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This was not supposed to happen. It was supposed to be a quick and easy reconnaissance mission where they found information about the warlock that they suspected was willingly helping Valentine and then getting out. It should have been easy with Magnus by their side, but they had never expected the warlock to know they were coming.

The moment Jace, Isabelle, Clary, Magnus, and him arrived, everything went to shit. His boyfriend was bound in magic cancelling chains as they stepped out of the portal and Jace was thrown across the room into a brick wall.

Clary had gone to check on Jace while Izzy and Alec had tried to fight the warlock on their own, but it had been no use. The more they fought the warlock, the more pain Magnus was in. Apparently, the chains also transferred the wounds that they inflicted on the warlock to Magnus, and Alec couldn’t take putting his lover through that anymore so he had pushed Isabelle behind him and surrendered.

Not a moment that he was proud of, he must admit, but he had to get his team out of there and they couldn’t fight the Downworlder so it was the only option that he could find. He really didn’t expect to be blown flat on his back by a blinding flash of green light, but with the way his day was going he should have expected it.

He could hear Izzy screaming his name and the sound of Clary’s triumphant yell as she freed Magnus from the chains while the warlock was distracted, but he couldn’t move from the ground. The world around him was spinning and the noise eventually cut out as everything faded to black.


 

Alec squinted his eyes at the blinding light that cascaded down on him from the blank ceiling. The room was unfamiliar to him and it sent a bought of panic flaring up in his throat. He pushed against the bed to sit up and take in his surroundings, but was stopped by thick leather digging into the bruised skin of his wrists. He hissed and dropped back down, fighting back his fear.

He took a deep breath to calm himself, but it did nothing to help. With a strangled cry Alec pulled against his restraints, groaning in frustration when they refused to give.

“Don’t bother,” A soft voice drifted across the room, pulling his attention away from his struggles so he could meet tired golden eyes. His dark hair fell across his face like it was usually pushed up, but whatever gel had been there had long since come out. Alec’s eyes darted to the man’s wrists and he had to suppress a shudder when he noticed the leather straps that kept him just as immobile as he was.

“What?” Alec croaked, cringing at the way his voice cracked and faded.

“Don’t bother trying to get free. I already tried.” The man pointed his chin down at his bloodied wrists as if Alec could have possibly ignored the fact that he too was restrained. “I’m Magnus.”

“Alec,” He mumbled softly in return, glancing down at his own arms. He was bruised, sure, but not bleeding yet. Perhaps if he had fought against the leather straps for longer or harder then he too would be dripping crimson. “Where are we?”

A soft gasp fell between the man’s parted lips and he almost looked pained at the question. “How old are you?” Magnus asked in lieu of an answer.

“Twenty-three, why does that matter?”

“You didn’t admit yourself?”

Confusion drew down Alec’s eyebrows as he tried to make sense of the question. Admit himself? Where? “I don’t understand.”

“Alec…” Magnus’ eyes flickered off of him and to the ceiling as if he could find the right way to explain himself written there. “We’re in an insane asylum. The Clave to be exact, it’s more like an institute for the mentally insane. Your family must have admitted you here and then had you drugged. I was a little surprised when they brought you in already unconscious, but I honestly didn’t think much of it. It happens in here.”

He could hardly process the new information that Magnus was throwing at him. How? Why would his family do this to him? There was no reason they would… “Oh my God. I told them and they put me into a fucking insane asylum? Oh my God!” The air grew thick and hard to breathe and he could hardly think past the blinding panic and betrayal swirling in his chest.

“Alec! Deep breaths, okay? Stay with me darling, you’re going to be okay.” He heard a small hiss and some shuffling off to his left that told him Magnus was trying to shift towards him. For some reason the knowledge helped calm him down. At least he had someone to talk to. “What happened, darling?”

His breathing began to even out and Alec finally found it in himself to turn back to Magnus, staring deep into his golden eyes framed by purple bags that marred his gorgeous bronze skin. “My mother found out I was gay and told my father. They must have drugged me sometime last night after I confirmed it. Couldn’t have me tarnishing the perfect family name now could they?” He spat, venom dripping through his voice, but he knew how hurt he probably sounded even to a stranger. “Could you imagine? Highly esteemed politicians Maryse and Robert Lightwood’s son, gay?”

Magnus flinched back in shock when Alec started crying, tears slowly cutting their way down his face to leave burning tracks in their wake. “My mom… she said to me,” He pitched his voice higher, on the brink of hysteria. “Alexander, you’re so selfish! How could you do this to us? To your father and I? Your siblings?” A sob ripped through his throat and he had never wished he could use his hands more than in this moment. He wanted to hide his shame from this stranger, but he couldn’t. He settled on looking away instead. “I didn’t choose this!”

“Shh, Alexander, can I call you Alexander?” He nodded. “There is nothing for you to be ashamed about, do you understand me? Take it from me, a freewheeling bisexual Asian man. There have been a lot of things that society has told me is wrong about myself, and yet I am still very proud and confident in who I am and you should be too. Do you understand me?”

Magnus’ voice was soft and calming, enough that Alec felt safe to turn his head to look at him again. “I don’t understand. Why are you here Magnus? There’s nothing wrong with you from what I can tell.”

The man jolted slightly in the bed and his eyes widened in realization and panic almost like the question had reminded him of something. He opened his mouth to reply but never had the chance because in that moment the door swung open and a stern woman in a pristine white coat stepped into the room. Alec noted the way that Magnus tensed and tried to make himself look small in his bed. Almost like he was trying to remain unnoticed by the woman. The tenderness that he could have found seconds before in his companions face was completely gone and it did nothing to ease his nerves.

“Alexander Lightwood, it is time for your session with the doctor. Your parents have paid for the best treatment for you.” She reached down and undid the straps binding his legs down, giving him a pointed look that screamed he wouldn’t be able to try anything and if he did, he would regret it.

“Best treatment?” He echoed, standing up when his wrists were free.

“No questions, just follow me.” Alec threw a confused look back at Magnus and the other man looked helplessly back him, struggling against his restraints as if to get to him. The woman clucked her tongue impatiently and he followed her out of the room with a defeated sigh.

The hallways were dimmer than their room had been. No windows lit up the dim interior and the sounds of patients screaming sent his fight or flight response tearing into overdrive, but he did his best to keep a calm exterior. A small girl with long black hair and big brown eyes stared solemnly at him as he approached. She looked familiar somehow, like he should know who she was and be upset to see her in a place like this, but he couldn’t understand why.

“Move Isabelle.” The stern woman guiding him kicked the girl out of her way and Alec watched as she almost fell over the side of the railing that led to a deep drop.

The name sparked something in him, a need to protect, but his hand was swatted away before he could even try and help the girl stand back up. “Don’t touch the other residents Mr. Lightwood.” Alec flinched, but nodded slowly in understanding. He didn’t need another reason to be tied back up once he returned to his room.

“Help…” The girl, Isabelle, cried. She reached out for him with shaking hands and the next thing he knew she was being grabbed by men in white coats like the woman’s. A snap resounded through the room and Isabelle shrieked in pain, her sobs echoing off the cement walls and Alec felt sick. Her arm was twisted in the wrong direction and her tan skin had gone ashy grey with pain.

He rushed forward to help her, but two freezing hands held him back. “Stop! Please, don’t hurt her! Izzy!” The name rolled off his tongue with ease, like he had called for this girl before, but he didn’t know why. There was nothing he could do though. She was already gone.

“Mr. Lightwood! You will come with me at once!” Nails dug into his shoulders, drawing blood and a whimper that he didn’t mean to let escape. He turned towards the woman in front of him once more, giving her what he hoped was an intimidating glare.

The rest of the journey was in silence, but he kept thinking of that girl back in the hallway. She had only looked a little younger than him and she reminded him of someone he knew he should remember, but he couldn’t.

He closed his eyes with a sudden urgency in an attempt to remember exactly what she had looked like. Instead, his mind jumped to a different scene, one that looked faint and had bad reception like he was watching an old movie that kept cutting out.

“Alec! Alec, please wake up!” Isabelle was cradling his head in her arms, gently stroking his hair like she could cox him into opening his eyes. He desperately wanted to, but they remained stubbornly shut and he had no idea why that frustrated him so much.

“Izzy, give it up. Magnus went in after him, so we just have to pray to the angel that he will be able to find him and save him. As much as I hate to admit it, Magnus is our best bet right now.” A blond knelt next to her, his brows furrowed in concern. He was a handsome man, with shocking bi-colored eyes, one blue and one brown.

He wanted to call out to them, tell them that Magnus had found him. Whatever that meant. He was just glad that the girl, Izzy, was okay.

“Jace, what if he never wakes up?” Isabelle asked, biting her lip to keep back tears. “What if Magnus gets stuck in there with him?”

“Mr. Lightwood, the doctor will see you now.”

Alec opened his eyes and he was back in the Clave, the asylum’s bleak walls staring straight back at him. A man with dark eyes and a cruel smile stepped into his field of vision, his balding head reflecting the dim light.

“Hello Alexander. My name is Valentine. Let’s see if we can fix that little problem of yours.”