Authors Note: Please note I have only gotten through the first two books. I'm a complete sucker for MagnusxAlec though, and this was screaming to be written. Please let me know what you think!
Inside the dark blue walls of the room, a hand slid out from beneath the pile of blankets on the bed and pulled a tissue from the box residing on the nightstand-Puffs plus lotion. Isabelle had gotten them for him, knowing his sensitive skin preferred them over the ordinary kind. Beneath the covers, where it was warm and the moisture from his breath created a humid atmosphere that felt good on his sore throat, Alec brought the tissue to his nose and wiped at it. Even that insignificant stimulation set off his sniffles, which brought on a prompt and violent sneeze that had his body seizing up in pain. He moaned and flicked the abused tissue into the trash bin beside the bed.
He'd been sick for two days. The second day of any common illness was always the worst for him, and currently he felt as if two forsaken had played tug-o-war with his body and then used him for bongo practice. Everything ached. He was reduced to a pathetic heap of rocking, moaning contagiousness that couldn't be consoled. He normally was moody, that was true; but Alec thinks he might not have been dreaming when Jace had come in with a tray of soup and attempted to force-feed him, in which he'd rebelled by flinging the spoon against the adjacent wall. Jace and Isabelle had been alternating caring for him, but since the incident, he hadn't seen Jace, and he was pretty sure it had been a couple hours. He'd feel bad about it if his aches weren't so distracting.
There was a soft rapping at the door, and Alec assumed it was Jace, knocking as a show of sarcastic courtesy because of Alec's foul mood instead of striding in unannounced as he usually did.
"Just come in," Alec said, in his would-be irritated tone. But it came out with a moan that made him sound weak and drained.
The door hinges creaked twice as it was opened and then closed again. Alec remained curled on his side beneath his blankets, eye closed and hands sandwiched between his knees, rocking neurotically because somehow the pain felt lessoned when he did.
"Why on EARTH is it so dark in here? Darling, you're not DYING."
Alec froze, his eyes snapping open.
This was NOT HAPPENING.
He heard the thick rings of the curtains slide against the rod as they were drawn open, hot sunlight pelting against his bubble of blankets. Blankets he did NOT want to emerge from. He needed a shower; his hair, he was sure, looked somewhat of a cross between Albert Einstein's infamous 'do and an 80's frizz; and despite the touch of lotion in his tissue, his nose was raw and red, his eyes gritty and watery. Not that he was normally all that fussed about his appearance. He felt generally satisfied pulling on whatever smelled clean and running a comb quickly through his hair; but his current state was certainly an all-time low, and Magnus was the absolute LAST person he wanted seeing him this way.
He resolved to pretend he had died in the few moments between inviting in Magnus and now, when a shadow fell across the newly streaming sunlight and he felt his covers being drawn down.
"Are we a little shy today?" Magnus asked, and Alec couldn't stop himself from glancing upward, taking in the gold-green cat eyes and overtly pleased smirk.
"I'm not being shy." With internal horror his body didn't seem capable of displaying, Alec realized his words sounded more like a slow, slurred burble than actual words. He groaned and made a feeble attempt at wriggling down into the covers again. "Just let me suffer in peace."
"My poor, virus-ridden little cookie."
Alec would have snorted, but that took too much energy and he needed that to wriggle further into the blankets.
"None of that, now," said Magnus, pulling away the covers again. "I have been hospitable enough to take time out of my hectic schedule to bring you soup, and the least you could do is sit up, and eat it." That last part sounded almost like a threat.
He hadn't brought soup, Alec was sure of that, but Magnus was suddenly holding a tray of it.
"Did you steal that from the Tick Tock diner?"
Magnus looked affronted as he set it on the small, mahogany table that was suddenly beside him. "Goodness, no." He pulled a napkin off the tray and began unfolding it, his eyes fixated on Alec's face. "I know that bothers you to some extent."
"A lot," Alec said, staring back through bleary eyes. "it bothers me a lot."
"And that's exactly why I summoned this from the soup kitchen on 118th street. Sit up, my love."
"You stole this from a soup kitchen?"
"You realize your moodiness is only charming in small doses, don't you?" Magnus asked. "Lighten up, the soup is free."
Alec sat up, the bruising pressure in his head making his stomach rock nauseatingly. "Free for the HOMELESS. Magnus, taking food from the needy is even worse than stealing a cup from a financially well-off diner."
"Hey, I did this for YOU."
"Stop doing things like that for me," said Alec, his voice finally rising a little. "Jace brought me soup too, but he didn't take it from anyone. He went into the kitchen and made it for me. Legally and morally."
"By 'made'," Said Magnus, tossing the napkin back onto the tray. "You mean 'opened a can.'"
Alec shook his head and instantly regretted it. His head swam with vertigo. "That's besides the point."
"I think the point is that you don't want to eat any soup that isn't Jace soup." The words weren't angry or even condescending. They were dappled with dejection, quiet and broken.
Softening, Alec considered Magnus for a long moment, standing halfway between his bed and the empty space where the tray of soup had just been and was no longer, obviously sent back to the soup kitchen. His hair was done up in glitter as usual, his eyes ringed with the same gradient golds. But his clothes were a bit more casual today: good fitting jeans with a black and silver belt and a white T-shirt with a black pentagram on the chest, studded with diamonds. He was staring down at a hand, the nails painted a shimmering gold that matched the other sparkling accents.
It occurred to Alec, not for the first time, how ungrateful he was being. But the truth was, he wasn't used to affection. Not the sort that Magnus gave, which felt thicker and sweeter than any he'd ever received from his family. It scared him a little, because Magnus was someone he could give his whole heart to, in a way he'd never thought himself capable of giving. He could give it to Jace, certainly; but not in the same way, and the gravity of that made it hard to think clearly sometimes. His feelings for Magnus weren't necessarily stronger than what he felt for Jace, but different, deeper and layers more complex. A far cry less brotherly and colored shades upon shades darker with an emotion Alec couldn't quite name but associated with words like need and yearn, and desperation.
It brought out the natural moodiness in him sometimes, made him sarcastic and defensive, chastising and critical.
"Magnus," he said, and was rewarded with the full weight of that feline gaze. He flipped the corner of his blanket down and patted the space next to him. "Come here."
There was no hesitation on Magnus's part, which made the guilt Alec was feeling weigh more heavily in his chest. Was there nothing this person-this warlock, this powerful and completely amazing being-wouldn't do for him? A sick part of himself wanted to test it, wanted to know the limitations and boundaries, wanted to know that Magnus would give anything for him.
But for now, he thought, as Magnus sat close beside him and covered his hand with slender fingers decorated in elaborate rings. For now, soup was enough.
"I didn't eat Jace's soup," he admitted, suppressing the urge to close his eyes against the sensation of those fingers trailing over the back of his hand. His breath began to catch. "In fact, I flung the spoon against the wall and would have done the same with the soup if he hadn't called me an unflattering name and left."
The drawn, puppy-in-the-rain look Magnus had been wearing slowly melted and was replaced with a smile that looked amused and slightly self-satisfactory. "You used violence and wanted him to leave?"
"I haven't felt well," Alec said, sounding a touch defensive.
"But you didn't make me leave."
He would not blush, he would not blush, he would not blush…
But even the power of thought was no match against how unsteady Magnus made him, and he could feel heat pooling in his cheeks. He wished sometimes he were able to fib, but it just wasn't in his nature. "Because I don't want you to."
Magnus moved so quick and fluidly that Alec was momentarily caught off guard to find himself being pulled against Magnus's chest and tightly into his arms. He struggled a bit, his mind flailing with protest.
"You'll get sick!" He struggled to disentangle himself, but Magnus's hold was strong like iron.
"Warlocks," He said, supremely. "do not get sick, my darling."
His struggles ceased. "They don't?"
"Immortal," was his nearly bored reply. "illness bounces right off our magically delicious skin."
Beneath the soft cotton of his shirt, Alec could hear the steady thrum of Magnus's heartbeat beneath his ear. He moaned contentedly and swam against the warmth of his body, the motion soothing against his sore limbs.
Magnus went still beneath him. "If you keep doing that, love, I'm afraid I'll have to take advantage of you. …At least twice."
"My whole body aches when I'm sick," Alec said, not stopping. "This helps."
"I see," said Magnus, and began moving his fingers in a gliding, soothing motion across his back. Alec fell motionless and groaned at the sensation, like hot butter melting into his skin. He wrapped his arm around Magnus's neck and pressed his face to his throat, swallowing back noises that could be purrs or soft growls.
Magnus was smiling, he could sense it without looking, but Alec didn't have the energy to assess what it meant. Their bodies fit together like they had been made for this, and he was slowly drifting out of consciousness. The aching stiffness in his muscles began to fade, and his burning throat was starting to cool. He breathed deeply and found he actually could without opening his mouth; his sniffles were gone, the stuffiness no more.
Alec opened his eyes. A blue mist was hanging like thin fog around them, swirling slowly as if disturbed by a light breeze. It smelled like coldness with a faint undertone of mint.
"Magic?" he whispered, feeling dreamy and surreal.
"You didn't think I'd let you suffer, did you?" Magnus asked, now running the blunt edges of his nails down Alec's arms.
Alec pulled his face away from Magnus's neck and looked up into his eyes, which were glowing faintly in the fading afternoon light. Acting solely on instinct, without any forethought, Alec kissed him, slow and deep and desperately.
Magnus made a soft sound, caught between surprise and delight.
"Thank you," Alec whispered against his lips.
Magnus was breathless, but managed a smile. "Anything, Alec." He said, and his voice was serious. "I would do anything for you."
Alec smoothed a hand over Magnus's cheek, watching a thousand volts of desire spark behind his eyes, and snuggled up against his chest again.
"I know," he said. "…I believe you."