him anything. But he hadn't asked either. Thoughts chased themselves around in circles in his head. Magnus stood there patiently, waiting for him to come to a decision. Suddenly, Alec leaned forward, grabbed Magnus' face in his hands, and pulled it to his own, pressing their lips together firmly.
Magnus sighed and savoured the kiss, a feeling he had been so desperate for for weeks. He reached back, not looking, and inserted the key into the lock, opened the door to his apartment, and still kissing Alec, pulled them both inside, kicking the door closed after him. Alec didn't object, not even when Magnus' hands slid up under his jacket, tugging at the fabric of his shirt.
They broke apart long enough for shoes and Alec's jacket to come off, but soon Alec's hands were back in Magnus' hair, pulling him toward the couch. Angel, he loved that couch. Magnus made a noise, directing them away from the living room, to the bedroom. Alec almost stopped it then, but really, did it matter where it was? He knew it would happen whether it was on the couch, Magnus' bed, or the damn kitchen floor.
And then they were on Magnus' bed, the warlock's hands beneath Alec's shirt, tugging it up. Alec knew then, that whatever fears he had about Magnus, that this eclipsed them, and they could change whatever they needed to to make this work. His thoughts soon turned away from such philosophy to more physical concerns.
They fell asleep with Magnus draped over Alec's chest, a blanket magically summoned to cover them.
And they woke to the pounding of the apartment's front door. A noise was coming from the hallway, and it took Alec a moment to realize that it was his sister shouting.
"Angel blast you, Magnus Bane! I know you can find him! You might not care anymore about his feelings, but you can damn well answer the door!" Isabelle raged.
"You should probably get that," Alec said conversationally to his lover.
"You get it. She's your sister," Magnus grumpily replied. He was not a morning person.
"It's your door."
"Fine. You're making breakfast," Magnus groaned, rolling out of the blankets.
"That's all right. You make terrible eggs," Alec said, smiling.
"BANE! I'll break down the door if I have to!" Isabelle shouted.
"She has some anger issues, doesn't she?" Magnus said, going towards the door out of the bedroom.
"Magnus?" Alec said innocently.
"What?" the warlock snapped.
"You might want to put on some clothes. I enjoy the view, but Isabelle might be likely to take a certain something I rather enjoy keeping attached off," Alec said, pointedly gazing at the certain something.
Magnus rolled his eyes and pulled on the closest clothes he could find, which happened to be Alec's shirt from the day before and a random pair of pajama pants. He left the room, closing the door behind him. Alec sighed and followed suit, borrowing clothes that he hadn't realized Magnus even owned, in his size… even though Magnus was a size smaller…
His thoughts were interrupted by an angry female shout, "Took you long enough!"
"Good morning, to you too," Magnus replied. Alec stifled a snicker. He knew what Magnus was planning. His warlock certainly had a flair for the dramatic.
"Can you find him?" Isabelle demanded, followed by the scraping of chair legs on the kitchen floor.
"I thought I told your brother to tell you that I never wanted to see any of you again, that I was done being your pet warlock," Magnus drawled.
"You… rat bastard!" Isabelle exploded.
Magnus just chuckled. Enough is enough, Magnus. Alec thought.
"As it so happens, I can find him, for a price of course," Magnus said.
"What do you want?" Isabelle said shortly.
"A kiss. On the lips. From you. No one will ever have to know."
"You're kidding. Oh my God, you're not. Fine. But no one finds out," Isabelle said.
The dragging of wood on tile again, probably Isabelle standing. Alec took that as his cue to come out of the bedroom, wearing an appropriately wide yawn. He was just in time to see his sister kiss his lover.
Gasping, to play along with Magnus' game, Alec said, "Really, Magnus? Is that your price for everything? If so, I think I might have overpaid you."
Magnus' smile split his face. "See, Isabelle? I truly am the most powerful magical creature to ever exist. I can make handsome young men magically appear in my apartment."
"You… rat bastard!" Isabelle said again, slapping Magnus across the face.
Magnus raised a hand to his cheek, his mouth agape.
"Iz, was that really necessary?" Alec asked.
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming here?" Isabelle said, turning on him.
"Because you'd do something like that," Alec said, gesturing to Magnus.
"Because he deserves it," Isabelle retorted.
"Oh, probably. But so do I. We're working on our issues. Say, why are you here at…7 in the morning?" Alec asked, glancing over at the oven for the time.
"When you didn't text last night, I got worried. Obviously, you were too busy to bother," Isabelle huffed, sitting back down.
"It seemed like you yourself were rather busy yesterday," Alec said.
"Damn right I was. I could've used your help," Isabelle said. "Simon wasn't any help. The stupid Idrisians don't believe that a vampire could possibly want to help Shadowhunters."
"Speaking of Simon, don't you have somewhere to be?" Alec asked pointedly, trying to avoid looking at Magnus who was making his "bedroom eyes" as someone in a cheap romance novel had once called them.
"Damn right I do. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get busy with a vampire. And from the face that one's making, you have some horizontal tango to do with a warlock. Angel. Jocelyn's married to a werewolf, I'm in a relationship with a vampire, you're sleeping with a warlock, and Clary's got Jace. What happened to normal Shadowhunter relationships?" Isabelle said.
Alec blushed bright red while Magnus burst out laughing.
Alec said, "Jace has his own category, eh?"
Isabelle nodded, and stood. Pulling her brother into a hug, she whispered in his ear, "I don't care who you're sleeping with, just so long as he doesn't break your heart again. Are you sure you want this?"
Alec nodded. He knew they had deep-seated issues they had to fix, but that Magnus was what he wanted. For the rest of his life. Isabelle smiled and let him go.
"Well then have too much fun for me. I'll tell Mom you're staying at a friend's house until you care to explain this to her yourself. Do you want me to send Jace and Clary by later?" she said.
"Later today? Um…" Alec began.
"Tomorrow might be better. Alec's going to be a little tied up today," Magnus said, waggling his eyebrows at his lover.
Alec flushed again and practically pushed his giggling sister out the door. "Uh, goodbye Isabelle! See you later!"
The door slammed shut and Alec felt the snare of a magic rope grab his right wrist and drag him toward the bedroom. He could've resisted, of course, but that would've been no fun.
Alec was, indeed, tied up for the day, but he was flying. From the depths of despair that Magnus' absence had caused, his return had brought Alec up higher than Heaven itself.
It always annoys me when people beg for reviews. Honestly, if you liked it, or you just have something to say, please do review. But I won't hold it against you if you don't. Also, I'm going to attempt to write some more, even if it is only to make Magnus piss Isabelle off, because, honestly, it's quite amusing. ~Firefly