Today was like any other day, it was a sunny afternoon in downtown Manhattan, the bustle of people all around him, traffic at a standstill. Except, there was one thing different about this Saturday afternoon in particular. Magnus was getting married. Yup. Married. To a complete stranger.
How’d he get here you ask? Well, it all started with a drunken night that’s come around to bite him in the ass; as if the hangover wasn’t bad enough.
Shot after shot, he had started to lose count after number 4 or whatever number he thought he was at. Honestly, everything looked a bit blurry and sometimes there was two of Maia, who was currently talking to him, but it sounded muffled like he was wearing headphones. Was he wearing headphones? He checked. All clear.
“Hey, you know what you should do.” Maia started. She always seemed to handle her liquor better than him. What was her secret? Why did her words always come out normal and not slurred?
Magnus raised his empty shot glasses “Have another.”
Maia rolled her eyes. That he saw. “No, if anything I think you should be cut off.”
“Such a spoilsport.”
“Whatever.” She sat next to him before continuing. “You should go out there and find someone for the night, or better yet maybe you’ll find the love of your life.”
“Love? Yeah, no. Gave up on that years ago. I’ll pass. If I wanted a one-night stand, that’s what Tinder is for.” Magnus sighed looking for the bartender.
“Exactly my point, I haven’t seen you with anyone in a long time.” She paused her eyes casting him a worried look. “I just don’t want you to be lonely.”
“I have you girls.” Magnus gestured to her and Clary, who was next to Maia.
“You know what I mean.” Maia sighed.
Why was she so persistent? It’s not like being single was a bad thing. He didn’t have to worry about anyone else. He got to do what he wanted and live his life without the anchors of love at his feet. People were draining.
Sure, waking up to someone every morning would be nice, and going on holidays and maybe eventually having a family, but he could do most of that himself. He’d be fine. Wouldn’t he?
“Hey,” Clary yelled enthusiastically. “You should go on that show, you know the one where they marry strangers or something.” Magnus was drunk, but he wasn’t that drunk. There was no way he’d ever do that. He couldn’t help but laugh at the outrageous idea.
“You’ve seen the show, right? Nearly all the couples hate each other by week 1.” Magnus replied.
“Yes, but not all. There have been some successes.” Some didn’t justify Magnus doing this. Nothing would. No way he’d put himself out there like that ready for his heart to be crushed on live television. Too many people would invade his life, want to know everything. He’s fine with his life as it is now. Simple, uncomplicated, and single.
“C’mon! Do it! It would be so cool to watch.” Clary continued pestering him.
“You never know, you could find someone you really end up caring about,” Maia added.
Great. These two once they got an idea in their head there was no backing down.
“And what if I get an A-grade bitch who makes my life hell, or an asshole who thinks he’s better than everyone,” Magnus added, trying to get their silly brains to see sense.
“But what if you get a sweetheart who is there for the right reasons? What if they try to make you the happiest man alive? What if they fall in love with you and love you unconditionally?” Clary was almost practically swooning at her idea the dream she had concocted in her brain.
“Those are all what if’s biscuit, and I don’t want to risk my heart on a what if,” Magnus said with finality in his voice.
“Look, nothing is going to change my mind, I’m sorry.” Finally, the bartender came and served up more shots.
Turns out those shots had stronger will power than the girls and managed to change his mind. Or maybe it was to do with a dare, all he remembers was somewhere between the club and bed he filled out some form and recorded some video. To be frank he was concerned why they even chose him considering he was drunk at the time. Probably thought he’d make good tv and be a disaster and honestly, they wouldn’t be wrong about the disaster part. This indeed was going to be a disaster.
Why he didn’t decline the offer he didn’t know, but here he was about to walk down the aisle and find god knows who standing at the other end. All he hoped was that they were somewhat sane, and with this show, you would never know.
The man at the other end of the aisle came into view as he turned the corner. He was in a clean-cut black suit with a black bowtie. He was tall, taller than himself. He was smiling, which actually helped ease the nerves swarming in the pit of his stomach.
As he came closer the man's face came into view and ‘wow’ was the only coherent thought he had. He was stunning. His smile, beautiful. His eyes, he’d never seen a color like it. If he wasn’t careful he’d end up staring at them all day. There was an aura around him that felt calming in this-what he would call chaotic situation. At first glance, this man didn’t seem so bad.
“Hi,” He found himself saying as he reached the altar.
“Hi,” The other man smiled back his voice a little out of breath. It was nice to know he wasn’t the only one who was nervous.
Magnus’ focus darted to the man’s lips where he was biting at them slightly before looking back at his eyes. Those beautiful eyes.
“Nice to meet you,” He laughs, and Magnus is annoyed at the flutter it causes in his heart. “I’m Alec.”
That brought him back down to earth. He doesn’t know this man. “Hi, Alec. I’m Magnus.” He smiled back.
To say he was nervous was an understatement. He was freaking out on the inside. The most gorgeous man he’d ever laid eyes on was standing in front of him about to say I do. He was wearing a wine-red velvet suit with black pants and a bowtie, he looked incredible. The only negative about this whole thing was that he didn’t know the man. He was marrying a stranger.
He was pretty sure his hands were clammy, and he was about to break out in a sweat, but no one seemed to be noticing his meltdown, so he was fine.
He’d be lying if he said the thought of not showing up didn’t run through his head 20 times already today. The idea of walking into the unknown scared Alec more than he liked to let on. This was huge for him. He tells people Izzy talked him into it, but really deep down he came here looking for love, he’s put himself last for so many years constantly working and never taking a breath. He wants the chance to find his person, and maybe Magnus is his person.
His nerves increased when it came to vows. He’d spent a lot of time on them wanting them to sound genuine and sincere, and still, now he’s second guessing if they’re good enough. Swallowing the large lump in his throat he took a deep breath and said, “Today feels strange, and I assume that’s for the both of us.” Magnus laughs softly as he nods back. “But this is our experience together and it is what we make it. I know it might be hard or challenging at first, but I promise to try my best and give this my all. Give you my all.” Alec paused briefly looking Magnus in the eye. “I can’t wait to learn everything about you and begin this journey with you. Here’s to making new memories, starting with today.”
Magnus was smiling, this whole day doing a great job at giving him a false sense of security, like this idea actually wouldn’t be so bad. He didn’t like it, but it was hard to focus on his negative thoughts when Alec was across from him saying his vows sounding the sincerest he’s ever heard, anyone. A lash of guilt hit his heart as he realised Alec was here for the right reasons. He wanted this, love, a relationship, a partner. Magnus was only here because of a stupid drunken dare he couldn’t say no to. It was too late to turn back now. It was only 8 weeks, he could get through that.
Reaching into his jacket pocket he searched for the tiny piece of paper he scribbled his vows down on this morning, or actually, it was on the way here, but no one needed to know that. Gods, he couldn’t find it. This was embarrassing. Not having had memorised a single word he wrote he stopped searching and decided to just wing it. He was good at faking stuff, surely, he could come up with a few nice words. “Alec,” his name, such a good start. Except his mind was blank; he blamed his nerves.
Finally starting to feel all the eyes in the room fall on him he could feel the panic rise in his chest. He looked like an idiot.
A soft brush against his fingers, he found Alec’s smile while he held his hand. “Hey,” God his voice was so unbelievably light and delicate. It was only for both of them to hear. “This is terrifying, and I’m right there with you, just take a breath and say what you want. It’s okay.” He already found that smile charming. The way one side tilted higher than the other, it wasn’t helping his plan where he doesn’t feel anything for this man.
“Right, well I can’t say I ever thought I’d be marrying a stranger.” Everyone laughed. “But here I am. I have no idea where this will go or what it will be like, all I can say is that I look forward to getting to know the person you are inside and out and hopefully find something special out of this.” He was surprised to realise deep down he was telling the truth, as much as he didn’t want to do this, Alec seemed like a nice person who deserved his best. Whatever his best was.
They both looked at each other for another second, both taking in the moment. One of them excited for what’s to come and one of them terrified they were already going to hurt the other. Magnus being the latter
“I now pronounce you husband, and husband.” Those words hit him hard, the breath being knocked out of him. He had a husband.
The whole idea of a kiss surpassed him as his mind was still reeling from what he had just done, he didn’t realise what was happening until he saw Alec’s face coming for his. Magnus on reflex started to back away but Alec only kissed him on the cheek like the gentleman he was.
The ceremony was over which seemed like the easiest part of all of this, they just followed what someone was telling them to say. Now, now was the hard part. The part where effort begins.
“So,” Alec looks like how Magnus feels, uncomfortable.
“So,” Magnus says back mocking Alec’s tone.
“What now?” Alec said, unsure.
“This really isn’t going to sink in for a few days,” Magnus said looking around at the room that was slowly emptying out.
“Yeah, it feels a bit surreal, like it didn’t actually just happen. Except it did. We are married.” Alec laughs, and Magnus isn’t sure if it's his real laugh or something to fill the silence when he’s nervous.
“I know we have photos soon but do you wanna maybe walk around the garden outside? This whole thing is overwhelming, and I could use the fresh air.” Magnus asks.
“That sounds great, lead the way.” Alec sends him his best smile or what he knows is his best smile so far and follows him out. “So, I guess we should start with the basics, family, location, job, etc.”
“Okay, Brooklyn, New York. No biological family but many friends who I consider family.” Magnus had to force his eyes not to roll when he saw the same look on Alec’s face that he always got. “I was 3 when they died. Car accident. I don’t like to talk about it.” Magnus was being blunt, but it was to the point and didn’t make things drawn out more than they needed to. He didn’t need to be reminded that he grew up in the foster care system, that he was bullied at school for having no parents, that it took him years to find people he could trust and know they wouldn’t leave him. Because that’s the reality these days, most people leave.
“Job, I’m the manager at a café, Bean & Co, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. And yeah that’s everything.” He was so used to people judging him for his life he just wanted to move past this as fast as possible.
Alec was taken by surprise by Magnus’ sudden coldness. He wanted to get to know Magnus but if this was the way he reacted to a simple question he knew his walls were firmly in place and he would have a hard time trying to find the real Magnus. Not wanting to let this ruin the day he simply tried to brush past it and focus on answering the question for himself. “Right, well I’m the oldest of three siblings. My brother Jace and sister Izzy, my parents are divorced, I don’t have many friends, but I only need a few who keep me going. I recently moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn not too long ago, so I guess that’s good right.” He let an awkward laugh escape him. “I’m in between jobs as I just left my parents firm. It was like working in a toxic environment and I needed a change.”
“Do you know what you want to go into?” Magnus asks.
“You know my whole life I thought I had to do what my parents wanted. So, I never pursued what I really wanted to. It may sound stupid, but I’m thinking about going back to study for a while.” Alec remembers vividly the night he told his parents the same thing. His father was worse than his mother, saying he was going backward. But sometimes you have to go back so you can go forward. The last thing he wanted was for Magnus to have the same reaction his parents had.
“What is it that you’re going back to study?”
Alec took this as a good sign. “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, ever since I was little, I just never told anyone.”
“How can your parents not want you to be a doctor? Isn’t that what most parents dream of?” Magnus asked looking bewildered.
“I guess they always wanted me to carry on the firm. You know the family business and what not.”
Magnus nodded back before looking at the ground. “Good thing I never had that I guess. No added pressures in life.” He laughed but it wasn’t out of humour. Why couldn’t he say anything right?
“Magnus, I’m sorry I didn’t mean—God I’m so bad at this.” Alec shook his head pinching his nose.
“Trust me, it’s not you, you’re great.” Magnus smiled back which was honestly leaving Alec all sorts of confused.
“There you are!” Someone yelled from behind them startling them both. It wasn’t anyone Alec knew. “The photographer is looking for you both.” She looked at him. “Hey, I’m Maia. Magnus’ best friend.”
“Oh, hey. Nice to meet you hopefully we can talk later.” Alec greeted her.
“Yes, we better not keep that photographer waiting.” Magnus reached for his hand, Alec accepted. Alec could feel Magnus’ pulse beneath his skin, he could feel tightness in his muscles which gave Alec a sick feeling in his gut. Magnus clearly wasn’t feeling comfortable. He had no idea how the photos would go.
They’d just arrived back from the most awkward time of his life. He couldn’t wait to see how tragic their wedding photos looked. He and Alec hadn’t spoken since they left the photographer in the garden. Magnus could feel himself ruining everything and he could see how it was affecting Alec, but it was his default now. Never let anyone too close. Keep them at arm’s length.
After taking one step inside the building Maia was already pulling him away. “What?” He asked wishing he could find the closest bar.
“I need a word with you.”
“Well, I already assumed that considering you pulled me away from my husband.”
“That’s what I want to talk about.”
“I know you, and I saw how awkward it was out there before I got you. I just wanna make sure you aren’t sabotaging this. I’ve been talking to a few of Alec’s friends and he sounds like a great guy. Just please give it a go.”
Magnus sighed. “I promise I’ll give this my best shot.”
“Gee, you wanna add a bit more enthusiasm in that?”
“What do you want me to do? Jump on the guy and declare my love for him? I only just met him a few hours ago.” Maia rolled her eyes.
“I can’t stand you sometimes.”
Magnus put on his best smile. “You love me.”
Alec appeared at their side which startled Magnus. He didn’t hear anything, did he? Fuck.
“Hey,” He was smiling so clearly not? “I don’t mean to break this up it’s just the camera crew wants Magnus and I to do an interview.” Oh great. Taking a deep breath, he put on his best smile and pretended everything was fine.
The night flew by quickly and after meeting all of Alec’s friends and family with the added help of alcohol he didn’t feel so bad. Dare he say, he even had some fun with Alec, joking back and forth, teaching Alec and his god awful two left feet to dance. Now they were making their way back to their hotel room for the night, before they headed off on their honeymoon in the morning.
Falling dramatically down on to their bed, Magnus sighed a breath of relief as the camera crew didn’t follow them inside. It was going to take a lot to get used to that.
“Well, that didn’t go as bad as I first expected,” Magnus said sitting up.
Alec turned to him. “You thought it would go bad?”
“You didn’t? I mean think about it. We hadn’t met, it could’ve gone way worse than it did.”
“I mean if you go into it with that attitude sure, it’s most likely going to end badly.” Magnus could sense some hostility from Alec. With alcohol in his system, his filter had gone out the window and he wasn’t using the right words to describe how he was feeling.
“No, I just mean.” He paused. “Actually, I don’t know what I mean. Just forget it.” All he wanted was the bed.
“No, tell me what you mean, please. If I’m wasting my time here I’d like to know.” Alec’s boldness struck Magnus by surprise, but he kinda liked it. He wasn’t afraid to say what he thinks.
“Alec, I’m sorry, that all came out wrong. I just meant today was scary and could have been a disaster but after we settled in I really enjoyed myself, which if I’m being honest surprised me, okay. This whole thing is terrifying as fuck, but I want to be here.” Magnus tried his best to assure Alec, but he still had that little crease between his eyebrows.
Through the night, he had noticed whenever Alec was confused or concerned his eyebrows would furrow together. Maybe he spent too much time looking at his eyebrows? Magnus walked towards him. “Surely you’re scared too?”
Alec’s features softened making the tension in the room dissipate. “More than anything, but I want us to do this together not apart.” Alec paused briefly. “Can we, starting from tomorrow, promise to talk to each other if we are feeling scared or if something is bothering us?”
Magnus smiled. He really got a sweetheart who was here for the right reasons, like Maia said. “Sounds good to me.” Alec smiled back. “Now, let’s get ready for bed. I’m exhausted.”
Alec instantly became uncomfortable again. “About that, um I can sleep on the couch if you want?”
“No way don’t be silly, it’s just a bed. Besides I’d feel awful knowing you were sleeping on a couch that couldn’t even fit half of you.”
“Are you sure?”
Alec woke with a jolt. It was unfamiliar for him to wake with someone next to him. Magnus was still sleeping soundly his soft snore filling the silence.
It still hadn’t sunk in that the man lying next to him was his husband, and he didn’t think it would for quite a while. Plus, to add to the strangeness of this all there was a camera crew most likely ready and waiting on the other side of the door.
They would have their questions, wanting to know if anything happened, whether they shared a bed or had sex, or whether one took the couch. And if they were looking for anything good they weren’t gonna get it, he was pretty sure they didn’t even accidentally brush legs during the night. Magnus was practically glued to his side.
Alec must have fallen asleep before Magnus last night as now his face was void of any makeup, and he stole a couple of moments to admire how soft his features were under the warm glow of the sun peeking through the gap in the curtain, but eventually he pulled himself from the warmth of their bed and made his way to the door to see if the camera crew were waiting, they were.
He was greeted by Sebastian one of the new producers on the show this year. “Morning, Alec. Sleep well?” He seemed nice, friendly.
“Yeah, it wasn’t bad,” Alec replied turning around and leaving the door open for them to follow him in.
He kind of wished Magnus had woken up before they got here, waking up to cameras being blasted in your face couldn’t be nice.
“So, how are you feeling after last night?” Someone next to Sebastian asked, his assistant?
“Everything is still a bit hard to get used to but I’m feeling optimistic.”
“I see the couch isn’t made up.” Sebastian began, and Alec had to force his eyes not to roll. “Did anything happen last night?” There it was.
Even if he and Magnus were having love at first sight moment he wouldn’t have slept with him on the first night.
“Nope, just talking and sleeping. I think after yesterday we were both exhausted.” Alec really hoped there weren’t many other questions, they had a flight to catch.
“Right, of course,” Sebastian replied. “So, no first kiss?”
Alec shook his head, and thankfully Sebastian looked done with questions for now.
Taking advantage of the silence he slipped into the bathroom and had a quick shower before going back out and trying to wake Magnus, how was he not up yet?
“Magnus,” He started quietly. “Magnus, we have to catch our flight.”
A low grumble surfaced from where Magnus’ head was curved into the pillow.
“We have to leave in 20 minutes.”
“Leave for what?”
“You know, our honeymoon,” Alec sighed. “We are going to the Maldives.”
“Just 5 more minutes,” Alec took a deep breath. Magnus, clearly not a morning person, Alec mentally noted that down for later.
Startled, Alec jumped back in surprise as Magnus sat upright.
Confused, Alec squinted his eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Huh? Yeah. Sorry, I just forgot where I was for a second. This wasn’t all just a crazy nightmare?” Magnus asked looking more out of place than he had ever seen him in the last 24 hours.
“Nightmare?” Alec was beginning to believe Magnus didn’t actually want to be here.
“Wait, no that’s not what I meant.” Magnus sighed shuffling to the edge of the bed. “I guess I’m just taking some time to get used to this.”
Alec got that, by all means, was he anything but settled in this environment, but the way Magnus was acting wasn’t helping the fact.
“Me and you both,” He shot back, deciding to let it go, for now, they had a flight to catch.
“Right,” Magnus replied. “Do I have time for a quick shower.”
Alec checked the time. “Yeah, but be quick. Do you mind if I pack your stuff while you’re in there?”
“No, go right ahead.” Magnus stood and smiled at the camera crew. “Hey, Seb.” Seb?
“Morning, Magnus,” Alec tried not to let it get to him that Magnus seemed to be closer to the camera crew than himself.
Not a word was spoken between them on the way to the airport, Alec barely even looked at him.
Magnus could do nothing right it seemed, always managing to say the wrong thing. Part of him wished he was like Alec, who knew this was what he wanted, but he wasn’t like Alec, instead, he was a mess, a nasty knot of confusion taking heavy steps never knowing where his life was taking him. Never finding the answers he wanted.
He’d finally admitted it to himself in the shower that deep down he wanted to be here, he wanted the chance to find love and share that bond with someone special. To be the person someone leans on and loves with everything they have, but throughout his life, he’s always felt something holding him back.
The fear of rejection. It’s held him hostage for years now. No relationship lasting more than a few months. He knew to do this show he’d have to push through that. But, was Alec worth it? Is he worth the fight? He didn’t know yet.
The silence between them was starting to become unbearable as they sat down in their seats on the plane. It was nice to see the show had sprung for first class seats, at least they could argue in private or well, as private as one couple could be with a bunch of camera crew following them.
Sighing, Magnus turned to Alec and said. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Alec replied.
“I’m fine,” Magnus mocked back with sarcasm in his tone, and instantly regretted it as it seemed to only make things worse. “You’re clearly not,” Magnus said dodging the scathing look Alec sent his way.
“Wouldn’t want to make this any more of a nightmare for you,” There it was. He was annoyed about the small comment.
“Are you serious?” Magnus asked already feeling drained from where this conversation looked like it was headed.
“Were you?” Alec asked back, his voice sharp but his eyes betrayed him showing the vulnerability beneath.
Instantly Magnus stopped. The frustration he was feeling before calmed and vanished. He wasn’t the only one scared.
“I don’t know,” Magnus answered honestly.
“What do you mean, you don’t know? You either want to be here or you don’t.” Alec fired back.
Skin pinching under his fingers Magnus tried to find the right words. “I don’t know what I want, Alec.” He sighed turning in to face him. “My whole life I’ve feared being abandoned that I’ve only let so many people get close enough to know the real me. I tend to push people away before they have the chance to do it to me.” Alec’s brows were furrowed now like he was listening intently. “This,” Magnus gestured to the cameras. “You,” He smiled flatly. “Is all so far out of my comfort zone that it’s hard not to follow my default but I’m trying to change that.”
Alec looked to be thinking about what he said. Magnus was dreading the worst to come out of his mouth. He was ready for Alec to tell him it was off and that there’s no point doing this experiment with someone who isn’t open to love.
If he were being honest, he wasn’t even sure if he could love.
“Can I ask you one question?” Alec asked his voice back to normal.
“Of course,” Magnus smiled.
“Do you as of right now feel anything for me? Is there even a chance?” There was something in Alec’s voice that sent chills over his arms. Or maybe he just wasn’t used to hearing someone willing to fight for him.
Alec wanted him to stay.
“Yes,” Magnus replied and felt embarrassed out how his voice came out breathless like someone had knocked the wind out him.
“Okay,” Alec smiled back, and it was real. “That’s all I need to know for now.”
Turbulence shook the plane and Alec awake the flash of panic soon dissipating as the plane settled again. He was fine with flying, really, he was, he just didn’t like this part.
To the right of him he could feel a slight tickle along his neck, he almost pulled away but stopped when he discovered it was from Magnus’ hair. Magnus had nestled his head against his shoulder and looked to be sleeping soundly.
It was only something small, but since their conversation earlier it felt all the more important.
Alec didn’t want to wake him, he looked so peaceful, but the pilots' voice soon came over the speakers announcing their arrival into the Maldives, and after 18 hours of traveling he was about ready to sprint off this plane.
Fighting the urge to comb his fingers through Magnus’ hair he leaned down instead and said, “We are here.” He was surprised to see Magnus’ eyes were already open. Alec felt a rush of a panic surge through him and a blush heat his face. He’d been staring at Magnus this whole time how did he not know he was awake?
Magnus sat up. “Finally, I feel like we’ve been on this plane for days.” Alec already missed the warmth from where Magnus had been resting his head. “I can’t wait to get to the resort and just pass out for a day.”
“You reckon you could sleep for that long?” Alec laughed.
Magnus turned to him. “I reckon I could try,”
The plane started to descend and instead of reaching for the armrest between them Magnus reached for his hand, but it was an accident as Magnus flinched back as soon as he realised he’d found it wasn’t what he was looking for.
The last time and only time he held Magnus’ hand was at their wedding when Magnus looked like he was about to be sick before his vows. He remembers Magnus calming down from the touch, or did he just imagine it?
He was happy Magnus had started to open up, even just a little bit as it gave Alec at least something to work with.
“Sorry,” Magnus apologised quickly.
“Don’t be,” Alec smiled and reached back over linking their hands.
Magnus smiled and looked away but didn’t let go. Not until they were out of the airport.
It didn’t take long for them to reach their resort and find their room, he was tired, but he was also ravishing and was dying for something to eat.
“Do you want to order something small before we sleep?” Alec asked wheeling the last suitcase into their room.
“I don’t know if I could eat, I’m exhausted,” Magnus replied sitting on their bed starting to take off his shoes.
“Are you sure?” Alec queried. “You haven’t eaten since our last stopover.”
“I’ll be fine,” But his stomach didn’t seem to agree, the low grumble filling the silence.
Alec laughed. “Something doesn’t agree,”
Magnus sighed out of defeat but was still smiling “Fine, but where is my suitcase, I need to change out of these clothes before I die of heat.”
Alec rolled him his suitcase, but only it wasn’t his. “Shit, Magnus-“
Magnus cut him off pulling out a t-shirt. “This looks comfy,” It was his t-shirt from his football college team, Lightwood was printed on the bottom. “And like it’s full of stories.” Alec’s heart was thumping, how much of idiot did he have to be to give him his suitcase instead. His lack of sleep was showing.
All Alec could do was awkwardly chuckle back, “Yeah, maybe I could tell you a bit about it sometime,”
Magnus popped his head out from behind Alec’s t-shirt, “I’d like that,” He smiled. “I’ve never been with a football player before.”
Alec brushed it off. “It was nothing serious, just a hobby to pass the time.”
“I bet you’re being modest, and you were actually amazing.” Alec shrugged. Magnus added, “Could I wear this?”
Alec wasn’t expecting that. “If you don’t mind?” Magnus quickly added.
“Ah yeah sure, go ahead.” Why was the thought of Magnus wearing his clothes doing strange things to his stomach? Was this normal?
Magnus gracefully pulled himself off the bed and walked to the bathroom disappearing inside leaving Alec alone to collect himself and find something to eat on the menu.
Sauntering into the bathroom Magnus pulled off his clothes to his boxers and threw on Alec’s tee. It was bigger around his arms than he thought and just a bit too long lengthways but other than that it fits well.
God knows what possessed him to ask Alec to wear his clothing: he blamed the mere exhaustion of flying for so many hours. It took away any and all reservations he had earlier in the day.
Washing his face and cleaning his teeth he washed all the gel out of his hair letting it fall to the side covering some of his forehead before making his way back out to the bedroom.
He’d noticed Alec had changed as well. He was now sporting a loose grey tee and black boxers. Considering they were both about to sleep it seemed fine and it’s not like Alec’s legs were anything bad to look at.
Sitting down on the bed Magnus watched Alec while he was reading the information booklet intently not noticing him renter the room. “Riveting stuff?”
“Oh, hey. Actually, yeah, I was just seeing what we could do while we are here. What do you think about snorkeling? Or there are some trails we could do if we are feeling adventurous.” Magnus was too tired to think about any of that.
“I’m fine with anything you want to do, Alec.”
Alec sighed. “That’s not how this works, what if everything we do you hate?”
“I’m sure I won’t. You seem to have good taste.” Magnus replied.
“I like you, so I must.”
Magnus felt himself blush, and he does not blush. Ever. “I wouldn’t be so sure.”
Alec squinted his eyes “Why do you put yourself down like that?”
“You don’t know me, Alec. My past, it isn’t pretty.”
“You’re doing it again.” Alec stands up going to leave to the room.
“Pushing me away. I told you I like you and you tried giving me reasons not to.”
He’d never had this before. Someone who’s not afraid to call him out when he’s doing something wrong. Self-sabotage. “Sorry, I didn’t realise I was doing that I guess it’s just an impulse reaction.”
“It’s okay, just know that your past is in the past. Let it stay there. For now, all I care about is the present.” Alec smiled softly.
Magnus smiled back and nodded before changing the subject. “What did you order?” He asked pointing to the menu.
“Just a fruit platter.”
“Perfect.” Magnus paused before continuing. “Oh, and Alec.”
“Snorkelling sounds great.”
“I’ll book it in the morning.”
Seen as they had to wait for their food to arrive Magnus decided to look around their suite.
The bedroom led out to the dining/kitchen area and to his left was massive glass doors overlooking the ocean. The view was breath-taking.
Just up a little further there was the pool inside that was leading outside on to the deck. Their surroundings were all very romantic and intimate it would be hard not to fall into the trap of playing make-believe.
“This place, it’s pretty nice right,” Alec said coming up beside him.
“You could say that, but it would be an understatement. I’ve never seen a place so beautiful.” He could stand here all day and just get lost in the scenery. He always found something so calming about having the ocean at his feet with the sound of waves crashing in the background.
Walking around the side of the pool Magnus dipped his foot in testing the water before flicking some up with his foot at Alec. “Sorry,” He laughed.
“You’re totally not, you meant to do that.” Alec laughed back.
“Maybe, maybe not.” Magnus shrugged back but his smile probably gave him away.
The moment soon ended when Alec went to answer the door and brought back the fruit platter he had ordered. It had his mouth watering. The fruit, not Alec, but maybe one day.
It didn’t take them long to devour it all, they both were hungrier than they first thought.
Alec was out to it the second his head hit the pillow, but it was taking Magnus longer to fall asleep.
Normally by now in a relationship, he would already be thinking of reasons to leave, but with Alec, it was the opposite. Alec Lightwood was giving him reasons to stay.
If any of you wanna live tweet if that's what you like to do you can use the hashtag #LMLTL
Would be cool to see some of your reactions and stuff
When Alec suggested snorkeling last night he thought he would be fine. He’d thought the fear of water long gone. Relying on the open air and sea breeze to calm him wasn’t working. Not in this environment where he was so far out of control. Where one small accident would have him right back there – the memory he’s tried so hard to erase from his mind resurfacing.
Shaking the fear from his head he turned to Alec a worrying crease forming down the middle of his eyebrows. “I’m fine,” he wasn’t. He was far from it.
The increasing speed of his heart, the air in his lungs, or little that there was betraying him and tightening around his chest. He couldn’t let Alec know the real reason. Not here, not with the cameras. It was too much.
Forcing himself to think of an excuse as to why he was such a wreck wasn’t easy, especially with Alec looking at him with such deep concern, it only made him want to ask to take them back to the land where his memories didn’t haunt him on the sand.
Alec placed a tentative hand on his shoulder. “If you don’t want to do this, we don’t have to.” Alec’s voice was gentle like a calming wind amongst the crashing waves.
“I want to do this,” He did. He just needed a few deep breaths. “It’s just,” Magnus’ brain searched for an excuse, quickly finding one. He turned to their tour guide. “You’re sure there are no sharks here?” This seemed like something someone would genuinely be terrified of, so he ran with it.
“Wait,” was this backfiring on him? “What do you mean not usually?”
The guide laughed but Magnus failed to see the humor in it. “There’s nothing to worry about.”
“I’m right here next to you,” Alec comforted.
“And that’s supposed reassure me how?” Stop being an asshole he scolded himself.
Fear brought the worst out in him, always had ever since he was little. He’d snap and argue taking it out on other people. In this case, Alec, who in no case deserved it.
Hurt flashed across his features and Magnus didn’t like that, hurting him was the last thing he wanted to do especially when all he was trying to do was be there for him which Magnus very much appreciated he just couldn’t find the words right now, not with all the fog in his brain.
“I’m sorry,” Magnus sighed suddenly feeling very drained. This whole ordeal really taking it out of him. “You go ahead.” He said to Alec not wanting to ruin this experience for him more than he already had.
As Alec stepped forward something took over Magnus and he reached out his hand to stop Alec, taking them both by surprise.
Magnus waited for Alec to look up, and when he did he took one last deep breath soothing his heart as best he could. He wanted to do this with Alec. “Don’t let go,” It was meant to come across as a question, but his voice betrayed him making it sound more like a plea.
Alec pulled himself from Magnus’ grasp, and he felt his heart drop. Until Alec caught it by linking their fingers together and smiling at him with all the reassurance Magnus needed to know he was here with him. “Not letting go.”
He did something that didn’t come easy to him. He put his trust in Alec and followed him into the blue sea churning beneath them.
Magnus’ hand was still firmly in his and judging by how tight his grasp was he wasn’t planning on letting go anytime soon.
Alec didn’t mind, he could sense there was something deeper going on, something that Magnus struggled with but wasn’t ready to disclose. And until he was Alec would try to be the support he needed.
If anything, Alec was proud of Magnus. This showed him just how strong he is. To overcome fear and push through it takes an immense amount of strength which isn’t to be taken lightly. Alec admired his courage to take that step with him off the boat.
The minute they were submerged in water Magnus went tense, but Alec just held him tighter. “We’re okay,” he was quiet with his voice, so his comforting words were only for Magnus to hear and no one else.
A protective instinct came over him when he was in the water always checking if Magnus was okay, and that if he wanted to get back up on the boat they could at any time, but eventually Magnus relaxed and started to enjoy his time.
But Alec couldn’t help but wonder what made him so fearful of water, what made him see such terror in those beautiful rich eyes of his that sometimes he found himself getting lost in.
“Do you wanna go under?” Alec asked.
“Yes?” Magnus answered back unsure.
“Hold your breath and don’t let go of my hand.” Magnus nodded back in assurance he would be okay, but Alec hesitated thinking maybe he would push Magnus too far, “You sure?” He asked.
“Yeah,” Magnus replied squeezing Alec’s fingers gently.
“Okay, ready?” He asked and in return, Magnus nodded. “On 3,”
And just like that, they were under the water swimming deeper, hand in hand. You could see all the colorful vibrant creatures under here better. It was like living in a completely different world and it was crazy to think such magnificent animals were only a short boat ride away.
Alec swam in front of Magnus to face him, making sure their hands were still together. He found his eyes through the insanely large goggles, somehow Magnus still looked good. Alec lifted his free hand to brush back a piece of Magnus’ hair from his eyes. Hoping Magnus could read the question in his eyes.
Magnus nodded back, he was okay but gestured to his mouthpiece. He needed to go back up for air and so did Alec. So up they went breaking the surface their deep breaths filling the air.
“I’m glad I did this,” Magnus spoke breathlessly.
Alec was happy Magnus did this too, his heart hadn’t stopped pacing the whole time. From this point on it felt like something was changing between them, something Alec liked.
They spent another hour out there just getting amongst the clear waters, watching fish swim between their legs, pointing out all the Nemo’s and Dory’s. Floating next to each other, the odd time their legs brushing up against the others and both of them apologizing profusely like they were a couple of shy teenage boys.
When it was time to get out it was too soon, he could’ve spent all day out there with Magnus. But he was already starting to dry up like a prune from the water and sun and he was in dire need of a glass of water.
Walking up the beach Alec turned to Magnus. “You wanna get something to eat?”
“Please,” Magnus groaned. “I’m starving.”
Alec laughed letting their hands fall together now just on instinct and making their way up the road to the nearest restaurant.
As they continued to walk Alec saw a worrying cloud appear out of nowhere swallowing up the sun as quick as blinking. But not even a few clouds and maybe rain could ruin the day they were having.
As if the sky heard him, a clap of thunder overtook the sky and rain pelted down at a rapid speed. It had everyone around them running for cover including themselves. Tightening his hold on Magnus’ hand they ran while laughing both secretly enjoying the rain.
They managed to find cover under a stores roof along with everyone else who was within 100 metres of the store. Happening to find themselves in a very close position, closer than they’d ever been so far.
Alec’s was turned towards Magnus their faces almost level. His arms out straight barricading Magnus’ face from the people around them.
With only centimetres between them, Alec didn’t take it for granted really exploring the details of Magnus’ face finding everything to like about it. The tiny beauty spot above his eyebrow, his soft eyes, gentle and caring. The dark kohl lining his eyes, bold, making the colors shine like the stars in the night sky. His cheekbones were strong and structured. His jawline was sharp and beautifully crafted. His lips, so very kissable, but they weren’t ready for that yet.
Magnus was staring back at him a smile slowly pulling up on one side before chuckling softly, “I wanted a shower anyway.” Which in turn made Alec laugh.
Here they were surrounded by so many people but that didn’t stop them from laughing loudly being completely submerged in their own little bubble as the rain soon calmed and slowly faded away.
Magnus fell quiet again, his eyes anything but, and it sent a flicker of desire through his heart. “You’re cute when you laugh,” Magnus whispered his hand combing its way through Alec’s hair, still wet from the rain.
Alec felt his stomach swoop and all the blood flush his cheeks. After the days they’d had moments like these meant a tremendous amount to him, it meant that somewhat Magnus was feeling what he was feeling.
All Alec could manage was a shy laugh in return.
“I’ll take that as a thank you,” Magnus smiled back, and Alec found his breath taken from him at the sight. Such beauty within one person, this person who had chosen to go on this journey with him, and after the rocky start, it was starting to all feel worth it if only he got more smiles like that.
“Speaking of thank you.” Magnus continued. “Today in the water, I wouldn’t have been able to get through that without you.”
The eyes really are the window to the soul, and no matter how hard Magnus may try to hide it, Alec sees everything. Like now, he sees the vulnerability, the shame, the embarrassment, all stirring beneath those deep pools of beautiful. Alec’s heart hurts and bleeds for whatever it is that is stuck in there making him think that way about himself. Because the last thing he should feel is ashamed. He should feel proud of himself.
But Alec doesn’t want to push the boundaries, Magnus had let him come this far he didn’t want to push him and make them take 5 steps back. So instead he kisses the back of Magnus’ hand tenderly and says, “That’s what marriage is about right, being there for one another when they need you?”
Magnus is looking back at him like he can’t quite believe what he is hearing. “I’ve never met someone who continues to surprise me as you do.”
“In good ways?” He asks his voice lower and his head inching towards Magnus’.
“In the best way, Alexander.” No one had called him that in a long time, it felt foreign to his ears, but also, he likes the way it sends tingles down his spine and makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
Alec turned his head looking up to the sky and seeing the last of the rain disappear. “Shall we?” he asks.
Magnus nods back and they take their time walking down the street hand in hand. Mostly in their own world but still partly aware of the camera at their side.
Time flew over the next few days, each day filled with something new, a new experience, a new challenge. They were having fun with each other and that’s what mattered most to Alec, it felt like they were forming a friendship before anything else. Getting to know each other as best as possible.
Alec had even started to notice the little things like Magnus hates sandals and refuses to wear them. Or that he takes no sugar in his coffee in the morning but has one at night. Or when he eats fruit he takes all the pips out of the watermelon before eating it.
“You know that seems like such a tedious job just to eat some watermelon.” Alec laughs watching Magnus fumble with the melon.
“Tedious but necessary, Alexander.” Alec smiles adoringly and leaves him to it.
They walk along the beach every morning after breakfast, always hand in hand, it was just what they did now, whenever they were walking somewhere they were linked, their fingers laced together. Alec liked it, the small hints of intimacy between them growing each day.
The views were only half as great as watching Magnus laugh at something he said.
They stopped to help baby sea turtles reach their final destination without the worry of birds trying to eat them.
“They’re so tiny.” Magnus coos. “We should cover them with our arms just in case,” Magnus suggests, and Alec is all for it. Secretly loving the way Magnus takes to nature and the creatures in it. Something they both have in common.
Tonight, was there last night here and Alec had planned something special as a send-off.
Magnus was currently in the pool still relaxing after the walk they went on today. Alec had showered and was finishing off some fresh fruit from the morning.
Making his way to the pool he crouched down and slipped his legs over the edge tangling them in the water, watching Magnus swim over to him.
“So, I have a surprise for you tonight.”
Magnus swam to the ledge beside him stealing the last piece of pineapple from his fingers and eating it quickly humming with delight at how delicious it was. “A surprise you say? Should I be worried?” Magnus replies, sitting up next to Alec.
Alec pouted, he was enjoying that pineapple. “It’s nothing bad, I promise.”
“You should just tell me then.”
“Nope. That defeats the purpose of the surprise.”
“C’mon,” Magnus begged.
“Nope.” Alec didn’t budge.
“It was the pineapple wasn’t? That’s why you won’t tell me?”
Alec laughed. “Totally, never steal a man’s fruit.”
“Noted.” Magnus chuckles back. “But hey,” Magnus lightly knocks his elbow into Alec’s. “That pout was pretty adorable.”
Alec leaned his head back a hearty laugh leaving his mouth. “Give me all the compliments I’m still not telling you the surprise.”
Magnus sighs dramatically. “One can only try.”
Alec stood up wiping his feet on the towel beside him. “Go get dressed we leave in 30,”
Alec had planned a romantic sunset dinner on the beach, asking the chefs at the resort to prepare some of their best meals for them, and judging by the smell that was coming from outside they had done an amazing job.
Magnus felt strange. It wasn’t normal for him to feel giddy, it’d been so long since he had this feeling he had forgotten what it felt like. The little nerves in his stomach like butterflies flying in circles. The quickening thud of his heart every time he remembered Alec genuinely liked him.
Over the last few days, he’d find himself smiling whenever Alec entered a room, the nerves in his body jumping when they would hold hands, the flutter in his heart when he would kiss him on the cheek. He was definitely developing feelings for him.
Magnus looked for his best outfit before exiting the bathroom and finding Alec sitting on the bed waiting. He was dressed in a pair of denim shorts and a green short-sleeved shirt showing off his tanned arms.
“Ready?” Alec asks and Magnus nods back.
He leads him out past the veranda of their suite and onto the beach and Magnus forgets to breathe.
There in front of him was a softly lit candle dinner, the most gorgeous sunset in the background turning the sky pinks, oranges and yellows. The warm breeze tickling the hairs on his arms.
“Alexander,” He says breathlessly. “You planned this?”
“I did,” Alec says a beaming smile on his face. “Although I can’t take credit for the beautiful sunset, that was all mother natures doing.”
Magnus chuckles, he laughs a lot with Alec. “It’s beautiful.”
Alec is looking at Magnus when he says. “Indeed.”
Magnus follows Alec to the table. Alec so kindly pulling out his seat.
Sitting down Alec says, “I’ve really enjoyed our time here, even with all the bumps along the way.”
“I feel like those bumps were mostly my fault and I want to apologize for that. I didn’t come into this with the greatest mindset, but you haven’t given up on me and I really enjoyed spending this time with you.” Magnus apologized trying not to cringe at the way he acted the night of and after the wedding. He was just assuming the worst of the situation not even giving it the chance to turn into something good. It was nice to be pleasantly surprised for once.
“I’m really happy to hear that,” Alec smiled while Magnus admired the way the sun shone on his skin giving him a warm glow.
“You don’t think,” He paused, “It will change when we get back to New York, do you?” Magnus asked hesitantly. This was all nice and perfect, but it wasn’t real.
“I don’t see why it would,” Alec responded looking at him in a questioning manner.
“Here it’s paradise, there it’s jobs, family, routine, what if we hate living with each other?”
“We’ve done okay here.” Alec answers.
“We have, but I just, I like this, us, you.” His heart jumps as he says those words. Admitting to the person you like that you like them was a big step for him.
“I happen to like you too,” Alec chuckles back softly.
“What if we don’t like it back in New York,” He was saying New York but what he meant was what if Alec didn’t like the person Magnus was when they go back. Eventually, everything would come to the surface and he didn’t want to be too much of a burden for Alec to bear.
“Hey,” Alec reaches across the table for his hand, “Let’s not think about the future, let's just stay in the here and now. Yeah?”
Magnus shakes the doubts from his mind and enjoys what’s in front of him.
The night goes on and they watch the sunset behind them. They enjoy the delicious food, they enjoy the wine, but most importantly they enjoy each other’s company. Sharing funny stories. Talking more about what Alec wants to do and whether he wants to go back to school to be a doctor or do something else. The night as a whole was perfect in Magnus’ eyes, and as far as dates go, this was up there.
“Thank you, for tonight,” He says to Alec as they make their way back up the beach to their room.
“You’re most welcome, but,” Alec has a sneaky smile. “It’s not over yet.”
Magnus stops. “What? What on earth could there possibly be left to do?”
“You’ll see,” He laughs. “For this part though, we have to take a small drive.”
“We are here.” The driver announces.
Alec turns to Magnus. “Okay, so when we get out I’m gonna need you to close your eyes.”
“What?” Magnus wants to laugh.
“It’s fine, I’ll lead you.”
“I- Alec it’s dark. I don’t want to end up down a cliff face.”
Alec steps out of the car and walks around to Magnus’ side opening his door. “Do you trust me?” He says.
Magnus didn’t think Alec meant for it to come across as a loaded question but that was how he took it. He trusted Alec in the water, he could trust him now.
Without much hesitation, he got out of the car and said, “Yes,”
Alec stood behind him and placed his hands over his eyes before speaking. “Okay, so take a step forward and just keep walking straight until I tell you to stop.”
“Alec, If I die, tell my friends I love them.”
“You have a will made just in case, right?” Alec teased.
Magnus stops in his tracks. “Stop it!” He says but can’t help the small chuckle that escapes him.
“I’m only joking, there’s nothing to worry about,” Alec said placing the most delicate kiss to the top of Magnus’ head he felt himself blush. “You’re safe with me,” Magnus was smiling. “I protected you from those big bad sharks, right?”
“My knight in shining armor you are.”
“Okay, fine let’s go.”
“Just a few more steps and then turn left.” Alec started. “Magnus Left, that’s right.”
Magnus had to laugh at himself. “Sorry! I got confused. Let’s just pretend I know my lefts from my rights.” Magnus blamed Alec for making his heart all warm and his brain all fuzzy.
Alec laughed, from his chest, loud and beautiful, and Magnus liked the sound of it very much.
“We are almost there, c’mon.”
Magnus took all other of Alec’s directions well and soon found his feet buried in soft sand squeaking as he walked.
“Alexander, where are we?” He asks curiosity getting the best of him.
Alec slowly peels his hands from his eyes and whispers in his ear. “Open your eyes and see for yourself.”
Magnus opened his eyes and he felt like he was witnessing heaven on earth. He was left speechless his mouth falling agape.
Alec stood beside him taken by the view just as much as he was. “They call it the Sea of Stars,” Stars was right, the blue luminescent dots sparkling in the water all along the shoreline.
“How did you hear about it?” Magnus asks still completely taken by the sea.
“I asked around.”
Magnus turns where he is standing, his feet gliding through the sand. Cupping the side of Alec’s cheek, he smiles up at him, seeing the very stars in Alec’s eyes. “Thank you,”
Alec was looking back and for a second, he thought they were going to kiss, his eyes darting down to his lips and back up again, but Alec looked away unsure leading them down the beach a bit further
Magnus couldn’t explain just how he felt right now, it was strange, and he’d forgotten what it felt like to feel his heart smile. He was happy, and he felt like crying. No one had ever done anything like this for him ever, not during any of his other relationships, no one. But here this man was. Barely known him a week and was pulling out all the stops to make this experience a good one.
“You okay?” Alec asks beside him.
Magnus looks at him. “Perfect even.”
A soft melody from a faraway restaurant was carrying the notes all the way down to them and he felt Alec stop and step closer to him finding his other hand. “Care to dance?”
Magnus chuckles under his breath feeling so completely and utterly taken by this man. “Won’t we look silly all the way down here?” Magnus slides into Alec’s arms like it’s the easiest thing he’s ever done.
“If anyone asks we will just tell them we are on our honeymoon,” Magnus rest his chin above Alec’s shoulder and lets them both sway to the gentle beat. “Which technically,” Alec continues “Isn’t a lie,”
“What are you doing to me Alexander Lightwood?” Magnus says breathlessly.
“Isn’t obvious,” Alec says playfulness in his voice. “I’m trying to woo you.”
“Well, it’s working,” Magnus says, honestly.
He doesn’t see the smile reach Alec’s eyes, but he does feel him pull him closer.
Here, right now there was something growing between them. Something that made his heart tick faster and a spark in his chest. This was something special.
When they reached the resort and made their way to bed, Magnus didn’t want to fight it anymore. He wanted to keep this feeling going. Shuffling closer he lay next to Alec watching his sleepy face.
Alec smiled adorably back at him before opening his arms and beckoning Magnus to come closer. “C’mere,”
Magnus did. He slid perfectly into his arms and had never felt more at ease.
Magnus slept the best he had in days, waking up feeling well rested for their flight back home.
“Morning sleepy head,” Alec says next to him his leg trailing the length of Magnus’ calve which he doesn’t hate
“Mmm sleep,” Magnus yawns turning over.
“Mmm, we have to check out in an hour.”
Alec laughed. “I’ll go make coffee.”
“Best husband ever,” Magnus murmurs to himself as Alec leaves the room.
After a full day of travelling, they landed safely back in New York. The minute they got off the plane and turned their phones on they were bombarded with notification after notification but couldn’t really pay much attention to it until they got through security and back home.
Finding the apartment the show had provided, they soon settled in and unpacked quickly before Magnus took off his shoes and lay on their bed reaching for his phone.
He wished he didn’t.
After the first message, he felt the blood drain from his face. The second, he felt his chest tighten. The third, he started to hyperventilate. The fourth or fifth he didn’t know he lost count his vision started to blur and the room started to spin.
No no no no.
This wasn’t happening. How was this happening? This shouldn’t be happening.
Through his blurry vision, he saw Alec enter the room.
He knew he could tell by his face.
He just found out his husband is a murderer.
“Magnus,” He said carefully. “What is going on?”
added tags. please read them before the chapter in case of triggers.
Also if you like to live tweet use the hashtag #LMLTL so I can see your reactions <3
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Blurry edges, rapid heartbeat, hands shaking, lungs growing smaller. Everything he didn’t want to be aware of, he was in tune with, struggling to shut it off.
He was faintly aware of Alec still standing in the doorway. He was speaking but Magnus wasn’t hearing. He didn’t want to look at him. Scared of what he might see.
It was when his world started to tilt sideways that Alec came closer that he was able to focus on him and only him, everything else in the background was a fuzzy mess.
Faintly, Alec’s voice though muffled started to penetrate his ears.
He looked worried, concerned, confused and was there a hint of anger He didn’t want to face this. He wanted to find the closest empty room and breathe. Yeah, breathing would be nice.
“Magnus,” Alec says sharply, his voice cutting through him like glass and the white noise subsides a little. “Magnus, breathe,” The human body is literally made to breathe on its own so why couldn’t he quite get it to work properly?
“I’m,” He chokes, “I’m trying.”
“Look at my hand,” Alec says. He does. “Count with me, okay.”
“One,” one Magnus says in his brain watching Alec’s fingers slowly all count up to five. “Okay,” Alec continues. “Now count down with me.” He does. Counting down from five. “Now take a deep breath and hold it for 8 seconds.” It was working. His chest wasn’t on fire anymore.
“That’s it,” Alec says calmly.
Alec stands from where he was kneeling in front of him. He was kneeling? And he sits next to him.
“No one is meant to know, no one is supposed to be able to find it, no one…..it was sealed. This isn’t happening.” Magnus stutters out in a rush losing all the breath he had gained.
“So, it’s true then?” Alec asks cautiously.
“No,” Magnus blurts. “Well, I mean yes, but not all of it. They’ve” He chokes on his words. “They’ve got the wrong story.”
Alec watches him for a while and it only makes him angry. It’s like he’s waiting for him to explode or break. One of the two.
“I could really do with some answers, right now,” Alec says playing awkwardly with his fingers.
“And I will give them to you, I just need a few minutes to collect myself,” Magnus replies fighting the irritation in his voice.
“Of course,” Alec places his hand on his shoulder and Magnus flinches back, standing up brusquely. “Hey,” Alec says standing as well. Could he just sit, all he wants is some room to breathe? “I’m just confused, okay. Wouldn’t you be if your phone is being bombarded with messages and notifications saying your husband killed his father?”
Magnus can’t take it anymore and snaps, taking it out on completely the wrong person, but he’s the only one here right now. “My worst nightmare is being played out in front of the entire world right now, Alec. So yes, I get that you may be confused but my whole world just got turned upside down. How the fuck am I meant to come back from this? No matter what I will forever be known as the man who killed his father. No one is going to be able to look past that.” Magnus’ voice is raised, and he never raises his voice, he hates it, he hates the look on Alec’s face. He hates that he’s put him in this situation.
Alec steps closer. “Magnus please, I’m not trying to make this worse for you I just want to know what’s going on.”
Magnus starts pacing back and forth his mind not being able to settle. “I don’t know what to do, my mind, it won’t stop.” Bringing his hands up to his head. Hands on each temple he just wants to press pause for a second.
Alec takes his hands and brings them down leaving them in his. “Start by telling me,”
Magnus looks to his left where the cameraman is in the doorway. “But-“ Alec already knows what he was going to say cutting him off.
“I’ll get rid of them, okay. I’ll make sure it’s just us.” Magnus nods back thankfully and notices his breathing has started to go back to a normal rhythm.
Alec walks over and tells the man to leave but he doesn’t budge. “I told you to leave,” Alec says, this time with more aggression in his voice.
“You’re not authorized to tell me what to do.” Who did this guy think he was?
“I don’t care what I’m authorized to do or what not to do. I asked you to leave.”
“And I told you no,” Magnus didn’t like where this was going. He saw Alec clench his fists at his side turning his knuckles white.
“Don’t you think Magnus deserves some privacy after what has just happened? Or do you have no respect for the people around you.” Alec quips back.
The smug look on the camera mans face is starting to aggravate Magnus now too.
“I’m paid to do a job and that is to film you two.”
Magnus didn’t know it was possible to see someone’s hands go so white, he could see the veins in Alec’s hands.
Luckily before it got out of hand Sebastian shows up.
“Is there an issue here?” Magnus felt like rolling his eyes as if it wasn’t obvious there clearly was.
“I want him to leave so Magnus and I can talk in private after what has happened today,” Alec replies.
“I see,” Sebastian says back looking at the other man. “Victor lets give them some space.”
“No buts, it’s the least we can give them after today's news. Come on.” The man now known as Victor leaves and Alec has a look on his face that says ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ which pulls a tiny smile out of Magnus.
Sebastian brings his attention back to Alec and himself. “Alec,” He pauses looking at Magnus. “Magnus, we will give you as much time as you need.”
“That’s greatly appreciated. Thank you, Sebastian.” Alec replies before shutting the door when he turns away.
They both take off their mics.
“Alec, I’m so sorry,” And he’s on the verge of tears.
“Don’t be sorry, just please,” Alec starts, and he sounds so exhausted. “Tell me what the hell is happening, so I can understand a bit better.”
This wasn’t fair to him, and Magnus couldn’t comprehend how he was going to fix this media storm, but maybe starting with Alec would help. He knew it would be hard. Going back to a place in his life he’s tried so hard to forget, not even his friends knew of this. But now his demons were facing him head on and he had no choice but to take them on, hoping and praying he came out the other side unscathed, and maybe if he was lucky Alec would still be here.
“Sit,” Magnus gestures to the bed. They do.
Magnus takes a deep breath and tries to block off his emotions but he’s already failing.
“It’s true,” Two words that can do so much harm because it is true. “I killed my step-father.” A cold shiver run’s down his spine as the eyes of the man who raised him comes into the forefront of his mind.
He catches Alec’s furrowed brows in his peripheral vision but refuses to look at him head-on, too afraid of what he might see staring back at him.
“But it’s not as simple as that, so I have to tell you everything.” He finds himself looking for another deep breath but doesn’t find one. “My mother did die when I was 3, that part is true, and she was in a car accident, but so was I. I was in the back seat.”
He barely remembers her, a few flashes of her smile, or her laugh. When he was little he used to dream of her coming home and taking him out for ice cream like she always would every Saturday after dinner. They were only dreams, but he would cling to those images of her face and hold them to his heart.
“I don’t remember much of that day, a few gory images but that’s it. I was only 3. All I knew was that she was gone. Forever, and,” He paused swallowing back the lump in his throat. “And my step-father never let me forget it.”
Magnus jumped at the hand on his back, his nerves a mess right now.
“Sorry,” Alec apologizes. “I didn’t mean to startle you. I just wanted to say if it’s too much we can stop for a second.”
“No,” Magnus shook his head. If he didn’t do this now he never would. “I need to keep going.”
“Okay,” Alec doesn’t remove his hand from his back.
“My step-father blamed me for what happened to my mother.” Magnus paused clenching eyes tight hating how small and fragile retelling this story made him feel. “At first it started with words, snide remarks, which I could take. But then he started to drink a lot. That’s when things got really bad.” Sometimes he thinks back to those days and wonders why he never ran away.
“He started to use any excuse to hit me. Whether it be a low grade in school or not putting the dishes away, but I was only 7 years old, of course, I was going to make mistakes. I was still learning.” Magnus feels a single tear run down his face. He didn’t realize his eyes had started to gloss over with tears. Pushing them back he continued.
“Magnus,” Alec says but Magnus ignores it.
“It’d been 5 years since my mother passed, and he came home drunk on the anniversary of her death. He pulled me from my room and he was crying, but he was also yelling. ‘it should’ve been you’ ‘you killed her’. Everything that happened next was a blur.”
“Magnus, we can stop this is clearly not something you’re ready to talk about.” He would never be ready to talk about it, but he had no other option.
Pushing forward he continued ignoring the rapid pulse of his heart and his sweaty palms on his pants.
“He grabbed me and pulled me towards the bathroom where I could hear the bath running, and it was like every fear I had of him killing me was coming true. I was terrified.” He could feel his hands trembling, so he held on tighter to his legs.
“This is why when we went snorkeling you-“
“Yes,” He answered quickly.
“He tried to—”
“Yes,” He didn’t want to hear the words out loud, not yet.
He couldn’t breathe then, and he couldn’t breathe now. Except for this time, he wasn’t submerged under water. “I was struggling to get free before my mind went blank. I kicked my feet out from under me and they caught on his legs tripping him up.” He still remembers the relief he felt as he came up for air. He was coughing and spluttering, but he was alive.
“When I got free I was going to run, I wasn’t going to wait for round two, but as I got up and saw him laying on the ground lifeless I knew it was over. He snapped his neck on the edge of the bathtub, and to this day I feel like a monster for my first thought being ‘it’s over’ I didn’t mean to kill him, but I was just so relieved I could breathe again.”
“You can’t feel guilty for that, he was going to kill you. I would have thought the same as you. It was self-defense. It wasn’t your fault. Neither of them was.” Alec reaches for his hand, but he doesn’t want anyone to touch him, not with the amount of self-loathing he was feeling right now.
“Maybe with him it was self-defense, and maybe with my mother, it wasn’t my fault.” Magnus pauses staring at his hands. “But if it weren’t for me neither of those horrible things would have happened,”
Alec stands before him crouching down in front of him. “Hey, don’t say that you can’t know that for certain. This isn’t on you.”
“It is on me, okay,” Magnus snaps. “And now it's out there in the public eye for everyone to see just how awful I am. That wherever I go, bad things happen. I knew doing this show was a bad idea. I should’ve left when I had the chance.”
“Stop it, that’s not true. We will find out who leaked it and we will sort it out, okay.” Alec pauses everything going silent. “And for what it’s worth I’m glad you didn’t leave because I found you.”
Magnus let a horrible cold laugh leave his mouth something so not him it made him hate himself. “Yeah me, a killer,” he says standing up and stepping past Alec. “A nobody, someone nobody would want.”
Alec’s not far behind him. “Hey, don’t.”
“Don’t what!?” Magnus turns around so now they’re facing each other. “Don’t tell you the truth? Don’t show you who I really am? Do us both a favor and leave me. I don’t want to drag you through this mess.” Magnus was obliterating his own heart with his words but seeing the pain in Alec’s eyes was worse.
“I’m not going to do that.”
“Why not!?” and he hates the way his voice breaks on the last word. “Leave,”
“No,” Alec steps closer and reaches for his hand and this time Magnus lets him. “Remember?” He says his beautiful eyes still so sincere. “Not letting go.”
“But, what if I want you to?” He doesn’t want him to, it’s the last thing he wants.
“I don’t think you do,” Alec says. “But, look you can try and push me away and maybe, just maybe, one day it will work. But for now, I am not going anywhere.”
And just like that, every piece of him is falling into Alec’s arms.
He’d never had anyone fight for him quite like this.
Feeling the warmth from Alec’s arms surround him he rests his head on his shoulder. “I don’t want to put you through this, you don’t deserve it.”
Alec tilts his head and kisses him on the temple. “Neither do you,” and maybe deep down he believes that. And maybe that’s why when the tears come he doesn’t fight them.
“We will get through this, together.”
“You really mean that, don’t you?”
Alec holds him tighter. “I do,”
Eventually, Alec convinces him to lay down for a bit helping him get into bed and pulling up the blanket.
“I’ll be back shortly.”
Before Alec could leave Magnus kept hold of his hand. “What is it?” Alec asks.
Alec smiles down at him taking in those beautiful rich eyes laced with sadness. It hurts him to see something so devastating in those eyes. Magnus didn’t deserve any of what happened to him.
What happens next makes Alec take a step back quickly as Magnus leans up trying to kiss him.
Magnus looks embarrassed and Alec hates that. “Sorry,” Magnus says burrowing back down in the blankets
“Magnus, it’s not that I don’t want to it’s just, not like this.” He had all his fingers crossed Magnus wouldn’t take this the wrong way.
“I get it,” Magnus replies but Alec can’t see his face.
All Alec wants to do is sit next to him and run his fingers through his hair, but he needs to talk to Sebastian so, quietly he leaves the room hoping Magnus gets some rest. Alec certainly wasn’t far behind him.
As he was expecting Sebastian and Victor were waiting in the living room. He quickly sent Victor a look making sure he knows not to enter their bedroom.
“Things sounded pretty heated in there for a little, everything okay?” Alec knew Sebastian didn’t care out of concern but out of curiosity and for the show.
Alec sat down on the couch and prepared himself for the hard conversation that was about to happen. He knew there would be these sort of interviews when coming on the show he just didn’t expect things to go this wrong and now everything the show did just felt very invasive.
“Not really considering,” Alec cocked an eyebrow. “But he’s okay for now. That article that was posted it absolute bullshit, I hope you know that.”
“We do now, but Alec, you must realize this sort of publicity isn’t what I’d call good.” Sure, maybe it was bad but it's not like it wouldn’t bring new viewers to the show spiking the ratings.
“I get that, and I want to fix this all for him. Whoever leaked this wasn’t thinking about Magnus and how it would affect him, they clearly work for the show.” Alec let the last bit slip, but he didn’t regret it. Whoever did this must’ve been working for the show or someone was paid off big time.
Sebastian was taken back in surprise, offended. “No, no one would do that I can assure you.”
“No, you can’t, not really.” Alec stopped himself before he lost his head. “Anyway, that can wait for later. Right now, I just want to know what our options are to fix this.”
“Right, of course.” Sebastian and his fancy English accent started. “Do you think Magnus would ever speak up and clear up the story being told?”
“Maybe, I don’t know,” He didn’t want to speak for him, plus seeing the way he reacted by just telling him raised some red flags around this idea. “I don’t want to put pressure on him. What he told me isn’t exactly easy to tell everyone. I can’t even imagine what he is going through right now.”
Sebastian nods trying to look sympathetic, but it doesn’t really work. “My heart breaks for him it really does, but,” There’s always a but “You have to understand that the big producers aren’t happy and if he refuses to speak out it could result in him being taken off the show.” There’s an awkward pause. “And they would most likely try to bring someone different on for you.”
Alec’s heart dropped at the mere thought of that and the fact that Sebastian thinks he would leave him so easily makes his blood run hot.
“You’re kidding, right? If Magnus leaves so do I, I’m not abandoning him when he needs someone by his side right now.”
“Alec,” Sebastian starts but Alec doesn’t let him.
“No! Fuck you if you think I would do that to him. I don’t want or need someone else.”
“He didn’t even want to be here in the first place, do you even know how he got on the show?” Alec stopped confused but shook it off not wanting to play these mind games with him.
“You trying to convince me to let him go, won’t work.” Why was everyone testing him today, he was barely keeping it together.
“I’m, you know what never mind, pretend I didn’t say anything. I’ll talk to my bosses and see what I can do.”
Alec can’t be here anymore. There are too many people in small rooms expecting too much of him he needs to escape, he needs fresh air.
Getting up and grabbing his phone, he quickly ducks into the bedroom to make sure Magnus is okay, but he hasn’t moved so he leaves.
He leaves the apartment and walks. He just keeps walking. Walking until he can breathe, until he can see clearly.
He finds a quiet reserve and sits at the nearest seat. His heart hasn’t stopped racing since they left the plane earlier. It feels like they’ve been home for days, but it’s only been a mere couple of hours.
He needed to talk to someone. Someone who will listen and tell him everything will be okay. Pulling up the contact he pressed call and they picked up on the second ring and when she spoke he felt everything hit him.
“Hey sweetie, everything okay?” Had she not seen the mess on the news?
“Mum,” He said surprised at how small his voice sounded now that he was allowing himself to be vulnerable. “Everything’s a mess.”
“So, it’s true? What the media is saying.” She asked attentively.
“No, no it’s not.” He sighs and when did he get a headache? “It’s all twisted, you can’t believe the media.”
“Okay,” She says, “I believe you,” Like it’s the easiest thing she’s ever done. “You’ve spoken with Magnus?”
“Yes, he told me everything when we got him but I – Mum, everything is a mess, it’s all so much. Not even just Magnus, the producers, the media, the apartment….. I just don’t know what to do.”
“Hey, baby slow down.” She says calmingly. “Breathe.”
“Where’s Magnus?” She asks.
“Back at the apartment, shit I should probably go back, he’s all alone.”
“What?” He asks taken back. “Why?”
“You clearly needed some time to yourself and you’re going to take it. You’re not going to be any use to anyone if you can’t breathe.” She was right, yet it didn’t change the fact that the wanted to go back.
“No, Magnus is an adult and I’m sure very resilient, you have to trust that he’ll be okay.” She makes it sound so easy.
“I’m worried about him, Mum,” He pauses, “And is it selfish of me to be worried about how it will affect our relationship as well?”
“Of course, you’re worried about him, and darling no it’s not selfish to be worried about that. You clearly care a lot about him and you just don’t want to lose him. It’s normal.” She pauses, and he can hear the smile in her voice when she says, “Tell me about the good times, how was your honeymoon?”
Alec smiles properly for the first time that night. “Our honeymoon was overall really great, it was awkward to start off with but once we got comfortable with each other it was smooth sailing from there.”
“He’s great, mum. You’ll love him. He’s smart, witty, funny. I even willingly danced on the beach with him,” He laughs feeling giddy at the memory.
“You? Alexander Gideon Lightwood danced?” She laughs back.
“Yes, yes I know.” He rolls his eyes. “Twice in one week.”
“I like him already.” She teases back.
“So, you’re not still mad I did the experiment without consulting you first?” He asks sheepish but with a smile on his face.
“I still have my doubts but it’s clear that you care about Magnus and all I want is for you to find someone who cares about you as much as you care for them.”
“Thanks, Mum.” He replies. “As much as I love talking about this I still have this bomb back at home. How am I meant to deal with this?”
“All can do is offer advice, and that is to make sure you two stick together, the last thing you need is the media seeing you both separated or angry at each other they’ll cling to it and make the story worse. Don’t’ let him push you away, be his strength when he is losing his. Make sure the truth comes out one way or another.”
“Why does it sound so easy when you say it,” He sighs. “Thanks, you know you give pretty good advice.”
“Of course, I do, I’m your mother. But you know deep down I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t already know.”
Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk from your mother. “Now, regroup and go be the most amazing man I know you are.”
All he wants is to hug her right now. “Thank you, Mum. I miss you.”
“Anytime sweetheart. I miss you too.”
Hanging up he heard a rustle from the garden and a flash. Fuck.
He can already see the headline.
Alec Lightwood is seen looking distraught after news of his husband's past crimes come to light.
He and Magnus would prove them wrong.
When the pain gets too much you lock yourself away, you close yourself off from all the aching in your chest knowing if you let it in it would consume you. So you cling to the last strand holding you together. Holding you from falling into a place no one really likes to go but is the only place they find relief.
Right now, Magnus was there. His mind turning but his body numb, lost. He felt like the 7-year-old boy all over again, the only thing holding him somewhat together was Alec. Alec and his kind words full of support.
His brain was scrambling trying to think of ways this could have come out but the only explanation he could grasp was that someone saw an opportunity to humiliate him and took it. Someone went to all that effort to pay off a cop for his sealed files and blast them everywhere.
The worst part of all of this was that Alec was now involved. And he could tell Magnus all he wants that he was okay with it and that he wasn’t going anywhere but Magnus knew that somewhere deep down there had to be a part of him that just wanted to leave, and he wouldn’t blame him, not one bit.
He heard him leave earlier and he wouldn’t be surprised if Alec never walked through that door ever again. It saddened him that this was his expectation of people. That he’d lost the ability to trust fully. That no matter what he’d always be looking over his shoulder waiting for the next bomb to drop no matter how much reassurance one gave him.
The last thing Magnus ever wanted to be in his life was a burden. He was a burden to his stepfather for years and now he was being a burden to Alec. He knew how this would end, and it probably wouldn’t be pretty, but even when he begged Alec to leave he wouldn’t, and Magnus still doesn’t know why.
Scrunching his eyes closed he tried to make his mind go blank, but nothing ever works.
The door opens and in walks, Alec, and Magnus could almost cry because he came back.
“You’re awake,” Alec says walking into the room and sitting on his side of the bed.
“Haven’t slept,” Magnus replies.
Magnus sees the concern flicker through Alec’s eyes.
“Do you want some food? Water?”
Magnus shakes his head.
Alec considers him with a disapproving look and Magnus sighs. “I’m fine really, I just want to rest.”
Alec removes his shoes and Magnus catches the red around his eyes as he leans back a little to pull them off.
“You’ve been crying.” He says sitting up.
Alec looks away quickly. “What? No, I uh just went for a walk in the garden, allergies.”
Magnus didn’t believe him. Not one bit. He’d stressed Alec out so much to the point of making him cry. Guilt lashes at his chest.
“I’m sorry,” Magnus sighs letting everything hang in those words because he really is sorry, for everything.
“Hey, it’s not your fault,” Alec answers shuffling closer.
“That’s the thing, it is. The way I’m acting now isn’t fair to you, putting you through the mud with the media isn’t fair to you, none of this is fair to you.”
“That may be the case but it’s not fair to you either. I know that you think this is all your fault, but it’s not. You didn’t choose your stepfather, let alone your own father or mother. You didn’t force him to try and drown you. None of that is your fault. And what is happening now isn’t your fault and I would be an asshole to blame it on you.”
Magnus was so taken back by his reply he had no idea what to say. “I would get it though if you wanted to be an asshole.” He says sheepishly with a tiny grin on his face.
Alec rolls his eyes and lets out an exasperated chuckle and thankfully he doesn’t get the chance to reply as a knock sounds at the door and he leaves to go answer it.
He could hear Alec’s and someone else’s muffled voices behind the door guessing it was Sebastian.
Alec was back quickly after and changed into some sweatpants and a loose tee, He threw Magnus his Lightwood t-shirt and Magnus didn’t hesitate to put it on.
Alec gets into bed next to him and Magnus asks. “What was that about, out there?”
Alec sits back against the headboard.
“Earlier I asked Sebastian what we should do,”
“And? Does he have some miracle idea where this all just goes away, and everyone forgets? Like men in black.” Alec chuckles and Magnus takes that as one win for today.
“Unfortunately, not. He said the best we could do would be to go on live television and tell your side of the story or do a pre-recorded interview that they would air.”
Magnus felt his stomach drop. Having his childhood fears put out there on display was one thing but facing the public was another. Something he wasn’t sure he could do. “What if no one believes me?”
“I believe you.”
“Alexander, I don’t know if I can do it – not live tv.” Alec beckons him closer and Magnus lets him, finding comfort in his arms.
“Then we do the pre-recorded interview.”
“We?” Magnus asks looking up at him.
“Of course,” Alec smiles – tenderly caressing the side of his face and Magnus’ heart warms. “I’ll be right by your side the whole time.”
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