IF WE MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT
Authoress: Loki/ VS
Notes: I have to first of all apologize, because it has been 2 years since I updated this fic and that is shocking because it means I have been doing little to no writing. I've had about 500 words of this chapter written for a long time but I haven't finished it until now. If you're still with me, thank you so so much and I hope you enjoy this chapter. I realize that CoHF has now been released and so my writing is considerably outdated, but I still retain the same plotline. I have recently observed that this fic is more of an exploration of characters (Magnus and Alec in particular) due to my own thoughts and deductions from the books, so perhaps it doesn't matter. Either way I re-read CoLS in preparation for CoHF, so I feel that I am still in touch with my thoughts about the characters.
I do hope you enjoy and I promise that the next chapter is coming VERY soon as I am excited to write it!
Italics: quotes/lyrics from alternative work
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
CHAPTER THREE: LEARNING TO COPE
"Light hits your curtains, I'm leaving but with a certainty that I will meet you again in dreams." Succubus, Mew.
Magnus dropped the last of his belongings onto his new bedroom floor and sat dismissively onto the end of his mattress-bed. His arms and legs ached down to the bone and his eyes begged to stay closed. He glanced around at his room and wished he hadn't. Boxes were strewn across the floor and clothes were scattered across them haphazardly, leading in a trail to an opened suitcase. Various pieces of jewellery were also slung in the case alongside sprays, gels and mousses; deodorant, razors and glitter; parchment, cat toys and a hairdryer. In a long wonky pile in the corner stood Mount Library, built carefully with as many books as Magnus could manage, from old leather-bound tomes to glossy paperback fiction about a world without Demons, Downworlders and Nephilim – where the only threat to mankind was itself.
Chairman Meow's golden eyes glittered from the top of an old wooden trunk, watching his owner with a look of disgust. He wasn't impressed with the move, and neither was Magnus. It was cold, dark and smelled like damp. The room was shrouded in a thick layer of empty blackness that the candles Magnus had lit failed to cut through. "If only I had something brighter," he muttered to himself, standing and stalking over to his cat, "like electricity… or Witchlight…" he plucked the Tabby from the box and stroked him gently in his favourite spot, just behind his ears. The cat began to purr and gently curled his claws into Magnus' sleeve. Alec clutched the sleeve of Magnus' jacket, and the witchlight, held between their bodies, flared up in colours of rose and blue and green. He screwed up his nose and put Meow back down onto the floor gingerly. The cat wailed at him, annoyed. "Well you stop reminding me of Shadowhunters!"
The Chairman looked up at Magnus and he scoffed, "Oh, so you weren't trying to bring up memories? I know you're in on this," he declared, "I know where your loyalties lie." He flounced from the room and perched on the end of his sofa. He sat, staring at the empty fireplace before he covered his face with his hands and curled back into it, groaning loudly. "I'm arguing with a Tabby cat…" he grumbled, pulling at his cheeks.
It wasn't just the Chairman that had reminded him of the Nephilim, and one Shadowhunter in particular had been an exceptionally frequent mental visitor. First it had been the messages. Day in, day out, Magnus had switched off his phone, ignored calls and allowed his inbox to fill up with messages from Shadowhunters requesting his attention and from Alec, begging and pleading, apologizing and talking. Each evening Magnus had sat with a drink of his choice and methodically deleted every message after reading them and had listened to every message, his finger hovering over the delete button without managing to press it on most occasions. He repeated the process until liquor poured tears from his eyes and fogged his mind into a restless sleep filled with blue eyes, black ink on paper white skin and hot golden blood gushing from the backs of angels where their wings should have been. He awoke drenched in cold sweat with his phone buzzing away in his hand and the days would repeat themselves.
The next thing had been the darkness. The black pallor of his new home in a dark handsome cottage on a small island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake reminded him far too much of the Nephilim. Everything about them was black. The marks they wore; the demons they fought; the fates they accepted; the names they bore. Black, darkness, shadows. Magnus couldn't escape. He'd chosen his location purposefully. The sheer amount of water surrounding him would make him difficult to track, contact and attack and he wanted it that way. He could defend the small island if necessary but all he wanted to do was to hide. Hide from the darkness that was swiftly approaching. Yet it enveloped him. He couldn't find the strength to unpack his belongings or even create a magical light to brighten his new home. He wanted to curl up and sleep in his hovel.
Nobody seemed to care anymore either. He had noticed that his move had suddenly brought about a lack of contact. The occasional message from a client popped through, but nothing more. Alec had stopped messaging and calling him. He sighed and pulled his phone from his pocket. An expert flick of his fingers lit up the screen in a blinding white light and he took a moment to let his eyes adjust. No messages. He couldn't help but feel his heart sink slightly. He absently brought up his message threads and opened the most recent, just in case.
-Magnus, I guess I'm not someone you want to hear from today… I guess I've not been someone you want to hear from for a long time… I just wanted to say happy birthday. I didn't want you to think I forgot.. Happy Birthday anyway.-
He felt his heart clench and quickly switched off the screen, then dumped the phone onto the coffee table. That had been a week ago. He had ordered a special, birthday take-away and treated himself to a new set of pyjamas and had sat in them all day watching re-runs of old mundane comedy programmes that had bored him senseless but passed the time. It wasn't the most exciting birthday, but he had had worse. He had contemplated using magic to access some more mundane programmes now, but he couldn't find the energy. Instead his eyes found the Chairman.
The small tabby had taken up residence on the cold stone floor and was lying with his feet stuck straight up into the air. He had recently developed a habit of lying in this manner and Magnus wasn't quite sure whether he should take him to a vet or not. The Chairman was a notoriously unpredictable cat, as Magnus had realised with his disappearance before his own birthday party, and the Warlock had learnt to be more flexible with his moods and preferences. Exhaling deeply, Magnus dragged his eyes from Chairman Meow and pushed himself to his feet.
He trudged across the floor, unbuttoning his shirt lazily and slinging it across the room to a table. It missed and landed in a crumple on the floor but Magnus was beyond caring. He slid his belt off and let it drop to the floor as he entered his new bedroom and he simply unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans. His energy and motivation had depleted too much for him to manage to take them off. He sent a gust of wind across the room and snuffed out the candles before he flopped onto the mattress serving as his bed and closed his eyes.
He inhaled and pushed out his chest, stretching his long body before curling into the thick, feathery duvet and burying his face into the closest pillow. He closed his eyes and waited for a deep sleep to consume him. Instead a familiar scent surrounded him. Sandalwood, sweat, blood and earth – the smell of a shadowhunter returning home from a mission, exhausted and deliciously warm but, perhaps most importantly, it was distinctly human. Magnus rolled over and raised his arm to wrap it around the muscled body of his duvet. His eyes snapped open and his chest felt suddenly hollow. His heart swooped down into his stomach and he gripped the fluffy duvet in his hands. He had reverted back to his old bedding – canary yellow sheets strewn across a simple mattress – in order to try to regain some form of shadowhunter-free space in his bedroom. He had gotten a new bed after he had begun dating Alec, as he had shown disapproval of a single mattress and preferred a more sophisticated bed to sleep in. Magnus had complied and had not complained with the interest Alec had shown in getting into said bed. Now that he had it back, however, it felt odd and uncomfortable.
He could sense the missing body beside him, he found himself searching for Alec's scent on the pillows; the familiar creases in the pillowcase that had been made whilst he slept and he missed the soft whispers and murmurs the shadowhunter didn't even know he uttered in his sleep.
Irritated with his own senses, Magnus rolled back over and hastily closed his eyes. He willed sleep to come to him and wriggled, itched, rolled, sighed, curled, stretched and starfished but couldn't find a comfortable spot. The bed was also too cold for him. He had no warm spots and there was a draft that found his chest no matter how he lay. He knew exactly where he wanted his arms and legs to be but with no one sharing his bed he had a bothersome predicament. Finally he flung the duvet off himself and stormed back to the sofa, grumbling. He lay down and closed his eyes, feeling much more comfortable. He fell into a light dose, his breathing falling into a regular and steady pattern.
His phone screeched loudly. Magnus sat bolt upright and grabbed the phone, his heart racing and eyes wide as he read the name on the screen. His excitement was short-lived and he sighed wearily. Maryse Lightwood. Groaning and rubbing at his eyes, he opened the message.
Dear Magnus Bane, after various attempts at calling you, perhaps this attempt will prove more fruitful. You are requested to attend a meeting with myself and Jia Penhallow in the library at precisely 11am on Friday 9th November. Your assistance will be most valuable and you will be paid for your services. Awaiting your reply, Maryse Lightwood.-
Magnus shook his head. "Unbelievable," he said, throwing the phone back down onto the table, "after all this time, they still think I'm going to just turn up and help them?" He shook his head, running a hand through his hair.
"But…" he thought aloud, absently playing with a long strand of hair, "I could use this… and cut myself off from them…" He looked down at Chairman Meow, who had not moved from his position on the floor. "I could go to this meeting and tell them I don't want to be associated with them anymore and tell them to find another warlock…" The Chairman twitched and Magnus took that as an answer.
"I'll do it then," he declared, nodding and clenching his fists. He'd return to New York next week and cut himself off completely. His stomach flipped and he frowned, looking down at his belly accusatively. He felt motivated and excited. Whether this was to return or to cut himself off he couldn't decide. He glared at his stomach and demanded that it stayed perfectly still and normal. He wasn't in the mood for any inconsiderate feelings in his gut. Flicking his wrist, Magnus summoned a blanket and wrapped himself in it as he lay down on the couch. It was thick and woollen and he supposed that someone must have been kept warm and cosy underneath it. Magnus couldn't find such warmth. He supposed it was the chill from the water of the lake leaking into the house and he made a mental note to collect firewood for the next day. He also supposed it was the lack of body warmth radiating from a partner in his bed.
Word count: 1,913
I have 3 guest reviewers that I would also like to thank as I cannot reply to you! I hope this chapter is up to your expectations!
Once again, I have had an overwhelming amount of support for the previous chapter, and I hope I have not failed you with such a late update.
I would also like to ask that if you are tempted to compare this to CoHF in your reviews, please notify me that you are going to! I haven't read CoHF yet, but I am on chapter 3! I will respond to comparisons/notes that you make after I have read it though, I promise!
ALSO! If anybody is interested, at the end of this story, I'm going to write up all of the quotes/sets of lyrics that I have used with their sources. :)
Thanks once again for reading and I will update soon!