It’s weird how little there is to actually celebrate even once Valentine has been defeated.
There is no laughter, no cheers; everyone’s just tired and bloody and muddy and slightly more broken than they were before the fight.
Alec hadn’t expected it to feel this way; he’d expected relief, the ability to breathe again, to think of the world as a safer place, where peace is possible, but he’s just tired. He’s got scrapes and cuts all over his body, a particularly deep one in his leg, but he’s too tired to use the iratze and there are so many Downworlders and Shadowhunters and Mundanes who need help more than him that he’s decided he can wait.
Clary and Jace are sitting in a quiet corner, heads together as they whisper things back and fort. Sometimes Clary punches his shoulder. Jace feels happy – probably happier than he’s ever felt. A small, exhausted smile curls Alec’s lips.
Izzy is somewhere in the crowd, bringing everyone the drinks Maia is preparing behind the counter.
Alec lets his head fall against the wall with a small sigh; he feels like he could sleep for days, and he just might.
He feels someone sitting next to him, and he opens one eye; Magnus looks as gorgeous as ever: his hair is styled perfectly and his clothes aren’t even wrinkled. If it wasn’t for the exhaustion Alec can read under his eyes and in his posture, he would think he’d hallucinated fighting alongside him on the battlefield.
-Hey,- he says, whispers, and his voice sounds rough and scratched; he still feels some of the dust in his lungs.
Magnus’ smile is small and soft as he takes Alec in; Magnus hadn’t seen him after the fight, but Alec had seen him. He’d been busy healing everyone and Alec had just made sure he was okay before walking away.
-Hey,- Magnus says.
Alec wishes he could reach out and brush his fingers against his cheek.
-You okay?- he asks instead, because it’s the closest thing he can do.
A sad smile curls Magnus’ lips: -I guess so, yes. How about you?
Alec cautiously shrugs, mindful of every muscle in his body that’s aching: -I’m okay.
Magnus looks at him like he wants to say I know you’re not; instead he points at his injured leg and says: -I better heal that. I heard the young werewolf say that you’re bleeding all over her floor.
Alec instinctively moves his leg back, winces when it burns like hell: -It’s okay,- he says, taking a deep breath to calm the pain, -You’ve used your magic enough for today. I know you’ve already healed most Downworlders and Shadowhunters.
-Alec,- Magnus says, and it sounds like oh, Alec, murmured and understanding and warm, -If I had to choose someone to use the last bit of magic that I have for, it would be you everytime.
Alec blinks as he feels the air burn as he breathes in, tears running up to his eyes: -Please,- he whispers.
And he’s just begging him – please, don’t, not if you don’t mean it. Please, mean it. Please don’t leave again. Please please please.
Magnus’ eyes are bright when he looks up at him, regret and sadness and apologies, and he moves closer, cups his hand around Alec’s cheek, his thumb brushing his cheekbone; he closes his eyes before he kisses him, and Alec feels his tears on his own skin.
-I love you,- he whispers against his lips, like it’s a knowledge anchored in his bones, that runs with his blood, -We’ll find a way.
Alec closes his eyes. He finds some peace at the end of the war.