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It had been a month - a month since Ireland and what felt like forever since his stupidity had cost him the love of his life. Alec felt disconnected from the world; his family; and even from Jace, his brother, best friend and parabatai. It took all he had in feigning normalcy to avert the sympathetic attention his presence attracted at the Institute when all he wanted was to fade into mediocrity. The passage of time felt excruciatingly slow, the pain of heartbreak resonating with every passing hour of the clock in his self-imposed solitude. He couldn't keep going; he was tired. So very tired.
Listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops against his bedroom window as he lay flat on the bed, Alec rolled over and grabbed a pillow, clutching it tightly. He breathed in the scent of sandalwood. The scent reminded him of Magnus; every breath tugged at his heavy heart and a dull ache formed in his chest. He missed him. So much – if only it mattered.
A soft knock on his door snapped Alec out of his reverie. He turned his head to squint at the clock on the far wall and groaned. It was a little after midnight and he was too tired to deal with worried family, a sympathetic friend or even a sarcastic vampire. He hoped it was the vampire.
The knock returned.
"Alec?" a soft voice spoke.
It was Isabelle and Alec swore under his breath. He knew she was there in an attempt to cheer him up but he appreciated the thought more than he did the act. With a sigh, he pulled himself up and shifted to the edge of the bed, running a hand through his dark hair.
"What?" he asked shortly.
Failing to restrain the irritation in his voice, Alec glared at the door only to meet his sister's worried frown. Without another word, he turned back onto the bed and returned to his pillow. The door creaked lightly as Isabelle let herself in and Alec felt the bed dip slightly as she sat beside him. He turned, keeping his back to her.
"Alec…" whispered Isabelle, nudging him gently with her elbow. "You okay?"
"I'm fine, Iz," Alec replied gruffly. "Leave me alone."
He heard her sigh and felt her shift a little.
"There's takeout in the kitchen if you're hungry," she said.
Alec's stomach rumbled slightly at the mention of food, reminding him that he hadn't eaten anything all day.
"Yeah, maybe later," he mumbled in response.
A slow silence fell between them.
"You should have come out to dinner with us," Isabelle said.
"I wasn't hungry," Alec lied.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, Isabelle tried to get Alec to face her without much luck.
"Everyone's worried about you, Alec," she started. "We've hardly seen-"
"They saw me this morning," Alec interrupted.
Isabelle sighed. "You know what I meant," she said shortly.
At Alec's silence, Isabelle began to recount her evening.
"Simon thinks Taki's needs a makeover," she began with laugh. "He's thinking of lending them his skills – I'm not sure what those skills are but Clary seems to think he's got some talent."
Alec remained still as a stone so Isabelle continued. "Jace is still burning in his angelic glory." A quiet laugh escaped her lips. "He's still afraid he's going to burn her to a heavenly crisp if he so much as looks at her wrong."
To Alec, Isabelle's voice faded into a dull drone. Jace had Clary and Isabelle had Simon. They had each other. The corner of his eyes burned at another memory of Magnus, glitter and all. He tightened his grip on his pillow, a poor substitute for his love. A sharp tugging and squeezing pain bore into his chest. He knew he was jealous. He couldn't stand being in the company of Jace and Clary when every loving look they threw at each other brought out of him an urge to hysterically strangle someone. At least the awkwardness between Isabelle and Simon was easier to stomach.
Isabelle's trailed into silence; she could tell Alec wasn't listening. Her mind flashed to an earlier conversation with Clary. Dealing with feelings and heartbreak - these to her were mundane-like problems. As a nephilim, her skill-set was particularly suited to hunting demons so she had hoped that Clary had a better idea of what she could do to help. She mentally sifted through the list of the cliché's Clary had given her but none seemed adequate. She sighed in irritation; killing demons she knew how to do. This…this required different tools from a toolbox she didn't have.
"Has Magnus called…at all?" Isabelle asked softly.
Alec shook his head.
"You need to go see him," said Isabelle.
'It's over. I don't want to see you again, Alec.' Magnus' voice spoke out in his mind.
"I can't," Alec replied in a whisper. "I can't...he, no…I just can't."
Alec cringed, realising how pathetic he sounded to his own ears. He was the eldest of the Lightwood children and a shadowhunter, but at that moment he sounded more like an over-emotional teenager.
If only Magnus could see me now. He laughed a little at the thought. "I miss him," he said, shifting slightly to face Isabelle.
"You need to talk to him," Isabelle said. "Give me your phone."
"Jace broke my phone," Alec replied with a scoff. "Remind him he still has to pay for it."
"Jace is an idiot," Isabelle chuckled before turning serious. "You have to try and fix this, Alec. If I even remotely believed in the concept, I'd say you're both destined for each other. You both love sandalwood - if that's not destiny, I don't know what is."
Alec clutched his pillow even harder but managed a small laugh.
"It was my fault, Iz," admitted Alec. "He doesn't want anything to do with me."
"How can you be sure?" asked Isabelle. "He's just as miserable as you are, most likely. Word is that the High Warlock is refusing business. He won't see anyone - downworlder or anyone from the Clave."
A part of Alec wished, even hoped that Magnus was hurting as much as he was; misery loved company after all. But the other part of him could never wish ill will towards his beloved.
"Alec," said Isabelle. "What happened between you two?"
Alec opened his eyes but remained silent. He had always been emotionally reserved but it was eating him up inside; not talking to someone was getting more and more difficult.
"By the angel I'm going to march over there and pry the glitter out of that warlock," Isabelle muttered under her breath and cracked her knuckles.
Alec didn't move.
"It wasn't his fault," he whispered. "It was mine."
Maybe it was time, and he was glad it wasn't the sarcastic vampire in the room with him after all.
"Alec…" Isabelle started but was abruptly cut off.
"Camille," Alec said simply.
"Camille?" Isabelle repeated.
Alec nodded. "She and Magnus... they used to be... That night, I let her escape… I never told him."
Isabelle remained silent.
"She knew things about him, Iz" said Alec. "She knew what it was like to love him. It felt...easy talking to her. She understood...and I believed her when she pretended to care."
Though he had no tears left Alec could still feel the familiar prickling in the corner of his eyes. He felt weak and he hated it.
"There was so much about him I never knew…" Alec's voice trailed off. "Then…then I did something stupid."
Alec turned to Isabelle and was met by a look of sympathetic sadness. This was the first time he had ever spoken to anyone else about Magnus. He turned away in fear of judgement. His back to Isabelle, Alec's blue eyes focused on the speckled darkness beyond the window.
"I wanted to be with him," said Alec. "That was all I wanted. To be a part of him. But Camille... I couldn't be made immortal... so she offered me something else." Alec hesitated. "She...said there was a way to make him mortal." Alec's voice began to waver. "I didn't though. I didn't… I couldn't do that to him. But…"
"He didn't care," whispered Isabelle. "Magnus does realise you couldn't go through with it, doesn't he?"
It didn't matter. Turning onto his back, Alec stared up at the cracks in the paint that branched across the ceiling. All he had wanted was to be with Magnus. More than the fear of being outlived, Alec feared fading into insignificance. He didn't want to be just another bedpost notch. He wanted to matter.
"It doesn't change what I did," Alec replied.
Isabelle sighed. Were their roles reversed, she probably would have done the same thing. She understood. It made sense.
"Things will...work out. Somehow," was all Isabelle could say.
She gave her brother's arm a reassuring squeeze and looked up catch a pair of golden eyes retreating into the dark corridor without so much as a sound.
I hope he doesn't do something stupid.
A/N: Please leave a review and thank you for reading.