Chapter 1: Revelation
It was an old-time tale, talked about among mankind for centuries upon centuries.
That once upon a time, an Angel descended, and blessed all creatures on Earth with a soulmate.
They were told by the Angel that, when they were ready, their soulmates would enter their dream first, and then their lives.
And that they would know, because they share a soul.
It was an old-time tale, so old that, after hundreds of thousands of years, mankind started to see it as a myth, a fairy tale, a wishful thinking.
It was an old-time tale. The kind that could only be found in old books about magics and spells, angels and demons.
It was an old-time tale…
Alec woke up from his dream with a start, a thin sheen of sweat on his forehead, and the lower part of his left palm and the higher part of his right burning with such intensity that had he unconsciously rubbing his palms together. The sharp pain shooting from both hands jolted him fully awake instantly.
He raised his hands to his eyes and saw, to his horror and bemusement, two red gashes on his palms, the left one lower and deeper and the right one higher but not as bad.
Alec sat up so quickly his head spun. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the digital clock on his bed-side table read 4:02. Normally he would groan and flop back down onto his pillow, but right now, he couldn’t bring himself to care.
He could not fathom how he had injured himself when he was sleeping, because last time he saw, his palms were definitely not the hosts of the two long angry cuts that were now seemingly staring back at him defiantly. Alec was not a stranger to wounds and injuries, what with him being an FBI agent and all that, but he was having trouble trying to find a logical explanation for his cuts.
He sighed, and got out of bed to treat his mysterious wounds, being extra careful not brushing his palms against anything.
It was when he was cleaning the wounds and hissing when he accidently put too much hydrogen peroxide that he remembered why he was up in the first place.
He couldn’t remember the whole dream, what with it being a huge mess of run and chase, but he did remember that, at some point, he was wrestling a long crescent-shaped knife out of some guy’s hand in front of him. In his haste to prevent being stabbed, he grabbed onto the blade with both hands, flinching slightly when the sharp edges cut into his palms but didn’t let go, and twisted his wrists so that the sharper side of the knife was turned towards his assailant. Alec recalled using too much force when he stabbed the man in front instead.
But it was all just a dream. Injuries did not just show up out of nowhere on one’s body after a dream.
Shaking his head, Alec bandaged his hands carefully. Luckily it was a Sunday, and he was usually off duty on Sundays. So Alec decided to just go through his Sunday routine, which involved him curled up on his couch reading a book all day.
Apparently the world just didn’t want to grant Alec his peace after he mysteriously got his palms wounded. Just as he was about to settle down on the couch, with a book in one hand and a pillow in the other, his phone rang shrilly and suddenly.
Sighing, he put down the book and pillow and padded across his living room to reach his cell phone.
“Thank god you’re awake, Alec.” It was Luke, his superior in the bureau and was somewhat like a pseudo father to him. Luke was normally calm and composed; so Alec immediately slipped into professional mode when he heard how unsettling Luke’s tone was. “Something came up, and we need all hands on deck.”
“I’ll be there in ten.” Alec replied in a clipped tone while shrugging on his jacket, his book and the intention of having a comfortable and peaceful Sunday all but forgotten.
“Oh and can you grab a hold on Isabelle as well?”
Alec frowned; his sister was not in the team. She wasn’t even in the department.
“I know what you’re thinking, but I think we need her, since she’s the best forensic pathologist in the bureau at the moment.”
The need for a pathologist meant someone died. Alec shifted on his feet, an uneasiness seeping into him.
“Okay, I’ll bring her along then.”
“I’ll see you both in ten then.” And the line clicked.
Ten minutes later saw Alec and Isabelle running into a room occupied by a circle of people. Luke was in the centre of the circle, explaining the situation with a grave expression.
“A reporter and his friends were attacked around three or four this morning by who we believe were hired assassins. From what we’ve learned from the reporter, who gave us his name as Magnus, it seemed that an article of his had somehow pissed off a corporate executive.”
“What happened to them? Magnus and his friends?” asked Clary, their forensic artist.
“They’re mostly fine, a few wounds here and there from the fight, and one of them suffered from a bullet wound to her shoulder, but they were otherwise okay.” Luke chanced a glance at his clipboard, “the assailants, however, were not so lucky.”
“They killed them?” Jace asked, his brows furrowed. Alec turned to look at him and found his own confusion and the feeling of disturbance reflected in his partner-in-combat’s eyes.
“Well Magnus did say something about cutting one of the guys in the stomach when he was defending himself,” Luke scratched the back of his neck with his free hand, “but other than that I don’t think they did anything fatal to the assassins.”
Alec knew where this was going. He had been on the field long enough to know what almost always happened when hired assassins couldn’t finish what they were hired to do.
And Luke’s voice confirmed his thoughts.
“Apparently, they each carried a small poisonous pill.”
Silence was lengthened by time as the group digested the information. This Magnus must have dug out some particularly dirty secrets about that corporate executive to had been hunted like that.
“Anyways, I called everyone in at this hour because not only is this an important case, but also it provides clues for that nasty investigation we’ve been drilling for months. So I need you, Alec, and you, Jace, to talk to them,” Luke directed his orders straight towards Alec and Jace, who nodded, their expressions solemn, “see if you can find out more about them and about who was behind all this.”
They left shortly after Luke had given everyone something to do. Since there wasn’t much to work on at the moment, Simon, or “the computer guy”, as Jace called him, and Clary were sent home, leaving Isabelle with Luke in the morgue examining the bodies of the assassins.
“Dude, what’s up with your hands?”
Alec looked down to his bandaged hands. Apparently the jacket wasn’t as good as covering them up as Alec had hoped.
“Minor cuts, no big deal.” He mumbled.
Jace huffed in annoyance, “they’re seeped with blood, Alec, and you’re telling me it’s no big deal?”
Alec glanced at Jace and sighed, “it’s not the right time for this, okay, Jace?”
“Look, I woke up from a dream this morning, and the cuts were already there, alright? I don’t know anything about them more than you do.” Alec sighed, carding his fingers through his hair out of habit and winced at the alarming pain shooting from his palm.
Jace, however, looked slightly surprised.
“Alec, do you remember that story we read from one of Dot’s books when we were younger?”
Alec stared at Jace, bewildered, “what story?”
“The one where an angel came from above and gave everyone a soulmate?” Jace’s expression was oddly serious.
Alec searched through his memories, and then –
“Oh that.” Jace nodded, “wasn’t it just a very old fairy tale or something?”
“Dot said otherwise though. Something about whatever happened in a dream only happened in real life as well when that particular dream was shared by a pair of soulmates.”
Alec stopped in his tracks at Jace’s words. He could recall the story and Dot’s words perfectly now.
It was an old-time tale. Consists of some kind of old magic. Whatever happened in a dream, be it good or bad, would only happen almost simultaneously in real life if said dream is shared by the two destined to be together. The Angel made sure that soulmates are met in dreams before they do in real life.
“Does that mean –”
“I don’t know, Alec, but I think it’s time for you to make a trip to Dot’s bookstore.”
The door to the first aid room swung open before either Jace or Alec could knock on it.
“Oh,” the person that practically wrenched the door off its hinges jumped slightly with a start.
“I’m sorry, but we’re from the investigation team,” Jace stepped forward, “and we’re here to talk to Magnus and his friends?”
The guy was still blocking their entryway, but he let out a huff, “finally,” he said, “I’m Ragnor, and I won’t be speaking to any of you guys today.” Ragnor looked them up and down several times in an expression that could only be described as indifference, “however, Magnus is inside. Feel free.”
And with that, Ragnor disappeared down the hallway without so much as an explanation or a wave.
“Please forgive him,” a voice from inside the room floated out to them, and Alec’s breath hitched in his throat. The voice was so velvety and warm and generally beautiful that Alec had a feeling he had heard it somewhere. “He’s always like that, my sweet, rude Cabbage.”
Alec turned around and came face to face to possibly the most breathtaking man he had ever seen in his life.
“I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced.” Magnus smiled, his kohled eyes shining as he looked at Alec, “I’m Magnus Bane, reporter for The New York Times. I’d shake your hand, but unfortunately my hands are bandaged at the moment.”
Alec swallowed, and returned a small smile despite himself, “I’m Alec, uh Alec Lightwood. And this is my brother Jace.” He gestured to Jace, who was looking on with an amused smirk around his lips.
And then his gaze shifted to Magnus’ bandaged hands.
“Your hands – how did you –”
“Ah,” Magnus’ smile turned bitter, “that’s a long story, so I’d suggest we all sit down.”
They walked further inside after Alec closed the door to the first aid room. Magnus flopped down onto one of the beds for treating patients while Alec and Jace each took a chair.
“I was in a club with Ragnor and Catarina after a particularly nasty day at work. We were doing just fine, Ragnor sulking in a corner as usual while Cat and I drank and talk. It was when I was paying for our third round of drinks when I saw them.”
“Them?” Jace interrupted.
Magnus gave him a semi annoyed look at being interrupted, “yes, them. The people hired by Morgenstern Corporation to get rid of me.”
Alec quirked an eyebrow, “how did you know Morgenstern was behind this?”
“They aren’t exactly subtle about their killers, now, are they?” Magnus replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm, “they had that stupid circle tattoo on their necks, which weren’t really that hard to spot.”
Jace and Alec nodded, and indicated Magnus to go on.
“So naturally, I told Cat and Ragnor about them, and we decided to clear out. The bastards followed, of course, and trapped us in an alley. There were only two of them, and it was three in the morning so the streets were mostly deserted save a couple of drunks. We decided to just face them head on, without any weapon.”
Jace’s eyebrows shot up towards his hairline in surprise, but Alec was no longer paying full attention to what Magnus was saying anymore. He could see the scene of the attack in his head now, with vivid senses as though he was right there with Magnus and the others.
“We managed to take down the one with two guns, but sadly Cat had a bullet lodged in her shoulder and had to go to the hospital, which is ironic, seeing she’s a nurse herself. But the other guy took us by surprised. He had a long, crescent shaped knife but we thought he only had a gun. So when he had his back to us I thought –”
“You thought he was momentarily distracted by something but when you tried to sneak up behind him he whipped out the knife from behind and tried to swiped at you with it. You had no choice but to grab the blade with your bare hands and twisted the blade towards him. That was how you got your wounds on your hands, and that was how you knifed him in the midsection.” Alec finished, his mind was playing the scenes of his dream over and over again.
Jace gaped at him, “dude how d’you –”
Magnus, however, was looking at Alec with levelled eyes, “do you mind if I talk to you alone, Alec?”
Alec was still feeling disconcerted, but he nodded. Jace was about to open his mouth to protest when Alec shot him a look that said “it’s fine”. He promptly shut his mouth and gave Alec a pat on the shoulder on his way out.
When they were alone, Magnus raised an eyebrow in Alec’s direction.
“Alexander. It’s Alexander, right?”
Alec nodded, all of a sudden didn’t want to object to being called that name. It sounded nice coming from Magnus anyway.
“May I ask how you knew all the details to my very valiant actions hours ago?” There was a barely-there joke in his words, but Magnus’ eyes were serious.
Alec tried to come up with a better explanation than “I had a dream about it”, which would make him sound crazy. Then he remembered the wounds Magnus had on his palms. Alec focused on that.
“Would you mind showing me your wounds before I answer your question?” Seeing Magnus’ expression Alec hastily added, “I know it sounds weird, but believe me, if I straight out answered your question, it would sound even more absurd.”
Magnus studied Alec for quite a while – long enough to make Alec wanted to squirm under his gaze – before wordlessly untie his bloodstained bandages.
Even though Alec was quite sure what he was about to see, he was still rendered speechless when he saw the red, angry gashes on Magnus’ palms, identical to his down to each length and curve, except that Magnus’ were slightly redder and deeper than his from having real contact with the knife.
Looking down at his own injuries, Alec began untying his own bandages.
Alec didn’t look up until his own red cuts were shown.
Magnus’ eyes widened.
“I was woken up by a dream mere hours ago, and the cuts were there when I woke up.”
“And that dream –”
“Was what I just described. Was what happened to you in real life.”
“Those who share a soul, share a dream before, and a life after.” Magnus whispered, staring at Alec’s bloodied palms, comparing them to his own.
“You’ve heard about that?”
“Of course I have.” Magnus’ eyes were suddenly incredibly tender, “you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for you.”
Alec gaped, and Magnus started telling him about a dream he had had about a year and a half ago.
“It was dark in the dream, and I was walking on the street with someone beside me before we heard people fighting in the back alley. We went and found a gang of young adults fighting over drugs. We tried to intervene; and just as I was about to step in, someone in the group panicked and a gun discharged, the bullet hitting me in the left shoulder. That was when I woke, with sweat all over my forehead and my back, and my left shoulder bleeding.”
Alec flinched at the memory.
He was out on a date that night with Raj, his ex-boyfriend, and they had come across the gang, and he had been shot accidentally in the left shoulder. It was nothing fatal, and he had managed to deal with it with a quick first aid when he got back home, but the wound remained.
“And then I looked it up, and I talked to a dear friend of mine, who confirmed my thought. I used to think it was just some children bedside tales, but apparently the stories are all true.” Magnus looked Alec straight in the eyes, “you’re my soulmate.”
Ignoring the wounds, Alec grabbed Magnus’ hands with his own impulsively, and a streak of gold-green light appeared from their contacting point, gently weaving around their linked hands. When the light evaporated, both of them were surprised to find out that their injuries were no longer there. Alec even pulled his sweater down slightly to search for the familiar scar on his shoulder, but he found only smooth skin.
“Wow,” Alec laughed quietly, “that was straightforward. I thought I’d get to keep the scars as some kind of reminder that you’re here and real and mine.”
Magnus grinned, the pure joy radiating from his eyes, “well, now you get to keep me.”
“Hmmm.” Alec hummed, drawing Magnus closer to his body, “that sounds a lot better.”
Chapter 2: I'll Keep You Safe
Chapter title comes from Sleeping At Last's I'll Keep You Safe
Ahh thanks for all the comments.
I came up with a little something more. What can I say, shower stalls are paradises for inspiration.
And I may or may not have an entire structure built up. Let's see where that take us =D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was until Jace barged in again, a look of impatience covering his features, that Alec remembered they had pretty much left him hanging in the hallway outside the room.
“Alec are you alr—”
Jace’s question died on his tongue the instant he saw Alec and Magnus embracing, and the gold-green light that barely encircled their forms.
“Is that –”
Alec broke away from Magnus’ arms, his face a little flushed, “yeah.”
Jace’s grin was so wide Alec was worried he might hurt his cheeks.
“You found him!” His brother marched forward and punched him lightly on the shoulder before adding, stretching the vowel, “finally!”
Alec had come out to his family and friends about his sexuality at his 18th birthday. Jace and Izzy and even Max had received the news with a smile and a shrug, and told him that they couldn’t care less about which gender Alec found attractive as long as he was happy. His friends and colleagues had patted him on the back, and gave him the same support his siblings had showed him. His parents, however, were a completely different case. Robert had gaped at him, his eyes wide with incredulity as he silently questioned his eldest son’s sanity, while Maryse had simply stormed out of the study and slammed the door in Alec’s face. His eighteenth year on Earth hadn’t been the easiest, but Alec had managed, with the help of his siblings and his friends, to get his life back on track.
And now, seven years later, Alec could honestly say to himself he didn’t care what his parents thought about him being gay. He had been so much happier coming out of the shadow and not having to live a staged life his parents had planned for him. So when he saw Jace’s huge, proud grin, he couldn’t help but grinned back.
“Yeah, I found my soulmate.”
The statement had a nice ring to it.
“Saves you a trip to Dot’s then.”
Magnus perked up at that.
“You know Dorothea?”
Jace and Alec turned to look at him, surprised written on both faces.
“You know her too?” Alec asked, one eyebrow quirked up.
Magnus nodded, playing with his rings absent-mindedly, “I’ve known her for quite a while now.” He looked up and his brown eyes found Alec’s hazel ones, “she’s that dear friend I talked to you about just now.”
Oh. So when Magnus asked, Dot probably gave him the same explanation for this whole soulmate situation as she had given Alec and Jace.
“How exactly do you know her, if you don’t mind my asking?” Magnus’ voice was light-hearted, but Alec could still distinguish the curiosity behind it.
Jace answered that question before Alec could. “She’s a family friend of Clary’s.”
Alec smirked. Jace’s eyes visibly lit up when he talked about Clary, and he knew from past experiences that, if Jace wasn’t stopped before he could start boasting about his girlfriend, they would be stuck in this room for the better part of the day.
No matter how much Jace denied it, he was worse than Simon when it came to “gushing about my partner”.
“Right,” Alec cut across whatever word Jace had formed on the tip of his tongue and turned his whole body to face Magnus, “Clary is Jace’s girlfriend, and Dot has been friends with her mother Jocelyn for a long time. So when Clary has entered out lives, Dot came along as well.” He cast a smirk at Jace, “and I’m cutting off whatever Jace was saying because if he started, he wouldn’t stop unless someone gag him with a towel.”
Magnus let out a small chuckle at that, “a very wise action. Although I shouldn’t be surprised seeing that Biscuit gushes about him a lot as well.”
Before either of them could say anything to that comment, the door banged open, revealing a very disgruntled Ragnor and a pale-looking individual.
“Ah my dear Cabbage,” Magnus exclaimed, clapping his hands together, “how admirable of you to have brought Raphael with you.”
Ragnor, Alec noticed, looked less than pleased when Magnus called him Cabbage.
“So that you don’t get attacked on your way home, Magnus.” The guy – Raphael – deadpanned.
“Ah but too bad I already have my personal knight in a shining armour.” Magnus shifted his gaze to Alec, “and as much as I appreciate your being forced to accompany me home, I’d rather Alec be the company.”
Alec choked on his own saliva in surprise. He shifted on his feet nervously, and when he realized everyone was waiting for him to say something, he nearly choked again.
“Uh I wouldn’t want to intrude into your –”
Magnus looked away, and waved a ring-clad hand in disapprovingly, “nonsense,” he said, his voice smooth, with only the slightest hint of confusion and hurt. Alec flinched nonetheless, hating the idea of hurting Magnus in whatever way. “You’re my soulmate, you’re intruding nothing.”
When Magnus focused his gaze on Alec again, however, the smile contained none of the negative emotions, only sincerity. Alec relaxed, returning the smile easily.
Alec left with Magnus after filing a report to Luke and explained to him the shortened version of the soulmate revelation. Luke had grinned from ear to ear, and gave Alec permission to leave, despite the latter’s protest, and assured him that when he got back there would be plenty for him to work on.
They didn’t end up going back to Magnus’ place, however. Halfway through their commute, Alec had dragged a bewildered Magnus off the subway and onto a deserted path.
“Where’re we going?” Magnus asked, curling his fingers around Alec’s, “I thought I was taking you back to my home so that I could have my way with you.”
Alec felt his cheeks burn, but he still managed to level Magnus with the most unimpressed glare he could muster.
“We’re going to Dot’s bookstore.” Alec looked around cautiously, as if bracing for someone to jump out from behind one of the brick walls with a gun aiming towards them, before pulling Magnus closer and strode across the deserted back street. “I have something I wanna ask her.”
They arrived at a small green wooden-framed door with a thick curtain covering the glass portion. Alec knocked once, then thrice, then once again.
Moments later, the door squeaked open, and Alec and Magnus slipped in.
“What happened? Why all the secrecy?” Dot was walking back to her usual spot behind the counter.
“Why, my dear Dorothea, because my charming knight was anxious for my wellbeing,” Magnus drawled, examining one of his perfectly painted nail, “unlike some.”
Dot whipped around at the sound of Magnus’ voice. The hug she was about to offer turned into a punch in the shoulder as she heard what Magnus was jokingly implying.
“You’re the one that disappeared like a puff of smoke for a year and a half, don’t you dare start that with me.”
Magnus huffed out a laugh, and hugged Dot with one hand while keeping the other linked with Alec’s. To which Dot noticed and raised a questioning eyebrow at the pair of them. There was no accusation in her features, only curiosity and amusement.
“So,” she simpered, “what brought two of my favourite people into my dim little bookstore today?”
Alec had then launched into the story, starting from his waking up from his weird dream all the way to when he discovered Magnus to be his soulmate. All through his narration, Magnus was holding his hand, offering silent support, drawing soothing circles on the inside of Alec’s palm when he felt Alec stiffened when he had to relive both their dreams again.
“That brought us to why we’re here.” Alec concluded to a solemn looking Dot, “well, actually, I brought us here, because I wanted to ask you something.”
Dot nodded, unfazed by Alec’s bluntness; the man was not one to beat around the bush.
Alec searched his brains for the right words to form his question carefully before opening his mouth once more, “would this happen all the time? Would Magnus get hurt every time I injure myself?”
Magnus had been mindlessly admiring a vase sitting on a nearby table when he heard the question. He turned his attention back to Alec with a snap of his head.
“I don’t want him hurt. If this bond that we share means he has to share my injuries as well then I don’t want it.”
Magnus was sure his shock was showing all over his face right now, but he couldn’t bring himself to care even though he was gaping at Alec with his mouth slightly open, which was very un-Magnus like.
Alec, however, seemed unaffected as he offered Magnus a squeeze in the hand and a shy, sheepish smile, “I don’t think it’s fair to you, to have to bear my wounds as well.”
Magnus prided himself on his ability with words, but at that moment, his usual wittiness presented him with nothing than a breathless “and it’s fair to you?”.
Alec didn’t get to reply that because Dot mused, “I don’t think so, no. Whatever happened in the two dreams you shared with each other was your worst nightmare in real life, which is why almost every pair of soulmates end up waking up with various degrees of injuries on their bodies. Because having their soulmates injured is as close to worst case scenario as it can get.”
Dot didn’t specify, but both Alec and Magnus knew the implication behind her words. They visibly flinched, and instinctively inched closer to each other.
“So to answer your question, Alec, no, whatever dreams you have from now on won’t have direct effects on Magnus on any level, so don’t worry.” She paused, remembering the reason to Magnus’ injuries, “you do, however, need to get him back to his home safely before they find him again.”
“Magnus?” Alec sat down gingerly next to him on the couch.
They had taken almost all the alleyways on their way home, jumping over low fences and darting across wide streets because Alec insisted it would be much safer. Magnus didn’t object, simply letting his body follow whatever Alexander did and allowing his mind to wander.
His soulmate, even though he had just met him, was so much more than just met the eye, Magnus realized. Alec was genuine when he voiced his worries to Dot, saying he didn’t want to hurt Magnus, even if he needed to cut the bond to achieve that. Part of him felt blessed and warm and giddy (yes, giddy, god knows what Alexander had already done to him in a matter of hours) that he was cared for, but a part of him felt frustration, hurt, even anger.
That wasn’t Alec’s choice to make. Whether or not Magnus wanted to suffer alongside Alec with his injuries and wounds was entirely Magnus’ choice, and Alec shouldn’t go so far as to be willing to cut the bond easily, no matter what his motives were.
Which was exactly what Magnus told Alec when the latter asked him if he was alright.
“And did it occur to you that maybe I don’t want to cut the bond, no matter what?” Magnus kept his voice even, but he was sure Alec could effortlessly pick up the frustration beneath his façade.
“I’m so sorry Magnus,” Alec ducked his head, but still reached out and grabbed one of Magnus’ hands between his own. "I was worried. In my line of work, injuries are a common occurrence, especially gunshot wounds. I don't want you to have to go through with that."
Magnus sighed, a wan smile on his face as he twisted his wrist and intertwined his fingers with Alec’s, “I know you didn’t mean it, and I don’t blame you. It’s just shocking to learn that there is someone on the planet that cared for me, that’s all.”
Alec looked up at Magnus, his brow furrowed.
“I’m not exactly new to relationships,” Magnus elaborated, shifting his position on the couch so that he was leaning his head on Alec’s shoulder, “and let’s just say that almost all my past relationships had left me broken-hearted.”
At that, Alec let out a low growl that came from within his chest, and he put his arm around Magnus’ shoulder and hugged his soulmate tightly.
“Especially after Camille, I really thought that was it, that I’d never find love. I was so ready to close myself off to the world, but then you stumbled into the first aid room.”
“I didn’t stumble.” Alec mumbled half-heartedly. Magnus lifted his head slightly and gave him a small grin.
“You nearly tripped on your feet when Ragnor wrenched that door open and gave both you and Blondie a fright.” Magnus laughed softly, “don’t think I didn’t see that, Alexander.”
Alec muttered something indecipherable under his breath, the tips of his ears a bright pink. Magnus’ grin turned brighter as he pecked Alec on the cheek, only to have the bright pink extended towards Alec’s cheekbones.
“If you only know how glad I am to have found you, Alexander.” Magnus whispered ahead after a moment of blissful quietness, “just please don’t say anything even remotely like cutting the bond again, okay? Especially not for my sake.”
Alec, with his chin resting on Magnus’ head, nodded into his hair.
Funny how Alec didn't even believe in soulmates before, seeing how amazing this whole situation had turned out. They had only known of each other’s existence for hours, and yet they felt so comfortable and so familiar with each other it was as though they had known each other their entire life.
In a way, though, Alec mused, they had.
They stayed like that for a while, Magnus leaning on Alec’s shoulder and Alec resting his head on top of Magnus’, before Magnus slowly sat up straighter and pulled his legs up onto the couch, crossing them and tucking them underneath his body as he turned to face Alec.
“Now,” he said with a carefree grin tugging the corners of his lips, “tell me something about yourself.”
Hope you like it! Any feedback is appreciated =D
Chapter 3: Short-lived Tranquillity
Alec and Magnus talked. A sneak peak into Magnus' past.
Yes, a sneak, no more.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Alec mimicked Magnus’ actions by crossing his own legs on the couch, and turned his whole body towards Magnus.
“There’s not much to tell, actually,” he scratched the back of his head, “I’m an agent, I have three siblings, all of whom are annoying little shits.” And he launched into story mode as he told Magnus stories from when he was younger, how Izzy was beyond enthusiastic in cooking but one try of the food she made had them all cringed and since then they had actively avoided having her in the kitchen; how Jace was a pain in the ass because of his never ending egotism and all the dramas he caused; how, after Max was born, Alec had hoped that his youngest brother would be on his side but to Alec’s great disappointment, Max had chosen to side with Jace and Izzy.
Magnus noticed how Alec’s eyes lit up when he was talking about his siblings, even when he was telling him how irritating they all were. The small but fond smile on Alec’s features showed that he was not the least exasperated by his brothers and sister.
“As charming as I believe your siblings are, Alexander, I do recall asking about you.” Magnus smiled, emphasizing on the last word.
Alec’s cheeks tinged pink at the comment. He was aware of that, but he had never been the type to talk about himself. His siblings were always far more interesting topics than he was.
Magnus seemed to sense his discomfort because he added, “let’s do ask and answer then. What’s your favourite colour?”
That was the most random question, and Alec was internally grateful for this straightforward way out. The answer to that question came easily to him, “blue. It’s the colour of the sky and the ocean.”
The small grin on Magnus’ face never left, “okay your turn.”
They took turns asking each other questions about their favourite food, their favourite books, and their must-watch TV shows. To Alec, it was effortless talking to Magnus as though they were old friends even when they were just getting to know each other. There was an ease about them, neither leading the conversation nor straying away from it. Alec tried to remember the last time he had had a talk like this with someone other than his brothers and sister, but he came up empty.
But the tranquillity was short-lived. Because he just had to ruin it with a thoughtless question.
“Why did you choose to be a journalist?”
Magnus froze at the innocent question. Alec, noticing and feeling the tenseness coming off of his soulmate, instantly regretted asking that.
“You don’t have to answer it, really, if you don’t want to.” He quickly added, silently chastising himself for being inconsiderate.
Magnus relaxed a little, although his shoulders were still rigid.
“It’s fine,” he waved his hand in a flourish, looking anywhere instead of at Alec, “let’s just say I had some pretty gruesome memories about my childhood. But, to answer your question, my mother was a journalist and I wanted to follow her footsteps.”
Alec heard the past tense Magnus used when he was talking about his mother, but didn’t comment on it, instead laying a hand on Magnus’ as a form of comfort and support, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s all in the past now,” Magnus dismissed lightly, “and I’ve long since come to terms with it.”
“Still, I’m sorry it happened to you.”
The sincerity and protectiveness radiated from that single sentence caused Magnus to return his gaze back onto Alec. The latter was looking at him with tender and caring eyes, something Magnus hadn’t seen directed to him in anyone’s eyes in a long, long time.
“Thank you, Alexander. You’re too good for this world.” He gave Alec a smile, small and warm and private, making Alec shiver in all the right places.
Alec’s return smile was bright and brilliant, “I can say the same about you, Magnus.”
Luke was pacing around the room, waiting for Isabelle as she prepared the preliminary autopsy findings for the two bodies in the morgue.
“Just a sec…” Izzy trailed off, fingers flying on the keyboard.
The pair of them had been working non-stop since 4am that morning, trying to find out their exact cause of death, and to see if there were anything about their identities other than the obnoxious circle tattoo on their necks.
“There you go.” Luke stopped mid-step at Isabelle’s outstretched hand; a report was sitting in it.
“I hate to say it, but they were really good at what they do in terms of hiding their identities,” Izzy started, her hands on her hips, “apart from their fatal wounds and that tattoo, I couldn’t find anything.”
Luke scanned through the report, “potassium cyanide?”
“Yeah, they did it like in the second World War.”
To Izzy’s bemusement, Luke let out a sigh of relief.
“This is easier than I thought.”
When Izzy didn’t say anything, Luke continued, “cyanide has always been popular between underworld dealers, and I happen to know someone who could provide us with information.”
“But why can’t we just go to Morgenstern Corporation? We already know they’re behind this.” Jace asked, having listened at the door.
Luke turned to face him, “Valentine Morgenstern is not stupid, Jace, nor is he reckless. He does things with the utmost calculations, foreseeing every possible outcome.”
“But then –”
“No one is doing anything reckless while I’m in charge, Jace.” For once, Luke sounded stern. Jace knew better than to argue with him. “For now, I’ll see if I can contact that acquaintance of mine.”
With that, Luke marched out of the morgue, leaving Jace and Isabelle alone.
They hugged each other before Jace said, “did you know Alec found his soulmate?”
Izzy stared, “he what?”
“HE FOUND HIS SOULMATE AND DIDN’T TELL ME?”
Jace laughed at Isabelle’s outburst of excitement and pride and mock hurt, but was forced to keep a straight face when Izzy punched him on the shoulder, “and he told you?”
“Hey,” Jace gave her a look of feign hurt and disbelief, “I am his brother too you know.”
Izzy shot him a side eye.
“Okay, okay,” both of Jace’s hands shot up into the air in defence, “I walked in on them holding hands and talking before they left.”
“Before they left? As in his soulmate was here?”
“Yep,” he popped the p, “he was the guy that was attacked. Magnus.”
“I know what his name is, Jace, I was there when Luke told us.” She fumbled in her pocket, “I have to call Alec. He needs to know what we found out.”
Alec nodded, putting his phone back on the table.
They had been interrupted by Izzy when they were debating about what to get for lunch, and Izzy had told Alec about the contents in the lethal pills the assassins had swallowed. Magnus had been playing with Alec’s free hand absent-mindedly, but had also listened in intently.
“Of course it’s cyanide.” Magnus mumbled under his breath, getting to his feet to grab his jacket.
Magnus’ motions stopped momentarily, as if he was debating whether or not to tell Alec, but then decided against it because he returned to putting his arm through the sleeves, “it’s a long story, and right now we don’t have time for that.” He took Alec’s jacket as well and tossed it towards its owner who caught it with one hand.
“Yeah,” Alec sighed, still rueful that their time to get to know each other had been cut short, “we have some serious work to do.”
This is kinda like a transition chapter so it's shorter, but the next chapter will be longer, promise.
Chapter 4: Leave It Unspoken
A little background story of Magnus and Raphael, it probably doesn't make sense now, but it will. It sure will.
Title from Unspoken by Hurts
P.S. I'm only updating two days in a row because I'm on term break now, it's not the norm, don't get too used to it =P
P.P.S though I'll try to update as soon as I can
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The bureau was buzzing with people hurrying pass each other when Alec and Magnus got there. It was technically lunch time, but the amount of work was keeping every single one of them from having the break.
Everyone was there, even Clary and Simon, and – to both Magnus and Alec’s great surprise – Raphael.
Luke didn’t even look startled when the two of them walked in.
“—and that brings us to this young gentleman here.” He gestured to Raphael, who scowled at him, but proceeded to introduce himself to the group nonetheless.
Magnus, however, wasn’t paying attention to what Raphael was saying; whatever was coming from his mouth, Magnus was sure he already knew, even the monotone Raphael was using when he talked and the hint of annoyance in his words.
No. All he could focus on right now was the fact that Luke had chosen to involve Raphael, and the sudden surge of anger that flared inside him. Luke of all people should’ve known better.
“No you’re not going in there Raphael, you’re gonna get killed!”
“And you won’t? Look, Magnus, you’re the better half of the two of us, they would rather I die.”
“They’d rather neither of us die, Raphael, and you going in there isn’t going to make things easier for us.”
“What do you think that we should do? That I should do? He fucking killed my family, Magnus.”
“I know! Which is the exact reason why you shouldn’t be this reckless! Do you think your family would want you to be heroic and get yourself killed now?” Magnus practically roared, getting frustrated with Raphael’s stubbornness.
Raphael was quiet then, his face emotionless, his lips in a straight line. But Magnus knew him long enough to know that the worst part of the argument was done.
“For now, let’s just wait them out and form a solid plan that doesn’t involve any of us dying.” Magnus continued pointedly, crawling from the tainted window to the coffee table.
He didn’t even make it to the table which was only a couple feet away.
The sound of gunshot and bullets crushing glass set him into a scurry of motions. He ducked even lower instinctively, moving towards the rifle propped up against the wall next to the window and squinted through the scope. In a matter of seconds he had spotted the source of the bullets, aimed, and fired.
The rain of bullets had stopped as abruptly as it had started. Magnus let out a shaky breath he didn’t know he was holding and looked over to Raphael. His call for his companion died in his throat when he saw the small pool of blood on the floor, and a limp body lying in it.
This was one of the rare moments that Magnus’ brains short-circuited. The sight was so disturbing yet so heartbreaking, Magnus was paralyzed with shock.
Luckily his senses returned when he saw Raphael’s hand gave the slightest twitch. He hurried over, checking his friend.
A bullet had gone in from the middle left side of Raphael’s back. One look at the wound and Magnus was sure it had punctured one of his lungs.
Magnus ripped at his shirt and pressed the strip of clothing on top of the wound, trying to sustain the blood flow. The cloth was stained red in a matter of minutes.
A pull at the hand sent Magnus back to the present. He looked towards the source of the voice and found Alec staring at him, worry written all over his face.
Alec must’ve felt the intense fear and anger inside him.
Across the room, Raphael sighed, looking more exasperated than ever.
“Magnus, do you mind?” He asked pointedly, tilting his head towards the door.
Stiffly, Magnus followed him out wordlessly after giving Alec’s hand a – what he hoped was reassuring – squeeze.
Once the door to the briefing room was firmly shut behind him, Magnus rounded on Raphael.
“What was Luke thinking when he asked you to work with him? And what were you thinking agreeing to get involved? Didn’t you suffer enough?”
“For your information, Magnus, Luke didn’t drag me here. I came here voluntarily.” At Magnus’ irritated expression, Raphael huffed, and his emotionless façade dropped. He looked determined, “you know I wouldn’t let any chance of revenge go past me. And if this is how I can let them pay for what they did then I’m in.”
Magnus still looked slightly bothered. Raphael exhaled, “I know what you were thinking back in the briefing room just now.”
Magnus opened his mouth at that, but Raphael didn’t give him the chance to cut across him, “don’t. I’m fine now, I’m healed. I’m not dead. And this is what I want to do.” He paused, then continued hesitantly, “you though. Why are you here?”
Magnus answered innocently, “because of Alexander, of course.”
“You know what I mean.” Raphael huffed disapprovingly, “both of us know very well where this investigation will lead to. Are you sure you want to do this?”
Magnus was silent. It wasn’t so much as where this investigation would lead to than who it would lead to, and with that person came utter destruction to his wellbeing. He would’ve actively avoided coming into contact with her again if he wanted a peaceful life, but then again, Magnus never sought problems; problems usually found him.
To be utterly honest, had the situation not involve his soulmate, Magnus would gladly sit this one out and let the agents settle it. Reality had it, though, that Alexander was going to be at the frontline of this, taking the brunt of the heat and fire if it ever come down to worst case scenario. And as much as Magnus hated it, he wasn’t going to let him face it alone.
“Yeah.” He gave Raphael a short nod before the pair of them went back into the meeting. Raphael still looked unconvinced, but he knew better than to push it.
Alec squeezed Magnus’ hand when the latter resumed his position beside him, “everything alright?”
Magnus smiled at Alec’s concerned gaze and gave his hand a squeeze back, “of course, Alexander, nothing to worry about.”
And if Alec noticed that that smile didn’t quite reach his eyes, he didn’t comment. Instead he offered a tender smile back and returned his attention to the meeting.
“As I was saying before,” Luke continued, “Raphael provided information about the person responsible for delivering large amounts of cyanide capsules to Morgenstern Corp. Her name is Camille Belcourt, and she’s probably the most powerful and dangerous matriarch in the underworld business circle.”
Camille. He had heard of this name somewhere before. He had heard it spit out with disgust and hurt and mistrust.
Alec whipped his head to where Magnus was standing. The latter was seemingly unfazed, listening intently on what Luke was saying, and his expressions would’ve fooled anyone.
But Alec wasn’t just anyone. No matter how Magnus was pretending that this wasn’t affecting him, it was.
“Magnus,” Alec whispered, not wanting to cause them attention, “are you okay?”
Magnus’ lips gave a wan tug at a corner, and shrugged, “yeah.”
Alec must had looked sceptical because Magnus added quickly, “I’m positively fine, Alexander,” his wan smile turned into a smirk then, “and you’re not paying attention to the meeting.”
Alec couldn’t refrain from rolling his eyes at Magnus. This man was impossible.
“Camille has been dealing with all kinds of illegal activities for as long as we could remember, and has aided Valentine Morgenstern with his wild ‘ambitions’ before.” Luke air-quoted the word ambitions with clear loathing on his face. “She has plenty of minions working for her, realising her every plan; she is also near impossible to track down, because she seldom makes an appearance and her clan normally operates by night.”
Jace chose that moment to raise an eyebrow and asked aloud, “then how did Raphael obtain all the info?”
Raphael gave a careless shrug when Luke looked at him, as if he was giving Luke the permission to tell the group what they needed to know.
Luke hesitated, then elaborated, “because Raphael was one of her minions.”
The stunned silence was so palpable in the room Alec felt he could suffocate from it. Almost everyone was staring at Raphael with something in their eyes, either slight mistrust or plain awe. Well, almost.
Magnus was staring at the window next to him, and Alec was staring at Magnus. The tanned hand that was linked to his was holding tighter and tighter.
“He got out, escaped, should I say, after a particularly nasty mission gone wrong –” Magnus’ hand on Alec’s was painfully tight, and his body was rigid, like a rope being pulled taut, “—but he went back at our request, to continue spying on them.”
“Continue?” Clary asked, picking out something in the way Luke phrased Raphael’s experiences.
Luke nodded, “yes, continue. He was already a spy before that horrid mission, but he had been ratted out and Camille had sent a sniper on that mission to kill him.”
“Then how –?”
“After I got back, I had to go through a series of ‘trust tests’, as she calls them, but they were mainly a procedure of torture systems aimed to get any information I had out of me. I went through that, gave her fabricated truths that we came up beforehand, and proceeded to act on several of her ‘plans’, most of which were us operating behind the scenes and leading her to believe that all those plans were of her intelligence and hers alone. It was a tedious process, but I gained her trust eventually.” Raphael explained in his monotone.
Magnus laughed then, the sound humourless, “yeah, eventually, with numerous cuts and bruises and angry gashes on your body than you could count.”
Raphael levelled him with expressionless eyes, but said nothing.
“So, Camille is where we’ll start first, since she’s the only one with access to that huge amount of lethal pills. I’ll need all the reinforcements I can get, so no matter your profession, you’re all in. Yes, Simon, you too.” Luke turned towards Simon, a hint of laughter in his eyes, “you’ll be responsible for hacking and driving.”
Clary didn’t even try to hold back her unladylike snort.
Simon just looked a little bit flustered, “hacking and driving, yeah, okay, of course, of course I’ll be the one driving, because none of you own a car, and all of you are going to handle a scary, powerful lady boss with guns in your hands. Yeah right, totally not intimidating at all, totally normal –”
“Will you just shut up?” Jace quipped.
Simon gulped, and Alec, even though he was slightly put off by Simon’s rambling, did not manage to suppress his amused grin. Even Magnus, in his tense state, cracked a grin at Simon's expense. Only Raphael maintained a straight face, unmoving by the whole situation, looking positively bored out of his wits. Then again, Alec mused, he always looked bored.
“Right. Yeah. Shutting up now.”
Alec was curiously quiet on their way to lunch at a restaurant nearby. Knowing him, Magnus thought he would object to dining out since that would put Magnus’ life in jeopardy, but he had said nothing to refute the idea. When Magnus was telling him about the restaurant they were heading to, that it had one of the best Ethiopian and Italian food he had ever tasted, Alec had even hummed in agreement.
So here they were, sitting across each other in a secluded corner in Taki’s, both of them devouring their food with different thoughts on their minds.
Eventually Magnus couldn’t stand the silence.
“Your thoughts are really loud, Alexander.” He said with a devil’s smirk, twirling his fork around in his penne distractedly.
Alec looked up from his kitfo, and Magnus was taken aback by how intense his hazel eyes looked at that exact moment.
“Sorry.” Alec mumbled. “I just…have a lot on my mind.”
Magnus could hear all the questions that went unasked.
Alec was being patient, Magnus knew. The meeting had definitely opened new questions and mysteries for the field agent, most of which concerned Magnus; but Alec hadn’t pressured him into explaining anything. And for that, Magnus was grateful.
“Look, Alec, I know you have a lot of questions right now, and I know what you wanted to ask me –”
“No, Magnus, it’s okay. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” Alec hastily interrupted, “it’s fine, I trust you. And when you’re ready to talk about it, I’ll be here.”
And the fact that Alec had meant it, that the sincerity was honest in his eyes, threw Magnus off more than anything. Alec would probably never understand how much it meant to Magnus that he didn’t push him into doing something that he didn’t want to. The gravity of Alec’s care for him made his heart incredibly warm, something he hadn’t thought possible after Camille tore it into pieces and stepped on it.
Magnus reached out and grabbed Alec’s free hand on the table, caressing the knuckles of his hand in way of conveying his gratitude.
Alec smiled warmly, curling his fingers around Magnus’, and for a while they just gazed at each other, food and drinks completely forgotten, until Magnus broke out of the staring contest by gesturing to Alec’s kitfo.
“The food’s not getting warmer, Alexander, and as much as I love staring at you, I would rather do it in the privacy of my apartment, preferably in the comfort of my bed,” his grin grew devilish as Alec’s face grew redder, “and preferably without so many layers on us.”
And he had the audacity to wink.
tbh I use the comments as anchors because my life right now is a mess of essays and research papers and fanfictions and I have no idea what I'm doing sometimes. So huge thank yous to everyone that leaves kudos and comments *showers you with love*
Also, ALSO!! Have you guys seen the trailer that just came out? Oh my gOD I can't even begin to say how nice Magnus looks in those clothes and that BANEHAWK I mean just WOW. And we have to wait till APR 3RD for that??? WHAT???
Chapter 5: Monster Stuck In My Head
1. Camille's a bitch.
2. This chapter hurts to write because I hate everything that makes Magnus unhappy
3. Feel free to yell at me because where I am right now it's Thanksgiving today and this isn't a nice present for such a nice day
Title from Monsters by Ruelle
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Alec didn’t end up going to Magnus’ again the day after lunch, much to Magnus’ disappointment. But the truth was, they both had things to do before the mission to expose or, if Magnus could have his way, to get rid of Camille.
He had a couple of phone calls to make, and two articles about the recent corporate fraud case to finish, but other than these, his week before the mission had been quite uneventful, with occasional lunches and dinners with Alexander or Ragnor and Cat and Raphael, and several flirtatious texts with Alexander back and forth.
But once he sat down with nothing to occupy his hands and his mind, he found himself thinking back to before. Those were not fond memories, but then again, in hindsight, nothing with Camille was fond.
Camille sashayed into Magnus’ old apartment without so much as a hello, her phone glued to her hands.
By now Magnus had already learned not to disturb her when her attention was solely on her phone, which, come to think of it, was happening a lot recently. There wasn’t a time in the past two weeks that she wasn’t on her phone, either texting or calling someone.
It didn’t strike Magnus as suspicious before, but it did now. Especially when she told Magnus before that she hated conversing by phone.
Magnus kept his composure on the couch, half lying, half sitting, with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. When Camille looked up from her phone he flashed her a customary wide grin, to which she returned only half-heartedly, and then proceeded to carry on the conversation on the phone while sitting down on the armchair at the farthest end of the room.
Magnus didn’t comment. He kept his eyes on his book. Only when she went into the bathroom did he turn his attention away from the fiction he was reading.
Admittedly, the sound-proofing in his apartment was top notch, all except the bathroom. Magnus knew that, but Camille didn’t. And at times like this, Magnus was thankful that he didn’t tell Camille about it.
He tiptoed closer to the door and leaned against the support beam.
“…won’t be a problem.” Came Camille’s muffled and sickly sweet voice out the door.
She was quiet for a while, presumably listening to what the person at the other end of the call was saying.
“Yeah don’t worry about it, the pills will be ready when you need them. Just tell me where you need them and I can have someone deliver them there, leaving both of us untrackable.”
And another length of silence.
“Of course not, Valentine, my cyanide pills are famous among the whole underworld trading business,” she drawled, offended, the sweetness in her voice gone in an instant, “this deal will only work if you trust me.”
Cyanide pills. Valentine.
What was Camille getting into?
“Awesome. Then I should say it’s a pleasure doing business with you too.”
And the bathroom door was pulled open.
For once, Camille looked shocked, but it only lasted a second. After the initial shock she immediately schooled her face into her usual perfect mask of indifference and haughtiness.
“What are you doing here?” She demanded, pocketing her phone.
Magnus gave an outraged roll of his eyes, “this is my apartment, I can do whatever I want anywhere in this area.”
Camille fixed him one of her glares. Magnus used to want to do anything to get her glares off her face; now, though, he couldn’t bring himself to care.
“What was that?” He gestured towards the bathroom, clearly indicating the phone call she was having.
Camille shrugged, “just some business calls, what’s it to you?”
“Business?” Magnus let out a humourless chuckle, “you call working with Valentine Morgenstern business? You call providing death pills business?”
Camille’s face fell for just a fraction. Clearly she wasn’t expecting Magnus to know of this. But she did date Magnus for almost a year, and she could see through him easily. She knew all too well how to deal with him.
“You know, you’re no fun to play with anymore.” Her glare turned into her trademark smirk, teasing and venomous at the same time.
She knew she had hit a cord when Magnus was visibly taken aback. He took a step back, his face open with emotions, disbelief and hurt and anger all at once.
Honestly, Magnus knew he shouldn’t feel surprised by this, not after months of cold shoulders and the bare minimal of communication. But he was. He was surprised that it had come like this, that she had used it like this against him. He had loved her, she knew; and even though, apparently, she had never quite return his feelings, he still loved her. She knew, and now she was using his love for her to disarm him and to simply divert the conversation.
He cursed inwardly. Camille knew him too well.
“And thus,” Camille was still talking, “you have nothing to do with any of my business anymore.” She paused, then proceeded with a grin, “you know, this past year was fun, but you’re too much and too overwhelming and too predictable, it just got duller and duller until there’s nothing about you that amuses me anymore.”
Magnus’ eyes stung.
Wasn’t it ironic, how someone who clearly didn’t give a damn about you could still affect you so.
He forced his mind to function, and managed to tug up a corner of his lips into a grimace, however tired he suddenly felt, body and soul.
“Still,” he tried, “Valentine isn’t someone you should be working with. If something goes wrong you wouldn’t know how to deal with him. You have no idea how dangerous he is.” He still cared, cared enough to still try to hold her back, to warn her.
Camille huffed out a laugh at him like he was a small child, “and how well do you know him?”
Her tone was taunting, but all Magnus could think about was I know him all too well.
“Anyway, you’re of no importance to me any longer,” Camille continued, waving her hand absently at him, and strolled towards the front door of the apartment, “why should I listen to you? And why are you so confident that I wouldn’t tell Valentine that you tried to stop me?”
Magnus’ face ashened. The last thing he needed was Valentine learning who he really was.
Miraculously, though, with sheer determination not to fall apart in front of her, Magnus gathered enough of his thoughts to retort, “you wouldn’t.”
Camille’s hand stilled on the door handle, “huh. And why is that?” She half-turned from the door, flipping her hair, that sickly sweet tone was back again.
“Because you wouldn’t want to risk Valentine knowing that I know. You wouldn’t risk him not trusting your ability to keep this a secret.”
Camille’s fiery glare was all the affirmation he needed.
The door banged shut, echoing loudly in the apartment. The emptiness and the quietness wrapped around Magnus like a suffocating blanket, and he staggered back towards the couch, falling face first into the soft cushion.
And then, and only then, did he allow himself to let go and cry out his heartbreak.
Magnus hadn’t realized that his cheeks were wet, and that the cushion he was holding hadn’t survived his tears either. He sniffed, wiped away the tear strains on his face, and raised to his feet, dropping the cushion on the side of the couch, only to hear the doorbell to his current loft ringing, and in the utter silence of the loft, the noise was loud enough to raise the dead.
He wasn’t expecting anyone, so he didn’t even bother to dry his eyes before he went and yanked opened the door, ready to yell at whoever that came to disturb him at – he glanced back at the clock quickly – half past ten at night.
Out of all the people he thought would be behind those doors, Alexander hadn’t been one of the possibilities.
“Mag – hey what happened?” Alec, observant as he always was, immediately spotted his red eyes, and was reaching out to rest his palm against Magnus’ cheek when the latter leaned away, hastily rubbing at his eyes.
“Nothing, nothing.” Magnus forced a smile, and stepped aside to let Alec in. “To what do I owe the pleasure, Alexander?”
The frown was still on his face, but Alec’s eyes had a glint in them, “I just – wanted to see you.”
That was a first. Normally people showed up at Magnus’ doorstep asking for all kinds of stuff, from “can you help me find a book publisher?” to “can you put up this Missing Person notice in the papers?” to even “can I have free subscription to your newspapers?”, all of which Magnus dealt with patiently, with a smile on his face, even when some of the requests weren't strictly his area of expertise. Okay maybe not the last request. Maybe he had kicked the last requestor out the door quicker than the guy could curse. But none of them came to him for him.
Magnus prided himself with the ability to string words into fancy sentences, but right then and there, he was rendered speechless.
He was still so paralyzed by the fact that Alexander came here simply for him that he hadn’t notice the latter wandering around the loft, eventually stopping in front of the couch. In his hand was the very cushion Magnus had held and cried into mere minutes before.
“Were you crying?”
Alec was looking between him and the cushion, anticipating an answer, but Magnus couldn’t bring himself to explain to him what had just happened. He was so much better at building up walls and putting up façades than explaining his heartbreak and sharing his past.
He knew Alec was his soulmate, the one person on Earth that was his perfect half; and by definition, Alec was his equal as well as the one that balanced him out. He should be able to tell him everything, to share everything, without the trepidation that Alec would look at him like he was a creature from hell and leave him.
But he feared. Oh how he feared.
Cat and Ragnor had chastised him multiple times. They said that the past didn’t define who he was if he didn’t let it define him. But how could he not, when the past was so heavily burdened on his shoulders?
After his mother’s death, and several other relationships with no happy ending, and then Camille, Magnus had slowly closed himself off, bit by bit, to the world. The person he had been, and all the things he had gone through, shaped him into who he was, and for that reason, he had always felt that he was incomplete and that he was not worthy enough to be on the receiving end of someone’s care and love.
And now, he felt he wasn’t worth Alec’s while.
Large hands cupped his face and raised his eyes so that he was staring into swirls of hazel. Alec had abandoned the cushion and was standing in front of him, studying him intently, his eyes full of worry and, dare Magnus hope, love.
It was when Alec swept his thumbs gently across his cheekbones that he realized his tears were streaming down again.
“Magnus, talk to me.” Alec pleaded, his eyes searching Magnus’ face. And when Magnus looked closely, he could see his own pain reflected in his soulmate’s eyes.
Being soulmates didn’t automatically made them closer, nor did it mean they would fully accept each other. But Alexander had already dismantled a part of the carefully built-up barrier around his wounds and his heart with his kindness and understanding and care. That look, that one look, cracked a crevice in another one of his walls.
So he told him about Camille, about how she had planned a deal with Valentine, why he wasn’t surprised when he heard the assassins were equipped with cyanide pills, and how she had used his love for her against him, how she had laughed his care for her in his face, and how she had flippantly waved his warning away.
Alec had listened, all the while rubbing his hand soothingly over his shoulder and bicep, giving him silent support when he was reliving a particular nasty part of his conversation with Camille.
After that, he had sighed heavily and choked out, “how pathetic and stupid I was to think that she would love me back as I had loved her.”
Alec caught the unspoken words.
I didn’t want you to think that I was so pathetic and so blinded by love that I couldn’t even tell right from wrong, left from right. I never wanted you to witness the weakness in me.
“Hey, hey.” Alec whispered gently, when Magnus had looked away, “as much as I want to punch Camille in the face for hurting you –” Magnus croaked out a chuckle at that, “what she did to you was not your fault. It didn’t make you a pathetic or weak person.”
Magnus looked up then, daring himself to hope again.
“Just because you loved her didn’t give her the right to hurt you like that.” Alec said, stroking Magnus’ cheeks softly, “and the fact that you still warned her even after how she treated you only means you’re too good for her, that you’re such a better human being than she was.”
Alec paused, then added, with a private smile on his face, the kind of smile that Magnus had only seen directed to him, and it made his heart flutter, “and I’m glad she dumped you, because otherwise we wouldn’t’ve been together.”
Magnus chuckled at that, and brought Alec closer so that his face was buried in the latter’s shoulder.
“What did I ever do to deserve you Alexander?”
What he told Alec wasn’t his whole past, but he was surer than before that one day he would be able to tell Alec the whole story.
Alec just held him tighter, and for the moment it was enough for Magnus, enough for the two of them.
And it also planted a thought in his mind, that no matter what happened, he wasn’t going to let anything or anyone harm Alexander.
My term break ends today so I won't have so much time writing this, but I'll try to keep it a chapter a week.
I'm thankful for everyone of you <3
Chapter 6: Caught in a Reckless Flame
I couldn't resist throwing a little Malec here and there even in dire situations.
Things always go worse before they go better, though, don't they?
Title from Bleeding Love by ASTR
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Alec was woken up on the morning of their mission to stop Camille by the shrill ring tone of his phone on his bedside table.
“Lightwood.” He growled into it without checking the caller ID while fumbling out of bed.
“Alec,” it was Isabelle; and she sounded desperate, “you have to come over now, Magnus has gone with Raphael alone to confront Camille.”
Alec was instantly awake. He threw on some clothes, not even bothering with shower, and stuffed his firearms into their respective hiding places around his torso. Within minutes he was out the door.
“Be there in ten.” He clipped, and snapped his phone shut.
It was still early in the morning, the kind of hour when people are on their way to grab breakfast and coffee before coming in to work, but the intelligence division was already full of people, and the energy around the department was so tense Alec felt he could cut through it with a knife.
Luke was barking orders when Alec entered the briefing room, his furrowed brows forming a deep frown as he marched around the room, giving out documents or grabbing them back.
“What happened?” Alec asked the room at large.
Clary didn’t even glance up from her bulletin board of pictures as she relayed the situation.
“Luke called us in hours ago saying Magnus and Raphael were not returning his calls. He still had some minor details with the plan and he wanted to make sure they were okay with it, but every single one of his calls went to their voicemails.”
“And they aren’t the type to ignore phone calls,” Luke dragged himself over to the desk where Alec was leaning against, rubbing his hand over his face in exhaustion, “I wasn’t sure they went on the mission alone until I had Simon hacked into Raphael’s phone and got his text messages with Magnus.”
Alec didn’t have the heart to tell Luke that what he did wasn’t strictly legal.
“Somehow I wasn’t even surprised that they had decided to do this.” Luke finished, laying the documents on the desk. The papers were littered with yellow highlights and red circles and underlines; just one glance at them made Alec’s head throb.
“You’ve only known Magnus for, what, two weeks? How do you know what he would do?” Simon asked absently, tilting his head and staring the monitor.
For the first time since they all started working here, Alec actually perked up at Simon’s words.
Now that he thought about it carefully, what Simon had said made sense. First of all there was Magnus holding back his past; then there was the way Luke talked about Magnus, like he had known him long enough to know what Magnus would or would not do; and during that last briefing they had, when Luke mentioned a disastrous mission that Raphael had gone through, Magnus had been holding his hand so tight that his knuckles were white, and he looked – he looked…
The wheels in Alec’s mind were spinning at top speed as he slowly pieced everything together.
He looked as if he was reliving the moment.
He looked as if he had been there.
“Luke,” Alec gasped out, before Luke could answer – or evade, whichever he chose – Simon’s question, “how long have you known Magnus?”
Luke’s eyes snapped to his, but other than the flash of surprise in the deep brown colour, his face gave nothing away.
“I’ve known him since before he started working for us.” Luke’s answer was calm and collected, but it stirred a wave of reactions from the people in the room. Heads snapped from pictures and documents and computers to stare at Luke, disbelief visible on everybody’s face.
“You told us he’s a reporter!” Clary voiced out what all of them were thinking.
“Because his true identity has been kept top secret ever since he came in, at Magnus’ own request. We told him we wouldn’t want to conceal his identity to whoever he’s going to work with, but he asked us not to disclose the information to his teammates unless he’s in peril.”
“But that doesn’t make sense.” Isabelle said, “shouldn’t he let the secret die with him?”
Alec visibly flinched at her words. Izzy, realizing what she had just exclaimed, threw him an apologetic look, and added, “that’s not what I meant, the question was rhetorical.”
Luke looked grim, “that was what we said to him. But Magnus wanted us to do that so that his teammates, and I quote, ‘could make a swift retreat in times of danger’.”
Of course he said that, Alec thought bitterly, irrational anger rising up in his chest. Magnus would rather put himself in danger than letting others suffer from it. He wouldn’t leave alone with Raphael if he was otherwise.
“So he’s not a reporter.” Clary was still processing the information.
“Technically he is.” Luke swept his gaze across the room, “he’s the news correspondent for New York Times in Morgenstern Corporation –”
“—but he is, first and foremost, our spy, just like Raphael.” Luke carried on as though he didn’t get interrupted.
“That explains so much.” Simon breathed, in awe.
To Alec, that could not have been more understated.
No wonder Magnus was tense when they saw Raphael in the meeting before. He was so focus on keeping his face void of emotions that he wasn’t aware of his rigid shoulders or his back. He was so edgy that even Raphael could tell from across the room. No wonder he was upset and alarmed when he found out his ex-girlfriend was working with Valentine, enough to warn her of his power and his way of operation even after being treated like shit. No wonder he had chosen to go to Camille alone, without telling even Alec, because he knew how risky their mission was, and he had decided to sacrifice himself.
Alec was so deep within his thoughts that he didn’t notice Luke approaching him.
“You okay, kid?”
Alec rolled his eyes when Luke called him “kid”, but nodded nonetheless, although he was anything but okay at the moment.
The fact that Magnus was a spy and that he was probably in enemy’s territories now was enough to put Alec on edge, not to mention somewhere deep inside him was both fearing for Magnus and hurting at the same time.
Of all the times that their soulmate bond could come in handy (the exact moment Magnus decided to leave them for the mission, how about that?), this was when it chose to announce its presence to Alec. To let him feel the deep-set fear and anxiety that radiated from within him when he was supposed to keep a level head and figure out a solution to this whole mess.
Alec took a deep breath, and at Luke’s sceptical gaze, he breathed out a shaky, “I’m not okay. Not now. But I will be.”
Luke gave him a reassuring grip on the shoulder.
“We’ll get them out, and we’ll deal with Camille.”
“Your soulmate’s gonna be so pissed at you if he finds out, you know.”
Magnus sighed, leaning his head against the dry wall of the abandoned factory building they were currently in, with their respective rifles propped up next to them, a safe distance away from the warehouse he knew Camille would be in.
Raphael had found out about his plan after his visit to his apartment once, and that was only because Magnus had been too tired to notice he had left maps and info on his coffee table. It was a nasty fight, the worst one since they had known each other, and Magnus couldn’t stop Raphael from butting in and stubbornly decided to go with him.
“You need her to trust you.” He had said, exhaustion dripping from his every word.
Raphael had huffed, “screw her,” he frowned, “it’s not like she has entirely trusted me ever since I got back anyway. She asked me for information, yes, but she never acted on what I provided.”
Magnus inhaled deeply before exhaling through his nose, breathing himself back to reality. His head hurt, and he could feel his veins pulsing on the sides of his head, and the sound of his heart going a hundred miles an hour.
His mind drifted again, back to what Raphael had said.
Alexander would be so pissed indeed.
He sighed. The last thing he needed right now was to think about Alexander. The thought of him sent a jolt of sadness and fear through him like electricity. He wished he could feel what Alec was feeling at that moment, but they were too far away from each other. He had managed, just barely, to conceal his solo plan from Alec for the week, and it hadn’t been pleasant, what with every cell in his body itching to tell him, to have someone stop him from going forward and taking that step. But he knew he couldn’t. This wasn’t Alexander’s burden, this wasn’t his mission, and this wasn’t his revenge.
Magnus thought about his mother, how she was so thrilled to be employed by the biggest company in the city, and how she was so ecstatic to be doing what she was passionate about, only to be brutally murdered in the end.
He tasted bile in his throat.
“Hey,” Raphael noticed his change of posture. “Are you okay?”
Magnus swallowed before offering a feeble, “yeah why aren’t I?”
Raphael rolled his eyes, “I brought him up so that you can be less tense, Magnus, I thought soulmates calm each other down?”
What had he done to deserve such a friend, even though he was emotionless and talked in a monotone all the time?
“He does calm me down.” Magnus argued, “I just…thought of my mum and how I don’t want her to die in vain.”
Raphael didn’t speak. He knew what happened to Magnus’ mum; that was what drove Magnus to go to Luke in the first place.
“And for the record,” Magnus added, musing, “I think they would’ve known what we’re up to by now. It’d be shocking if they still haven’t worked it out yet.”
His pale friend let out one of those rare smirks, “let’s just get this over with so that we can go back to them and you can cuddle your soulmate and make us sick with your public display of affection.”
Magnus gasped, “he jokes!”
Raphael punched him on the shoulder.
“We technically need to wait a while longer, but I’m taking you up on that!” Magnus pointed a finger at Raphael, “I’m going to do just that with Alec when we get back.”
“Oh please no.”
“Why is everyone getting a soulmate but me?” Isabelle whined, once they were let out of the briefing room after being exposed to a huge amount of information on Camille’s multiple hideouts, her minions, and the way her underworld empire operated.
“How can you still spare your mind to care about that when we have an urgent mission at hand?” Alec semi-scoffed, “and what do you mean, everyone?”
Izzy rolled her eyes at him, “if I keep thinking about the mission like you, big brother, I think I’ll go insane before we walk out the bureau.”
Alec suppressed a grin at that and instead rolled his eyes back at her.
“And,” she continued, dragging the vowel dramatically, “I mean you and Jace.”
“Did Jace find his –”
“Yes!” She practically squealed, “yes he did! Clary’s his soulmate!”
Jace chose that moment to appear around the corner, and Isabelle, still squealing, ran up and gave him a bear hug. Jace and Alec chuckled.
“Congrats, man,” Alec grinned properly at Jace who had his arms busy supporting their sister’s clinging weight.
Jace beamed back, “thanks, Alec. Although the dream last night did scare the hell out of me.”
Alec grimaced, knowing all too well what he meant. He gave Jace a sympathetic look, and started searching with his eyes any severe injuries on him before Jace reminded him that “we sealed the bond”.
“I’m happy for you, Jace,” Alec stepped up to pat Jace on the arm, “but please, just please, keep things to a minimum, okay? I don’t want to walk into your apartment and see your naked ass again.”
Jace smirked wider, “no guarantees, bro.”
Alec groaned. Did he mention his siblings were little shits sometimes?
“Stop moaning, we have your boyfriend’s ass to save.” Isabelle looped her arms through each one of Alec’s and Jace’s, tugging them away to the back door, where their vehicle was waiting.
Alec startled at the title Isabelle had just given Magnus. Boyfriend. They hadn’t really talked about this, nor had they used this word to describe each other, but Alec couldn’t help but think that “Hi, this is my boyfriend, Magnus Bane” did indeed has a nice ring to it.
He made a mental note to talk to Magnus about this when this chaotic situation was resolved.
They had been in that worn-down room for the better half of the night and the better half of the day, and when the sun finally, finally started to show signs of setting, Magnus let out a sigh, and set his rifle up, pointing directly towards the back exit of the warehouse. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Raphael doing the same, peering out through the window next to his.
It was supposed to be an easy task for the both of them. Lock, aim, and fire.
Until it wasn’t.
Complications took the shape of an arriving van. One look at the vehicle and Magnus’ heart plummeted straight to his stomach.
As expected, they figured everything out, and they came.
But they were too dangerously close to the perimeter.
And as if on cue, the back door to the warehouse was kicked open, and out stepped two figures, followed by a crowd of shadows quickly spreading outwards.
Looking out through his scope, Magnus gave a small gasp.
This mission had turned from having a 99% success rate to becoming utterly suicidal.
I had a pretty hectic week =/ what about you guys