Love 'em, but don't own 'em.

"You're getting pretty good at this," Magnus said, casually tucking Alec's tussled hair behind his ear.

"Yeah?" Alec panted slightly, his forehead wrinkled in concentration, pulling his mind back together when it threatened to scatter at Magnus's hands trailing over his shoulders.

"You just need to relax – a little."

"Not so hard!" Alec nearly collapsed on the counter.

Magnus's eyes flashed wickedly. He knew Alec liked it to hurt a little, and that he could handle much more. "Alexander, I've been doing this a lot longer than you. Trust me, I am practically a professional."

"What, are you going to add that to your business card next?" Alec muttered.

Magnus pinched him for his impertinence, and Alec caught his hand and held it, pulling him closer. "There, I'm done." With an uncharacteristic flourish likely caused by spending too much time with Magnus, he discarded his frosting spatula and held his breath while the warlock surveyed his work.

"It's beautiful," he said simply. "Like you. Simple, but elegant and clean. Not to mention scrumptious." Their hands were still linked and Magnus licked a stray smudge of frosting from Alec's finger and kissed the back of his hand. Alec almost controlled his blush and didn't attempt to hide his smile.

Alec had awoken that morning to a shiny new kitchen that could have produced food for a whole bakery (and had probably been "borrowed" from one). Magnus, barefoot and suited in dark jeans and a leopard print apron, with a dusting of flour in his spiky hair, had greeted him with a cup of coffee – black, with sugar – and instructed him to sit at the new counter while the master worked.

He was baking a triple layer cake, three layers of increasingly dark and decadent chocolate, he explained. Alec had only ever had one homemade cake, an experiment of Isabelle's that had come out resembling a black and pink cement block rather than a strawberry cake and resulted in the pan being thrown out and the counters being stained for a month. He was dubious, but watched with interest. As he was beginning to notice with everything Magnus worked on, his hands were certain, his movements full of confidence and never hurried.

After careful measuring and mixing, Magnus let him sample each of the batter flavors before they went into the oven to be sure the were edible, and Alec had pronounced each delicious. If Magnus had a tail to go with his cat eyes, Alec was sure it would have swished in pleasure. While the confections baked and then cooled, Magnus fried eggs and toast for their breakfast. After stuffing themselves, they tumbled onto the couch and dozed off against each other. Alec was really getting used to these lazy, lost hours he spent at Magnus's apartment. So much so that he protested when Magnus was pulling him to his feet and trying to tie the spotted apron around him.

"It's time to frost the cake," he declared, handing over a spatula. "Here you go." Alec, who wielded seraph blades and his bow with a deadly control, faltered with the silicon kitchen instrument.

"Me? Why?" Alec felt an irrational wave of panic seize him. He'd never done anything in the kitchen aside from maybe make a sandwich if he was desperately hungry and it was too dreary to walk to Taki's.

"Because it will be fun. And we're expanding your horizons. Remember you telling me you wanted to try new things?" Alec scowled at him. He'd been pinned underneath Magnus on the couch with his pants unbuttoned a couple of nights ago when he'd said that, right before Magnus abruptly got called away on a magical emergency from which he'd only returned late the night before, after Alec had already gone to sleep.

But actually, Alec was pleased with the job he'd done, too. Their cake looked great.

"So where did you learn to bake?" The baking officially over, Alec grabbed a rag to start wiping down the counter. Magnus was facing away from him, stacking flour and spices back in the cupboard.

"My mother," he said, in a familiar tone that told Alec he wasn't interested in playing 20 questions about his past and this curious talent he'd just revealed. Alec switched gears without letting it ruffle him. He still enjoyed his own privacy, too.

"Alright then. What's the occasion?"

When Alec didn't get an answer, he stopped cleaning and turned around. Magnus was leaning against the counter, contemplating him. Alec cursed himself for always feeling undone by Magnus's stare. But he stared back, refusing to give in to his impulse to turn away in embarrassment. Magnus watched all of his feelings play across his face and raised a curious eyebrow.

"Why, you of course."


"What were you just thinking about?" Magnus's eyes were unfathomable. Alec thought there was nothing that escaped his notice, which made him especially sensitive in intimate moments and exceptionally disconcerting in conversation.

"I was thinking about you. About the way you look at me sometimes, it makes me feel like I've been caught doing something I shouldn't."

"But you were only staring back at me." Magnus's lips dipped the most delicate of downward turns.

"I know," Alec muttered, confused by his own feelings, but unhappy with what he'd said. "I don't understand why you would bake a cake for me. Sometimes...I don't understand why I'm here at all." His feelings crystalized as he spoke, and both of them drew their breath in slightly in the silence that followed. He'd spoken the truth, though. Their time together still felt like a beautiful, fleeting dream.

Then Magnus was in front of him, his cat eyes a couple of inches higher than Alec's, his bare chest a hairsbreadth away, the flour still dusted on his forehead. "Alexander." The feeling in his soft voice and the closeness of him made Alec's heart speed up. "I hope you're here because you want to be. I think I've made it very clear that I want you to be. By the way, happy one month anniversary."

Alec's eyes widened in surprise, and then slowly a smile spread across his face and seemed to reach down to his toes. Had it really been a month? Alec tried not to think about the passing of time, tried not to let himself start to get a grip on Magnus because he was afraid he'd never want to let go. But he'd never accounted for Magnus holding on to him.

Alec didn't have any more words. He leaned forward, his eyelids dropping, but Magnus put a hand to his cheek and stopped him. Alec looked up again. "In 800 years, Alexander, I don't think I've seen anything quite like your eyes. Close, but not quite. Like burning water. And I never want to forget the way they look right now."

He thought he knew what Magnus meant. He felt like he was on fire. He felt more alive than when he was fighting, like Magnus brought him to life with the desire Alec saw reflected back in from his cat eyes. This time Alec kissed him and Magnus kissed back, encircling him in his arms.

"I want to be wherever you are," Alec whispered, in between kisses as they slowly backed out of the kitchen towards Magnus's bedroom.

His eyes still closed, Alec only saw the faint blue flash through his eyelids and felt the most pleasant of tingling sensations on the back of his neck and the small of his back as sparks flew from Magnus's fingers. Alec felt the rumble of a purr in the warlock's chest and he put everything he was feeling into his kiss, to communicate how overwhelmingly happy he was without trying to put it into words.

They fell gasping against the wall just outside the room. Magnus had a hand in Alec's hair and tugged so hard he almost left a bald spot while Alec left a mark of his own over Magnus's collar bone. His purr became a growl.

"You're getting pretty good at this, too." Magnus smirked.

"Oh, yeah?" Alec hooked his fingers under the waistband of Magnus's jeans. He knew he was, though. He felt it in the way Magnus hummed under his hands.

"You've had a great teacher, but still, I think you might be a natural." Magnus squawked in surprise as Alec lifted him bodily off the ground, his slender frame wrapping around Alec's with a satisfying ease.

"I didn't get you anything, or make you anything" Alec said, sprawling himself over Magnus on the bed. "But – I have something else."

Magnus drew his head back from the crook of Alec's neck. A moment later, Alec was flipped over on his back and Magnus loomed over him. It happened so quickly that he couldn't quite tell how he'd done it. It was a move he'd have to learn himself sometime. "You on the bottom this time?" A grin threatening to overcome Magnus. "You sure you trust me?"


This time Alec thought he saw the briefest of blue sparks crackle in Magnus's eyes before they were both lost to the blaze.

- tdp