See yourself through my eyes...
Alec was hurting. He was hurting deep inside, and he knew there was nothing he could do about it. There was a lump in his throat and swallowing had suddenly become harder than it should ever be. The young archer hit his fist on his desk, flinching at the sharp thud which echoed loud in the overall quite office. In his office. Oh, who was he kidding? It would never be his office, not really. And that was his fault, he knew as much... It was his fault.
He wasn't enough, he would never be enough neither for the Clave, nor yet for his own father. Alec knew that he would have to face their archaic views and he also knew that they would criticize him for his choice to oppose and eventually walk away from his marriage with Lydia. He knew it would be tough, but he was prepared. Well, as prepared as one can ever be, that is. He was prepared for the sharp words, for the angry glances, for the muffled whispers, which would be spoken behind his back...
What he wasn't prepared for, however, was the fact that, the Clave would try and sabotage his choices as Head of the Institute to such an extend, that other Shadowhunters would find themselves caught in the crossfire. Little did it matter that Alec had been serving as Head of the Institute for almost two years. The Clave still opposed almost every measure Alec would suggest, and on top of that, they had used Jace, Izzy and even Clary as means to hurt him. They had banned Izzy from going out on the field, they were constantly putting pressure on Jace whenever the blond Shadowhunter would lead a mission and they had deemed Clary unworthy of being trusted with any crucial information, presenting as an excuse the fact that, she was Valentine's daughter.
Alec found himself shaking his head in an attempt to clear it from all these thoughts, but it was futile. The young man bit his lip hard, getting up from his chair, heading towards the window, averting his gaze when his own eyes stared back at him through the glass. In the dark of the night, the sight of the illuminated New York city, which was lying at his feet, made Alec blow out a long, weary sigh. Someone like him couldn't be the Head of the New York Institute. He wasn't worthy of the title, he wasn't enough. Alec found himself tensing at the thought. He had let himself be allured by his emotions, by his personal desires. Oh, how he wanted to be worthy of this title. How he had tried to be the best, he had tried so much and yet...
A low growl escaped his gritted teeth and Alec cursed inwardly. His hand moved on its own accord, colliding with the thick wall which was next to the window. The young archer flinched, sucking in a deep breath. His knuckles, trained to endure such a collision, burned, but Alec bit his lip, drawing his hand back before unleashing it once again, letting it hit the wall once more. This time the impact was stronger and Alec felt the skin concealing his knuckles burning intensely. Small droplets of blood ran down the back of his hand, whilst the wall had a small stain on it. Alec could almost feel the bruise forming, but that was fine by him.
God, he was so angry. He was so very angry and so very hurt. His chest physically ached and Alec was well aware of the fact that he was trying to distract his mind by punching the wall. It wouldn't be the first time he was utilizing this method, but it was the first time he was failing to achieve his goal. It was the first time, he was feeling so lost, as if he was drowning in an ocean of his own mistakes. Hissing, the archer turned away from the wall and in two long strides he crossed the room. Extending his bloodied hand, Alec took a hold of his bow, which he had thrown in the corner of the room when he had finally returned to the Institute.
His knuckles and the muscles of his abused hand were protesting, but the young man ignored the intense pull and fixed his gaze on the bow which lingered in his hand. It was a part of him, yet now it felt as though it was something foreign, nothing more than a lifeless piece of steal. Swallowing thickly, Alec did something he had never done before. He threw the bow on the floor harshly, watching with dull eyes as it went crashing down on the cold marble. His breath hitched, getting trapped in his lungs and his chest was burning as if someone was stepping on it. The young archer could feel the bones of his sternum aching, he could feel his hands shaking, he could hear his heartbeat in his ears.
He wanted to scream, because it wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair. He was trying to prove himself to everyone. Every day, he was always willing to be better. Yet it wasn't enough. Whatever he did, just wasn't enough. So, Alec wanted to scream, but the lump in his throat was blocking the hoarse cries he wished to unleash. He wanted to curl on the couch and cry, but his eyes were uncommonly dry and his muscles were taut under his skin. What was he supposed to do then? Alec didn't know. He didn't know what to do with himself. He lowered his gaze and headed towards his desk once more. He stilled for a moment, eyes falling on his cell phone, which lingered atop of the desk. His hand moved slowly, as if it had a mind of its own, and Alec found himself holding the small device in his right hand. Magnus' number was formed by his fingers before Alec could blink twice.
“Hello, my darling...” Came Magnus' voice from the other end of the line. Its muffled tone indicated the Warlock had been asleep. 'Of course he is asleep, it's two forty-five in the morning.' A small voice inside Alec's head hissed. “Alec? Is everything alright?” Magnus was sounding concerned now, and the traces of sleep were fleeting, giving their place to worry. Alec opened his mouth to answer, but all of a sudden he felt all air leaving his lungs. Alright? No, he wasn't alright, far from it. He was a mess, a disappointment, a broken little man... He was just so-- “Alec, Alexander, darling, take it easy, take a deep breath, come on, come on...” Magnus' frantic voice from the other end of the line got the young archer out of his head and back to the present.
His mind started working again and only then did Alec realized he had been muttering all those things, albeit through gritted teeth. He froze, face paling, eyes widening in horror. Despite the fact that they had been together for a long while, Alec was still feeling uncomfortable with letting his guard down and showing his emotions, even if the one he opened up to, was Magnus. “Alexander, darling, where are you?” Magnus questioned and Alec could hear the rustling sound of clothes as they were grabbed forcibly. An image passed before Alec's eyes then, and his lips formed the tiniest of smirks at the thought of fine clothes sliding down Magnus' lean body.
“Alexander, talk to me shayan.” The Warlock half pleaded, half demanded and Alec found himself responding to the Indonesian nickname almost automatically. “At... I'm at the Institute.” He replied, his voice sounding vacant and hollow in his ears. Magnus swallowed, alarmed by the tone his lover had utilized, so he kept talking to him, fearing his beloved Nephelim had lost himself in the dark labyrinths of his own mind, where self loathing, doubt and insecurity were dwelling. “Alexander--” The Warlock chanted, careful to use the archer's first name, knowing that this would get his attention. “I'm in... my office.” The young man elaborated, giving his boyfriend his exact location. “I'll be right there, alright?” “I... I'm... I...” Alec's rambling was short lived however, for the Shadowhunter found himself at a loss for words. He what? He was what? Sorry? Tired? Hurt? Angry? Lost? He didn't know. Maybe he was all of those things at the same time. The anger he was feeling, had all of a sudden drifted away into nothing, leaving Alec empty and broken.
Maybe he was nothing. “What, what is it my darling?” Magnus questioned over the phone. When Alec remained silent, Magnus spoke again. “Talk to me Alec, are you hurt?” The other man asked, picking a simpler question. Alec knew he could answer that. It was a simple answer, one word. “No...” Alec managed to reply, feeling his mouth going dry. “Okay, alright...” The Warlock muttered absently. One part of him was calming down; Alec wasn't bleeding to death, so that was good. But the demons which were haunting him were powerful opponents and Magnus knew battling against them was not an easy task. The jingling sound of keys was then heard and Alec barely had the time to take in a couple of shallow breaths before Magnus' portal appeared on the wall. A few moments later, Magnus himself stepped out, eyes falling on Alec's figure at once.
“Alexander?” The Warlock offered in a low voice, approaching his lover slowly. His brown eyes left Alec's stiff body for only a moment and Magnus bit the inside of his cheek when, he saw the bow thrown to the floor so carelessly. His eyes flew to the young man once more and Magnus came to a halt when he reached Alec, their bodies only inches apart. “Alexander, I'm here my darling.” Magnus repeated, but Alec turned away from him, heading towards the window. Magnus followed suit, with steps slow and light.
“I'm sorry I woke you up...” The Shadowhunter mumbled weakly, leaning his forearm against the window, keeping his bloody knuckles out of Magnus' line of sight. His tensed back was all Magnus could see, so he moved, gasping silently when his eyes caught the red stains on the wall next to the window. “Alec, what is it? What happened, my darling?” The Warlock asked, but his voice indicated he was not demanding an answer. “I... I don't...” Alec stumbled on his own words, letting his voice fade into nothing. Drawing in a deeper, shaky breath, the archer tried again. “Things are... Things got bad...” Magnus' sharp breath echoed loud in the silence.
“Okay.” Magnus offered, albeit in a dry voice. “Alec, whatever this is, we will face it together. Whatever it is that you feel--” “I... Magnus I... I don't know what I'm feeling.” Alec confessed, sounding ashamed. “It's as though I feel everything. And nothing.” Alec's voice trailed off, for the young man had no other explanation to give. “It's like you're overrun by a myriad of emotions at the same time. They all travel to every corner of your body and blend into one thing you can't name. It's a weight on your chest, a pressure which threatens to turn your bones to dust, a lump in your throat which makes it hard to breathe...” Magnus offered sadly, hating the fact that his explanation was meant for his beloved Nephelim. “And it leaves you numb. Empty. It leaves you with nothing but confusion.” At the sound of these words, Alec let out a breathy sigh, finding solace in Magnus' words, in the sound of his voice.
“I thought... I thought I would be enough. I thought the Clave would see what I have been doing... I thought my father would finally understand that I won't change who I am...” Alec's hoarse voice quivered and all of a sudden, he hit his fist on the window. “They are trying to get to me through Jace, Izzy and Clary... They want me to step down from my position--” “But you won't.” Magnus cut him off, voice sure, yet gentle. “You won't let them win, Alec.” The Warlock continued, taking a step towards Alec, placing his hand on his tensed shoulder.
“They're hurting people I love Magnus. They--” Alec paused then and Magnus felt him going numb. “Alexander? Darling, what is it?” The Warlock pressed, squeezing Alec's shoulder, urging him to turn around and face him. “Magnus they'll hurt you!” Such was the fear those words were holding, that the Warlock felt his heart breaking. “Magnus, oh God—” “No, no, they won't, Alexander, they won't. They can't touch me, my darling.” The Warlock promised, smiling at himself when his lover finally turned around, meeting his gaze. “Magnus... I...” Alec paused, taking a moment to collect his thoughts.
“I'm tired... I'm so tired...” The young archer uttered in a low voice, averting his gaze from Magnus'. “Oh, Alec...” Magnus whispered, voice wavering. “I'm tired of proving myself, I'm tired...” His voice faded away and Magnus waited, nestling closer to him, feeling the tremors which were running down Alec's spine. “I'm scared, Magnus.” Alec confessed brokenly, yet when the words left his lips, he felt lighter than he had in a long while. “Of what, Alexander?” Magnus asked, taking his lover's face in between his hands, thus obliging him to meet his gaze. Alec shivered violently as ring clad fingers touched his skin and tried to lower his eyes, but to no avail. Magnus' hold on each side of Alec's face was gentle, but was one he couldn't get away from. “Of losing you.” Came the honest answer and Magnus could pinpoint the second his eyes blurred.
“You won't lose me, Alexander.” The Warlock assured, knowing his lover needed to hear the words. “Magnus, just... I'm messed up, I'm all over the place... Just look at me and tell me--” “I am looking at you, my darling.” Magnus said and fixed his gaze on Alec's pained face. “I'm right here, Alec.” The Warlock pressed, caressing Alec's cheeks, holding on to him as though he would slip from in between his fingers. “I am right here and I am looking at you. And I love what I'm seeing.” The man continued, tightening his hold on Alec's face, all the while dropping his glamour, allowing his amber cat-eyes to come forth. Alec gasped, feeling tears gathering up in the corners of his eyes. “You once told me they are beautiful.” Magnus muttered, referring to his demonic cat eyes.
Alec nodded in Magnus' hands and so the Warlock continued. “And for the first time in my long life, I allowed myself to think of them as beautiful, as well. So, my dear Alexander, believe me when I say I won't leave you. Believe me when I say that you're not alone in this fight. And try to see yourself through my eyes. See what I see, Alexander.” Magnus almost pleaded, placing a kiss on Alec's forehead, allowing his young lover to bury his face in the crook of his neck. His hands came around Alec's trembling shoulders, towering over him, and Magnus found himself holding Alec closer than he ever had.
“Magnus--” “Shh, shh... We'll work it out my darling. I promise you. I promise, Alexander. Shhh, hush, hush my darling...” Magnus muttered, caressing Alec's back, the back of his neck, his wet cheeks. Alec was shaking in Magnus' embrace, taking in uneven breaths, pressing his face against Magnus' warm skin. “Deep breaths my darling, deep breaths now...” Magnus instructed, setting up a pace with his own inhales and exhales, urging Alec to match his breaths. “That's it, breathe me in, my darling, breathe me in... I'm here Alexander.” The Warlock chanted, voice raw, deep.
“Thank you for coming.” The young archer muttered as he finally untangled himself from his lover's hands. “Thank you, for calling me.” Magnus offered, brushing the few salty teardrops from Alec's face with his thumbs. “Can we...” Alec cleared his throat, avoiding Magnus' amber cat eyes. “Look at me, my darling.” Magnus encouraged and waited until Alec obeyed, albeit hesitantly. “Can we go... Can we go to your loft?” Magnus smiled softly, waving his hands so as to create a portal. Ring clad fingers found long, trained ones and the two of them walked through the portal, hand in hand. They were heading to Magnus' loft. They were going home. There, Alec knew he would find solace. There, in Magnus' arms, he would find himself. There, through Magnus' amber cat-eyes, he would learn to see himself for what he really was.