He had expected to feel hollow, or empty like people often described it; he had thought, only in his darkest moments of anxiety and panic, that having his heart ripped through his ribs and pulverised would leave him bleeding, hurt, wounded. He had never believed that the only emotion he could feel was rage. Boiling, blinkering, white hot anger coursed through his body, his skin flushing helplessly with maddening fury. It wasn't a question of how or why because he knew the answer to those questions, and he knew (he felt, he felt it like a blade to the chest) the fault lay with him.
He sank slowly to his knees, hard bone colliding harshly with dusty concrete under a flickering, moth-ridden light bulb that dangled frightfully by a strand from the ceiling above him. The witchlight dropped from his miserably weak grip, and shone brightly for no more than a heartbeat before it shattered onto the ground. The bright angelic light dimmed as the pieces scattered across the floor, like shards of a mirror smashed by a fist in a fit of apoplectic rage. He clenched his shaking hands each into a fist of its own, closed his defeated blue eyes against the hideously joyful light in the room, and squeezed ravenously until warm, deep red blood seeped through the joints in his fingers and down his wrists and palms. No tears came. Tears had been for Max, his lost brother, for Jace, his stolen brother, even for Clary, the redhead with her immense familial breakdowns, and commendable courage. Tears were for when the whole world was suffering, not just him.
Even so, his eyes burned. He locked his jaw, biting down his lower lip. If he brushed his tongue over his mouth, he could still taste the remnants of Magnus' heavily scented, warm, enticing breath. But that was if. He didn't. He couldn't. He lifted a bloody hand and wiped it hard across his mouth. There was a sharp pain in his hands – no numbness, no, he didn't deserve relief from the wounds – and along his lip where he had nearly ripped through the flesh. His pose on his knees felt awkward and stiff, and his back arched.
Slowly, he stood on his feet, legs nearly giving way, and ran his bleeding hands through his hair, rumpled and ruffled in a thousand different ways by those exquisite fingers (those fingers that would never touch you again), and shaped it back to normal. He frowned deeply, a guttural choke coming up from the recesses of his throat, as he found tiny specks of purple glitter stuck to his hands. It could have been so easy to destroy every trace of him from his life, but the glitter never really went away. He wondered how Magnus had managed it so easily.
He felt guilty, you know. Not purely because of his actions regarding Camille – not that they didn't make him hate himself in every possible and impossible way – but because he had asked him to kiss him. Well, more or less commanded, but Magnus had always been the one to make every first move anyway. How could he have asked the Warlock to kiss him? He could still feel Magnus' lips on his, the smooth, pleasant texture of his lips combined with the rougher, but far more active, movement of his tongue. It had been bitter though. Oh, by the Angel, there had been a sudden inflammation in his heart, but it had been cold as well, like kissing a corpse.
And suddenly, the realization that he could never feel those lips, run his fingers through that slick, gelled hair, feel the curves of his slim hips or feel the movement of his body lying restlessly below his, again blazed through his mind like wildfire. And tears fell down his shallow cheekbones because the world was suffering; his world was collapsing around him. He pressed his teeth together again, trying to keep his entire body rigid to stop the onslaught of coming tears, but it was no use.
He tried closing his eyes, but all he could see was him. The golden eyes, like the rising sun in the savannah; skin like the terracotta pots in Morocco; a dress taste that rivalled that of David Bowie (whoever that was – he was sure Simon had made the comparison).
Everything about them shouldn't have worked. And he was right – it hadn't. Because this was the only relationship he had ever truly wanted, but Magnus had had a thousand, and when Alec was dead, or no longer young or beautiful – as Magnus called him when they fucked – the Warlock would go on to have a thousand more. He was a line in a tally, a name on a list, a star in a sky of a thousand burning suns. He was a fleck of insignificance, a man…no a boy, who Magnus could forget in the blink of a heavily made-up eye.
But even as he tried to believe it, Alec knew it wasn't quite true. Even through his self-deprecating nature, he knew that he was something different for Magnus. The Warlock had spent hours of their lives together telling him so, whispering it in his ear, his lips, into his collarbone late at night. And he had betrayed both of them. The worst feeling in the world was that if Alec had thought to talk to him about it, he knew, in the abyss of the crater where his heart used to lie, Magnus may well have considered it. For him.
But Alec had damned them – he would live, alone perhaps, until he died, weary and shattered as he felt now, and Magnus would carry on being flamboyant and exuberant and eclectic, but he would never be the same again.
By the Angel, what had he done?
He realized the ache that people talked about only came with acceptance; he felt it trickling, like light summer rain, through his veins, his fingertips, spreading out to every pitiful corner and crevice of his existence. And his hands, his lip, his aching breaking heart, felt numb and dead at the same time. Vaguely aware of the tepid connection between his brain and legs, Alec trudged slowly from the ugly underground where he had ruined his life, and out into the dusk. In New York, dusk was easily missed. People were always too busy running and fighting and dancing and kissing to notice the sun hiding, the sky deepening to a cool lilac and onto a solemn and mournful blue. Alec, briefly unaware of where he was, who he was, blinked at the change in brightness and searched for a sign that could tell him where he was, and where to go.
After an hour and a half of stumbling, almost drunkenly, around New York, praying that a demon would catch him unawares and rip his body in half from head to toe, Alec reached the Institute. He had not stayed a night for over a month, and yet the door was already open for him, like it pitied him having to return. In the lift, he contemplated fulfilling Magnus' request of collecting his stuff, but the elevator dinged cheerily and he instead pulled open the door of the first spare room and collapsed onto the bed, ignoring the greeting of his beloved, but currently unwanted, sister.
"I swear by the Angel, Alec Lightwood, that if you do not open this damned door immediately, then I'll-"
The voice carried on, shouting normally unspeakable acts, as Alec removed his face from the damp pillow and groaned. He was fully clothed, sprawled across a stranger's bed sheets that didn't smell of soap and Sandalwood. He felt a mess. He was sure he looked it too. He was also very aware of someone's fists pumping mercilessly on the poor wooden door that had done nothing wrong, but didn't want to face whoever was on the other side. Apparently, however, what he wanted didn't factor into this at all.
"Alexander! Don't make me break this door down – you know I will!" Ah, Isabelle. What a delightful morning wake-up call. He wanted to very rudely tell her to please leave, but instead he clambered ungracefully from the bed and trawled to the door of the bare room. He pulled the door open and waited for his darling sister to say something.
He had nothing.
He could feel her burnt sienna eyes poring into him, and her fist fell down to her side. He didn't like the way that her mouth fell in…surprise?...and her eyes softened from what had likely been frustration to sympathy.
"Alec, you look awful. What happened?" Izzy had never been one to get all touchy-feely, but he admired the way she had restricted her description of him, and the obvious care. Still, all he wanted was to fall into another cheap escape from this reality he had concocted.
"I'm fine," he muttered, lying through a well-placed yawn, and tried to close the door. He would've laughed when Isabelle threw it back open in contempt and stormed in, hair swaying behind her, but he didn't feel like smiling right now.
"Izzy, I'm trying to sleep," he growled as she made her way and sat on the end of the bed, long chestnut hair falling down her back.
"You've been sleeping for the past two and a half days," she scolded, reprimanding him as if it had been his fault, "I doubt you need much more. Now what is going on? Mum and Dad are in Alicante, and Jace is still out cold in the Infirmary; I have to deal with Clary trying to break in all hours of the day, and the Brothers are creeping me out. I need you to tell me what's wrong so we can deal with it, now."
He supposed that was what he loved about Isabelle. No matter how broken or beaten up you felt, she still treated you as normal. On the strangest days, when they were dealing with new demons or new threats, he viewed her as the only constant in his life – never changing; just strong, sarcastic, but caring Izzy.
Alec slumped down onto the bed and chucked his jacket to the other side of the room. He laid on the King mattress and put his hands behind his head, unsurprised when Isabelle got off the end of the bed and lay next to him, shorter by an inch. They remained there, in a companionable silence, until Alec cleared his throat and said, in a hoarse yet controlled voice, "Magnus left me."
Because he hadn't just broken up with him – he had walked away too. Walked away when Alec's heart gave out and his brain stammered and his entire existence splintered. It was his fault, his fault, his own fault, but he hated Magnus too. He hated him for giving him up.
Isabelle placed a slender hand on his upper arm that was curled behind his head, and gripped it reassuringly. "I'm so sorry Alec." It wasn't enough, but it helped. They fell back into a silence that lasted so long a week could have passed, but it was broken – seconds, minutes, hours later – when dear old Izzy did what he knew she might just do.
"Well then, what's the plan? And by plan I don't mean you moping around this place for the next few months and going on a murder rampage fuelled by abandonment issues," Isabelle said lightly, as though they were discussing baking a cake.
"Izzy, it's over," Alec emphasized as much as he could without his voice cracking, the words searing on his tongue like acid. "There's nothing I can do to fix it." He sounded resigned, pathetic, but it was all he could do not to break down and weep. Because it hurt. It hurt so badly. It hurt more than Jace's rejection, having his leg broken by a Greater Demon, snarky comments about grandchildren and years of hiding himself and who he was from everyone around him. He was in love with Magnus Bane, and that would never change. But they couldn't be together.
It felt like the biggest screw you the universe could possibly muster up.
Instead of embracing him or falling back into the bearable silence, Isabelle snorted derisively. Alec turned to look at her, feeling a little more than defensive, until he saw her expression. She pulled herself up against the headboard, and he rested his cramped hands on his sweatshirt covered stomach. He waited. And she spoke.
"If you let him go, without a proper fight – not a few pleads like I imagine you aimed his way," she began sternly, like a parent disciplining a child, "I will kick you where it hurts and ban you from all further fun demon-hunting outings over the next year."
"Izzy listen," Alec tried to interrupt, but she wasn't having it.
"No, you listen. I don't care what you did, or what he did. I don't care whose fault it was, or how badly you both hurt."
"Shut up Alec," she said sharply, and he was reminded that whilst young, his sister battled creatures of Hell on a weekly basis, "I don't care because you were so happy."
He looked up at her, bewildered. She smiled knowingly and continued.
"When you were in love, or thought you were, with Jace, you were miserable. Maybe a part of that was because you were concealing a part of who you are, but you were always so on edge, and bitter. When Magnus came along it was like someone flicked a switch. You were happy, dammit Alec; you smiled, properly smiled for the first time in nearly two years. Your fighting was better, your mood was better. You ate properly, made jokes, trained on a regular schedule. Whilst the guy you fell in love with was a Warlock – normally a stunt I would pull – and one as," Izzy paused and made a face, "eccentric as Magnus, none of us cared. Because he was a good guy, and he thoroughly deserved you, as you him. Don't you see it Alec? Being with Magnus turned you into the person that you've strived your whole life to be. I can't believe you would throw that away because of a mistake."
"I didn't throw it away," Alec said sadly, his resolve weakening. Izzy smiled gently and brushed her fingers softly through his hair.
"Tell me what actually happened Alec. Tell me what caused all of this."
And because she was his sister – the only person he was sure truly cared – he told her. He told her of Camille's deal, how he wanted to steal away Magnus' immortality, stupidly not asking his permission, and lying to his face about it as well. It was a painful tale to tell, one that thoroughly humiliated and shamed him. When it was done, and he finished describing how Magnus had instructed him to collect his belongings, he waited for Izzy's response.
Unsurprisingly, she punched him in the arm.
"You're such an idiot," she said furiously, and he knew she wasn't joking him around. He felt like an idiot – a total, stupid idiot. "That was a really messed up thing to consider, Alec, you know better than to deal with vampires! You know they can't be trusted."
"What about Simon?" Alec enquired smartly, trying to flip the tables as the guilt gnawed away at his bones.
"Shut up Alec, this isn't about Simon. How many years have we been trained to kill those who defy the law?" Izzy clarified this time, "Come on Alec…"
"I know!" he interrupted, shouting, getting off the bed and pacing around the room. "I know it was stupid, but I was so desperate." Tears began glinting in his summer sky eyes, but he didn't brush them away. He didn't care much anymore.
"I'd been jealous for so long, of all those people Magnus had…had before me. It was pathetic; I was like a whiny child. But then I started thinking about the future. What it would be like when I died. Instead, I wanted to be able to grow old with him, make fun when his hair turned grey before mine and we got raised eyebrows trying to get into a club at 65. I wanted to go to bed with him at eight in the evening instead of one in the morning. I wanted it to last a lifetime – my lifetime, not his – not just until I aged beyond recognition and he stayed eternally young and perfect. So I was ready to do anything. Because I thought that I loved him more than he loved me, and the thought of losing him made me want to set myself on fire."
Isabelle rose off the bed, startled by her brother's confessions. She pulled him into a warm hug and rested her chin on his shoulder, trying not to react in kind with her brother's tears. She felt him clutching onto her like she were a flare on a deserted island, his lifeline, and she held him tightly as damp ears wandered off the jut of his chin and down her back. Gradually, she pulled away and clasped two hands onto his cheeks. She looked him dead in the eyes.
"Alec, it's not too late to salvage this. What you did was ridiculous, but tell Magnus what you just told me, and it'll be okay." He tried to but in. Silly boys – they never learnt. "No, no, no excuses. Go over there, confront him, and don't leave until you're done having loud make-up sex."
"Isabelle!" Alec exclaimed, uncomfortable with the proposition his sister had created. She let out a genuine laugh, threw his coat at him, and pushed him through the door towards the lift. He didn't have time to protest before she was waving him off and, blearily eyed, he faced New York City.
He fumbled the key around in Magnus' front door lock, feeling too much like a stranger coming in to try and burgle the apartment. He twisted the key gently and pushed on the door, not expecting the carnage that had appeared over the previous three days. Aside from the scorch marks where Azazel had been previously summoned, nothing looked the same. The entire kitchen had been destroyed – bits of wooden cabinet lay in blasted splinters across the laminated floorboards, and the glass of the cooker was smashed across the floor like marbles. The fridge had been tipped sideways, and was leaking cold water onto the floor beneath it.
The walls of the apartment, which had previously been startling white, were splattered with black and red paint, possibly a canister that had been emptied in rage. The television had received the same fate as the cooker; it lay broken in a thousand fragmented pieces that even the power of Magnus' magic could not hope to repair.
The general living room area did not look fit for human – or Downworlder, he supposed – habitation. There were take out boxes from the Thai restaurant they used to order from strewn across the floor, a dangerous lay out of forks acting as a potential booby trap for unwelcome guests. The cushions on the sofa had been emptied and the body of the sofa itself was supporting so many holes it would sink. The light shade – previously a tacky, but charming plastic disco ball – lay in pieces directly below the only functioning thing in the apartment.
Alec's heart raced furiously. He put the key back inside his pocket, and cautiously moved around the wrecked apartment, searching for any glimpse of an enemy. He withdrew his stele from his jeans pocket, knowing it could not be used as a real weapon, but feeling the better for being armed. He wandered past the trashed kitchen, and the destroyed living room. However, before he could reach the door to their – no, Magnus' – room, Alec raised his eye line from the destruction all around him and caught sight of the man whose heart he had broken, and had his disintegrated by in return.
"Get out Alec," Magnus hissed sharply.
He looked as bad a mess as Alec felt. He sported only a pair of black boxers, and an unbuttoned striped shirt (one that looked suspiciously like the shirt Jace had bought him for Christmas last year). His jet black hair was set in the usual style, but it was battered where Magnus had slept on it. His usual eye make-up was vaguely wandering away from his eyelids, blue eye shadow above his eyebrows, and eyeliner spreading towards his temples, grey from age.
Instead of moving back as instructed, Alec took a step forward and said "Magnus, what happened here? Were you attacked or something?" He tried to visibly search for any physical injuries, but drew no straws. His ex-boyfriend looked absolutely mutinous at his presence in the apartment. His ochre eyes locked onto Alec's seaside blues, but there wasn't any affection, or longing in that glance. What it was couldn't be described, but for the briefest moment, Alec was terrified.
"Alec, I want you to leave," Magnus repeated in a voice far too calm, all fun and flamboyance absent. The familiar sensation of desperation began to claw at Alec and his stomach dropped about ten feet to the floor.
"But I came to," he stammered, trying to account for his being there, but Magnus narrowed his eyes even further. The wreckage of the room was suddenly lit up by light bursting from the previously empty fireplace behind the remnants of the telly. The fire blazed magnificently, and Alec took a step back in shock, and shielded his eyes. Angry Warlock – not good.
"Leave now, Nephilim." Magnus uttered the word like it was poison on his lips, and he was anxious to spit out the foul taste. "And don't come back."
Clutching wildly for any hope remaining in this woebegone meeting, Alec tried to stutter out something about collecting his stuff. Surely, even with all that hatred, he was entitled to his possessions (though he wouldn't be asking Magnus for the shirt back any time soon). He didn't really know what he was doing. He had never seen Magnus like this before. He wasn't sure of whether to listen to the angry commands or stand his ground. However, Magnus seemed more confused than angry in this particular moment.
"I sent your stuff to the Institute yesterday when you didn't turn up. Isabelle said she would give it to you," Magnus explained, weighing every word, trying not to engage Alec in any kind of conversation. He could feel the magic roiling in his fingertips, waiting to burst out in fury like it had done before. Magic birthed of anger, pain, and loss.
Alec looked momentarily perplexed, but then the pieces came into place. Without the use of a strength rune, Alec grabbed the underside of the tripped and ripped sofa, and flipped it back into the normal position. He saw Magnus rolling his eyes, but Alec sat down on the edge of one of the cushions and let out a small laugh before clasping his hands to his cheeks.
"I'm going to kill Izzy when I get home."
Magnus didn't need it spelt out for him what had happened either. Shadowhunters – would they ever leave him alone?
Sensing a shift in the room, where it seemed less likely he would get turned into a giant glitter pot if he stayed, Alec dared to ask the question again of, "What happened in here Magnus? I'm worried."
Magnus, unbuttoned shirt billowing behind him as he navigated a path around the take-out boxes and the cutlery, finally sat down on the sofa, albeit as far away from Alec as was possible.
"You happened, Alexander Lightwood," he said, his tone resigned. He ran a hand down three-day stubble and did not say anything else.
"What?" Alec exclaimed in alarm. Magnus shook his head and stared straight ahead into the leaping amber flames. Bathed in glorious, almost heavenly, fire, Alec didn't think he'd ever seen anything more beautiful. All he wanted to do was reach out his hand and take Magnus', but he couldn't.
He saw Magnus take in a deep breath, like he needed all the strength he could gather for the next few words. What he ended up saying rattled Alec to his core. "Warlocks aren't built for emotions, like love and joy and heartbreak, especially one so powerful as me. But even I didn't expect it – I got home after our sunny conversation, and the more I thought about what you had done…what I had done, the more turbulent I became until all of the magic that was building up just burst out of me."
He went on to describe how this magic had exploded from his body, from every pore in his skin, out of his eyes, his nose, his mouth, his ears. How the aftermath of Alec's betrayal had given him enough power to level his home. The recount left Alec thoroughly shaken and without words.
"And that's why you have to leave Alec," Magnus repeated for the third time with finality. However, the coldness and sharpness from earlier was gone, replaced by the sound of him almost begging, "Because every second I can see you is causing that magic to build up again. If you don't leave, I'll probably end up blowing both of us to smithereens." He chuckled. "At least then you could enjoy my mortality, if only for a few seconds."
And the hurt, the sarcasm, the bitterness was back. The warmth in the room, emanating from the fire and their civilized conversation, seemed to die. The words stung Alec's heart, and he grimaced at the remembrance of what he had done.
"Magnus, please. Just let me try to explain what happened. Why I did it," Alec pleaded, not willing to go out on the streets a guilty and broken-hearted man.
"I know why you did it," Magnus interrupted, his voice grating and hateful, "You did it so that after you were gone, there would be no chance of me ever being with someone else. You hated it, didn't you? That you thought you were the latest in a long line? But you couldn't handle the fact that you were the first, and the only person I ever loved. The last person I will ever love."
Alec swallowed nervously as he traced a tear skating down Magnus' cheek, which the Warlock furiously eradicated when he felt it falling. Alec couldn't help but feeling a little resentful over Magnus' words. Jealously did not come into this. All he had wanted was Magnus. All he did want was Magnus; to feel his hot breath on his skin, his gracious lips on his own.
"And whatever reason your arrogant mind concocted as to why it would be a good idea, what hurts the most is that if you had asked, if you had simply asked, I would have said yes." Alec nearly snapped his neck at the speed with which he turned to face his past lover.
"You make me want to die Alexander Lightwood. Not like that, but every second I'm with you I wouldn't care it if only had fifty or sixty years left. What could I do without you? I've lived seven hundred years and never once found someone who I would gladly sacrifice the rest of forever for. I don't want to live forever when I'm with you, but it's the only thing I truly have, my immortality. The fact that you tried to take it away without even asking devastates me. But I would do it, I would become mortal for you; the only thing you had to do was ask. And you couldn't do it.
"I love you so much Alec. I love you too much, probably. But you tried to sever a part of me away without even telling me. And I know, I understand that you were going to refuse the offer in the end, but the fact that you even contemplated it disgusts me."
Magnus sounded a thousand years old as he said the words. It was all a little too much to handle. The sheer depth a which Magnus spoke chilled his very soul, but what damaged him beyond all reason, what pained Alex like a stab wound to the abdomen, was that if he hadn't been such a lying, dishonest idiot, he would have had Magnus for the rest of his life. And all of his stubbornness and resentment and passion died in that moment.
Alec rose from his seat on the sofa and walked towards the door. He left the key on a pile of splintered cabinet in plain sight, and walked out of the door. He bit down on his tongue, not letting his farewell of I love you Magnus Bane to escape.
Magnus didn't deserve the pain of hearing that.
Outside the door of Magnus' apartment, Alec was caught at as crossroads. He truly didn't know where to go. He couldn't face a berating from Isabelle, not after the conversation he had just had, but he couldn't go back inside to Magnus, no matter how much he wanted to. He breathed in and out quickly, trying to prevent a sickness from rising up his throat, and throttled back vicious tears.
Instead of escaping down the staircase, Alec walked around the front of Magnus' ten stories high home and stood behind the railings that acted almost as a balcony in front of his living room window. Alec looked over New York, cast in the lightening blue of dusk as the sun rose in the east, and he thought about all the people down there.
Mundanes may not be good for much, but when it came to relationships they had far more time over the past centuries to try and perfect their strategies. They were far more experienced in matters of the heart than any supernatural creature hidden from them by glamour. Alec smiled a tiny, hopeful smile as he imagined all of the movements going on at this moment – tiny human beings somewhere were arguing over cereal, kissing in their beds, proposing or marrying, having sex or having a child, or just watching the sunrise together.
He felt jealous then. Jealous that he would never get to do that. Alec slumped on the railings, leaning comfortably, and marked the passing of the hours only by the position of the sun in the sky,
Night crept up on him like a silent hunter before he slits your throat. He was tired, and cold and hungry, but he didn't care anymore.
He had never been the best of the three young Shadowhunters – even when he tried to protect Izzy and Jace, he never got any credit, and his death tally stood pitifully low. No one had ever needed him, and no one would ever need him again. So he stayed on Magnus' balcony, hoping that he might freeze to death, because really, what else could he do?
The rain started pouring about ten minutes after that, soaking through his thin layers of clothing, plastering his dark hair to his pale face. He exhaled, noting with childlike wonder how his breath turned white when it escapes the confines of his lips.
"Looks like you're having an existential crisis there darling," a voice spoke, although all of its mirth had been burned away. Magnus stepped out of his apartment, now properly dressed in black trousers, a white shirt, and a bright pink rain mac. He put the good up when he joined Alec on the balcony, but he still maintained a careful distance. "Well, you're the first man to ever wait thirteen hours for me on a freezing balcony, so kudos points to you." It wasn't intended to be a joke, and it didn't sound funny either.
Actually, watching Alec sprawled hopelessly across his railings had filled Magnus with a sense of moroseness all day long. He had wanted, more than anything, to either drag him into his bedroom and warm Alec up, or to send him away – he could do neither, having promised himself to never enchant the kid (aside from with his dashing good looks and personality). All he could so was observe him, in a horrible lonely silence, and wait for him to leave.
Magnus saw the corners of Alec's lips waver upwards for the smallest moment before they returned to the miserable mask of an expression that his face had become. Alec turned to look at Magnus, ignoring the pink mac that wasn't really shocking anymore, rain mingled with wet tears coursing down his face in droves. He clutched onto the iron bars for stability, and caught his eyes, locking on. Alec could not speak, but he didn't let their only remaining connection go, no matter how tepid it might be. Finally, he exhaled dramatically, looked back over New York and said,
"Is there anything, anything in the whole of this world and all those that surround it, that I could do to fix this? To make it better?" For you to forgive me.
The rain ceased as abruptly as it had started, and the Warlock threw back his hood, sitting on the edge of eternity with his Shadowhunter as the world was consumed into darkness once more. The only thing that gave them the light to see one another was that which emanated from the billions of dying stars beaming above them, casting pure white light over them. The sound of the rain had disguised the hideously awkward silence that followed Alec's question, but now it was absent, he felt nauseated and hysterical. He missed the fact that Magnus had inched closer to him.
"You stupid boy, Alec. I've already forgiven you," Magnus exclaimed impatiently, answering the question Alec had not dared to ask. "I know why you did it; really, why, not why in the way I just wanted to believe to give me a reason to feel betrayed. I can empathize, deep down in here," he placed an elegant hand over the space where his heart was, "that you could never do it to me. But that doesn't mean I'm not incredibly mad at you. It doesn't change the fact that you betrayed me so badly that I am literally bleeding magic. So no, there's nothing you can do. I will love you until I die Alec, however long it may be, but I don't know if we can ever go back to the way we were."
"Jace told me to kiss him," Alec blurted out, and Magnus glared at him. "He said that if I truly had feelings for him, that I should kiss him." He looked at Magnus, wanting more than anything to glide his hands over his smooth cheeks. "I couldn't do it. The thought of it made me feel wrong inside, and I realized, with his help, that I wanted a safe relationship.
"This wasn't safe," he gestured at the relationship between them, "Maybe that's why I subconsciously tried to destroy it at every chance I could. Because the thought of being with you, loving you, scares me to death, Magnus. But I can't seem to live without you. And all I ever wanted was to have you for both our forevers. Because I know that in fifteen or twenty years, when I'm growing older and you still have this…perfect beauty about you, that you won't want me. You don't need me now, and when you don't want me anymore, then it'll all be over."
"I always need you Alec," Magnus breathed lightly, as if the words were caught in his throat, "I will never not want you. Why can't you understand that?" And then he took one of Alec's porcelain, shaking hands in his own and gripped it as tightly as possible. Alec nearly froze, but his insides burst into joyous flames at the contact. Magnus raised Alec's hand and placed a soft kiss to the back of it, his sunshine eyes glinting in the starlight.
"Stop thinking that I don't feel what you feel for me. I feel it in every bone of my body, every vein, every cell, every eyelash, every beat of my heart. I love you more than my immortality; in fact, the latter pales in comparison. I would pick you over everything. I would rather be a mundane beggar man starving in the streets in a week old outfit and have you, instead of living as a King without you."
He pulled Alec closer to him, until their bodies were flush together. He placed a tentative hand to Alec's neck and brushed it across the angular jut of his cheekbones, over the cool flesh. He watched in strange fascination as Alec's eyelids fluttered close, and he swallowed anxiously.
"Magnus, I'm so, so sorry. I'm sorry," Alec whispered, not needing to speak louder when they were so close. He opened his eyes, the colour of his irises mixing with his pupils, blurred by building tears. He raised one hand and gently placed it on Magnus' hip, looking down at the floor, at his shoes, at anything other than the man he had betrayed.
He missed Magnus' beam, his full-toothed smile. He did feel it however, when Magnus placed his index finger under his chin and brought his reluctant face back to eye level. Magnus placed his other hand on Alec's other cheek, and whispered, "I know you are darling," before tilting his head to the right, closing his eyes, and pressing his delicate lips to Alec's.
Alec felt like he was burning. Magnus' lips moved richly against his own, his hands and fingers dancing down Alec's neck, across his collarbone. He wrapped his arm around Magnus' waist, pulling him in ever tighter and returned his own forgotten passion to the furore of the kiss he was experiencing. Every moment of Magnus' lips on his, tongue toying with his, reminded him of all he had forfeited, and all that was to come. He closed his eyes, rollicking in their union, unable to stop himself putting a hand on the back of Magnus' neck and tightly lacing his fingers through the jet black hair there, as the Warlock teasingly bit down on his lower lip. He could feel Magnus heating up, as was he, but when Alec pulled away for just a moment, he saw why.
Blinding white light was bursting from Magnus' eyes, and his whole body was glowing faintly, in a swirl of rainbow colours – blood red, forest green, candy pink, lemon yellow, waterfall blue. There were huge strands of coloured dust, so fine that Alec recognized it as…magic. Magic in its purest form. It surrounded Magnus, whose arms were raised outwards, and then lassoed Alec so his chest was resting against Magnus'. The ribbons of magic danced and wrapped around them, slowly entwining their hands and feet and legs and waists, and the before light in Magnus' eyes slowly faded back to normal, Alec found he could look straight into it and it didn't hurt at all.
Magnus dropped to his knees when his dusky brown eyes came back into focus, panting desperately for air. He held onto Alec's hands, still lacing their fingers together, sharing his strength, and when the ribbons of magic faded, he shakily stood to his feet and smiled widely. Alec, in shock from all that had happened, placed a hand to Magnus's burning cheek.
"That was…incredible," Magnus mumbled.
"What was that?" Alec asked, curiosity overtaking him as he brushed his thumb lightly along Magnus' jaw line.
"You, again," Magnus whispered, resting his forehead against Alec's, "It was all building up, all that power and magic, and you released it. But it didn't destroy this time, it brought things together. Me and you. It brought us back together." He kissed Alec's knuckles, and then his lips, lightly, softly, forgivingly.
Alec gave a watery smile and raised himself a little higher on his toes, and pressed a yearning kiss to Magnus' mouth, wanting to continue where they had left off before the spectacular light show. Magnus returned it greedily, but broke away quickly, and started leading Alec towards the open front door of his apartment.
"Come on darling," he said, his voice full of mischievousness, but also desire, how he had been when they first fell in love, "Let's get you out of those wet clothes."