It is dark outside and heavy rain is pattering on the balcony, but inside, the loft is warmly lit by lamplight. Alec feels like he and Magnus are encapsulated in their own world like this, and it is incredibly cozy and safe.
Magnus had cleared a space in the main room of the loft for a potion he is working on that requires the extra space. He stands at a table he summoned from his magical supplies storage, and Alec is behind him, with his chin resting on Magnus' shoulder, watching him work. Alec's hands gently brush along Magnus' back, especially around his shoulder blades, where he carries so much tension, and Magnus hums into the gentle quiet of the room, punctuated only by the occasional rumble of thunder in the distance.
Alec tips his face down into Magnus' shoulder to press a kiss there, and feels Magnus smile.
"Remind me again why this has to be done tonight?" Alec asks, just above a whisper, so as not to disturb the tranquility of their moment.
"I need the atmospheric energy from the thunderstorm to activate it," Magnus responds, as he carefully measures out a violet powder and mixes it in a beaker with some pale liquid.
"Ah," Alec said, and it is barely an exhale, as he hums into Magnus' shoulder, feeling immeasurably content just being there with him, in the loft, watching him work.
He's not trying to distract Magnus, not even trying to pull him away from this, because he knows how important his work is, and clearly time is of the essence. Alec just wants to be close to Magnus. Can't imagine pulling himself away. And though he was originally reading on a couch that had been moved to the wall to make room for this workspace, Alec felt too far away.
So here he is.
The tension in Magnus' shoulders that had been visible from across the room has tangibly lessened with Alec's touches.
"Is this ok?" Alec asks, brushing his hands lightly down Magnus' spine.
"Yes," Magnus says, before Alec even finishes the question, "it's helping actually, I feel calmer… more focused."
"Oh," says Alec, and then, like that's what he was going for all along, "Well, good."
Magnus exhales a laugh at that, and then pours the purple mixture from the beaker into another that is simmering on top of a bunsen burner.
Alec moves his hands to Magnus' waist, holding just barely - light enough that Magnus can still reach and stir and move when he needs to - moving his thumbs in gentle caresses.
As the two parts of the potion combine on the bunsen burner, Magnus hums, and leans back, pushing himself into Alec's chest. Alec happily moves his arms around Magnus' waist, pulling him in. Alec presses his nose into the back of Magnus' head, inhaling deeply the warm, familiar smell of his hair. Magnus is, as always, a welcome weight against his chest, grounding him in this moment. The feeling of Magnus' strong arms and broad shoulders pressed into Alec is the center of Alec's universe. This moment, here with Magnus, feels more like home than anything ever has in his life. They both inhale deeply and exhale a sigh at the same time, and Alec smiles into Magnus' hair. Everything feels warm, tinged with golden light and the sound of rain, and Alec pulls himself further into the warmth of Magnus' back, tipping his head, pressing his face against Magnus' neck.
Magnus rubs his hands along Alec's arms as they stand there holding each other, when suddenly, sparks start to come out of the potion on the bunsen burner, and Magnus goes "Oh!" a little surprised, and Alec loosens his hold on him apologetically. At least he intends it to be apologetic.
Magnus seems to understand him like always, to feel his intention, and says, "It's fine, that's what it was supposed to do," while taking it off the burner, and shutting off the gas.
"Now what?" Alec looks at the potion in his hand expectantly.
"Now the fun part," Magnus raises one eyebrow.
Alec is not ashamed to admit how much he loves watching Magnus work like this. To him, Magnus is a magical chemist, and to see his passion for the work, to see something start from nothing but a few ingredients, and become something both magical and useful under Magnus' skillful hands, that's always a little breathtaking for Alec.
Magnus pours the potion - which now looks like pale blue liquid smoke - from the beaker into an elegant-looking decanter, that has a wide round base and a long neck. Holding the decanter, he moves to the balcony doors, leaving Alec mourning the loss of Magnus' presence in his arms.
Magnus stops just at the doors to the balcony, "Are you coming?"
Alec squints at the window, looking outside, where it's still raining heavily, "Out there?"
Magnus gives a small, amused smile, "Yes, that's where the atmosphere is, the final ingredient to activate the potion."
"Oh," Alec says as he makes his way around the table towards Magnus, "I thought maybe you could just get the atmosphere from inside."
"Hmm, that would definitely be easier, but alas, outside we must go."
Alec feels something like warm honey in his chest at the use of we.
I love being a we with you, he thinks, looking into Magnus' eyes as he looks back at Alec.
"Unless you don't want to?" Magnus asks, mistaking Alec's hesitation at the door, "Of course, you can wait inside, I'll be back in just a few moments - " but Alec grabs Magnus' bicep gently to stop him moving forward.
"No, no, of course, I'm coming with you," Alec says, and he wants to say, Anywhere, anywhere, even if you were about to walk into the fourth circle of hell, I would be by your side. But instead he just leans in and presses a kiss to Magnus' lips. Magnus kisses him back without hesitation, holding onto Alec's arm that's holding him. They stand in front of the tall windows, exchanging kisses, the warm pressure of their lips moving against each other, Alec turning his head just slightly to get closer. Always closer.
Thunder rumbles outside and lightening flashes just as quickly, illuminating the whole sky. Magnus breaks away from the kiss slowly, pressing another to the corner of Alec's mouth before he glances out the window.
"We better get out there," he whispers, with slight regret in his voice.
"Yeah," Alec's voice comes out in a rumble, and he pauses to try and breathe to sound normal again. It's hopeless, when Magnus is looking at him like that.
Magnus winks at him, and turns towards the balcony door once again, opening it, and Alec is right behind him, taking the door and holding it so Magnus can concentrate on the potion in his other hand.
A gust of wind comes through the balcony, bringing some rain with it. Alec braces himself to get soaked.
When they are both fully outside, Alec makes sure the door is securely shut to keep the loft dry.
Magnus moves to the edge of the balcony, resting the decanter on the ledge, and holding the neck of it tightly. Alec stays to the side of him, always willing to offer his strength and energy if needed. He rests his hand on Magnus' shoulder as Magnus chants an incantation over the potion.
Alec feels the rumble of thunder. Lightning breaks across the sky again, and Alec looks up to see it, the low murmur of Magnus' incantation a soothing presence at his side. He thought perhaps lightning would streak directly down to them and strike the potion itself, but no such dramatics occur. Alec pushes the wet hair out of his eyes and squints to look over at Magnus. The potion is still a smokey liquid, but has become iridescent now, seemingly shifting between blue and purple and gold. Magnus swishes it in the decanter, holding it up to examine it. Clearly pleased with the result, he pushes a cork into the top of the bottle and turns to Alec.
"Let's go!" he yells, over the thunder and rain.
And they both run back through the door, into the warm loft, slipping slightly as they go through.
Alec laughs, feeling light and joyful, despite the fact he is truly soaked to the bone. Magnus is smiling back at him with bright eyes. He can't help but laugh some more at how genuinely soaked Magnus is too, his hair falling down all over the place. He brushes the wet hair off of Magnus' forehead, and Magnus leans in and kisses him again. Wet, warm, and so sweet. Alec smiles into it, can't seem to stop.
Magnus pulls back, snaps his fingers, and suddenly they're dry again. He moves into his study to carefully label the potion and put it away. And then Alec watches from the living room as a wave of shimmering blue magic comes through and clears away all the magical supplies that were out, including the large standing worktop.
Magnus saunters over to Alec, the beginning of a smile slowly blooming on his face, and reaches out for Alec. And Alec can't help but break into a smile in response, can't help but almost hurry to rush forward, even though it's only about 3 steps, to be in Magnus' embrace again.
Magnus slides his hands up along Alec's arms, and over his shoulders, until they're resting gently at the top of his chest. Both of them smiling at each other, love burning in their eyes as they look at each other. Alec runs his own hands gently along Magnus' arms, stopping to curl his fingers around his wrists. And suddenly he notices they're swaying a little bit. Not like they're really dancing, properly. But moving together in a way that feels intimate and soothing.
It's only the two of them in the warmth of the loft. The storm outside continues, but they have nothing to do with it anymore; not racing against the time of it, trying to get a potion done, and definitely not going out into it. Now their time is theirs, to enjoy each other.
And for a minute, while they're standing there, holding each other and swaying, Alec thinks how this is everything he has ever wanted. His heart practically aches with it. He cannot imagine ever losing this. Now, when he's standing here, feeling like Magnus himself is his home and the place his soul belongs. The soul his soul belongs to. Especially knowing Magnus feels exactly the same way about him.
Magnus must see the flicker of emotion in Alec's eyes, because he moves one hand, and gently brushes under Alec's eye with his thumb.
"What is it?" he asks.
Alec isn't sure he can put it into words. He leans forward, moving his arms around Magnus' back and pulling him to him. He buries his face into the crook of Magnus' neck and inhales deeply, breathing him in. Magnus hugs him back just as tightly.
Standing like this, Alec feels like he never wants to move from this position. Pressed together, chest to chest, barely any space between them. Alec moves to press a soft kiss to the side of Magnus' neck, and runs the tip of his nose gently along it. He presses another kiss to the underside of Magnus' jaw, and pulls back more, to look at his beautiful face, but not fully letting go of him, not at all, not ever.
"I just love that face so much," he says, and though he was trying to lighten the mood, even he can hear the heartfelt adoration that has seeped into his words.
Magnus looks into his eyes, and moves a hand to hold the side of his neck, stroking gentle caresses with his thumb there.
Alec takes a deep breath, closing his eyes.
When he opens them again, Magnus whispers "I love your face, too" and his eyes are shining as he's looking at Alec. And Alec feels like there might be tears forming in his eyes, but he's suddenly overcome with gratitude and happiness and he leans in again to kiss Magnus. And it feels like they haven't kissed in so long, even though that's not true at all. It feels as wonderful as the first time, Magnus' lips moving against his.
Alec pulls back to look into Magnus' eyes, gently stroking his fingers alone the nape of Magnus' neck, feeling like he's in the best dream he never wants to wake up from.
"To bed?" Magnus asks, and Alec just smiles and crowds closer, hugging Magnus again and pressing another kiss against his neck.
It's like he can't get enough of him, of kissing him, and breathing him in, and just wanting to be close to him. Of being grateful for him. And the way Magnus reassures him that he feels the same, with his words, but especially with his actions, Alec thinks, as he feels Magnus rest his head against Alec's shoulder and breathe in deeply. He knows that their love is unwavering, unending, and he revels in that feeling of certainty, knowing that he and Magnus will always be there for each other, that he loves and is loved in return.
"Yeah," Alec murmurs, muffled, right into the side of Magnus' neck, "Let's go to bed."
Magnus smiles at him as they move towards the bedroom together, the kind Alec loves, where his eyes crinkle a little at the side.
They both change into soft pajama pants, and climb into the warmth of their large bed. Magnus snaps, his fingers sparking with blue magic, and his jewelry is off, stored away, and his face is free of makeup. The soft sheets feel almost achingly good against Alec's skin, but nothing is better than Magnus next to him, and the two of them tangling their legs as Alec wraps his arm around Magnus' torso and presses himself against Magnus' side, and his face into Magnus' broad shoulder. Magnus feels like home. They both sigh into each other. And when Alec glances up, their eyes meet and they both smile, Magnus exhaling a laugh.
Magnus brings his hand up and gently strokes Alec's jaw, "I love you." The glamour is gone and his eyes are soft, molten gold as he looks at Alec, at once otherworldly and deeply familiar. He's the most beautiful thing Alec has ever seen.
Alec feels pure joy spread through his chest as he brings Magnus' hand up to kiss his palm, "I love you, too."
Cuddled together in their own cocoon, Alec is almost overwhelmed by contentment, comfort, and love. Magnus relaxes in his hold and Alec feels himself doing the same, calm and secure in Magnus' arms.
Alec runs his fingers over Magnus' bicep, drawing little shapes, adoring the the feeling of his skin against his own. Magnus starts gently stroking his fingers through Alec's hair, nuzzling into him slightly, and Alec can't believe he gets to have this. He can't believe this is his life. For all the madness and fear and danger that tries to infiltrate their lives, moments like this one right here, this pocket of bliss that's just him and the love of his life, makes it all worth it. He wouldn't trade this for anything.
"Sometimes I can't believe this is real," Alec says, barely a whisper.
Magnus hums, "I know what you mean," he tips his head down to kiss Alec on the forehead, "but it is, and I'm grateful for it every day."
Alec closes his eyes, feels yet another smile pull at the corner of his mouth, "Me too, Magnus."
They pass the evening wrapped up in each other, talking about everything and nothing. Alec feels such a sense of peace, listening to Magnus' stories and the soothing melody of his voice. He is happy to be so close to the man he loves so deeply, to see him vulnerable, to be trusted like this. At some point, Alec's eyelids get heavy, and he can feel them fluttering closed. With his eyes shut and his face pressed into Magnus' shoulder, he hums and says "I think I'm falling asleep."
Magnus exhales a soft sigh of agreement, and his arm around Alec's shoulder tightens for just a moment, before relaxing. Magnus nuzzles into Alec again, and whispers into his hair, "Good night, my love."
Alec mumbles into his skin, "G'night, love."
And in the moment where his conscious thought falls over the edge of sleep into unconsciousness, all Alec can think is, I can't wait to spend the rest of eternity with this man.