A/N: Okay, this thing ran away from me. I intended for this to be short, but it became this six-thousand word monster right before my eyes. Also, really, really nervous about posting this- it's not what I normally work with.

Still, there have to be warnings for this thing. First, sensitive topics, including self-harm, and a mood disorder called Bipolar Disorder. This is the big one- it's a real thing, and I did my best to explain it, but since I don't live with it, I don't know what it's like. I've researched the topic, and I hope I got the facts right. If I didn't, please don't wine to me about it, I will not respond.

Anyway, the other thing is that I've not read COLS yet, so I did try to get facts right there, too, from various spoilers and such that I've read. But there are spoilers for the book in here, in fact, it's what this whole thing is about, even though the story below is a bit AU. I repeat, the story is AU. I really fucked with Cassie's little Alec here, and gave him a lot of shit I know he doesn't really have. Yes, I know the characters are OOC. Do I care? Not really. This is what was in my head, begging to be written, and I just had to comply. Hope you like.


Alec couldn't remember much after Magnus left him in the train station. He could recall seeing Camille, and Maureen, but he couldn't quite recall who killed whom. It was all one big blur or pain and sorrow and regret and self-loathing so potent he could taste it in the back of his throat, like the bitter taste of metal. He didn't return to the Institute for two days, and he knew that when he did they all knew something terrible had happened.

He ignored their advances, their pleas, and their offers. He just locked himself in his room and slid to the floor, clawing desperately at his tangled hair and dirty skin. His nails hadn't been cut in a while, so they broke the skin of his arms, but he couldn't bother with a healing rune. The pain brought a feeling other than self-loathing and anger. It was welcome, and it was beckoned.

After a couple of days of just sitting on the floor, staring out his window, or playing with his phone, or breaking his skin with his nails, Jace told him there was a huge demon attack near Central Park. Good, he kept thinking as he gathered his gear and weapons, good. He pulled his clothing off and pulled his gear on, not noticing the pain that came with dragging the material over his wounded skin. The attack was a distraction, one that wasn't quite so self-destructive. He knew he should probably tell someone about what happened, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. It would make it far too final, he knew. Izzy would make him try and move on; find someone else. But it had taken some serious changes to get him to let go of Jace, and he knew that after a romance that strong with Magnus, it would take so much longer and so much more.

He didn't know how much longer or how much more, but he was fairly certain he'd never get over it.

They had glamoured themselves up, so that they would be invisible to the mundane eye. His friends shot him worried looks when he finally showed up, but he paid them no mind, instead walking right out the door and not slowing down the entire walk to the park. They caught up to him eventually, barely panting from the effort, but annoyed nonetheless. Alec normally would feel guilty, but he really didn't care anymore, and just kept walking, bow in hand.

Izzy, Jace, Clary and Alec ran to the demons when they finally got the park, as they weren't hard to find, and Alec shot them first. It was reckless, stupid move, but it got their attention. He supposed a long, thin, sharp object to the eye would be fairly attention consuming. The others shot him curious and worried looks, but he didn't see them, as the demon charged straight for him. The other two demons made for his friends, and the battle began.

Alec shot at the demon consistently as it ran closer, closer, and when it reached him, it had been successfully impaled about eight times. There was blood everywhere, leaking out of each of the wounds, slowly making its way down the demon's skin, and some of it fell to the ground below. He could hear Jace and Izzy in the background, fighting the other two demons, while Clary called out to him, trying to get his attention, but Alec couldn't care less. He ducked a blow to the head and pulled his bow apart, making sure the knives slid out of their sheathes at the end of the bow-turned swords. He took a wild stab at the demon, but was distracted by a cry to his right.

While he made his hit, he didn't register the demon dissipate, nor did he register the pain that exploded on his right arm. Izzy was pinned down, and Jace was knocked out against the wall, and suddenly, they were all that mattered. Without thinking, he flung the sword at the demon that had Izzy pinned down, and watched in satisfaction as it turned to dust before his eyes. But he knew something wasn't quite right. He glanced down, uncertain, and then everything went dark.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

When Alec woke, there was a constant beeping noise near his head, and he was pinned down to the bed he was laying on by restraints on his wrists and ankles. It was rather uncomfortable, but he didn't panic. Instead he focused on the voices of his mother and sister somewhere to his right.

"It's been three weeks, Mom, since Alec was awake. Three weeks! I don't understand how you're not panicking!" Izzy was saying. Alec frowned inwardly. Three weeks? What happened to knock him out for that long?

"You think I'm not? Just because I'm not screaming and yelling doesn't mean my heart isn't racing, Isabelle," his mother snapped back. "This is my baby boy- my first born son. Why wouldn't I be scared to death?"

There was a silence that lasted for what seemed like forever. "Yeah," Izzy finally mumbled, and the bed dipped, and Alec felt someone take his hand. The hand was warm, a comfort, chasing away some of the cold in his fingers. "I guess so," Izzy murmured, her calloused fingers running over his palm.

He squeezed her hand gently, trying to give her some of the comfort she was bringing him, and he heard her gasp. "Mom, Mom," she hissed frantically. "I think he's awake."

"Really?" Maryse asked, her voice hopeful. Alec groaned and rolled his head to the right, to face the sound of their voices, and he felt Izzy's hand tense but thought nothing of it. He opened his faded blue eyes and smiled painfully at his mother. Her blue eyes were swimming, and her black hair was a tangled mess. Not quite unlike his sister, who had red, puffy eyes and looked like she hadn't bothered with appearances in days. But both of them seemed pleased, he noticed. "Oh, Alec, darling!" his mother cried, rushing forward. "I was so worried."

"What happened?" Alec asked, his voice rough and scratchy. It hurt to talk.

Izzy and Maryse shared a glance, which made Alec worried. Something had happened, he knew. But what? Izzy gulped. "Alec," Izzy said slowly, "you took off after that demon fight a few weeks ago. We don't know what happened to you after that- almost three weeks later, we find you lying in your own blood on the floor in the Institute's kitchen. That was three weeks ago. Alec, we've been so scared."

Alec glanced at his mother, but she wasn't looking at him. Instead, she stared down at her phone, as if she was waiting for someone to call. She glanced up when she must've realized she was being watched. "I'll go call Jace," she said. "He'll want to know that you're awake." She turned and walked out of the room, the room closing with a soft click behind her.

Alec stared at it before asking, almost absently, "Why am I in a mundane hospital?"

Izzy bit her lip before responding.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

Magnus stared at the phone in his hands, or, more specifically, the open number on the phone. Alec's number.

It had been two months since he left his blue-eyed baby in the subway with a witch light stone and a broken heart. He knew that Alec had been crying, and he'd had to get away from him, and the rest of his own heartbreak as fast as he could. It killed him to know that he'd been the cause of his boyfriend's- ex-boyfriend- pain. His grip on the phone tightened, and a few unwanted tears slipped from his eyes. He closed his eyes, eyebrows drawn together and lip between his teeth as he willed the tears to stop. They didn't.

One droplet of salty water hit the 'A' in Alec's name on the phone, and Magnus just cried harder. He'd been so stupid, and he knew it. He hadn't even given Alec a chance to explain. And Magnus knew there was an explanation- he'd seen it in Alec's face before he left. There was a whole other side to the story. One, he admitted, that would fill in all the missing pieces in the broken version he had. The one from Camille.

Camille, the bitch, why had he listened to her over his boyfriend? He himself had told Alec that she was a manipulative bitch- and then he had allowed himself to be played. Magnus knew that there had to be some vital piece that would shed light on everything. Alec had that piece, he knew.

He pressed the call button on the phone and held it up to his ear. It seemed like ages before Alec picked up- "Hello?" His voice was dry, and faded. Not really cracked, like it would have been had he been crying. More like it hurt him to talk because his voice hadn't been in use in so long.

Magnus really didn't think about what he was saying, because the words were out before he registered them. "I need one of two things," he told Alec, "closure, or you."

Alec didn't respond immediately. The only thing that told Magnus that he hadn't hung up was the sound of his gentle breathing and some noise in the background. "Fine," he said eventually. "Meet me at the Brooklyn Bridge at midnight- I'll wait until one before I leave, and then I won't set something like this up again. You don't show tonight, and we'll never talk again, understand?"

Magnus didn't even think before he agreed. Then the line went dead on Alec's side, and all he could hear was the sound of the dial tone. But he had gotten a meeting with Alec. That was what mattered.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

Magnus walked down the sidewalk in black clothing- a tee shirt, skinny jeans, combat boots, and a long, silky coat that wrapped around his waist snugly and dropped down to his ankles. He could see the bridge from where he was, and upon checking the time and seeing 11:56 flashing in bold, electronic numbers on his cell phone, he unconsciously picked up his pace.

People here and there passed by him without a second glance, and the bridge was practically deserted when he got there. But Magnus could see Alec from the edge. The boy was leaning on the railing, his head down, with a hood pulled up over his head. He was wearing jeans, and normal, worn out sneakers, but because of the black hoodie, Magnus could not see what shirt he wore.

Magnus approached him cautiously. Alec didn't look up nor react in any other way to his presence. After a confused and hurt moment, Magnus realized that Alec simply had headphones in his ears- so he probably could hear nothing but the music. Curious, Magnus did a quick spell to find out what tune it was- only to realize he had never heard it before. It was female, and she kept going on about something having to do with a bird. Nightingale.

"Baby I'm a little blind, I think it's time for you to find me, can you be my nightingale, sing to me, I know you're there, you could be my sanity, bring me peace, sing me to sleep, say you'll be my nightingale."

The song continued, but Alec pulled the headphones out and turned off the ipod. Magnus didn't know he owned one. "Clary bought it for me a few days ago. Don't know why, because I never told them we broke up. I think she knows this stuff though, even before Iz, which is scary," Alec explained, wrapping the headphones around the little devise. "All the music was already downloaded, and I think it's especially creepy that Clary knew exactly what kind of music I like. I never told her. I don't tell her anything, but she knows it anyway." Alec shivered.

"What was that song?" Magnus asked. He leaned against the rail next to Alec, who had yet to look at him. It hurt.

Still, the boy didn't look up to meet his gaze- he just stared at the waters below, the same colors as his eyes, almost like he wished the river would reach up and swallow him whole. "It's called Nightingale, by Demi Lovato. I didn't know about her at all until I found a few of her songs on this thing- then I sort of asked Clary to download the rest of her songs onto the ipod. I like her voice, surprisingly enough. I don't normally listen to female singers."

Magnus nodded absently. He hadn't known that Alec liked music at all. It wasn't something he had tried to find out about. Then again, he figured, he should have known when he went into Alec's room back at the Institute and saw the piles of dozens of cds and the radio on the desk. It must have been one of those things that Alec had always used as a sort of tranquilizer.

They were silent for a long time. Alec didn't move except to tap his fingers occasionally on the railing, letting out a loud ping sort of noise. Magnus continued to watch Alec, hurt that his ex-lover wouldn't even look at him. Finally, he asked him why.

"Because I don't want to." Was the only answer he got. And it infuriated him.

"Do you really not like me anymore? Do you not even have the decency to look at me when I'm talking to you?"

"This has nothing to do with love or hate or decency or manners or whatever the hell else you want to call it. I don't look at anyone anymore. Don't take it personally," Alec snapped back. The answer was quick and precise, as if he had been saying far too much for his liking, but always had meaning. But it was also pained, and Magnus could tell that it was something that caused the young Nephilim anguish. But why?

Before Magnus could question him further, Alec asked tiredly, "Why are we here? What do you want from me, Magnus?" Magnus opened his mouth to answer, but Alec held up his hand to stop him. "I get it- you want closure, or me. I get that. But how am I supposed to give it you? I can't give you either one without closure for me first- I still have unanswered questions. The first being- why now? It's been two months, Magnus. Why not three weeks ago, or even six weeks ago, when my family members called and called and called? Do you know why they were calling?"

Magnus shook his head, no. Alec sighed. How he knew that he hadn't known, Magnus didn't know, since Alec was still staring at the water.

"I was missing, Magnus. I went missing after a bad demon hunt only about three days after our break-up. I don't remember any of it; so don't ask. For three weeks, nobody knew where I was, or what had happened to me. If it weren't for your few clients during that time, Magnus, the Clave would have assumed that you were gone, too. That's how much my parents, Jace, Clary, Izzy, tried to reach out for you and failed. When they found me, I was lying in a deep pool of my own blood in the remains of the Institute's kitchen."

Here Alec paused, and Magnus watched him with rapid anxiety. He remembered the amount of phone calls he had gotten from the Shadowhunters those first couple of weeks- he had assumed that they were going to rip him a new one then hand him his ass on a silver platter. He had obviously assumed wrong, since apparently, even now, nobody except maybe, maybe Clary knew about the break-up.

"After that, I was awake for about an hour, but I was delirious. The injuries were not something we could treat, so they had me moved to a mundane hospital, where for the following two weeks I was in a coma. This past week or so I've been awake, it's been a constant stream of questions from everyone, from my family it's been about you and I, and from the Clave about where I'd been. I don't think that I've ever lied so much in my whole life, Magnus. I lied because I didn't want their pity, or sympathy, or whatever else they might want to give me. I remember Izzy's first break-up- it was awful. I didn't want her to put me through that. I feel guilty for lying, really, but at this point I'm so far gone I can't bring myself to care.

"The mundane doctors observed me for the time I've been awake, and they diagnosed me with something called bipolar disorder. Look it up if you don't know what that is, Magnus, because I'm really in no mood to go on about it. But, now I'm on medication, and my family is walking on eggshells around me because of it. It's not like I'm fragile."

Magnus was stunned into silence. Of course he knew what bipolar disorder was- and it was terrible unless the patient was on their mediation. Basically, it was where the patient could have sort of "panic attacks" where they went absolutely crazy or into a deep state of depression. There were in between cases, too, where the depression and craziness weren't as severe, but still there. Another name for the mental- mood- disorder was Manic Depressive Disorder- and it fit the name. Bi was two- and poles were sort of like the north and south poles on the earth. Manic was the northern pole, and then depressive was the south, and during one type of attack the patient could go from one pole to the other constantly, without warning, and within moments. Sometimes the episodes lasted several weeks, or months, and sometimes years if left untreated. But it almost always needed a trigger. Magnus couldn't figure out what the trigger was for Alec, but he guessed that something must've happened while he was missing to activate it. It must've been awful- especially awful if his brain blocked the memories.

Eventually, Magnus could only say, "I'm so sorry, Alec."

His ex-boyfriend snorted. "It's not your fault. Don't be sorry for something you can't control. I'm sorry, because I'll live with this set back for the rest of my life, but you have no reason to be sorry, since it doesn't affect you."

Magnus closed his eyes and hung his head, letting his forehead rest on his hands, which lay on the railing. Each word that fell from Alec's lips cut him like a knife- because it was true. His Alexander had never lied, not really. He eventually lifted his head, only to find Alec in the same position as before. He pushed away the negative reaction it caused and rested a gentle hand on Alec's shoulder blade. He felt Alec stiffen beneath his touch, the ripples of tension cutting into Magnus' soul like blades.

"You asked me why now," Magnus told him, sliding a little bit closer to Alec. "Why after two months." Alec twitched, as if to look at him, but then seemingly thought better of it. It made him want to growl in frustration. "I went to visit an old friend of mine- I've known Victoria since I was literally five years old. She's about seven years older than me, and we were raised together, along with two others- but it's been a while. She told me to let you have time. Two months at least, she said, that's always the perfect amount of time to think. But I didn't know that you're still practically stuck in week one, maybe two, of these past two months. And for that I'm sorry.

"But I'm also sorry for not giving you a chance to explain. These past few weeks have been hell, because I really don't know your side of the story, and there is one piece of my version that doesn't quite fit together with the rest. It's also the version that Camille fed me, which makes it worse, because I don't know what is a lie or what is the truth. I need everything explained. Please, Alec. I need your explanation, and we can go from there."

Alec sighed. It wasn't a noise Magnus particularly wanted to hear. But Alec explained. He told Magnus everything.

"I suppose it started around the time we got back from vacation. I knew I loved you at that point, but when we did get back, and Camille came into our lives, it made me realize how little I knew of you. I didn't know anything about you- and what I do know came from her, not you. I cannot even tell you how much that hurts, Magnus, because it means that you don't trust me enough to let me in, even a little bit. I could see how much Camille was hurting you, and I knew what happened, but only through small questions and sneaking around. You didn't tell me anything; so I couldn't tell you I knew, so I couldn't even help you through it.

"Not only that, but you would only tell me things when it was a convenience, and even then they were small things, trivial things that I really, really could care less about. I don't care about how your past lovers acted, Magnus, or why you liked them, or anything like that. I just don't. It just brought unnecessary feelings of jealousy, hurt, worry… the list goes on."

Alec shook his head; his dark hair falling over his eyes a bit more. "I know I have jealousy problems- I get that now. I know I'm possessive, and maybe a little clingy. But, really, can you blame me? Everything that I've ever loved has been taken from me in some form- Max, through death; Jace, from his own selfishness and Clary; Izzy, because she refuses to let anyone in, and steadily drifts in and out; my parents, because neither of them have ever really been there, and now that I've come out, even less; hell, even my childhood, because I was always expected to be perfect- perfect son, prefect Shadowhunter, prefect grades, prefect, prefect, prefect; and then you, through my own stupidity," Alec paused, tilting his head a little, "and jealousy problems. Just one vicious cycle my whole life.

"Anyway, I started to go to Camille, because even though I hated her the moment I saw her, she knew things about you. She would only tell if I promised to keep her at least marginally safe and maybe kill Raphael Santiago. I agreed only to learn about you. I would go to her nearly every night, and damn, she hurt me. She told me these things in the most vicious, cruel, hurtful ways, but I gradually learned little things- things that make you tick. I don't know if you noticed, but I slowly used these things on you- and each one got the reactions that she told me I'd get. You probably didn't even notice."

Magnus winced, removing his hand from Alec's shoulder. He hadn't noticed, but when he thought about it, he realized it was true. Alec would say things, or do things, that Magnus couldn't figure out where the hell he'd learned them. He would wonder about it later, of course, but it was one of those things that most people dismiss and never think of again. He wasn't an exception. Alec started talking again, drawing Magnus from his memories and musings.

"One night, Camille told me about the spell to take your immortality. I swear she sprung it on me out of nowhere. I had been thinking about such a thing, I will admit, but it only crossed my mind every once in a while, and I thought I was impossible, so it was something I dismissed. But when I found out there was a way to do it, I realized that wasn't what I wanted. I'd much rather be immortal. When I tried to tell her so, she basically tossed me into the street with promises of contact for the next meeting where I would give my answer.

"I wasn't contacted for two weeks. I didn't know that in those two weeks she'd contacted you, and told you that fucked up version of all this I know she fed you. I was so relieved; I could finally move on and be done with the constant worrying and depression. I had decided to kill her that night, so I had a knife on me. I was slightly disappointed I didn't get to kill her, but whatever. That part of the night hadn't really registered, considering I had just been dumped by the love of my life." Magnus winced again, this time tears welling up him his eyes, clouding his vision. Alec had said that so casually, like it was a fact in life he firmly believed in. "After you left, everything was sort of hazy, so I don't really remember~" Alec stopped again, shaking his head slightly. His shoulders hunched even more as he fought for the memory. "I know I barely escaped with my life. I remember that because I was practically slipping on blood by the time I reached my bedroom in the Institute. I locked myself I my room and didn't eat, sleep, or move from the floor for three or four days- or maybe it was a week. I still have scars from that time; actually, my nails had cut into the skin of my arms and legs. Then we were called for battle, and I was filed missing not six hours later. You know the rest."

They were quiet for a long time. The water lapped against the bridge below, and car horns and sirens echoed in the distance. That, their breathing, and the occasional sound of a speeding car behind them were the only sounds that broke through the tranquility of the night. Magnus could smell the cologne that clung to Alec- sandalwood, as always. He tried to lean down and see Alec's face, but when the younger boy realized what he was doing, he turned his head to the opposite side. This time, Magnus did let loose his growl of frustration, hurt and anger. "Why the fuck won't you look at me, Alec?" he cried.

Most of his hurt feelings ebbed when he saw how violently the smaller boy winced. "I'm sorry," he heard Alec whisper. But still, Alec didn't make any move to face him, nor lift his head. His grip had tightened on the railing, and Magnus could see the whiteness of his knuckles. Alec's breathing had become erratic, like he was having a panic attack. He'd had one before because of something Magnus had said, and it had freaked Magnus out so much that he had frantically called Izzy, only to find out that he'd been having such attacks since he was fourteen, and it wasn't really anything unusual.

With that thought, came another, about something that Alec had said earlier that night. "I don't look at anyone anymore. Don't take it personally." "When they found me, I was lying in a deep pool of my own blood in the remains of the Institute's kitchen." "The injuries were not something we could treat, so they had me moved to a mundane hospital." And it hit him- the injuries that Alec had sustained were on his face.

"Alec?" he asked hesitantly. When Alec let out a little hum of acknowledgement, he continued, "What happened to your face?"

He regretted his choice of words as soon as they were out of his mouth. Alec let out a little sob, and bent over even further, his arms coming around to hug himself around his waist. Alec just shook his head rabidly, his hood falling down and freeing his dark hair. It was longer than Magnus remembered, and it didn't look nearly as soft. It was cut unevenly, like someone had pulled out a few chunks of hair, each strand in a different place and a different length. It made Magnus wonder what all Alec had gone through those first few weeks- and if it had happened because he didn't have Magnus' protection anymore. But no one had known about the break-up, he reminded himself. Maybe it would've happened anyway.

The thought made him sick.

But nothing made him sicker than the words that came tumbling from Alec's mouth. "I happened. I told you that. There was poison of some sort on my nails, and when I had the bipolar attack at the Institute, I had been lying in a pool of blood, remember?" Magnus did remember. "I did it to myself, and my parents called in several warlocks to take away the scars during my coma, but all of them failed because of the poison on my nails. Only one managed to make them fade a little. But I did it, Magnus; I did it. I did this to myself with my nails!" he cried in anguish.

Alec turned around to face him for the first time since they broke up, and what Magnus saw made his heart clench and made him suck in a breath in shock. Eight vertical slashes were across Alec's eyes, like he had tried to gouge them out. They ran from just above his eyebrows to just along his jaw line, and they looked fresh, angry, and inflamed. Four of the eight total slashes for each eye- one slash for each nail. There were faded red marks on his cheeks where his thumb nails would have fallen, and Magnus figured that Alec hadn't cut deep enough there to scar.

Blue eyes searched his own green-yellow cat eyes, and Magnus tried desperately to tell him that he wasn't disgusted, or anything else through the gaze, since words failed him at the time he needed them most. Alec evidently found what he was looking for, because he launched himself forward into Magnus, wrapping his arms tightly around his waist while he buried has face into Magnus' jacket. He was suddenly glad he had chosen to wear the cloth one- leather would have hurt Alec's injured face even further, and Magnus would never have forgiven himself.

He stumbled backward with the force of roughly one hundred seventy pounds crashing into him. But Magnus just wrapped his arms around Alec's shaking form and held him tightly, burying his face into Alec's hair. He'd been wrong- while it looked dirty and uneven and maybe a little greasy, it was clean, and a little damp, so Alec had showered before he'd come out to meet Magnus. The faint smell of citrus from Alec's shampoo came up, and Magnus just tightened his grip on Alec and planted a light kiss into his hair.

Alec wasn't crying, not really. They were more like dry sobs, as if he had cried every tear he had but just couldn't stop. Magnus ran his hands lightly over Alec's back, making soothing noises as he rocked him lightly. The noises were nonsense, but Magnus was more concerned with the fact that he could feel every one of Alec's vertebrae and each rib through his hoodie and shirt. That was a very bad thing- a sign of not eating very much at all. How had the doctors not noticed?

Eventually Alec's shaking stopped, and Magnus stopped rocking him. He didn't lessen his grip, nor did he stop the circles on the boy's back. It took Magnus a minute to realize what happened, but he did eventually notice that Alec had fallen asleep while standing. In any other situation it would have been very funny and excellent blackmail material, but he figured that poor thing hadn't slept well a while and had tired himself out. So he just simply sighed and lifted the boy up, cradling him close to his chest. Alec immediately snuggled closer to Magnus' warmth, his breath slow, steady, and even against Magnus' neck, sending faint shivers down his spine.

Again he sighed, holding the boy closer as he began to long walk to his apartment. He could still feel the fluttering of Alec's breath against his neck as he walked, and after a time it became less endearing and more of a nuisance. But, Magnus kept walking- determined not to shift the boy in fear of waking him up. At some point in the trip Alec had wrapped his slim arms around Magnus' torso in a weak hold.

When Magnus reached his apartment, he waved his hand and the door opened, the lights flickering on. He stepped inside his home and kicked the door shut lightly behind him. Chairman Meow was nowhere to be seen, but he wasn't troubled by the fact at the moment. All his concern was on the sleeping Shadowhunter in his arms, and what to do with him.

In the end, he just put him in his bed down the hall, where he used to sleep. Alec curled into the canary yellow comforter immediately, bringing a small smile to Magnus' face. He took off his coat as he turned away and draped the piece of clothing over the chair in front of his make-up table. Uncertain, he glanced then between the door and his bed- despite Alec's presence there, it was still his apartment and his bedroom and his bed. He gave one more fleeting glance to the door before slipping into the bed next to Alec, who stirred a little because of the shift, but quickly quieted, apparently deeming the disturbance to be nothing of concern, even in his sleep. Magnus watched him for one more moment, almost brushing his fingers over the scars in his face, before he allowed himself to be overcome with sleep.

XxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX

When Alec woke he was undeniably warm. It was warmth that he had not experienced in a while, comforting and soothing. Not really up to moving, but knowing he had to, since his internal clock had gone off and he would not be getting anymore sleep, he pried his eyes open to stare at the ceiling. Then he blinked, recognizing said ceiling but not knowing how or why he was looking at it.

It was only when he felt something shift beside him did he think to look around. He looked first at the source of movement, only to stifle a gasp and shoot up in the bed. Memories of the night before came rushing back, ending right around the time he had finally showed Magnus what he'd done to himself in his despair. Then…nothing. He had no idea how he had gotten to Magnus' apartment or why he was there. He stared at Magnus with wide eyes as the man blinked at him in sleepy confusion, sitting up slightly and leaning on his elbow to look at him.

Magnus yawned, covering his mouth with one hand as he ducked his head a little, his green-yellow cat eyes disappearing behind his eyelids. It was a habit that, even now, Alec found terribly endearing, and he couldn't help the rush of fondness that came over him as he watched his ex-lover. Because really, most people covered their mouth, yes, but didn't duck their head, too. It was something that Alec had meant to ask him about, but never really got around to it.

After a moment of staring at each other, Magnus blinked at Alec, and then said, "Good morning." Alec could not believe his ears. He just says good morning? Alec thought, baffled. No explanation, no apology for bringing him to his bed, for God's sake- just good morning. The nerve of him sometimes.

Alec wasn't in any mood for an argument or any sort of fuss, so he just blinked back and ran a hand through his sleep-tousled hair and replied, "Morning." He paused, the decided to be blunt, just for the hell of it, as per usual, "A few questions, the first being, why am I here, the second, how did I get here, and the third, what the hell happened?" Magnus merely laughed slightly.

"Okay then," he said, "answers- one, you're here because you fell asleep last night and the Institute is really too damn far. Two, I carried you here. And I really think I answered that last one with my first answer, if you want to just refer back to that." With that, Magnus leaned back on his pillow and shut his eyes, as if he hadn't just explained why his ex was in the same bed with him.

But Alec didn't really give that much thought. Instead, he mulled over the answers and found them to be reasonable enough, so he just followed Magnus' lead and lied back down, closer to Magnus this time, but still staring at the ceiling. After a while, he said, "You know, we still have to talk a few things out."

Magnus grunted in response. "Yeah, I know," he agreed. "But there's time for that later. Rough, emotional time last night, and right now I'm still reeling with all the information about yourself you threw on me. And I'm sure you're a bit out of it, too, so we can have another explanation and figuring-thing-out row later. Right now," Magnus paused, and his hand found Alec's under the covers, he twined their fingers together, giving Alec's hand a gentle squeeze, "right now, I'm tired, but comfortable enough right here. Aren't you?" he asked.

Alec sighed and squeezed Magnus' hand back, letting his eyes slip closed. He felt his eyelashes brush the delicate flesh of the scars, and he tried hard not to cry, "Yeah," he agreed, his voice cracking, "yeah, I'm okay right here, right now."

And that's what matters, he thought, slipping into the welcoming oblivion of sleep.