Summary: That one time when their fight got so bad and Alec's lost so much sleep over it that he just ran straight first into a wall, thinking it had been the demon they were after. Also the same time Magnus drank too much coffee because, well, he's got to cope somehow.
Also: Nope, COFA and COLS are nonexistent in this shot.
A/N: Oh look after forever, he's a MaLec oneshot.
It's not that they've never fought before, it's just that the fights this time around were so bad that Alec's finding it hard to even bear the thought of another round of more petty squabbles and bickering. And it's not even something serious, either - it had started with something petty, he couldn't even remember what it was anymore, and by the Angel, he'd had enough of it - but by the third time around, the petty little fights had escalated into more serious matters and that was when Alec thought, well, shit.
If there's anything Magnus was quite good at - besides the obvious - then it was winning arguments. Every single argument they'd had ended with a smug little quirk of the warlock's mouth and Alec's defeat. No matter the subject, it was always a lost for the Shadowhunter.
It came as no surprise to him now how he wasn't even trying to win anymore, or trying to prove his point. They've never gone so far that they've started screaming at each other but it's already pretty bad around this time because they weren't even sleeping on the same bed anymore. Alec had to go back to the Institute, hoping that sleep would come easy when he was alone but it proved to be a horrible idea when he'd realized that the past months he'd accustomed himself to sleeping with Magnus, all curled up with him in the same bed under the same sheets that his own bed back at the Institute seemed foreign and cold, uninviting. Sleep didn't come, had never really given him enough rest and he cursed himself - and Magnus, just a bit- for not even winning against sleep.
He surely wasn't counting the days that he'd spent apart from Magnus - he might deem himself somewhat pathetic but he didn't think he was that pathetic as to count down the days and the hours and everything else in between that he had to spend away and in quarrel with the warlock (four days, thirteen hours, but really, Alec sure as hell wasn't counting, really.)
But by the afternoon of the fourth day, Alec had given up and thought that really, this wasn't doing them any good and he sure as hell really needed sleep, really, really bad. Scrolling through his message archive with Magnus, Alec pursed his lips and thought, not wanting to screw anything up anymore.
Now that he really thought about it, he was at fault, too. But it wasn't like Magnus was innocent and washed clean of all blame, either. But that didn't really matter anymore, right, not when he missed the warmth of Magnus's sheets and the soft, tender touches and god, even the horrible coffee that the warlock insisted he'd make, Alec missed it. His resolve when it came to Magnus was thin and his patience just about a few thousand miles long - but it didn't mean he didn't crack because he did - already had and he wasn't liking any of the mess he'd created.
Just as he was about to start typing, a thunk on the kitchen door made him snap his head up in attention, eyes dropping instantly to Isabelle, whip coiled around her arm, fingers around her stele. "Come on, a pack of Raveners and two Raum demons over in Brooklyn. A lot,"
That explained the look in her eyes - where most people would feel a little bit agitated at the prospect of facing so much, Isabelle was positively glowing. She grinned at Alec and, noticing the phone in his hand, just shook her head. "We'll let you go back into your moping and sulking after we do this. Jace and Clary are already downstairs, so get into gear."
His duty and obligation won the battle for the moment and Alec, with a resigned sigh, slipped his phone back into a back pocket and made for his room, instantly throwing a few Seraph blades on the bed and slipping into gear, lacing his boots tightly and then swinging his bow just over his shoulder as he took the stairs three at a time and practically jammed the elevator's button only to stumble out of the Institute's door where everyone else was already assembled. A party of four Shadowhunters.
"What, forgot to do Balance?" Jace asked, amused, as he looked up from drawing on his own arm to give Alec a grin over his shoulder.
Alec just rolled his eyes and set to add a few runes he'd missed on the elevator ride down while Clary helped Isabelle with hers.
"So what's the plan?" Alec asked, looking at Isabelle first and then to Jace who looked just as fired up as her.
Though the battle at Alicante had not spared any of them the nightmares, they had also all spent too much of the next few weeks after it a little bit too calm. Now that they were after more than one demon - and two species, at that, both working and fighting in groups - the excitement that they all gave off was barely contained - well, except for Clary, who was looking a tad bit nervous.
"We split in two, you and I are going to go after the Raum demons while Izzy and Clary go for the Raveners." And while Alec wasn't particularly fond of what he would probably be doing for the rest of his life, he had to admit that he did miss the adrenaline that came with the feeling of danger, of diving headfirst into a demon hunt. He gave Jace as much of a grin that he could muster, given how he still felt like shit.
His head was throbbing, the ache constant and the subway ride to Brooklyn had him almost slipping into sleep - which was bad because he had to stay awake and alert during this hunt. His vision had blurred with dozens of dark spots and he fought the urge to double over when they finally got off the subway, but he kept himself together, knew that three sleepless nights wouldn't get him killed tonight. Well, he could only hope, anyway.
Jace had led them to an abandoned hotel just off the finer parts of Brooklyn and Alec swallowed, the smell hitting him hard. The hotel didn't look too bad - it was obvious, even at first glance and in the dark, that it hadn't been abandoned for too long. Jace shouldered past the door and looked over his shoulder at Alec and Alec had a feeling that Jace knew all too well how the unsteadiness on his feet wasn't because he'd forgotten the rune for Balance. Shaking his head in an attempt to clear his mind, Alec reached for an arrow and positioned it, ready to pull at any second.
He followed Jace as they started for the stairs, the steps barely creaking as they moved up.
Alec wasn't sure if the Raum demons were still in the hotel - they were fast but they weren't exactly the quietest of demons out there. Jace was holding the Sensor tightly, waiting for it to light up.
If there was anything Alec remembered about facing Raum demons then it was to always be on his guard - fast little bastards whose very blood oozed of poison. While he had thought, more as a joking matter to himself earlier, that he might end up dead by the end of the night (almost the fifth night he'd be away from Magnus, pretty much), he really had no intention of dying all because he'd missed up on a few night's worth of sleep. He wasn't, and not in an abandoned hotel, of all places.
When the Sensor started to light up just as they reached the third floor, Alec's shoulders instantly tensed. Jace had a cautious look on his face that was only betrayed by the smirk that crept into his features after a second when he'd pointed down the hall and started for it.
Sure, trust his stepbrother to feel a little bit too pumped up on the adrenaline and the danger.
Before they'd even taken taken their third step, the first of the two clambered out into the hall, startling white in the dark. Alec nocked an arrow and then instantly shot for the demon's eye, missing his target when the demon moved too fast to avoid it, charging towards them now.
Alec took a step back and nocked another arrow, this time when it flew, it hit its mark. The Raum demon stumbled back and Jace took it as an opening, seraph blade flashing before it slashed down the middle and dug right in.
The blonde had to move quickly as the blood was starting to spread - but already, within seconds, the demon was dead and gone, the only thing that remained was the stain on the carpet and the awful smell that it had left with its passing.
Alec coughed at the smell, already making his way down to the stairs when he heard it: the second demon, skittering down the hall and just as quickly as Alec had seen it, it had disappeared. They both heard the sound of the window smashing open and they made a run for it, down the stairs to follow the demon.
"Jump!" Jace said, not waiting to see if Alec would do the same or even agree to it - he took a leap and then jumped straight out of the broken window, three stories high and Alec, with blatant disregard to how awful he was handling his balance, even with the rune, followed suit, arm coming up to his face to block any shards of glass.
Surprisingly (because he felt more tired than he ever had, weighed down and weary), Alec managed the fall only with tumbling into the grass - the garden of the hotel, he presumed - and quickly got to his feet when he heard the sound of Jace swearing.
He had managed that fall - he had to give himself more credit, really - but now was not the time as his stepbrother was trying to beat the demon who moved too fast.
The bow was good when it came to enemies who relied more on speed than in brute strength because he could counter their speed with his own, too. He sent two arrows at once, the first one the demon deflected with its tentacle-like hand but the second sunk deep into its head, but barely enough for it to stumble back, unlike the first they had encountered.
Alec shot a third one, and a fourth that hit the demon. Jace was moving quickly, flitting from one side and then to the other, slashing at it to wear it down.
His fifth arrow flew straight into the middle of the demon's forehead the same time Jace sunk both of the blades he was using down its, jumping away as blood started to gush out.
"And that's two down!" Jace said, gold eyes lighting up and his grin all too wide.
Jace turned away, blades drawn on either side of him as he looked at Alec, chest heaving and his face caked with dirt - must've rolled into the wrong patch of grass, Alec thought, a little bit amused - when it happened.
The Raum demon wasn't dead yet and when Jace turned around, it was already too late because it reached out towards him and roughly threw him against the wall with a simple swipe of its tentacles and, moving just as fast as it had earlier, the Raum demon started for Alec.
He was a little bit too slow on drawing his bow because the second he blinked, the demon was already on him, teeth biting into his arrow and then breaking it in two.
Scrabbling onto his feet, Alec grabbed for a Seraph blade, fingers tightening around it and only barely letting himself feel relieved when Jace sprang back up, the side of his head bleeding.
"Jace, look out - " Alec said, charging for the demon who was advancing on Jace this time. He brought the blade up and then -
The last thing he could remember from last night was the sound of a bone breaking and his last call of warning for Jace.
He woke up with one side of his head throbbing like crazy, so painful that he had to bite down on his lower lip. Breathing in slowly, Alec closed his eyes to the black spots that blurred his vision once more and slipped back into sleep.
The next time he woke up was when he felt fingers combing through his hair, the touch so light and so familiar that he had to squeeze his eyes even tighter, not wanting to dream to fade into total blackness.
But after a few minutes of struggling back into sleep, he realized that the warmth that came from the touch earlier was still there and, slowly, he turned to his side - only for a hand to gently push back onto the bed and on his back.
"Your left arm is still healing, best not to apply too much weight on it for a couple of hours," The voice was thoughtful, musing, even.
Settling back down on the bed, Alec let out a sigh and finally opened his eyes to find a pair of golden green ones staring down at him, the smile on the warlock's face tentative and careful, as if he was afraid that Alec would draw away from him.
Not again, Alec told himself.
The last time they had fought, four days ago, Magnus had tried to reach out to touch him and was met with Alec flinching away and running out the door.
Again, he let out a sigh and reached for Magnus's wrist, fingers encircling it loosely.
"Magnus," Alec said, breathing the name out and letting his hold around Magnus's wrist tighten slightly. He had so many things to say and maybe a question to ask but, really, he should get started now before Magnus realized just how awful he'd been the last few days and decided that he would hear none of it.
But Magnus just shook his head and smoothed the hair out of his face, the smile on his face different now. Softer, calmer. Relieved, even. "Later, darling,"
And Alec settled back into silence, knowing that Magnus was right - he was in no fit state to come up with a decent apology or explanation of what he'd done.
"Tell me how you're feeling, though," The pressure was back on his forehead and Magnus was leaned towards him, elbow propped up on the bed.
He had to close his eyes, the memory of the other night coming to him in little fragments. "I'm fine, but - what happened? I wake up with a broken arm and not much memory of how the night ended? The Raum demon?"
At that, the look of concern that clouded Magnus's face was replaced with one of faint amusement, the warlock, Alec realized, was biting down laughter. He blinked up at Magnus and was only met with a shrug.
"Well, how do I say this," Magnus started, tapping Alec's chin thoughtfully, "Okay, no careful way of saying this. You ran into a wall."
He really shouldn't even be surprised at this point, really. Really.
When his phone had lit up, Alec's name popping into the screen, he had instantly scrambled for it only to be met with disappointment when it was Jace's voice who called out for him - disappointment slowly being replaced with dread because if it was Jace who had Alec's phone then it only meant one thing: that his little Shadowhunter was probably too hurt to even pick up the phone and call him.
Jace hadn't told him much of the details, just gave him their location. South of Brooklyn - not exactly the closest to his apartment and he didn't want to risk making them wait, especially when it was Alec who was waiting for him - Alec who he wasn't even sure was even alive at this point; but Jace had sounded calm, if not just a little bit panicked, over the phone and surely if something bad had happened to Alec, Jace would've sound more worried. But over the phone Jace had sounded fine, well, hurt, Magnus got that much, but fine.
He'd stepped out of the Portal and the first thing he had seen was Alec sprawled on the ground, white flashing in the dark - a bone had jutted out of his arm. Jace was in the process of explaining what had happened to Isabelle - or Clary- on the phone and when he saw Magnus, he merely gestured towards Alec.
"What - happened -" The anger and the frustration he had felt over the past few days, with all the fighting, was nothing compared to the anger that was slowly starting to rise when all Jace did was point at Alec's unconscious figure as if it was nothing, not the slightest bit worried.
Before he could start with his tirade of very colorful choice words for the Shadowhunter, Jace raised his hand, stopping him. "Okay, it's not as bad as you think it is. We cornered a Raum demon and Alec was charging it and, hey, those bastards are fast, and he missed and - he hit the wall. He's been out for, like, ten minutes, tops. And broke his arm." The last bit was added as an afterthought, causing Magnus to run his fingers through his hair, exasperated.
"He ran into the wall," Magnus repeated the words, not bothering to look at Jace now as he bent down towards Alec, fingers skirting over his cheek. "And broke his arm but that's second to him running into the wall."
At that, Jace nodded. "And I don't even think he's blacked out, I mean, maybe he did the first three minutes - " Jace retracted, seeing the look on Magnus's face. "But it's been about ten minutes now so I think he might just be sleeping."
"With his bone out," Magnus said, voice flat.
"Well, he hasn't been sleeping the past few nights so yes, Magnus, he's asleep. With a broken arm." Jace waved his stele in the air, an Iratze freshly drawn at the back of his arm now. "That I'm sure you can just pop back into place."
He would have rewarded Jace with a sour look but he just shook his head and set to pop the bone back into place - rolling his eyes as he did so, Jace's words echoing in his mind.
He hadn't spent a lot of magic on that one healing act and he would have offered to close up the wound on Jace's head but, well, on second thought, the blonde could deal with it himself.
Hauling Alec up to his feet and struggling just a little bit under his weight, he slung his arm around him and then straightened up, "Well, I'll be taking my leave then."
"With Alec." It was Jace's turn to sound flat.
"With my Shadowhunter, yes."
So it would've stung any Shadowhunter's pride to tell him that they'd ran into a wall instead of killing the demon they were after but not Alec. Alec only looked at him, those blue eyes shining like lamps in the dim lighting of the bedroom, before he scrunched his nose up.
"I ran into a wall." Alec repeated, and this time the embarrassment was shown in the way his cheeks colored. "And broke my arm."
"And I left Jace to bleed to death while I helped you out," Magnus said, grinning down at Alec who blinked at him, suspicious at first but then he rolled his eyes and offered him a small and tired smile.
"Don't do that again, okay?" Magnus might be selfish at times but there was one thing that he proved, time and time again, when it came to Alec - that while he was possessive of him, he was always fiercely protective.
Alec turned his face into the pillow, dark hair fanning out around his face and Magnus bit back the urge to tangle his fingers into those locks and just sighed. "I promise I won't run into any walls again."
But Magnus only shook his head and pressed gently into the corner of Alec's forehead before he leaned down to press a soft kiss to his temple, "No, I meant the not sleeping. Jace said you weren't having much and that you didn't black out after hitting the wall - that you were just sleeping,"
"I wasn't sleeping," Alec mumbled but he knew that like all their other arguments, he'd lost this one, too.
Alec reached for his face this time, dropping the hold around his wrist, and his fingers pressed against Magnus's cheek, letting out a tired little laugh. "You don't look like you've slept much, either,"
Magnus swept his fingers across Alec's forehead and nodded his head - not much, not when he had to swim in the sheets alone for four days. Not when he hadn't even heard anything about Alec in four days. It was hard coming by sleep without the constant warmth that was Alec pressed against him, their hands linked together and their feet tangled, the sheets twisting around them as they slept. It was hard slipping into sleep when he didn't have that, when the bed was too cold, even with Chairman Meow perched on Alec's pillow.
And maybe the four, what, okay, seven pots of coffee everyday hadn't helped much with sleep, but he had his ways of coping and coffee was just number one on that list.
"I'm sorry," Alec's voice was soft, blue eyes downcast as he curled his fingers into a fist in his side.
Really, Magnus couldn't even remember what they had fought about - it had been a silly little fight that started it, just one that would've been playful, really, but it wasn't and it had ended with Alec walking out the door, probably having had enough already. It wasn't like him - Magnus would have called him the very second he'd stormed out but he opted to wait.
Patience was something he long learned wasn't a virtue but a skill. He had decided to let Alec sort it out by himself, give him his space and his time but he hardly expected it to last four fucking days. Christ, it was like living with only half of his body functioning right. He missed the mess of dark hair and the constant complaints about his horrible coffee, he even missed all the scattered gear around the apartment.
"Don't be," Magnus said with a sigh, sinking back down on the bed. He slid an arm underneath Alec's head and Alec moved closer, letting out a sigh when he found Magnus's hand underneath the blanket, their fingers twining.
"I can't remember what we were fighting about," Alec started, voice quiet, "But I'm sorry for walking out. I - I started to miss you when I got to the subway."
Magnus had to bury his face into the mess that was Alec's hair to hide his smile at that point, "And the four days?"
"I didn't know how to apologize," Alec muttered - he'd wanted to contact Magnus, to call, to text, but he didn't know what to say, just knew that he wanted - needed - to hear Magnus's voice again
"So you thought almost scaring me half to death when I saw you unconscious with a bone sticking out of you was the right time, then?" Magnus was only joking but he felt Alec's hold around his hand tighten and Magnus sighed, head dipping down to kiss the tip of the Shadowhunter's nose. "Well, I missed you, too. Very badly."
"So much that you're wearing one of my shirts?" Alec smiled at him, sheepish and he looked a little less tired and a little more awake now. Less apologetic and happier, too.
"Yes, that much, Alexander." He could've gone and laughed at it, but the truth was that he'd been an awful wreck without Alec, really. No sleep, too much caffeine and not enough clumsy Shadowhunter with the brightest blue eyes to distract him from a lot of tedious work.
Alec was quiet for a while and if it wasn't for the fluttering of his eyelashes against his cheek, Magnus would have thought that he'd fallen asleep again. "I'm really, really sorry."
His voice sounded weaker now, heavier, even, and Magnus's eyes snapped open to look at Alec. His chest was heaving and he looked like he was struggling to get up. He managed to sit up and Magnus followed, looking at him, searching his eyes for anything - anything that had caused the change in his own, the break in his apology and the tremble in his words.
"I know you said I shouldn't, but I just have to. Maybe not for the fights because I think most of them were stupid, but because I left." Magnus smoothed his fingers through Alec's hair and leaned forward, hating how Alec's voice was trembling, shaking.
"You already did, love, and it's okay, we're okay," Magnus murmured, his insides clenching up at the thought of Alec suddenly crying. He wouldn't have it - not Alec, not tears, not hurt this bad that it would lead to Alec - strong, level-headed and calm - to bursting into tears. He wouldn't have it.
He framed Alec's face with his hands and locked gazes with him before he leaned forward to press their foreheads together, "Alec, calm down, it's alright."
Alec heaved in a shuddering breath and with their faces so close, Magnus could see that Alec's eyes were starting to water, and he found it strangely beautiful for a second - now it really was looking more like the ocean. Beautiful, but still something he didn't want - Alec crying.
"I won't do it again," Alec said, his free hand locking around Magnus to pull him in closer. "I love you."
It was Magnus's turn to breathe in deeply. It had been so long since he'd felt it but here it was again - every time he was with Alec, when he had him wrapped up in his arms, Magnus felt like he was holding the world's most precious.
"You know I do, too, Alec," It was a strange thing, love. How, in over eight hundred years, Magnus still found the concept of it all strange. How one person could make you feel so much. It was a strange and beautiful thing, interesting, yes, and maybe scary - knowing the nature of his own life - but it was well worth it when he knew Alec felt the same.
Sometimes Magnus would look at Alec and feel as if he did not deserve the Shadowhunter - at a point in their relationship, Magnus had refused to refer to Alec as his own but delighted in the fact that Alec thought of him as his. And while his heart was in Alec's grasp, he could have never really imagined having that much courage to claim the boy.
But he had given in and had given up and in the end there really was no other thing he'd rather think Alec was but his very own. Mine, mine, mine. Possessive and fiercely protective and with good cause, too.
"I love you, too." Magnus's voice was clearer now, sharper, and he met Alec's own gaze with his, smiled at how the blue eyes had dried of any tears that threatened to spill and then leaned forward to kiss him, slow and deep and gentle, easing Alec back down on the bed and keeping their fingers tangled.
Yes, a strange and odd thing, love.
Even stranger was how it was a Shadowhunter but he'd long since stopped questioning the how when it came to Alec all because there was going to be a thousand answers for that.
When they pulled apart, he smiled again, this time with a little bit more mirth in his eyes and said, "Don't go running into walls again."
"Shut up," Alec jabbed him with his elbow - the one that was still healing - and winced afterwards, but he moved to curl against Magnus, head resting on the warlock's shoulder, "Go to sleep, Magnus."
And he might have downed maybe six pots of coffee that morning but with Alec all warm in his arms, sleep came as soon as he had closed his eyes.
Oh look, after two and something years, I've gotten out of my MaLec hiatus.
I've also been in a sort of writing slump and this has been my little monster after a while so I hope it came out fine. Or, passable. Whichever.
Cookies to all you readers :)