Author's Note: Well, this is it. It's been a great write, but I'm afraid that this is the last letter of the English alphabet, meaning that this is the last chapter of the story. Don't expect a grand finale or anything—it's really just another chapter. I fail.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! You were all so supportive and inspiring. I'm glad I could make you laugh and lament, even if you hated my guts for a few days after reading certain chapters. :) But in all seriousness, thanks for reading and reviewing and just being awesome.
And I apologize for the wait. I was on vacation.
Warning: This is crack. Almost pure crack. Enjoy the absurdity.
K is for Koala:
The animal Magnus decides to adopt.
"So, let me get this straight," Alec said, "you made a Portal, ended up in the Australian Outback, climbed a eucalyptus tree, kidnapped this—"
"Adopted," Magnus protested. "I did not kidnap anything. I adopted him."
"Right. Magnus, adoption requires paperwork. Legalities. Do you have any of that?"
"Sure I do." Official-looking papers appeared in Magnus's free hand.
"Real adoption paperwork. Not something you forged with magic," Alec specified.
"Oh." The papers disappeared. "No, I don't."
"Then you kidnapped it."
"He's not an it, Alexander. He is a he," Magnus said. "And for your information, his name is Kenneth."
"Yes. The paperwork says so."
"You mean the fake paperwork that you forged?" Alec snapped.
"Saying that it's fake and then saying that I forged it is redundant, dear," Magnus pointed out.
"That's not important!" Alec cried. "What's important is that you kidnapped a small koala from a eucalyptus tree in Australia and named it Kenneth!"
They both looked down at the tiny, gray puff of fuzz cradled in Magnus's manicured hands. It didn't look very old, and from what Alec knew of koalas, the babies had to stay with their mothers until they built a tolerance for poisonous eucalyptus leaves by eating their mothers' digested waste. It was disgusting, absolutely disgusting, ergo Alec could not comprehend why Magnus had taken the shit-eating marsupial from the tree in the first place.
"Don't yell, darling, you'll wake him up," Magnus chastised.
"Go bring him back," Alec demanded. "I'm sure there's some law about exotic pets in New York City. Particularly ones that only thrive on one continent!"
Magnus shrugged. "I don't really care about mundane laws, honestly. They're so tedious to keep up with. At least the Accords haven't been changed in twenty-odd years, since that Valentine fellow threw a fit."
Alec pressed the palms of his hands into his eyelids. Anyone who addressed the notorious archenemy and otherwise evil tormentor of all Shadowhunters as "that Valentine fellow" was impossible to argue against.
"Look," he growled, "why do you even want a koala?"
"Why wouldn't I want a koala?" Magnus countered. "They're fuzzy, adorable, and they have opposable thumbs! Two! Just think of the possibilities, Alec. I could train him and he could be my assistant. I would be the only warlock ever to have a koala for an assistant!"
"You have got to be kidding me," Alec groaned.
"No, not at all. I'll dress him up in a little wizard costume. What do you think? Should he be Merlin, or is he more Harry Potter material?"
"This is ridiculous."
"You're right! He shouldn't be a wizard. I'll dress him up like Quasimodo! Maybe I'll train him to say, 'Yes, master.'"
"I honestly have nothing to say to that. Literally, nothing. I'm speechless."
Magnus quirked an eyebrow at him. "Oh, lighten up. I'm just teasing you."
"So you're going to bring the koala back to Australia?" Alec asked hopefully.
"Of course not! Kenneth is much too cute to return," Magnus scoffed, beaming at the little marsupial.
"You realize that you've just degraded yourself to child snatcher, right?" Alec said, trying to appeal to Magnus's sense of shame. "I mean, think of the mother of this thing. She's got to be worried sick about it—him. She's probably crying out for him now. Making…little distressed koala bear noises."
"Well, she should have kept a better eye on him, then," Magnus sniffed. "I have no sympathy for a neglectful mother."
"That's so heartless!" Alec accused, genuinely shocked.
Magnus sighed. "You're right. But…look at him. How can I resist such an adorable face?"
Once again their eyes were drawn to the koala, who was making mewing sounds and grabbing at Magnus's thumb. Alec found those strange paws rather disturbing. There was something alien about them. They really couldn't be called paws—they were hands, hands with short black claws and gray hair and two opposable thumbs that could probably strangle smaller animals.
"You've got to give it back," Alec declared.
"I don't care what you say, I'm not doing it," Magnus said stubbornly.
"What if Chairman Meow doesn't like him?" Alec inquired, glancing at the white cat is it leapt into view. "What if he tries to eat him or something?"
"I've already got that covered," Magnus said. He lowered Kenneth down to the Chairman, who sniffed indifferently and turned away. "You see? Totally adapted. Even Chairman Meow can't deny the adorability of this cute koala bear." Something seemed to occur to Magnus. He turned to Alec, grinning. "Oh, of course! How did I not see it before?"
"You're jealous of Kenneth!"
"What?!" Alec sputtered.
"You saw me doting over him and see how adorable he is and you realized that I would be devoting all of my time to taking care of him! Oh, love, you know that I always find time for you. You won't go ignored because of Kenneth's needs," Magnus assured.
"That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard in my life!" Alec exclaimed. "And I live with Jace and Isabelle!"
"Absurd, but true," Magnus quipped, stroking Kenneth's soft, fuzzy ears.
Alec groaned in frustration. Then, as suddenly as a lightning strike, an idea came to him. If Magnus insisted on using absurdity to argue with Alec's perfectly logical reasoning, then he would just have to fight absurdity with absurdity.
He turned around in a dramatic fashion, pointing an accusing finger at the innocent koala. "You're right! That thing is an attention-whore!"
Magnus gasped. "Alexander! Don't use that kind of language around Kenneth!"
"It's already affecting our relationship! Magnus, I've had enough. It's either me or him. You have to choose." Alec crossed his arms derisively.
"Well…I…I can't believe this," Magnus monologued. "I knew you were the jealous type—I'd be lying if I said it didn't turn me on—but making me choose between you and my assistant…Alexander, my love, I'm afraid you must go."
"Are you kidding me?! You're seriously choosing the koala over me?!" Alec shouted.
"He didn't ask me to choose," Magnus pointed out.
"He can't ask you to choose! He can't speak!"
"Well just rub that in his face, why don't you? We're working on it!"
"What is the big deal with that koala?! It has freakish hands, it eats its mother's shit, and it does nothing but sit in eucalyptus trees and stare at people! What on earth is so cute about that?!"
"That's enough!" Magnus roared. "If you're going to insult Kenneth, you're not going to spend another second in my apartment!"
"Fine! This place is a nuthouse anyway!" Alec turned and stormed out, slamming the door behind him. As he began to descend the flight of stairs, he ran right into Isabelle, who was startled to see the outraged expression on his face.
"Alec! What's wrong?"
"What—what are you doing here?!"
"I was coming to get you and Magnus. We're all going to Pandemonium tonight and I was going to invite you," Isabelle explained. "Why are you so upset? What did Magnus do?"
"Nothing," Alec snapped.
"Don't lie to me. I will slap you."
"If you must know…Magnus chose a koala bear over me."
It was Isabelle's turn to be confused. "What?"
"He made a Portal to Australia to gather eucalyptus leaves for a potion—although I don't know why he had to go through all that trouble, he can get eucalyptus from a nursery here—and he kidnapped a baby koala bear and named it Kenneth and he won't return it because he thinks it's so cute," Alec explained.
"Why does that upset you?" Isabelle asked.
"Because when I was trying to convince him to return it, he told me to leave and chose the koala over me."
"So…you two broke up over a koala named Kenneth?"
"We didn't break up!" Alec exclaimed. "Or, at least, I don't think so. By the Angel, did we break up? Over something so stupid?!"
"Don't get your panties in a twist, I've got a solution," Isabelle grumbled. She dug around in her purse and pulled out her phone, marching up the stairs as she flipped through some photos. When she found the one she was looking for, she knocked on the door to Magnus's apartment.
The warlock opened it, still petting the small koala. "If you think that you're going to come crawling back to me that easily, Alexander, you have another thing—"
Without preamble, Isabelle stuck the cell phone in Magnus's face.
"What the hell?!" he cried, leaping back with a look of disgust. "What is that?!"
"That is what a koala looks like when it's wet," Isabelle said.
Magnus, aghast, stared down at Kenneth. "That's impossible," he whispered.
"Nope. It's the real picture, not photoshopped. Kenneth may be cute now, but the first time you give him a bath, he will turn into this hideous demonic being," said Isabelle.
"Ew. Looks like you're going home after all, Kenneth," Magnus said. With a loud pop! and a burst of blue sparks, the koala was gone. Magnus brushed his hands together brusquely.
"Seriously, that's it? I've spent hours trying to convince you to give that thing up, and all Izzy has to do is show you a picture and you surrender?" Alec said incredulously. "Besides, where did you send it?"
"Back home to his mother, of course," Magnus replied. "He would have gone there eventually, you know. I wasn't going to keep him."
"It's classic, Alec," Isabelle sighed. "I knew as soon as you told me what was going on. It was too ridiculous, even for Magnus. It was all a rouse. Magnus was deliberately making you two fight over something so stupid that there was no way it would have serious consequences, thereby enjoying make-up sex without any risk."
"And it would have worked, too, had you not interfered with that obscene image you've just burned into my delicate mind," Magnus complained. "Really, I did like koala bears, but now I just don't know anymore."
Isabelle shrugged. "I want to go to Pandemonium tonight, and Alec would have been a buzzkill if you two were still fighting."
"Oh, Pandemonium! I'll go change," Magnus decreed, sauntering off into the bedroom even though his current bedazzled leather outfit would have suited the whimsical fashions of the club just fine.
"You should change, too," Isabelle suggested frankly, running her eyes up and down Alec's drab ensemble.
Alec only stared at her. "I can't believe you two."
"What? We're honest."
"Not that," Alec sighed. How it was that the two people he loved most in the world were so extravagantly bizarre was a complete mystery to him. "Hey, what was that picture you showed Magnus?"
Isabelle held the phone up for him to see. It was a photo of a koala bear dripping with water, its fur plastered down and matted to his flesh, glaring at the camera with vengeful vehemence. Alec felt revolted and triumphant at the same time. His disdain of Kenneth was justified after all. Nothing that looked this ugly when wet could be good news.
"Wait," Alec said suddenly, narrowing his eyes at his sister, "how do you know so much about what Magnus was up to?"
Isabelle just smirked and snapped her phone off, sashaying her way out of the apartment.
Author's Note: And that's a wrap, folks! I don't have any more Malec planned in the immediate future, but keep an eye out anyway! :)