AN: So, this is a little oneshot that has been floating in my head for a little while now in various forms. I decided to go with the All-Human version of it though. And thanks to Take Me To My Fragile Dreams and her AH stuff the idea came back with a vengeance and demanded to be written down. So now it has!
"Hello, sexy." I grinned, plopping my lunch tray down next to my blue eyed best friend.
"Hey, Magnus." He smiled up at me and I noticed the bruise on his collarbone that his sweater covered. Well, it covered it as long as you weren't staring at him from above like I was given his seated position and my standing one.
Quickly he tugged his collar over a little, trying to cover the mark as he blushed just a little.
"Rough workout?" I asked, finally sitting down. Alec was always showing up with bruises and small cuts. He blamed it on the martial arts classes he took with his brother and sister.
"Yeah. I didn't move fast enough to avoid Jace." He stuffed a fry in his mouth, as if trying to end the conversation.
I couldn't have that though, "I thought you were supposed to pull punches when sparing?"
"You are. It doesn't always work though." He answered, trying to end the conversation with a strawberry this time.
"Apparently it almost never works." I jibed playfully.
He just shrugged and curled in on himself a little, a small frown on his lips. "No. I guess not." He said curtly.
"Alec…?" Had I said something wrong? We always joked like this and he'd never shut himself down before.
"Magnus," He said suddenly, turning up to look at me with a hopeful look in his eyes.
"You know…how you're looking for a room-mate?"
That I was. It was hard being an emancipated minor after all. Flipping burgers only got you so far.
"Yeah, but I'm not having any luck. Your sister says I'm being to picky. But I don't think it counts as being picky of you don't want to live with someone who has never watched Project Runway. Why do you ask?"
"I've watched Project Runway." He answered softly, looking down and picking at the frayed knee of his pants.
"Alexander. Are you asking to be my room-mate?" I grinned widely, waiting for him to look up at me again before continuing, "Because if you are my answer is a definite yes."
"Really?" He looked so hopeful and…desperate? I frowned slightly, wondering what the desperation was for.
"Really, Alec. I'd love to have you as my room-mate. You're reliable, I know you've got the money to be on time with rent and bills, and you're my best friend…but can I ask why you want to? It just…seems like something is up."
He shrugged and turned away, picking at his tray now. "Things are just a little rough at home after…after what happened a few months ago, that's all. I need to get away from it but I don't really want to be completely on my own either."
"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked softly, though I already suspected what it was probably about. When Alec was upset it was usually because of one thing: his parents fighting. The fighting which had only gotten worse since his little brother, Max, had been killed by a mugger on the way home from school three months ago. His sister, Isabelle, got away from it by practically living with her best girlfriend Clary or her boyfriend of the moment. His brother Jace wasn't as bothered by the fighting, he was adopted after all, it wasn't really his parents fighting. That and he was home about as much as Isabelle anymore, from what I'd picked up. So Alec generally got the worst of it since he was home the most often.
"Not really. I just wanted to know about the room-mate thing."
"Well, you are welcome to move in any time you like. We'll just pretend the rest of this month doesn't exist and you can start helping with the rent next month, deal?"
"Deal." He smiled softly up at me and I nearly melted. If only he knew what that smile did to me.
We continued the rest of the lunch with an amicable chatter, not going near anything we had talked about earlier. Just as we were about to part ways he turned back to me.
"Magnus, can you come by and help me pack after school?" He asked, and I was a little surprised. What had happened that made him want out so quickly?
"Of course. We'll meet up at your locker." I waved goodbye after he nodded and we went to our separate classes.
When we reached Alec's house it was completely empty despite both his parents working nights at the local police station and thus normally home during the day. Given the tense set of his shoulders I decided not to question it. After retrieving several boxes from the basement we went to his room to begin packing up his things. He haphazardly threw the contents of his closet into one box while I carefully folded his bedding into another. We were silent the whole time and after awhile I noticed that his hands were shaking slightly and his breathing was becoming ragged.
"Hey," I said softly, resting a hand on his shoulder, "Want me to finish? You can go wait in the car…"
"Yeah. Thanks." He mumbled, grabbing one box and almost running out of the room.
I watched him go worriedly before quickly packing the rest of his things and carrying the boxes outside. He was in the drivers seat of his car, head resting on crossed arms on the steering wheel. I wanted so desperately to ask what was wrong, to ask what had happened, but I didn't. I just walked over and coaxed him into the passenger seat after saying that he didn't look like he should be driving.
As we drove farther and farther from his house he seemed to relax more and more, even reaching out to turn on the radio after a bit.
"I'm sorry about that." He smiled guiltily over at me.
"Nah, don't worry about it. Everyone has things they have a hard time with for whatever reason. I certainly do." I answered, glancing sideways at him and smiling a little. Alec knew bits and pieces of my past but I'd never told him all of it. Explaining that your mother had hung herself after setting fire to your father wasn't an easy thing to do, even with your best friend of three years.
My apartment was a tiny little two bedroom place with grimy windows and warped wood plank floors. It was home though, and I was quite fond of it. As far as I was concerned it just had a bit of rustic charm. I helped Alec move his stuff into the room across the hall from mine, making playful jibes to cheer him up and disguise the fact that I was watching his arms flex now that he'd taken off his sweater and was in only a t-shirt.
When Alec and I had met I still wasn't comfortable with my sexuality. I'd been out, yes, but not comfortable. And Alec wasn't even out then. He still wasn't really out, honestly. I knew being gay was hard for him, we'd talked about it a little. And it was because it was so hard for him that I'd never spoken up about my feelings for him once I realized they were there. I knew he didn't have anyone else he could really talk to like we talked, and I didn't want to take that away from him. I knew what it was like to feel alone. So my mouth stayed shut, despite how much I wanted to open it every day. Preferably to allow his tongue to dance with mine.
"Magnus. Magnus. Yoo-ho." Alec grinned, snapping his fingers in my face, "Still with me?"
"Hu? Oh, yeah. Sorry. Zoned out." I smiled innocently.
"I hadn't noticed. Also, I say we order pizza."
"I say we add a movie to that pizza and make it a movie night." I replied, following him to the kitchen.
"You go pick up the movie and I'll order the pizza?" He suggested, picking up the phone.
"Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure, give me the hard job." I joked, grabbing his keys. "I'm taking your car!"
"Just don't do anything stupid." Alec answered before responding to the pizza man.
Three weeks passed like that, watching movies together and falling asleep on the couch, doing homework together and bemoaning the struggles of senior year, playfully stealing each others food from the fridge. But the more time passed the more I started to realize that if we were living together like this I was not, under any circumstances, going to be able to keep my mouth shut about my feelings. The boy came out of the shower dripping with water and wearing only a freaking towel, how in the world was I supposed to resit that? The water running down his sculpted…well, his sculpted everything. His dark hair against the pale skin. That treasure trail of what appeared to be incredibly soft, curly black hair…
"You have to tell him, Bane." I coached myself, looking into the mirror.
I'd even done myself up for the occasion, in a way I knew Alec liked. My hair was down, brushing my shoulders and sweeping across my face to tuck behind one of my ears. I only had on a light layer of shimmering eyeshadow and the faintest glimmer of lip gloss. My shirt was a deep purple with gold swirls and I had on tight mauve skinny jeans. A bullet belt hung around my hips, slipping down one thigh, and a pile of bangles adorned each wrist.
"You can do this." I repeated to myself when I heard the door open.
I walked out, opening my mouth and starting to say his name when it finally clicked what I was seeing. Alec was slumped against the door, tears threatening to fall, and clutching his swollen jaw. Without thinking I dashed forward, wrapping my arms protectively around him as he slid to the floor.
"Alec, Alec what's wrong, what happened?" I looked at him worriedly, brushing the hair out of his face.
He just shook his head, a small sob escaping his lips as he clenched his eyes shut.
"Alec, sweetie, let me see." I said gently, resting my hand over his that was pressed against his jaw.
After a moment and some more soft coaxing he let his hand drop and I sucked in a breath at the deep purple bruise that was forming there. The bruise that looked a lot like a fist. Biting my lip I lightly ran my fingers along the bruise, trying to figure out if it was broken. Given his sharp in take of breath at one particular spot I was pretty sure it was.
"Alec, you need to go to the hospital. I think your jaw is broken."
"N-no." He mumbled, his breath hitching as he tried to hold back the tears.
"Alec, please. I'll go with you, and I'll stay with you the whole time, I swear. Please."
He was silent for awhile, breath still hitching before he gave a tiny nod and let me help him up. I kept an arm around him tightly as we walked out to his car, buckling him into the passenger seat as soon as we reached it. I wanted so desperately to just keep holding him and telling him everything would be okay, but I knew he needed to get to the hospital.
I drove as quickly as I could to the nearest ER and escorted him inside, keeping an arm tightly around his waist. By some miracle the ER wasn't busy and we were escorted to a room almost immediately. I sat on the bed with him, holding him close as he curled into my chest, crying softly.
"Alec, love, it'll be alright. I promise." I whispered into his hair, adding the "love" in without even thinking about it.
The doctor came in a short time later and carefully examined Alec's jaw. Alec practically had a death grip on my hand at this point; he wasn't fond of doctors.
"Your jaw is definitely broken. We're going to need some x-rays to see how bad before we decide where to go from here. A nurse will be in in just a moment to escort you to the x-ray room. Please take off all jewelry and any electronics right now." The doctor told us before leaving.
I took Alec's phone and the one ring he always wore, tucking them in my jacket pocket for safe keeping.
"Alec…" I hesitated, not wanting to upset him. "Who did this?"
He let out a choked sob and curled in on himself again, but didn't release my hand.
"Alec, please, I need to know." I pleaded, moving to crouch in front of him. "Was it someone you know?" He nodded meekly. "Was it…was it your dad?"
The reason I'd offered up Robert as a possibility was that I knew he had a temper. I didn't actually think Alec would say yes though: I never thought Robert capable of hurting his kids, especially after what had happened to his youngest. But Alec completely broke down when I said it, which I took for a yes.
"Oh, God. Alec." I stood up again, pulling him into a tight hug while still being careful of his jaw.
He clung to me desperately, sobbing into my shirt. I had no idea what to say how. What could you say that made something like this better? What did you say that made up for not realizing that your best friend was being abused by his father sooner? Because I got it now. Those bruises he always blamed on sparing hadn't been from sparing. They'd been from his father. And I could've stopped it sooner if I'd just spoken up, if I'd just pressed a little more. But I hadn't and now I was holding a broken version of my best friend in a cold ER room waiting for him to get treatment for a broken jaw.
Eventually the nurse came in and I had to move away slightly. I didn't go far though, and kept one arm wrapped tightly around his shoulders. The old and rather grumpy looking woman escorted us to the x-ray room and instructed Alec to sit straight in front of the white square. I hated the small sob that left his lips when I was forced to step away and I dashed back as soon as I could. We were taken back to the small room from before and the nurse hooked Alec up to an IV to give him some pain meds and a compress to help with the swelling.
Sitting down I leaned against the wall and pulled Alec down onto my chest, the uninjured side of his face resting against my shirt. He curled into me as I gently held the cool compress against his jawline for him. As soon as the door swung shut he curled into me even more and mumbled something into my shirt that I didn't quite catch.
"What was that, Alec?" I asked.
"He did it…because I moved in with you." He whispered, his words slightly strained from the pain of talking. "He thought…thinks we're going out and he hates me because I'm…because I'm gay." Alec's voice hitched on the last part.
"Oh God, Alec." That was the final straw, I couldn't hold back my own tears anymore. They slipped down my face and into his hair as we clung to each other.
And I'd thought I had no idea what to say before. But now… Now all I knew was that I wanted to wring Robert's neck. And possibly Maryse's as well, because there was no way she hadn't known what was going on.
"I tried to tell him we weren't going out. But he wouldn't listen. He just came after me. And it's so stupid because…because I want to be going out with you. But I was to much of a coward to admit it because I was afraid of what he'd do and then he did this anyways." Alec rambled, his voice slurred slightly from the pain meds.
I was frozen at his words. He wanted to be going out with me? What? Was it just the pain meds talking?
"Alec…" I whispered, taking a deep breath and trying to figure out what to say. "Just…just rest right now okay. I know we need to talk about this but you need the rest and it probably isn't good for you to be talking so much."
"Okay." He murmured, dozing off and snoring slightly against my chest.
I had never been more confused about what to do in my life.
Three days later we were sitting on the couch together, Alec at one end and myself at the other, our legs meeting in the middle. Alec had had to have surgery on his jaw and a metal plate put in, though thankfully they hadn't needed to wire his jaw shut. He was still on a liquid diet though, and on bed rest for at least another few days. The pain meds they had him on made him very drowsy so he spent most of his time dozing on the couch with the TV on. He couldn't focus enough to read, much to his dismay. Thankfully school hadn't been a problem though, given that all of this had happened a day before winter break started.
When we'd made it home I'd come to the realization that Alec didn't really remember anything from the hospital. Specifically, he didn't seem to remember telling me that he wanted to date me. And I hadn't brought it up either. He had enough to deal with.
Alec had refused to press charges against his father at first, not wanting to deal with the general hassle of it but also the hassle of the the fact that he wouldn't just be reporting an abusive father, he'd be reporting an abusive cop father. I'd finally convinced him when I said it would be the best way to keep his brother and sister safe. Dealing with all of that had only served to exhaust him more though, despite my attempts to take as much of it off his shoulders as I could. I had at least managed to convince Jocelyn, the mother of Izzy's best friend and Jace's girlfriend, to take Izzy and Jace in for awhile while things got sorted out so that they wouldn't be taken by child protective services. When I'd told Alec about it he'd visibly relaxed, hugging me tightly and saying thank you.
"Magnus?" Alec said suddenly, startling me given that I'd thought him asleep.
"What's up?" I replied, trying not to get lost in the sleepy shape of his eyes that curved around the bottle blue glass of his iris'.
"About…about what I said at the hospital. About…us. About wanting to go out with you. I'm sorry. I know we're just friends. I never should've said-" He broke off when I leaned forward and pressed a gentle finger to his lips.
"Alexander Lightwood, what in the world ever gave you the idea that I wouldn't want to go out with someone as amazing and gorgeous as you?" I asked gently.
"The fact that I'm not gorgeous or amazing." He whispered, a tear sparkling in the corner of his eye as he pulled his knees to his chest.
I was silent for a moment, choosing my words carefully. I knew what I said right now, as well as how I said it, would be crucial in a myriad of ways.
"Why do you think that?" Was what I decided to start with.
He just shrugged a little and hugged his knees tighter.
"Is it because of your father?" I probed gently.
"He wasn't a bad father." Alec whispered, shooting me a weak glare.
"I know. I know he wasn't a bad father. Your dad was a good man, but somehow his life just got to a point where he couldn't handle it anymore and he lashed out in a way he never should have. What your father did was a horrible thing, Alec, but I would never try to convince you that he was a terrible father. I know what terrible fathers are, and while yours certainly won't win dad of the year, he was a lot better then some. He was a lot better than mine. But that still doesn't make the things he did or said okay. It never will. You are an amazing and beautiful person, Alec. You care so, so much about people. You're always the one to help people with their groceries, or offer your phone to them so they can call a locksmith when they lock themselves out, or help kids cross the street, or take care of lost kids you find in the park—which you seem to have a strange affinity for, by the way—always the first to offer help in any way you can no matter how much it might inconvenience you. You practically raised your siblings because your parents were so busy with work, and let's face it, that weird baby-sitter with the pet crow wasn't exactly helpful." Alec chuckled weakly at this and I stopped to smile softly before I continued,
"Those things make you amazing, Alec. I've never met someone that caring. I've never met someone that selfless. And as for your beauty, that is a category you excel in. Have I ever told you that black hair and blue eyes are my favorite combination? Probably not. But they are. But they have been every since I met you. The way the blue stands out against your skin and hair is amazing. And you're one of those people that can just roll out of bed looking like a god, you don't even have to try. You always look amazing."
"You're kind of over using the word 'amazing'." He interrupted softly, a small smile on his face as his grip around his legs loosened slightly.
"So? It's true."
"Is it?" He asked, his eyes searching mine.
"It's very true." I answered, curling my fingers softly and running my knuckles softly down the uninjured side of his face.
He turned into the touch slightly, his eyes slipping shut.
"What do I do now?" he whispered, a note of fear in his voice.
"You trust me." I told him, leaning forward to kiss him softly.
After a few moments he hesitantly returned the kiss. It only took a moment before he leaned into it, looping his arms around my neck to pull me closer.
Two days later we were in court at his father's bail hearing, standing hand in hand and not caring that Robert saw.
AN: I know. I'm way to mean to poor Alec... But it had a happy ending, right? Right?
Any-who. Reviews are love! And I would love to know if you guys would like to see more All-Human stuff from me? It's very fun to write.