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Steal My Heart

Chapter Text

“Izzy-”

“-no, Alec, you gotta-”

“Izzy-”

“-listen to me, I’m worried that-”

“Isabelle! Listen to me! I’m going to be okay,” Alec insisted as he leaned into the front seat of the limo, where Izzy was driving. Alec was half tempted to put up the glass separating the front seat of the limo from the back, but he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to escape this conversation.

“Alec. You are going into this job without a comm. I have a right to be concerned!”

“I always go into these types of jobs without a comm,” Alec said, leaning back into his seat and watching out the window as the limo exited the city.

“Yeah, but one of us usually goes in with you!” Izzy insisted.

“He’s a smart guy, Iz,” Jace said, not looking up from what he was doing, “if we went in with him, he’d figure us out,”

“That’s what I’m concerned about,” she sighed, “that he’s gonna figure us out,”

“Alec’s gonna be fine,” Jace said from his spot next to Alec, still not looking up from what he was doing, “he’s just gonna go in, get laid, steal some priceless jewelry, and leave,”

Alec, Jace, and Izzy infamous, anonymous jewelry thieves who were known to the world as The Shadowhunters. Their operation was simple: they would be given a job, told where the jewels were and what they were. Jace, out of the jewelry store he owned, would craft identical jewels out of colored glass and cheap metals, so the only people who would be able to tell the difference was a trained jeweler.

Most of their jobs were to steal jewels from people’s homes. Someone, almost always Alec, would then go in with a fake name, seduce the person and end up in their bed. Izzy or Jace would usually watch over the meeting from a distance just in case something went wrong. Once the victim had fallen asleep, that’s when Alec would get up, swap the jewels, and be out of there before anyone knew the difference.

“He’s not gonna be able to track me in or out,” Alec met Izzy’s eye in rear view mirror. She sighed and looked back at the road. Alec looked across the seat at Jace, “plus, we figured this guy out. He’s got a thing for tall, tattooed brunettes and last I checked, I fit that description,”

“I still wish one of us was going in with you,” she sighed, clearly not happy with the situation.

“It’s a little late to change the plan now, Iz,” Jace commented, “plus neither of us are really dressed for that,”

“Are those dry yet?” Alec interrupted their conversation, referring to the fake jewels that were sitting on a tray on the seat next to him that Jace had just finished gluing.

“Probably not, but it’ll have to do,” Jace said as they turned in through the iron gates.

“You really cut it close this time,” Alec said, opening his inner pockets for Jace to drop the jewels into.

“Yeah, well, I’ve been trying to sell from the last job. Give me a break,” Jace said as he dropped the last of the jewels into his pocket. Alec took a deep breath as he saw the large house come into view. Calling it a house was humbling, they were pulling up to a mansion made of white stone, accented with a deep navy. There was a long, cobblestone drive that led into a circle that pulled up in front of the door, which was flanked on either side by two large columns, which held up the balcony that extended from the second floor. All three of them stared in awe at the house; they had never been somewhere so extravagant before.

As the limo in front of them pulled away, Izzy began driving to park right in front of the door. Jace handed him the expensive looking fake family ring to put on his finger and his invitation. He then ran his fingers through Alec’s hair, making it stick up a little taller as the limo came to a stop. Izzy got out of the front seat.

“Let’s go rob Magnus Bane,” Jace said with a smile, holding a hand out to Alec. Alec shook his brother’s hand, the matching L’s tattooed on their wrists touching as Izzy opened the door. He got out and shook his sister’s hand as well, the L tattooed on her wrist touching his: their sign of good luck. He looked around at the entryway before focusing his attention on the door, with a large, gold monogram on it, and the bouncer in front of it. Alec walked up to him.

“Aaron Lettings,” Alec said, giving him the fake name and handing him a brilliant forged invitation. They took great care to keep their anonymity, always using fake names when going in on jobs. Because of that, they were able to go on living their normal lives as the Lightwoods. The man looked down at his list and took the invitation.

“Mr. Lettings,” the man said, handing him back his invitation, “Mr. Bane is excited to meet you,”

“Is he?” Alec smirked, “well, I’m excited to meet him too,”

With that, the door was opened for him and he walked into the house. He glanced around at the people mingling about, eating, drinking, and dancing. He looked at the top of the grand staircase, which had a large balcony at the top before it split into two large, curved staircases that ran along the wall. There he saw not only what he was there to steal but also who he was there to steal from.

Magnus Bane, dressed impeccably, met his eyes from the top of the stairs. He wore a shirt of deep burgundy, paired with a deep blue waistcoat and a black overcoat. The overcoat had intricate white lace designs down the sleeves. A white bowtie finished off the outfit. In darkness, the outfit would look all black, save for the lace and the bow tie, but in the light of the main ballroom, he could see the detail in the patterns and colors.

Alec took a deep breath in. He saw Magnus pick up his drink from where it rested on the banister and began to walk down the stairs. Alec took a breath and began moving towards the stairs, determined to meet Magnus at the bottom. He had made it the bottom of the stairs moments before Magnus did, smiling when he got there.

“Mr. Lettings,” Magnus said, extending his hand.

“Aaron, please,” Alec said with a smile, shaking his hand.

“A drink, Aaron?” Magnus asked.

“Yes please,” Alec said with a smile. Magnus snapped his fingers and Alec saw a bartender move to start making him a drink.

“Now, who are you?” Magnus questioned, pointing a finger at him while still holding onto his drink effortlessly.

“What do you mean?” Alec asked.

“I hadn’t heard your name until it mysteriously showed up on my guest list, and, well, I know all my guests,” Magnus said, taking a sip of his drink, “and you have a surprisingly non-existent internet presence,”

“I just recently came into some money,” Alec took the drink that a waiter brought to him, ignoring the last bit of the accusation. He couldn’t back out now. He had to go through with this.

“Really? How so?” Magnus pushed.

“My father passed,” Alec replied with the story he had rehearsed with Izzy a thousand times, “he wasn’t exactly the man I thought he was,”

“But you benefited from it, yes?”

“Well, I got the opportunity to meet you,” Alec said with a smile. Magnus was playing right into his hand. He just had to keep up his flirtatious and slightly mysterious attitude and he’d be fine.

“Well, then, if that’s the case, it most certainly benefited me too,” Magnus said, taking a sip of his drink.

“So what about you? What’s your story?” Alec asked, taking a sip of his drink.

“Oh, I don’t have a story,” Magnus replied

“Oh come on, everyone has a story,” it was Alec’s turn to push. He had to keep the conversation going.

“Not one that you get to hear,” Magnus paused, “yet,”

“Is that a promise?” Alec asked

“Maybe,” Magnus gave a coy smile. At that moment, someone else came over and began talking to him. Alec took a step back from Magnus and watched as he walked away. He was pretty sure he had gained Magnus’ attention enough for him to be able to stay the night. Magnus was clearly interested in him, if his lingering glances and prying eyes had anything to say about it. He just had to keep himself on Magnus’ mind for the rest of the evening.

That wasn’t too hard. Magnus had his eyes trained on Alec through the entire evening, just as Alec had his eyes trained on Magnus. Alec made a point to loiter near or across from Magnus and whoever he was talking to, while making no effort to talk to anyone there. He made sure to get caught staring, whether it be at his face or somewhere else.

Magnus winked at him before leaning over the bar to grab something. Alec made sure to take a moment to look at the way Magnus’ pants hugged his ass. When he came back over the bar, he poured himself a drink and bit his lip before taking a drink. He let his tongue swirl in the cup much longer than was necessary, making sure to keep eye contact with Alec the entire time. When his show was over, Alec made a point to make sure Magnus saw how he adjusted his pants before he turned to go to the bathroom.

Usually in these situations, he would leave long enough to make it seem like he was taking care of a boner that didn’t exist, but in this situation it did exist. He stood in the bathroom thinking of anything that would calm himself enough to reenter the party. He certainly could have taken the time to relieve himself but he was going to allow himself the pleasure this evening with Magnus, and for once he was actually going to truly enjoy it.

When he entered the main room again, he made a point not to look for Magnus as he walked up to the top of the stairs and began looking at the priceless jewelry that he was there to steal. He knew what each of these pieces looked like, having seen pictures before along with Jace’s fakes. There was jewelry, certainly all family heirlooms, including the ring that had a large B on it, but that was nothing compared raw gems that surrounded each piece. Jace had made copies of some of these heirlooms, but also the loose gems surrounding them. The heirlooms were going to be melted down and recrafted, but the jewels could be sold raw, and were therefore just as valuable.

“Enjoying the view?” he heard Magnus’ voice behind him. He turned around and gave a small smirk.

“It’s much better now,” he said, smirk still intact.

“Want it to get even better?” Magnus asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I would love that,” Alec replied.

“Follow me,” Magnus threw open the double doors at the top of the staircase and walked in, and Alec quickly followed before the door fell shut behind him. Once the door slammed shut, Magnus grabbed him by the lapels and kissed him. Alec took a moment to be shocked before kissing him back, taking back a little bit of control.

“Wait wait wait,” Alec said, pulling away just as Magnus had begun to pull at his bow tie, “don't you have guests?”

“You haven’t been in this life long, so I won’t laugh at your ignorance,” Magnus pulled off Alec’s tie and tucked it into his own pocket, “I’m the host. I get to do whatever I want, and right now, what I want to do,” he bit his lip, “is you,”

Alec kissed him again, backing him against the nearby wall. Magnus moaned into his mouth, allowing Alec to push his tongue inside. Alec undid the button of Magnus’ overcoat before pushing it off his shoulders. Alec undid the top few buttons of his shirt before moving onto his waistcoat. He went back to unbuttoning his shirt and pushed both to the ground, leaving the tie around his neck. Once Magnus’ shirt was on the ground, he grabbed Alec by the lapel once again and pulled him down the hall. He pushed open one of the double doors at the end of the hall to his bedroom, and the two of them stumbled inside before meeting each other again with a searing kiss.

When the door shut, Magnus pushed Alec’s jacket off his shoulders and it fell crumpled on the ground. Alec let his lips move from Magnus’ and he began sucking down his jawline. Magnus moaned and the fingers that were on the buttons on Alec’s shirt stilled.

“Jesus,” Magnus moaned as Alec sucked a mark into his collarbone. When he was done, he moved back up and pressed a hot kiss to Magnus’ open mouth. Magnus’ hands began moving again, fumbling to unbutton each button of his shirt. When he pushed Alec’s shirt off he took a step back to admire his chest.

“Woah,” Magnus let his hands trace over the plethora of tattoos that covered his arms and torso, “you’re going to have to tell me about these,”

“Sure,” Alec said, “but not now, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Magnus smiled, “in the morning?”

“In the morning,” Alec smiled and pulled Magnus in for another kiss.

***

Alec waited until he heard Magnus’ breathing even out before sitting up and getting out of bed. He went around the room, collecting his clothes from the floor. He dressed himself in the light provided by the moon streaming in through the open window. He took a moment to look at how the light reflected off of Magnus’ clear skin. Alec chuckled a little, thinking about how crazy it was that he had just slept with someone so beautiful. He then refocused himself and pushed the bedroom door open. He still had a job to do, after all.

He walked down the end of the hallway and through the other set up double doors. The hall was empty, and the jewels were just sitting there, unguarded. Alec grabbed the family ring from its pedestal and slipped it onto his ring finger. He grabbed a necklace and put it around his neck, and began to put bracelets around his wrists. He then began grabbing at the raw gemstones…

“You know, I’ve been waiting for someone to try and rob me, Aaron,”

Alec whirled around and saw Magnus standing in the doorway in nothing but an open silk robe. He made sure to look Magnus in the eye so to not be distracted.

“I’m even more honored that it was The Shadowhunters who tried,” Magnus said with a smile.

“How did you know?” Alec asked.

“Oh, I had my suspicions before I even met you, Mr. Lettings,” Magnus walked over to him and unclipped the necklace from his neck, “the mysterious appearance on my guest list. The lack of an internet presence. It wasn’t until you left my bed that my suspicions were confirmed,”

“How?” Alec asked.

“You said you weren’t going to leave...you’re not a very good liar,” Magnus whispered against his ear.

“I am a good liar, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten this far,” Alec mumbled.

Magnus took the bracelets from his wrist.

“Did you ever think that maybe I wanted to get caught?” Alec said, trying to keep up his air of confidence.

“Oh I did, but I still haven’t worked out why” Magnus replied, taking the fake ring from his finger, leaving his own ring on Alec’s finger. He put the fake ring on his own finger.

“I’m going to keep this as a memento of the time I was almost robbed,” he held his hand in front of Alec’s face, “and you are going to take that, Mr. Lettings, as a memento of your first failure,”

“Actually not my first failure,” Alec replied. Magnus chuckled before putting a hand on Alec’s neck and pulling him down for a kiss. Alec tried to pull away before melting into the kiss again. He pushed his tongue onto Magnus’ mouth, eliciting a moan from the shorter man. Alec pushed the robe off Magnus’ shoulder before beginning to kiss down his jawline.

“Do tell me what I should be screaming this round because I know it isn’t Aaron,” Magnus moaned with a smile. Alec stopped in his tracks and his head shot up, looking at Magnus with wide eyes.

“I have to go,” Alec said, turning away from him, but Magnus grabbed his wrist.

“Clearly there’s an L involved,” Magnus said, running his fingers over the L tattooed on his wrist. Alec tried to pull away, but Magnus kept a firm grip.

“Let me go,” Alec said firmly.

“Oh, that tone!” Magnus chastised, “tell me your name and I will,”

Alec only stared at him.

“I promise I won’t tell,” Magnus said with a coy smile on his face.

“Why should I believe you?” Alec asked.

“Because we have more in common than you think,” Magnus replied.

“Alec,” Alec huffed, pulling his arm away.

“Short for…?” Magnus asked.

“Yeah. You’re not getting that,” Alec turned and began walking down the stairs before turning and walking back up, stopping near an expensive looking watch, “I do have one question for you, Mr. Bane,”

Magnus nodded, acknowledging he could ask.

“If you knew who I was, why did you sleep with me?” Alec asked

“Because I wanted a thrill and boy did I get one,” he said with a wink. Alec smiled and turned to walk away before Magnus spoke again, “and I’ll take my watch back, Alexander”

Alec’s head shot up at the use of his full name. Magnus gave him a sly smile and reached out his hand, beckoning him back up the stairs with his fingers. Alec sighed, and walked back up the stairs. He put the watch, which was currently in his pocket, in Magnus’ outstretched hand.

“You’re still welcomed to stay,” Magnus called as he began walking down the stairs. Alec ignored him, knowing if he turned around and responded, he might actually say. So he kept his head down and didn’t pick it up until he closed the front door behind him.

***

Alec took his walk through the woods slowly, still trying to comprehend what had just happened. He had robbed Magnus Bane, but Magnus had turned around and robbed him right back. Magnus had known from the start he was there to rob him. He knew that and he still let him through the door. He knew that and still decided to sleep with him. He knew that and still invited Alec to stay the night after the fact.

He reached the fence along the back of Magnus’ estate and grabbed onto the rope that his siblings had tied for him after they dropped him off. He climbed up and once he was in the tree, he untied the rope from it and wrapped it up. He climbed down from the tree on the other side of the fence and continued on his way.

Once he made it to the rendezvous point, he saw their car sitting there. Alec pulled the door open and climbed into the backseat. Both his siblings turned around from their seats in the front and looked at him expectantly. He looked back at them as he tossed the rope in the trunk.

“So? Did you get it?” Izzy asked him. Alec sighed and took off the ring which he then placed on the center console. Both his siblings looked down at it.

“That’s it?” Jace asked, “what about everything else!?”

“Jace, how much is that worth?” Izzy asked

“I don’t remember exactly, but not much,” Jace said, picking it up to examine it, “it might not even be worth melting down,”

“How did this happen, Alec?” she asked

“He knew,” Alec said, taking the ring back from Jace and putting it on his left hand.

“What do you mean he knew?” Jace asked, giving a strange look to the ring that was now on his finger.

“There’s a lot more of this,” he held up his hand with the ring on it, “but he knows we’re The Shadowhunters,”

“But then how the hell did you get in his bed?” Jace asked

“And how did you get the ring?” Izzy asked

“I have no idea how I got in his bed. And he left me the ring as, quote: ‘memento of my failure’,” Alec paused, “there’s something up with him,”

“There’s something up with you,” Izzy said.

“Let’s go,” Jace said, looking out the window, clearly having seen something.

“But I’m not done!” Izzy shouted.

“Someone’s here! We’ll finish this conversation at home. Just drive,” Jace replied. Alec could only sit silently in the backseat, replaying the events of the evening in his mind: the details he would later reveal to his siblings and the details he would keep to himself. The most important question in his mind was how he was going to see Magnus again. Was it dumb to try and see the man you just robbed? Absolutely, and Alec knew this, but he couldn’t explain the feeling inside himself so he didn’t care.

***

Jace would say he knew Alec better than anyone, even Izzy, despite the fact that he didn’t come into their family until they were a little older. That was why he got the L tattooed on his wrist with Alec and Izzy. Even though he never took their last name, he was a part of their family, so he had gotten the L tattoo. Him and Alec even had a matching tattoo. When they started stealing things, they had would shake each other’s hands and allow the L’s to touch. It brought them all comfort, reminded them that they were all in this together. That was why Jace let Alec keep Magnus’ ring without question. An act that Izzy scolded him for.

“Jace,” Izzy said, “do you know how many favors I had to use to get us through his door?”

“Yes,” Jace replied, only half listening.

“We have to come out of there with something at the very least,” she said, “it wasn’t all favors. I owe people money,”

“That ring isn’t worth that much anyway,” Jace said, “and we have enough money in the reserves to pay whoever we need to,”

“Fine,” Izzy said, “but you better find us something new. Something big,”

“Find something?” Jace asked, “Izzy, you know what they’ll do if they find out we went out on our own,”

“No, Jace, I owe some bad people. Worse than them,” Izzy told him, “I can’t risk us not getting our reserves back up, cause who knows what we’re gonna need for the next job. So you need to find us something big,”

“Fine. I can do that. But if they kill us, I’m blaming you,” Jace said. He turned and walked back up the stairs out of their main living room. The three lived in an abandoned firehouse in downtown New York, which they had configured to have plenty of hiding places not only for themselves but for their stolen contraband as well. When Jace reached the top of the stairs, he had planned to go towards his own room to try and find something for them to steal, but he took a detour and went towards Alec’s room.

It had been three weeks since their failed robbery, and Alec was still in a funk. In Jace’s mind, they needed another job not only to make up for their loss at Magnus’, but also to get Alec out of this funk. He had a feeling this was Izzy’s ulterior motive as well. Jace knocked lightly on Alec’s door as he pushed it open.

“Hey,” Jace said. Alec looked up from the notebook he was hunched over.

“Hey,” Alec replied.

“You’re still thinking about him,” Jace said, closing the door and sitting on his bed.

“I am,” Alec admitted.

“Wanna talk about it?”

“No,” Alec replied. He had already rehashed the story of what happened, keeping certain details to himself. He didn’t need to go through it again, “I just...I need to see him again,”

“Alec. That’s not a good idea,” Jace replied.

“I know that it’s not a good idea,” Alec replied, “but I need to see him again,”

Jace sighed, “there’s no way to get you back into his house. That’s never going to happen again,”

Alec almost shrugged, but then remembered he hadn’t told his siblings that he had been invited to stay even after he had attempted robbed him, or that he almost did. He had thought about going back, but he knew that was stupid. If he went to Magnus’ and they slept together, he could easily call the cops and get him and his siblings arrested, so he resisted every urge in his body and mind.

“I know I can’t,” Alec said, “but there has to be another event I can get myself into,”

“I might be able to help you with that,” Jace said. Alec perked up, “We’re looking for another job,”

“Looking?” Alec asked. That was odd. They usually didn’t look for jobs. Hell, they couldn’t look for jobs.

“Yeah. It turns out Izzy promised people some money for the Bane Job,”

“The Bane Job?” Alec asked.

“Well, we didn’t have a name for this one, and I don’t really like calling it ‘our failed robbery’, so...Plus, it has a double meaning,” Alec gave Jace a look, “a job involving Magnus Bane...it has become the bane of your existence...anyway,”

“Anyway,” Alec repeated.

“I’m looking for a job,” Jace said, “you might be able to accidentally cross Magnus’ path again,”

“Thank you,” Alec said.

“Don’t thank me yet,” Jace said, “I still gotta find us a job we can pull off that somehow involves Magnus Bane,”

Alec chuckled, “I’ll thank you later then,”

Jace nodded and stood. Then he was out of the room and Alec was left alone to his thoughts. To say that Alec had been distracted the past three weeks is an understatement. Everytime he was not occupying his mind with something else, the thoughts of his night with Magnus crept into his mind. He didn’t know what had come over him. This wasn’t the first job where he’s had to seduce and sleep with someone, but this had never been the after effect. He had never become so lovesick over anyone who he had slept with, let alone robbed. He had convinced himself that he just needed closure on the situation. He just needed to see Magnus one more time to assure himself that he was being crazy.

Chapter Text

“Alright I got us something,” Jace entered the kitchen the following morning. Izzy was sitting at the table, scrolling through her phone while Alec was hunched over the stove, making breakfast.

“And good morning to you too,” Alec said, only looking up briefly from the stove, giving his brother a smirk.

“Cut me some slack, I was up almost all night finding us a job,” he replied, sitting across from Izzy at the table, “and I warn you it’s not quite like anything we’ve done before,”

“Whacha got?” Izzy asked, putting her phone down.

“How do you feel about robbing a museum?” Jace asked.

“A what?” Alec nearly dropped the pan that was in his hand.

“A museum,” Jace repeated.

“Jace, we’ve never done something like that,” Izzy said.

“No, hear me out here,” Jace said, sitting at the table, “there’s a charity gala in about a month at the museum, and the museum is displaying ruby crowned jewels,”

“Alright, so, there’s a big crowd of people around these jewels and we just...steal them?” Izzy asked.

“No. The exhibit will be closed during the gala,” Jace said with a smile.

“Then how are we supposed to get in?” Izzy asked, “and how are we going to sneak the fakes in?”

“I’ve already thought about that,” Jace said, “you’re going to come in and disable the alarms. I’m gonna measure all the jewels beforehand and make us pieces of jewelry to wear into the gala using the gems, then we’re going to go in and just switch out the gems.

“Absolutely not,” Alec said, bringing over their breakfast.

“What?” Jace asked.

“You guys are not going into a job,” Alec said, sitting down, “especially not one this dangerous,”

“What do you propose we do then?” Jace asked.

“Teach me everything,” Alec said.

“Even if you did do everything, you wouldn’t be able to get all the jewels out on your own,” Jace said, “we’re all going in or we’re not doing this at all,”

“There aren’t any other options?” Izzy asked.

“None,” Jace said, “it’s the only thing I could find enough information to make a foolproof plan,”

“Fine,” Alec sighed, “let’s do this,”

***

“Alec,” Jace said, sticking his head out of his room, “come here,”

Alec came out of his own room and went next door into Jace’s, who closed the door as soon as Alec entered.

“Magnus is going to be at the gala,” Jace said softly. Even though Izzy was downstairs in her office, he still didn’t want to risk her hearing their conversation.

“How do you know?” Alec asked, keeping his tone just as low.

“Okay, I’m not one hundred percent certain,” Jace admitted, “but he’s listed as one of the top donors,”

“Then there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be there, right?” Alec asked.

“Yes,” Jace replied, “do you still want to go through with this?”

“Yes,” Alec said quickly, fiddling with the ring on his finger, “I have to,”

“Okay...I don’t really understand it, but I’ll help you,” Jace said, “and you’re okay with keeping this from Izzy? Because you know if she found out, she’d pull us from this job immediately,”

“I know,” Alec said, “and I’m not...okay with keeping it from her, but it has to be done. I need to see him again,”

“Alright,” Jace said, “I’ll keep helping you then...you just better hope I can replicate these jewels,”

“If anyone can do it, it’s you,” Alec replied,

“Yeah, yeah I know,” Jace smiled, “now get outta here. We’ve got a month, I need to get to work. Don’t wanna be working on this one last minute,”

“Good idea,” Alec said, turning to go, “and Jace?”

“Yeah?”

“Thank you,”

Jace smiled, “anything for you, brother,”

Alec smiled and left the room, shutting the door behind him. He took a breath in. He needed to prepare himself to see Magnus again.

***

The date he was going to see Magnus came all too soon . He had been preparing since he and Jace talked, but four weeks later, the day had come and he still didn’t know what he was going to say. Alec still wasn’t happy with the fact that his siblings were joining him on this job, but he didn’t really have much of a choice. They needed Izzy to disarm the alarms, Jace to remove the jewels, and all three of them needed to be there to smuggle the jewels out.

This time Jace was driving the limo. He was dressed as a maintenance man and was going to get himself in through a service entrance in order to get his tools through the door. All three of them wore pieces of jewelry holding jewels identical to the ones they were stealing.

When Jace dropped Alec and Izzy off at the front drive, both of them reached into the front seat and shook Jace’s hand, letting their tattoos touch. Izzy and Alec exchanged the same gesture before they exited the limo and they walked in together arm in arm. The gala was black tie, so Alec was wearing the same tux he had worn to Magnus’ almost two months prior. He could’ve bought another one, but Magnus had found him attractive enough in this one that he didn’t see a point in buying another one. Izzy on the other hand worn a thin-sleeved, open back dress, revealing many of her tattoos to the world. She had considered using makeup to cover all her tattoos, but decided against it. If anyone wanted to judge her, they could.

When they reached the front door, they gave their fake names and were let in with a smile. Izzy put her bag on the x-ray conveyor belt, and they both walked through the metal detectors. Izzy picked up her bag on the other side, and the two moved into the party. Izzy slipped a comm out of her bag and placed it into Alec’s hand. The two shook hands and let their tattoos touch before they split off. The trio had agreed that they couldn’t be seen together throughout the night. Alec put the comm in his ear.

“Are we up?” he said.

“Yup,” he heard Izzy.

“Yes,” Jace came through.

“Jace, how are you doing?” Izzy asked.

“Changing as we speak,” he replied.

“Get yourself out here ASAP,” she said, “t-minus forty-five minutes,”

“That was the plan,” he replied.

Alec walked over to the bar and ordered himself a drink. When he got it, he turned around and faced the party, looking for Magnus. He unconsciously spun the ring around his finger. He had made the decision that in order for their operation to continue without him being distracted, he needed to stop thinking about Magnus. He was going to give the ring back that night; he needed to be rid of any reminders he had of Magnus and then he could eventually leave his mind forever.

He saw Jace enter from a side door. The two met each other’s gaze and Jace gave him a small nod as he adjusted his cufflinks before moving off elsewhere into the party. He kept scanning the party looking for Magnus through the crowd. It had been nearly an hour since the gala technically began and he did not think Magnus would be one to be late. Fashionably late, he was sure of that, but late, no. But then again, what did he know about Magnus? The two had spent one night together, and very little of that night had been spent talking. He was just about to ask Jace if he had seen him when the lights dimmed.

“Good evening, everyone,”

Alec recognized that voice. He turned and looked at the stage, and there was Magnus Bane.

“Thank you so much for coming this evening,” he said, “I’m so glad that we were all able to come together tonight to support this great cause,” he waited for the applause to die down, “my name is Magnus Bane and I have been working with-”

“Is that Magnus Bane,” Izzy hissed in his ear.

“Yes,” Alec said to her.

“He just said his name,” Jace said.

“Alec, get out of here, now,” Izzy instructed.

“He can’t, Izzy,” Jace said, “we need him,”

“Jace, he could ruin everything,” Izzy said, “if Bane recognizes him, we’re screwed!”

“Too late,” Alec said. From the stage, Magnus had met his eye. He had taken a short pause in his speech as their eyes met before recomposing himself and continuing on.

“Alec. Leave,” Izzy ordered.

“I’ll handle it,” Alec said.

“Izzy, if he leaves, we all have to leave,” Jace said, “if we try to go through with this ourselves, we’re not getting out of here,”

“Remind me how much this job is worth,” Izzy took a sharp breath in as she spoke.

“If we get it all, five million at least,” Jace replied

Izzy sighed, “Alec, stay away from him,”

“I will try my best,” Alec replied, just as the surrounding audience began clapping. Alec placed his glass back down on the bar before joining the applause and looking at the stage to see that Magnus had his eyes set on him. As he left the stage, Alec saw the light reflect off a ring on Magnus’ finger. He felt crazy thinking it was his, but he couldn’t keep the thoughts from creeping into his head.

“Alec, you’ve got incoming,” Jace said.

“Alec, go!” Izzy nearly yelled.

“Alexander,”

“Did he just say Alexander?” Izzy asked in his ear, “how the hell does he know?”

“Alec, did you tell him you’re name!?” Jace hissed.

Alec ignored his siblings and turned around, which put him face to face with the one and only Magnus Bane.

“Magnus,” Alec breathed out, a smile on his lips.

“I didn’t expect to see you here,” Magnus replied.

“I could say the same,” he replied.

“Could you?” Magnus asked, cocking his head.

“I-,” Alec hadn’t thought of a lie. Of all the different scenarios he had played out in his head, he hadn’t figured out what he would say in this one. Izzy was usually the one who made sure they were prepared for every situation, but Izzy hadn’t been involved.

“I had to see you again,” Alec said. Magnus raised an eyebrow.

“What do you mean you had to see him again? Did you know he’d be here?” Izzy said, a crack of static in his ear. He pushed his finger into his ear a little bit, trying to recalibrate it so it wouldn’t scream and blow his eardrum out.

“Jace, did you know?” Izzy asked frantically through his ear.

“I...knew it was a possibility,” Jace said.

“And you didn’t bother to tell me?” she asked, a bit a screech in his ear as her voice got louder. He did his best not to react and tip Magnus off to the conversation happening where he couldn’t see.

“I didn’t think he’d actually be here!” Jace hissed, “and I didn’t know Alec told him his name!”

Alec continued ignoring the voices in his ear. He pushed it in once more, trying to get it to stop screeching.

“I needed to give you back your ring,” Alec said, taking it off his finger and extending it to Magnus.

Magnus chuckled, “so you gave up some of your hard earned money to donate to this cause, to get into this gala, to give me back my ring,” Magnus plucked it out of his hand and put it on his own finger, “something tells me that’s just not true,”

Magnus moved closer to him, “is there something else you wanted?” he whispered, putting his hands on Alec’s chest and moved his mouth towards his ear, “from me, perhaps?”

Alec stiffened and swallowed under Magnus’ touch. Almost two months of longing and lust were now at the forefront of his mind.

“Alec, don’t let him distract you,” he heard Izzy in his ear.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Magnus said with a chuckle, as he lightly let his teeth scrap over his earlobe, “I’d give you those details, gladly, but I don’t think your partners would very much like to hear them,”

Alec was immediately pulled out of his lust filled trance.

“I thought that’d bring you back to the land of the living,” Magnus said with a smile, before leaning back towards Alec’s ear, “Miss, I recommend you speak in softer tones when scolding your partner,”

Alec took the comm out of his ear and slipped it into his pocket.

“Want to hear those details now?” Magnus asked.

“I am not going to answer that,” Alec replied.

“You just did,”

“I know,” Alec smirked, and took a sip of his drink.

“So we’re on the same page now?” Magnus asked.

“Just, uh, let me see your left hand,” Alec said. Magnus smiled and held out his hand, revealing that the ring he had stolen from Alec was resting comfortably on his ring finger, “we’re on the same page,”

Magnus took Alec’s left hand and put his own ring back on his finger.

“You have a job to do, I presume,” Magnus said. Alec nodded

“I’ll let you do it then,” Magnus said as he turned to leave.

“Wait!” Alec said, grabbing his wrist, “will I see you again?”

“We’ll meet again, Alexander,” Magnus’ eyes lingered on the bracelet on his wrist, “you still have to tell me about your tattoos,”

Then Magnus was gone into the crowd. Alec sighed, knowing he would continue to replay that conversation over and over again. Then he cursed himself. That wasn’t how that conversation was supposed to go. He sighed, knowing he was going to have to put his comm back in at some point. He took it out of his pocket and raised it to his ear.

“Alexander Gideo-,”

“I’m here, Izzy,” he cut her off, “we have a job to do,”

“Do we?” she asked, “did you just compromise that job?”

“No,” he replied.

“We’re eight minutes off schedule. Go,” Jace said, “we’ll argue later,”

Alec looked at the doorway that led off to the exhibit and saw Izzy walking through it, looking as if she was supposed to be there.

“We’re in,” she said through the comm a few minutes later. On that cue, Alec saw Jace walk through the door. Alec started a ten minute timer on his watch as Jace was walking through the door. When the timer ran down, he still hadn’t seen Magnus again, so he strode confidently through the doorway as well. He saw Izzy leaning on the exhibit door, white gloves on her hand, and she gave him a look as he walked through. Jace was kneeling next to the displays with a pair of pliers in his gloved hands, prying jewels out of their encasing.

Alec went right over to Jace as he was putting on his own gloves and removed the jewelry he was wearing. Jace easily removed the stones from the fake jewelry and applied a small dot of glue to the back of the fake jewels. He placed them back where the real jewels had just recently resided, and he glued the real jewels onto Alec’s jewelry.

“Izzy come here,” Jace said. Izzy left her post at the door and joined her brothers by the display. He began popping the fake jewels off her necklace.

“Alec, hold the fake jewel into the crown. Help the glue set,” Jace instructed. Alec picked up the crown and applied pressure to the large jewel in the center. Jace began gluing the real jewels to Izzy’s jewelry.

“The Shadowhunters,” all three whipped their heads up to see Magnus standing in the doorway with his cellphone in his hand, “seldom all in the same room,”

“Alec!” Izzy hissed. Alec ignored her and stood, still keeping the pressure on the jewel in the crown.

“What the hell, Magnus?” Alec asked.

“I had to make sure you were not stealing from this charity,” he replied.

“I’m slightly offended that you would think I’d steal from charity,” Alec said.

“Well, I barely know you, darling,” Magnus replied, “if you remember our last night together, there wasn’t very much talking that happened,”

“You’re right, there wasn’t,” Alec replied.

“Alec, stop flirting!” Izzy hissed.

“Keep working,” Alec told her without turning away from Magnus, “what do you want?”

“Well, if you were stealing from charity, I was going to call security,” Magnus said, “but you’re not,”

“So you’re going to leave?” Alec asked.

“I don’t know,” Magnus replied, “there is a rather large bounty on all three of your heads,”

“Magnus, you’re a billionaire,” Alec insisted.

“Oh, believe me, it would all go to charity,” he replied, “but I could be convinced to not call security,”

“How?” Alec asked. So many possibilities ran through his head, and he would say yes to every single one of them.

“I want in,” he said simply.

“You mean you want money?” Alec asked.

“No. I want in on this operation,” Magnus elaborated taking a few steps closer to Alec and gesturing to the three of them, “I want to be a part of The Shadowhunters,”

“Absolutely not,” Izzy stood up.

“Izzy...” Alec began.

“Izzy, I’m not done with you,” Jace said. Izzy bent back down and allowed Jace to keep working.

“Alec, we can’t do this,” Izzy said, “I don’t care what weird thing you two have or don’t have going on, we cannot do this,”

“What choice do we have, Izzy?” this time it was Jace who spoke, gluing the final jewel into place, “our other option is to go to jail. Not only would we be in jail, but we would be in jail with debts. Getting caught at this point is a death sentence,”

“Fine,” Izzy said as she stood. Jace came and took the crown from Alec and began placing the jewels back on their pedestals. Izzy took one of the bracelets off her arm and put it on Magnus, “you’re sticking with me until we leave, and if we get caught, you’re coming down with us,”

“Yes ma’am,” Magnus said, and the two of them exited the room. Jace placed the last of the jewels back on their pedestals and the two exchanged a look that expressed all their feelings about what had just happened. Both removed their gloves as they exited the room. As soon as they were out, Izzy began re-alarming the exhibit. Then they heard footsteps.

“Izzy, hurry,” Alec said, looking down the hallway. They saw a shadow approaching from an adjacent hallway.

“Done,” Izzy said, putting the panel back into the wall and taking off her gloves.

“Who’s down there?” they heard a voice say.

“Go,” Magnus said.

“What?” Izzy asked.

“You two, go!” Magnus said as he grabbed Alec by the collar, pushed him against the wall, and kissed him. Alec kept his eyes open long enough to shoo his siblings away and ensure they left before falling completely into their kiss. He felt Magnus’ hand tangle through his hair, and he brought his hands up to Magnus’ tie, untying it enough to make it seem as if they had been making out there for a while. The two were devouring each other when they footsteps moving quickly down the hall.

“Hey! You can’t be here,” the voice said. Magnus pulled away from their kiss and let go of him. Alec stood there, still trying to comprehend what had just happened.

“Mr. Bane,” the guard stuttered, “my apologies,”

“No, I’m sorry,” Magnus said sincerely, “I shouldn’t be back here. We’ll just go home. Have a good night, sir,”

Magnus took Alec’s hand and pulled him away from the guard before he could say anything else to them. Alec could barely comprehend what just happened. Magnus had kissed him, with passion and feeling. There was a possibility it was all an act, but Alec didn’t think so.

“Magnus and I have to leave,” Alec said as they reentered the main room.

“Why?” Izzy said.

“Why do you think, we almost got caught,” Alec said, “we should all go,”

“We can’t all leave at once,” Izzy said.

“I’ll get the limo,” Alec said, “Jace, where are you?”

“By the elevator,” Jace replied, “the limo’s behind the building,”

“Coming in for the key,” Alec said as he walked past Jace. Their shoulders barely brushed as Alec lifted the key from Jace’s pocket without slowing down. Alec looked over at Magnus who was looking impressed.

“Guess your fingers are good for more than one thing,” Magnus said with a smirk. Alec gave him a shrug.

“You would know,” Alec replied softly.

“Alright, do me a favor,” Izzy said, “if you guys are going to make out in the limo, please take your comm out,”

“That wasn’t exactly a part of the plan,” Alec said, “but then again, a lot of tonight isn’t a part of the plan,”

“Exactly,” Izzy said, “Jace and I will leave soon,”

Alec and Magnus walked down the stairs and out the front door. Everyone at the door said a gracious goodbye to Magnus, and extended that goodbye to him as well. As soon as they were out the door he expected Magnus to let go of his hand, but he didn’t. So the two began walking around the block of the museum, hand in hand.

“You were really good in there,” Alec said.

“Which is surprising because I’m not a very good actor,” Magnus replied.

“Well if you’re going to get into this life, you might have to learn,”

“Well then you just might have to teach me,”

“I think I could do that,” Alec didn’t know why, but he felt like he should kiss him, so he did. And Magnus kissed him back. It was chaste, and it was their first kiss not fueled by lust, and neither of them fought it. Alec didn’t want to let his mind wander to what their relationship could become.

“Alec, what are you doing?” Izzy asked. Alec sighed and pulled away from Magnus. The two continued walking down the street.

“I have no idea,” he answered his sister honestly.

“So, you’re partners?” Magnus asked, “is it just the three of you guys?”

“Yeah,” Alec replied, “they’re my siblings,”

“Just the three of you have been doing this for years?” Magnus asked, dumbfounded.

“Yup,” Alec said, popping the P as he spoke.

“Huh,” Magnus raised an eyebrow. They made their way around the back of the building, and Alec clicked the key, causing the lights on their limo to flash. Alec gestured to the car and Magnus started making his way towards it. When they arrived, Alec opened the driver’s side door.

“You can take the passenger seat,” Alec said to Magnus, “unless you want to sit in the back with my siblings,”

“I think I’ll pass on that one,” Magnus said, walking around the car, “I think your sister might want to kill me,”

“It’s very possible,” Alec replied as they both got in.

“Is anyone ready to be picked up?” Alec asked into his ear.

“Alec, we have a problem,” Izzy said.

“What? What problem!?” Alec immediately began panicking which caused Magnus to keep his eyes glued on him.

“You and I came in together,” Izzy replied, “I can’t walk out alone,”

“Then go out with Jace,” Alec replied.

“I’m already out,” Jace said, “and waiting for my ride,”

“Right,” Alec started the car and began to back out, “Izzy, just leave. These are all filthy rich people. Just walk around like you’re supposed to be there, it’ll work. No one will stop you,”

“And how would you know?” Izzy asked.

“I know better than you,” Alec replied, “just trust me,”

“Alec, come pick me up,” Jace said softly, “the guards are staring,”

“If I come pick you up Izzy is going to have to walk to us,” Alec said.

“Why?” Jace asked.

“I think it would look a little suspicious if the same limo pulled up twice,” Alex replied.

“I have a plan,” Izzy said, “Alec, don’t pick up Jace yet. I’m going to meet him outside. Jace, when I come out, ask me where I’ve been then ask about Alec,”

“Yes ma’am,” Jace replied. Alec sat in the car, idling in the middle of the drive. He looked over at Magnus.

“Is everything alright?” Magnus asked.

“There’s no immediate danger,” Alec replied. He was about to elaborate when he heard Jace speaking in his ear.

“Izzy! There you are!” Jace said, “where have you been?”

“Oh, off having some fun. You know me,” she replied with a giggle, loud enough so the surrounding guards would here.

“Have you seen Alec?” Jace asked.

“Last I saw he ran off with somebody,” Izzy replied, “he might already be gone,”

“Of course. Typical,” Jace said with a chuckle. Alec was glad that Magnus could not hear any of this conversation. Even though the whole conversation was just for show, there was still truth in it. At this point, he didn’t want Magnus to know how he slept around, but he assumed that he had already drawn his own conclusions.

“Where’s our ride?” Izzy asked.

“No idea,” Jace said, “I called the driver on my way out, but he still hasn’t shown up yet. I’m hoping he’ll be here soon,”

And with that, Alec put the car in drive and they pulled out of the lot before going around the block and pulling up the drive in front of the museum.

“There he is now,” Jace said. Inside the car, Alec put it in park and went to get out and open the limo door for his siblings.

“Shouldn’t I go?” Magnus said, grabbing his wrist, “the guards might recognize you,”

“I appreciate that,” Alec replied, “but they’re more likely to recognize you,”

Magnus nodded at that and let go of his wrist. Alec tried not to think of the feeling of Magnus’ hand on his wrist, and how he still had the phantom feeling of his hand around him. He got out of the car and walked around to the other door and opened the door for his siblings. The two slid into the limo and sat down as Alec shut the door. He went around the side got back in and gave Magnus a smile. He saw Magnus’ hand resting on the center console, and after putting the car in drive, he put his hand over Magnus’ as they drove off.

Chapter Text

Magnus was surprised that the siblings didn’t kill him when they got back to their headquarters. He knew for a fact that Alec’s two siblings did not trust him. When they had arrived, he had been told that there was no bedroom available for him, so he was currently laying on the couch. He was slightly disappointed that Alec hadn’t invited him into his room, but he figured that would come in time. While he was laying on the couch, he could hear the siblings upstairs talking about him. Magnus was all too curious about the content of the conversation, so he pushed the blanket off of him and went up the stairs.

He didn’t have to get too close to hear the conversation, as their voices were growing louder; he only had to go up a few steps. There was a landing halfway up and he decided that was where he would sit and listen.

“Alec, you’re telling me you haven’t had any other contact with him besides these two jobs?” it was his sister, Izzy, he remembered, who spoke.

“None,” Alec replied.

“Then what is your deal with him?” she asked.

“I really don’t know,” Alec replied, “I’ve been trying to figure it out, and I thought seeing him again would be the answer,”

“Was it the answer?” she asked, “can we get rid of him?”

“It wasn’t...it wasn’t the answer,” he replied, “I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve never felt this way about anyone,”

This made Magnus blush and reflect upon what he felt for Alec. He could echo the same sentiment. He had no idea what was going on with him, and he had never felt it before.

“Then what do we do?” this time it was Alec’s brother, Jace, who spoke, “we’re not leaving him at the mercy of The Circle. We can’t kick him out of the operation because he knows where we operate now...”

“Alec, do you trust him?” Izzy asked, interrupting Jace.

“I don’t think he’d betray us,” Alec replied, “this sounds crazy, but, I think he might be bored with his life,”

Izzy chuckled, “what happens when he gets bored with this life?”

“Well I’m hoping he won’t,” Alec replied, “but we can cross that bridge when we get there,”

“Okay,” she replied, “but if you’re wrong…”

“I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong,” he cut her off.

“So do we come clean with him?” Jace asked.

“About what?” Alec asked.

“Our past,” he replied, “how we got into this, The Circle, my store. Like, how involved do we want him to be?”

“We shouldn’t tell him,” Izzy replied, “I think we should maybe just start him in the store, with you, Jace,”

“For now I say we just put him on jobs,” Alec said, “and I think we can tell him our real names, just so we don’t have to worry about slipping up”

“I agree,” Jace replied, “I don’t want him in my store...”

“See?” Alec said, “just because I have weird feelings for this guy doesn’t mean I can’t see reason,”

“Couldn’t see enough reason to not get us into this mess in the first place,” she remarked with a bite in her voice.

“I told you, this was my fault,” Jace said, taking the fall for Alec once again, “I got us the job,”

“Yeah, but Alec didn’t leave when I told him to,” Izzy countered.

“But then we wouldn’t have had a job,” Alec said, “we wouldn’t have had these,”

Magnus assumed he was talking about the jewels they had stolen. That was one of the things they had taken from him upon his arrival. They had also taken his wallet and his cell phone, which was probably to keep him from running off. It was a reasonable precaution, but at this point, Magnus wasn’t going anywhere.

“So we’ll talk to him in the morning?” Jace asked. Magnus assumed no one objected to this, as seconds later he heard the door open. He tried his best to hide, hoping none of them looked over and saw him snooping. When he heard two more doors close, he relaxed and stood up, about to make his way back down the stairs to the couch. He was halfway down the stairs when he heard movement from the top floor. He looked up and saw Alec standing on the edge, looking over the bannister. Alec cocked his head a little as if to gesture for Magnus to follow as he went into his room. Magnus quickly followed him.

Magnus had spent more nights than he wished to admit thinking about what Alec’s bedroom looked like. The room was relatively small with a desk in the far corner, a bookcase, and a bed in the center of the room with a dark blue duvet that matched the color of the wall. A dresser sat across from Alec’s bed, with a cracked mirror attached to it. Alec gestured to the desk chair as he closed the bedroom door. Magnus went and sat down and Alec sat down on the bed across from him.

“How am I supposed to kiss you if you’re that far away?” Magnus asked slyly.

“You’re not supposed to kiss me,” Alec replied, “that’s the point of the distance,”

“What do you mean?” he asked, a little hurt and offended that Alec didn’t want to kiss him.

“We might get to that,” he said, emphasizing the might, “but I need to ask you something, and you need to be one hundred percent honest with me, if you want any chance of making this work,” he gestured between the two of them.

“Okay,”

“Why are you here?” Alec said, “why was that your bargain? You could’ve asked for anything from us, from me. Why this?”

Magnus sighed, contemplating the truth. Telling the truth was opening up a past that he had tried his best to bury over the past eight years of his life, but lying was a surefire way to get him kicked out of this operation and possibly killed, turned over to this mysterious Circle. While all three of the siblings seemed to hold a power with the other two, Alec might not be able or want to stop them if he built their relationship on lies.

“I told you we have a lot more in common than you think...I was in this life once before,” Magnus sighed, not meeting Alec’s eyes, “with my father. I...uh...didn’t like the way we did things, so on the last job I did with him, I just took the score and ran. I ran as far as I could, used a few favors, severed all connections, and ended up here,”

“But if you didn’t like the life, why the hell are you here?” Alec pushed.

“I never said I didn’t like the life. I didn’t like the way my father and I did it,” Magnus replied, “I’ve been bored these past few years, just sitting around, hosting parties, trying to make connections with people. But no one in this new life I’m living in cares about anything other than their own status, so I fell into a funk, throwing myself into other indulgences. Then you came along and...unlocked something in me,”

Alec nodded, obviously contemplating his story. Magnus could only hope that Alec believed him.

“I appreciate the honesty,” Alec said. Magnus breathed a sigh of relief, “you will have to rehash that story to my siblings, but before we got to that point I needed to be sure for myself,”

Magnus nodded, “I understand that,” he took a pause, “can I have that kiss, now?”

Alec sighed, “look,” he paused for a moment, “um, keep up this honesty streak for me for just a bit longer,”

“Okay,”

“What do you want from me?” he asked.

Magnus pondered for a moment. Alec had asked him to be honest, so he decided to be, “as much as I can get,”

“That’s vague,” Alec remarked, looking at Magnus, but he wouldn’t meet his eye. Alec had a feeling he knew what Magnus was getting at, but he wanted to hear it out loud to assure himself he wasn’t grasping at straws.

“I don’t just want to be fuck buddies,” Magnus stated, meeting his eye, “but I certainly won’t be opposed to that part,”

Alec chuckled, “so are we just going to take this in stride? See where it goes?”

“Sounds good to me,” Magnus said with a smile, “though I feel our relationship might be a little unconventional,”

“Well I have a feeling that we’re already unconventional people,” Alec replied with a small smirk.

“Can you answer a question for me, now?” Magnus asked.

“Maybe,” Alec replied honestly..

“What’s your full name?”

“Alexander Lightwood,”

“Well, Alexander,” he said, scooting the chair a little closer to the bed, “can I kiss you now?”

“Yes,”

Magnus leaned forward while sitting on the edge and kissed him. Like the kiss they shared outside the museum, this one was tender and sweet. There was no urgency, they were just enjoying each other. Alec grabbed Magnus by his shirt and pulled him to sit on his lap on the bed. Magnus awkwardly climbed on top of him, the two of them laughing as he did. As they reconnected, Magnus deepened their kiss, leaning some of his weight on top of him as they fell back. As their kiss lengthened, Magnus let his hand wander lower and he grabbed the hem of Alec’s shirt and went to pull it up over his head, but Alec stopped him.

“No,” Alec said softly, pulling away, “not tonight. I want to take this slowly,”

“But why? We’ve already done this once,”

“But that was before there was a...a ‘we’,” Alec replied, “we could make out for the rest of the night, but you do have to be back on the couch before my siblings wake up,”

“Are we taking things slow for your siblings, or are we taking things slow for you?” Magnus asked.

“Both,” Alec replied, and he brought him back down into their kiss.

***

When Alec walked down the stairs the next morning, he was wearing a high-collared shirt. If he was going to have any chance of getting his siblings to trust his judgement when it came to Magnus, he thought it best not to show them the hickeys Magnus had left there the night before. He saw that the couch was empty, and he was praying that he was not about to walk into their kitchen to find Magnus and his siblings in the middle of an interrogation. When he walked in, he only found Izzy sitting at the table, half asleep with a cup of coffee and Jace standing over the stove, making eggs.

“Where’s Magnus?” Alec asked, slightly worried he’d run off.

“He’s not with you?” Jace asked. Alec shook his head.

“I went to sleep after we finished talking last night,” Alec replied. It wasn’t a complete lie.

“Then where the fuck is he?” Izzy asked, standing up quickly and instantly waking up. Alec went quickly into the next room and Izzy followed. Soon Jace was there as well. The three of them split up and began looking in the different rooms throughout their house. Alec went up into his room and pushed his bookcase out of the way. He popped the vent off the back, and looked into the hidden compartment. He cursed at himself. Magnus’ wallet and phone, which had been hidden there the night before, were gone.

Alec sat back and leaned against his bed, trying to keep the tears from falling out of his eyes. He had fucked up, bad. Magnus was gone. He couldn’t believe that he had been so vulnerable and had actually believed what he said. He had left him and he was going to return any minute with the cops. He snapped out of his funk. They needed to hide. They needed to hide now. He would not let his siblings pay for his misjudgements.

“Guys,” Alec yelled, trying to keep his voice steady while replacing the vent and the bookcase, “we need to hide. Now,”

“Why?” Izzy came into his view as he went down the stairs.

“Magnus is gone,” Alec almost choked. There were so many emotions running through him at the moment, “his wallet and phone are gone,”

“I thought you said you didn’t sleep with him?” Jace asked.

“I didn’t!” Alec insisted.

“But he was in your room last night?” Izzy asked.

Alec sighed, “yes. He was in my room last night,”

“Alec!” she yelled.

“Hide now, yell later,” Alec said as he came down the stairs. His siblings nodded and they broke off into their respective hiding places. Alec moved across the main room and into the library. He pulled back a book that caused a bookcase to spin, revealing a passage behind it. As he moved through into the passage, he pushed the book back into place and it closed behind him. All three had their own passages that opened into different rooms in the house, but none of their passages connected. In the case that one of them was found, the hope was that no one would be looking for any more passages.

Once Alec was safely inside, he took a moment to breath. Maybe Magnus hadn’t left. Maybe he just left to set his affairs in order. Maybe he didn’t call the cops on them. Maybe he was coming back to him. Alec took a deep breath in. He wasn’t going to freak out. He couldn’t freak out over a guy he barely knew.

Alec heard the front door open and that snapped him out of his panic. He needed to focus. He moved through his tunnel to a small vent where he could see into the main room, and what he saw was Magnus. Just Magnus. Alone.

Alec watched him wander around the main room, looking for them. He saw Magnus disappear into the kitchen, and reappear moments later. He took the steps two at a time when he ran up, obviously concerned that they were all gone. Alec decided to take the chance.

If Izzy or Jace were anywhere near him, they would’ve talked him out of doing something so irrational. But they weren’t there, so Alec stepped out of the tunnels, back into the library and into the main room just as Magnus had emerged from his bedroom. A look of relief crossed over Magnus’ features.

“Start talking,” Alec said sternly, walking towards the bottom of the stairs, “now!”

“What do you mean? I went to go pick up my stuff,” Magnus said as he gestured to a bag that now laid abandoned near the front door.

“Don’t play dumb,” Alec said, “you found where we hid your stuff and then left without telling us. Don’t act like I’m being unreasonable,”

“I left you a note!” Magnus protested, turning and going back into Alec’s room. He emerged with a piece of paper in his hand. He held it in front of him and began to read, “Alexander, I found my stuff, you’ve got to find a better hiding spot. Just ran back to my place to grab some stuff and return this tux, it was expensive. I’ll be back before you know it, darling. Xoxo Magnus,”

“Where the hell did you leave that?” Alec asked.

“On your desk,” Magnus replied.

“Why the hell would I look at my desk when I woke up?” Alec asked, “next time leave it on top of my phone or something, or, hell, text me!”

“Well, I don’t have your number, darling,” he replied and began walking down the stairs, “did you honestly think I’d leave?”

“I don’t know. I hoped you wouldn’t,” Alec said, “but I hardly know you,”

“I can respect that,” he said, folding the note in his hand and tucking it into the pocket of Alec’s jeans. That was when Alec realized the top three buttons of Magnus’ shirt were undone, revealing all the marks he had left there the night before.

“Dude,” Alec said in a hushed tone, “button your shirt,”

“Why? You don’t like seeing what you do to me?” he said softly while looking him in the eye.

“My siblings won’t,” Alec replied sharply.

“Right,” Magnus said, buttoning two of the buttons, leaving one mark still visible. Alec sighed and button the last button.

“I quite prefer the reverse of that,” Magnus remarked.

“Yeah, well, that’s not happening right now,” Alec replied, “I’m going to get my siblings,”

Alec heard Magnus take a breath in as he began to walk away. He first walked upstairs, opting to tell Jace first, as he felt leaving Magnus alone with Izzy was a recipe for disaster. She hadn’t always been this paranoid and stressed, but this life had done that to her. Deep down, she was more scared than her brothers, but she had hardened herself to it quickly, making sure she helped to keep them all safe. He went into Jace’s room and moved the pen that was sitting on his desk. This caused his bed to fold up into the wall and reveal his passageways underneath.

“Jace. Magnus is back, you can come out,” Alec called down to him. Moments later, Jace came up the stairs that led down into his tunnels.

“What the hell happened, man?” He asked as he climbed out.

“Magnus left me a note which I didn’t see,” Alec replied, “he went back to his house to grab some of his stuff and return his tux,”

“And he didn’t call the cops?”

“Do you see any cops here?”

“Alec,” Jace said, “I’m concerned that your feelings for this guy are clouding your judgement,”

“Join the club,” Alec replied, “but, I don’t know. I have a feeling,”

Jace sighed, “a feeling that might get us all arrested or killed,”

“A feeling that might get me arrested or killed,” Alec replied, “I’m not going to put you guys on the line for this,”

“Alec. You putting yourself on the line is like us putting our lives on the line,” Jace insisted, “do you know what would happen to us if we lost you?”

“You’re not going to lose me,” Alec replied, “because I don’t think that I’m wrong,”

“Just, please try and think these things through,” Jace replied, “please don’t think with your dick,”

“I’m not thinking with my dick! I’m thinking with my gut,” Alec said, “but you know me. When my gut is talking, I can’t always ignore it,”

“I know,” Jace replied, “and your gut hasn’t steered us wrong yet, but both my gut and Izzy’s are going against you in this scenario,”

“I know,” Alec replied, “we’ll take this in stride,”

“So is Izzy down there interrogating him or have you not gotten her yet?” Jace asked after a pause.

“Haven’t gotten her yet,” Alec replied, “thought I’d let you have a go at him first,”

“Probably a good idea,”

“Let’s go,” Alec said. The two exited Jace’s room, as they did, they moved the pen back causing the bed to flip back down. When they got back into the main room, Magnus was sitting on the couch like a kid who had just been called into the principal’s office. He made eye contact with Alec before he turned and went into Izzy’s office, where the entrance to Izzy’s tunnels was.

“Jace,” Magnus said, breaking the awkward silence. Jace nodded in acknowledgement, leaning against the arm of the chair across from Magnus. The two continued to sit in silence,

Then Jace took a breath in, “look I don’t know what you and Alec have going on, but let me warn you now,”

“I’m not going to hurt him,” Magnus interupted.

“No no. Let me finish,” Jace chastised him, “if you hurt him, or we believe that you have screwed us over in any way, Alec won’t be able to hold us back anymore,”

“Us?” Magnus asked, “not just your sister,”

“Izzy isn’t a truly vicious person. She just acts really intimidating and people leave her alone,” Jace replied, “me on the other hand, I’m more of the silent type. You don’t think you need to be scared of me, but I am more ruthless than both of them,” he paused, “long story short, I’m not going to let anyone hurt him,”

“Then we have that in common,” Magnus replied.

Before Jace could speak again, Alec returned with Izzy. She walked in front of the couch and stood in front of Magnus with her arms across. Alec went and sat in the armchair that Jace was leaning on. Magnus swallowed and felt like he was shrinking into the couch with the sight of all three Lightwood siblings staring at him.

“Start talking,” Izzy said sternly, “now!”

“I just went back to my house to get some clothes and return my tux!” Magnus said quickly, “I left Alec a note that he didn’t see. That was my fault. I swear I didn’t call the cops,”

“Alec? Is that true?” Izzy asked.

“Yeah,” Alec reached into his pocket and pulled out the note. He handed it to Izzy, who looked at it, unamused, before she handed it back.

“I hope you know that if the cops show up here, we will kill you,” Izzy said, looking at Magnus and pulling a knife out of her boot for emphasis. Magnus looked at the knife then between the three siblings, and got a small, stern nod from Jace.

“I didn’t call the cops,” Magnus insisted, “I want to be here,”

“Yeah. Now it’s storytime,” Izzy leaned up against the entertainment center behind her, “what’s your story? Why are you here?”

So Magnus launched into the same story he had given Alec last night. Leaving out the same details that he had left out the night before, hoping that Izzy wouldn’t ask for them. He had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen, but he could hope.

“Why did you leave your father?” Izzy asked, “what did you two do together?”

Magnus sighed. He didn’t want to tell them. He didn’t want to tell Alec. He took a deep breath, “we killed people,”

There was silence.

“It started with just doing it when necessary,” Magnus said quickly, trying to save face with the Lightwoods, especially Alec, “it was rob first, if we were caught, kill. Then it turned into kill first, then rob,”

“What was the last job?” Jace asked, “what was the final straw?”

Magnus didn’t want to answer that question, especially in front of Alec. But they had asked, and he knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere with any of them if he didn’t answer.

“Answer him,” Izzy insisted.

“He made me…” Magnus took a deep breath in, trying to keep the tears from flowing. He put his head in his hands and wiped away the tears that had begun to flow, “he made me kill a child,”

“And you did it?” Izzy asked, a little shocked.

“YES!” Magnus almost yelled, and he buried his head in his hands and began sobbing. The dam of emotions had been broken after years of being held back, and it was all flooding to the forefront of his mind once again.

“That’s enough,” Alec said, standing up between Magnus and Izzy.

“Alec. After this…” Izzy began.

“We’re done for now,” Alec said sternly, “we’ll talk later. Just go. Please,”

Izzy and Jace looked at each other before taking a step back and moving away from the couch and up the stairs. Alec made sure they had both gone into their rooms before he sat down next to Magnus, who was still crying. He wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close, and Magnus immediately leaned into his chest. Alec only held him tighter while running a calming hand through his hair.

“Well,” Magnus sniffled after he had calmed down slightly, “that wasn’t quite how I was expecting the morning to go,”

“Hey,” Alec said, sitting up a little, “are you okay?”

Magnus laughed, “no, I’m not, I appreciate you asking, but that was bound to come up at some point,” he paused, “I just didn’t expect it to be so soon,”

“I’m sorry about that,” Alec said, “about them,”

“Don’t be, like I said, it was bound to come up,” Magnus said curtly, “I just...I just hope you don’t think less of me,”

“I don’t,” Alec replied, putting a hand on Magnus’ cheek, wiping a stray tear, “you left him. You are nothing like him,”

“But you don’t know anything about me,” Magnus said.

“I know enough to know you aren’t like him,” Alec insisted. Before Magnus could say anything else, Alec kissed him, trying to convey as much love and admiration as he could through a single kiss. Magnus chased him a little when he pulled away.

“Please know I don’t think any less of you,” Alec said softly, “you left him. That’s who you are, and that’s all I care about,”

Magnus nodded and curled up into Alec’s side. Alec held him close as he drifted off into a fitful sleep.

***

“They’re still sitting down there?” Izzy asked when Jace reentered her bedroom. He nodded and shut the door behind him.

“Magnus is sleeping in Alec’s lap,” Jace told her, “what do we do about him?”

“I don’t know,” Izzy replied, “I’m starting to feel bad for this guy,”

“Yeah, me too,” Jace replied, “and Alec is ready to die for this guy,”

“What?” Izzy asked.

“He said he wasn’t going to put us on the line for this guy, but he was willing to put himself on the line,”

Izzy sighed and shook her head, “he does understand, right? That he’s our goddamn brother?!”

“I tried to explain that to him,” Jace sighed, “but he’s blinded by this guy!”

“Does he understand this?” Izzy asked.

“Yeah. He’s acknowledged it,” Jace said back.

Izzy took a breath in, “honestly, I don’t think he’s a threat to us,”

“I don’t think so either,” Jace replied.

“I’m certainly not ready to let him in on everything,” Izzy replied, “but I don’t think we need to deny our next job as it comes along,”

“I agree,” Jace said, “he is a broken man,”

“I think this could fix him,” Izzy said, “maybe he could be good for Alec too...and make him appreciate what’s around him,”

“Maybe,” Jace said wistfully, “we should just leave them be until our next job,”

“I don’t think that’s a bad idea,” Izzy said, “I’m still not ready to let him stay at his own house,”

“Definitely not,” Jace replied, “I don’t trust him yet, but I’m open to trusting him in the future,”

“I agree,” Izzy said. She walked past Jace and out her bedroom door. She looked down over the bannister and saw Magnus and her brother sitting on the couch. Like Jace said, Magnus was sleeping on Alec’s lap. Alec looked over his shoulder and up at his sister. She gave him a small smile and a nod, which he returned.

He gently stood, slowly easing Magnus off his lap. He ran his fingers over Magnus’ hair before climbing the stairs to meet his sister at the top.

“So,” he said, a bit of venom in his voice, “when are we kicking him out?”

“We’re not!” Izzy replied quickly.

“Wait. You’re not?” Alec said, his eyes snapping up to her.

“We talked and decided that it could be good for us, and you,” Jace emerged from Izzy’s room.

Alec nodded, “I think it could be good for him too,”

All three looked over the bannister down at Magnus, who was still asleep on the couch. He began moving in his sleep, causing Alec to go down the stairs. Jace and Izzy didn’t say anything as he went, and he silently thanked them for that. When he got down to Magnus, He crouched next to the couch and began running his fingers through his hair while whispering to him softly.

“He really cares about him,” Jace remarked

“I have no idea how,” Izzy said, “they’ve known each other for less than a day. You’re sure nothing happened?”

“I’m positive,” Jace replied

“This is crazy, but...I don’t know,” Izzy sighed, “it’s almost like they’ve been searching for each other their entire lives, and now they’ve found one another,”

“That does sound crazy,” Jace chuckled, “but I wouldn’t disagree with that. They’re just...they seem like they’ve known each other forever,”

“Like soulmates,” Izzy said softly.

“I think we should let them be,” Jace replied, “let them fall in love,”

“I agree,” Izzy replied, “get those jewels sold so that they can,”

“Yes ma’am,” Jace replied.

***

Magnus awoke with a start, after being brought back to that night in his dreams for the first time in years. The first thing he noticed was that Alec was no longer underneath him and he was alone in the room. The second thing he noticed was the noise coming from the kitchen. He stood up, trying to shake the memories from his mind: trying to rebury what was just dug up. He moved slowly into the kitchen, not knowing what he was going to find.

He did like what he found. Alec was bent over the stove, and he didn’t hear Magnus come in.

“Hey,” Magnus said, leaning on the doorframe.

“Hey,” Alec said looked at him with a soft smile. He didn’t look long before he turned back to the stove, “I didn’t know if you ate. I’m making lunch,”

“I didn’t,” Magnus replied as he sat down at the table. Alec walked over with a pan in his hand and flipped a sandwich onto the plate in front of him. He flipped three more sandwiches onto plates around the table before going and tossing the pan in the sink.

“Are we expecting anyone else?” Magnus asked.

“Jace and Izzy should be down in a minute,” Alec replied. Magnus hummed and nodded, obviously not too excited about the idea.

“Not the best first date, I know,” Alec shrugged as he sat at the table.

“Far from it,” Magnus said with a smile.

“We’ll have another one,” Alec replied.

“Promise?”

“Yes,” Alec leaned in and kissed him.

“Can I make one request, Magnus?” Izzy was standing in the doorway. Alec and Magnus shot apart from each other before looking at her, “could you not kiss my brother when I’m around?”

“Well, he kissed me so…” Magnus said, picking up the knife next to him and cutting his sandwich. That made her and Alec chuckle. Izzy walked in and sat down and Jace followed suit. They all began eating in silence: a silence which Izzy soon broke.

“Magnus…I...I’m sorry for pushing you earlier,” she said, “it wasn’t right, and I’m sorry,”

“It’s okay,” Magnus replied, “it was going to come up eventually, so, might as well start things with everything on the table,”

“I respect that,” Jace said. Magnus gave him a small nod. They went back into silence until Izzy broke it again.

“What skills do you have, Magnus?” Izzy asked, “how were you able to do this before?”

“I’m sure it’s all skills that you guys have,” he replied, “my father usually masterminded the jobs but I executed them. So what you’d probably expect. Quick thinking, cool under pressure, lock picking, a rough idea of how security systems work. Stuff like that,”

“Cool,” Izzy said, “you’ll probably end up going with Alec on a lot of the jobs then as long as you two don’t get too distracted by each other,”

“I don’t know if I can do that,” Magnus said in a jovial tone, “he’s very distracting,”

Alec chuckled, squeezing his hand under the table.

“Well, if you can’t do it…” Izzy began.

“No no no,” Magnus said quickly, “I can do it”

“Yeah...we can do it,” Alec continued.

“Good,” Jace said, “cause we have a job,”

“Already?” Izzy asked. Jace nodded.

“If you’ll remember, we found the museum job ourselves,” Jace told them, “in the eyes of the...our contacts, we haven’t had a job for almost two months,”

“What’s the job?” Alec asked, cleaning up all their plates and going to put them in the sink.

“A fun one,” Jace replied sarcastically, “rob a plane,”

“Excuse me?” Magnus asked.

“Rob, like, the whole plane?” Alec stuttered, nearly dropping all the plates into the sink, “we’re going from robbing individual houses after being invited in...to robbing a goddamn plane?!”

“Not the whole plane. One specific piece of luggage,” Jace replied, “we’d be stealing a piece of luggage that is apparently quite valuable, and that is being transported under a passenger plane to sneak it out of the country,”

“Luggage that is ‘apparently quite valuable’?” Izzy asked, “do we not know what’s going to be in it?”

“Well, jewelry,” Alec said, “obviously,”

“Well yeah, but how much?” Izzy asked.

“They said that we wouldn’t find out until we accepted,” Jace replied, “I wanted to talk to you guys before I decided to push,”

“What other details do we have?” Izzy asked.

“The job is in five weeks. The package is being transported from the US to Paris. We’d have to get on the flight to Paris and grab it once we got there, then immediately get out of the country,” Jace replied.

“So we’re going to rob something,” Alec butt in, “from an airport?”

“We have the opportunity to try,” Jace replied, then looked to Izzy, “do you think we can do it?”

“I think we can,” Izzy replied, “the question is though, is it worth the risk? You need to push to find out what it is. We have some autonomy here,”

“Can do,” Jace replied and he got up from the table. The three that remained sat in silence.

“You thinking, Iz?” Alec asked after a while.

“Yeah. Thinking about how it would be possible,” she replied.

“Is it possible?” Magnus asked.

“Anything’s possible,” Izzy replied, “it’s just a question of how likely the outcome we want is,”

“Well, then how likely is the outcome?” Magnus asked.

“That depends on how we go about it,” Izzy replied, “it also depends on what it is that we are stealing,”

“They want collateral,” Jace said as he re-entered the room.

“They want collateral?” Alec repeated, “since when?”

“Since now, apparently,” he replied, “they want something from us before they tell us what it is,”

“Is it possible they know?” Izzy asked, “could they know about the museum job?”

“How could they?” Jace asked, “the museum doesn’t even know the gems were stolen,”

“Could they suspect? At all?” she said back.

“I haven’t even taken them out of the casing we put them in yet. I haven’t advertised them at all. They certainly aren’t in the store,” Jace replied, “quite frankly I haven’t figured out how we’re going to sell them without them finding out,”

“What do we give them?” Alec asked, “or do we just take the job?”

“I’m not doing something that risky without knowing what the payoff is,” Izzy said firmly, “ask them what they want,”

“I did,” he replied, “they said ‘whatever we have to offer’,”

Izzy sighed, leaning back in her chair, “is there anything we have besides the gems we could use?”

Alec swallowed and moved his right hand towards his left. He put his fingers around Magnus’ ring that sat on his finger, he pulled it off, and held it up, “we have this,”

He placed it down on the table. Magnus looked at him, a little hurt.

“Don’t be like that,” Alec scolded lightly, “you haven’t proposed to me yet,”

“Touche,” Magnus replied, removing Alec’s ring and handing it back to him. He nodded and put it in his pocket.

“Alec, you’re sure about that?” Jace asked, looking between him and the ring, knowing the significance it had come to hold for his brother.

“If I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t have offered it,” Alec replied. Jace nodded and grabbed the ring off the table before leaving the room. Alec sighed, feeling an emptiness at the lack of weight on his finger. He tried not to let it show. The three sat in silence until Jace returned.

“It’s big,” Jace said, “like, bigger than the museum job, big,”

“What is it?” Alec asked.

“It’s basically a suitcase full of jewels,” Jace replied.

“How?” Izzy replied.

“Some old French aristocrat was living here in the US died a few weeks ago, and he wanted his fortune shipping back to Paris to his family, and they felt the safest way to transport them was on a passenger plane two months after his death,” Jace replied.

“I feel like there’s a flaw in their logic there, but whatever,” Izzy replied, “what’s the estimated score?”

“Ten million,” Jace replied

“Million?” Alec asked.

“Woah,” Magnus was only in awe of this. In his entire time working with his father, he had never gotten a score even close to that large.

“Are we doing it?” Alec asked.

“Tell them we’ll get back to them when we have a plan,” Izzy said, “these are dangerous waters we’re going to be treading in and I want to make sure everything is foolproof before we agree,”

“Yes ma’am,” and with that Jace left the room. They all began to go about their own business with nothing but their ten million dollar score on their minds.

Chapter Text

Izzy had said yes to the job a week later, after working out all the kinks of their now foolproof plan. The whole job would last for about two weeks, and they had four weeks left to set everything in motion. During that time they all agreed that they needed to lay low, and they were doing a very good job at that, until Alec and Magnus’ fourth date.

The two had been going on official and unofficial dates for the past three weeks, and Izzy and Jace let them, staying true to their pact to let them fall in love. Their unofficial dates consisted of spending time around the firehouse together, either watching TV or getting to know each other. Their official dates consisted of getting dressed up and going out into the city. Magnus had planned the first three, as he went out more than Alec did, but Alec had insisted he plan their fourth official date, at a fancy restaurant uptown.

The restaurant had a romantic ambiance. Alec had spent the better portion of the past week trying to find the most romantic spot possible. There were ornate, dimly lit chandeliers that hung from the ceiling as well as candles at each table. There were flowers and other plants placed around the restaurant, and besides the live band playing in the corner, the sound surrounding them was dull. No one was speaking too loud, and the tables were far enough apart and the music was loud enough that no one could hear anyone else’s conversation. It created the perfect intimate and romantic setting that Alec was hoping to achieve on this date.

Alec and Magnus were in the middle of splitting a dessert when they heard the first gunshot. The restaurant erupted in screams and Magnus acted on his instincts. He pushed the table over and grabbed Alec so the two were hidden behind it. He reached down to his ankle and grabbed the small gun he kept there.

“You brought a gun on our date?!” Alec hissed.

“I bring a gun everywhere, darling, don’t feel special,” Magnus replied, peering over the table. He saw three men in ski masks talking to a waitress who worked at the restaurant. After she ran into the back, all three turned back to the people cowering around the restaurant. They began demanding money, jewels, or anything valuable from them. Magnus had a moment to think because they were in the back of the restaurant. There were three robbers, all with semi-automatic weapons. All Magnus had was a small handheld. There was no way he was going to be able to take all three of them out by surprise. He would only be able to hold that card for a little longer.

Magnus was pulled out of his thoughts by a gunshot. He peered over the table and he saw a man lying on the floor in a pool of blood, and a woman frantically shaking his body. One of the robbers had a gun in the crying woman’s face, and that was the last straw for Magnus. He would not let anyone else die here, not if he could help it. He raised his gun and shot, hitting the man in the neck, causing him to fall back and away from the woman.

Magnus quickly ducked down behind the table as all the heads in the restaurant turned towards him.

“Who shot?!” one of the robbers yelled, “come out now and we won’t kill you!”

“Amateurs,” Magnus whispered to Alec, “stay close,”

Alec nodded and crunched himself into a little ball behind the table as he moved a little closer to Magnus, who was currently peering around the table. He was barely far enough around the table to see, but he was around enough to see one of the robbers moving towards him. He didn’t have eyes on the third, which concerned him, but he needed to deal with the one who was certainly coming now to kill him. He took one last peak around the table before got himself into a crouch that would allow him to quickly move. He launched himself out from behind the table and shot the man who was coming towards him before al but stumbling back behind the table.

“Magnus,” the voice that said it was labored. It was Alec’s voice. He quickly turned around and saw the final robber with Alec in a headlock and a gun to his head. Magnus immediately jumped to his feet and held the gun high. He had the position and the aim to take this guy out, but there was a very good chance that if he pulled the trigger, that man would pull the trigger on Alec before the bullet Magnus shot reached his head.

“Let him go,” Magnus said firmly, trying not to let the fear show on his face.

“No way,” the man replied, “drop the gun, cupcake,”

Magnus ignored the insult; that was not the thing to address right now, “not until you drop him,”

“That’s not how it’s gonna work,” the man said, “you’re gonna drop the gun, then I’ll drop him, then I’m gonna kill you,”

“Any particular reason why?” Magnus asked, trying to buy himself some time to think of a plan that didn’t involve either of them getting shot and killed.

“You killed my brothers,” the man replied, “and you’re going to pay for that,”

The two had a stare down for a moment longer before Magnus put his hands up, taking his finger off the trigger of the gun, holding it between his thumb and palm.

“Magnus don’t!” Alec choked out.

“Shut up, Alec!” Magnus said sharply. He took a step back and slowly lower to the ground before dropping it on the ground. He stood back up slowly, not breaking eye contact with the man.

“The gun is down,” Magnus said, “now let him go,”

The man slowly began to release his grip on Alec. Once Alec was free enough to move his body, he slammed his elbow back into the man’s gut. Magnus’ instincts quickly took over and he dropped to the ground and grabbed his gun. He aimed it up and shot at the man just as another shot went off. The man fell to the ground with a bullet in his head. Magnus took a breath in only to realize that Alec was on the ground as well.

“ALEXANDER!” he yelled, dropping his gun and launching himself to Alec’s side. He was still breathing, but there was a bullet lodged in his right shoulder. Blood began pouring out of the wound and quickly soaked his shirt and covered the birds tattooed above his heart. Magnus grabbed a napkin from a nearby table and put pressure on the wound, causing Alec to scream.

“Hang on Alexander, hang on,” Magnus said softly as tears began to form in his eyes, keeping pressure on the wound, “SOMEONE GET A MEDIC IN HERE NOW!”

“Magnus,” Alec said, raising his other hand. While keeping adequate pressure on the wound with his right hand, he grabbed Alec’s left hand with his own.

“I’m right here,” Magnus said lightly, taking a moment to look at his face, “Jace and Izzy are gonna kill me,”

This caused Alec to laugh, “they won’t kill you. I picked this place. This is my fault,”

“No. Alexander, this is not your fault,” Magnus insisted, “this is not your fault,”

Alec nodded, letting his eyes slip close. Magnus took his hand out of Alec’s and put it on his face giving it a light tap.

“Hey, Alec, keep talking to me. Stay with me,” Magnus said. Alec’s eyes fluttered back open again.

“How’d you learn to shoot like that?” Alec asked.

“My father taught me,” Magnus replied.

“Tell me about him,” Alec said.

“What?” Magnus asked, a little taken aback by the request.

“I want to know about your father,” Alec repeated, slightly more focused now, with his eyes wandering slightly until he found Magnus’.

“Um…” Magnus thought, looking around to see how close everyone surrounding them was. Most of the people had moved out of the restaurant at this point. He looked down at Alec, whose eyes were wide and looking up at him, “he wasn’t...isn’t...the greatest person. Even when I was younger and my mom was still alive he was never around, and he never liked me much, but he loved my mother. I personally think that I was an accident on their part. He had been in that life even then, but my mom and I didn’t know about it,”

Magnus paused, taking a breath in, holding in his sobs. Alec gave his hand as best a squeeze as he could, given his condition. Magnus took a breath before continuing, “my mother died when I was fifteen, in my father’s arms, and after she did my father hated me more, I think because I reminded him of her too much. He sorta...lost it, a little after she died. At this point he was older and he wasn’t the most physically able to go on jobs anymore so he began training me to do them, and then sending me on them. At first we went on them together, where my father was there basically watching me to make sure that I didn’t, fuck up or whatever. When I got older, and when I got better, he started sending me alone, and just giving me orders through an earpiece,”

“Even when…?” Alec asked, dosing a little. Magnus heard the sound of an ambulance approaching.

“Yes,” Magnus replied. Alec’s eyes then began to flutter close, and Magnus put his hand on Alec’s cheek, “stay with me Alexander. The ambulance is almost here,”

Alec nodded, looking up at Magnus. He raised his left arm and let it run over Magnus’ cheek, wiping away the few tears that had spilled there.

“I love you, Magnus,” Alec said softly. Magnus was taken aback. This was the first time Alec had said that to him. He wished it hadn’t first come when there was a possibility of death, but it was there all the same.

“I love you too, Alexander,” Magnus replied quickly, holding Alec’s hand against his cheek. Alec slowly went limp just as the EMTs ran through the door. Magnus noticed them looking around, “over here! Quickly!”

They ran over and knelt near Magnus and Alec.

“He was shot in his right shoulder. The bullet is still inside,” Magnus said, allowing the EMTs to take over, but not going far.

“How long ago did he pass out?” one of them asked.

“Just as you walked through the door,” Magnus replied. They got Alec on a stretcher and began to wheel him out of the restaurant, and Magnus followed close behind them. They began loading him into the back of the ambulance.

“Can I ride with you?” Magnus asked, “please?”

“Who are you?” one of the EMTs asked.

“His boyfriend,” Magnus replied. The EMT nodded and Magnus jumped into the back of the ambulance. The other EMTs followed and shut the door. As they began to drive, Magnus started zoning out, the adrenaline of the whole situation wearing off. He would’ve put his head in his hands, but they were covered in Alec’s blood, and he didn’t want to get it all over him. The only thing that snapped him out of his thoughts was his phone ringing. He reached into his pocket and saw Izzy was calling. He looked at Alec, who now had an oxygen mask over his face, and he picked up the phone.

“Hey Izzy,” Magnus said.

“Magnus!” Izzy nearly yelled, “Jace and I saw what was happening at the restaurant and we couldn’t get a hold of Alec. Is he okay?”

“Um. Not really, no,” Magnus said.

“What happened!?” it was Jace who spoke, urgently.

“He was shot in the shoulder,” Magnus replied, “meet me at the hospital and I’ll tell you everything,”

“Okay we’ll be there soon,” and Izzy hung up the phone. Magnus put the phone back in his pocket and sighed. He reached down to scratch his ankle, which is when he realized his gun was not there. He cursed himself; he had left it at the scene. The gun was registered in his name, and though he owned it legally, he had left it at a crime scene. He knew Alec could be a witness for him, and he was sure there were other people who saw, as well as if there were cameras. However, in his mind, the less time he had to spent in police stations and with police officers, the better. He was sure the Lightwoods would agree.

When they arrived at the hospital, Magnus jumped out of the ambulance with the EMTs and ran inside with them. He was stopped by a nurse in the waiting room and he caught his last glimpse at Alec as he went through the door into the back of the hospital. He barely registered the nurse telling him to sit and wait to hear something. He just moved slowly into a seat, trying to process what had happened.

Ten minutes later, Jace and Izzy almost ran into the waiting room. Magnus stood with they arrived which caught their attention and caused them to run over to him.

“Is he okay?” Izzy asked, out of breath.

“I don’t know,” Magnus replied, “I haven’t heard anything,”

“But it was just a shot to the shoulder, right?” Jace asked, “that isn’t too bad, right?”

“As long as he didn’t lose too much blood, he should be fine,” Magnus replied.

“How much did he lose?” Izzy asked.

“I don’t know, but he never, uh, flatlined,” Magnus replied, intentionally using the word ‘flatlined’ instead of ‘died’ or ‘stopped breathing’. Jace and Izzy nodded, exchanging a look before going and sitting down.

“I’m gonna go wash my hands,” Magnus said quietly. Izzy and Jace nodded before Magnus made his way to the bathroom. Once the door was closed, he removed his jacket and his tie then unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt, wanting to just remove the restricting clothing all together. He pushed his sleeves up and turned the sink on, trying his best to scrub the blood, Alec’s blood off his hands. Most of it came off in the sink, but there was still a slightly red tinge to his hands that he couldn’t seem to get off.

When he reentered the waiting room, he saw Jace and Izzy still sitting there. He was hot, panicking slightly, and was in need of more space. He sat down a few seats over from Jace and Izzy with his head in his hands, trying not to think of the worst.

***

Alec woke up alone.

Cold, alone, and in the dark.

As he began to wake up and become aware of his surroundings, he heard the beeping next to him, and the dull, evenly-sized tiles of the ceiling came into view. Though he was awake, his head felt heavy and his body felt numb. He went to sit up, but he felt a shooting pain in his shoulder that caused him to scream and fall back down on the bed.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a redhead woman was standing in the doorway of his room.

“I figured that out, thanks,” Alec replied, letting himself sink fully back into the pillow. It was then he realized his torso was bare and their were bandages over his entire shoulder. His arm was in a sling that felt rough against the bare skin of his chest.

“There’s a lot of people out there asking about you,” she said, walking over to his bed and picking up the clipboard. She began writing down the numbers that appeared on the screen next to his bed.

“There are?” Alec asked, slightly confused.

“Well, there’s three,” she said, “but they keep asking, so it feels like a lot. Told them I’d come check on you personally,”

Alec chuckled, “what happened?”

“You were shot,” she replied, “I don’t know exactly why. I’m sure your boyfriend can tell you that,”

Alec smiled, “can I see him?”

“I think the three of them would kill me if they knew you were awake and they were sitting out there,” she said with a smile, “I’ll go get them,”

She left the room and Alec smiled a little. He sighed at the thought of the people he cared for worrying about him. They shouldn’t be worrying about him at all, and he hated that they were. He did smile at them all when they came in. Magnus immediately came over to his side and took his good hand. Izzy and Jace came up right behind him.

“Hey,” Magnus said, carting his fingers through Alec’s hair and placing a kiss on his forehead.

“Hey,” Alec said, giving him a soft smile.

“You scared us there, brother,” Izzy said with a smile.

“Yeah, can you tell us what happened?” Jace asked, “Magnus is refusing,”

“Magnus isn’t refusing,” Magnus replied, referring to himself in the third person, “Magnus is refusing to do it in public,”

“And I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything anyway,” Alec replied, “I honestly don’t remember,”

“Would you mind giving us a minute?” Jace asked the nurse.

“Of course, just let me finish these forms,” she replied, continuing to write and giving Jace a small smile. He nodded, stepping back and looking at his brother, thinking about the conversation they had had a few weeks ago. He was hoping that this would show Alec how much he really meant to him and Izzy, and now to Magnus as well.

“You know, you never did tell me about these tattoos,” Magnus said as he ran his fingers over the birds.

“We never really had the chance,” Alec replied, “another time, maybe,”

“I’m all done,” the nurse said, returning the clipboard to the bin at the end of his bed, “if you need anything, my name is Clary, and you can just hit that button to call me,”

“Thank you, Clary,” Jace said with a smile. She nodded and her eyes lingered a little longer on Jace before she exited the room. He turned back to see both Izzy’s and Alec’s eyes both focused on him, with smirks plastered on both of their faces.

“Okay you both need to stop,” Jace said sternly.

“I don’t need to do anything,” Alec replied, “I’m on a morphine drip,” he laughed, pointing to the bag that was attached to his IV.

“You’re also attached to a blood drip,” Jace replied, pointing to the other bag.

“Thankfully for you, Jace, I’m more interested in what happened at the restaurant,” Izzy said, turning back to Magnus, “what the hell happened?”

“We were having dinner, three men came in to rob the restaurant and everyone in it,” Magnus replied, “I never lost the instincts that, um...that my father drilled into me. I also carry...well, because of my father. So I pushed a table down in front of us and kept an eye on the situation. They shot and killed someone who was trying to protect his date,”

“Yeah, we heard about that,” Izzy replied, “we thought that was Alec when he didn’t answer his phone,”

“Thankfully it wasn’t,” Magnus continued, “after the first guy killed, I shot him. That got the attention of the other two. They both came after me, and I shot the second one. Then the third one grabbed Alec. I dropped the gun and he was going to let Alec go, but then this dumbass, decided to attack the man holding a gun,”

“Well, he was going to kill you,” Alec replied, “that part I remember,”

“Yes, he did say that, but I was not going to let that happen,” Magnus said.

“Oh yeah? How?” Alec asked.

“I hadn’t quite figured that out yet,” Magnus replied, “I was getting to that part,”

“I knew that. And that’s my point exactly,” Alec said.

“Anyway, after you attacked the man, I grabbed the gun and shot him, but not before he got your shoulder,” Magnus said, “then you started bleeding out on the floor of a fancy restaurant,”

“Why couldn’t you tell us that in the waiting room?” Izzy asked.

“Because I left my gun at the scene,” Magnus replied.

“Wait you did what?” Jace said angrily, taking a step back.

“Well, I was too busy making sure your brother didn’t bleed out on the floor of a five star restaurant,” Magnus said with a bite in his voice, “I was a little too preoccupied to grab my gun on the way out,”

“Magnus, you need to leave,” Izzy said.

“What?” Alec asked softly.

“If the cops show up here, they can’t be around us,” Izzy said, then she turned to Magnus, “you need to deal with them on your own,”

“Izzy, the cops don’t know us,” Alec said, “he doesn’t need to leave,”

“Yes he does, Alec!” Izzy yelled, “don’t let your feelings for him blind your judgement! We can’t take this risk!”

“The cops have never seen us,” Alec yelled, “he doesn’t have to go anywhere,”

“It’s fine, Alexander,” Magnus said, standing up, “I wouldn’t want to put you or your family in any more danger,”

“Magnus, I don’t want you to leave,” Alec insisted.

“You don’t have much of a choice in the matter, darling,” and with that Magnus was gone.

***

When Magnus walked into his home he was immediately greeted by his staff, who had only seen him in passing the past couple of weeks. Since he had started working with the Lightwoods he hadn’t spent more than a few hours a week at his home. Usually to collect things, see a guest, or work something out with his staff. This was the first night he was going to be sleeping there since before the gala, and he imagined the cops would soon be at his front door.

And it was soon. He had just changed into his pajamas when there was a knock on his door. He sighed and grabbed his robe as he began to walk down the stairs. He called to his staff that he would get the door. When he opened it, there were four cops standing on his porch.

“What can I do for you, officers?” Magnus asked, leaning on the doorframe.

“Mr. Bane?” one of them asked. Magnus nodded. Another one stepped forward.

“I’m Detective Simon Lewis,” he extended his hand to Magnus for a shake which Magnus returned, “I’m working on…”

“On what happened at the restaurant, yes,” Magnus cut him off. Simon nodded.

“Yes,” he replied, “we found a gun registered in your name at the scene,”

“Yes, you did,” Magnus replied, “come in. I can tell you everything,”

Magnus stepped aside and the detective and the other three officers walked through the door.

“Your officers are welcomed to take a look around so long as they don’t break anything,” Magnus said, knowing he had nothing to hide at this house, and the more he played along the more innocent he would sound, and the less likely they would dig into him and his past.

“Lets go to my office, shall we?” Magnus said, walking up the stairs with Simon close on his heels. Magnus left the door of his office open and sat down at his desk and gestured for Simon to sit down, but he remained standing.

“I need to search your desk,” Simon said. Magnus gave him a look, “you are a murder suspect,”

“I can tell you everything that happened, and I know the people there and cameras in that restaurant that can corroborate my story,” Magnus replied, standing. Simon began to search through the various drawers of his desk.

“Please state your name for the record,” Simon said, placing a recorder on the desk. He began going through the drawers.

“Magnus Bane,”

“You may begin your story, Mr. Bane,” Simon sat down in the chair opposite Magnus.

“Well I was out to dinner…” Magnus said.

“With who?” Simon asked.

“My boyfriend,” Magnus replied.

“Who is?”

“Lying in a hospital bed with a bullet hole in his shoulder,” Magnus said, a bit of venom in his voice.

“So he was the other one who was shot?” he asked. Magnus nodded. There was a silence, “continue your story please, Mr. Bane,”

“Right,” Magnus said, “we were enjoying a nice dessert when those three came in. I...I know my way around a gun. I have a license for it and everything, it’s in my desk if you don’t mind,”

Simon nodded and he went into the file cabinet behind him and pulled the papers from the drawer before handing them to the detective.

“Gun is registered properly to one Magnus Bane. He has a closed carried permit as well,” Simon said into the recorder before handing him the papers back.

“I had it on me. I wasn’t going to get involved, but they shot and killed that other man, and I knew they weren’t messing around,” Magnus continued as he put the papers away, “I shot the one who had killed that man. Then the other was close enough and I shot him too before he could threaten me or my boyfriend. I didn’t mean to kill those two, but they ended up bleeding out before the EMTs arrived. The last one...he grabbed my boyfriend, had a gun to his head. He was going to kill him, so...so I killed him first,”

“So it was all just in self defense?” Simon asked. Magnus nodded.

“I don’t take pleasure in it. At all,” Magnus replied. It wasn’t a lie.

“Then why do you own a gun?” Simon asked.

“Self-defense,” Magnus replied.

“Anything prompt that?”

Magnus sighed, “my...um...my mother was killed in a home invasion when I was fifteen,”

“I’m sorry,” Simon replied.

“Been carrying since I was old enough,” Magnus said, ignoring the sympathy. Simon nodded.

“Thank you for telling me, Mr. Bane,” Simon said, “as long as your story matches the cameras and the witnesses, you shouldn’t be hearing from us again,”

“You’re welcome,” Magnus said with a small smile. He showed Simon and the other three officers to the door, and they were out moments later. He looked at the clock, debating whether or not to go to the hospital. He decided it was a bad idea, especially if the cops were still watching him. He settled to only send Alec a goodnight text along with a cute picture of himself before going to sleep.

***

When Alec woke up, he wasn’t alone this time. Izzy was asleep in the chair next to him and Jace was pacing by the window. He shifted slightly to look around the room and saw that Magnus still wasn’t there. His face fell as Jace turned around when he heard him move. He came over to his bed and sat on the edge of it.

“Hey,” Jace said, “how ya feeling?”

“Like I got shot,” Alec replied, using his left arm to sit up a little. Jace adjusted the pillow to help him sit up. Alec nodded in thanks.

“Do you want anything to drink?” Jace asked.

“Uh, water, please,” Alec replied.

“Sure,” Jace poured water from a pitcher on the side table into a glass and handed it to Alec, who took it in his free hand. The two sat in silence as Alec drank before Jace spoke, “I’m sorry we had to send Magnus away,”

“No, don’t be,” Alec said, choking a bit on the water before handing the cup back to Jace, “I know that was the right thing to do,”

“I know you know,” Jace replied, “doesn’t mean I still don’t...feel bad,”

“Please don’t feel bad,” Alec pleaded.

“I see how much you like him,” Jace said, “I don’t want to take that away from you,”

“Please don’t worry about me. You don’t have to,” Alec insisted.

“Oh my god, Alec, do you not see?!” Jace nearly yelled. This woke Izzy, who began to blink the sleep out of her eyes. Alec was slightly taken aback by his outburst.

“Excuse me?”

“Do you not see how much Izzy and I care about you?!” Jace laughed a little through his frustration, “like, how would you feel if Izzy or I were in your position? One of us is laying there, shot, and you had to send our lover away?!”

“You wouldn’t be in this position because I wouldn’t allow you to be,” Alec replied.

“But if we were,”

Alec sighed, “I’d feel worried. Terrible. Lost. Like a total dick and a total failure,”

“Yeah that’s how we feel right now!”

“No! You don’t!” Alec yelled. Both Jace and Izzy looked at him.

“Alec,” Izzy began.

“No. No. You guys just don’t understand,” Alec said.

“Then make us understand!” Jace yelled.

Alec sighed, looking between his siblings. He wasn’t going to get out of this, “before mom died...she asked me to do something,”

“What did she ask?” Izzy said, immediately interested when their mother was mentioned.

“She made me promise, that no matter what happens in my life, in our lives, that I would keep you two safe, no matter the cost,” he said, “and I’m not going to let her down,”

“Did she not say anything about you?” Izzy asked softly.

“She did,” he replied, “but I decided that you two were more important,”

“And that’s all she said?” Izzy raised an eyebrow.

“Yes,” Alec lied. Then he heard his phone vibrate from the side table.

“Someone hand me that, please,” Alec said. Jace leaned over to the table and grabbed the phone, which he handed to Alec. Alec smiled at the message which was from Magnus. He smiled when he saw the picture of him in his pajamas with the message attached.

Goodnight darling. Hope you’re feeling better. I’ll be back when I’m cleared by the cops <3

“Is that from Magnus?” Izzy asked. Alec looked up at her and nodded, “you love him, don’t you?”

Alec sighed, “yeah...yeah I think I do,”

The siblings sat in silence, with Alec sending a quick message back to Magnus and set the picture he sent as his contact photo. Alec took a little longer to look at it. The way his hair stuck up only a little bit naturally without all the product. The bit of residue left around his eyes after he had removed his makeup. He smiled a little as he saw the fading marks he had left on Magnus’ neck the night before. Jace and Izzy exchanged a look, knowing they were going to talk later. Alec yawned, pulling them out of their silence.

“You can go back to sleep, Alec,” Izzy said, taking his phone and placing it on the side table, “please rest. Heal up. We have a job in three weeks,”

“We do,” Alec said softly. She leaned forward and pressed a kiss on his forehead before running her fingers through his hair. She gave him a soft smile before sitting back down in her chair. Then Alec began nodding back off to sleep and within minutes he was snoring.

“I think we succeeded,” Izzy said.

“Partially,” Jace said, getting off the bed and going back towards the window, “he still doesn’t realize-”

“I don’t think he told us the whole truth,” Izzy said, following him to the window.

“What do you mean?” Jace asked, “about what?”

“About mom. About protecting us,” Izzy paused, “he’s just...he’s changed so much since mom died,”

“We all did. Your father wasn’t exactly the kindest to us,” Jace remarked.

“No...Alec was different. There was something bad between them,” she said, “and I already had my suspicion,”

“What do you think he...” Jace paused, thinking of the right way to phrase what he was about to say, “do you think he like...do you think he hit him?”

“I don’t know, I wouldn’t be surprised,” Izzy said, “you don’t know anything do you?”

“No. He never talked to me about him,” Jace said, “it was always me talking to him. Alec didn’t start talking to me until after your father died, and even then it was...minimal,”

“Anything he’s ever told me I had to force out of him,” she said, “although I don’t think he would ever want to burden his baby sister with his problems,”

“Is there anyway for us to find out?” Jace asked.

“No. Not unless he tells us,” Izzy said, turning back towards Alec. Jace sighed and walked over to his brother. They both stared at him, asleep in the hospital bed.

“He’s broken,” Jace said softly, “we all are,”

“We are...but I think Magnus could fix him,” Izzy paused, “and then maybe...maybe with him fixed, that’ll start to fix us too,”

Jace nodded as Izzy leaned into her brother’s side. Jace wrapped an arm around her, and she fell against his body, wrapping both her arms around him. He pulled her into a tight hug and placed a soft kiss to the top of her head. He looked over at Alec, wishing he could pull his big brother into this hug as well because he knew that he needed it.

***

Magnus was walking down his driveway the next morning to go to the hospital when he saw the police car pull in. He walked down to meet them, a little scared about what they might say.

“Mr. Bane,” it was Simon who stepped out of the car.

“Detective Lewis,” Magnus called back.

“How was your evening?” Simon asked.

“It could’ve been better,” he replied, “my boyfriend could have not been in the hospital and have been in bed with me, but…”

“Yes...I’m actually here about your boyfriend,” Simon said, “he’s the last person we need to corroborate your story with, but I never got his name and no one ID’ed him at the scene,”

“So you need me to bring you to the hospital?” Magnus asked.

“Well, technically we just need a name,” Simon replied, “but if you’re going there now, that would certainly make our lives easier,”

“Of course. Just follow my car,” Magnus said, heading back to his car. He explained the situation to the driver, who nodded before opening the door. Magnus slid into the car, and immediately took out his phone when he knew he was out of sight of the cops. He quickly texted Alec, explaining the situation and telling him that Izzy and Jace needed to leave before the police got there. When Alec didn’t reply to his text, he called Izzy.

“Magnus, what’s up?” Izzy asked, slightly concerned. Over the past couple of weeks, Izzy had considerably warmed up to him, enough to Magnus wasn’t too afraid of her anymore, but he was still afraid of Jace.

“I’m coming to the hospital...with the cops,” Magnus said.

“What?!”

“They need to corroborate my story with Alec,” Magnus replied, “so the cops are coming to interview him. So you and Jace need to not be in the room when they get there,”

“Understood,” she said, “let us know when we can come back,”

“Will do,” he replied, “and do me a favor, please, Izzy,”

“What do you need?” she asked.

“Wake Alec up, make sure he knows,” Magnus said, “and...um...turn off his morphine,”

“Why?” she asked suspiciously.

“I don’t want him to be in pain,” Magnus said quickly, “I just don’t want him to be delusion...and have less of a filter when he’s talking to the cops,”

“Okay. I’m going to make sure he’s okay with that first,” Izzy said.

“Of course,” he replied, “I will try to stall as long as possible so he can get the morphine out of his system,”

“Good plan. Is that it?”

“Yes,”

“Then I will see you soon,” she hung up the phone. She looked over at Jace who was looking at her expectantly.

“The cops are on their way over,” she said, “they need Alec to verify Magnus’ story,”

“Oh,” Jace said, looking between his brother and sister, “should we wake him?”

“Yes,” Izzy said, “we need to wake him and cut off his morphine drip,”

“What? Why?”

“So that he doesn’t accidentally spill our whole operation to the cops,” Izzy walked over and began gentlely running her fingers through her brother’s hair who slowly started waking up.

“Hey Alec,” she said with a smile, “so, don’t freak out, but the cops going to be here soon to talk to you about what happened last night. We need to cut your morphine drip,”

“Okay,” Alec replied, still half asleep.

“Jace, call the nurse,” Izzy said. Jace nodded and hit the button. Izzy handed him a glass of water, “start drinking. Once the nurse gets here, Jace and I are going to go down to the cafeteria. If the cops ask about family, say we’re at home. Once they’re gone, we’ll come back,”

“Sounds good,” Alec said. Seconds later, Clary walked into the room. Jace turned around and gave her a smile.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” she replied, smiling at Jace, then she looked to Alec, “is there something wrong, Alec?”

“I want to stop my morphine,” he said.

“May I ask why?” she asked, moving towards him.

“I don’t like the way it’s making me feel,” he said honestly, “I’d rather be in slightly more pain than feel this foggy and gross,”

“I understand,” she said, disconnecting that bag from his IV. She also disconnected the blood bag that had finished dripping into his IV overnight, “do you want any other painkillers?”

“Yeah if you have like ibuprofen or something,” Alec said.

“Of course. I’ll be right back,” she turned and left the room.

“Aren’t you guys leaving?” Alec said, looking particularly at Jace.

“Yes we are,” Izzy said. She grabbed her brother by the arm and dragged him out of the room. Clary walked back in just as the two walked out past her. Jace waved and she watched them go down the hall before going back over to Alec.

“Where are they going?” she asked.

“I think they’re going out to get some food,” Alec replied. It wasn’t a complete lie, but then again, what did it matter if he lied to this random nurse they were never going to see again. She walked over and handed him a little cup that had three pills in it. Alec tossed the pills in his mouth and then drank some water.

“So...is that your brother?” Clary asked, filling out some paperwork.

“Yeah,” Alec replied, “his name is Jace and he is interested,”

“Is he?” Clary asked with a smile.

“Yeah,” Alec replied, “whether or not he gets the guts to do anything about it remains to be seen,”

Clary laughed, “is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Yeah,” Alec said, “could you detach me so I can use the bathroom?”

“I can’t detach you, but I can wheel the cart over to the bathroom,” Clary said.

“Okay,” Alec swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood slowly before he began walking towards the bathroom with Clary wheeling his IV cart behind him. Clary then helped him back to bed and then she left the room. Alec took a breath, trying to clear the fogginess from his mind when he heard a knock at the door.

“Come in!” Alec called. Magnus entered the room first followed by another man with dark hair and glasses, who he assumed was the officer who was going to question him.

“Alexander,” Magnus said softly, walking over to his boyfriend and placing a chaste kiss on his lips, “are you feeling better this morning?”

“Well, I’m feeling better than I was when I was bleeding out on a restaurant floor,” he said with a smile. Magnus sat down on the edge of the bed and took his left hand in both of his.

“Who’s this?” Alec asked, referring to the other man in the room.

“I’m Detective Simon Lewis,” Simon said, holding out his right hand. Alec only looked at it, as he couldn’t quite lift his right hand to shake. Simon realized that and awkwardly brought his hand back to his body, “I just have a few questions for you about what happened last night, if you don’t mind,”

“Of course,” Alec said, “ask me anything you need to know,”

“Okay,” he said, sitting in the chair next to his bed. He took out a recorder and placed it on the bed, “to start, please state your name for the record,”

“Alec Lightwood,” Alec said, taking Magnus’ hand.

“Mr. Lightwood, can you please recount what happened last night,” Simon said, looking at him. So Alec did his best to recount what Magnus had told him last night. Everything he couldn’t remember he attributed to being shot, which was the truth. When Alec finished, Simon grabbed the recorder and turned it off.

“Thank you, Mr. Lightwood,” Simon said, “and thank you both for being so cooperative. It makes my job much easier,”

“Of course, officer,” Magnus said with a smile, “have a good day now,”

“You too,” he said and he left the room.

“Yeah...being cooperative makes our jobs a lot easier too,” Alec said a moment after Simon had left, “because you’re not going to be up our asses while we’re trying to steal things,”

This made Magnus laughed as he leaned back against his boyfriend. He looked up at him and Alec moved slightly to press their lips together. Magnus brought a hand up against Alec’s cheek and deepened their kiss.

“I love you,” Magnus said softly after pulling away, “but I did promise Izzy I’d text her when the cop was gone,”

“Of course. You don’t want to break that promise,” Alec said which caused Magnus to chuckle, “and I love you too,”

Magnus smiled as he took out his phone. He sent Izzy a quick text and looked up at his boyfriend. His life was looking up. He was here with Alec, and everything was going to be alright.

Chapter Text

Alec was healing very well. He wasn’t overly traumatized with being shot, which, when Magnus thought about it, worried him a little. But Alec was a very guarded person, and it would take a long time to break down the walls that would reveal that story. Alec’s arm was out of the sling and he was beginning to get some range of motion back as he worked through some physical therapy. He still couldn’t carry anything or move it fully, so Magnus was helping him pack for Paris.

The plan was simple. Magnus and Alec were going to get on the plane to Paris after they checked a suitcase identical to the one that was transporting the jewels. They brought the rest of their stuff in a carry-on. As luggage was being moved onto the plane, Izzy, who had gotten a job working at the airport a month ago, would wrap a piece of tape around the bag with the real jewels. When they got to the airport, they were going to grab the suitcase with the tape at baggage claim then get on the train in the airport from Paris to London. Once in London, they would stay there for one night before they would board a boat to get back to New York.

There were fake jewels that Jace had spent weeks crafting in their suitcase identical to the ones that were being transported. Jace knew what he was doing, so they would not discover that any of the jewels were fake until they were verified by a jeweler, which shouldn’t be until the next day, when they reached the estate in the country outside of Paris. By the time they realized the jewels were stolen, Alec and Magnus would already be on the boat, free of all suspicion. They had purchased the boat and handpicked the crew using favors that people owed them. So once they were on the boat, no one would be able to track them.

Since Magnus was helping Alec pack, he had full reign over his closet, which was the first time he had seen most of what Alec owned.

“Why do you not wear any of this?” Magnus asked, pulling out a gold, shimmering button down shirt, “I want to see you in this one...I want to see how it brings out your eyes...” Magnus walked over to him, holding up the shirt.

“Most of those I just wore on jobs,” Alec said, swatting the shirt away. He then went back to folding the things Magnus had placed on his bed and put them in his suitcase.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t wear these,” he replied, “there’s more than just one gold button down shirt in the world. People aren’t going to recognize you,”

“I just feel more comfortable in a t-shirt, jeans, and my jacket,” Alec replied.

“The only part of that ensemble I like is the leather jacket,” Magnus replied. He grabbed the leather jacket from the back of Alec’s desk chair and tossed it on the bed. After a moment of thought, he tossed the gold shirt on the bed as well, “you’re bringing that,”

Alec sighed and began to fold it up, “leave the jacket on the chair. I’m gonna wear it to the airport tomorrow,”

“Have you ever been to Paris before?” Magnus asked, returning the leather jacket to the back of the chair.

“I haven’t,” Alec replied, “have you?”

“Once,” Magnus said, “but I robbed and killed someone there, so…”

“Oh. I’m sorry,” Alec said, awkwardly .

“No no, it’s fine,” Magnus replied, “I was the one who brought it up,”

“True,” Alec paused, “how about London?”

“Robbed and killed someone there too,” Magnus replied.

“Oh,” Alec thought for a moment, “well, maybe we can make some new memories for you,”

“I’m counting on it,” Magnus said, walking over and putting a few more shirts on the bed before kissing him. Alec wrapped his arms around his boyfriend’s waist the best he could, given his injury. Magnus’ hands moved around his neck and into his hair.

“Alec! Magnus!” Izzy yelled. Alec sighed as he pulled away from his boyfriend.

“What?” Alec yelled back, kind of irritated, “we’re a little busy!”

“Come down here,” she replied, “we have a problem,”

Alec and Magnus exchanged a look before quickly exiting his room and heading down the stairs. They found Izzy and Jace in Izzy’s office.

“What’s the problem?” Alec asked.

“Our captain his dead,” Izzy replied.

“What?” Alec asked.

“The woman who was supposed to captain the boat back to New York? Yeah. She was shot yesterday,” Izzy repeated.

“Oh my god,” Alec put his head into his hands, “what are we going to do? We’re getting on a flight in twelve hours,”

“I know,” Izzy said.

“We are getting on that boat in two days,” Alec said.

“I know,” Izzy repeated.

“What are we going to do?” Alec was panicking, “we can’t back out!”

“I know,” Izzy said again with the same inflection in her voice.

“I can captain the boat,” Magnus said.

“What?” all three Lightwoods looked at him.

“Magnus,” Izzy began, “this isn’t some boat in some lake somewhere. This is a trip across the entire Atlantic ocean,”

“I know,” Magnus said, “I’ve done the Pacific, so the Atlantic will be no problem,”

“You captained across the Pacific?” Alec asked, looking at his boyfriend.

“Well, technically I was first mate,” Magnus replied, “but it was to my father so I basically captained,”

“You continue to surprise me,” Alec said.

“In good ways I hope,” Magnus replied. Alec responded only with a kiss.

“Guys,” Izzy caused them to pull apart, “focus,”

“Right,” Alec said.

“So Magnus, you can get yourself, my brother, and the payload safely across the Atlantic?” Jace asked.

“Yes. I can,” Magnus replied confidently. And he was confident. He was confident in his ability to get the ship back safely across the Atlantic. While he had hoped to have ten days completely free of all responsibility to share with Alec, it was more important that they successfully complete the job, because maybe, after this, Izzy and Jace would actually trust him.

The two younger Lightwoods had been kind to him since the interrogation when they first met, but they never trusted him. Everything he learned about the Lightwoods was from Alec, and that wasn’t much, as Alec didn’t talk about their past. He recalled the conversation he overheard that first night, and hoped that he would continue to break down these walls and be more accepted into this family.

***

One day later, Magnus and Alec were holding hands as they were walking through the airport in Paris. Alec had let his beard grow out a bit and he was wearing glasses. Magnus had opted to a beanie and no makeup and a clean shaven face. They weren’t the best disguises, but they were moving quickly, so they determined it would suffice.

Alec was trailing their carry-on suitcase behind him and Magnus had a backpack on. Both their hearts were beating quickly as they made their way towards baggage claim. Neither of them spoke to each other, as they were both only focused on the job at hand.

Due to their quick pace, they were one of the first ones to arrive at baggage claim. They took a spot right where bags were distributed. Magnus stood there, ready to grab the bag when it came out.

“Please don’t grab the wrong one,” Alec said softly. Magnus laughed a little.

“I know exactly what our bag looks like, darling,” Magnus replied, “there’s no need to worry,” Magnus looked up and saw a man in a suit walk up across from them, then he spoke rather loudly “and we put that piece of tape around the handle, remember?”

“Of course, babe,” Alec replied, eyeing the man across from them before looking away, not letting him get a good look at his face, “I completely forgot,”

Soon, suitcases began moving across the conveyor belt. The suitcase with the piece of tape around the handle was one of the first ones to come out, and Magnus quickly grabbed it. He extended the handle and him and Alec turned to leave.

“Excusez-moi,” the man in the suit said, “Je crois que c’est ma valise,”

“I’m sorry, we don’t speak French,” Magnus turned around to speak but only slowed their walk.

“I believe that is my suitcase,” the man said in perfect english. The couple stopped and turned back around.

“No. This is ours,” Magnus replied, more sternly, but keeping his head down a bit, “we wrapped this piece of tape around the handle to make sure we knew which one was ours. Unless your suitcase has the exact same piece of tape, I can ensure you that this is ours,”

“Oh, my apologies then,” the man said, “I did not see the tape. Enjoy your time in France,”

“Thank you,” they both said before they turned and began moving quickly through the airport. Magnus was running purely off adrenaline, and he was sure Alec was as well. He felt like he could run to London and back with the amount of energy he had, but he had to contain it.

He spent the entire train ride with his leg bouncing. Alec did his best not to look at it, as it gave him anxiety. The two of them had stored their suitcases on the rack above them and were enjoying the mostly quiet train ride to London. They sat with their fingers intertwined, with Magnus reading a book and Alec on his phone.

“Magnus,” Alec said, doing nothing else but handing him his phone. Magnus put his book down on his leg and took the phone, looking down at the screen. On it was an article that Izzy had sent to him, reporting the news of tens of millions of dollars of jewels being stolen from an airport in Paris.

“What the…?” Magnus said, dumbfounded, “how?”

“I don’t know,” Alec said, “we’ll discuss this in private,”

“How much longer until we get to London?” Magnus asked.

“About an hour I think,” Alec replied.

“Okay. We go straight to the hotel, and just stay in until we leave,”

“Sounds good,”

They had originally had plans to spend the night in the city, walking around, spending time together, seeing the nights, making some new memories of London for Magnus, but they couldn’t now. They couldn’t risk leaving the payload in the hotel alone and then being ambushed when they returned. If anyone showed up looking for them, they would run, leaving the payload behind. That was the Lightwood family rule: you save yourself before the payload.

They took the final hour of the ride in silence, with Alec bouncing his leg along with Magnus. When the train stopped, the two of them quickly got off and exited the station, barely taking the time to look at the new city they were in. They got in a cab and gave the driver the address of their hotel. Both were still running off the adrenaline, and it took all of their effort not to run inside the hotel when they arrived. It was a very nice hotel, which Magnus had paid for and registered in his name.

“Hi, how can I help you?” the man at the front desk asked.

“Hi we’re checking in,” Magnus said before giving them his fake name, “it should be under Matthew Banner,”

The man clicked some keys before looking back up, “only staying with us for one night?”

“We have a layover,” Magnus replied with their rehearsed story, “we leave tomorrow,”

“Where are you coming from?” he asked.

“Paris,” Magnus said with a smile.

“It’s a beautiful city,” the man replied, “but did you hear what just happened there?”

“No, what happened?” Magnus asked, playing dumb.

“Apparently, some dead billionaire sent millions of dollars worth of jewels back to his family and they were stolen,” the man said.

“Really?” Alec chimed in, thinking it would be strange if he didn’t talk at all.

“You’d think it’d be safe, on an airplane, right?” the man asked.

“You would think,” Magnus said.

“Wait,” the man said, “weren’t you just at the Paris airport?”

“No sir,” Magnus said sternly, “we took the train and quite frankly I am appalled by that accusation,”

The man was taken aback by the bite in Magnus’ voice, “I’m sorry, Mr. Banner. Here is your room key. You’re in a suite on the fifth floor,”

Magnus grabbed the key from his hand, “I don’t want to see you tomorrow morning when we leave,”

“You won’t sir,” the man said.

“Good,”

Magnus took Alec’s hand and they both walked towards the elevator. Once they were inside and the doors closed, Alec was immediately on Magnus. Alec grabbed his face in his hands and kissed him. It took Magnus a moment to register what was happening before he pulled back.

“Hey what’s this all about?” Magnus asked. He saw Alec’s face fall a little, “I mean, I’m not complaining…”

“You were so hot,” Alec said, crowding him against the elevator wall, “and I’ve been running on adrenaline for the past like, five hours,”

“Me too,” Magnus replied, and Alec kissed him again. When the elevator reached the floor, it took them a moment to pull apart before they exited. They each grabbed a suitcase and moved down the hall quickly. Magnus unlocked the door and he turned the light on before Alec came all but running through the door. They abandoned their suitcases and Alec pushed Magnus up against the door as it closed. His hands went up into Magnus’ hair, pushing the beanie off his head as he went. Alec let his hands run down Magnus chest and began undoing the buttons on his shirt.

Magnus pulled away and took Alec’s hands down away from his shirt, “Alec, darling. Do you really want to do this? I mean, we haven’t since that first night, and your shoulder…”

“Magnus,” Alec said, taking his face in his hands, “you have nothing to worry about. I want this,”

And he kissed him again, and went back to unbuttoning his shirt. Alec brought his mouth away from Magnus’ lips and began kissing down his jawbone and his neck, biting and sucking lightly at the skin. He untucked the rest of Magnus’ shirt before pushing it off his shoulders and onto the floor. He pulled away from his neck and went to take the glasses off his face.

“Wait, wait,” Magnus said, grabbing his hand, “leave those on,”

“Yeah?” Alec asked with a smile.

“Yeah,” Magnus confirmed. Alec put the glasses back on before he moved back to Magnus’ mouth and continued to kiss him. He grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the door.

“Wait wait wait,” Alec pulled away from Magnus, “where’s the bedroom?”

“I have no idea,” Magnus replied.

“What do you mean you have no idea? It’s a big fancy hotel room, you stay in those,”

“They’re not all the same, darling” Magnus laughed.

“Guess we have to find it together,” Alec smiled and pulled Magnus in one direction, kissing him when he got close. All they found that way was a kitchen, dining room, and two bedrooms with twin beds. They went back down the hall, kissing as they went. At the other end, they found two more bedrooms, including the master. They all but fell through the double doors as Magnus slowly eased Alec’s jacket off his shoulder. Alec awkwardly stumbled out of his shoes, putting much of his weight on Magnus as he did.

“Magnus, take my shirt off,” Alec demanded. Magnus only nodded, helping Alec slowly out of his shirt.

“Are you okay?” Magnus asked.

“I’m more than okay,” Alec said with a smile before he kissed him again. He brought his hands down to own belt and undid it before pushing his pants to the ground. He moved back towards the bed and gently laid down on it. Magnus climbed on top of him and began kissing him again. He began kissing down his neck and across his collarbone until his eyes caught the firey-red scar that had formed over where Alec was shot. He stopped and gently ran his thumb over it.

“Magnus,” Alec caught his attention, “I know what you’re thinking. We’ve been over this. That is not your fault,”

“I know,” Magnus replied, looking back at it, “but I will still feel guilty,”

“Please don’t” Alec said, running his hand over Magnus’ cheek. Magnus looked at him and he brought his face to him as best he could. Magnus moved the rest of the way and closed the distance between them.

Chapter Text

Alec woke up to the sun streaming through the curtains of the hotel room, and for the first time in what felt like forever, his spirit was not crushed when the blissful ignorance of the first few moments of consciousness had worn off. Not only had they stolen millions in jewels, but he had spent the night with Magnus, and it was wonderful. At that thought, he felt Magnus stir beside him.

“Good morning,” Alec said softly, running his fingers through Magnus’ hair.

“Good morning,” Magnus smiled at him. Alec leaned in and kissed him.

“How are you this morning?” Alec asked

“Sore,” Magnus replied.

“Are you okay?” Alec asked, scared that he had hurt his love.

“I’m wonderful,” Magnus said, “it’s a good sore,”

Alec smiled, thinking back to last night as more details flooded back into his mind. He looked over to the bedside table and saw the fake glasses resting in multiple pieces as they had been crushed during the night. The thought made him smile.

“Can I ask you a question, Alexander?” Magnus asked, propping himself up on his elbows.

“That was a question,” Alec replied. Magnus groaned, falling back onto the bed, which caused Alec to laugh, “what do you want to know?”

“Now, don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t have a problem with this, I’ve just been curious,” Magnus said, “if we had already slept together, why did you want to wait once we actually started a relationship?”

Alec took a breath in and leaned back onto his pillow. He didn’t really want to tell Magnus about this, but Magnus had been so honest with him since the beginning, he could at least return the favor.

“I am usually the one who executes most of our jobs,” Alec began, “and almost all the jobs we’ve had up to this point were small jobs very similar to the job we tried to pull on you. Go in, seduce the target, grab the jewels, then leave,”

“That doesn’t quite answer the question, darling,”

Alec sighed, “I detach myself emotionally from that sex to avoid getting attached. Which is why the connection we had was so weird and caught my siblings and I so off guard. If we were to sleep together after we started a relationship, I wanted it to mean something to me, and I needed a real emotional connection to do that, and I couldn’t just make that up until I truly understood what was happening with my emotions,”

“I understand, and I respect that very much,” Magnus said, “thank you for being honest with me,”

“Well you were more than honest with me from the beginning,” Alec replied, “it’s the least I can do,”

Magnus kissed him. As their kiss deepened, Magnus slowly climbed on top of him, running his hands up Alec’s arms and across his chest. Alec brought his good hand up to Magnus’ chest and slowly pushed him away.

“As much as I really really want to,” Alec said softly, “we do have a boat to catch,”

“I captain the boat,” Magnus said against his lips, “I decide when we leave,”

“Magnus,” Alec said sternly, pulling as far away from as his bad arm would allow, “the job comes first. They know the jewels were stolen. We need to go,”

“You’re right, I’m sorry,” Magnus said, climbing off of him then helping him sit up.

“Don’t be sorry,” Alec replied, “clearly I’m just too damn irresistible,”

“I would laugh if that were a joke but sadly, it’s the truth,” Magnus replied.

“Sadly?” Alec pouted. Magnus laughed and kissed him quickly before climbing fully off the bed. Alec slowly followed, his arm still not allowing him to support his full weight.

“How did they find out they were stolen so early?” Magnus called as he exited the room, “they shouldn’t have found out until later today,”

“They must’ve gone to verify them at the airport,” Alec replied. Magnus came back into the room moments later wheeling their small suitcase and carrying the clothes they had taken off before they had found the bedroom. Magnus lifted the suitcase up on the bed and opened it.

“Give me a razor,” Alec said, “that guy saw me with a beard,”

“Right,” Magnus said, pulling a razor out of the bag and handing it to Alec. Alec moved into the bathroom to shave as Magnus grabbed the broken glasses. Magnus fished around inside for their respective clothes before pulling out something for them to wear and then began piling the clothes they had worn the day before back inside.

Once they had showered, dressed, and ensured they had left no evidence of their being there behind, they left the room, once again hand in hand. Sure enough, when they got to the lobby, the man who had checked them in was not there. All Magnus had to do was return the room key and give the room number before the two walked out the door and hailed a cab which took them to the docks. Once there, they found their small ship, The Warlock, docked nearby, with the crew already making preparations. Magnus nearly dropped his bag when they climbed aboard the boat and he saw who was currently commanding his crew.

“Catarina?!” Magnus yelled. The woman turned and her jaw dropped when the two made eye contact. She climbed down from her perch by the ship’s wheel and ran over to Magnus before pulling him into a bone crushing hug.

“When they told me that Magnus would now be captaining the ship,” she said, “I had no idea it was you. Oh my god, Magnus, I thought you were dead!”

“How do you two know each other?” Alec asked, stepping closer to the two of them.

“We grew up together,” Magnus replied with a smile, pulling out of the hug, “how do you guys know each other?”

“I worked in James’ store for a while,” Catarina replied.

“James?” Magnus asked, looking between Cat and Magnus.

“Uh...my brother,” Alec said, not sure if he trusted Cat to give him their real names.

“Right,” Magnus replied.

“Relax, I know that’s not his real name,” Cat said, “anyway, I ended up helping James with some of the jewels after one of their jobs. He paid me a rather large sum to keep my mouth shut, and I took that to travel the world,”

“Cat, this is...crazy,” Magnus said with a laugh, his hand resting on her arm.

“You’re telling me,” she replied, “I thought you were dead,”

“Why?” he asked.

“Well, you disappeared with no trace, so I assumed your father had done you in,” she said. This caught Alec’s attention. Magnus saw his look of concern and took his hand, giving it a squeeze. This caught Cat’s attention, and she looked between the two of them.

“How did you two meet?” she asked suspiciously, narrowing her eyes at their joined hands. Magnus and Alec looked at each other.

“It’s a long story,” Magnus replied, “and I will tell you all of it in the ten day journey that lies ahead but right now we need to get out on the open ocean,”

“I agree,” Alec said, “tell me what I can do,”

“Take our bags to the captain’s quarters below deck,” Magnus replied, gesturing to the door that led below deck, “take two trips if you have to, darling”

“I will,” Alec said, giving him a quick kiss before grabbing the suitcase of jewels and moving it towards the door.

“Cat, if you could take charge on getting us out of here before you introduce me,” Magnus said, “I’ll captain us out of here, but you give the orders,”

“Yes, sir,” she said with a smile before turning and barking orders at the crew behind her. Magnus moved quickly to the stern of the ship where the wheel sat. He grabbed the spokes and took a deep breath. In their travels, there were times when his father was occupied so he had captained the ship, but he had never captained a boat out of the dock.

He watched the crew run about on the deck of the boat, going about their tasks as they moved away from the dock. Magnus started the boat and he saw the anchor come up and the ropes be detached from the dock. Cat gave him a thumbs up so he began to slowly back the boat away from the dock and just as he did, he heard sirens.

“MAGNUS PUNCH IT!” Alec, who was now back on deck, yelled. Magnus pushed the throttle up on the boat a little, knowing they couldn’t go too fast while going in reverse. He shifted the gear, began turning the boat and once he was facing away from the dock, he pushed the throttle up as high as it went. He saw Alec and the rest of the crew stumble back a few steps as he began speeding away from the dock.

Their boat was large, but it moved. He didn’t know how much gas they had, but they did have oars and a sail if they ran out of fuel, so he continued to speed out into the Atlantic. He continued to look over his shoulder, looking for police boats or anyone else to come after them. They never came, and soon enough, they were surrounded by nothing but the open ocean. Magnus took down the throttle a little, letting the motor turn enough to keep them moving, but not so much that the wind was whipping all of their hair. As he took a step back from the wheel, Catarina came up to join him, calling the crew to attention.

“Crew!” she yelled over them, “this is Magnus. He will be your captain for the remainder of our trip. You will listen to his every order unless you want it to be your last,”

“Hello,” Magnus said, “I apologize for coming on so late. As you may have heard, there was a complication with our previous captain. I have a few simple rules. Don’t ask me questions, do not ask my boyfriend questions, and do not go in my room,”

The crew greeted him with respect and Cat went around the group and named every one of them. They then went back to their respective tasks and Cat and Magnus took a seat near the wheel.

“So,” Cat said, turning to him, “I want to know everything,”

“It’s not that complicated,” Magnus said, “I was on a job that went south. I saw my opportunity to get away from my father, so I took it. I called in a few favors and used the money from the job to severe all connections and start a new life in New York,”

“Okay,” she said, knowing there was more to the story, but knowing Magnus and his relationship with his father, she didn’t push it, “then if you left that life, how on earth did you get...involved with, well, I know him as Adam, but how did you get involved with him?”

“Well, when I left LA, I set up a pretty lavish life for myself in New York, and, well, he tried to rob me,” Magnus replied. Cat gave him a look.

“So he tried to rob you, and now you’re…sleeping with him?”

“Dating him, actually,” Magnus replied with a smile. This got him an even stranger look.

“How the hell did that happen?” she asked.

“It’s a long story,” he replied.

“One you don’t have time to tell,” Alec said, walking up the stairs to face the pair, “you two should come with me. We have a problem below deck,”

The two quickly stood and followed Alec below deck. Alec led them along to the captain’s quarters, and opened the door. Magnus walked inside and saw a little girl sitting on the bed with her head down.

“Madzie!” Catarina scolded, walking over to the little girl and bending down to her level, “what are you doing here?!”

“I didn’t want you to leave me,” she said softly.

“Oh sweetie,” she said softly, brushing a piece of hair away from Madzie’s face, “did you think I wasn’t going to come back?”

She said nothing, and that was an answer enough for Cat. She stood and looked at Alec and Magnus.

“So you know this child?” Alec asked.

“Yeah,” Cat replied, looking between them, “she’s my daughter,”

“Daughter?” Magnus asked, jaw dropping.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, Magnus,” she replied sincerely. She looked back down at her little girl, “I will never leave you, do you understand me sweetheart?”

The little girl nodded and looked up at her mother. Cat gave her a soft kiss on her forehead.

“Listen here, young lady,” Cat said, “because you are not supposed to be here, you have to do exactly as I say, do you understand?”

“Yes, mommy,”

“You’re going to stay in mommy’s room while we’re on the ship. That man, his name is Magnus, he is an old friend and he is in charge. This is his boyfriend…” she trailed off, looking up at Alec for a name.

Alec sighed then made a decision, “Alec,”

“This is his boyfriend, Alec,” Cat said, “you can trust them. If anyone else tries to talk to you, you ignore them and come tell one of us immediately, do you understand?” she looked at her.

“Yes,” she replied. Cat smiled and then looked at Magnus.

“If you wouldn’t mind,” Cat looked at Magnus and Alec, “could you make sure no one sees me getting her back to my room. I don’t trust anyone else on this ship in any aspect other than their ability to do their job,”

“Of course,” Magnus agreed and the two men stepped out of the room, and with one command Magnus had cleared the hallway. Cat moved Madzie out of the room and down the hallway to her own room. Magnus heard her instruct her daughter to keep the door locked unless she, Alec, or Magnus came knocking. Magnus gave her a look as she came walking back.

“Daughter,” Magnus stated, letting his jaw hand open as he stared at her.

“Yeah. And your goddaughter,” Cat replied.

“My...what?!” Magnus stared at her.

“I didn’t know if you were alive, but if you were, and, well, if something happened to me, I wanted her to go to you instead of her actual father,” she said with a smile.

“Who is her actual father?” Magnus asked.

Cat sighed, “I met her father while I was traveling the world. He was a traveler as well, originally from Ghana. We were together for a while, he even stayed with me through the first few years of her life. When she was two, I told him I wanted her to have a more permanent home for her, he left. It left a huge hole in her life. It’s been three years but she’s still afraid I’m going to leave her,” she told him.

“Oh I’m sorry,” Magnus said sympathetically.

“It’s fine. I’m over him,” she replied, “I despise him for leaving her though,”

“Understandably so,” Alec replied, “I’m more than happy to stay with her if you ever need me to. You two have to get us home, after all,”

“Well, we have to get you home,” Catarina replied, “we just drove away from my home,”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Alec replied.

“Oh please, don’t be. I accepted the job,” Catarina smiled, “I honestly might stay in America. London is beginning to bore me,”

Magnus laughed, “now you’re starting to sound like me...I’ve missed you, Cat,”

“I’ve missed you too,” she said with a smile, “we should go back out there. We’re still not too far out to sea, we should be on alert,”

“I agree,” Magnus said, turning back to Alec.

“I’m gonna give my siblings an update,” Alec told him, then he dropped his voice lower, “but I expect to see you before I go to sleep,”

“Of course, darling,” Magnus replied, pressing a kiss to his lips, “I do get time to myself,”

“Good,” Alec squeezed his hand before Magnus slowly started to walk away. Alec took a breath in as he watched the two old friends leave before turning back and walking into the captain’s quarters. He pulled his computer out of the backpack and connected to the hotspot on his phone before he sent a video chat request to Izzy. She picked up almost immediately.

“We have a problem, big brother,” she greeted him.

“Wow. ‘Hi Alec, good to see you. How’d the heist go? How’s your shoulder?’,” Alec imitated her voice before going back to being serious, “what’s the problem?”

“You were seen when you were escaping,” she asked.

“Barely,” Alec replied.

“Clearly it was enough,” Jace said, walking up behind Izzy, “because there’s currently a notice out here not allowing any boat called ‘The Warlock’ to dock on the east coast,”

“Shit,” Alec said, sitting down on the bed, “what do we do?”

“You have two options,” Izzy said, “you can either dock in South America, but then you have to get the jewels on a plane, so we really don’t like that option,”

“Or,” Jace said, “you go through the Panama canal, dock on the west coast then drive back,”

“Guess that’s what we do then,” Alec sighed, thinking of Madzie, Catarina, Magnus, and the whole crew. This was adding an additional two weeks to their travel time at least, but he imagined since he was working with them, no one on this boat would want a run in with the cops. And him and Magnus would be traveling together for another month, which would allow them to spend even more time together.

“How did things go otherwise?” Jace asked.

“Pretty well. It was a pretty easy grab,” Alec replied.

“How did things go with Magnus?” Izzy asked suggestively, which caused Alec to blush.

“Fine...they were fine,” Alec said, trying to hide his blush, but he would not escape Izzy’s gaze.

“Oh my god, you guys had sex!” Izzy said with a smile, “like actually, emotional, non-job related sex,”

“So what if I did?” Alec replied, unsure of why he was shy with his sex life all of a sudden, as his siblings knew all of it, but this was different. Magnus was different.

“Anyway,” Alec said, “did you know that Magnus and Catarina know each other?”

“WHAT?” Izzy nearly fell off her chair. This caught Jace’s attention as well.

“How!?” Jace asked.

“They grew up together, apparently,” Alec replied, “they nearly fell over when they saw each other. Catarina thought Magnus was dead,”

“Huh,” Izzy leaned back, thinking, “this is a strangely small world,”

“Oh yeah,” Alec replied.

“Have you seen the payload?” Jace asked.

“I actually haven’t,” Alec replied, “but you’ve obviously seen on the news that the jewels were stolen, so I know they’re in there,”

“A little too preoccupied last night to look?” Izzy asked suggestively. Alec groaned and shut the laptop, effectively ending the call.

***

“How are things in New York, Magnus?” Catarina asked when they returned to the wheel of the ship.

“It’s nice. A different type of city than LA,” Magnus replied, “no one cares what you’re doing in New York,”

“Alright...cool, cause I’ve been thinking of moving,” Catarina replied.

“London too much?” Magnus asked.

“I’ve been living there for the past five years,” she replied, “and you know me. I get bored in any one place for too long,”

“You do indeed,”

“And Madzie will be starting kindergarten in the fall, so if I’m going to move, now would be the time,”

“Yeah,”

“I know it’s a lot to ask, but if I wanted to look for a place in New York, could I stay with you?”

Magnus took a breath in, “I’m actually staying with...Alec right now but you are more than welcome to stay in my house. It’s fully staffed and you two would be very comfortable there,”

“Thanks, Magnus. I really appreciate it,” Catarina said, pulling him into a hug.

“Of course,” Magnus replied. They smiled as they pulled apart from each other

“So, Alec is his actual name?” Cat asked.

“Yeah,” Magnus replied, “I was honestly surprised he gave it to you,”

“Me too,” Cat laughed.

“So, what do you do now?” Magnus asked, changing the subject before she could ask for Jace or Izzy’s real names. Those weren’t for him to give.

“I’m actually a nurse,” she replied, “so I shouldn’t have trouble finding a job,”

“No, I’m sure you won’t,” he replied with a smile, “but I know a lot of people, so I’d be more than willing to help you,”

“Thank you, Magnus,” she hugged him again. They heard a throat clear in front of them and they looked up to see Alec standing there. They pulled away from each other and made a point to sit a little further away from each other.

“We have another problem,” Alec said.

“Not hiding another child, are you Cat?” Magnus asked, which caused both of them to laugh.

“It’s worse than that,” Alec replied, “someone saw the name of the boat while we were escaping,”

“What?” Magnus asked, standing up.

“Oh no,” Cat said, “I am so sorry,”

“No it’s not your fault. It’s mine,” Magnus said to Cat, then he turned to Alec “what do we do, darling?”

“We have to sail through Panama, dock on the west coast then drive back,” Alec replied,

“So we’ve got another month or so of travel ahead of us,” Magnus said. Alec nodded.

“Yeah. You two will have plenty of time together,” Alec said, a bit of venom in his voice that Magnus certainly noticed. He looked between his boyfriend and his best friend.

“Can I talk to you for a moment, Alexander?” Magnus asked, walking down the stairs and then below deck. Alec shot a look back Cat before following Magnus. When he arrived, Magnus shut the door behind him.

“What’s your problem?” Magnus asked, “is something wrong?”

“No. Nothing’s wrong,” Alec said quickly.

“No. Something is. You’re acting weird,”

“No I’m not,” Alec insisted, but Magnus still wasn’t buying it. Then it dawned on him.

“You’re jealous of Cat and I,” he said.

“I am not,” Alec said quickly, trying to hide his blush.

“Well, darling, you have nothing to be worried about,” Magnus said, running his hands down Alec’s arms, “Cat and I are old friends but there has never been anything romantic that has happened between us, ever,”

“It’s not that,” Alec said, “I know that,”

“Then what is it?”

“I don’t know, she just...she knows so much about you. You guys are so...natural together,” Alec said, “and I feel like I know nothing about you compared to her,”

“Alexander, she’s known me my entire life, save the last eight years,” Magnus said with a smile, “she was the only one who knew about my father and what he did. That brought us closer,”

“Yeah but she knows you. She really knows you,” Alec said, turning away from him, “and...I don’t know. I’m just wondering if I’ll ever know you that well,”

“Alexander, darling,” Magnus grabbed his good arm and turned him around to face him, “we’ve been dating for less than two months. I’ve known Catarina for, twenty some years. We will get there. Okay? I promise,”

Alec’s only response was to kiss him.

“I’m sorry,” Alec said when he pulled away, “it’s childish, I know,”

“Don’t apologize,” Magnus replied, “I’m glad we had this conversation,”

Alec kissed him again, deeper this time. Magnus’ hands began to sneak up the back of Alec’s shirt when Alec’s phone started ringing. Both of them sighed as Alec took a step back and pulled his phone out of his pocket. It was Jace.

“What?” Alec asked when he picked up the phone, his tone a little harsh.

“Woah...am I interrupting something?” Alec could hear the smirk on Jace’s face.

“No,” Alec replied, blushing and looking at Magnus who was making a point to undress him with his eyes. Alec looked away, “what’s up?”

“Just thought you should know that the museum finally figured out the jewels were stolen,”

“How?”

“That was a traveling exhibit,” he replied, “they inspected the jewels when they arrived at the next museum and they realized they were a fake,”

“That’s inconvenient timing,” Alec said.

“Yeah. They’ve figured out that the museum job was us,” Jace told him.

“How about this one?” Alec asked, referring to the job they had just pulled.

“They haven’t figured out that was us,” Jace replied, “but it’s only a matter of time before they do. Replacing real jewels with fake ones does leave a bit of a signature,”

“And that’s our thing,” Alec said, “these are have just been two larger scale jobs,”

“Plus, this is an international job, we haven’t done that,” Jace said, “so I think we’ve got some time before they figure that out,”

“They’ve gotta be investigating with the US since it happened on a plane between the two countries,” Alec remarked.

“Yeah, so it probably won’t be too long,” Jace paused, “anyway. Izzy was scanning some police radios and apparently they’re staking out at the docks waiting for The Warlock,”

“So we change the name of the boat,” Alec replied, “then we can dock in New York,”

“That’s a good idea, definitely change the name of the boat” Jace replied, “but I think you should still dock in California,”

“Why?”

“I have a feeling they’re going to search every boat that docks there,” Jace replied.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Alec sighed, “so...I guess I’ll see you in like a month?”

“Yeah I guess so,” Jace replied.

“Tell Izzy I say hi,” Alec said.

“Will do,” Jace replied, “stay safe Alec,”

“You too, Jace,” Alec took the phone away from his ear and hung up.

“Everything alright?” Magnus asked.

“Sorta,” Alec replied, “they found out the jewels at the museum were stolen, and connected that robbery to this one,” he gestured to the suitcase.

“Do they know who did it?” Magnus asked.

“No. Not yet,” Alec replied, “but we need to find some paint, change the name of this boat, and still dock in California,”

“Oh that sounds fun,” Magnus said sarcastically, “I guess we should get on that,”

“Well, we have to find someone to do it first,” Alec replied, “and come up with a new name for the boat,”

“I can do it,” Magnus said.

“You can paint?” Alec asked.

“I dabble,” Magnus replied with a smile.

“Is there anything you can’t do?” Alec asked with a smile.

“I’ve never been that great at math,” Magnus said, which caused Alec to laugh before he kissed his boyfriend.

“And what do we name the boat?” Alec asked, pulling away before the kiss could lead to something more.

“How about…‘The Isabelle’,” Magnus said.

“After my sister?” Alec asked, slightly confused.

“No, after the Queen of Spain,” Magnus said sarcastically, causing Alec to look even more confused, “of course after your sister!”

“But why?” Alec asked.

“Why not?” Magnus replied.

Alec shrugged, “alright. But you can’t ever tell her we named a boat after her,”

“Why not?”

“We will never hear the end of it,” Alec chuckled and Magnus joined him before kissing him again.

***

“Alexander,” Magnus said softly, testing to see if his boyfriend was still awake. They were lying in bed together. Magnus’ head was resting on Alec’s good shoulder and had an arm wrapped around his waist while Alec’s head was curled down over his. The two were practically curled around each other.

“What?” Alec mumbled, not yet asleep but definitely moving towards that point.

“You never told me about your tattoos,” Magnus said, tracing his fingers over the L on his wrist.

“What?” Alec asked, confused.

“The night we met, you promised to tell me about your tattoos,” Magnus said, moving his fingers to trace over the tattoo on his lower abdomen, opposite the scar he had over his hip: the one tattoo he couldn’t quite decipher.

“Oh, right,” Alec said, shifting a little, allowing Magnus to see more of his tattoos.

“Well?” Magnus asked, after Alec didn’t break the silence between them.

“Can’t it wait?” Alec asked, opening his eyes for the first time.

“But I can’t sleep,” Magnus said softly, giving Alec his best puppy dog eyes while slowing running his hand through his boyfriend’s hair.

“Fine,” Alec groaned, rolling back over onto his back. Magnus smiled and propped himself up on his elbows, letting his eyes fall over Alec’s bare chest.

“Not all of them have meaning,” Alec said, “most of them don’t, actually. I usually just get one for each successful job,”

“Really?” Magnus said, intrigued.

“Yeah, I didn’t get one after our last job, cause, well, I um...I got you,” Alec said, trying to hide his blush. Magnus smiled and couldn’t do anything but kiss him.

“I believe you’ve rendered me speechless, Alexander,” Magnus said with a smile before he focused back on the tattoos, “so you use them as...what? An incentive to keep going?”

“Kind of,” Alec said, “I like the tattoos, and, yeah, I guess getting them after every job motivates me to keep doing them,”

“That makes sense,” Magnus said, then looked up and saw Alec’s face, “that’s not all, is it?”

“I...um...no,” Alec said, not meeting Magnus’ eye.

“You don’t have to tell me, darling, if you don’t want to,” Magnus said, realizing he may have overstepped.

“Um...not right now,” Alec replied.

“Of course. Whenever you wanna tell me, if you even wanna tell me,” Magnus said before changing the subject, “so tell about the ones that have meaning,”

“Well, this one’s the easiest,” Alec said, holding out his wrist, showing him the L he had seen a hundred times, “all three of us have this one,”

“I’ve noticed,” Magnus said, running his fingers over it, “and the hand shakes?”

“That’s sort of our good luck to each other before a job,” Alec said, “I don’t really remember how that came about, if I’m being perfectly honest,”

“When did get them?” Magnus asked.

“When our father died,” Alec replied, “when we were the only ones left,”

“What about this?” Magnus asked, letting his eyes wander up Alec’s arms and over to his ribcage, where he traced over the M along Alec’s side. He had noticed the M the first night they met each other, so he obviously knew it wasn’t for him, but he couldn’t help but joke, “cause I don’t think I’m special enough to have my own tattoo,”

This made Alec laugh, “you are special, but you have to stick around just a little bit longer to get one,”

Magnus’ heart skipped a beat at Alec’s honesty. The thought of some part of him being permanently inked on Alec’s body melted his heart, and made him want to do the same.

“That was one of the first ones I got,” Alec said, “it’s for two people, actually. My mother, Maryse, and my little brother, Max. He died when I was seventeen and my mom died when I was eighteen,”

“Oh, Alexander, I’m sorry,” Magnus said, pressing a light kiss to the M on his side.

“Don’t be, it’s in the past,” Alec said, “the birds are for them too,”

Magnus then turned his attention to the four small birds that rested near the scar on his right shoulder.

“One for my mom, for Max, for Jace, and for Izzy,” Alec said, “everyone that’s important to me,”

“What about your father?”

“Um…” Alec trailed off, “he...um...he doesn’t get one,”

“When did you get those?” Magnus asked, quickly changing the subject, realizing it wasn’t one to be breached right now.

“Not too long after we got the matching L’s,” Alec replied. Magnus nodded, letting his fingers run over the birds, intentionally avoiding touching the scar. Then he let his fingers run down his side and over the looping tattoo on his lower abdomen.

“Does this one have meaning?” Magnus asked, letting his fingers trace over the loops.

“Yeah,” Alec asked, “it’s supposed to mean, like, brotherhood and strength and love, but there’s a possibility Jace was just fucking with me,”

“Jace designed this?”

“Oh god no, he didn’t design it,” Alec said, “I’d hate to see the tattoo he designed. It’s apparently some ancient symbol. We both have one,”

“Huh,” Magnus said, continuing to trace his fingers over it, “do you and Izzy have your own matching tattoo?”

“No,” Alec replied, “Jace and I have one because...this sounds kinda silly, but Izzy and I have a blood connection, but I didn’t have any tangible connection with Jace. This tattoo is my connection to him,”

“You are an amazing person, Alexander,” Magnus said, running his hand up along his side and letting it rest on his cheek, “the love you have for others is unparallelled,”

“I love you, Magnus,” Alec said softly, running his hand through Magnus’ hair.

“I love you too,”

***

“GET THOSE SAILS UP! I’M LOSING HER HERE!” Magnus yelled from the wheel. They were caught in the middle of a hurricane, and Magnus was having trouble keeping control of the ship. Cat was standing on the main deck, barking orders at the crew around her, many of whom were now climbing the mast to pull the sails in.

Magnus’ wet hair was sticking to his face as he tried to keep control of the boat. He hadn’t gotten it cut in a while, so without all the product, it easily fell in front of his eyes. He kept pushing it out of his face to try and see what was going on below him. He saw the sails beginning to come up, and he felt less resistance on the boat.

He looked down at the compass. They needed to go south. It would take them slightly out of their way, but would take away from the storm.

“INCOMING!” he heard Cat yell, and seconds later a wave crashed over the deck. He saw Cat help up one of the members of his crew and began looking around, making sure no one went overboard. She sent a thumbs up his direction and he refocused on the wheel. He was so focused on holding the wheel that he didn’t notice someone join him near the wheel until he saw two more hands on it.

“Alexander?” he questioned, “what are you doing here? You should be below deck with Madzie,”

“She told me to come up here,” Alec replied, “she insisted that you guys needed help more than she did, and I didn’t fight her,”

“Well, in that case,” Magnus said, “stand behind me and grab the lower spokes. We need to keep this boat heading south,”

“Okay,” Alec replied, standing behind Magnus, boxing him in between himself and the wheel. Although he knew absolutely nothing about captaining, or even being on a boat, especially in the rain, but he did have the strength to help Magnus fight the wind. Together, they wordlessly kept the boat steady, fighting against the current. They worked seamlessly together as Cat yelled at people below. They saw people climbing down from the masts once the sails were in.

“Magnus,” Alec said, looking upward at the wave that was about to come crashing over them.

“INCOMING!” Cat yelled again.

“Brace yourself, Alexander!” Magnus yelled before the wave, bigger than the last, came crashing down over them. Magnus once again wiped the hair out his face as he looked at Cat, who after doing another head count, gave him a thumbs up. That was when Magnus turned around and realized that Alec wasn’t standing behind him.

“ALEXANDER!” he screamed, abandoning the wheel and running towards the railing at the back of the ship. He looked over and saw Alec dangling from his one good arm on a lower bar on the ship. He almost jumped off the ship after him when he looked up, his eyes wide and full of fear.

“HANG ON, ALEXANDER!” Magnus yelled, looking around the deck, for something that could pull Alec back on board.

“Magnus!” he heard Cat yell from behind him, “what the hell are you doing!?”

“Alec went overboard,” Magnus said, gesturing to the railing. Cat ran over as Magnus went and grabbed some rope. He secured it to the edge and began securing it around himself.

“I’m gonna climb down there and get him,” Magnus said to Cat, “once I get him, you need to help me pull us up,”

“Magnus, please be careful,” Cat put a hand on his shoulder, “I...I can’t lose you again,”

“And I can’t lose him,” Magnus insisted urgently, “but you won’t lose me. I’ll be right back,”

Magnus climbed out over the side of the boat and began to lower himself down towards Alec.

“Magnus, what are you doing!?” Alec yelled when he got close enough.

“Saving your life, grab my hand,” Magnus replied. Alec reached out with his bad hand, and Magnus’ hand closed over the L on his wrist, gripping as best he could given how wet their hands were. Alec screamed as he transferred some of his weight onto his shoulder, which was doing better, but wasn’t prepared to bare his full body weight. Magnus quickly wrapped his other arm around Alec’s body, allowing him to relieve some of the pain in his shoulder.

“Let go of boat,” Magnus instructed, “hold onto me,”

Alec let go of the side of the boat and quickly grabbed onto Magnus’ shirt while the two went swinging against the boat. Keeping one arm firmly around Alec, he grabbed onto the side of the boat to help Cat drag them both up. Alec got his legs underneath him and help pushed them up as well. Magnus grabbed the railing when they got close and Cat reached over and grabbed them both by the back of their shirts. They both stumbled over the railing with Magnus not letting go of Alec.

“Don’t go falling over again!” Cat yelled as she ran back towards the main deck, “and get us back on course!”

“Will do,” Magnus said.

“INCOMING!” Cat yelled from the lower deck. Magnus grabbed Alec and the railing. The wave came crashing over them, and the whole time he made sure he had his arm around Alec. When the water had washed away, he cut the rope off of him. He helped Alec to his feet and the two moved silently down below deck and into the captain’s quarters. Magnus grabbed a towel off the table and wrapped it around Alec’s shoulders.

“Are you okay?” Magnus asked, holding his face in his hands, forcing him to look at him.

“Yeah. Yeah I’m fine,” Alec replied quickly, nodding, trying not to meet his eye, “go get us safe,”

“Okay. I will be back when I’ve steered us out of this storm,” Magnus said, running his hands lightly down Alec’s arms, letting them come to rest in his hands, “do me a favor, darling, and stay below deck this time,”

“Of course,” Alec said. Magnus smiled, giving him a quick kiss before he ran out of the room and back onto the deck. He met Cat, who was up at the wheel, and she handed it off to him when he arrived.

“He okay?” Cat asked.

“Shaken up, but I think he’ll be okay,” Magnus replied, trying to push the incident out of his mind, “but please don’t bring this up right now. I need to focus on getting us out of this storm, and thinking of him isn’t going to help,”

“Yes sir,” Cat said, and she went back down the stairs to the main deck. Magnus took a deep breath and stared ahead. He then turned the wheel. He could do this.

***

He nearly collapsed on the bed when he returned to his room nearly two hours later. The only thing that kept him from instantly falling asleep was Alec, who was curled in a ball in the corner of the room with his head resting against the wall.

“Alexander,” he wrapped a towel around himself and grabbed a blanket which he wrapped around Alec when he bent down, “Alexander, darling,”

He sat down next to him and wrapped his arms around his boyfriend. Alec shifted slightly so that his head was resting against him instead of the wall. The two sat in silence until Alec spoke.

“Magnus,” Alec said softly.

“What is it, darling?” Magnus asked.

“Has the stormed passed?”

“Yes. Yes we’ve made it out of the storm,” Magnus assured him, “what do you need from me?”

“Just sit here with me,” Alec replied.

“Of course, darling,” Magnus said, wrapping himself tighter around Alec.

“Sorry I’m so shaken up by this,” Alec said after a while, “I’ve faced death before...it’s nothing new, but I’ve never been this...close. I’ve never had my life flash before my eyes, not even when...”

“Not even when…?” Magnus asked.

“Nothing,” Alec said quickly, “sorry,”

“Don’t apologize,” Magnus said, not pushing the subject for now, “facing death is scary...no matter how many times you face it,”

“What?” Alec asked.

Magnus took a breath in, not wanting to go into his emotional traumas, so he decided to change the subject, “if it’s any consolation, I was terrified too,”

“What?”

“This is the second time in a month that I’ve almost lost you,” Magnus said, “I love you, Alexander. I can’t lose you,”

“You won’t lose me,” Alec replied, “I’m not going anywhere, Magnus. I love you,”

Alec kissed him, leaning on him even more.

“Promise me something, Alexander,” Magnus said, pulling away.

“Sure,” Alec replied.

“Promise me you won’t throw yourself into danger like that again,” Magnus said.

“Only if you promise me the same thing,” Alec replied.

“Of course, darling,” Magnus said, kissing him once again.

***

Two weeks later, Magnus stood at the wheel, docking The Isabelle by the light of the moon. Alec stood not too far behind him, and Catarina was on the main deck, barking orders at the rest of the crew. They came in smoothly and as soon as they did, Magnus and Alec both ran down the stairs.

“Go get the bags,” Magnus said. Alec nodded and ran below deck. Magnus went over to Cat.

“So this is goodbye,” Cat said, taking Magnus’ hands.

“For now,” Magnus said, taking a slip of paper from his pocket, “here’s my number. When you and Madzie are ready to come try things out in New York, you know how to find me,”

“Thank you, Magnus,” she said, pulling him into a hug, “don’t expect me to stay away for long,”

“I’m counting on it, my dear,” Magnus said. Alec emerged moments later with bags in his hands and Madzie at his side. Cat came over to them.

“Madzie!” she hissed, “what are you doing up here?!”

“Alec said I could come with him,” she replied. Cat gave him a look.

“I thought there was no harm, since we’re all getting off the boat,” Alec replied, then leaned in to whisper, “and I thought she was going to start crying when I was leaving so…”

“Okay. It’s fine,” she replied, “you two just need to get out of here. Fast,”

“We will,” Magnus said, taking some of the bags from Alec and getting off the boat.

“Will I see you again, Alec?” Madzie asked, looking up at him.

“Of course, sweetheart,” Alec said, bending down, “we’ll be seeing each other very soon, I’m sure of it,”

She ran and hugged him, which he graciously returned. Magnus put a hand on his boyfriend’s shoulder.

“Okay, sweetie, I have to go,” Alec pulled away, “I’ll see you soon, okay?”

She nodded and hugged against her mother’s leg. Alec shook Cat’s hands and Magnus gave her a hug before the two of them turned and walked off the ship, hand in hand.

“Ready for this?” Magnus asked.

“Of course,” Alec replied, “I’ll take two weeks alone in a car with you over crowded boat any day,”

“I agree,” Magnus kissed him, “now. I’ll drive first?”

“Sounds good,”

***

Alec’s phone rang, which woke him up from the nap he was taking in the passenger seat. Magnus looked over at him.

“Morning sleepyhead,” he said with a smile.

“Where are we?” Alec asked.

“Not too far over the Nevada border,” Magnus replied. Alec groaned, and his phone stopped ringing. Not a moment later it began ringing again.

“You should probably get that,” Magnus said. Alec nodded and fumbled his phone out of his pocket. He saw it was Izzy and he picked up.

“Hi Izzy,” Alec said.

“Thanks for letting us know you docked,” she replied, “not that we were worried, or anything,”

“Sorry,” he replied, “I was tired. We just got over the Nevada border. We’re fine, we got away from the docks without a hitch,”

“Really? Because the boat was sunk,” Izzy said.

“What?” Alec asked, sitting up completely and putting the phone on speaker so Magnus could hear.

“The boat was sunk,” Izzy repeated. Magnus looked at him with wide eyes.

“How?! When?” Magnus asked.

“Someone broke the glass on all the exterior windows and flooded the lower decks,” Izzy replied.

“Was anyone on the boat?” Magnus asked earnestly.

“Um. One person, I think,” Izzy replied, “but it wasn’t Catarina. She sent us a message when she left the scene, which is how we knew you made it off,”

“Okay,” Magnus took a breath.

“Do we know why?” Alec asked, “who on that ship had enemies?”

Alec heard Jace laugh in the background, “all of them,”

“Then how did whoever sunk the ship know where the boat was docked?” Alec asked, “we didn’t even know we were docking there until twenty-four hours ago,”

“I don’t know,” Izzy replied, “but we’re going to keep an eye on the situation, just in case,”

“Good idea,” Alec replied.

“You guys get back safe, okay?” Jace said.

“We will,” Alec and Magnus replied.

“And keep us in the loop!” Izzy added.

“I will,” Alec replied, “see you guys soon,”

Alec hung up the phone and sighed, looking over at Magnus.

“Do you want me to take over driving?” Alec asked, “you haven’t slept in like, eighteen hours. Pull over. Let me drive,”

“What?” Magnus said, shaking his head.

“Pull over, Magnus,” Alec instructed, and Magnus pulled over, “are you okay, babe?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just got lost in my own head, sorry,” Magnus replied.

“It’s fine,” Alec said, taking his hand, “but I’m going to drive now. You need to sleep,”

Magnus only nodded and put the car in park. The two switched spots, squeezing each others hands as they walked past. Alec sat in the driver’s seat and moved it back enough for his legs to fit. He smiled as he pulled back onto the road and Magnus was asleep in seconds.

Chapter Text

Magnus opened his eyes to be surrounded by darkness. He was moving slowly down the hallway towards his target. There was a rather large vault down the hall that he was there to rob.

“How close are you?” the voice in his ear asked.

“Close,” he replied, staying out of the view of the cameras scattered throughout the hall. If he didn’t hate what he was in the process of doing, and didn’t have a crippling fear of being caught, he would take some joy in this sneaking around. He did love the adrenaline rush, but his fear was crippling.

“You’ve got five minutes before the alarm comes back online,”

“I’m working on it,” Magnus replied, “I’ve got eyes on the prize,”

He lifted himself out of his crouch and walked over to the vault. He took out a stethoscope and put it up against the vault and began to turn the dial to crack it. As soon as he heard the last click, he took the stethoscope off and took his backpack off. He open the vault and inside he saw a plethora of cash before his eyes. He didn’t know why any one person would keep cash in a vault in their home, but he wasn’t going to question it. He unzipped the backpack and began grabbing the stacks of cash.

“Who are you?”

Magnus turned around, and his heart dropped. There was a little girl standing in the doorway.

“I...I…” Magnus tried to speak, tried to form words, “run,”

“What are you doing?” the girl asked, taking a few steps closer, ignoring his order. She couldn’t be older than ten. Magnus shut his eyes.

“Magnus. Why haven’t you shot?”

“She’s a child!” Magnus hissed into the comm in his ear. He tried his best not to show the fear and pain in his voice, but he knew he couldn’t hide that.

“Magnus. Do it,”

“Dad!” Magnus looked at the kid, “run kid. Please,”

“Are you robbing us?” the girl kept walking towards him, looking at the cash that was hanging out of his backpack.

“MAGNUS!”

Magnus drew his gun, aimed, closed his eyes, and shot. His breath quickened when he opened his eyes and saw the body on the floor. He looked around, panicking. He grabbed as much of the cash as he could and shoved it deep into his bag. He grabbed a few more wads of cash before opening a nearby window before jumping from the third story. He groaned as he pulled himself off the ground before putting the cash in his hands in his backpack and running through the darkness. He heard sirens and he ran off into an alley, breathing heavily. He pulled the mask off his head and his ears were ringing.

“Magnus, did you get it?” the voice of his father was still in his ear. Tears ran down his face as he was breathing heavily, “Magnus!”

Magnus took the comm out of his ear. He couldn’t do this anymore. He couldn’t. He threw the mask and the comm towards a nearby dumpster, not paying any attention to whether or not they went in. He pulled himself together and walked out of the alley. He hailed a cab and got in. The cabbie turned around and looked at him. Magnus gasped.

“Alexander?” he leaned forward in disbelief.

“I can’t believe you,” Alec said.

“What?” Magnus asked softly.

“You killed a child,” Alec hissed, “why would I ever want to be with you?”

“Alexander…” Magnus said, his voice soft and broken, was about to burst into tears once again.

“Why would I ever want to raise children with you?!” Alec yelled, “you’re a monster!”

***

Magnus awoke with a start. He looked around and saw that he was in their car. Outside, he only saw that the sun was setting over the desert they were driving through. There were rocky mountains in the distance and a cactus here and there, but they were mostly surrounded by flat, dry land. He was breathing heavily and covered in sweat.

“You alright, Magnus?” Alec asked, only taking his eyes off the road for a second to give him a concerned look.

“Uh. Yeah I’m fine,” Magnus closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. He’d been having that dream more frequently since Izzy had brought it up when they had first met, but this was the first time that Alec had been in it. The dream usually ended with his father finding him or with him just staring at the body of the little girl. He sighed, “just had a bad dream. No big deal,”

“Wanna talk about it?” Alec asked.

“Um, not right now,” Magnus replied, “thank you, Alexander,”

“Of course,” Alec looked over at him, “just so you know, if I wasn’t driving I would kiss you,”

Magnus laughed, “I appreciate it,”

“And if you ever wanna talk about it…”

“I know,” Magnus smiled, “you’ll listen,”

“I will,” Alec said with a smile. The two sat in silence and Magnus’ mind wandered back to his dream. He tried to push it out of his mind, which he had become accustomed to doing over the years, but this dream wasn’t leaving. Alec’s words were still rattling around in his head. He took a deep breath.

“Alexander,” Magnus said.

“What?”

“Can you talk to me, please?”

“About what?”

“Anything” Magnus paused, “just need to keep my mind from spiraling,”

“Oh. Um. Okay,” Alec thought for a minute, panicking. He then shook his head, “I’m drawing a blank, Magnus. Give me something,”

“Tell me about your family,” Magnus said. Alec took a breath in; it wasn’t his first choice of conversation, but it would do if it got Magnus’ mind off whatever he was thinking about.

“Alright. Um. Izzy is two years younger than me, so is Jace, but he was adopted,” Alec began, “we adopted him when I was ten and he was eight. We were good friends with his family so when his parents died we took him in. We had always been good friends, but he became a brother to me. It’s like he had been my brother all my life. I’d say I’m even closer with him than I am with Izzy, hence the matching tattoos,”

“Right,” Magnus said, shifting in his seat so he body was turned towards Alec, “and, um, how did you get into the life? If you don’t mind me asking,”

“Well, you told me your story, like, the third day we spent together,” Alec replied, “my mother was in a group called The Circle, which is a group of thieves, from a young age, and when her and my father fell in love she brought him in as well. They didn’t have the greatest relationship as we were growing up, but my mother assures me he was good once. When my mother was alive and I was underage they went to great pains to keep this life a secret from us. But then things...fell apart,”

“How so?” Magnus asked.

“Um,” Alec took a deep breath in, “when I was seventeen, um, my younger brother, Max...” Alec stopped, taking a deep breath in. Magnus’ eyes instinctive went to where he knew the M was tattooed under his clothes.

“Alexander, you don’t have to continue if you don’t want to,” Magnus said, reaching out and running his hand over his arm, realizing how he was overstepping.

“No, no, I’ll tell you,” Alec said, “I just think we should stop somewhere before I do,”

“Okay,” Magnus replied.

“I’ll stop at the next motel,” Alec replied. Magnus nodded, the information he had just learned spinning around in his head. He kept a comforting hand on Alec’s thigh as the two kept driving. He could see Alec chewing his lip as he his mind was spinning. Not too much later, they came across a motel, and got a room, where the man running it insisted they needed a room with two double beds. They eventually stopped fighting him.

When they arrived, they brought both their suitcases into the room in order to keep the jewels safe. Alec sent a text to Izzy and Jace that they had stopped to rest and would start moving soon. Alec sat down on one bed and looked up expectantly at Magnus, who joined him not a second later. Magnus didn’t say anything, not wanting to push Alec before he was ready. Alec soon realized this and took a deep breath.

“Right. As I was saying,” Alec broke the silence, “when I was nine, my parents had another kid, Max. He was the pride and joy of the family, especially as our parents began to lose faith in Izzy and I. I was more of a father to him than my own father was to any of us,” Alec took a breath in, “except...when I was seventeen, he was killed by a member of The Circle because my mother refused to comply with some demands. They didn’t bring kids into their organization, but once I turned eighteen I was expected to join...she was trying to pull away before I turned eighteen, and that cost Max his life”

“Oh Alexander,” Magnus wrapped his arms around him, “I’m so sorry,”

“Thanks,” Alec said, sucking in a breath, “not too long after, my mother, um, died...saving my life when The Circle came for me,”

Magnus only held him tighter. Alec leaned into him and let a tear roll down his face.

“We were, um, out to dinner,” Alec continued, “and she, she explained the entire situation to me,” he took a breath in, “on our way back...we were ambushed by a member of The Circle. They shot my once, but then my mother tackled him to the ground, taking the rest of the fire from the gun. He cracked his head and died on the pavement, and by the time I got to my mother she was nearly dead. She told me to keep Jace and Izzy safe and then to get myself to a hospital. Then she died in my arms,”

“Oh, Alexander,” Magnus said before pressing a light kiss to his temple.

“Izzy and Jace don’t know that part,” Alec said, sniffling and wiping some of his tears, “they don’t know she died saving me and they don’t know The Circle killed her. Please don’t tell them,”

“I won’t,” Magnus replied, giving Alec’s hand a reassuring squeeze.

“It was on my birthday too,” Alec said softly. Magnus pressed a few kisses to his neck, “I don’t celebrate my birthday anymore,”

“Oh darling,” Magnus pulled away slightly and took Alec’s head in his hands, looking into his eyes. He sighed, “there’s more, isn’t there?”

“There is,” Alec replied.

“You can tell me if you want,” Magnus said, “I won’t think any differently of you, Alexander,”

Alec only nodded.

“But you don’t have to if you don’t want to,” Magnus continued.

“No…,” Alec sighed, “no, I do...just...please...give me a moment,”

“Take all the time you need, darling,” Magnus replied.

“My father,” Alec said after a long pause, “he...um...he blamed me for my mother’s death. I don’t know why he even cared though because...well...he treated her the same way he treated me. He was never kind to me. He always yelled at me a lot, told me how I was a disappointment, ex cetera. I took the brunt of it for Jace and Izzy, though Jace never really got it as much as Izzy and I would,”

Alec paused, thinking about what he was about to say. He hadn’t told anyone what he was about to say, not even his mother or brother when he went to visit their graves. He put his head in his hands.

“Alexander…” Magnus trailed off. He had a feeling he knew where this story was going.

Alec took a deep breath in, “he hit me...didn’t start til after mom died, but apparently he hit her too. I could’ve left, I had the means to, but he would threaten Jace and Izzy. That’s how he got me involved in his jobs. He got Jace and Izzy involved as well, even before they turned eighteen. He never threatened them to their faces but...he threatened them to me, so I convinced them to join, even before they turned eighteen. They were sixteen!” Alec put his head in his hands.

“But he’s…?” Magnus trailed off, not wanting to flat out ask if Alec’s father was dead.

“Yeah...yeah he’s dead,” Alec replied, “I was twenty, and at that point, the three of us were already in too deep with The Circle to get out of it. The past five years, they’ve let us work mostly independently because we haven’t given them any reason not to trust us. They let Jace take over full operations of the store and all they do is send us jobs and take a cut,”

“And that’s why your father’s not included here,” Magnus said, running his hand over the birds tattooed over his heart.

“Yeah...he doesn’t deserve to be there,” Alec said, not looking at him.

“I agree,” Magnus took a breath in, “thank you, for trusting me enough to tell me,”

“Of course,” Alec replied, “but Izzy and Jace don’t know that either...you’re actually the first person I’ve told...so if you could not tell them this either, I’d appreciate it,”

“Of course,” Magnus kissed him, “you are so brave, darling,”

“Don’t say that, please,” Alec said, putting his head in his hands.

“Alexan-”

“Magnus,” Alec said, still not looking at him. He had never bared his heart this much to anyone before, and it scared him. He began to retreat back into himself, “just...please,”

“Okay,” Magnus sighed and took a pause, “I guess we’ve both got daddy issues,”

Alec chuckled, “I guess so,”

Magnus took his head in his hands and looked him in the eye, “we’re gonna be okay, Alexander,”

“I know,” Alec said, letting his hand rest on top of Magnus’, “I love you,”

“I love you, too,” Magnus said and kissed him softly. Alec took it upon himself to deepen their kiss and push him back down on the bed. He ran his hands down Magnus’ sides as he let his mouth trail down his neck, nipping the skin as he went along.

“Alec,” Magnus put his hands against his shoulder, pushing him away slightly, “is this what you want right now?”

“Magnus, please,” Alec said with glossy eyes, “this is what I need,”

“Alexander, please, talk to me,” Magnus said, still holding him up, “what’s going on in that head of yours?”

Alec sighed, “I...I don’t...I haven’t...that isn’t something I share,”

“Darling, you don’t share anything,” Magnus said with a small smile, trying to lighten the mood.

“I especially don’t share that!” Alec emphasized, “I’m just...I’m a little freaked out,”

“You don’t need to be,” Magnus replied, “your father is dead. We’ve got ten million dollars in jewels sitting right next to us. And most importantly I’m here with you. You’re safe, Alexander. You don’t have to be afraid to tell me anything,”

“Thank you, Magnus,” Alec said softly as he smiled before he leaned down to kiss him again, but Magnus put a hand between them.

“Alexander,” Magnus said, “I’m not going to have sex with you while you’re like this. You’ll only dig yourself in deeper,”

“Magnus, please,” Alec pleaded.

“I won’t, Alexander,” Magnus said. Alec rolled off of him and into the spot on the bed next to him. He didn’t want to be mad at Magnus for not having sex with him, that wasn’t right, but he couldn’t help the anger that was boiling up inside him. He turned away, trying to hide the tears that he couldn’t keep from flowing from his eyes.

“Alexander,” Magnus turned towards him and put a hand on his shoulder, “darling, I’m sorry, but I..I can’t,”

“It’s fine,” Alec swallowed, “I’m not mad at you. Just let me be, please,”

“Can I do anything else?” Magnus asked.

Alec took a breath in, “just leave me alone, please,”

“We’re in a one room motel,” Magnus replied jokingly, trying to lighten the mood.

“Then go to the other bed!” Alec almost yelled. Magnus was taken aback. He got up off the bed and went towards the door.

“I’m gonna go take a walk,” Magnus opened the door and shut it behind him without looking back.

***

When Magnus returned, Alec was asleep, curled up in the same position Magnus had left him in. Magnus sighed and sat down on the other bed with his legs hanging over the side facing Alec. He put his head in his hands, unable to get his mind off of what dream Alec had said to him. He took a breath in.

“Alexander,” he said. Alec didn’t say anything, “I just wanted to say...I’m sorry. After...after I left my father...I hit a low,” he took a breath, “I over-indulged. In everything. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Anything that would distract me. I said no on behalf of both of us,” he paused and looked over at Alec, “I know I’m not in charge of you and I shouldn’t be making these decisions for you, but I didn’t want you to bury your emotions in sex and fall into the same holes that I did...and I was emotional too. I didn’t want to fall into my old ways,”

He looked up again, trying to see if Alec had woken up. It didn’t seem as if he was, so he continued, “when we were in the car...I had a dream again, about that night. But instead of the normal ending, you were there,” he took a shuddering breath, “you said everything that I’ve always thought that you truly think of me, so I’ve been a little shaken since. I didn’t want to have sex with you because I didn’t want to use you the way I used those other people...to avoid my emotions, and...I’m sorry, Alexander. I just couldn’t do it,”

“I’m not mad at you Magnus,” Alec said without turning around. Magnus nearly fell over, “you don’t need to apologize to me. I was being unreasonable,”

“Um...how much of that did you hear?” Magnus asked softly.

“All of it,” Alec replied, turning towards him. Magnus sighed and put his head in his hands, “Magnus, look at me,”

Magnus looked up.

“I’m sorry. I really am,” Alec said, sitting on the edge of the bed, “I’m not...I’m not good at opening up, so when I did I was...I was scared, and my first instinct was to isolate and distract myself. I’m sorry I yelled at you, you were right. I shouldn’t bury my emotions in sex. I love you,”

“I love you too,” Magnus said, standing up and sitting next to him. There was still a lot they both needed to unpack about their respective issues, but this was what they needed. Magnus put his arm around Alec, who rested his head on his shoulder. Magnus ran his fingers through his hair and placed a kiss on his temple.

“We should probably go,” Alec said softly, leaning into Magnus’ touch.

“We should,” Magnus sighed.

“I’ll drive,” Alec got up off the bed and went to grab a suitcase.

Chapter Text

Two weeks later, Alec and Magnus pulled up outside the firehouse and Jace and Izzy walked out the front door to greet them. Izzy pulled her brother into a tight hug as Jace shook Magnus’ hand before going to unload their bags. When Izzy let go over Alec, Jace walked over and shook his hand before pulling him into a brief hug.

“So I assume you held down the fort while I was gone?” Alec asked, walking into firehouse with his siblings.

“Yup,” Jace replied, “it was rather uneventful,”

“Yeah, for me,” Izzy shot back. Alec looked between then.

“What happened?” Alec asked.

“Jace went on a date, several actually,” Izzy said with a smile, “with the nurse from the hospital. He finally asked her out,”

“Clary?” Alec asked. Jace nodded, “good for you, man,”

“Uh, thanks,” Jace said, trying to hide a blush, which made Alec smile. It’d been a long time since he’d seen his little brother happy and he’d be lying if he said that didn’t make him happy.

“Anything else noteworthy happen?” Alec asked.

“We’ll talk about it when we get inside,” Izzy replied, giving him a knowing look. Alec nodded and the group moved inside.

“We gotta get rid of the car,” Jace said as they walked through the door.

“We’ll do it tomorrow,” Alec replied, “I’ve spent enough time in that car to last me a lifetime,”

“We should drop it tonight,” Izzy said, Alec sighed.

“I’ll go drop it off,” Magnus cut in, “it’s fine,”

“Thanks babe,” Alec said with a smile before pulling him in for a quick kiss. He handed off the keys and Magnus squeezed his hand before turning and walking out the door.

“I never thought you’d find someone like that big brother,” Izzy said, walking up behind him and staring at the door Magnus had just walked through.

“Me either,” Alec replied.

“I sold the museum jewels while you were gone,” Jace said, breaking the moment.

“Did you now?” Alec asked, turning to his brother.

“Uh-huh,” Jace nodded, “once word got out that they were stolen, more than one person came to me asking if we had them. I said that I didn’t, but I managed to sell under a pseudonym, so they shouldn’t find out,”

“Did you sell them as they were or did you break them apart?” Alec asked.

“The guy actually wanted me to remake the original casings and put the jewels into them,” Jace replied, “charged him extra for that, obviously,”

“Did you get a name on him?” Alec asked, “have we sold to him before?”

“We haven’t, but I’ve seen his name before,” Jace replied, “when I met him at the drop he introduced himself to me as Asmodeus,”

“Asmodeus? Like the demon?” Alec asked in disbelief.

“Yeah. Crazy right?” Jace asked.

“Wait, really?” Izzy asked, “you didn’t tell me that,”

“So how much did we make?” Alec asked.

“After making the new casing and repaying all the favors we owed? Five million,” Jace replied.

“Damn,” Alec sat down on the couch with a smile.

“I know,” Izzy smiled, “we keep taking big jobs like this we may never have to work again,”

“Do you honestly think they’ll let us go?” Jace asked.

“If we pay them enough, maybe,” Izzy replied. Alec sat back and didn’t say anything. He knew they wouldn’t let them all go, but maybe if he stayed he could bargain his sibling’s freedom. Between the money and him agreeing to stay, they should let Jace and Izzy go. He would just have to start saving money that he could go to bargain with.

“I think we should keep taking jobs for now. Try to do them without favors, save up more money,” Alec replied, “we should go to them with a big number if we’re gonna try,”

“I’ll get to work on these then,” Jace said, picking up the suitcase and going up to his room. His lab was in the tunnels, and his tunnels led directly to his jewelry store.

“So, how’s your shoulder doing, big brother?” Izzy asked, gesturing to her brother’s arm as she sat down next to him.

“It’s doing well,” Alec replied, moving his shoulder in a slow circle, showing the range of motion he’s gotten back, “I’m not exactly ready to go rock climbing, but I can carry things and move my arm like a normal person,”

“Good, I’m glad,” Izzy said with a smile. Alec nodded.

“I told Magnus about The Circle,” Alec said, breaking the comfortable silence between them.

“You told him what?!” Izzy asked, jumping up and standing in front of him, “Alec!”

“I didn’t tell The Circle about him!” Alec retorted, “they still don’t know about him,”

“But if he knows about them, the more likely he is to look into them!” Izzy sighed and collapsed back down on the couch.

“I explained the situation to him,” Alec replied, “he understands the gravity of it all,”

As if on cue, Magnus walked through the door. All Alec had to do was open his arms and Magnus came and sat down in his lap, pressing a light kiss to his temple.

“Uh, guys,” Jace appeared on the landing, “we have another job,”

“Already?” Alec looked up, “we literally just got back,”

“Yeah, didn’t they know that they had to take a longer route home?” Izzy asked.

“They did,” Jace replied, “and it’s very unlike them,”

“What do you mean?” Izzy asked.

“All I got a picture, an address, and a price,” Jace replied.

“Well what is it?” Alec asked.

“Solid gold bust of some guy, encrusted with diamonds and other jewels,” Jace replied, “in a mansion just outside the city,”

“Solid gold?” Alec asked, “how the hell am I supposed to move that? Especially with my shoulder,”

“I’m sure I can find the schematics of the house,” Izzy said, “then we can figure out a plan from there,”

“Are we supposed to replace it?” Alec asked, “Jace, do you have anything that could mimic gold?”

“I don’t,” Jace replied, “I don’t think we could replace it. We just have to steal it,”

“Do we have a timeline?” Izzy asked.

“Nope,” Jace replied, “they just wanna know the date when we pick it,”

“So we can wait til Alec is fully healed?” Izzy asked.

“That could take months,” Alec replied, “I can strain a little, I’ll be fine,”

“We’ll send Magnus in with you then,” Izzy replied.

“Not if it’s a home invasion,” Alec came back, “remember what happened on my last home invasion? It’s too risky to send in someone else,”

“We’ll figure something out,” Izzy replied, then she turned to Jace, “say yes,”

“Yes ma’am,” Jace turned and went back into his room.

“Are they in trouble or something?” Alec asked, “why would they be giving us high risk jobs so close together? And why the big jobs all of a sudden? We doing just fine stealing people’s priceless jewels,”

“I have no idea,” Izzy replied, clearly thinking about the job, “I’m gonna go see if I can find a layout of that house,”

She stood and walked over into her office, leaving Alec and Magnus alone on the couch.

“You know, you don’t have to be uncharacteristically silent around my siblings,” Alec said with a smile.

“They still scare me,” Magnus began playing with the hair at the nape of Alec’s neck as he moved to straddle him.

“I’m serious, babe,” Alec said, running his hands down Magnus’ back, “you’re a part of this team, you’re allowed to have opinions,”

“Well, you three work together like a well-oiled machine,” Magnus replied, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, ya know?”

“Doesn’t mean we can’t get a second opinion,” Alec said, “please don’t be scared of them,”

Magnus laughed, “it’s not that easy, darling,”

“Okay, wait,” Alec said quickly, “if you don’t stop playing with my hair I’m going to have to take you right here on this couch,”

“Will you now?” Magnus growled, tugging a little at his hair which caused Alec to open his mouth a little. Magnus smiled and brought his mouth against Alec’s ear, “have I found a weakness in the great Alexander Lightwood?”

“I figured you’d already found it,” Alec said with a smirk. Magnus’ only reply was to kiss him and continued to pull at his hair, causing the taller man to moan and open his mouth, allowing Magnus to slip his tongue inside.

“Oh my god, get a room!” Jace yelled from the balcony, “please, I’m begging you,”

“I’d carry you off into the sunset if I wasn’t still recovering from being shot,” Alec said softly after pulling away from their kiss. Magnus only smiled and climbed off his lap before taking his hand. He pulled Alec up the stairs, and tried his best not to meet Jace’s eye as they went past. Alec, on the other hand, gave his brother a wink before he shut the door

***

“Jace, come look at this,” Izzy called to her brother. Jace walked out of the kitchen and into Izzy’s office. Izzy had her various monitors on, each displaying a different image.

“What about it?” Jace asked, looking between the screens.

“I found not only a full layout of the house, but also a virtual tour,” Izzy replied.

“Is it a historic house?”

“It is, but this is with the current furniture in it,” Izzy moved the viewpoint of the screen, “see? There’s the bust,”

“What’s your concern?” he asked.

“It seems too easy,” Izzy leaned back in her chair, “part of me wonders if we’re walking right into a trap,”

“Why would we?” Jace asked, “it came from The Circle. Why would they set us up? We’re their best crew,”

“Maybe they found out about Magnus and they’re trying to get rid of us,” Izzy put her head in her hands.

“How would they have found out about Magnus?” Jace asked.

“Well, Alec told Magnus about them,” Izzy came back, “maybe he went digging and they found out,”

“I doubt it,” Jace replied, “if Alec told him, then Alec certainly explained the gravity of the situation, and that our lives would be at stake if they found out about him,”

“But what proof do we have that he gives a shit about what happens to us?” Izzy asked.

“Alec,” Jace replied, “Alec is all the proof we need,”

“How do we know if he even likes Alec?”

“He does,” Jace paused, “I just know that he does,”

“I don’t feel comfortable sending Alec into this,” Izzy said, looking back at the computer.

“Then we go in with him,” Jace replied.

“No, he was right,” Izzy sighed, “if it’s a home invasion only one of us should go in, and it should be Alec. He’s the best at them,”

“Then we stay in the area,” Jace replied, “we take the van, and keep it circling. And it looks like the bust is on the second story?”

“Yeah,”

“So then we position Magnus on the roof,” Jace said, “have him drop down when Alec is ready. Alec climbs out and the two climb down from there. We meet them on the ground and we move together,”

“And I kill the power beforehand, disarming any of the security systems,” Izzy leaned forward and began writing in a notebook that was sitting on her desk, “I still don’t like this,”

“Well, we already said yes,” Jace replied, “we really don’t have much of a choice,”

“But if anything happens to Alec…”

“I’ll do it,” Jace said, cutting her off.

“What?” she asked.

“I’ll do this job,” he repeated, “then we don’t have to worry about Alec,”

“Yeah, then we’ll have to worry about you!” Izzy yelled, “I’m not going to pick between you two, and besides, Alec would never let you do that,”

“You’re right,” Jace sighed.

“There’s a reason he’s the one that always goes on solo jobs,” Izzy said, “he’d never let either of us do it,”

Jace sighed, “we can do this, right?”

“We don’t have much of a choice anymore,” Izzy replied. She sighed and leaned back down over the notebook, working out her plan in more detail.

***

“Do you wanna go out tonight?” Alec asked as he broke the comfortable silence between the two of them. They were snuggled up together in Alec’s bed. Magnus had his head on Alec’s chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart, while a hand rested over his diaphragm, feeling his chest move with his breathing. Alec had an arm wrapped around Magnus, holding him close, with his head bent down towards Magnus’, letting the tips of his hair tickle his cheek.

“Won’t your siblings want to see you?” Magnus replied, “you’ve been gone for six weeks,”

“Eh, they can wait,” Alec replied, “there’s a club that I’ve been wanting to go to, but...well, I’ve never had anyone to go with,”

“Is it a gay bar?” Magnus asked.

“Uh...yeah, it is,” Alec said, blushing.

“Why are you embarrassed, darling?” Magnus asked, “there’s no shame in wanting to be yourself,”

“I know,” Alec sighed, “I just...I’ve only ever gone to clubs with Jace and Izzy,”

“And my guess is they don’t frequent gay bars?” Magnus asked with an amused smile.

Alec chuckled, “no, they don’t,”

“Well, I would love to go with you, Alexander,” Magnus said with a smile, “but maybe not tonight. Let your siblings see you tonight, and we’ll go out tomorrow,”

“Funny how we’ve spent all this time together but we’ve only been on four dates so far,” Alce paused, “and I got shot on one of them,”

“I try not to think about that one, darling,” Magnus said, “but if you count this last job as one giant date, we’ve technically been on five,”

Alec laughed, “that’s one way to think of it,”

“I love you,” Magnus said softly, pressing a soft kiss to Alec’s neck.

“I love you, too,” Alec said with a smile, kissing the top of Magnus’ head.

***

Magnus had gone back to his house to change for their date, telling Alec that there were better clothes and makeup at his house. It wasn’t a complete lie as his entire supply of glitter was at his house. More importantly, however, Catarina and Madzie had finally made their way to New York, and Magnus wanted to be there to welcome them.

Magnus smiled when he heard a knock at his door. He all but ran down the stairs, yelling at his staff that he was going to get the door. He smiled when he saw the two of them on his doorstep.

“Cat!” he pulled her into a tight hug. He extended his arm slightly for Madzie to join in. She wrapped herself around his leg.

“Magnus, it’s only been two weeks since we saw each other,” Cat said with a smile.

“I know, but we also missed out on eight years,” Magnus looked at her, “here, let me show you around,”

He gave them a quick tour, introducing them to the various members of his staff as they went around. He showed them to their wing of the house.

“I would love to stay in and have a meal with you, but Alec and I have a date,” Magnus said with a smile, “please, feel free to make yourselves comfortable, and obviously stay as long as you like. I’ll be in and out, but I spend a lot of my time with Alec. My staff will tend to you fully,”

“Magnus, I can’t thank you enough,” Cat said, pulling him into an embrace, “we’ll be out of your hair as soon as I find a place,”

“Oh please, Cat, you are no burden at all, stay as long as you like,” Magnus said, “you can stay here forever if you so desire,”

“Magnus, you know that I wouldn’t,” Cat replied.

“But the offer stands,” Magnus said with a smile. He placed a kiss on her cheek before turning back to his own room. He continued putting on his makeup, applying a generous amount of glitter around his eyes and not bothering to brush off any glitter that fell on the rest of his bare body. Once he was satisfied with his glitter he put on a shirt, only buttoning the bottom few buttons. Then he said a quick goodbye to Cat and Madzie before he climbed into his car.

Alec had only given him an address, not a name, so when he pulled up in front of Pandemonium, he smiled. This was his favorite club, one he used to frequent when he used to down himself in his pleasures. Though he didn’t like the headspace he was in when he frequented the club, he had always liked it. He thanked his driver and walked up the bouncer, who recognized him and let him in immediately.

Once he was inside, he stopped and looked around, trying to find Alec, who had texted him fifteen minutes ago telling him he was already there. He then saw Alec at the bar, wearing the gold button down the Magnus had mentioned he liked. He smiled at that thought, but his smile immediately fell when he saw Alec talking to another guy at the bar.

He went numb and blocked out all sound as his heart hit the floor. All he could see was the attractive stranger sitting next to Alec, running his hand up his arm. He got closer, whispered something in Alec’s ear. Magnus tried to keep the tears in his eyes, knowing that if they spilled over, he wouldn’t be able to stop. He looked around, doing the only thing he could think to do. He grabbed a half empty drink from the table next to him and chugged the rest of it. He wiped his mouth after he swallowed the abnormally bitter liquid and turned towards the dance floor before throwing himself into the fray.

His hair and makeup quickly began to fall out of place as his body began to warm up. His vision was fuzzy and his head was pounding as he bounced around with the other people on the dance floor. A fleeting thought went through his mind, telling him that there was something in the drink he had, but it was gone in an instant when he felt someone grab onto his hips and begin to grind up against his ass.

At first he didn’t fight it, his brain telling him it was Alec who had come up behind him. As he leaned back into the man and felt more of his body, however, he realized that it wasn’t Alec. He tried his best to push him away, but the man’s grip only tightened. He felt the man’s lips begin to suck and bite at his neck as he continued to try and get away. He felt the man’s dick hard against his ass as he began to pull Magnus away from the dance floor.

“No,” Magnus choked out, but it was no use. The club was too loud, and everyone was lost in their own little worlds.

Once they were out of the crowd, the man put his hand tight around Magnus’ waist and had a tight grip on his hand as he was going to lead him out the door. He tried to pull away again, and this time when he did, he went flying in the other direction as the man was pried off of him. His ears were ringing as his head hit the ground.

“Magnus!” he barely registered Alec’s voice as he felt a hand on his cheek. He focused enough to see his face above him before he surrendered himself back to the drug that was in his system. Alec helped him up off the ground and the two began walking towards the door. He heard Alec talking to him as they went, but he couldn’t piece together what he was saying.

When they exited the club, the cool night air hit him and the first thing that registered in his mind was that he had to vomit. He couldn’t find any place to sequester himself, so he ended up throwing up all over the sidewalk.

“Go ahead, babe,” Alec said, rubbing his back, “get it out of your system,”

Magnus only nodded before he continued to vomit onto the concrete. When Magnus was finished, Alec hailed a cab and gave the driver Magnus’ address. He helped Magnus get inside, and asked if the driver had a bag, just in case. The man reached into his glove compartment, handing him back a plastic bag, which Alec opened and placed into Magnus’ hands. Magnus stayed hunched over the bag for the entire ride with Alec rubbing soothing circles on his back.

Alec helped Magnus out of the cab when they reached his front door, and he immediately went over and threw up in his bushes. Alec opened the front door, telling the butler who stood nearby to get some water, a bucket, and to turn down Magnus’ bed. The butler turned around and began barking orders at the rest of the staff.

Alec helped him up out of the bushes and turned back to the front door only to be face to face with Cat.

“Cat?!” Alec asked, “what the hell are you doing here?!”

“We’re staying here until I find a place,” Cat replied quickly, “what the hell happened to him?”

“I don’t exactly know. I think he drank something. I...I, I think he was drugged,” Alec replied, as he and Cat helped Magnus into the house.

“How? Weren’t you two together?” she asked as they began walking up the stairs.

“It’s a long story,” Alec growled.

“Well, if you didn’t know, I’m a nurse,” Cat said as they helped Magnus into his bed, “let me get my bag, and I can make sure we don’t need to take him to the hospital,”

Alec nodded and sat down on the edge of the bed, looking up at Magnus. There was so much running through his mind at the moment, but he tried to push that out of his mind, only focusing on his concern for Magnus’ safety. Cat returned moments later with a bag over her shoulder. She took a stethoscope out of her bag and put it up to his chest.

“His heartbeat and breathing are normal enough,” Cat said, taking off the stethoscope, “I’m sure there’s still more of that stuff in his system, but he shouldn’t need a flush,”

“Okay, that’s good,” Alec replied, “so we just wait it out?”

“Yes,” Cat replied, “I am going to take blood sample though. Because when he comes around, if he wants to press charges, we’re going to need proof he was drugged,”

Alec nodded as Cat went in through her bag. Immediately, Alec tried to recall all the features of the man’s face, so if Magnus did want to press charges, he could help him find who is responsible.

“I’ll trust you to stay with him?” Cat asked after she had taken the sample.

“Yeah,” Alec replied, “I’ll keep an eye on him,”

“How many times has he thrown up?” Cat asked.

“Two, so far,” Alec replied.

“Okay, if he throws up two more times, take him to the hospital,” Cat told him as she packed up her bag.

“Wait, where are you going?” Alec asked.

“I have to take the sample to a crisis center,” she replied, “it won’t be valid unless I present it on the day it was taken with my license,”

“Does that mean he’ll have to press charges?” Alec asked.

“No,” she replied, “they just hold it for six months so that he has it if he decides to,”

“Okay,” Alec paused, “thank you, Cat,”

“You’re welcome, Alec,” she said with a smile, “keep him safe,”

“I will,” Alec said. He only sighed as he stood, looking down at Magnus, who had fallen asleep. Alec knew he wasn’t going to get to sleep, so he sent his siblings a text giving them the briefest summary of what had happened and that he would be staying the night. He then sat in the armchair in the corner of Magnus’ bedroom and kept an intense eye on him as he slept.

***

Magnus woke up with the worst headache he had ever felt. He’d had his fair share of hangovers and migraines in his life, but nothing compared to the pounding heaviness he felt in his head. He groaned and moved his hands to clutch his head.

“Magnus,”

He registered Alec’s voice in his mind.

“It hurts,” was his only reply. He felt Alec’s hand briefly on his cheek before he left. All he could focus on was the pounding in his head. Alec returned moments later and he felt something cool on his head.

“Here you go, babe,” Alec said, putting pressure on the cool washcloth on his head, “I’ve got pills too. You just gotta sit up a little bit to take them,”

Magnus groaned in response and he felt Alec’s hands help him to sit up. Alec placed the pills in his hand and he put them in his mouth before Alec helped him drink. Alec eased him back down after he had finished the glass of water.

“Alex..ander,” Magnus said softly, reaching out for Alec.

“Shh, Magnus, go to sleep,” Alec said softly, “we’ll talk in the morning,”

Magnus gave a small nod before he let himself be consumed by sleep once again.

***

When Magnus woke up again, his headache was only a dull ache. He groaned and rolled over slightly, just enough to see that there was light streaming through the slits in his curtains. He sat up slightly and saw Alec sitting in the armchair in the corner of his room.

“Magnus,” Alec stood up and walked over to the bed, “how are you feeling?”

“Um, I’ve got a bit of a headache, and I feel like if I eat anything I’ll just throw it right up,” Magnus replied, “but I’ll survive,”

“Good,” Alec walked over and sat back down in the chair, “care to tell me what happened then?”

“I could ask you the same question,” Magnus replied bitterly as he remembered why he had gotten himself into that situation in the first place.

“Excuse me?” Alec asked, appalled, “I’m sitting there, waiting for you, and when I get concerned that something happened to you, I turn around and see you grinding with some other guy!”

“Only after I walk in and see you about to make out with some other guy!” Magnus yelled.

“What?!” Alec asked, standing, “do you not look at your goddamn phone?!”

“What?” Magnus asked.

“I sent you a text saying that that guy wasn’t leaving me alone and I believe my exact words were, ‘I need my handsome boyfriend to come save me’,” Alec said as he moved closer to the bed.

Magnus stared at him, dumbfounded.

“Then I look around, hoping that you’ve shown up,” Alec continued, “and I see you on the dance floor almost in someone else’s pants! You’re lucky I fucking stayed,”

“You were gonna leave?!” Magnus got out of bed, swaying as he did. Alec instinctively grabbed him by the arms to steady him before stepping back, “you were gonna leave without even talking to me?!”

“That’s rich coming from you!” Alec yelled, “you see me talking to another guy and before even talking to me you go and get yourself drugged!”

“Oh so I tried to get myself drugged!?” Magnus yelled, “is that what you think?!”

“You certainly didn’t try and prevent it!” Alec yelled, “oh here, let me drink this random drink then just throw myself into this mob of people, half dressed and covered in glitter, that’s safe!”

“Excuse me?!” Magnus yelled, “did you seriously just bring what I was wearing into this?!”

“You clearly weren’t thinking of your own safety!”

“Because you’re the poster child of safety!” Magnus yelled, “you got yourself fucking shot-”

“Don’t bring that into this!” Alec said quickly, “I saved your fucking life, and it seems that wouldn’t be the first time!”

“Yeah,” Magnus nodded, “but this one will be the last,”

“What?”

“Get out of my house,” Magnus said in a low voice, “I can’t be around you right now,”

“Magnus,” Alec said, his voice soft.

“Just go, Alec,” Magnus said sternly, “go,”

“You know what? Fine,” Alec turned towards the door, “stay away from me and my siblings,”

Alec slammed the bedroom door as he went.

***

“Wait, what do you mean you broke up with Magnus?” Izzy asked, dumbfounded.

“It means that Magnus and I are no longer together,” Alec said firmly.

“How?” she asked

“I don’t feel like recounting it,” Alec replied, “long story short, he cheated on me,”

“Wait wait wait,” Jace pushed himself off the table he was leaning on, “I thought you said he was drugged,”

“He was!” Alec yelled, “but he got himself drugged because he saw me talking to some other guy, who was harassing me, and then ran off onto the dance floor,”

“So you dumped him?” Izzy asked.

“No we had a fight afterwards,” Alec said, “we both said some things...I don’t think it’s repairable,”

“Anything’s repairable if you want it to be, big brother,” Izzy said softly.

“Sometimes I love your hopeful spirit, Iz,” Alec said softly, “but it’s not what I need right now,”

And with that, Alec turned and left the room. Izzy sighed when she heard Alec’s door shut.

“Fuck,” Izzy cursed.

“Why are you upset?” Jace asked.

Izzy looked at him with wide eyes, “why do you think I’m upset?!”

“Well, I know why you’re upset,” Jace replied, “but are you upset that you lost someone you were gonna put on a job, or are you upset that Alec lost his boyfriend?”

“That Alec lost his boyfriend, you dickweed!” she yelled, slapping his arm.

“Ouch, okay,” Jace said, putting his arms up, “I did not think this situation warranted insults saved exclusively for Meliorn,”

“I’m sorry,” Izzy said, “it’s just, I’ve never seen him so happy and carefree as he is when he’s with Magnus, and he’s acting like he’s already given up on the relationship, but he’s hurting and he’s going to continue to hurt. It’s gonna be worse than when he was moping after they first met,”

“I’ll take care of it,” Jace said. Izzy nodded, confident that he would talk some sense into Alec. Jace began moving towards the garage door and grabbed the keys off the hook there.

“Wait,” Izzy called to him, “where are you going?”

“To talk to Magnus,” Jace replied.

“Wait, what?!” she asked, running over to him, “don’t you think working on Alec would be more effective?”

“I think we’re more likely to get Magnus to apologize than Alec,” Jace said, “because, you know, apologizing shows emotional weakness, and god forbid Alec shows weakness,”

This made Izzy laugh, “good luck, Jace,”

“Thanks,” he said, “and while I’m gone, try to keep Alec from giving up on this relationship completely,”

Izzy nodded and watched as her brother exited the main room and into the garage. Izzy looked up to the balcony and to her brother’s door, and she sighed. She walked up and knocked slightly.

“Hey big brother,” she said softly, “can we talk?”

There was no response at first, but she heard her brother moving around inside. Moments later, he opened the door. She knew better than to mention the red rings around his eyes. He went and sat down on the bed and she sat next to him and wrapped her arms around him.

“I’m sorry, Alec,” she said softly. He only nodded.

“It’s okay,” he said softly, “it is what it is,”

“But Alec, it doesn’t have to be,” she said, looking up at him.

“It’s over, Iz,” Alec looked away and tried not to get choked up, “I said some things he’d never forgive me for,”

“You won’t know until you ask,” she said.

“But it’s not worth asking,” he said, “I wouldn’t forgive if someone had said that to me. Hell, I haven’t forgiven myself for saying what I said to him,”

“Alec,” she said, “there’s still time to save this,”

“There’s no way he’d take me back,” he took a breath in, “let’s just stop talking about him, please. Tell me about the job. Have you figured out a plan?”

“Well, I had a plan figured out,” she said, “but if Magnus won’t be on the job I’ll have to rethink it a little,”

“Well, what was that plan? Maybe I can help you adapt it?”

“Well, the original plan was to have me cut the power to the block. You’d have about two minutes to get in before the systems were re-alarmed. You’d get up to the window were the bust and radio us. I’d cut the power again, giving you two minutes to get the bust out the window. Magnus was going to drop down from the roof with a line for you. Once you got out the window, I’d cut the power again and then get to van while you and Magnus were gonna get it down to the ground where you’d meet Jace. You’d disconnect yourself and you and Jace would get the bust to the car and Magnus would climb back up, shut the window, and then remove all our gear from the roof and come down just as the power came back up. Then we’d pick him up and be on our way,”

“So our biggest issue is the equipment that we’d leave on the roof,” Alec said, thinking, “because Jace could easily be the one up on the roof, but we’d need someone to get the equipment...could you cut the power for longer?”

“Not without it look suspicious,” she replied, “because it’s not uncommon for power to go out during the night, but it’s never for very long,”

“Wait. What if we create a pulley?” he asked.

“What do you mean?”

“We create some sort of pulley that I can attach to the window and then I lower the bust down to Jace. Then I just jumped out the window!”

“You just jump out the window?!”

“It’s only two stories, I’ll survive,” he said nonchalantly. “Cause I doubt I’ll have time to get down to a first story window before the power comes back up,”

Izzy thought for a moment before she smiled at her brother, “that might be possible,”

Alec laughed and smiled, “it just might be,”

***

When Magnus heard a knock at his door, he didn’t want to answer it. He was hunched over the dining room table with a cup of tea, flanked by Cat and Madzie. He still felt like he was going to throw up, but for a different reason. He was still in shock over what had just happened, not only had he been drugged and assaulted, but he had lost Alec due to what he felt was his own stupidity.

Cat had spent the morning trying to console him. He had vomited again after Alec had left caused by him hyperventilating uncontrollably. Cat had come running to him, and he had only been able to tell her the full story hours later. They had elected to keep it from Madzie for now, knowing the connection she had made with Alec on their month long journey across the ocean.

“Magnus,”

He nearly spat out his tea when he turned around and saw Jace standing in the doorway of his dining room.

“What are you doing here?” he asked softly.

“We need to talk…” he trailed off as he noticed the other two poeple in the room, “Cat?!”

“James?” she asked, dumbfounded, “or, well, whatever your name is,”

“So Alec told you too?” he asked.

“Well, I knew that wasn’t your name from the beginning, I’m not an idiot,” Cat said, “I just know Alec’s real name, so, it feels a little weird not calling you by your real name,”

“Right…” Jace trailed off, “it’s Jace. Would you mind giving us the room?”

“Not at all...Jace,” Cat said with a smile and took Madzie’s hand as the two left the room. Jace pulled out the chair she had been sitting in and spun it around before sitting in it himself.

“Why are you here, Jace?” Magnus asked, not looking at him.

“To tell you that Alec is a freaking mess,” he replied.

“Why would I care about that?” Magnus asked, pretending not to care.

“If you cared about my brother at all, I know it didn’t just end instantly,” Jace insisted. Magnus only sighed, which was enough of an admission for Jace to continue, “but you do know my brother,”

“I do,”

“So you know that he isn’t the kind of person to apologize, because that would show weakness,” Jace said, “and he’s already showing plenty right now, so I don’t know how much more we’re gonna get,”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s sitting at home crying with Izzy right now,” Jace said. He didn’t know if it was a lie or not. His brother was definitely crying, whether or not it was Izzy remained to be seen.

“Here’s the thing, Jace,” Magnus said, “I won’t deny that I still have feelings for your brother, but he said things to me that I don’t know if I can forgive,”

“I can’t tell you what to do,” Jace said, “I only came here to tell you that if you want him back, he would say yes in a heartbeat,”

“I know he would,” Magnus said, “but if he isn’t willing to apologize for what he said…”

“I understand,” Jace said, standing, “I don’t know if this does anything to change your mind, but Izzy and I both think you two are perfect for each other,”

“I appreciate that, Jace,”

Jace nodded and began to walk out of the room, “I hope to see you again, Magnus,”

And he was gone.

***

“We’re screwed,” Jace said when he walked back into Izzy’s office, “Magnus is waiting for Alec to apologize,”

“Goddammit,” Izzy cursed.

“But he will take him back,” Jace said, “we just have to convince him to apologize, but how?”

“We be honest with him,” Izzy said, “call him out. Go tell him about your conversation with Magnus and just tell him he has to be vulnerable if he wants Magnus back,”

“Okay, good idea,” Jace turned to go talk to Alec.

“And Jace?” Izzy called, getting him to stop, “Alec has convinced himself, or is in the process of convincing himself, that he doesn’t want Magnus back. You’re gonna have to convince him otherwise,”

Jace nodded and left the room. He knocked on his big brother’s door, taking a breath in as he did. Moments later, he opened the door, and Jace stepped in, ignoring the puffiness in his eyes. Alec took a wordless step back and went and sat on the bed while Jace took the seat at the desk.

“Where did you disappear to?” Alec asked, “I was sure you’d be the one to come talk to me,”

“Well, I would’ve been, but I went to talk to Magnus,” Jace replied. This caught Alec’s attention.

“What?”

“You heard me,”

“Why? What did he say?”

“I went to talk to him about you, tried to get him to come and apologize, because Izzy and I knew you weren’t going to do it of your own volition,”

“Hey!”

“It’s true, Alec,” Jace looked at him, “and you know it,”

Alec said nothing.

“And the thing is, Magnus knows it too,” Jace said, “he basically said you need to go and apologize to him if you want him back,”

“And what makes you think I want him back?” Alec asked harshly.

“Because I know you, Alec,” Jace said firmly, “and Izzy too. We haven’t seen you this happy and carefree...honestly, since mom and Max were alive, and quite frankly...”

“Jace!” Alec said quickly, cutting him off, “I appreciate the concern, but you don’t need to worry about it. It’s over between me and Magnus, he won’t want me back,”

“Alec! He literally told me he would take you back if you apologized!”

“Did he say that?” Alec asked firmly, “did he say those exact words?”

Jace sighed, knowing he wouldn’t be able to lie, “no...I um, I connected the dots,”

“That’s what I thought,” Alec replied, “leave me alone, please,”

“Fine,” Jace stood, “I can’t make you do anything, but you know what Izzy and I think you should do,”

“I do,” Alec nodded, “now leave me alone,”

Jace bit his lip and nodded before shutting the door.

***

Magnus woke up the next day feeling physically much better, but he was mentally bogged down with all that had happened over the past two days. Cat tried her best to comfort him, and Madzie’s carefree spirit helped to distract him, but he couldn’t help but let his mind drift back to what happened at the club and what happened after.

“Magnus,” Cat smiled at him as he sat down at breakfast.

“Where’s Madzie?” he asked, seeing her vacant spot at the table.

“She’s upstairs,” Cat replied, “she ate before I even woke up,”

“I see,” Magnus said, taking a sip of his coffee.

“Magnus,” Cat said, taking his hand, “as your best friend, I need to say something,”

Magnus sighed, not looking her in the eye, “what is it?”

“I don’t think you can live without him,” she said softly, “I’ve known you for so long and I’ve never seen you this…”

“Broken?” Magnus looked at her.

“Um...yeah,” she said, looking away.

“Couldn’t possibly be the fact that I was drugged and assaulted two days ago,” Magnus said dryly, “it’s most definitely the boy,”

“Isn’t it?” Cat asked.

“I DON’T KNOW!” he screamed and slammed his hands on the table, causing both their plates to jump. Cat startled, looking at him in shock. When he saw her face, his expression softened, “I’m sorry,”

“It’s okay,” she said softly, taking his hand, “talk to me, Magnus. What’s going on?”

“I...I don’t know,” he pulled his hand away and buried his head in his hands, “I will admit that, not having him here has been made dealing with this...harder,”

“But not enough to go back to him?”

“No,” he said firmly, “Cat, some of the stuff he said to me...I can’t just brush that aside, and if I go back to him, I don’t have any guarantee that he will actually apologize and mean it, and then I’m stuck in a relationship with someone who meant the harsh things they said in the middle of a heated argument,”

“But you know him. He’d apologize for that, right?”

“I would hope,” Magnus sighed, “but I honestly don’t know. We’ve only been dating for two and a half months,”

“But your relationship with him, it’s...different,” she said, “unconventional,”

“We do have a weird connection, but that doesn’t mean I truly know him,” Magnus replied, “the connection we have doesn’t mean we know everything about each other,”

“I don’t think you should try and push away your feelings for him,” Cat said, “there’s still a chance he’ll come back, especially since Jace was here, clearly they’re trying to convince him to come back,”

“I don’t know if I can deal with this all at once,” Magnus said.

“But you’re going to have to deal with it,” Cat replied, “don’t prolong your pain. Let yourself feel, Magnus,”

Before Magnus could reply, the doorbell rang. The two exchanged a glance before they both got up and rushed to do the door, hope in both of their hearts. Magnus pulled the door open with a smile on his face that immediately fell when he saw Izzy standing on his doorstep with a duffle bag in her hand.

“Hey Magnus,” she said with a weak smile, refusing to meet his eye, “um...Alec wanted me to return your stuff,”

“He did?” Magnus asked softly, the heartbreak evident in his voice.

“Yes,” she said, handing him the bag, “I’m so sorry, Magnus,”

“Why are you apologizing?” he asked, still speaking softly as he took the bag from her hands.

“On behalf of him,” Izzy replied, “he didn’t tell me what he said, but I know how he can get when someone he loves puts themselves in danger...I’ve been on the receiving end of that more times than I care to mention. I can only imagine what he might’ve said to you,”

“Well, thank you, Izzy,” Magnus said, trying to hold back his tears.

Izzy nodded and went to leave, but she turned back, “Magnus, I don’t know if you still even care about my brother, but you two are perfect for each other, and he is convinced that you won’t want him back even if he did come to apologize,”

“Isabelle…” he began.

“I know, Jace told me what you said,” she cut him off, “and we’re trying to get him to come to you, but he can be so goddamn stubborn,” she sniffled, quickly wiping a tear from her eye, “and if we can’t get him to you...I’m so so sorry,”

She barely saw Magnus nod as she turned away, knowing she would start crying if she stayed any longer. She heard him scream and sped up her walk, letting her tears run freely.

Chapter Text

“You are an idiot, big brother,” Izzy said, walking into Alec’s bedroom without knocking, “an asshole and an idiot,”

“What?” he sat up in bed, having just woken up.

“Listen to this,” she took out her phone and opened her recorder, where there was a recording of the conversation she had with Magnus an hour earlier, “and you didn’t see his fucking face. He’s taking this as hard as you are,”

“Wait. I didn’t tell you to take his stuff back,” Alec said after the recording was finished.

“Seriously?! That’s all you get from this?” she threw her hands up in frustration. He only stared at her causing her to sigh, “okay. Fine. Yes I might’ve lied a little bit so I could have an excuse to go over there so I can show you how much he misses and needs you,”

“He doesn’t,” Alec said, laying back down and rolling over.

“Did you even listen to this, Alexander?” she asked. The use of his full name got his attention, but not enough that he turned to look at her. She played it again, placing the phone right next to his head on the pillow.

“What’s going on?” Jace asked, leaning on Alec’s door frame with just sweatpants on as he shook off sleep.

“Shh!” Izzy shushed him before turning back and looking at her older brother. As the recording ended, “do you not hear the pain he’s in?!”

Alec didn’t move. Izzy knew he was crying, but she didn’t say so.

“Alec, listen to me,” Izzy said firmly, “you were an asshole, yes. You said some shitty things because you were mad at him for putting himself in danger. You said some shitty things but in some fucked up way it was because you care about him. He is willing to forgive you. You just need to forgive yourself,”

She looked at him before turning back to Jace. Jace shrugged, not having anything to add.

“I’ll let you think on that,” she said, standing. She walked over to the door and pushed Jace out before she closed it behind her.

“What did you do?” Jace asked.

“I collected all of Magnus’ stuff I could find, and I took it back to his house, saying Alec said to return it,” Izzy said, “and I recorded the whole thing, knowing our thick-headed big brother wouldn’t believe what we were saying without proof,”

“That is a truly evil plan,” Jace said with a smile.

“Oh, it is, but I am a criminal,” Izzy laughed and Jace joined her, then she looked towards his door, “I think it may have worked though,”

The two of them smiled before Jace put his arm around his sister and the two went down the stairs towards the kitchen.

***

When there was a knock at Magnus’ door later that night, Cat was the one who had to go down. Magnus hadn’t left his room since Izzy had stopped by that morning, not even when Madzie came in to ask if he wanted to color together. So Cat took it upon herself to screen whoever was at the door. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Alec standing on the doorstep in a golden shirt with roses in his hand.

“Hey Cat,” Alec said with a soft smile.

“Hey,” she said, a little shocked to see him in the entryway.

“Is...um...is Magnus home?”

“I don’t know if he’ll want to see you,” Cat said honestly. Alec nodded.

“I understand,” he replied, “but could you at least tell him that I’m here?”

“Sure,” she turned and went back up the stairs. She took a breath and knocked on Magnus’ bedroom door. He grunted in acknowledgement and she walked in.

“Who’s here?” he asked, not moving from his spot on the bed.

“Alec,” Cat replied. Magnus turned his head and looked at her.

“Alec?” he asked.

“Alec,” she confirmed, “wearing a golden shirt with a bouquet of roses,”

“Oh, um,” he sat up, looking around, “I guess I’ll go talk to him?”

“I think you should,” Cat said. Magnus nodded and stood.

“Do I look okay?” Magnus asked, looking at her with wide eyes. His hair was a mess and his makeup was smudged, but it wasn’t too bad. Cat straightened out his hair best she could and wiped a little makeup from under his eyes before sending him on his way. He exited his room and began making his way down the stairs, which caught Alec’s attention. Alec walked over and beat Magnus to the bottom of the stairs, much like their first meeting.

“Magnus,” Alec said, almost longingly, reaching a hand out for him before pulling it back, not knowing if Magnus would want to touch him, “Magnus, I...I am so so sorry,”

Magnus didn’t say anything as Alec searched his face for a reaction. He took a breath in

“I am so incredibly sorry for everything that I said. It was wrong and untrue. None of what happened last night was your fault. I should’ve walked away from that guy. And even after that, none of what happened was your fault. It had nothing to do with what you were wearing or what you were doing, ” he continued, “I just...when I get into a situation that I can’t control, one where my loved ones end up in danger, I can end up...projecting my...my worry and my anger at myself and my inability to protect them, to protect you, onto you. It’s my fault you ended up in that situation. I should’ve just walked away from that guy and I’m just...I’m so sorry, Magnus,”

Magnus still didn’t say anything.

“I…” Alec took a breath in, “I don’t think I can live without you, Magnus. And I’m so sorry for any pain I’ve caused you over these past two days. You don’t deserve any of that, so, um, if you’ll have me back…”

Alec trailed off, extending the roses out towards Magnus, looking for any sort of expression on his face. Magnus tentatively took the roses from his hand and sniffed them briefly.

“It might take me a moment, I won’t lie. What you said hurt me,” Magnus said softly, “but I don’t think I can live without you either,”

Alec smiled, taking a small step closer to him, “I love you, Magnus,”

Magnus gave him a soft smile, “love you, too,”

“What do you want to do now?” Alec paused, “um, do you want me to go?”

“No!” Magnus said quickly, “um...please, uh, don’t leave,”

“I won’t leave you ever again,” Alec said.

“I’m going to go put these in water,” Magnus referring to the roses as he pulled away, “and then do you want to watch a movie?”

“Sure,” Alec said with a smile. Magnus smiled before walking into the kitchen.

“Alec?”

Alec turned his head and saw Madzie standing at the top of the stairs. She came running down and immediately launched herself into Alec’s arms.

“Hey sweetie,” he picked her up and spun her around, “how are you?”

“I’m so good!” she exclaimed, “but Magnus didn’t want to color with me today,”

“Well, he will certainly color with you tomorrow,” Magnus said, re-entering the room.

“Will you color too, Alec?” she asked.

“I might have to go home,” Alec said, her face fell, “but I promise we will color together soon,”

“Okay!” she smiled.

“Madzie!” Cat called from the landing, “come get ready for bed, sweetie,”

Alec put her down and went running back up the stairs after saying an enthusiastic goodbye to Alec and Magnus. Alec turned back and looked at Magnus after Madzie and Cat disappeared into their wing of the house.

“You’re not gonna stay the night?” Magnus asked softly.

“Oh, I assumed you wouldn’t want me to,” he said, not meeting Magnus’ eye.

“I don’t want to do anything…”

“No. No, I would never ask you to,” Alec said quickly, “just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it,”

“But I do...want you to stay,” Magnus said.

“I’ll stay as long as you want me to,”

“Good,” Magnus extended his hand to Alec, “now let’s go watch that movie,”

Alec took Magnus’ hand and Magnus led into the living room.

***

“Alexander,” Magnus said softly, waking Alec out of the light sleep he was in. They were sitting on Magnus’ couch. Alec was sitting up against the arm of the couch and Magnus was resting lightly against his shoulder.

“What?” Alec asked softly.

“I’m sorry,”

“For what?”

“For what I said,” he took a breath in, “and for not coming and talking to you when I saw you with that guy at the bar,”

“Don’t worry about it,” Alec said, “I should’ve walked away. Don’t beat yourself up for it, please. Like I said, none of this is your fault, so do not apologize to me. You don’t have to,”

Magnus sighed, “I also...um, want to say thank you,”

“For what?”

“For, um…” Magnus took a deep breath, “for getting me away from him,”

“Oh my god, Magnus,” Alec sat up a little, “you don’t have to thank me for that,”

“Yes I do,” Magnus replied, “because I can’t stop thinking about what would’ve happened if you hadn’t…”

“Magnus, stop,” Alec said sternly, “don’t think about that. Don’t make up those scenarios in your mind,”

“Alexander…”

“I know it’s easier said than done, trust me, I do,” he said, “but please try not to dwell on that. I’m here, and I’m not going to let anything happen to you, ever. You hear me?”

Magnus didn’t say anything.

“Magnus,” he said sternly.

“I...I hear you,” Magnus said, as his breathing sped up.

“Magnus,” Alec sat up, sitting Magnus up with him, “Magnus, babe, you need to take deep breaths,”

Alec tried to get Magnus to look at him, but he wasn’t looking. Alec took Magnus’ head in both his hands and looked him in the eye.

“Magnus, baby, you gotta look at me, you gotta see me,” Alec said, “listen to the sound of my voice and once you hear my voice focus on my breathing,”

Alec took an over exaggerated deep breath, trying to get Magnus to slow his breathing down. He took Magnus’ hand and put his fingers against his pulse point to try and ground him. He kept speaking soothingly to him, telling him to copy his breathing and focus on the beat of his heart. Soon, Magnus was seeing at him while he looked him in the eye, and his breathing was beginning to slow. Alec put his forehead against Magnus’ and the two breathed together.

“Let’s go to bed,” Alec said softly. Magnus nodded and Alec helped him stand. Magnus’ body was numb and exhausted as the two walked out of the living room. Alec helped him change into pajamas before he stripped down to his underwear. The two climbed into bed and Magnus curled into Alec’s chest. Alec held him tightly, never planning on letting him go again.

***

When Magnus re-entered the firehouse the following evening with Alec, Jace and Izzy said nothing to him, but they each gave him a heartfelt smile and a nod. They all sat down in the kitchen and ate Jace’s late night meal, and discussed the next job.

“Magnus, you’re fairly agile, right?” Izzy asked.

“You can ask your brother that question,” Magnus said with a smile. Alec nearly spit out his drink as Magnus gave him a couple firm pats on the back.

“Anyway,” Jace said, doing his best to stay on task before anyone could say anything else on the subject.

“Why do you ask?” Magnus looked at her.

“Well, for this job, we’re going to need someone to climb down from the roof and meet Alec at the window before you move the bust to the ground,” she replied, taking a bite of her food.

“So you want me to carry this bust from a second story window down to the ground, by myself?” Magnus stared at her with wide eyes.

“No, you would climb down with another rig,” Izzy clarified, “Alec would attach himself then climb out the window. You both would climb down, where you’d meet Jace on the ground. Alec would disconnect himself and then him and Jace would get the bust to the truck, and you’d go back up and disconnect our equipment from the roof,”

“I think I could manage that,” Magnus replied.

“Well, we’re going to practice,” Jace cut in, “because we’re only going to have about two minutes to get the bust out the window and onto the ground, then get you back up and off the roof,”

“Because there’s sensors on the roof of this house as well,” Alec said, “so in the first two minutes when I’m entering the house, you’re going to have to rig everything up and climb down to the window. Then in the second, we're going to have to get it to the ground,”

“Is it self belay?” Magnus asked.

“You will be,” Izzy replied.

“That could go poorly,” he said to no one in particular as he took a bite of his food.

“It’s the best we can do,” Jace said, “I’m gonna belay Alec because of his shoulder, and Izzy needs to stay with the car,”

“Yeah that makes sense,” Magnus paused, “so when is the job?”

“We have to practice and we have to observe the house,” Izzy replied, “so, realistically? Probably about a month from now, but we’ll set an exact date once we figure out more about this guy,”

Magnus nodded, “just for the sake of my curiosity, how do you observe?”

“If there are cameras we hack them,” Izzy said, “we also have contacts, people who owe us favors, and we have them observe and just take general notes, which we compile until we figure out a schedule,”

“Did you do that to me?” Magnus asked.

“A little,” Jace replied.

“But not nearly as intensely as we will this guy,” Izzy continued, “you weren’t a home invasion, so you didn’t warrant that much research on that front,”

“So you have categories for jobs?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Alec replied, “putting everything into a category makes it easier to prep for jobs,”

“What was I?” Magnus asked, looking at Alec. Alec looked back down at his now empty plate, not wanting to answer.

“Seduction,” Izzy replied.

“Ah,” he said, going back to his food, “well, that certainly worked,”

“I’d say so,” Izzy said with a smile. She stood and took both her brothers’ empty plates along with her own to the sink. Jace got up and joined her in the cleaning, leaving Magnus alone with Alec at the table.

“So...do you do all the seduction jobs?” Magnus asked him.

“Um...most of them,” Alec replied, not seeing a reason to lie, “unless it was a straight guy or a lesbian, than it was Izzy,”

“Didn’t rob many straight men then?” Magnus chuckled

“No, no,” Alec said with a smile, “none of them ever really had anything of value,”

“Lots of women do though?”

“We’ve got an itemized list of my sexual history in Izzy’s office if you want it,” Alec snapped.

“What? No,” Magnus said, taking Alec’s face in his hand, “I don’t care about your history. I was just curious about your whole operation...I’m sorry for prying,”

“No it’s fine, don’t worry about it,” Alec said with a soft smile, “I just, um…,”

Alec looked over his shoulder at his siblings who were still standing at the sink, less washing dishes and more listening to their conversation. The two of them saw the look he gave them and they quickly put the dishes in the sink and left, shutting the door behind them. Alec looked back to Magnus.

“I’ve just, um...never felt like this about anyone before, and, well, to be quite frank, I don’t want the amount of flings I’ve had in the past, with both men and women, to...to scare you off,” Alec said, not meeting Magnus’ eyes.

Magnus smiled and put his hand on Alec’s cheek, “Alexander, it’s going to take a lot more than a long sexual history to scare me off,” this made Alec laugh, “and if I’m being honest, I’ve got a long list too...and you know why that is,”

Alec nodded.

“But I love you,” Magnus said, “and I’m not going anywhere, so don’t be afraid to be honest with me,”

Alec nodded, meeting his eye. Magnus sat waiting for him to kiss him, but then he realized Alec was waiting for him.

“While I truly appreciate the sentiment,” Magnus said, “you can kiss me, darling. I won’t break,”

Alec smiled and kissed him. Magnus deepened it, letting his hand run down Alec’s back as he pulled him closer.

Alec pulled away, “I’m gonna be honest with you,”

“About?” Magnus asked, letting his hand rest on the back of Alec’s neck.

“I’m gay, but I do have a sexual history...with women,” Alec bit his lip, as if he was waiting for Magnus to judge him, but the judgement never came, so he continued, “my other option was to send Jace in to these jobs, and, well, I don’t like sending my siblings in on jobs, but I’ve always felt like they’ve judged me for going and sleeping with women,”

“I don’t judge you, Alexander,” Magnus said softly, “in fact I think it’s rather valiant that you went on these jobs so you’re siblings wouldn’t have to,”

“Thank you,” Alec said softly. Magnus smiled and pulled him in for a kiss.

“We’ve got a problem,” Izzy burst back into the kitchen, putting on her coat.

“What?” Alec asked, annoyed.

“There was a break in at the store,” he replied.

“A break-in?” Alec asked, standing, “at Jace’s store?”

“Must be someone that doesn’t know,” Izzy replied.

“Well, they’ll know soon enough,” Alec went to leave the room, Magnus quickly followed, “are they still there?”

“Yeah. Jace saw something on his cameras and went running,” Izzy said, “I don’t know how this guy wouldn’t know that you don’t break into The Circle’s store. He didn’t trip any alarms. He’s clearly not an amateur,”

“Well, we’re gonna figure out,” Alec said, following Izzy to Jace’s room. Alec knew Magnus was close on his heels so he turned around to stop him, “you should probably stay here, babe,”

“What? Why?” Magnus asked, looking confused.

“There may be Circle members there,” Alec said, “and remember, you can’t be seen with us,”

“Right,” Magnus said, looking down, “I guess I’ll see you when you get back,”

“Yeah,” Alec kissed him quickly, “you could also run back home and get some of your stuff. Your drawer is still empty,”

This made Magnus smile, “maybe I’ll go do that,”

Alec smiled before turning and following Izzy into Jace’s room. They moved the pen that revealed his tunnels and they began to climb down.

“What were you talking about?” Izzy asked as soon as the bed closed above them, “there aren’t gonna be any Circle members there,”

“I know,” Alec replied, “I don’t want him to see what we’re about to do,”

“Fair enough,” she took a breath in, “I don’t think he’d judge you,”

“I know...I just...he doesn’t need to see what they make us do,”

“So you don’t want him to see how much power they have over you. That’s what this is,”

“I don’t want him to see the type of company we are involved with,”

“I thought you told him about The Circle,”

“I did...I just didn’t tell him the extent of what we’ve done for them,”

“Really? He’s told you the extent of what he did for his father,”

“After you guys pushed him,” Alec said, stopping in his tracks, “please don’t try to psychoanalyze me right now, Iz. We’ve got more important things to worry about,”

He kept walking, leaving Izzy behind him. He took a breath before he pushed open the door which led into the back room of Jace’s store. Izzy followed close behind him and they met Jace who was standing in front of an unconscious man, tied to a chair.

“How far did he get?” Alec asked as they entered.

“I’m scared about how much this guy knew,” Jace said, “not only did he know where my safe was, but he knew the combination,”

“What?” Izzy looked at the safe on the wall, which was open and half empty of its jewels.

“I recovered everything, but he was still able to get in,” Jace said.

“Do you think he’s working with someone?” Alec asked

“It’s possible,” Jace replied, “regardless, this wasn’t a random hit. We were targeted,”

“Alec, come with me,” Izzy said, turning back towards the door. Alec followed her quickly. They went through and she turned to him when they were inside, “give me your phone,”

“Why?”

“Just give it to me,” she insisted. He handed her his phone as she pulled a tool from her pocket and began to remove the screen.

“Izzy, what are you doing?” Alec asked. Izzy said nothing, only slowly pulled up the screen from the body of the phone.

“I knew it,” she said, beginning to put the phone back together.

“What?”

“We’re being watched,” she said softly, “I’ve had a suspicion for a while. There’s a bug in your phone, see, just there,” Izzy pointed to the bug resting among the other wires in his phone, “and I’m pretty sure there’s one in the back room as well. Who knows how many more,”

“Who the hell is watching us?!” Alec asked, “it can’t be The Circle, can it?”

“Why would it be?” she asked, then paused and glanced back towards the door, “but I bet our unconscious friend there could tell us,”

“I bet he could,” Alec turned and walked back into the room. He grabbed a glass of water off of one of the tables and pushed Jace out of the way before throwing it in the face of the guy sitting in the chair, who jolted awake, coughing. Alec took a step back, falling between his siblings.

“So, you thought it would be a good idea to rob us?” Alec asked him, “that’s a rookie mistake, my friend,”

“But you weren’t working alone, were you?” Izzy asked.

“I’m not gonna tell you anything,” the man spat.

“Fair enough,” Jace said before taking a step forward and punching him in the gut. The man keeled over as much as he could before Jace went in for another hit.

“Wanna tell us something now?” Alec asked.

The man said nothing, so Izzy stepped up with Jace. Jace went back and punched the man’s gut while Izzy slapped his face.

“You might want to start talking,” Alec said, pulling a knife out of his boot and spinning it around his finger, “you really don’t want me getting involved,”

Still, the man said nothing. Alec began walking towards him, causing Jace and Izzy to back off. They both took a breath, shaking out their hands as they watched their brother go to work.

“You were working with someone, weren’t you?” Alec said softly, with both hands on top of his arms. When he didn’t say anything, he lifted the knife quickly and jammed it down into his hand, causing him to scream.

“Who are you working it?” Alec asked sternly.

“I can’t say,” he said, “he’ll kill me,”

“Oh, and you think we won’t?” Alec asked.

The man looked up at him, terrified. He pulled the knife out of his hand, causing him to scream again. He let the knife graze over his cheek before cutting it sharply.

“There’s a bug in this room isn’t there?” he asked. He didn’t speak so Alec plunged the knife into the man’s leg, “isn’t there!”

He nodded, gesturing vaguely to the painting opposite the safe. Alec took a step back as Izzy walked over to the portrait, which she ran her hands down until she found a hole in the canvas. She pulled the smallest camera out of it. Both of her brothers moved towards her, so both ended up behind their captive. She looked into the lense before dropping it and crushing it under her boot.

“Are there any others?” Alec asked. The man didn’t answer, so he walked back around in front of him and slapped him, “hey, I’m talking to...oh no,”

He lifted his chin and saw foam around his mouth. He put her fingers on his neck, feeling for a pulse, but there was none.

“Fuck,” he cursed.

“Cyanide capsule?” Jace asked, “what is this? Are we at war?”

“We might be,” Izzy sighed, “Jace can you…”

“Yeah, I’ll take care of the body,” Jace said, already taking out his phone.

“Wait!” Izzy said, grabbing his phone from his hand.

“What?” he asked.

“Alec’s phone was bugged,” she said, “yours might be too,”

He only nodded before she began to take his phone apart only to find that there wasn’t a bug in his phone.

“Here, you’re good” she tossed his phone back and Jace began making calls.

“Do you need remove my bug?” Alec asked.

“Yeah I can do that,” Izzy replied, “they obviously know now,”

“Right,” Alec nodded

“I’ll take it out once we’re back home,” she replied, “right now, you and I need to scan the store,”

“Yes ma’am,” Alec turned towards the main room. Izzy joined him as they went through the store with a fine-toothed comb, where they found another bug under Jace’s work table. When they were done, Jace was still working on the body, so Izzy took the time to remove bugs from Alec’s phone.

“We should probably check Magnus’ phone too,” she replied, “see if you can get it off of him at some point,”

“Can’t we just ask him?” Alec asked.

“It’d be better to not,”

“He might know something,”

“I don’t think we should…”

“I’m not going to lie to him, Izzy!” Alec said firmly, “if you want to check his phone for a bug, we’re going to tell him we found bugs in the store,”

“Fine,” she said, handing his phone back to him, “guess it won’t hurt to have another set of eyes when we search the firehouse,”

“You think they got in there too?” Alec asked.

“Well, if they’re watching us, and went through enough trouble to bug at least your phone, then they probably bugged our house too,” she replied.

“You don’t think it’s The Circle, do you?” Jace asked.

“Why would it be?” Alec asked, “they’ve always been up front with the fact that they’re watching. Why would they bug our phones and then, what is technically their shop, and then send someone to rob us, only to kill himself when we start asking who he’s working for. That’s not The Circle,”

“You make a point,” Jace said, “now you guys gotta get out of here. They’ll be here any second for the body,”

Alec and Izzy nodded, going back to the door, which was just a panel that blended in perfectly with the wall. They went through the door and took their time walking back.

“Do you think they found the tunnels?” Alec asked.

“How could they?” Izzy asked, “they’re impossible to find,”

“But even with the bugs?”

“I sure as hell hope not,” she replied, and began walking back towards the house.

When they arrived, they both looked over the balcony to see Magnus staring back up at them from his spot on the couch. Alec gave him a soft smile, trying to hide the blood that was covering him. The two sat staring at each other: Alec not wanting to move towards him and Magnus not sure if he should.

“Magnus,” Izzy said, walking down the stairs, “I need your phone,”

“What? Why?” he asked, taken aback.

“We’re being watched,” Izzy said as she reached him, “we found a bug in Alec’s phone and in Jace’s store. We haven’t looked anywhere else, but we need to check your phone too,”

“Yeah, okay,” Magnus said, taking his phone out of his pocket and handed it to her. Izzy looked up at her brother and flicked her head, gesturing for him to clean himself up as she got to work. He took the hint and went quickly into the bathroom. Magnus knew he was trying to hide the blood that was covering his hands and arms, but he knew better than to say anything. Alec clearly didn’t want him to know about it, so he wasn’t going to ask.

“Yup. There’s one here,” Izzy pulled a bug out of Magnus’ phone. She threw it on the ground in front of her before she stood and crushed it.

“We’re all good!” Jace called from the balcony, “it’s taken care of,”

“Good,” Izzy said, “now check your room for bugs,”

Jace nodded before turning and going back into his room. Izzy turned back to Magnus’ phone and began putting it back together.

“If you wouldn’t mind starting to look in Alec’s room?” Izzy asked him, “it would help speed things along. I’m sure he’ll join you soon,”

“Sure,” Magnus replied, taking his phone from Izzy when she handed it back to him. The two walked up the stairs together before going off to search their rooms.

In the bathroom, Alec was trying desperately to get all the blood stains off of his hands. He had his hands soaking in soapy water, but he still couldn’t get rid of some of the residue. He sighed and dried off his hands, hoping Magnus wouldn’t notice the discoloration. He left and went to his room to start looking for bugs when he saw Magnus kneeling down on the opposite side of his bed, staring down at the ground.

“Magnus?” Alec asked, slightly concerned, “everything alright?”

“Yeah...everything’s fine,” Magnus replied, “I was just...I was clearing out under your bed to look for bugs…”

This had Alec moving immediately, not knowing what Magnus might’ve found under his bed. Quite frankly, he didn’t know all of what was under there. He moved around to the other side of the bed and saw the long, black case that held his bow open on the floor.

“Oh,” Alec said, looking down at it.

“Alexander, this is beautiful,” Magnus said, ghosting his hand over it, “can you use it?”

“Uh, yeah,” Alec replied, sitting down on the bed, “I competed in high school,”

“He did more than compete,” Izzy was standing in the doorway, “sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear and I knew that Alec would sell himself short, as usual. He was a champion,”

“Was he?” Magnus asked with a smile.

“Yeah,” Jace said with a smirk. He had also overheard the conversation, “national champion, three years in a row. Placed in world champions. He was on track to go pro,”

“Really?” Magnus’ eyes were wide, he turned towards Alec, “you never told me this,”

“It never came up,” Alec replied. Magnus scoffed and went to sit next to him. Izzy and Jace took this as their cue to leave and close the door behind them.

“Why’d you stop?” Magnus asked, breaking the silence.

“Um...after mom died,” Alec paused, “other things...took precedent. I had to give it up...you don’t usually bring a bow on a job,”

Magnus chuckled, “I guess not,” he paused again, “would you ever take it up again?”

“I mean, yeah, if I had the chance,” Alec replied, “I loved it. Never really wanted to give it up, but I had to,”

“Do you still practice?”

“Yeah, when I get the chance. There’s a range just outside the city where I used to practice. I still go up there sometimes,”

“Wow,” Magnus said, dumbfounded, “are there any other hiddens talents I don’t know about, darling?”

Alec laughed, “I don’t think so, babe,” Alec paused, “what about you?”

“What about me?”

“Do you have any secret talents? Hobbies? Anything you gave up?”

“Oh, um, I used to dance, a lot” Magnus said, “I was on the competition team, the people at the studio were my family. That’s actually where I met Cat,”

“When did you stop?”

“After high school,” Magnus replied, “my father let me continue to do it after my mother died, he said it kept me nimble, and I even taught for a year after I graduated, but then jobs kept taking me away and I couldn’t commit,”

Alec nodded, “maybe one day, we can get away from all this and go do the things we love,”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,”

Alec leaned in and kissed him softly. Magnus leaned into him more and began to push him back onto the bed.

“Magnus,” Alec said, sitting back up, “we need to keep looking,”

“Right,” Magnus said, standing back up.

“Later,”

“Is that a promise?”

“It sure is,” Alec gave him a quick peck. They both laughed and went back to searching the room. Alec took over searching under his bed, while Magnus looked through the various other furniture around the room.

“Uh, darling,” Magnus said.

“What?” Alec said, still laying halfway under his bed.

“I found one,”

Alec shot out from under the bed and stood up. He walked over to where Magnus was standing in front of his cracked mirror. Wedged in the middle of the crack was a tiny camera pointed straight at Alec’s bed. Magnus pulled it out as he approached.

“Wow. That’s...creepy,” Alec said, taking the bug from his hand.

“Yeah,” Magnus replied, “I’m really glad that we didn’t go at it just now,”

“Me too,” Alec dropped the bug on the floor and crushing it under his foot. Then there was a knock at his door. He opened it to see Izzy standing there

“Just came to make sure you were looking and not doing...other things,” Izzy said, “did you find any?”

“Yeah, one,” Alec said, stepping out of his room, “and it was facing my bed,”

“Gross,” Izzy replied, “I didn’t find one in my room but I found two in my office and then one in my computer,”

“Interesting,” Alec said.

“Yeah, there aren’t any in my room,” Jace came back up the stairs, “none in the library, but there was one in the kitchen, under the table,”

“This just keeps getting weirder,” Izzy said, “okay...I’m gonna just write out a list of where we found bugs, so maybe we can try and find what they were after. Jace, you go search the garage. Alec, Magnus, and I will start on the main room,”

Jace nodded and went down the stairs towards the garage. Izzy went down the stairs and into her office while Alec and Magnus started looking through the main room.

Izzy and Jace joined them soon after. Jace hadn’t found anything in the garage, so they began going over the main room with a fine-toothed comb. They found three more in various spots before they determined that the whole house was clear.

“Okay, let’s figure this out,” Izzy put down her sheet of paper, “we’ve got two in Jace’s workroom at the store, one in Alec’s phone, one in Magnus’ phone, one in Alec’s room, pointed at his bed,”

“Wait, really?” Jace asked. Alec nodded, “damn that’s creepy,”

“Yeah,” Magnus replied.

“There were two in my office,” Izzy continued, “one under my desk and one in the portrait behind it. Then another in my computer. One under the kitchen table, and then three around the two main seating areas in this room,”

“So the question now becomes, what are they looking for?” Alec asked.

“Well, they’re clearly interested in our operation,” Izzy replied, “and they know how it works too. Since there were two in the store, three in my office, and then one in the kitchen, where we discuss most of our jobs, and the ones here, where we practice most of our jobs,”

“Yeah, that makes sense,” Jace said, thinking.

“What doesn’t make sense is the one in my room, and the ones on our phones,” Alec said, gesturing between him and Magnus, “I was originally going to say that maybe they bugged us while we were in Europe, but they were clearly able to break in here and the store without us detecting, so bugging your phones wouldn’t have been a problem,”

“Are there any recently exiled Circle members?” Jace asked, “that might know how we work?”

“Not any that know about Magnus,” Alec replied, “and you know The Circle doesn’t exile,”

“Yeah, I know, they ki-”

“So!” Alec cut him off, “we’re looking for someone who knows our operation and knows about Magnus,”

“Which is no one,” Izzy insisted, “unless someone has been watching us for a long time, and then discovered Magnus when he came into the picture,”

“That’s a possibility,” Alec replied, “but I feel like we would’ve had more jobs go south, as whoever this is would’ve thwarted them,”

“Maybe they don’t want that,” Izzy said, “maybe they just wanted to watch,”

“Here’s the question,” Alec said, “let’s say they’d been watching us for a while, and they see Magnus come into the picture. Why the sudden obsession with him?”

“What do you mean?” Jace asked.

“Bugging his phone and neither of yours. The bug in my room facing my bed,” Alec replied.

“Maybe they’re obsessed with you?” Izzy suggested.

Jace groaned audibly, leaning back in his chair, “I’m too tired for this,”

“I agree,” Magnus said, “let’s sleep on it, maybe?”

“Sure,” Izzy said, folding the paper and putting it in her pocket, “that might help,”

The four stood up went up the stairs before saying their goodnights and going off to their separate rooms. Alec pulled Magnus into his room in order to finish what they had started earlier.

Chapter Text

“Alright boys, final practice run,” Izzy stood on the landing halfway up the staircase a little more than a month after they had agreed to take the job. They still hadn’t been able to figure out who was watching them, or what they were looking for, so they went about preparing for the job after determining they couldn’t put their lives on hold until they found out what was going on, “one minute to get the bust to the ground, so that Magnus has a minute to get back up to the roof and then off, you ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Alec said, rolling his shoulders back. He stood on the balcony next to a box that weighed about the same as the bust. Magnus was hanging from a rig attached to the ceiling, and Jace was standing on the ground, already holding the rope he’d be using to belay Alec. Since they didn’t have the space to practice the full job, they practiced it in parts. Magnus practiced attaching and detaching the rig on the roof of the firehouse, while they practiced moving the bust inside.

“And the power’s cut...now!” Izzy started her timer. Alec mocked opening the window, and Magnus grabbed onto the railing of the balcony, pulling himself closer. He handed the extra rig into Alec, who quickly attached himself. Alec felt a slight pull on the rig as he looked down at Jace, who gave him the thumbs up that he had a hold of him. Alec began pushing the box out into Magnus’ arms as he climbed out the window, Jace supporting his weight the whole time.

“Jace, go,” Alec said. Jace began lowering Alec to the ground, and Magnus lowered himself as they held the box between them. Magnus using an arm and a leg to hold up the box, while Alec used both his arms and legs. When they hit the ground, Alec detached himself as Magnus handed the box off to Jace. Magnus began quickly pulling himself back up and Alec and Jace began moving off with the box.

“How’d we do, Iz?” Alec asked as him and Jace placed the box down on the couch.

“One minute and one second,” she replied, “is it optimal? No. Will it do? If Magnus can undo the rigging and climb down in fifty-nine seconds,”

“I’m feeling pretty good about that, worse case scenario I just jump from the roof” Magnus said as he lowered himself down to the ground, “I feel ready,”

“So we’re ready?” Jace asked.

“Yeah,” Izzy replied, “we leave at eleven thirty PM tomorrow. Everyone rest up,”

They all mumbled their agreement before splitting off. Izzy went back to her office, while Jace went to unpack the weight from the box, most of it being created from his stuff.

“Do you wanna go out?” Alec asked, looking at Magnus.

“Sure,” Magnus replied, “I think I want to shower first,”

“Oh me too,” Alec replied.

“If you don’t mind, I think I’m gonna go home and shower,” Magnus said, “I haven’t been back in a few days and…”

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me, Magnus,” Alec cut him off, “go home. We’ll meet at that Japanese place we like?”

“Sounds good,” Magnus replied, before pulling him in for a quick kiss and heading out towards the garage.

“How do you do it, man?” Jace asked after Magnus shut the garage door.

“Do what? Maintain a relationship?” Alec asked, “did something happen with Clary?”

“No. Nothing happened. Everything’s going great, actually,” Jace paused, “but how do you...in your own mind...how can you bring yourself to put Magnus in danger like that?”

“Wait. Are you thinking about bringing Clary into the operation?!” Alec asked.

“No! No! Definitely not,” Jace replied, “just, we lead a dangerous life. We never know when something’s going to go wrong or someone’s gonna find out...I’m just...scared something’s gonna happen to her, or me, and then that’ll just cause her pain,”

“It’s not easy,” Alec replied, “but what makes it easier is just doing all that you can to protect them...you prioritize them over you, and then you lie when necessary in order to protect them,”

“Do you do that with Izzy and me?” Jace asked, looking up to meet his eye. Alec stayed silent, not wanting his siblings to know that he kept things from them. But, then again, his siblings weren’t idiots, they probably knew, and his silence all but confirmed their likely suspicions.

“Right,” Jace said, standing, “go get your shower. You’ve got a date,”

Alec nodded, leaving the tense air between them. He stripped down when he got to the bathroom and sat staring in the mirror as the water warmed up. He ran his fingers over the scar on his shoulder. It was still healing nicely, but it was still red and puffy, unlike the one on his lower abdomen, on the opposite side of his body to the tattoo he shared with Jace.

His mother had told him to run before anyone else could find him. He had managed to get himself to a hospital before he passed out, right inside the emergency room entryway. Alec had lied to his siblings about his injuries and said that he had gotten in a fight at school and one of the kids drew a knife. He had then pretended as if he knew nothing of what had happened to their mother.

He stepped into the shower thinking about the job they were about to go on. He’d be lying to himself if he said he wasn’t worried. The whole thing seemed too easy to him, and he couldn’t shake his gut feeling that something was going to go wrong. He did not like that Magnus was coming on this job, and he definitely didn’t like that his siblings were going to be there as well. He just had a gut feeling that something was going to go wrong. It was obviously too late to call off the job now, but Alec knew he had to take precautions.

***

Alec smiled and gave Magnus a kiss when he arrived at the restaurant. They were relatively silent as they read the menu, only talking to decide whether or not they were going to split their food. They decided to get a meal for two, with samplers of a bunch of different menu items.

“So, how are Cat and Madzie doing?” Alec asked, after their orders had been taken.

“Good, Cat’s still looking for a job,” Magnus replied.

“She’s still looking?”

“Yeah,”

“I can ask Jace if I can introduce her to Clary, and maybe Clary can get her a job at her hospital. If that is where she is looking to work,”

“I’m sure she’d appreciate that,”

“I’ll talk to Jace after the job. I think it’s about time I see her again,”

“Sounds good,” Magnus paused, “Madzie misses you,”

“Does she?”

“Yeah. She asks about you every time I come through the door,”

Alec laughed, “well, I’ll definitely make sure I come over soon,”

“Tonight?”

“Babe, if I come over tonight, I won’t be spending time with Madzie,” Alec said with a smirk.

“Yeah...I probably wouldn’t let you, anyway,”

“Magnus,” Alec took a breath in, “I need to ask you something,”

“What is it?” Magnus took his hand across the table, hearing the seriousness in Alec’s tone.

“So, I have a bad feeling about this job,” Alec began, “I can’t shake it, I don’t know what it is, but I need you to promise me something,”

“What?”

“If something happens to me, you need to keep Jace and Izzy safe,” Alec replied.

“What about you?” Magnus asked instantly.

“Trust that I will be fine, and can handle myself,”

“Alexander…”

“Please, Magnus,” Alec pleaded, “promise me that if something happens, you will keep them safe,”

“On one condition,”

“Which is?”

“If something happens to you and you don’t make it back in twenty-four hours, we come looking for you and you don’t get mad at us for it,”

“Fine,” Alec said, knowing that he would be fine and they wouldn’t have to come for him.

“Then, I will make sure that your siblings are safe,” Magnus replied, “in that moment, and that moment only, I will put them before you, at your own request,”

“Thank you, Magnus,” Alec said, taking his other hand from across the table, “I love you,”

“I love you, too,”

***

Jace was driving the van with Izzy sitting in the passenger seat. Alec and Magnus sat on the floor in the back, surrounded by the tech that was going to make the job possible and everyone else that Izzy just left in the back of the van. Magnus held Alec’s hand tightly in his own, trying to not think of the worst. Jace pulled over on the side of the road and put the van in park.

“Alright, here are your comms,” Izzy said, opening a case and passing out the devices that they all put in their ears. Magnus opened his bag and put on his gloves, and tossed a pair to Jace as well, both wearing gloves thick enough to handle ropes. He handed Alec a pair of gloves that would allow his hands to move enough to pick the lock while also being able to grip the bust. Izzy moved into the back of the van and pulled out her laptop, which was hardwired into some panels in the back of the van.

“Alright, we own the cameras,” she said, “they’re running through an hour long playback loop. You can drive in now, Jace,”

Jace nodded, putting the van in drive again. Izzy put electrical gloves on as they drove into the neighborhood, pulling up a block away from the mansion they were robbing.

“Jace, leave the van running,” Izzy said, opening the back door.

“Yeah, I know what to do,” Jace replied. Izzy nodded and looked back. She shook Jace’s hand, then Alec’s. She extended her hand to Magnus and he only stared at it for a second before shaking it. She nodded at him as she exited the van. She shut the door before she went climbing up the nearby telephone pole which had pegs sticking out of it for the exact purpose. Jace pulled away, and up to the house they were robbing. He parked the van across the street, so it was still in Izzy’s line of sight. Alec and Magnus both shook Jace’s hand before climbing out the back and walked towards the house, hand in hand.

“Magnus, remember our promise?” Alec asked.

“Yes,” Magnus replied.

“You still going to stick to it?”

“I don’t break my promises, Alexander,”

Alec nodded, “I love you,”

“I love you, too,” Magnus replied, stopping at the chimney, “stay safe, Alexander,”

“You too,” Alec gave him a quick kiss while he shook his hand before moving towards the back door of the house, removing his lock pick from his pocket.

“You guys ready?” Izzy asked through the comm.

“Ready,” Alec replied.

“Ready,” Magnus said.

“Ready,” Jace said as he moved into place beside Magnus.

“Power’s cutting in three...two...now,” Izzy said, and as she did, the lights all around them went out, and they went to work. Magnus began scaling the chimney with inhuman speed, only slipping once. Alec went to work picking the lock, which he did quite quickly. He left the door cracked open behind him before he moved silently through the dark house. The entire thing was ornate and ostentatious. There was millions of dollars worth of stuff that was much easier to steal, which only set him on edge even more than he already was. Why would they want them to steal the bust?

Alec saw the lights come back on outside as he made it to the second floor. He crept quietly until he found the sitting room with a variety of ornate displays, all of which would be much easier to steal than the bust. He scanned the room, and he saw the bust across the room and he saw Magnus hanging outside the window. He was moving in that direction when he stopped at another pedestal which was holding the jewels they had stolen from the museum.

“Uh guys,” Alec whispered into the comm, “the museum jewels are here,”

“What?” Jace said, “we can’t be robbing a guy I sold to, can we?”

“Maybe he sold them?” Izzy suggested, “either way, Alec, move quickly,”

“That’s the plan,” Alec said softly. He moved to the pedestal the bust was standing on and pushed it as close to the window as he could, giving Magnus a curt nod when he was done.

“Izzy, he’s ready,” Magnus said in his ear.

“Jace, are you ready?” Izzy asked.

“Yup,” Jace came back.

“Okay. Power is cutting in three...two...now,”

The lights went out again. Alec went to work, unlocking the window and pushing it open. Magnus handed him the clip that would attach him to the roof, and he clipped it onto his belt. He looked out and Jace gave him the thumbs up.

“I’m back in the van,” Izzy said, “getaway is ready,”

Alec put his hands on the bust, and began pushing it into Magnus’ outstretched arm, the other being used to hold him up. As they got the bust fully off the pedestal, Alec began to climb out the window, with Jace still holding him up.

“Hello there, Alexander,”

Alec then felt a hand grab the back of his shirt, as a blade came out and cut the rope attached to him. As he began to fight his attacker off, the bust slipped out of his hands, with the entire weight going onto Magnus, pulling him to the ground, but not before Magnus got a look at the face of the attacker.

Everything happened in slow motion for Alec. He was pulled back away from the window as the bust slipped from his hands. Magnus still had a hold of it, and it was what was currently dragging him to the ground. He saw Magnus’ eyes widen in fear, but they were fixed on the person who was behind him.

“MAGNUS!” Alec yelled, making eye contact with him, trying to grab his hand.

“ALEXANDER!” Magnus tried to grab him but only their fingers brushed together before Magnus fell to the ground.

Magnus hit the ground hard, with the bust thankfully falling next to him.

“Magnus, what the fuck happened?!” Jace asked.

“We have to go,” Magnus said groaning as he stood, knowing that he probably broke his ribs, or at least bruised them. He couldn’t stop thinking of his promise and the face he had seen through the window.

“What?! What about Alec?!” Jace asked.

“What’s happening?!” Izzy asked frantically.

“Alec will be fine,” Magnus said, unclipping himself, “grab the bust, Jace. We have to go,”

“No way, we are not leaving without him!” Jace said, moving towards the house. Magnus grabbed him.

“Jace, we have to go. We can’t stay here. It’s not safe for us here!”

“Then it’s not safe for Alec!” Jace yelled.

“Alec can handle himself!” Magnus yelled, clutching his ribs as he did, “we need to go,”

Jace conceded with a huff, leaning down to grab the bust. Magnus helped him, not saying anything, only praying that Alec was okay. They moved quickly out towards the van, throwing the bust into the back before jumping in and shutting the door.

“Where’s Alec?!” Izzy asked frantically.

“Go,” Magnus said.

“No. Where is he!?” Izzy yelled.

“Isabelle, drive, or I will,” Magnus replied, still taking in deep breaths through the pain in his side. Izzy didn’t move so Magnus moved to the front seat of the car and hit Izzy hard on the head, causing her to pass out.

“What the fuck, man, that’s my sister!” Jace yelled, standing.

“Jace, we need to go, and we both know she wasn’t going to leave him,” Magnus replied as he began pulling Izzy out of the driver’s seat.

“How the hell are you leaving?!” Jace yelled.

“I will explain everything when we’re all safe. I promise,”

“You better have a good fucking explanation for this,”

“I do,” Magnus said, climbing into the driver’s seat and then driving away.

Back in the house, Alec was trying to fight off his attacker. He had immediately hit Alec right where he had been shot, effectively taking that arm out of the fight. Alec kept trying to fight his way towards the window, but his attacker stood between them. They fought, but it was pretty uneven, given his dominant arm was dangling by his side uselessly. His attacker drew a knife which he sliced across Alec’s right leg, causing him to yell and fall down onto one knee. This allowed him to quickly get Alec into a choke hold.

“Who are you?” Alec asked, trying to pry the arm away, “what do you want?”

“All will be explained soon, Alexander,”

And that was the last thing he heard before he slipped into unconsciousness.

***

Magnus sat in the armchair in the firehouse living room with an ice pack on his ribs and his head in his hands. Izzy was lying unconscious on the couch and Jace was pacing in front of them. Magnus kept playing the incident over in his head, trying not to focus on the pain in both his ribs and his heart.

Both the boys looked over at the couch when they heard Izzy begin to stir. Jace went over to her and knelt beside her as she woke up. Magnus saw her realize where she was, and the look on her face when she remembered everything that happened. She was up off the couch in seconds as she pulled a knife from her boot and held it up against Magnus’ throat.

“What the fuck happened, Magnus?!” she said between gritted teeth.

“Izzy!” Jace yelled, “let him explain!”

“What? You know?!” she turned towards him, not taking the knife away from Magnus’ throat. Her movement had caused the knife to make a small incision in his neck.

“I don’t, yet,” Jace replied, “he was waiting until you woke up. At least hear him out before you kill him,”

“Fine,” she said, removing the knife from his neck, but keeping it pointed at him, “this better be good,”

Magnus sighed, wiping the blood away from the small incision Izzy had left on his neck.

“We’re listening,” Jace said.

“Right,” Magnus said, taking a breath in, “Alec has been feeling uneasy about this job for a while. He believed it was too easy, and might’ve been a set-up of some kind,”

“Yeah, we all thought that,” Izzy said harshly.

“Let me finish!” Magnus shot back, “when we went out to dinner last night he made me promise that if anything happened to him, I’d get you two to safety,”

“So you were okay with just leaving him?!” Izzy yelled.

“I wasn’t,” Magnus replied, “the other half of that promise is if he doesn’t come back in twenty-four hours, we were to go looking for him,”

“So if he’s not back by tomorrow night, we go back to the house?” Jace asked.

“Hypothetically,” Magnus replied, “but there is something else,”

“What?” Izzy asked frantically.

“I saw who attacked him,” Magnus said, not meeting either of their eyes, “and I know him,”

“Well!?” Izzy said after a long pause, “who was it?!”

Magnus sucked in a breath, “it was my father,”

“What?!” both Jace and Izzy yelled at the same time. Magnus only nodded.

“I think this whole thing was a set-up,” Magnus exhaled, “the sinking of the boat, the bugs, the guy who robbed your store, the cryptic assignment, everything that’s happened in the past few months that we haven’t been able to explain...I think my father is trying to get to me,”

“You don’t think your father…” Izzy began.

“No. I don’t think he’d kill him. If he was dead, my father would be rubbing it in my face,” Magnus paused, “my father always hated me and always wanted me to suffer, so I think he’d draw this out,”

“What can you tell us about him?” Izzy asked, “anything that might be useful in helping us find him because I doubt he’d stay at that house,”

“Um...well, his name is Asmodeus, for starters,” Magnus said, “not a very common name…”

“Wait. Asmodeus?” Jace asked, looking at Izzy.

“You don’t think…?” Izzy asked.

“What?” Magnus asked, looking between them.

“Do you have a picture of him?” Jace asked. Magnus nodded, knowing he had to have some picture buried in his phone. He took out his phone and looked through the pictures, trying to find something. He found a family picture buried deep inside from when he was younger. The photo was twenty-five years old, but his father hadn’t changed much. He handed the phone over to Jace.

“Oh shit,” Jace said, looking at the phone.

“What?” Magnus asked.

“That explains why the museum jewels were in his house,” Jace said, handing him back the phone, “I sold them to him, while you were away,”

“So he was the one watching us through the bugs?” Izzy asked.

“That would be my guess,” Magnus replied.

“And the guy who tried to rob us?” she asked.

“He probably worked for my father too,”

“So what do we do?” Jace asked.

“We go back to the house tomorrow night,” Magnus said, “we try and find anything that might lead us to my father and Alec,”

“Wait, you don’t know where they might be?” Izzy asked.

“Isabelle, I haven’t spoken to my father in eight years. He wasn’t supposed to know where I was, or that I was even alive!” Magnus replied, “and considering he’s set himself up in New York and isn’t back in California, I’m useless here,”

“So we go back to the house tomorrow night?” Jace asked.

“That’s our best option,” Magnus replied, “I’m just hoping he comes back before then,”

“Me too,” Izzy said, sitting down on the couch. None of them made a move to go to bed, as they silently agreed to wait for Alec to return.

***

They had decided not to take the van back to the house the following night, opting for their less conspicuous car. Alec hadn’t come back to the house, so they all assumed that Asmodeus had him.

“How can we be sure we’re not walking into a trap?” Izzy asked.

“We can’t,” Magnus replied, “but he’s not dead, otherwise he’d be rubbing it in my face,”

“Do you think he’s still here?” Jace asked as they stopped in front of the house.

“I doubt it,” Magnus said, “unless there’s a secret basement,”

“Then let's do this,” Izzy said, shaking Jace’s hand before climbing out of the car and into the rain. Magnus shook Jace’s hand as well before moving it to the holster at his hip, ensuring that his gun was there. Jace stayed in the car, waiting for the signal that the house was clear. Magnus and Izzy shook each other’s hands before moving to the backdoor. When they arrived, they saw it was still cracked open. Magnus drew his gun from the holster and Izzy removed the blade from her boot. They crept slowly through the darkened house, looking for any signs of life.

Izzy took the first floor while Magnus took the second. He moved through the house, finding that the window that they were at last night was still open, and rain was flying into the house. Magnus looked around the rest of the floor, looking for his father. The only thing that lit the house was the occasional lightning strike that lit up the whole sky.

“We’re clear on the first floor,” Izzy said into the comm in his ear. Magnus moved into the master bedroom and saw that the bedroom and the adjoining bathroom were empty.

“Clear on the second floor as well,” Magnus said.

“Alright. I’m coming in,” Jace said. Magnus moved back into the main room and found a lightswitch. He saw most of the pedestals that had been holding priceless objects were empty, which wasn’t a good sign. If he had access to all that money, he could disappear to anywhere in the world.

As he moved further into the room, he noticed the blood on the carpet, not too far away from the window. He didn’t want to think about whose it was, but given that Alec hadn’t come back to them, he had to assume it was his. There wasn’t a lot of blood on the ground, so he couldn’t have bled out here. He just kept telling himself that Alec wasn’t dead, because if he was, his father would be rubbing it in his face.

Magnus kept moving past the blood stain and around the room, to each of the pedestals, trying to find some sort of clue as to where he might’ve gone.

Then his phone rang.

He pulled it from his pocket. Alec was calling him. He quickly took the comm out his ear before removing his glove and answering the phone.

“Alexander!” Magnus said anxiously when he picked up the phone.

“Not quite,”

Magnus froze. It was his father.

“Where is he?” Magnus asked softly but sternly, trying not to alert Izzy and Jace to the call.

“Somewhere safe,” his father replied.

“What do you want?” Magnus asked.

“Nothing, at the moment,” he replied, “I was just calling to see if you found anything at the house,”

“How do you know I’m here?”

“I know all three of you are there,” he replied. Magnus looked around, looking for cameras. He saw one in the corner of the room, which moved when he looking into the lens.

“There you go,” his father purred.

“You better tell me where he is, RIGHT now…”

“Magnus,” his father chastised him, “are you threatening me?”

“Yes. Yes I am threatening you,”

“Magnus, I hold all the cards,” his father said, “if you come for him, I will kill him,”

“You wouldn’t,”

“Do you want to test that theory?”

Magnus was silent.

“I’ll be in touch,”

Then the line went dead. Magnus sighed and put the comm back in his ear. Izzy spoke almost instantly.

“Magnus,” Izzy spoke in his ear, “we found something,”

Magnus looked at the camera and shot it before running down the stairs, where he met Jace and Izzy, who seemed to be running up.

“What did you shoot?” Jace asked.

“Security camera,” Magnus replied, “it moved. It was watching us,”

Magnus felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, alerting him to a text message.

“So your father is watching us?” Izzy asked. Magnus nodded.

“That wouldn’t be the first time,” Jace replied, “lets go,”

Jace turned and him and Izzy led Magnus into a back room, where they had found a trapdoor which led down. Jace climbed down first, followed by Izzy and Magnus.

When they reached the bottom, Jace and Izzy both had their flashlights on. Magnus took out his as well, illuminating the room in front of him.

They were surrounded by screens, all of which were currently black. He saw a board with photos of him, him and Alec, and even him with Alec, Jace, and Izzy. There were photos of the firehouse and of his house. He even saw photos of Cat and Madzie on the board. There were printouts of text messages and of schematics, no doubt downloaded off of their phones or Izzy’s computer.

Magnus walked up to the monitors, looking for something to turn them on. He found a button under the desk, which not only turned on the screen, but a light on the ceiling. Each monitor came to life, most of them black, but each one was still labeled. They were each labeled with the places that they had found bugs. He then realized that he neglected to check his own house for bugs, when he saw a live feed of his entrance hall and his bedroom.

He shuddered as he saw the camera pointed and his bedroom, particularly at his bed. He didn’t want to know what his father had seen looking at that bed. In the month since they returned from their trip, they’ve spent more nights at Magnus’ than the firehouse, as it offered them more privacy, or so they thought.

Then his heart stopped when he saw a camera pointed at his dining room table, where he saw Cat and Madzie eating together.

“I need to get them out of there,” Magnus said, taking his phone out, still ignoring the message that was on there. He saw Cat on the screen move when she picked up her phone.

“Cat, you guys need to get out of my house,” Magnus said.

“What? Why?”

“I will explain everything soon. Just get all your essentials and get out,”

“Where do you want us to go?”

“Tell her she can go to the firehouse,” Izzy said, “there’s a key hidden behind a brick to the left of the door. You can clearly see which one is cut out,”

“Did you catch all that?” Magnus replied.

“Yeah. I think I remember where the firehouse is,” Cat said.

“If you just tell my staff you want to go there, they know where it is,”

“Okay,”

“I’ll see you soon, Cat,” Magnus said, “stay safe,”

“We will,”

And she hung up the phone.

“How old is her kid?” Izzy asked, looking at the little girl run off the screen.

“Five,” Magnus replied, “we should see if there’s anything else here,”

They all agreed, looking around the room. Magnus went back over to the board, and looked at everything that was up there. He ripped down all the photos, the messages, the schematics, everything from the wall as he screamed.

“Magnus!” Izzy yelled. Magnus looked over at her, trying to keep the tears from spilling out of his eyes.

“I found something,” Jace spoke. Magnus nodded, walking over to the doorway he had revealed. Magnus moved past the siblings and through the door, which revealed a few steps down and a dark room. Magnus took out his flashlight again and shown it around the room. There was dirt on the ground and a cell in front with a body in it.

Magnus frantically looked around and found a key hanging on the wall. He grabbed it and unlocked the door, going over to the body on the floor. He was disappointed to see it wasn’t Alec, but the person moved.

“Hey, are you okay?” Magnus asked as the person open their eyes.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“My name is Magnus Bane,”

“Magnus Bane!” he sat up instantly, and began pushing himself away, “stay the fuck away from me!”

“Hey, I’m not going to hurt you!” Magnus said, trying to calm him.

“But he will!”

“He’s gone! He’s not here!” Magnus said, “we don’t know where he is...but we were hoping you might,”

“Don’t you know? He’s your father!”

“I haven’t spoken to my father in eight years,” Magnus said, “last night he kidnapped my boyfriend and we’re just trying to find them. Do you have any idea where they might’ve gone?”

“No,” he replied, sitting up, “I’m sorry. I don’t even know how long I’ve been down here. I had a friend, and we kept time for a while, but then Asmodeus took him and I haven’t seen him since,”

Magnus looked back at Jace and Izzy. They knew who he was talking about.

“You really have no idea?” Magnus asked.

“I don’t. I’m sorry,”

“Okay,” Magnus sighed, “we have to go, but the house is empty and there’s a landline upstairs, you can get out of here,”

He nodded before Magnus stood and walked out past the siblings. He went up the stairs and into the master bedroom to look for something that could help them. All he found was a family picture, the same family picture he had showed Jace yesterday. He ripped up the photo and screamed, knocking a lamp off the side table. He threw the torn up picture on the ground before knocking a different frame onto the ground.

He looked down at the broken frame, and saw a picture of his mother smiling up at him. He picked up the frame delicately and placed it back on the table. He sighed and went back down to see Jace and Izzy standing in the main room.

“There was nothing upstairs,” Magnus said, “he covered his tracks. We should go. It isn’t smart to stick around,”

“Okay,” Izzy took her brother’s hand and the three walked out of the house. Magnus climbed into the backseat of the car when they arrived, trying to hold back his tears. Then he remembered the text he had gotten earlier. He opened his phone and saw it was a message from Alec. He was hopeful for a moment before remembering that his father had Alec’s phone.

He took a breath in before he opened the message. All it contained was an image. It was Alec lying unconscious on a mattress and his feet were bare. Magnus quickly scanned his body for injuries, seeing a gash on his leg, but overall he looked healthy. He looked almost peaceful in his sleep, and Magnus didn’t want to think of the hell that was awaiting him when he woke up.

“So what do we do?” Izzy asked, pulling him out of his thought, “we have no leads. We can’t go to the cops,”

“I think our only option is to wait,” Jace replied, “I mean, he clearly wants something. Either from us or from Magnus,”

“It’s very possible my father just wants me to suffer,” Magnus said, “because whenever he looked at me, he was reminded of my mother, and he was suffering. He made that very clear,”

“But he could also want something,” Izzy said.

“What would he want?” Jace asked, “he bought the most valuable thing we had from us,”

“No, I really think he wants me to suffer,” Magnus took a breath in, “he called me while we were in the house,”

“What?!” Izzy turned around.

“He did?!” Jace looked at him through the rearview mirror.

“Yeah,” Magnus replied, “didn’t really say anything useful. Only that he didn’t want anything right now, and if we came for him, that he’d kill Alec,”

“That’s useful,” Jace said sarcastically, looking back towards the road.

“He also sent me a picture,” Magnus said, handing the phone up to Izzy.

“Oh, big brother,” Izzy said softly, looking down at the photo of him, “there’s nothing in here that you recognize, Magnus? Any sort of clue?”

“No,” Magnus replied, taking the phone back from her, knowing the image would only continue to cause her the pain it was causing him. He was still planning to go to great lengths to guard Jace and Izzy from not only physical pain, but emotional pain as well, because he knew that’s what Alec would want.

“Have you checked to see if you can track the location of the phone?” Jace asked.

“I haven’t checked, but I’m sure my father turned it off,” Magnus replied, “he’s not an idiot,”

“Even if he turned it off, I might be able to track it from my computer,” Izzy chimed in. Magnus nodded as he went to see if he could find the location of Alec’s phone. Sure enough, it was unavailable, and he told the others this. All they did was sigh before continuing the rest of the ride in silence.

***

Cat held tight to Madzie’s hand as they were driven to the firehouse. She didn’t know what was going on, only that Magnus had been spooked by something. He had mentioned that they had had a risky job coming up, and her only guess was that something went wrong. The car dropped her off in front of the building and she thanked the driver before grabbing her duffle bag and nurse’s bag from the trunk. She helped Madzie get her backpack on before they moved towards the front door.

She stopped in her tracks when she saw a woman sitting against the door. If she hadn’t seen her fiery red hair, she doubted she’d have even noticed her at all. The woman saw her and immediately sprang to her feet. Cat instinctive put Madzie behind her and drew the gun she kept in her bag.

“Who the hell are you?” Cat asked as the woman put her hands up.

“My name is Clary,” she replied quickly, “I’m Jace’s girlfriend,”

“What does he look like?” Cat asked, not trusting the woman.

“He’s got curly blonde hair, um, a chipped tooth,” Clary thought, “the most gorgeous eyes I’ve ever seen…”

“What color are they?”

“They’re like, an amber, but they look almost gold in the light sometimes,”

“What are you doing here?”

“Jace and I were supposed to go out tonight,” she said, “but he never showed and I can’t get a hold of him. He’s always been a little cryptic, I think sometimes he’s caught up in a bad crowd. I’m slightly more convinced of that now, not gonna lie, but I’m worried about him, I was just waiting until he got back,”

Cat slowly lowered the gun, “you might as well come in with us,”

Clary smiled and nodded as Cat moved to the side of the door, looking for the loose brick. She pulled the brick from its spot and turned it upside down, revealing the key. She pulled it out and turned to Madzie.

“Why don’t you go unlock the door, sweetheart?” she handed her daughter the key, who took it excitedly. She was trying her best not to traumatize her daughter through this whole thing. She went and unlocked the door then ran back to return the key to her mother.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” she put the key back in the brick before putting the brick back. She took Madzie by the hand and led her inside, where Clary was already standing and looking around. Cat turned around he bolted the door behind them.

“Have you not been here before?” Cat asked, looking at the other woman’s awe.

“I haven’t,” she replied, “Jace always come to my place,”

“Well, he does live with his siblings, and his brother’s boyfriend is here all the time,” Cat said, “isn’t that great for privacy,”

“That’s what Jace said,” Clary said, still awestruck.

Cat walked over to the couch and put her bags down on the ground next to it. Madzie sat down next to her mother, who looked up at Clary, “you might as well sit down. I have no idea when they’re going to be back,”

“Mommy, where are we?” Madzie asked.

“We’re at Alec’s house,” Cat replied, “Alec and Magnus are going to meet us here soon,”

“Okay mommy!”

“Here, why don’t you color until they get back, sweetheart,”

“Okay!”

The little girl pulled a coloring book and crayons from her backpack and began intensely coloring. Clary looked on with a smile, with Cat met.

“So, um, I didn’t catch your name,” Clary said, looking at Cat.

“Oh, it’s Cat,” Cat replied, “I go way back with Magnus, Alec’s boyfriend, and I also worked for Jace before Madzie was born,”

“Oh yeah, Jace mentioned Magnus before,” she paused, “um, Cat, if you don’t mind me asking...why did you pull a gun on me when you saw me at the door?”

Cat sighed, “it’s not my place to say, I’m sorry. You’re going to have to ask Jace,”

“Right,” Clary said, looking at the ground, then noticing Cat’s bag, “you’re a nurse?”

“Well, technically, right now, I’m unemployed,” Cat replied, “which is why we’ve been staying with Magnus, but I am a registered nurse,”

“Unemployed by choice?” Clary asked.

“No,” Cat replied, “we just recently moved here, and I haven’t been able to get a job,”

“Oh, I’m sure I can help you,” Clary replied, “I worked in the ER at a hospital uptown, and we are looking to hire,”

“Really?” Cat asked.

“Yeah, if you’re interested,”

“I am, very much so,” Cat smiled, “thank you,”

That’s when they were cut off by the sound of a door opening. Cat stood immediately, pulling the gun and pointing it towards the sound. The door into the garage opened and Magnus, Jace, and Izzy walked in. Cat immediately put the gun away before she moved over to the group, who all looked tired and defeated.

“Magnus,” Cat said softly as she got close, “what the hell is going on?”

“Um…” he began, looking at Izzy and Jace.

“Where’s Alec?” she asked. This caused Magnus to sigh and stare down at the ground.

“I will explain everything to you,” Magnus said, “but after you put Madzie to bed. She doesn’t need to hear…”

“Clary?!” Jace spoke over them after he saw his girlfriend standing in the middle of their living room. He quickly pushed past Cat and began moving towards her, “what the hell are you doing here?”

“We had a date,” she replied, “one you didn’t show up for. Then you didn’t answer any of your texts or your calls,”

“How’d you even find this place?!” he asked when he reached her.

“You said you lived in an old, abandoned firehouse downtown,” she replied, “there aren’t that many of them,”

“Clary, you shouldn’t be here…”

“I’m worried about you, Jace!” Clary cut him off, running her hands down his arms, “what the hell is going on with you?”

Jace sighed. He looked back at Izzy who only shrugged. She was too numb to even care who knew at this point.

“Um,” Jace looked at her, “it’s a really long story,”

“I’ve got time,” Clary said, sitting down on the chair.

“Not here,” Jace said, extending his hand.

“No, right here,” Clary said, “you’re not gonna use sex to get out of telling me this,”

“I’ll put Madzie down and give you two some privacy,” Cat cut in, “Magnus, where can I put her down?”

“Um, in the library?” Magnus said, looking at Izzy. She only nodded before silently moving upstairs and into her room. Cat and Madzie collected their things and then move into the library to get her ready for bed. Magnus followed them.

“After you put her down, I’ll explain everything,” Magnus said, “I’ll be up in Alec’s room. It’s the first door to your right when you go up the stairs. And bring your bag, I might’ve broken a rib or two,”

“What?”

“I’ll explain. I promise,” Magnus said. Cat only nodded as he left the room. He went into the kitchen and got an ice pack before he began heading up to Alec’s room. He picked up bits and pieces of Jace and Clary’s conversation as he walked by. There were parts of the story he knew that Jace was getting wrong, but only because Alec had kept the truth from him.

He walked up into Alec’s room, pushing the door from slightly ajar to fully open. He tried not to be consumed by the overwhelming waves of emotion that had hit him when he walked into the empty bedroom. He ran his hand over Alec’s leather jacket, which was hanging over the back of the desk chair. There was a notebook on top of the desk, and as much as he wanted to look inside, he knew it would be an invasion of Alec’s privacy, so he didn’t.

“So,” Cat was standing in the doorway with her nurse’s bag over her shoulder, “are you gonna explain things?”

“Yeah,” Magnus said, “if you could check out my ribs while I do,”

“Sure,” she replied. Magnus pulled out the desk chair and unbutton his shirt. He sat down and tossed the shirt on his bed as Cat knelt beside him.

“I do need to know how you did this,” she replied, looking at the bruising on his side.

“I fell out of a two-story window,” he replied. She nodded as she put on gloves.

“Start talking,”

“My father found me,” Magnus said.

“What?!” Cat stopped working, “what?! How?!”

“I don’t know,” Magnus replied, “but we had this job, we thought that their contacts had sent it,”

“The ones who own the store?” Cat asked. Magnus nodded.

“We thought it came from them, but it actually came from my father,” Magnus said, “he’s been watching me for...I don’t know how long. We found bugs in my phone and Alec’s, in Jace’s store, around the firehouse. There are also still bugs in my house, which I just found out about, which is why I called you guys here,”

“Wait. So your father was watching me and my child!?” Cat asked.

“Yes,” Magnus said, “I’m so sorry, Cat,”

“It’s fine, you didn’t know,” she said, “continue your story,”

“Right, so we go on this job, which is to steal a giant gold bust,” Magnus continued, “and it turns out we were stealing from my father, and then...my father kidnapped Alec,”

“He took him?!”

“Yes,” Magnus replied, “I think that was the plan all along. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it sooner,”

“What do you mean?”

“Alec and I both had our fears with this job, and Jace and Izzy did too, but we went through with it anyway, and now Alec is paying the price for it,” Magnus said, “my father is going to use him to get to me. Cat, I did this to him!”

“Magnus, do not blame yourself for your father’s actions,” Cat said, looking him in the eye.

“But I wasn’t able to protect him!” Magnus yelled, tears welling up in his eyes, “he is always protecting me, and I wasn’t even able to return the favor!”

“But you got yourself safe, you know that’s what he would’ve wanted,” Cat replied, “you don’t know what your father would’ve done had he gotten you,”

“But we don’t even know where he is, Cat!” Magnus said, letting the tears flow, “I don’t know what to do!”

Cat only stood and took Magnus into her arms. She held him close as he cried, letting all the tears of frustration and fear that he had been holding back over the past twenty-four hours flow freely.

“It’s okay, Magnus,” Cat said, “I’ll help you find him,”

“No! No,” Magnus said, “I don’t want to put you and Madzie in any more danger than I’ve already put you in. I’m going to get you guys a different place, one my father can’t find, and you’re just going to have to stay away from me until this is over,”

“Magnus, you’re my best friend. I’m going to help you,”

“No, you can’t,” Magnus said, “my father was watching you. He had this huge board with photos of me and the people closest to me, and you and Madzie were on it. I’m not going to let anything happen to the two of you,”

“Magnus…”

“Trust that if I need you, I will ask,” Magnus said, “like right now, I need you to keep fixing my ribs,”

“Fine,” Cat said, kneeling back down.

“I’m sorry, Cat,” Magnus said, “I do want your help, but I don’t want to risk yours or your daughter’s safety,”

“No, I understand. That is the smart decision,” she replied, “I couldn’t bare if something happened to me, but if something happened to Madzie…”

“I know,” Magnus said, “you guys can stay here for now but I’m going to get you out of here as soon as possible,”

“Thank you, Magnus,”

“Of course,”

***

Izzy only grunted when she heard a knock at her bedroom door. The light from the hallway illuminated the otherwise dark room when Jace opened the door. He shut the door behind him before flicking on the light next to her bed. He sat down next to her and wrapped his arms around her, and she immediately curled into his chest. She had run out of tears to cry a while ago, but she was still numb.

Jace held her tight, trying his best to model what his brother would’ve done in this situation. He thought of when Max and mom had died, how Alec had been the emotional rock for both of them. Jace didn’t know how he had done it. When he walked into the room just now and saw his sister numb and broken sitting on the bed, the tears had welled up in his eyes. He let them flow as silently as he could, but she noticed. She wrapped arms around him, as the two tried to comfort each other.

Neither had ever had to live without their older brother before, and even though he wasn’t dead, it felt like he was. Everything seemed so hopeless. He had been missing for twenty-four hours, kidnapped by the insane criminal mastermind that was Magnus’ father, and they had no idea where he might be.

Jace had no comforting words for Izzy, and she had none for him. Both had been trying to stay strong and remain optimistic for the other one, but to no avail. Neither of them could find an optimistic angle to see the situation through. All they could do was hold each other as their world came crashing down around them.

Chapter Text

Magnus woke up the next morning lying in Alec’s bed. He groaned as he rolled over, feeling the pain in his ribs. He reached a hand out, feeling for Alec’s warmth next to him, but he only felt the empty spot. Then it all came flooding back.

His heart hit the floor as he was reminded of everything that had happened over the past two days. The tears welled in his eyes as he began taking shallow breaths. Alec was missing, and his father was responsible. He was responsible.

He needed to relax. He had two tasks to complete. He needed to find Alec, but in the meantime, he needed to be Alec.

He needed to be the Alec to Jace and Izzy. Given how Izzy was acting last night, she didn’t know what to do without her big brother. She wasn’t going to function properly, and he had to make sure that she did. This is what Alec would want him to do. Jace would probably function, and would try to get Izzy to as well, but there’d be something different there. Their bond was like nothing Magnus had ever seen, and he had to imagine that Alec’s disappearance would affect him. They both needed support.

So he took a breath in and sat up slowly, wincing at the pain in his ribs. When he left Alec’s room, the firehouse was completely silent. Both Jace’s and Izzy’s doors were closed, and he didn’t hear Madzie running around downstairs.

So he walked silently into the bathroom. He took out the small makeup bag he kept there and began to make himself look presentable. He knew that if they were going to find Alec, they couldn’t spend their days wallowing. If they lost themselves, there was no way they’d be able to find him. So he did his makeup and his hair. He would’ve showered, but Cat had just put bandages on him the night before.

He exited the bathroom and heard a bit of movement downstairs. He looked and saw that Jace’s and Izzy’s doors were closed, so he assumed it was either Cat or Madzie. He returned to Alec’s room and began to dress himself with the clothes in his drawer when Alec’s jacket caught his eye. Magnus took the jacket off the back of the chair and tentatively put it on.

It was a bit too big for him, but he rolled up the sleeves so it looked to be about his size. He felt a little weird wearing his boyfriend’s jacket, especially while he was missing, and he was worried that Jace and Izzy would judge him for it. At the same time, this was about the closest he was going to get to him until they found him, so he left it on.

He grabbed his phone before leaving the room, not knowing if his father was going to contact him again. He went to put it in the pocket of the jacket when he felt something there. He pulled out a piece of paper and unfolded it to see it was the note he wrote Alec the day after the museum job. His eyes welled up at that and all he could do was shove it back into the pocket and try to forget about it.

After wiping his eyes carefully so to not smudge his makeup, he began moving down towards the kitchen with plans to make breakfast for everyone who was staying with them. A balanced breakfast might just snap everyone out of their funks enough to work out a plan.

When he got to the bottom floor, he saw that the library door was still closed, meaning Cat and Madzie were probably still asleep. When he walked in the kitchen he saw Jace’s girlfriend looking through the cabinets.

“Hey,” Magnus said. This startled her, as she jumped and turned in his direction.

“Hi,” she said, awkwardly putting her hands at her side.

“I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced,” he extended a hand, “I’m Magnus,”

“Clary,” she replied, shaking it, “I’m sorry to go through the cabinets, I was just looking for something to eat. I have to go to work, and Jace came in so late last night I didn’t want to wake him,”

“Well, I’m making breakfast for everyone,” Magnus replied, going towards the fridge.

“Thanks, but I need to leave in about fifteen minutes,”

“In that case, there’s cereal in that cabinet,” Magnus gestured to the cabinet next to the one she had been searching. He directed her to the bowls and she sat down at the kitchen table to eat.

“Where did Jace go?” Magnus asked as he began gathering stuff to make their breakfast, “that he came in so late?”

“He was with Izzy,” Clary replied.

“I see,”

“So, do you live here?” she asked, breaking the silence.

“Not officially,” Magnus replied, “but I do spend most of my time here since we all work together,”

“To steal things?” she asked. Magnus froze, “Jace told me everything last night,”

“Then, um, yes. To steal things,” Magnus replied, not looking at her.

“How’d you get involved in that?”

“They actually tried to rob me,”

“Did they?”

“Yeah. It didn’t go very well for them,” Magnus thought back to their first meeting, “but then one thing led to another and, well, here I am,”

“Did he make you?”

“Did who make me?”

“Alec,” she clarified, “did he make you steal things?”

“Oh god, no. He would never,” Magnus said quickly, “I was the one that actually pushed for it,”

Clary nodded.

“Jace isn’t going to force you to be involved, if that’s what you’re concerned about,” Magnus said, as if reading her mind.

“I didn’t think that he would,” Clary paused, “none of this concerns you? At all?”

“It didn’t,” Magnus replied, “until my boyfriend was kidnapped by my father who is hell bent on making me suffer,”

“I’m so sorry,” she said, “I can’t imagine what you guys are going through,”

“Thanks, Clary,” Magnus said, turning the stove on, “I’m just trying to stay strong, not only for Alec but for Jace and Izzy as well,”

“That’s really sweet of you,”

“It’s what Alec would want,” Magnus paused, “it’s what Alec would do, and I have to do right by him,”

“I’m sure that you already do,” Clary stood, putting her bowl in the sink, “I know we don’t know each other, but I can see that you’re blaming yourself,”

“I’m not…”

“You have the same look the doctor’s get when they lose someone they were sure they could save,” Clary said, “please don’t beat yourself up, Magnus. This isn’t your fault,”

“Thank you, Clary,” Magnus said, deciding not to fight with her, “you’re a good person to talk to,”

“Please tell that to Jace,” Clary said with a laugh, “then maybe he’ll start talking to me about what’s bothering with him,”

“I will,” Magnus replied.

“I have to go to work,” Clary said, grabbing her bag, “I’ll see you later, Magnus,”

“Bye, Clary,”

He watched as Clary walked out of the kitchen before he went back to the food he was making, focusing all his energy and thoughts on making food. He heard talking coming from the main room before he heard a door shut. Moments later, Izzy entered the kitchen wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and one of Alec’s sweatshirts. They made eye contact with each other, silently accepting the other’s attire.

“Good morning, Izzy,”

“Good morning,” she said softly, sitting down at the chair Clary had recently vacated.

“Sleep alright?” Magnus asked. He knew the answer, but he wanted her to know that he was there for her.

She laughed, “um, no. I didn’t sleep great,”

“Me either,” Magnus said.

“Are you going somewhere?” Izzy asked, gesturing to him.

“No, I’m making breakfast,” he replied, placing food into the steaming pan as if to justify his point, “why do you ask?”

“I don’t know. You seemed dressed to go somewhere,”

“I’m dressed how I usually am at this time of day,”

”I mean, usually I’m all dressed up this early too,” she sighed.

“I find that in times of trouble,” Magnus looked away from the food and towards her, “it’s best not to fall out of your routine. If you fall out of your routine, you begin to lose yourself to what’s trying to take over your mind,”

For a moment, she didn’t say anything. Then after Magnus went back to cooking, she took a shaky breath in and began to speak, “but how...how do you keep from losing yourself, but still find him?”

When he looked back, she was looking at him. There were tears welling in her eyes. Magnus sighed.

“It’s a delicate balance, and it may take some time to find it,” Magnus replied, “but you don’t put your life on hold just because this is happening. This can certainly be your top priority, I know it’s mine, but you don’t have to stop living,”

She nodded, wiping away the tears that threatened to spill.

“Now, go get a shower,” Magnus told her, “breakfast won’t be ready for a while. Go do something normal,”

She nodded, standing up and going to leave the kitchen, “thank you, Magnus,”

Magnus nodded, “you’re welcome,”

She gave him a quick smile before leaving. Magnus sighed, taking a shaky breath and forcing his tears back. He didn’t know who was going to walk into the kitchen next.

It was relatively silent as he continued to cook. He heard the sizzle from the pans on the stove, and the water running in the distance. He didn’t know how Madzie was still asleep. She was five years old and it was nine in the morning. He wondered if Cat was still asleep and she didn’t want to leave. Either way, Magnus planned to go check on them before he served breakfast.

Then Jace walked into the kitchen.

Magnus took a breath in, not knowing what to expect from Alec’s younger brother at all. He stood in the doorway for a moment, clearly having just rolled out of bed. He stood in nothing but a pair of sweatpants. This was the first time Magnus had seen the tattoo he and Alec shared on Jace’s body. It was in the same spot as Alec’s and joined the plethora of tattoos that Jace himself had. He let his eyes linger there just a little too long, as Jace moved to the table.

“Morning, Jace,” he said, giving him a nod.

“Morning,” Jace mumbled, clearly still exhausted, “do you know where Clary is?”

“Work,” Magnus replied, “she left a little less than an hour ago,”

“Oh,”

“Yeah, she said she didn’t want to wake you because you got in late,” Magnus continued.

“Oh, okay, good,” Jace said, running his hand through his hair, “not gonna lie, I thought I scared her off,”

“I don’t think you did,” Magnus replied, “considering I came in here and she was searching through your cabinets for something to eat,”

“She was?!” Jace sprang to his feet. Magnus gave him a weird look as Jace pushed past him and opened one of the cabinets. He reached his hand inside, to a part Magnus couldn’t see. He visibly exhaled before shutting the cabinet and walking back to the table.

“What do you keep in there?” Magnus asked, giving him a weird look.

“Uh, nothing,” Jace replied, sitting back down.

“Sure,” Magnus scoffed but didn’t push the issue any further.

“Are you going somewhere?” Jace asked.

“You know, your sister asked me the same question,” Magnus replied, “part of me wonders if I should,”

“No. No, don’t...go...” Jace got softer as he spoke, “you’re just all dressed up so I was just wondering,”

“Yes, well, like I told your sister,” Magnus said, “I find that in times of trouble, if you begin to fall out of your routine, you’ll lose yourself to your troubles,”

“So you just...keep going about your business?”

“To an extent,” Magnus replied, “you need to keep living your life, but if something involving...this, comes up, you drop everything for it. Or at least, I will be,”

“I will too,” Jace said, “in an instant,”

Magnus nodded, turning back to the food he was making.

“How do you do it?” Jace asked.

“Do what?” Magnus replied.

“How are you so...unbothered?”

Magnus almost laughed, “oh I am certainly not unbothered,”

“Then why are you acting like it?”

Magnus sucked a breath in. There was really no point in lying, “I’m trying to be a rock,”

“For who?”

“For Izzy...and for you,” Magnus looked at Jace, who was looking at him confused.

“But...don’t you need a rock?” he asked.

“Don’t worry about me,” Magnus said, “he’s my boyfriend. I love him to the moon and back and I can see us spending the rest of our lives together, but he’s your brother,”

“He’s more than that,” Jace said, subconsciously putting his hand over the tattoo they shared, “he’s...he’s a part of me. I really can’t explain it,”

“No, I see it. You guys have matching tattoos for christ’s sake,” Magnus replied, “I’ll live. You can talk to me,”

Jace nodded, taking a breath in, “what if...what if we don’t find him...before…”

“We’re going to find him, Jace,”

“How are you so optimistic?!”

“I’m not optimistic, I’m realistic,”

“Magnus, we have no idea where he is and no clues to lead us there. Your father has money, they could be anywhere in the world by now!”

“My father is smart and calculated, but he’s also crazy,” Magnus said, “he’ll slip up,”

“But what if we’re too late?”

“We won’t be,” Magnus said, “we can’t be,”

Jace nodded and sniffled, “I don’t know what I’d do without him,”

“Me either,” Magnus replied. Jace’s sniffles got a little louder and Magnus turned to see that he was crying.

“I don’t know if I can do this, Magnus,”

Magnus turned off the stove and walked over to Jace. He grabbed him by the hand and pulled him off the seat and into a hug.

“You can do this, Jace,” Magnus said as he held him, “you’ll get through this,”

All Jace could do was hold tight to Magnus, one of the few links he could find to his brother. The two were together so often, he now almost saw them as an extension of each other. He cried into Magnus’ shoulder, who just rubbed a soothing hand down his back, letting him cry for as long as he needed to.

Magnus stood there, holding Jace for as long as he needed. He had a feeling this was the first time Jace had really let his emotions out, given he was probably comforting Izzy last night. He could feel the pain of losing his boyfriend and he could blame himself for it, but he could not even imagine what Jace and Izzy were going through.

He let Jace be the one to pull away, which he had done once he had pulled himself together. All Magnus did was give him a soft smile and pat him on the back.

“Go get dressed and wash your face,” Magnus said, “your sister will be back down soon, and, eventually, I will have breakfast ready,”

Jace nodded, wiping his eyes. He left wordlessly, not quite knowing what to say to him. Magnus nodded to himself when he left and went back over to the stove.

“Magnus!”

It was Madzie who called his name as she ran in and hugged his leg.

“Good morning, sweetpea,” Magnus said, putting on his best fake smile, trying to make it seem as if there was nothing wrong.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Making breakfast,” he replied.

“Can I help?”

“You can help by setting the table,” he said, “if you go through that door, you’ll find the dining room. It has a table we can all fit at,”

She nodded and went running through the door. Just as she went through the door into the dining room, Cat walked into the kitchen.

“Morning, Magnus,” she said, getting his attention.

“Good morning, Catarina, my dear,” Magnus said, trying to remain cheery.

“How are you holding up?”

“Alright,” Magnus replied, “I’ve certainly been better,”

“I can imagine,” she said, sitting down at the kitchen table.

“So Cat, I’ve been thinking,” he began, “today, after breakfast, I think you and Madzie should go looking for a place,”

“Oh, um, okay,” she said.

“I’m going to purchase it,” Magnus said quickly, “since I was the dumbass that put you in danger in the first place,”

“No Magnus, you really don’t have to,”

“I insist,” Magnus said forcefully, “I’m going to keep you guys out of harm’s way. I will not let anything happen to you,”

“Thank you, Magnus,”

“You’re welcome,” he said with a smile, beginning to plate the food he had made, “you guys just go pick out a place, and then when you’ve found one, I will sign the check,”

“I can’t thank you enough, Magnus,” Cat said, “I’ll pay you back,’

“No need to thank me and no need to pay me back,” Magnus replied, “then we’ll move you in there as soon as possible. I’ll go back to my house and help you get your stuff, and I’ll also remove the bugs,”

“If you remove the bugs, can’t we just stay at your place?” she asked.

“No because he knows where it is and he knows you’re staying there,” Magnus replied, “it’s best we get you out of there completely. That’s the safest thing to do,”

“Really, Magnus, you don’t have to do all this…”

“Yes, I do!” Magnus almost yelled, “I can’t...I can’t let anything happen to you guys,”

A look of realization crossed Cat’s face when she realized exactly what was going on with him. Magnus saw it and quickly looked away, not wanting to confront what was going on inside his head. Cat wasn’t able to say anything because Izzy entered the kitchen.

“Whatever you’re cooking smells amazing, Magnus,” she said, leaning on the door frame. She was showered and dressed and looked like she was ready to go. Jace soon joined her.

“Thank you, Izzy,” he said, picking up plates and moving them into the dining room.

“We’re eating in the dining room?” Jace asked, following Magnus through the door.

“Well, there are five of us,” Magnus replied, “and sitting four of us at the kitchen table is a bit of a squeeze,”

“That’s true,”

“And Madzie set the table for us so nicely,” Magnus began placing the food in the center of the table as he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket. He quickly put the food down and pulled his phone out of his pocket. The call was from Alec, which meant the call was from his father.

“I’ve gotta take this,” Magnus said, trying not to seem too worried, but they all clearly knew who was calling, “don’t wait up for me,”

Magnus turned and left the dining room and began moving towards Alec’s room, where he could have some privacy. He picked up the phone just as he entered the living room.

“Dad,”

“Son! Good morning!” his father said cheerfully.

“Is he alive?” Magnus asked as climbed the stairs to Alec’s room.

“What? Of course he is! What do you think, I’m a monster?”

“Yes, yes I do think you’re a monster,”

“Ouch. That hurts son,”

“Well, let’s recount, shall we?” Magnus nearly slammed Alec’s bedroom door as he walked in, “after my mother died, you forced me into a life of crime, to steal things for you, to kill for you. Then after I finally got away, you tracked me down, stalked me for god knows how long, and then set up an elaborate plan to kidnap my boyfriend just so you could have something to hold over my head,”

“Okay...I can’t deny any of that,”

“Is Alec hurt?”

“Apart from the injury he sustained in our fight, he is in perfect physical health,”

“Let me talk to him,”

“No,”

“How am I supposed to believe that you’re telling the truth?”

“Trust in the fact that if he were dead, you would be the very first person to know,”

Magnus sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose “Why are you calling?”

“Don’t sound so ungrateful, son,” he chastised, “I just thought you’d like to know what you have to do in order to get your boyfriend back in one piece,”

Magnus instantly perked up, but tried not to seem too eager, “what can I do?”

“I hope you haven’t forgotten how to kill,”

“Dad…”

“I have a few people I need taken care of,”

“Dad, no…”

“Let’s give you, say, until the day before Alexander’s birthday to complete your task,”

“Dad, I’m not going to kill anyone. I don’t do that anymore,”

“Alright, then I’ll kill him,”

“NO!”

“That’s what I thought,” Asmodeus said slyly, “I’ll send you the list, and if you want Alexander to stay in perfect physical health, you’ll take care of everyone on it,”

And he hung up the phone.

Magnus sat down on Alec’s bed, trying to keep his breathing steady. His father knew how much killing had affected him. Now he was making him kill people in order to save Alec. He quickly checked the date; he had a little less than a month until Alec’s birthday. He didn’t know what he was going to do. They didn’t have any leads. His only option was to cooperate with his father.

Once he collected himself, he stood and left the room. He knew they were all going to interrogate him when he got downstairs, but he wasn’t going to say a word in front of Madzie. When he walked into the dining room, the conversation stopped immediately and everybody stared at him.

“We’ll talk later,” Magnus said, gesturing to Madzie as he went and sat in his seat to get himself some food.

“Magnus,” Jace said, looking at him with pleading eyes.

“Everything’s fine,” Magnus said, taking a bite of his food, “well, as fine as it can be,”

Jace nodded, going back to his food.

“Mommy, what are we doing today?” Madzie asked after she finished her food.

“We’re going to go look at apartments,” she replied.

“Really?”

“Yes,” Cat said with a smile, “why don’t you go get dressed, sweetheart?”

“Okay!” Madzie jumped off the chair and ran out of the room. The second they heard the library door closed, Cat, Jace, and Izzy looked at him expectantly.

“Cat, why don’t you go with Madzie, keep her from coming back here,” Magnus said, “I don’t know where this conversation is going to go,”

“Okay,” she said, standing and grabbing both hers and Madzie’s plates, “please call me if you need anything,”

“Of course,” Magnus smiled, “and let me know when you’ve found a place,”

She nodded and left the room.

“So!?” Izzy looked at him the second she heard the door close.

Magnus sighed, “he’s alive and apparently uninjured, save the cut on his leg that apparently came from his fight with my father the night he was taken,”

“Okay. Good,” Izzy said with a smile, “that’s good,”

“It is,” Magnus replied.

“Did he say anything else?” Jace asked.

“Um, yes,” Magnus looked down at his plate, “he said that if I want Alec back…” he trailed off, taking a breath in, “he told me there are people he needs taken care of...people he needs killed, and if I wanted Alec back I’d have to kill them by the day before Alec’s birthday,”

“How many people?” Izzy asked, “and are they innocent?”

“He’s going to send me a list,” Magnus said, “but knowing my father, they’re probably all innocent,”

As if on cue, Magnus’ phone vibrated. He sighed as he pulled it out of his pocket, sure enough seeing the message from his father that contained nothing but a list of five names.

“Uh, Jace,” Magnus said, not taking his eyes off his phone.

“What?” Jace asked urgently.

“What’s Clary’s full name?” he asked.

“Clary Fray,” Jace replied.

“Her legal name isn’t Clarissa?” Magnus asked.

“I mean, it is. Her legal name is Clarissa Fairchild...why?”

Magnus looked up at him, “her name is on this list,”

“What?!” Jace flew out of his seat and over to Magnus, ripping the phone out of his hand. Sure enough, her name was there and he began to frantically type back.

“Jace! Stop you can’t!” Magnus jumped up and grabbed the phone.

“I won’t let you kill her,” Jace said, standing in the doorway as if trying to block Magnus’ path out.

“I’m not going to kill her!” Magnus yelled, “I’m not going to kill anybody!”

“But, Magnus,” Izzy said, “how do you expect to get Alec back?”

“I don’t know...we can figure something out,” Magnus said, sitting back down, “we’ve got a month until his birthday,”

“Who else is on the list?” Izzy asked.

“It’s five people,” Magnus said, looking down at his phone, “Luke Garroway, Jem Carstairs, Aline Penhallow, Helen Blackthorn, and Clarissa Fairchild,”

“Wait. Aline Penhallow like, Jia Penhallow?” Izzy asked, “as in, the mayor of New York City?”

“I think Aline Penhallow is her daughter,” Magnus said,

“Do you know any of those people?” Izzy asked.

“No one other than Clary, who I met yesterday,” Magnus replied, “and the name Helen Blackthorn sounds familiar, but I couldn’t tell you where I know her from,”

“Okay, there has to be a connection between them,” Izzy said, thinking.

“It doesn’t matter if there’s a connection between them, we’re not cops,” Jace cut in, “what matters is their connection to Asmodeus,”

“And whether or not they’re innocent,” Magnus said. Jace and Izzy gave him a look, “well, with the exception of Clary, if they’re not innocent, I won’t have too much of a problem with taking them out,”

“But regardless of innocence, you’re not killing Clary,” Jace said.

“I know I’m not,” Magnus shot back, “I literally just said that I don’t plan to,”

“Even if you kill the other four, your father said he wanted all five killed in order to get Alec back,” Jace said.

“But if Clary conveniently leaves the city and we can’t find her…” Izzy said, trailing off.

“Hell, if all of them conveniently leave the city,” Magnus said.

“That might be a little suspicious,” Izzy said.

“Let’s look into all these people,” Magnus said, “because like I said, if they’re not innocent, I don’t have any problems,”

“I’m gonna call Clary,” Jace said, taking out his phone.

“No!” Magnus said, “just tell her that you miss her, or something and to come here after work. I don’t know where my father’s watching,”

Jace nodded, typing out a message on his phone.

“I’ve been thinking,” Jace looked up from his phone when he finished his message, “I think we should contact The Circle,”

“What? Why?” Izzy asked.

“Explain the situation to them,” Jace said, “that Asmodeus sent us a job, posing as them, and that he kidnapped Alec. They might help us get him back,”

“Why would they do that?” Izzy asked.

“We’re their best crew,” Jace replied, “and if we explain to them that we won’t be able to get anything done without Alec, then, well, they have to help us? Right?”

“They won’t be mad that you took another job?” Magnus asked, “just because, Alec told me that they couldn’t know about the museum job at all,”

“I think if I show them the message I got, they’ll understand,” Jace replied, “they’re strict but now unreasonable,”

Magnus nodded and Jace left the room, presumably to contact The Circle.

“Why is Jace the one that talks to them?” Magnus asked Izzy once Jace was out of earshot, “that seems like something that Alec would ensure that he handled,”

“He did, for a long time,” Izzy replied, “but once Jace really started taking things over in the store, they’d just talk to him in person, and it got to the point where Jace knew about jobs before Alec did, and it just made sense for Jace to take that over,”

“Ah,”

“Yeah...it was after Jace and I were in way too deep to get out,” Izzy replied, “and Alec fought him on it for a little bit too. They didn’t speak for almost a week,”

“Damn...I wouldn’t expect any less though,” Magnus said with a soft smile. Izzy nodded, looking down at her now empty plate.

“Send me that list please,” Izzy said, “I’m gonna start looking into them,”

“Sure,” Magnus said, taking his phone out. He copied the list and sent it to Izzy. She got up from the table and went to her office, leaving Magnus alone. Magnus sighed and began to clean up the dishes from breakfast, trying his best to keep his mind from wandering back to Alec.

***

“Okay, so I’ve found out everything I can about these people,” Izzy said when Magnus and Jace sat in her office later that day.

“What’d you find?” Magnus asked.

“Well, for one, I couldn’t find a criminal record on any of them,” Izzy said, “the only one who might is Jem Carstairs, he’s ex-military, but there’s no record of anything he did when he served. Only that he was discharged due to injury,”

“What’s he doing now?” Jace asked.

“Owns a private security company,” Izzy replied.

“Who are his clients?” Magnus asked.

“I couldn’t gain access to that list,” Izzy said, “too encrypted,”

“That’s a little fishy,” Jace said, looking at Magnus.

“It is,” Magnus replied, “what do the rest of them do?”

“Well, Clary, we know, is a nurse,” Izzy began, “Luke Garroway owns a bookshop in Manhattan. Aline Penhallow is the mayor’s daughter, and she’s at NYU right now getting her PhD. She is married to Helen Blackthorn, who is a fashion designer. Magnus, I’m assuming that’s why her name sounds familiar,”

“Is there any connection to Asmodeus?” Jace asked.

“Not one that I could find,” Izzy replied, “but I found a connection between all of them,”

“What is it?” Jaced sat forward in his seat.

“They were all at UCLA at the same time,” Izzy replied.

“That’s it?” Jace asked.

“Wait,” Magnus said, looking at her, “when were they at UCLA?”

“The one year they all overlapped was...two thousand eleven,” Izzy said, looking down at the papers she had been writing on.

“And there’s the connection to my father,” Magnus replied, sitting back in his chair.

“What? Was your father at UCLA in two thousand eleven?” Jace asked.

“No. I was,” Magnus replied.

“I thought you didn’t go to college?” Izzy asked.

“I didn’t,” Magnus took a breath in, “two thousand eleven was eight years ago...that was when I robbed the president of UCLA...and shot his daughter,”

“When Clary gets here ask her if she knows any of those people,” Izzy said, immediately breaking the tension.

“Sure,” Jace said. Then his phone rang. He took it out and looked at the caller ID, “it’s The Circle,”

Jace stood and left the room, going to take the call in private.

“You don’t think any of them saw you or your father?” Izzy asked.

“No. No one saw me, and my father wasn’t even there,” Magnus replied, “but I don’t know what happened afterwards. I ran and didn’t look back,”

Izzy nodded, then they heard yelling coming from upstairs. They looked at each other before they both moved.

They were right outside Jace’s door when he stomped out angrily. There were tears threatening to spill from his eyes, but neither Izzy nor Magnus mentioned them.

“They’re refusing to help,” Jace said, taking a deep breath in.

“What?” Magnus asked.

“Why?!” Izzy was clearly as angry as her brother.

“Their exact words were ‘we do not mess with Asmodeus Bane’. They didn’t care to elaborate on that,” Jace said, glaring at Magnus.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Magnus said, “maybe my father had something to do with them when he was younger, but we lived in LA my entire life. They’re not nationwide, are they?”

“Not that I know of,” Jace replied.

“How old was he when you were born?” Izzy asked.

“Uh...his late thirties,” Magnus replied.

“Oh so he had plenty of time to have lived in New York,” Izzy thought for a moment.

“Did they say anything else?” Magnus asked.

“Just that if we found Alec that they would start sending us jobs again,” Jace replied.

“Of course they fucking do,” Izzy stared up at the ceiling and took a few steps away before circling back, “they hold us for years, getting us to do their dirty work, taking a huge cut of each of our jobs. Then, when we actually need them, they run away like fucking cowards. But, when there will be money involved for them, they’re ready to come running back,”

“Why do you expect anything from them?” Jace asked, exasperated.

“Don’t pin this on me!” Izzy said, “you clearly expected help from them too!”

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Jace shot back, “I was hoping for it. There’s a difference,”

“You seemed pretty damn upset when they wouldn’t give it!”

“Yeah, because they were our best shot at getting our fucking brother back!”

“Yeah it was! So god forbid I expected that from them after how long they’ve been connected to our family!” she moved closer to him as she yelled.

“Because of that you should know that they would do nothing for us!” Jace yelled, “they’ve never done anything for us and they never will unless it benefits them!”

“Then why do we keep putting our lives on the line for them?!”

“Because they will kill us if we don’t!”

“I need to take a walk,” Magnus cut into the argument before turning away from the siblings and walking down the stairs. Jace and Izzy stopped yelling as they watched him go.

“You better fucking hope he comes back,” Jace pointed at the door Magnus had just closed before turning and slamming his own bedroom door.

***

“Jace? Jace are you home?”

Clary was wandering through the main room of the firehouse, having let herself in when no one answered the door.

“Jace is up in his room,” Izzy called from her office. Clary nodded to no one before walking up the stairs and knocking on his door.

“Izzy, unless you have a lead I don’t want to talk to you right now,” Jace said harshly from inside.

“It’s not Izzy,” Clary replied. She heard Jace moving quickly inside the room before she heard him unlock the door. He opened the door wearing only the sweats he had been wearing the night before. His hair was disheveled and he looked like he had been crying, but she chose not to mention that.

“Clary, hi,” he said, leaning down to kiss her. She gladly kissed him back, “I’m glad...um...I’m glad you came,”

“Why wouldn’t I?” she asked.

“I thought I scared you off,”

“You’re gonna have to do a lot more than steal things to scare me off,”

“I might have to though,” Jace said, looking down at his feet.

“What do you mean?” she asked, hesitantly.

“Come in,” he said, stepping aside, “we need to talk,”

“You’re not breaking up with me, are you?” she asked.

“No! No, I am definitely not,” Jace said, shutting the door, “but you are in danger,”

“How?”

“So, in order to get my brother back, Magnus was given a list of people he has to...to kill,” Jace said, “and you are on that list,”

“What?!”

“So you need to get out of the city,”

“Does Magnus know you’re telling me this?”

“Yes! Yes he does. He’s not going to kill you,” Jace said, “I swear to you, I’ll kill him before I let that happen,”

“Okay,”

“So I’m going to help you get out,” Jace said, “but first I need you to tell me if you know the other people on his list,”

“Alright,” she exhaled, “who’s on the list?”

“Luke Garroway, Jem Carstairs, Aline Penhallow, and Helen Blackthorn,”

“Oh my god,”

“What?”

“I know all of them,”

“And do you know what connects you all and what might connect you to Magnus’ father?”

“I certainly know what connects us,”

***

Magnus hadn’t told any of the Lightwoods this, but he had been poking around looking for The Circle after Alec told him about them. Using old connections, he had found a name and location.

And he was headed there now.

If The Circle was so afraid of his father that they refused to help them get Alec back, he might as well use this to his advantage.

He was walking down by the docks with his gun strapped to his hip. Supposedly, at this time of night, they could be found overseeing their shipments as they moved in and out of the port. Sure enough, as he approached the dock, he saw a small group of people gathered around a container. When he got close, two men came together, blocking his path.

“Keep walking, man,” one of them said.

“If you know what’s good for you,” the other finished.

“No, I’m walking where I want to go,” Magnus said, going to walk through them, but they stopped him.

“You’re not goin that way, man,” the first said.

Magnus sighed, “I just need to speak to Valentine Morgenstern,”

“Who’s asking?” a voice from behind them said. The two guards looked over their shoulders at the young man who spoke.

“Magnus Bane,” Magnus replied. He saw the man’s eyes widen.

“Valentine Morgenstern, I presume?”

“No. Jonathan Morgenstern, what can I do for you?” he said.

“You can lead me to Valentine,” Magnus said.

“I can take a message,” Jonathan said.

“Alright,” Magnus said, “you can tell him that I come with a message from Asmodeus Bane, and if he doesn’t want us to blow up his whole operation, literally, then he’ll come talk to me himself,”

Jonathan nodded, turning back towards the dock. The two guards had since back away once he had said his name.

“He’ll speak to you,” Jonathan said when he returned, “you can follow me,”

Magnus nodded, following Jonathan as they moved through the docks. Magnus let his eyes wander as they moved, looking at the different crates. He was trying to figure out exactly how illegal the stuff they were smuggling was, but everything was sealed tight.

“Ah, Mr. Bane,”

The voice broke him out of his thoughts. Valentine Morgenstern was standing in front of him with a hand outstretched. The man was older, but held a striking resemblance to Jonathan. He could only assume that Jonathan was Valentine’s son. He was more than ready to pass judgement on someone who would have a child with a criminal before he remembered his own situation.

“Valentine,” Magnus said, ignoring his outstretched hand. He had hesitated for too long, so it was better to make it seem like a conscious choice, allowing him to continue to hold the power in the situation.

“What can I do for you?” Valentine asked as he awkwardly pulled his hand away, clearly scared and just wanting to please him.

“I will make this simple,” Magnus said, taking a step towards him, “we heard the Lightwoods contacted you. You’re going to stay away from them,”

“Already done,” Valentine said, putting his hands up.

“I mean, forever,” Magnus said, “even after the eldest is released, you will not go anywhere near them. You will not give them any more jobs, you will not contact them even if they contact you first, and you will no longer do business through the store. We own all of it now,”

“I can give you the Lightwoods,” Valentine said, “but I can’t give you the store,”

“Really? That’s a shame,” Magnus said, “my father is an all or nothing man. Surely you know that,”

Valentine took a sharp inhale, clearly taking in the gravity of his words.

“Fine. You can have the store,” Valentine said after a moment, “but give me a week to move my people out,”

“Deal,” Magnus said, “but just know that if you double cross us in any way, well, we know where you live,”

“Of course,” he said.

“Anything changes, you run it by me,” Magnus said, “my father wants nothing to do with this,”

Magnus turned after he saw Valentine nod and began walking away from them, keeping his confident posture as he walked out. He kept a straight face, not wanting to show the shock that he truly felt that has plan had actually worked. He strode away from the docks with grace and poise, not giving them a moment to change their mind.

***

Magnus crept silently back into the firehouse, assuming now that Jace and Izzy were asleep and not wanting to wake them. He was mistaken when the lights turned on when he entered and he saw Jace, Izzy, and Clary sitting on the couch.

He didn’t miss how Clary tensed when she saw him. Jace obviously told her, so he made a conscious choice to sit as far from her as possible.

“We found the connection between everyone on your list,” Jace said, looking at him.

“And their connection to your father,” Izzy continued.

“What is it?” Magnus asked.

“The president of UCLA in two thousand eleven went to great lengths to cover up the fact that his daughter was killed during a home invasion,” Izzy said, “he wanted everyone to believe they were safe on campus, and if it got out that someone was murdered there, well, that wouldn’t be good for business,”

“I was friends with Aline Penhallow at the time,” Clary said, “and her and I were walking back from the library when we saw someone jump out of the house the night she was killed. Aline was dating Helen Blackthorn at the time, who was friends with Jem, uh, Jem Carstairs and Luke Garroway, and the five of us...we spent a little more time digging into what happened,”

“They found security footage,” Jace said, “of you running, taking your mask off, throwing some of your stuff at a dumpster, and getting in a cab,”

“I thought I recognized you when I first saw you, but I couldn’t place where I knew you from,” Clary said.

“And then they went and found your comm next to a dumpster,” Izzy said, “and when they tracked to the other end, which would’ve led to Asmodeus, they didn’t find anything,”

“The president paid us a great deal of money to keep our mouths shut when we came to him with what we had found,” Clary said, “and we did. We thought we were the only ones who knew…”

“Clearly my father found out somehow,” Magnus said, “but seems he can find anything out,”

“So I’m leaving the city,” Clary said, “tonight,”

“Where are you going?” Magnus asked.

“That’s none of your business,” Jace said.

“Jace, seriously?” Magnus asked.

“I’m not taking any chances, man,” Jace replied.

Magnus sighed, “fine. Help her on her way then,”

Jace nodded, standing and extending a hand to Clary, who took it.

“It was nice to meet you, Clary,” Magnus said, extending his hand for a shake, which she took, “I’m sorry we’re parting under these circumstances. I hope we meet again,”

She only nodded before her and Jace disappeared into the garage to say their goodbyes.

“I think I’m gonna hit the hay,” Izzy said, “it’s been a long day,”

“Wait,” Magnus said, “wait until Jace gets back. There’s something I need to tell both of you,”

Izzy looked at him, concerned.

“Don’t worry, it’s not bad,” Magnus said. Izzy nodded, obviously still anxious about what he was going to say. To be perfectly honest, Magnus was worried too, because he wasn’t sure how they were going to react. Alec had mentioned that they wanted to be free from The Circle, but how serious were they when they said that? Were they ready to be on their own? Should he have waited and asked? He knew that wouldn’t be the way to go about it because if they found out he was poking around, they would not only be mad, but scared and he wouldn’t be able to do anything.

The garage door opened and Jace entered the main room. He was about to go up to his room when he turned and saw Izzy and Magnus staring at him.

“What?” he asked.

“Come sit,” Magnus said, “I have something to tell you guys,”

He nodded, walking over and taking his spot next to Izzy once again.

“Okay, please don’t be mad,” Magnus said.

“That’s not a good start,” Jace scoffed.

“But The Circle isn’t going to give you trouble anymore,”

“What?” Izzy asked softly.

“Why?” Jace asked, crossing his arms.

“Well, I might have spent the past couple of weeks poking around and trying to find out more about The Circle. And then when you mentioned that they were refusing to help because of my father’s involvement, I figured I’d use that to my advantage,” Magnus said.

“How?” Izzy asked.

“I just went down and told them that they would feel my father’s wrath if they didn’t leave you alone,” Magnus said, “they’ll be completely withdrawn from the store in a week,”

“You got the store too?” Jace asked.

“Yeah,” Magnus said. Jace and Izzy looked at each other and Magnus was unable to read their expressions until Izzy started crying.

“Are those...good tears?” Magnus asked, still very insecure in his actions.

“Yes. They’re good tears,” Izzy said, falling into her brother’s open arms

“We’ve been trying to get away for so long,” Jace said.

“They killed our mother and our brother,” Izzy said, wiping away her tears.

Magnus’ eyes widened, “how do you know that?”

“How do you...know that?” Izzy said.

“Alec told me,” Magnus replied, “he also said that you two didn’t know,”

“Yeah...well, dad and Alec weren’t exactly quiet when they were yelling at each other,” Izzy said, “we’ve known for a while, but just chose not to tell him that we knew,”

“And we’d like to keep it that way,” Jace said, eyeing him.

Magnus nodded, “I’ll be honest with you and say that I don’t think I’ll be able to keep that secret forever,”

“I respect that,” Izzy said, “but back to the matter at hand,”

“Yes,” Jace said.

“Thank you, Magnus,” Izzy said, taking his hands, “I can’t even begin to imagine how Alec will react,”

“He’ll probably yell at me for interacting with them,” Magnus replied.

“That’s true,” Jace said, “if his reaction to me taking over talking to them is any tell,”

“Yeah I told him about that,” Izzy said.

“But thank you, Magnus,” Jace said, standing with his arms around. Magnus stood and hugged him, and Izzy stood and joined in the hug. The three stood in the living room, embracing each other, just enjoying the serenity of the moment.

Chapter Text

Alec awoke with a start.

He was surrounded by darkness, with the only light coming from the moon streaming through small windows near the ceiling, too high up for him to see out of even if he stood. He felt pain in his shoulder as well as a pounding in his head. He moved his legs, feeling his bare feet rub against the mattress underneath him. As he continued to move his legs, he felt a great pain in his right leg. Then everything came flooding back to him.

The job, the attack, Magnus falling. Everything.

He looked around the room, trying to discern a way out. All he saw was a set of stairs that led into a wall. He assumed that was the door in and out, but there was no way to access it from this side. He saw a sink with an empty cup sitting on the edge, along with a toothbrush and toothpaste. There was also a toilet with a roll of toilet paper next to it. Otherwise, in this light, the room was completely empty.

He groaned and laid back down on the mattress, not knowing what to do. He didn’t know how much weight his leg could bare. He didn’t remember the cut being tremendously deep, but it was sore enough that he knew that he wouldn’t be able to outrun whoever was keeping his hostage.

Then he thought back to Magnus. The fear Alec had seen on his face as he slipped away, falling to the ground with the bust threatening to fall on top of him and crush him. He could only speculate about what had happened. His only hope was that Magnus had escaped with minimal injuries, and had gotten Jace and Izzy out as well. He didn’t know how long he’d been gone, so he didn’t know if they had gone back looking for him. He also didn’t know if he was still in the house or if he was somewhere else.

Alec sighed and looked down at his leg. He knew he needed to clean it, so he put his hands beneath him and pushed himself up. He had to lean on the wall as the pain shot through his leg. It was sore, and certainly affected his ability to walk, but it wasn’t going to be a lifelong injury, presuming he prevented an infection.

He limped over to the sink and sat down on the toilet. He knew the paper wasn’t going to be enough to clean the wound; he was going to need something else. He looked around, looking for a towel or anything, but there was none around. The only fabric he had were the clothes on his back, so he took off his shirt and turned on the sink. He ran his shirt under the water, letting it dampen before he turned the water off and squeezed it out.

He left the shirt in the sink for a moment while he struggled to get his pants down. He knew he was going to have to wash the blood out of them at some point, but right now he needed to get the wound clean. He took the shirt out of the sink and brought it down to his leg, first wiping away the blood furthest from the wound. When most of the blood was gone, it didn’t look as bad as he originally thought. He washed out the shirt before he brought it back down to his leg, and he began wiping the blood from around the wound.

He sucked a breath in as he felt the pain. He’d be lying if he said it didn’t hurt like a bitch. He wiped the blood away, opening the wound in a few small places, but not too much. He cleaned his shirt once again before pulling up his pants. He held the shirt overtop of the wound as he limped back over to the mattress. He laid down and stared at the ceiling, making sure the shirt was secure over the cut.

Then he began to get lost in his own thoughts. He knew he was going to need some way to keep track of time, but he first needed to figure out how long he had been down here. He didn’t know if this was the same night they had done the job, or if he had been out for longer than that. For now, he would call this night one. Once his wound closed again, he would look around the room for anything he could use to mark the wall, so he could begin to keep track of the time. He cursed himself for not wearing a watch; he never thought that he needed one because he’d always have his phone. He’d kill to have one now.

He didn’t want to fall asleep again, but the unconsciousness was tugging at him. He eventually decided to give in. His body was obviously tired and needed to heal, otherwise he wouldn’t be sleepy. He didn’t have anything else to do with his time, so he let himself drift off to sleep.

***

Alec woke up the next morning, or what he thought was the next morning, feeling better than he had the night before. There was much more light streaming into the room, illuminating all of it. The pain in his shoulder was dull, and the pounding in his head was gone. The one thing he realized rather quickly was that he was thirsty and hungry. He saw the cup over by the sink and knew that he could use that to drink, so he made his attempt to stand.

While his leg was still stiff, it did allow him to move. He made his way across the room slowly, carrying his shirt in his hand as he went. He washed his shirt out once again before letting it hang over the back of the toilet to dry. He then grabbed the cup and filled it with water before drinking it all down and then filling the glass again.

Then he heard the door open. He finished his drink before putting the glass back down on the edge of the sink. He turned towards the door and saw a man walking down the stairs. The man stopped and faced Alec when he got to the bottom of the stairs. Alec stood with most of his weight on his good leg, and leaning slightly on the sink while staring back at him.

“Who are you?” Alec asked, breaking the silence between them.

“My name is Asmodeus Bane,” the man replied.

“You’re Magnus’ father?” Alec asked, and the man nodded, “how the hell did you find him?”

“I have my ways,” Asmodeus replied, “I brought you food,”

Asmodeus placed the bag he was holding the on the ground, and using his foot, he pushed it over to Alec. Alec bent down and picked the food up off the ground, putting it on the sink ledge behind him.

“I can see why my son likes you,” Asmodeus said, “you are a very good looking young man,”

Alec suddenly felt extremely self conscious standing there without his shirt on, but he didn’t let it show. He didn’t want this guy to know how to get to him.

“How long have I been here?” Alec asked, ignoring the comment Asmodeus had just made. He didn’t know whether or not he would tell him, but it couldn’t hurt him to ask, right?

“About thirty-six hours,” Asmodeus replied, “you slept for about a day, then you woke up and cleaned yourself up, then you went back down for another twelve,”

Alec nodded, mentally noting that he was in day two. Now he would be able to at least track how long he had been there, so he wouldn’t completely lose attachment to the outside world.

“What do you want?” Alec asked, “do you want something from us? If you want us to steal something for you, you could’ve just had to ask. You didn’t need to go to this length,”

“I know,” Asmodeus replied, “I did ask you to steal something, and you did it,”

“Wait. You sent us that job?” Alec asked, “to rob you?”

“Yes,” he replied, “it was actually all a ploy to get to you,”

“And what do you want with me?”

“My son seems to care for you very much,” Asmodeus replied, “and it’s been a very long time since I’ve found something, or, in this case, someone, I can use against him. Then you came along,”

“So what? You’re just going to use me to get to Magnus?”

“Yes,”

“And what do you want from him?”

“I want him to suffer,” Asmodeus said, “suffer the way I suffered, and then suffer for running from me with the biggest payload of my career,”

“Again, if you want money…” Alec began.

“I don’t want anything from you,” Asmodeus replied, “you’re a means to an end,”

And with that, Asmodeus turned and left the room, closing the door behind him.

Alec took a breath, stumbling back and sitting on the toilet. He replayed the conversation they had just had in his head as he began quickly eating the food he was given when he realized how hungry he was. He figured that the food wasn’t poisoned, as Asmodeus did need him for something. He hated what he needed him for. He needed to find a way out of here, or at least a way to tell Magnus not to worry about him.

He finished his meal and then began to look around. Not only for something to write with but for some sort of way out. He found a stone quickly, which he was able to rub off on the wall. He put two small marks, as well as marking the date when he was taken. He put the rock under the far end of the mattress in hopes that Asmodeus wouldn’t find it and take it.

He then began looking around the room, looking for any sort of weakness. The door was sealed airtight; he couldn’t figure out how the door even opened. He figured it worked similarly to the door that led from Jace’s tunnels into the store, and he knew that you couldn’t get through that door unless it was unlocked on the side that had the handle.

When he went over to the window, he had to push himself up off his right leg to grab onto the ledge to even see through it. Outside, he only saw the green grass of the yard. He tried to look outside for anything that might give him a clue as to where he was, but he saw nothing. Using one hand to hold himself up, he put his hand up against the glass. It felt thick and unmoving, and it looked like there was security wire in the glass. Even if he could break the glass without destroying his hand, the odds of him fitting through the window was quite low.

He dropped down from the window, taking care not to land on his left leg. He then went around to each window, and found that they were all the same. Through the windows on the other side of the room, he saw a road and two identical houses in the cul-de-sac the house seem to be in, which lead him to believe he was in a suburban development and no longer in the house he was taken in. This meant he was at the very least out of the city, maybe even out of the state. He just hoped he wasn’t out of the country.

He dropped down from the final window and continued to look around the room. That was when he noticed the cameras in the four corners of the room. That explained how Asmodeus knew what he had done the night before. He went over to see if his shirt was dry, suddenly self conscious about his bare chest again. The shirt was still damp and cold, and he knew putting it on would only lead to illness, so he left it off. He took a breath in. He didn’t like the idea that someone was watching him. Then it all came together.

Asmodeus was the one who was watching them. He had been watching them for who knows how long, and he had bugged Izzy’s computer in order to learn how they were going to rob him, so he could be prepared for it. He had put bugs in their phones and in his room in order to keep tabs on his and Magnus’ relationship. Then he realized that they had never checked Magnus’ house for bugs, and there were probably some there now. He needed to get that message to Magnus.

He thought for a moment for anyway that he could get a message to Magnus. Then the question hit him: did Magnus even know he was alive? Did Magnus know that his father had him? He had to, right? If Asmodeus was using him to get to Magnus, then he would’ve certainly told him by now.

He sat back down on the mattress. He was stuck here. He didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t able to get through the door or the windows. What he could see outside gave him no clue as to where he was, and there was no way for him to get a message to Magnus about where he was.

He tried to keep the tears from spilling from his eyes. He had been through worse; he wasn’t going to let this get to him. But he couldn’t shake the image of Magnus’ face as he fell, and then what he must be going through now. And he had tasked Magnus with keeping his siblings safe, and he knew that Magnus wouldn’t take that task lightly.

So he cried. He was frustrated and, though he’d never admit it, he was scared. He didn’t know what Asmodeus was going to use him to get Magnus to feel or do. By extension, he didn’t know what Asmodeus was going to do to him in order to get to Magnus. He knew he needed to get this out of his system if he was going to focus on getting out of here and getting back to Magnus. So Alec cried as much as he did when he’d lost his mother and his brother.

***

By the time a week had gone by, Alec had gotten into a routine.

When he woke up in the morning, there was always food sitting at the top of the stairs. He hadn’t seen Asmodeus since their first meeting, and he didn’t know whether that was a good or bad thing. All he ever did was leave the food that Alec was going to get for the day at the top of the stairs before he even woke up.

The food was always the same: chicken, potatoes, and some vegetables. He was thankful for the balanced meal, but that was all he got for the day. He knew that if he was living off of just this, he was going to lose a lot of weight and become malnourished. It was no doubt intentional; the weaker he got, the less likely he would be able to get away. In order to be a thief, he needed to stay physically fit. If he were uninjured, he would have been able to take on Asmodeus and win, but as he was injured and continued getting weaker, his chances of winning decreased dramatically.

After he went and grabbed the food, he would always go and check on the cut on is leg. He had managed to prevent an infection, and it was healing quite well. He always kept it covered and didn’t work it too hard in order to allow it to heal. He still had to limp, as it wasn’t ready to bare his full weight yet. He knew if he was going to escape, he was going to have a narrow window to do so. The window would fall in the time between when his leg was healed enough to bare his full weight, and the time when he was still healthy enough to put up a good fight.

When he was finished checking his wound he would go and mark the wall, still keeping track of what day it was. He was on day eight. Magnus had to know he was alive at this point, if Magnus was still alive. Magnus had to still be alive, otherwise what would be the point of keeping his hostage? Asmodeus knew that him and his siblings would steal anything that he wanted stolen, so there’d be no point in holding him if Magnus was dead. He figured Asmodeus was just either waiting for something from Magnus, or was just using the fact that he had Alec as leverage over him.

He always split the food he was given so he could eat three separate meals. He had been constantly hungry over the past week, but spreading out the time that he ate gave him a little bit of relief. He ate his small breakfast and then would brush his teeth. That toothbrush was his prized possession at this moment; he didn’t know what he’d do without it. After doing the most hygenic thing he’d been doing the past week, he began to work out.

Working out was slightly counter-productive in that he was burning calories that he could use, but he also needed to keep his strength up for as long as possible. Working out kept his morale up as well, kept him sane, and gave him something to do. He was alone in an almost empty room, so working out was something that helped keep him from going crazy.

When he finished exercising, he would always wash himself off the best he could in the sink to try and keep himself clean. He had learned quickly that if he was going to keep up some semblance of a healthy life and routine, he was going to have to ignore the cameras. He could just sit on the mattress all day and wallow in self pity, but he refused to lose himself here.

After he’d clean himself off, he’d use his shirt to dry himself the best he could. He’d wash the shirt and then let it hang over the toilet to dry and by the time he went to sleep it would be. He knew he was going to have to wash his pants and underwear soon, but that was for a later time. He would wash them all separately because while he had gotten used to the cameras, he did not want to be sitting there fully naked.

Then he’d eat his second meal as well as drink a lot of water. He always made sure he drank a lot during the day because it made him feel slightly more full. He was probably more hydrated here than he had ever been. He’d drink a full glass, eat, then drink another glass.

When his mother and brother had died, Alec had taken up meditation in order to be a better rock for his younger siblings. He had tried to meditate at least once a day since then, as it helped him clear his head of his anxieties. He hadn’t done it much in recent months, as he began to spend more time with Magnus. Now, he did it every day in order to kill time, but also to keep himself sane.

Most of what he did during his day he did to keep himself sane, but the meditation was what helped the most. He’d sit on the mattress with his back against the wall, and just begin to breath. He’d focus in on his breathing and think only about how his chest would rise and fall with each individual breath. Because he still meditated semi-regularly, he was able to meditate for about an hour every day, and he knew if he continued he’d be able to go even longer.

When he finished his meditation, he spent his time planning his escape. At the moment, he had two different plans. One plan involved him beating the shit out of Asmodeus when he came down here and then just running. The other involved him using the rock to break through the window and cut through the wire. The second plan certainly had more flaws than the first, but since he hadn’t seen Asmodeus in a week, it might be his only option.

Given the cameras, how dull the rock he had was, the size of the windows, and the fact that he had to hold himself up to access any of the windows, he needed to come up with a better plan. The only other thing that moved in the room was the mattress, and there was no way he’d be able to configure it so he’d be able to stand on it. Even if he did destroy all the cameras, he had a feeling that Asmodeus was watching him twenty-four seven, and could be there within seconds. He wouldn’t have enough time to break the window and squeeze through the small gap, if he even fit through it.

He needed a new plan.

If Asmodeus came down, and if he was able to overpower him, he could run. He was in a suburban neighborhood, he was sure he could find someone to help him. But that was counting on three things: Asmodeus coming down, him overpowering Asmodeus, and then him being able to get out of the house and find a phone and some help. Those were three big ifs.

After he drove himself slightly crazy making plans, he’d eat the last part of his food. After he finished eating, unless something else tugged at his brain to think about, he meditated again. If his mind wandered anywhere or he had any free time, he would always go back to meditation in order to ground himself. It took him away from his surroundings and his situation. The more time he spent meditating, the less time he spent worrying about what lengths Magnus might go to to find him.

Once the sun went down, his shirt was usually dry. He put it back on before brushing his teeth again. Then he would curl up on the mattress. He knew it was cheesy, but he would look out at the moon and the light streaming in, hoping that Magnus would also be looking at the moon too. It was the only connection he could find between the two of them at this moment, and it was keeping him grounded.

So every night he fell asleep, looking at the moon as best he could, and thinking of Magnus.

***

Alec awoke one night covered in sweat and panicking. It was cloudy outside and the room was darker than it usually was at night, so he couldn’t see very well, but he needed to search the room. He needed to ensure his siblings weren’t there.

He had just woken up from a nightmare. He had tried to escape, and Asmodeus had caught him and thrown him back in, when he hit the ground, his siblings had come from the darkness, malnourished and beat up. They had tried to come to his aid, but he only panicked.

They wouldn’t be here with him. They couldn’t.

He had spent every moment for as long as he could remember protecting his siblings. He could barely handle it when he lost Max, but at least at that moment he had shared part of the responsibility with his parents. Now, Jace and Izzy were his responsibility entirely. If something were to happen to them, he would never recover.

When his eyes adjusted to the low light, he was able to see that he was alone in the room. He returned to his mattress. He laid back down into a puddle of his own sweat. He knew if he flipped the mattress, the other side would be covered in whatever dirt and dust was on the floor, so he left it. He just removed his shirt and left it over the toilet to dry.

When he laid back down, he couldn’t get his dream out of his mind. He couldn’t get Jace’s and Izzy’s faces out of his head. He tried meditating, focusing on his breathing, but they kept sneaking in.

So he thought of his siblings. What were they doing? They had to be helping Magnus try and find him, but he was hoping that Magnus was keeping anything Asmodeus had told him from them. He assumed that they were worried about him, and were insisting that they help, and he hoped Magnus kept them as far out of the situation as possible.

Magnus had to understand how dangerous his own father was. He had to understand that Alec would not let them anywhere near this kind of situation. He just had to pray that Magnus understood what Alec would do, and would keep his promise to him.

Alec didn’t sleep that night. He kept trying to drift off, but his siblings’ bloody and bruised bodies would be hovering over him every time he closed his eyes. So he just laid awake on the mattress, trying his best to meditate, for the rest of the night, he just continued to keep his hand on the L tattooed on his wrist, hoping they would somehow feel his presence through it. He even heard the door open as the sun began to come up. That was no doubt his food for the day, but he remained completely still, knowing now wasn’t the time. He also assumed the cameras had some sort of night vision capability. So he laid completely still, trying to get the image of his nightmare out of his head.

***

Three weeks later, Alec was still stuck. He was still having the same nightmare. He was still waking up in a pool of sweat, so he had just stopped sleeping in his shirt. His leg was mostly healed, but Asmodeus had not come down. He was becoming weaker by the day and his window was closing.

It was also his birthday.

Once a week, he would recount the days since he’d been taken to figure out exactly what the date was. He had decided randomly that today would be that day, and he had discovered that, presuming his counting was correct, it was his birthday.

He had actually been looking forward to his birthday this year. After his mother died on his birthday, he stopped making a big deal out of his. Because not only had she been killed on his eighteenth birthday protecting him, but she was always the one to make sure to make a big deal about their birthdays are children. He always continued to make a big deal over Jace’s and Izzy’s, trying to keep that part of his mother alive, but he always excluded his own. He had been excited to spend his birthday with Magnus, but this was not the birthday he had imagined.

He got up off the mattress, not bothering to put his shirt back on quite yet. He rubbed his hand across his face, feeling his beard that had begun to grow given he didn’t have a razor. He moved slowly over towards the stairs, where the food was sitting. He climbed slowly, and when he bent down to pick it up, the door opened towards him quickly. He was caught off guard as it hit him in the head. He went tumbling back down the stairs, and he hit his head on the ground, passing out.

***

He woke up slowly, barely registering his surroundings. He couldn’t see anything; there was something over his head and his chest was still bare. He was upright, and his feet were barely touching the ground. He was able to put weight onto the balls of his feet, but his heels wouldn’t reach the ground. His hands were tied together and suspended above his head. His breath quickened as he realized the exact situation he was in. He then felt a pair of cold hands grip his waist.

“Let’s give your boyfriend a show, shall we?”

It was the first voice Alec had heard in weeks, and it was right up against his ear. He shuddered as he realized exactly how close Asmodeus was to him.

The cover was ripped off his head and he squinted as the light flooded in. He blinked, trying his best to look around. The room was the same as it had been, the only difference was the camera that was set up opposite him. A look of realization crossed his face as he realized what was about to happen.

“Magnus,” Alec croaked, having not spoken in weeks.

“Go on, ask for him,” Asmodeus said, circling him, “beg for him,”

“Magnus don’t…” Alec took a breath in, “don’t show this to Jace and Izzy,”

“Oh why shouldn’t he?” Asmodeus asked, “make a family affair, sounds fun!”

Alec tried to pull himself up enough to kick Asmodeus in the chest for going after his family, but he was stopped with a quick punch to the gut. He keeled over best he could given his circumstances.

“Happy birthday, Alexander,” Asmodeus said softly, trailing a finger over him as he circled him, “you can thank my son for your gift,”

Asmodeus’ fist went into his gut again, but this time a lot harder and faster. Alec gasped for breath, the wind having been knocked out of him. Then came a slap across his face. Another punch went into his gut, this time leaving a large bruise. Asmodeus had put on a brass knuckle, which he was using to pound into Alec’s stomach. Soon enough, he began coughing blood, telling him something was bleeding inside of him.

He heard the brass knuckle clatter to the floor as Asmodeus circled behind him.

“Magnus, I’m begging you,” Alec said, giving a pleading look into the camera, as he took a deep breath in, “don’t show them,”

He screamed when he felt something make contact with his bare back. He couldn’t quite see what it was, but whatever it was, hurt terribly. He could hold back any screams of pain when he was just being punched, but this felt like he was being punched and cut and burned at the same time, so he screamed in pain.

He felt something running down his back, which he assumed was blood. It was slightly soothing over his burning back. He tried to meditate, focusing only on the blood running down his back, but each time he was struck, he was snapped out of his meditation. Yet he tried each time the pain let up enough for him to do so. He also tried to avoid thinking about how the cuts on his back could completely destroy his tattoos. It wasn’t the first thing that came to his mind, but it was another thought that he hated. There came a point where there was enough of a break for him to slip into some big of a meditation.

Then he got a slap to the face.

Asmodeus was standing right in front of him. Alec felt something cold against the skin of his neck. He began panicking when he realized it was a knife. Was Asmodeus really about to kill him?

Then the knife moved, but not across his neck. It made a cut just above his right eyebrow, which began bleeding instantly. He closed his eyes in order to keep blood from flowing into them, but he felt the blood falling down over his whole face.

There were a few more punches landed on his rib cage: ones he barely reacted to. His entire body was in so much pain, that a few additional punches did almost nothing. He was basically a human punching bag at this point, just swinging in whatever direction Asmodeus hit him.

When Asmodeus stopped punching him, he came up beside him. He wrapped an arm around his waist, causing him to wince and grabbed his chin with his other hand.

“Open your eyes, Alexander,” he said into his ear. When he didn’t comply, he slapped him. Alec opened his left eye a little, enough to look into the camera.

“Magnus,” he said, “please,”

“Oh, good boy, Alexander,” Asmodeus said, patting his waist lightly, causing him to flinch, then he shook Alec’s head a little, “look what you’ve done, Magnus,”

Alec let his left eye fall closed again. His body was in so much pain he could barely register anything around him, including Asmodeus’ voice, but he still focused on it the best he could to try and discern why this had happened.

“I hope you’ll think twice about not following my orders,” Asmodeus said, “each week you don’t do what I ask, we’re going to do this again, and, I don’t know how many more times he can take this,”

His hand left Alec’s waist and he left the knife trail up his arm before he cut the rope free from the ceiling. He immediately collapsed in a heap on the floor. Asmodeus stepped over to him before going over to the camera. Alec didn’t quite register what he did next. He could barely register anything besides the pain in his own body.

Eventually he heard Asmodeus walk away and the door shut, but he still didn’t move. He couldn’t. Every time he tried to shift his body, he’d find another unbearable pain. So he continued to lay there on the cold floor with his hands loosely bound together. He knew if he moved them the ropes would come free, but he wasn’t able to do that just now. He opened his eyes slightly, and he let out a small sigh of relief when he saw the camera was gone.

Then he let himself cry.

Pain. Frustration. Fear.

He just let it all out.

Chapter Text

“I think I’ve figured out how we can get Aline and Helen out of the city,” Jace said, entering the kitchen. Two days had passed since Clary left, and he had spent most of his time helping Magnus plan, not only keep his mind off Clary leaving, but to ensure Magnus had no plans of going after her. Magnus was currently cooking dinner, all his attention was focused on the stove until Jace spoke. Izzy was sitting at the table, running a deck of cards through her hands.

“How?” Magnus asked.

“We use Clary,” Jace said with a smile on his face, “we have Clary ask Aline and Helen if they want to reconnect, and then invite them out to where she’s staying,”

“That could work,” Izzy said, “that’s better than my plan,”

“What was your plan?” Magnus asked.

“Call in a threat to the mayor’s office,” Izzy replied.

“Oh, that’s a bad idea,” Jace looked at her.

“I know, that’s why we’re not doing it,” Izzy threw a card at him which he caught.

“Izzy, may I ask you a question?” Magnus asked.

“That was a question,” Izzy said with a smirk. Magnus smiled until he remembered the moment Alec had made the exact same joke. Izzy clearly realized this, and her face fell as well.

“What is it?” Izzy asked.

“Why are you playing with a deck of cards?”

“I’m practicing my sleight of hand,” Izzy demonstrated by taking a card and making it disappear from her hand.

“Why? Are we gonna start hustling tourists with three card monty?” Magnus deadpanned.

“No, it makes you a better pick-pocket,” Jace cut in, “your fingers make the same sort of movements when doing sleight of hand magic as they do when pick-pocketing,”

“Exactly,” Izzy said, spinning a card through her fingers, “also, it allows me to do this,”

She threw a card with a flick of her wrist towards Jace. He didn’t move, thinking it wasn’t going to hit him, until it cut his cheekbone.

“Ow! What the hell!” he yelled, putting a hand up to his cheek.

“What? It was a demonstration,” Izzy said as she laughed. She stood and walked over to the stove before stopping next to Magnus, “whatcha making?”

“Surf and turf,” Magnus said, “filet mignon and lobster tales with a side of artichoke hearts,”

“Wow,” Izzy said, looking down at the food on the stove, “your meals are getting more and more elaborate,”

“Thank you?” Magnus asked, not sure if it was a compliment.

“Well, I mean, thank you,” Izzy said, “you’ve been cooking for us three meals a day, spending the money on lobsters tails-”

“It’s not like we’re exactly hurting for money,” Magnus said.

“Still,” Izzy said, looking at the food that Magnus was now plating.

“He’s using it as a coping mechanism,” Jace said, causing both of them to look at him. A look of realization crossed Izzy’s face as a look of panic crossed Magnus’.

“You’re using it to keep your mind off things,” Izzy said, “that’s genius,”

“Uh...thanks,” Magnus said, turning all his attention onto his food.

“Anyway,” Izzy said, turning to Jace, “you’ll get in contact with Clary?”

“Yeah,” Jace said, “I still have no idea what to do with the other two,”

“Clary could also ask them to come too,” Izzy said, “they were all friends,”

“No, don’t have the other two go,” Magnus said, not looking up from the stove, “I’m gonna do it,”

“Magnus...” Izzy said, turning back towards him.

“What other choice do we have?!” Magnus yelled, slamming his hand on the counter. Izzy and Jace jumped and looked at each other, unsure of what to say.

“Exactly,” Magnus said, taking the lobster tails out of the oven and all but throwing the pan onto the stovetop, “now, I’m not gonna kill Clary, we’ve established that. I’d rather not kill the mayor’s daughter or her wife, because that will launch a whole other investigation and easily make national news. But the owner of a bookstop and the owner of a private security company? That’s possible,”

“I don’t like talking about this,” Izzy said, going back and sitting at the table.

“Well, we’ve gotta talk about it, Iz,” Jace said.

“Yeah, if we ever want Alec back,” Magnus said, bringing the food over to the table. Jace went and grabbed silverware and drinks before joining them at the table.

“I’ll make all the arrangements,” Magnus said, “you don’t have to worry about it. You’ll just know when it’s done,”

“Thank you,” Izzy said.

“I’ll keep helping you though, if you want it,” Jace said.

“I appreciate it,” Magnus said with a soft smile. Jace gave him a smile and a nod before they all began to eat.

***

“Jace, you are NOT coming with me!” Magnus said, getting himself dressed.

“Magnus, this dude is ex-military. This is dangerous,” Jace replied.

“I know that, but I can handle it,” Magnus looked at him, “I’ve done this before, you haven’t,”

“That doesn’t mean I can’t help!”

“Yes it does, Jace!” Magnus pulled his shirt over his head, “I need to be the one to do this, my father won’t have it any other way,”

“At least let me come,” Jace said, “I’ll stay outside unless something goes wrong,”

“No. Like you said, it’s dangerous,” Magnus replied.

“Exactly, which is why I should go with you,” Jace insisted.

“Jace,” Magnus said softly, looking at him, “there’s a chance I don’t come back from this. If you come with me, you might not come back either,”

“I know that’s why I’m…”

“No! Jace you don’t understand!” Magnus said firmly, “if I don’t come back, you need to be here to get Alec back. You need to be here when he comes back,”

“So do you!”

“Yeah, but someone has to do this,” Magnus stated, “just let me do this Jace, please,”

Jace took a breath in then extended his hand out to Magnus, “fine,”

“I’ll be back soon,” Magnus shook his hand and grabbed the car keys before exiting the firehouse into the garage. He exhaled and leaned against the door, taking a moment to collect himself before going and getting in the car.

***

“That sounded like it went well,” Izzy remarked when Jace flopped down into a chair in her office. He sighed, leaning back and putting his head in his hands.

“We shouldn’t follow him, right?” Jace asked, eyeing his sister through the slits between his fingers. Her eyes narrowed as she thought.

“We definitely shouldn’t,” Izzy replied, “but when have we ever been known for making good decisions?”

“We certainly aren’t known for that,” Jace said, smiling at his sister. She was the first to stand and begin moving quickly out of her office, and Jace followed.

“Grab comms,” he said as he ran upstairs to get a jacket.

“Where is he going?” Izzy called up as she went back into her office for comms.

“Apparently, Jem Carstairs stays late at the office on Mondays,” Jace replied.

“Is that smart?” Izzy asked, “going after him in the office building of a private security company?”

“It’s the only routine we could find for this guy,” Jace sighed as he came back down, “it’s not ideal, but it’s the only way we could guarantee we’d find him alone,”

“Alright, I’ll drive, you navigate us there?” she asked, handing him a comm.

“No, we can’t drive,” he said, “Magnus took the car. All we’ve got left is the limo or the van,”

“Both are a little suspicious…” she thought.

“We’ll take the subway,” he said, grabbing his wallet.

“So Magnus took the car that’s registered in our name to go kill someone?” Izzy asked as they left.

“Relax, he’s parking like ten blocks away,” Jace said, “we scouted the traffic cameras in the area. He knows the blind spots. The cameras will lose him,”

“Okay,” Izzy replied, “so are we just going to watch across the street? Hang out in the car?”

“We’ll guard the door,” Jace locked door behind them

“How?”

“I’m working on it,” Jace turned to head towards the subway station, “let’s just get there,”

***

Magnus moved silently through the dark. He had parked the car outside an apartment building a block away from Jem Carstairs’ building before using the fire escape to get onto the roof. He was now moving from roof to roof with practiced precision. A lot of the jobs he worked with his father involved sneaking around like this, so he was quite practiced in it.

The only issue here was that the building he was trying to access was over a long alley. He was jumping down as that building was lower than the one he was currently on, but he had to clear an eight foot gap. Him and Jace hadn’t found an easier way to enter the building, so his only option was to try and clear the gap that was twenty stories above the ground.

He took a deep breath in as he looked down over the edge of the building. He took a few steps away from the edge and rolled his shoulders back, trying to not think of what he was about to do. He pushed out all the distractions before he took off running towards the edge. He planted his foot firmly on the ground before launching himself across the gap. Magnus swung his arms forward to give himself more momentum before he felt his feet plant themselves firmly on the rooftop and he crouched down into a roll to slow his momentum. He took a breath in and barked out a laugh. He made it.

He took a breath before removing the screwdriver from his belt. He moved over to the ventilation shaft and began to try and unscrew the cover. This was his most direct route into the building, but it was a straight shot down into the boiler room, which was twenty stories below. The vent grate was old and rusted, making the screws hard to get lose. Jace had suggested that he bring a drill, but he had argued against it, saying it was too big and bulky to jump with. It was already hard enough with all the equipment that was stuffed into the small backpack he wore. He knew he wouldn’t have been able to make that jump with a drill attached to his hip, but he wished he had it now.

He sighed, finally giving up on getting the screws loose. He sat down on the roof and leaned up against the ventilation shaft, closed his eyes, and groaned. He wasn’t going to be able to get into the building. He wasn’t going to be able to do what his father had asked. He wasn’t going to be able to get Alec back.

When he opened his eyes, his vision was blurry from the tears that threatened to spill. He used the back of his sleeve to wipe them away before looking up at the sky. The city lights were bright, blocking most of the stars from his view, but he did see the moon. He knew it was cheesy, but he found comfort in looking at the moon, his hope being that Alec was also looking at the moon, thinking of him. That was the only connection he could find to his boyfriend at the moment, and he was going to take it. Magnus took a breath in. He needed to find another way inside the building.

He had all his rigging equipment in his bag, as the original plan was for him to repel down the ventilation shaft. The plan now had to change.

He stood before moving over to the edge of the building. He peered over, trying to spot some sort of exterior vent or open window he could infiltrate. The only one he could find was three stories down along the front side of the building: the side that faced the street. If he was going to do this, he would have to move quickly, so to not be seen by anyone below.

He began attaching his equipment to an anchor point on the roof. Once he was rigged up, he looked down over the edge. Given the late hour of the evening, there were very few people on the streets. He saw two people hanging out near the front of the building who didn’t look like they were moving anytime soon. They didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the building itself; more into the conversation they were having with each other.

So he quickly climbed over the side of the building. He was just praying that this vent would be easier to open than the one on the roof. He climbed down until he was in front of the vent and then tied a knot that would allow himself to act as his own counter-weight. He removed the screwdriver from his belt and put it up the first screw. He turned the screwdriver, and the screw moved with relative ease. It took all his power not to yell in celebration.

He unscrewed three of the vent screws, leaving one attached so the grate wouldn’t fall to the ground. He made sure he had a good grip on the inside of the vent before he unclipped himself from his rig and attached it to the grate of the vent. He pulled himself fully inside the vent and pulled the grate back to rest in place before slowly making his way inside the building.

Jem Carstairs’ office was in the penthouse. His initial plan was to go down to the basement then make his way up through a back stairwell that didn’t have any cameras in it. Now he had no idea where this vent shaft could take him. He hated to admit it, but he wished he had Izzy in his ear so she could help him navigate through these vents.

He took a moment to think. He couldn’t just drop down from the vents because there were cameras all over the building. His initial plan had kept him out of the cameras, but he didn’t know how to access that back staircase from where he was. His options were limited at best, and he considered just climbing back out and coming back next Monday with a better plan.

Then his phone vibrated.

He quickly pulled it out of his pocket. Usually he turned it off when he was on jobs, but he never knew when his father was going to call, so he had opted to just silent it. When he pulled it out, he saw the call was from Izzy. He crawled to the nearest grate and saw that the room it led to was dark and vacant. He scanned for any cameras and when he didn’t see any he pushed the grate open and dropped down into the room before answering.

“Izzy, you’re just the person I need to talk to,” Magnus said softly into the phone, not knowing if any of the rooms nearby were occupied.

“There’s someone else in the building with you,” Izzy said, ignoring Magnus’ remark.

“What?”

“Someone else just walked into the building,” Izzy repeated, “Jace followed him in and is going to neutralize him, but we wanted to give you a heads up,”

“Wait...you’re here?!” Magnus hissed, looking out a window in the room.

“Yes…”

“I literally told Jace not to come!”

“We can argue about this later!” she hissed, “you said you needed help. With what?”

Magnus sighed. She was on the phone with him, he might as well use it, “I need you to get me to the back stairwell from the room I’m in, preferably avoiding the cameras,”

“What room are you in?”

“Um…” he looked around, looking for any indicator for the room he was in, “okay. I’m going to flash the lights really quick. I’m on one of the top five floors, right corner,”

“Okay,”

Magnus went over to the switch on the wall and quickly turned it on then off.

“Got it,” Izzy said, “give me a second,”

Magnus nodded even though she couldn’t see it. He tapped his foot both in impatience and anxiety, keeping the phone up to his ear.

“Magnus, hide,” Izzy said all of a sudden.

“What?”

“You need to hide right now,”

Magnus hung up the phone and put it in his pocket before launching himself back up into the vent. He pulled himself inside and pulled the grate back up and locked it into place just as the door below him burst open.

“Check around,” the first man who entered the room said. Another followed him in and they began to search around the room.

“What the hell, Jem?” the other man asked. Magnus peered through the grate and looked at the other man. He nearly gasped when he saw it was Jem Carstairs searching the room.

“No one is supposed to be in this building,” Jem said.

“Then why the hell did the lights flash in here?” the other asked.

“I don’t know, Luke!” Jem yelled, “that’s why we’re checking,”

Magnus’ heart nearly stopped. That couldn’t be Luke Garroway. It couldn’t be that easy.

“There’s no one here, Jem,” Luke said, “maybe it was an electrical malfunction,”

“Maybe,” Jem said, pulling out one of the chairs and sitting in it.

“Why the hell am I here, Jem?” Luke asked, “why am I here in your office at two o’clock in the morning?”

“Shh!” Jem shushed him, “we don’t know who’s listening,”

“What the hell is going on, man?” Luke asked, still rather loudly.

“For Christ’s sake, keep your voice down, Luke!” Jem hissed.

“Will you just tell me what’s going on?” Luke whispered.

“I will,” Jem said softly, “I just needed to make sure no one can hear us,”

“So what’s the big secret?”

“Clary contacted me,” Jem replied.

“Clary Fray? From college?” Luke asked.

“Yeah. Clary Fray from college,” Jem replied.

“What did she say?” Luke was now beginning to understand the two am secret meeting between them.

“She said that someone is hunting us down. Her, you, me, Aline, and Helen,” Jem replied, “someone’s trying to kill us,”

“Over what we saw in college?” Luke asked.

“I would assume,” Jem replied, “I mean, that’s the only thing that connects us,”

“Did she tell Aline and Helen?” Luke asked.

“Yeah. They’re at some cabin upstate,” Jem replied, “she invited us up there as well,”

Magnus couldn’t believe his ears. Clary had told them. She had gone behind their backs and told them. She was ruining the only chance they had at getting Alec back. If all five of them left, his father would know that something was up. He knew what he had to do. He had to kill them both, and he had to kill them both now.

Magnus took a deep breath in as he pulled the mask he had down over his face. He pulled his gun from its holster and put it up the vent grate. He took a moment to aim, going for Jem first, knowing he’d be harder to fight hand to hand than Luke. Having taken his aim, he put a hand up on the vent, knowing he was going to need to push it down and pounce on Luke right after he took the shot. He took a breath in and closed his eyes.

Then he pulled the trigger.

The shot rang out through the room and the vent. Magnus immediately opened his eyes and pushed the vent down. He launched himself out of the vent and easily saw that Jem Carstairs was on the ground. Luke took a moment to register what had happened before he launched himself at Magnus. Just as he did, the door burst open and Jace came running through.

“What the hell are you doing here?!” Magnus yelled, but Jace ignored him, only jumping onto Luke’s back and wrapped an arm tight around his neck. Magnus raised his gun, but the two were moving too much for Magnus to take a solid aim. Magnus got on the ground and swung his leg out, effectively knocking Luke to the ground. Jace fell underneath him, but he still kept his grip. Magnus stood and quickly moved to stand over Luke. He placed the barrel of the gun against his head.

“No...don’t…” Luke choked out. Magnus closed his eyes.

Then he pulled the trigger.

The shot echoed throughout the room as Jace pushed the man off of him. He stood with blood covering his face and torso. Magnus quickly put his gun away and pushed the mask up over his face, taking deep breaths in. He turned away from the bodies and towards the window, trying to push what he had just done out of his mind.

“Magnus,”

The voice barely registered in Magnus’ brain. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder.

“Magnus, we have to go,”

He turned and saw Jace standing behind him. He nodded and went to pull himself back up into the vent. He heard Jace climb in behind him. Magnus continued to take deep breaths, trying to stave off his imminent panic attack. He just needed to get back to the firehouse, then he could let himself feel.

When they reached the exterior vent, Magnus pushed it off, taking great care to ensure the final screw stayed. He looked behind him at Jace then at the vent surrounding them, knowing that it was too small for Jace to squeeze past him and go first.

“Okay, Jace,” Magnus said, “there is a screwdriver in my belt and three screws in my left back pocket. Since you can’t climb around me to go first, you’re going to have to reattach the grate,”

“Okay,” Jace said, reaching into Magnus’ pocket to get the screws. He grabbed the screwdriver as well, “got it,”

“Alright, you know how to tie yourself off?” Magnus asked.

“Yeah,” Jace replied. Magnus nodded before undoing the clip from the vent. He attached it to the harness around his hips.

“I’ll send the harness back down with the rig,” Magnus said, “be careful,”

“You too,” Jace replied. Magnus then swung out of the vent, using his own strength to hold himself up. He climbed back up onto the roof, only taking a relaxed breath when he got there. He took the harness off and looked over the ledge. He saw Jace watching him and he tossed the harness down. He saw Jace catch it before retreating inside the vent. Then his anger began to brew.

His anger at Clary. His anger at Jace. His anger at his father. Everything.

He had not been prepared to kill two people tonight. He had gotten himself to a place where he could go after Jem, a man with somewhat shady dealings in his private security company. He had not been prepared to go for the bookstore owner tonight. If Clary hadn’t told Jem, he would’ve had more time to plan, to prepare to go after Luke. Clary was only supposed to invite Aline and Helen. He couldn’t believe her. She had nearly ruined their chance of getting Alec back.

Then his anger turned to Jace. He had told him multiple times not to come, yet here he was. In his way and putting himself in danger. He also didn’t know how much of a connection he had with what had just happened with Jem and Luke. He very well could’ve been the one to tell Clary to invite them too. He didn’t know which would anger him more: Clary doing it of her own volition or Jace being the one to tell her to.

Once Jace was up on the roof, Magnus knew better than to speak to him. If they spoke, it was going to turn into a big argument, which was not something that needed to happen on the roof of a building where he had just killed two people. All he did was begin to detach the rig from it’s spot on the roof. Jace took off the harness and silently handed back the screwdriver, thankfully not questioning the silent treatment Magnus was giving him.

“Unless you’re climbing over rooftops, you can find your own way home,” Magnus said as he put on his backpack. He went over to the of the roof before looking over. He took a few steps back before taking a calculated jump onto an adjacent rooftop.

***

“Magnus isn’t coming back to the firehouse,” Izzy said to Jace after looking up from her phone. The two were sitting in a subway station, waiting for their train home.

“What? Why?” Jace asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied, “all he said was that he was spending the night at his house,”

“Yeah...he’s probably still mad at me,”

“Why? For coming?” she asked.

“And for...um…telling Clary to invite Jem and Luke upstate too,”

“What?!” she shot up off the bench they were sitting on, “Jace!”

“I’m sorry!” Jace said, “I don’t know if he figured out I told Clary or if he thinks Clary did it herself,”

“Why would you do that?” she asked, “you could’ve killed our chances of getting Alec back!”

“I know! I know! It was stupid!” Jace put his head in his hands and took a breath in, “I just thought...Alec wouldn’t want Magnus to be caused any pain, and...well, killing causes him pain. I was just doing what I thought Alec would want…”

Jace trailed off as tears gathered in his eye. Izzy sighed and sat back down next to him, rubbing a soothing hand over his back.

“It’s okay, Jace,” Izzy said, “just maybe, run those decisions by me first,”

“Yeah,” he wiped the tears from his eyes before they were able to spill over.

“How do we even know this is gonna work?” Jace asked, “Asmodeus seems like a kind of all or nothing guy,”

“I don’t think it’s gonna work,” Izzy said, “I think Magnus is just stalling for time. He said his father was crazy, and eventually would slip up. I think he’s waiting for the slip up,”

“What if the slip up doesn’t come until it’s too late?”

“It won’t,” Izzy said quickly, “it can’t,”

***

Magnus had decided on his drive back to the firehouse that he wasn’t going to yell at Jace. Everything he was mad about was in the past, and arguing about it now wasn’t going to change anything. But he did decide that he needed to be alone tonight, so on his drive back to the firehouse, he called his driver to pick him up and take him home. Magnus got back before they did, so he sent Izzy a quick text that he was spending the night at his house before getting in the car with his driver.

He took a deep breath when he arrived home. This was the first time he had been back since his father had taken Alec. He knew the bugs were still in the house, watching him, but he didn’t have the energy to find and remove them. And maybe his father seeing him in this much emotional turmoil would maybe make him okay with the fact that he wasn’t going to kill Aline, Helen, or Clary.

When he got up to his room, he quickly shed himself of his clothes and tossed them down the laundry shoot with the thought of getting in the shower. He knew he needed to cry; he needed to freak out. The question became, was he going to do it in the shower, where he usually did, or out in his room, where his father could see him? If he was going to try to manipulate his father, he needed to show him his pain.

So Magnus let go of the hold he had on his emotions. His breathing picked up as he slowly sat down on his bed. The silk of his sheets usually felt soft against his skin, but now felt like sandpaper against his bare legs. The tears began to flow, but he barely felt them on his face. His brain was short circuiting: not focusing on anything but the panic he felt spreading over his entire body. He didn’t even hear his phone ring.

His phone kept ringing as he rode out his panic attack. Each time it started ringing again, he didn’t register the sound in his mind. As he slowly began to come down from it he made a conscious effort to slow his breathing. His body was tired and all he wanted to do was collapsed on the bed and fall asleep, but as he came back, he heard his phone ringing.

The ringing stopped and he got up and grabbed his phone from his bedside table. There were seven missed calls from Alec, which meant seven missed calls from his father. Just then, the phone began ringing again. He looked over to the area where he knew the bug was sitting in his room before he answered the phone.

“What do you want?” Magnus asked, not trying to hide the fact that he had been crying. His father knew.

“Ouch, son, aren’t you happy to hear from me?” his father loved to chastise him.

“I’m really not in the mood to talk right now,”

“You should always be in the mood to talk to the man holding your boyfriend hostage,”

Magnus sighed, then changed to a cheery tone of voice, “hi dad, how are you doing?”

“I’m wonderful son, how are you?”

“Well, I’ve been better,”

“So you took care of one of them?” Asmodeus’ voice became more serious.

“Two, actually,” Magnus replied, “I was going for Jem, but then Luke ended up being there too, so…”

“Oh! Good job, son,” Magnus could see Asmodeus’ smile.

“Here’s the thing,” Magnus said, “I’ve been trying, but I can’t find the other three,”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t find the other three people you want me to go after,” Magnus repeated, “I’ve found addresses and work places for all three of them, but I’ve been watching and I haven’t been able to find them,”

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you, son,” Asmodeus said, “we had a deal. If you want Alexander to stay in perfect physical health...”

“I know, I know, but how am I supposed to get them if I can’t find them?”

“Well, you still have two weeks,” Asmodeus replied, “I suggest you figure it out before then,”

And he hung up the phone.

***

“I don’t know what to do,” Magnus said, his head in his hands. He was sitting on the couch in the center of the firehouse the following day. Jace and Izzy sat in the two arm chairs as he had explained to them the conversation he had had with his father the night before.

“His birthday is in two weeks,” Izzy said, “you have time to figure it out,”

“But there are really only two options here,” Magnus said, “kill them and possibly get Alec back or don’t kill, and hope my father slips up enough for us to find him before it’s too late,”

“You’re not killing Clary,” Jace said, looking directly at him.

“For the last goddamn time, Jace, I am not going to kill Clary!” Magnus yelled, then he took a deep breath, “it’s just the question of whether or not I go after Aline and Helen,”

“That’ll make national news,” Izzy said, “I don’t know if we can risk that,”

“Then I have to ask you a question,” Magnus said, “are you okay with putting Alec’s safety on the line in order to keep these people alive in hopes that my father will make a big enough mistake that we can find him?”

“Yes,” Jace said instantly.

“Yes,” Izzy sighed, not wanting to think about it.

“And we’re okay with Alec having to pay the price for our actions? Because that’s what we’re risking here,” Magnus said, looking between the siblings. If it was completely up to him, he wouldn’t risk it. He didn’t want Alec to suffer as a result of his actions. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t completely up to him. He was working with Alec’s siblings, and he was scared to go behind their backs like this. He was convinced that if he went after Clary that Jace would kill him, and he couldn’t save Alec if he himself was dead. He couldn’t quite believe that he was willing to risk his girlfriend for his brother, but this wasn’t an argument he had the energy to start now.

He look at Jace and Izzy, waiting for an answer. They looked at each other before looking back at Magnus.

“Yes,”

***

Alec’s birthday came quicker than any of them could prepare for. The mood around the firehouse was solemn and tense. No one wanted to acknowledge the fact that Alec wasn’t with them for his own birthday, and no one knew what to expect from Asmodeus.

Magnus woke up in Alec’s bed with Alec’s side empty, as he had been for the past month. With the blissful ignorance that came with emerging from sleep, he always thought Alec would be there with him, but was then crushed to find the spot empty and cold.

As he slowly came to, he heard his phone ringing. He groaned as he rolled over, throwing his hand onto the bedside table, searching for his phone. When he found it, he rolled back over and looked at the caller ID. It was his father. He immediately tensed up, not knowing what to expect.

“Why isn’t it done?” his father asked as soon as he picked up, not even giving him time to speak.

“I told you, I couldn’t find them,” Magnus said, “I talked to friends and family. No one knew where they went,”

“Do you know them?” Asmodeus asked.

“What? No why would I know them?” Magnus asked, only lying a little.

“Did you tell them to get out of the city?”

“Why would I do that?” Magnus asked. “why would I risk my boyfriend’s safety for someone I’ve never met? What did you expect me to do?! You can’t hold this against Alec,”

“Well, we did have a deal, son,” Asmodeus said, “and you didn’t hold up your end of the bargain,”

“How was I supposed to?” Magnus asked, “you can’t punish him for something I had no control over!”

“We’ll see about that,”

And with that, Asmodeus hung up the phone. Magnus sighed and dropped the phone before putting his head in his hands. He was not prepared for what was to come. He slowly got out of bed and was surprised to see he was the only one up.

So he did what he did every morning. He pulled out a pan and began cooking them all breakfast. He wanted to make something elaborate in order to get his mind off the day, but he couldn’t bring himself to concoct anything. So he went into the fridge and pulled out whatever he could find to start making them omelets.

Jace was the first to enter the kitchen. Magnus had come to terms with the fact that Jace didn’t put a shirt on in the morning until he had taken a shower, and his showers were happening later and later these days. Magnus gave him a nod which Jace returned. He noticed how his hand lingered over the tattoo on his torso that he and Alec shared, but he elected not to mention it.

Izzy came in not too long after. Her hair was still wet, but she was dressed for the day. Magnus felt a little out of place still in his pajamas, given that he had put a lot of effort into keeping up his appearance the past couple of weeks. When she entered the kitchen, she walked over to her brother who just wrapped his arms around her. She rested her head on his shoulder and took a deep breath in.

“I hate this,” she said, “I really really hate this,”

“I know,” Magnus replied, not looking up from what he was making, “I hate it too,”

“It’s just...it’s so unfair!” she exclaimed, “he hasn’t had a good birthday since before mom died, and he’s put in so much effort to make sure our birthdays are still special. I was hoping this year with you, he could have a happy birthday,”

“Yeah...well…” Magnus took a breath in, trying to think of the right thing to say, “we’ll just have to make next year extra special,”

“If there even is a next year,” Jace said under his breath.

“Jace!” Izzy pulled away from him, slapping his head, “how could you say that?!”

“I’m just being realistic!” Jace stood, “we don’t know what’s going to happen today,”

“My father is going to slip up today,” Magnus said, turning off the stove, “I can feel it,”

“And what if you’re wrong?” Jace asked, “what if it’s too late?”

“It won’t be,” Magnus took a breath in, “it can’t be,”

“You better hope it’s not,” Jace said.

“Why are you making this out to be my fault?!” Magnus yelled, “you were the one who was ready to kill me and possibly lose your own brother so that I wouldn’t kill your girlfriend!”

“Are you saying that you would have?!” Jace stomped towards him. Magnus instinctively took a few steps back before stopping and standing his ground.

“If we didn’t know her at all, I certainly would’ve,” Magnus said, “I’d do anything to get Alec back. I am risking his safety for you and your girlfriend,”

“Would you have killed her if I hadn’t stop you?” Jace asked.

“I don’t know,” Magnus answered honestly, “after some thought, I probably would’ve,”

“Seriously?” Jace said, “you would’ve killed her?!”

“I can’t believe you’d sacrifice your brother’s safety and possibly his life for a girl you’ve been dating for three months!” Magnus yelled. He couldn’t take it anymore. These thoughts had been playing around in his mind for the past month, but he had never had the energy to confront him about it. Though he didn’t like killing, and it did eat away at his moral conscious, he would’ve done it if he knew that Alec would be safe in the end. Jace looked stared at the wall behind Magnus, avoiding his piercing gaze.

“So don’t you dare turn this around and try and make this my fault,” Magnus said harshly, “because whatever happens to Alec today is on you,”

Magnus walked past Jace and out of the kitchen, making a point to hit his shoulder as he walked past him. Jace grabbed him by the shoulder, stopping him where he was.

“Jace! No!” Izzy said, ripping his hand off Magnus’ shoulder, “don’t do anything stupid,”

Jace was about to reply, but Magnus left the room before he did. As angry as he was at Jace, he did not want to get into a fist fight with him. As good as he was, he knew Jace was stronger and he wouldn’t win. And a fight wouldn’t do anything. It was already too late to stop what was going to happen today. He went up the stairs and into Alec’s room, closing the door and locking it behind him. As the anger began to slip away, the fear began to take over. He let tears freely flow from his eyes. Then he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.

He took a deep breath and wiped his eyes before removing the phone. It was a message from his father, and there was a video file attached with the message

Your birthday present to Alexander

He didn’t want to watch the video, but he knew that he had to. He sat down at the desk and rested his phone against the wall. He opened the video and hit play.

He gasped as he saw Alec. The light in the room was low, only coming in through the small windows close to the ceiling. He had a bag over his head, his shirt was off and he looked noticeably thinner. His hands were tied to the ceiling and his feet could barely touch the ground. He saw the mattress he had been sleeping on in the corner of the room along with markings on the wall that Magnus assumed he had been using to keep track of time.

“Let’s give your boyfriend a show, shall we?” Magnus heard his father’s voice and he was dragged back to the central focus of the video. Anger rushed through his body as he saw his father’s hands on Alec’s waist. All he wanted to do was rip his father away from his boyfriend and just hold Alec while they watched his father disappear into oblivion.

His father ripped the bag off Alec’s head and he blinked a few times before looking directly into the camera. Magnus’ heart broke at the fear and confusion that he saw as he looked deep into his blue orbs. While his face looked a little thinner, it was hidden by the thickness of the beard that had grown over the past month. He then saw the look of realization cross Alec’s face, and the same look crossed Magnus’. He knew what was about to happen.

“Magnus…” Alec’s voice croaked. Magnus nearly cried out, reaching out his hand, ghosting his fingers over the screen, just wanting to hold him.

“Go on, ask for him. Beg for him,” his father said as he made a circle around Alec.

“Magnus don’t...don’t show this to Jace and Izzy,” Alec said, looking directly at Magnus through the camera.

“Oh why shouldn’t he? Make a family affair, sounds fun!” his father smiled. Magnus saw Alec try to attack Asmodeus for going after his family, but was met with a swift punch to the gut. Alec keeled over, clearly not expecting it.

“Happy birthday, Alexander,” Asmodeus said, trailing a finger across Alec’s shoulders. Magnus wanted to cut off his father’s hands as he continued to touch his boyfriend, “you can thank my son for your gift,”

Magnus closed his eyes as his father’s fist connected with Alec’s gut. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, seeing his father beating Alec with a brass knuckle. This went on until Alec began coughing up blood. Then Alec made eye contact with the camera.

“Magnus...I’m begging you...don’t show them,”

Then he screamed as his father brought a whip down on his back. Magnus shrieked as well, as the tears began to flow freely from his eyes. He could tell his boyfriend was trying to hold back and not show the true amount of pain that he was in, but Magnus saw it. He knew what he was feeling, and he felt it too.

When his father dropped the whip, he pulled a knife from his belt and after slapping Alec across the face, ran the dull edge of the blade across his neck. Magnus’ blood went cold. His father wouldn’t kill him here, would he? He held his breath as his father raised the knife, and made a cut across Alec’s forehead, causing blood to begin to flow down the right side of his face.

His father landed a few more punches, pushing him around like a punching bag. After he was done, his father again put his hand on Alec’s waist, causing him to wince. That was what angered Magnus the most. His father wasn’t allowed to touch Alec at all, but the gentle touches are what got under his skin. He grabbed Alec’s chin and forced him to look at the camera, where his eyes were still closed to keep the blood from flowing into them.

“Open your eyes, Alexander,” his father said. When Alec didn’t, his father slapped him. He opened his eyes a little bit.

“Magnus...please,” Alec said, giving the camera a pleading look.

“Oh good boy, Alexander!” Asmodeus patted his waist a few times, causing him to flinch again. Magnus’ blood was boiling.

“Look what you’ve done, Magnus,” Asmodeus moved Alec’s head a little, “I hope you’ll think twice about not following my orders. Each week you don’t do what I ask, we’re going to do this again, and, I don’t know how many more times he can take this,”

Then the video cut out. Magnus put his head in his hands and let the tears flow freely. Then he heard the floor creek behind him. He turned quickly and saw Izzy standing in the doorway with a lockpick in her hand and Jace standing right outside the door. He quickly wiped his tears and took a deep breath in.

“How long have you been standing there?” Magnus asked, sniffling.

“Long enough,” Izzy replied, taking a few more steps into the room, “is he...is he dead?”

“No. Not yet,” Magnus said, looking back at the dark screen of his phone.

“Can I,” Izzy took a breath in, “can I see the video?”

“No!” Magnus said quickly, remembering the only thing Alec had asked of him. He could’ve said anything to him, and all he cared about was his siblings not seeing him like that.

“Why not?” Jace said, entering the room. Magnus only glared at him

“Because,” Magnus took a breath in, “throughout the whole thing he practically begged me not to...that’s the only thing he had asked...it’s the only thing he said to me,”

“Not to show it to us?” Izzy asked, “why?”

“Why do you think?” Jace laughed, “this is our brother we’re talking about,”

“True,” Izzy said, “but he’s not here right now, Magnus,”

“Still,” Magnus said, “if you could see the look in his eyes...hear the sincerity in his voice...I can’t show it to you. I’m sorry,”

“But Magnus,” Izzy said, “what if your father slipped up?”

“Then I’ll find it,” Magnus said, “I know him best. If he slipped up, I’ll find it,”

“So you’re just going to sit here and keep watching it?” Izzy asked.

“Yes,” Magnus replied, “whatever it takes. Now, please leave me to that,”

Izzy took a deep breath and nodded. She walked over and wrapped her arms around Magnus before exiting the room. Jace gave him a curt nod and followed before shutting the door behind him. Magnus took a deep breath in and looked back at his phone. He needed to keep watching this for Alec’s sake. He unlocked the phone and opened the video, playing it again.

***

“Izzy! Izzy!” Magnus practically ran out of Alec’s room nearly an hour later, “Isabelle!”

“I’m in my office!” she yelled from downstairs. Magnus quickly ran down the stairs and burst through her office door.

“How many houses do you suppose have security wire in their basement windows?” Magnus asked.

“I don’t know, I don’t usually think about that,” Izzy said, “why do you ask?”

“Look at this,” Magnus took out his phone and pulled up a screenshot he had cropped of the window in the background of the video his father had sent him. The only part of Alec that was visible was his right hand. Part of his L tattoo was poking out from under the rope around his wrist, “there’s grass through that window, meaning they’re outside the city, probably in a residential home, and there’s security wire in the window. It might be a longshot, but…”

“But if we start searching through companies that install security wire windows, and find residential addresses, we can find who owns those houses, and we can find him!” Izzy exclaimed, quickly pulling up multiple tabs on her monitors.

“That could take months,”

Both whipped their heads up and saw Jace standing in the doorway.

“Searching through every single company and finding all the residential addresses in the entire country, the entire world,” Jace said, sitting down, “that’s impossible,”

“So we start local,” Izzy said, “we start within a fifty mile radius. Then expand it to one hundred, then to one hundred and fifty, and so on,”

“That could still take months!” Jace insisted

“I know,” Izzy said, “but it’s all we’ve got,”

“Look, I think we should try it because it’s better than nothing, ” Magnus said, “but Alec might not have...months,”

Both Izzy and Jace stared at him. Magnus took a breath in.

“My father...um...for lack of a better phrase, beat the shit out of him. And he said he would do that again for every week that I didn’t kill Aline, Helen, and Clary,” Magnus took a breath in, “and given the severity of the beating my father gave him...I don’t know how many more he can take,”

“So we work fast,” Izzy said, “we’ll find him,”

***

A week later, nothing had changed. Jace, Izzy, and Magnus had been searching non-stop through records Izzy had managed to hack into. She had come up with a simple system for them each to follow: all three of them would search up the address, find if it was a residential home, and if it was, they’d pass it onto Izzy, and she would find out who owned the home. They’d gotten out to a one hundred and fifty mile radius from where they were, and they had still found nothing.

Magnus had gotten another video from his father that morning, and he had stopped searching to go and watch it. Alec hadn’t healed well since the first beating, he was thinner, and Magnus could tell he was slowly deteriorating. He barely had the energy to tell him to not show the video to Jace and Izzy. At the end, Asmodeus had forced him to say ‘I love you’ and that made Magnus cry. The pain he felt in his chest was unbearable. They needed to find him soon. He didn’t know how many more times Alec could do this, and he didn’t know how many more times he could do this.

“Is he…” Izzy began as soon as he reentered her office.

“He’s still alive, but barely,” Magnus replied, sitting back down in front of his computer, “I don’t know if he can take another beating,”

“Then we find him,” Jace replied, handing a sheet of paper to Izzy, “here’s a list of residential addresses from the companies you gave me,”

“Thanks,” Izzy took the sheet of paper and put it down in front of her as she began to work.

“Magnus,” Jace turned to face him, “I...I’m sorry for what I said to you last week. This is my fault, I shouldn’t have put it on you,”

“Thank you for your apology,” Magnus said.

“And...um…,” Jace groaned, running his hands through his hair, “if we don’t find him in the next five days...I’ll tell you where Helen, Aline, and Clary are,”

Magnus’ eyes widened, “you’re serious?”

“Yes,” Jace replied, “I realized I didn’t have my priorities straight...I’m sorry. I know Alec would’ve put me before you, no offense,”

“None taken. I know what he would’ve done,” Magnus said.

“Don’t say that so fast, Jace,” Izzy said, not looking up from her computer.

“What?” Jace asked.

“I feel his allegiances might be shifting,” Izzy remarked.

“I’d rather him not have to make the choice at all,” Magnus cut in.

“Right...anyway, I still wanna hold out for this,” Jace said, gesturing to their workspace and bringing them back to the subject at hand, “but if it doesn’t work...I’ll tell you where,”

“That won’t be necessary guys,” Izzy said, looking up with a smile, “because I found him,”

Chapter Text

Alec had been thrown greatly out of his routine since what had happened on his birthday.

Every morning when he got up, he was much slower moving, the various aches and pains in his body not allowing him to move very fast. He knew he needed to keep moving or his body was just going to continue to get stiffer.

He’d go over to get his food, being extra cautious near the door. He didn’t know if it was going to swing open and knock him out again. After eating, he’d take the time to make sure his external wounds and his body were as clean as they could be. The cut on his leg had healed for the most part, but the ones on his forehead and arm were a different story.

He couldn’t exactly exercise anymore, given his various injuries, so he would take his time just walking around the room, trying his best to keep his muscles from stiffening up and beginning to atrophy. He’d roll his shoulders and massage out his muscles that were sore, determined to keep his blood flowing.

His meditation had gotten harder, given all the aches and pains in his body along with the fear in his mind. Asmodeus was going to come back and do this to him again if Magnus didn’t do whatever it is he had asked. He had no idea what that was, but he could only assume it was something terrible, otherwise Magnus would’ve done it and they’d be back in each other’s arms.

So he was making sure to keep an extra close eye on the date. If Asmodeus was going to beat him again, he was at least going to make it hard for him. He was not going to walk up the stairs and give him the perfect opportunity to knock him out, though when the time came, he wished he had.

When that day came, Alec stayed put on the mattress. The only movement he made was to sit up and put a mark on the wall. Otherwise, he stayed put. He knew it wasn’t the smartest idea for his physical well being to stay in one spot for the entire day, but he’d be damned if he was going to walk into another one of Asmodeus’ traps. Given he didn’t plan on doing anything else that day, he let himself drift off to sleep when the unconsciousness pulled at him.

He didn’t know how long he was asleep, but he was slapped awake by Asmodeus. The man was towering over him and was using his legs to keep Alec’s hips locked in place. Not that he needed to, as Alec wouldn’t have had the strength to throw him off anyway. Then his hands closed around Alec’s throat, pressing down hard on his windpipe. Alec gagged as he gasped for breath and tried to push him off, but it was no use, the world around him quickly began slipping away until it was gone.

***

Alec woke up once again with a bare chest while his hands were hanging above his head and the camera sitting in front of him. His body hurt, and hanging by his wrists again certainly didn’t help. He tried to shift some of his weight onto his feet, but only his toes could reach the ground. He saw Asmodeus sitting on the stairs, looking at him, playing with a knife that he held in his hand. Asmodeus gave him a small smile before standing and walking towards him.

Alec’s breath quickened as the man got closer. He was not ready to go through this again, and he had a feeling that this time was going to be worse than the last.

“Open your mouth, Alexander,” Asmodeus said. Alec’s only response was to clench his jaw tightly shut. He didn’t know what Asmodeus intended to do, but he did not want that knife anywhere near his mouth. Asmodeus tutted as he circled him, still playing with the knife in his hand.

“I said open your mouth, Alexander!” he yelled and slashed the knife across his cheek. He felt the blood begin to flow down his face. Asmodeus grabbed him by the jaw and forced his mouth open. He brought the knife up to his mouth and forced his teeth to close down on it, the sharp end of the blade facing the inside of his mouth

“Hold onto that for me, Alexander, and don’t you dare drop it,” Asmodeus patted the cheek that wasn’t cut. Then he turned towards the camera and put his hands on Alec’s sides, “remember son, this happens for every week you do not do what I’ve asked,”

Asmodeus took his hands off of Alec for just a moment for turning and kicking him in the gut, and he could’ve sworn he heard a crack. Alec yelped, both in pain and in shock, but kept the knife in his mouth. He tried his best to keep the knife from cutting his lips, tongue, or any other part of his face. The brass knuckle once again came down on his gut and he keeled over, trying his best to hide his pain.

When Asmodeus was finished punching him, he walked around behind him. Alec took that moment to catch his breath. Thankfully, this time, he hadn’t started coughing up blood, but he felt there was something wrong with his ribs. He tried to take a deep breath in but he felt a sharp pain. One of his ribs was definitely broken. Then he heard metal scrape along the concrete ground behind him before he felt something cold and hard come down on his left arm.

He screamed at the same time he heard a deafening crack. The knife fell out of his mouth and to the ground, and he heard whatever Asmodeus had just hit him with fall to the ground as well.

“Magnus don’t...please don’t show this to Jace and Izzy,” Alec said as soon as the knife was out of his mouth. He took breaths as deeply as he could, trying not to focus on the pain in his arm or rib, both of which were definitely broken. He transferred all his weight onto his right arm, not wanting to pull on the now broken bone. Asmodeus bent down in front of him and picked up the knife that he had dropped to the ground.

“I told you to hang onto this, Alexander,” he said, twirling it between his fingers, “I guess I’ll just have to use it,”

And with that, Asmodeus made a cut on his leg perpendicular to the one he had given him when they first fought, creating a cross on his right leg. Then he plunged the knife into the inner part of his right thigh, causing Alec to scream out in pain. The knife didn’t go terribly deep, but it was deep enough that it was going to affect him. Asmodeus pulled the knife out of his leg and let it trail lightly up his torso, letting the blood clean off the blade as he went. The blade stopped at his bird tattoo.

“Oh look at this nice little family,” he said, circling the knife around it lightly, not pushing hard enough to break the skin, “it’d be a shame if it were to just…”

“No! No! Please,” Alec said. Asmodeus looked at him, a little shocked that he had spoken, “please don’t...please don’t do anything to that tattoo. Please,”

Asmodeus hummed and Alec cursed himself. He shouldn’t have showed that weakness, now he had something to use against him.

“Here’s what we’ll do,” Asmodeus said, turning towards the camera, “the birds can stay, for now. But next week, they’re the first to go,” he turned back to Alec, using the knife to lift his chin, “you better hope your boyfriend does what I’ve asked,”

“What did you ask him to do?” Alec spat out desperately taking in deep, labored breaths, trying not to focus on all the pain his body was in.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Asmodeus said, walking around behind him, “tell him you love him,”

“What?” Alec asked, still breathing heavily.

“Tell my son you love him,” he let the knife linger near the birds, threatening to destroy them.

“Magnus,” Alec took a deep breath in and looked into the camera, “I...I love you,”

“Good boy,” Asmodeus smiled before cutting him down from the ceiling, and allowing his body to fall to a heap on the ground. His broken arm hit the ground, causing him to cry out as he held it close to his body. Asmodeus collected the camera and exited the room as Alec lay on the floor, letting his tears flow freely. As soon as the door was closed he began to move.

He began to slowly move his body towards the sink, where his shirt was resting. He was slow going, as he didn’t know if he was able to stand, and he wasn’t going to be able to brace himself if he fell. He made sure that none of his cuts rubbed against the ground, not knowing what kinds of dirt and germs could get inside. The last thing he needed to deal with now was an infection, so he pulled himself up using the one uninjured appendage he had left: his right arm. He sat on the toilet and caught his breath, letting himself regain some of the energy he had just exerted so he could clean his wounds.

He grabbed his shirt from the sink and immediately wiped the blood from his cheek while keeping his left arm close to his body, cradling it against his chest. He hadn’t even looked at it to see how broken it was, but he had more pressing matters to deal with. He immediately put his shirt to the stab wound on his left leg, knowing if he was going to bleed out from anywhere, it would be there.

He put as much pressure on the wound as his one uninjured, albeit weakened arm, would allow. As it soaked, he knew he was going to need something else. So he tossed his shirt into the sink and turned on the water to allow the blood to begin to wash out of it. Leaning on his right leg, he struggled to get his pants down. Once he did, he wrapped the legs of his pants around the wound and tied it off. He then turned off the sink and squeezed the water and blood out of his shirt before using it to clean the cuts on his leg and cheek.

Once the cuts on his leg and cheek were clean and closed, he looked down at his arm. He could see that it was broken, as it was significantly more swollen than his other arm, but he couldn’t see a displacement in his arm, so he assumed that it wasn’t a clean break. He wrapped his wet shirt around it as a makeshift cast to stabilize it as much as he could. He looked over at the mattress on the other side of the room. He knew he needed to get there because he knew he needed to sleep in order to heal.

He let left hand rest against his chest and brought his right down to the stab wound on his thigh. He pressed his pants down into it as he stood. He made sure he was stable on his feet before he began slowly making his way across the room. It was slow work, but with each step he was closer to the place where he could sleep.

When he got there he bent his left leg, leaning most of his weight onto it as his right when down to the floor. He then leaned his right arm down onto the mattress before rolling his back down onto it. He scooted the rest of his body on and then took deep breaths, trying to refocus his mind away from the pain. He wiped the tears from his eyes and tried his best to fall asleep despite the pain.

***

Five days had passed since Asmodeus had last been down. Since then, the cuts on his body had partially healed. He was wearing his pants, but he was still using his shirt to stabilize his arm. It certainly was no replacement for a cast, and he had a feeling that when...if he got out of this, his arm was going to have to be rebroken and possibly even be operated on for it to heal correctly.

He tried his best to move around and keep his blood flowing the past few days, but given the deep wound on his leg, he was slow going at that. He had to come up with many stationary ways to keep the right side of his body moving, because the left side was more or less useless.

He was sitting on the mattress with his back against the wall, staring at the shadows the sun cast on the ground. He could see the crosses of the security water as faint lines in the shadows. His breathing had become a bit labored, given his broken rib, so he wasn’t able to focus on that when he meditated. He had then decided to focus on the sun and the shadows because the shadows never changed.

Except today, the shadows changed before his eyes.

He had a blink a few times to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating. When he opened his eyes again, he still saw that most of the sunlight streaming through the window was being obscured by something large.

So he moved quickly.

He leaned onto his right side and used his right arm to push himself up enough to get his right leg under him. Once he was up, he didn’t bother limping. If there was a person outside, he needed to move quickly. He hopped on one foot away from window before turning around to look at it. He put his left foot down to steady himself as he nearly fell over when he looked out the window.

He had to close his eyes and rub them.

But when he opened his eyes again, he knew he wasn’t hallucinating.

Magnus was crouched down outside the window.

It took every shred of self control he had remaining to not call out to him. His hand went over his mouth when him and Magnus made eye contact as Magnus rested his hand against the glass. Tears quickly gathered in the corners of his eyes, which he wiped away, not wanting his view to be obscured. He saw Magnus call to someone and gesture for them to join him. Soon, he saw Jace and Izzy join Magnus at the window.

He let out an audible sob as tears began flowing out of his eyes. Over the past five days, he was trying to come to terms with the fact that he would never see them again. He could barely believe what was happening before his eyes. He tried his best to control his sobs, as they were loud and hurt his ribs. If they were here for him, he did not want to tip Asmodeus off to it.

He watched Magnus’ lips move, but he couldn’t make out what he was saying. Just as soon as the three of them had appeared there, they were gone. Alec put his head into his hand and let his tears run freely.

They were here for him.

He was going to go home.

He began moving towards the stairs as quickly as possible, ready to bang on the doorway and yell if he needed to. He didn’t know if he could make it up the stairs without help, but he was tall enough that he could get his right arm up to the door to bang on it. He stood there, staring at the door, waiting for them to come and get him.

So he nearly fell back in shock when Asmodeus opened the door. He didn’t have time to think about why the older man was wearing a gas mask before he tried his best to get away from him. His body was too injured. Asmodeus ran down a few steps until his legs were about at level with Alec before he kicked him in the head, effectively knocking him out.

***

One hour earlier

Magnus sat on the floor in the back of the Lightwood’s van, twiddling his thumbs anxiously. They had found Alec five days ago, and if it was up to their first instincts, they would’ve left as soon as they got the address, but Magnus’ rationale side had come out. They needed a plan.

So they had spent five days making a fool proof plan to get Alec back safely. Once they had their plan, they had all piled into the car for a road trip.

While Asmodeus had left the city and even the state, he thankfully hadn’t gone as far as he could’ve. That was the biggest mistake he had made. There was a small part of Magnus that wondered if it actually was a mistake, but he tried not to dwell on that. In order for this plan to work, he needed to stay focused.

He removed his gun from the holster at his hip for the tenth time on their trip, just to ensure that it was loaded and ready. He wanted to take it apart and clean it, but he had done that four times in the past two days, including once when they first began their drive.

“How are you feeling, Magnus?” Izzy asked from her spot in the passenger seat. He caught Jace’s eyes flick to him in the rearview before going back to the road.

“I’m...anxious,” Magnus said, putting the gun back in its holster.

“Are you sure you can do this?” Jace asked, “because I can if you don’t…”

“NO!” Magnus said quickly, “no I can...I can do this...I have to do this,”

“I understand,” Izzy said.

“But I’ll be on backup if you can’t,” Jace said.

“Please only do it if I explicitly ask you to,” Magnus said, “because I need to do this,”

“As long as he’s not about to do something dire, I’ll leave it to you,” Jace said.

“Thank you,” Magnus said. Jace met his eyes in the rearview and gave him a curt nod before pulling over and putting the car in park.

“Alright,” Izzy said, opening the car door, “we walk from here,”

The three climbed out of the car and met each other in the small ditch on the side of the highway.

“Are we sure he’ll be able to walk this far?” Izzy asked, “did Asmodeus, like, break his legs or something?”

“I’ll carry him if I have to,” Magnus said

“And I’ll help,” Jace said, “we’ll get him here. Asmodeus can’t see us coming. This is how we have to do this,”

Izzy nodded and extended her hand to her brother. They shook hands before Izzy turned to Magnus and shook his hand as well. Jace turned and extended a hand which Magnus shook. Jace put his hand over his joined hands, and Magnus put his other hand on top of his.

“Let’s go get Alec back,” Magnus said with a smile. Jace nodded and they released each other before moving into the woods. Izzy led the way, using her phone to guide them to the house. Asmodeus had bought a large house about five months ago in a rural development in Pennsylvania, just around the time Magnus and Alec had started dating. Magnus didn’t want to know how long his father had been watching him, but he had clearly been planning this for a while.

He saw the development come into view as the trees thinned. Izzy led them between two houses and onto the sidewalk. She began guiding them down the street and into a cul-de-sac, where there was a large house in the center of it, up on a hill.

“Is that it?” Magnus asked.

“Yes,” Izzy replied. Magnus started moving almost instantly. He didn’t run because he didn’t want to draw attention, but he moved to the back end of the house, looking for basement windows. Sure enough, they had security wire in them. He crouched down and looked inside, looking for any sign of his beloved Alec. From the angle he was at, all he saw was a toilet and a sink.

Then he saw movement.

Though he couldn’t see the face of the body that moved, he could see the variety of tattoos on his back that he recognized so well. Then he turned, and Magnus saw his face.

Tears immediately welled in his eyes as they made eye contact. He saw Alec rub his eyes and blink again, as if trying to discern if he was real. Magnus put his hand on the glass, and took a deep breath in. Alec was alive, and he was ten feet away from him. All that now separated them was his father.

“Jace! Izzy!” Magnus said, frantically gesturing for them to join him. Magnus saw a sob rack through Alec’s body as Jace and Izzy crouched down next to him. They both let out soft cries as they saw their older brother for the first time.

“Hold on Alexander, we’re coming for you,” Magnus said, unsure if his boyfriend could hear him. He stood and Jace and Izzy followed. None of them wanted to let him out of his sight, but they needed to in order to get him back. They moved around to the back door and Izzy removed a lock pick from her pocket. She quickly undid the lock before taking a step back. Magnus drew his gun and made eye contact with Jace. Jace put his hand on the handle and pushed the door open and Magnus stepped into the doorway, gun raised.

The room they stepped into was empty. Keeping his gun drawn, he stepped into the room, which he saw was a kitchen. He gestured for Jace and Izzy to wait. He poked his head around the corner and saw the hallway was empty. He gestured for the siblings to follow him inside, and Jace quietly closed the door behind him.

All of a sudden, Magnus was hit by a wave of dizziness. He stumbled forward a little and leaned on the wall for support. He saw Izzy move quickly towards him, and he heard her voice, but couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. Soon, his body was no longer able to hold himself up, and he started slowly began sliding down to the floor. He looked over and saw Jace and Izzy stumbling as well before they fell to the ground. He looked down the hallway, where he saw a figure that he had to assume it was his father, which was the last thing he saw before he drifted into unconsciousness.

***

Magnus came to slowly, blinking his eyes and holding his pounding head. He looked around and saw he was laying in the same spot he was when he collapsed. He saw Izzy and Jace, still lying on the floor unconscious near him. Just past them, he saw his father sitting at the kitchen table.

Magnus immediately came to his senses. He jumped to his feet and picked up his gun, which was still on the floor next to him. Magnus quickly moved over to Jace and Izzy, ensuring they were both still alive before stepping into the kitchen, gun raised.

“Where the hell is he?” Magnus asked with gritted teeth, pressing the gun into his father’s head.

“Oh Magnus,” Asmodeus said, lifting his hand to Magnus’ cheek, “it’s good to see you,”

“Keep your hands off of me,” Magnus said, pulling away and keep his gun trained on his father, “where is he?”

“Now now, Magnus,” Asmodeus said, “you’re not going to shoot me,”

“Really? Do you want to try me?” Magnus asked, cocking the gun.

“You won’t find him if you do,” Asmodeus sing-songed before beginning to laugh.

“What do you mean?” Magnus asked, eyes narrowing.

“He’s not here anymore,” Asmodeus said, laughing, “and he’s in much more danger than he ever was,”

“Magnus?” Jace was sitting up on the floor behind him, “do you need me to do it?”

“No. Not yet,” Magnus said, “get Izzy up,”

Jace nodded and turned to his sister. Magnus turned back to his father.

“Tell me where he is,” Magnus said.

“Are you going to kill me, Magnus?” Asmodeus asked.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Magnus answered honestly.

“What?” Izzy was up now. Her and Jace were helping each other to their feet.

“Tell me where he is,” Magnus said.

“There’s a small reservoir, not far from here,” Asmodeus said, “the coordinates are written out here,”

Asmodeus held out a folded piece of paper. Magnus took a step forward, keeping the gun trained on his father, and took the paper

“So what? He’s at a reservoir?” Magnus asked, looking at the paper, which did have a set of coordinates on it.

“No no, he’s in the reservoir,” Asmodeus replied with a smile.

“Is he dead?!” Izzy asked, moving towards him. Magnus put both hands on his gun, ready to shoot if the answer was yes.

“Not yet, or I assume not,” Asmodeus replied, “it’s not always filled. When I left him, I’d say a half an hour ago, the water was up to his knees,”

“You guys go,” Magnus said, handing the paper back to Jace and Izzy.

“What?” Jace asked.

“Come for me after,” Magnus said, “I need to make sure he doesn’t follow you,”

“Just do it, Magnus,” Izzy said.

“No, no. We still have a little unfinished business,” Magnus said, pulling out another chair and sitting across from his father, “go get Alec. Now!”

Jace and Izzy nodded and ran out the back door. Magnus held up the gun, looking at his father.

“So,” Magnus said, “when did you find me?”

“I’d say...three years ago,” Asmodeus replied.

“And why did you wait so long to come after me?”

“Because this is the first time I’ve had something to hold over your head,”

“And why did you want me to kill?”

“Because I knew how much it gets to you, and I wanted you to suffer as I did,” Asmodeus replied, “I held your mother as she died and then I had to see her in your face every single day. You don’t know what that’s like. Now you have a little taste,”

“How dare you touch him!” Magnus yelled, letting his anger seep out, “you have no right to lay a finger on him. I’m your child! He’s the love of my life!”

“I know,” Asmodeus said, “that’s why I did it,”

Magnus couldn’t take it anymore. He raised the gun from where it was sitting in his hand on the table. He aimed it at his father’s head.

And this time, unlike so many others, he kept his eyes open as he pulled the trigger.

Magnus watched as his body slumped forward, blood flowing onto the floor. He took a deep breath in and quickly moved away and out the back door.

He heard sirens in the distance as he walked onto the lawn. He put the gun in the holster and covered it with his shirt as he walked around and sat down on the front steps. He put his head in his hands, wiping away the few tears that had started to flow. He didn’t know if he was freaking out because he had killed his father, or if he was relieved he was dead. He determined it was a bit of both.

The sirens were getting louder. He didn’t know where they were going, so he decided to stay on the porch and just act like he was supposed to be there. He watched as multiple police cars pulled into the cul-de-sac and officers climb out with their guns trained on him.

“PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” one of them yelled. Magnus quickly stood with his hands raised, unsure of what was going on. No one could’ve known what just happened in the house, could they? His gun has a silencer on it for the exact purpose.

“Are you Magnus Bane?” the officer asked.

“Yes,” Magnus answered hesitantly, “why?”

The officer moved towards him and grabbed his hands that were above his head and locking them into handcuffs.

“Magnus Bane, you’re under arrest for the murder of your father,”

***

“Drive faster, Jace,” Izzy said, her eyes trained on the speedometer.

“I can only go so fast, Iz,” Jace replied, “the last thing we need is to get pulled over,”

“Turn here! Turn here!” she said frantically, slapping his arm. He hit the break and turned the wheel, making a sharp turn onto a dirt road. The car began climbing a mountain.

“Hurry,” Izzy said, her foot tapping anxiously.

“I’m hurrying!” he replied, shifting the gear of the van. Then he stopped as the road came to an end, blocked by a small wall of rocks.

“We’ll go on foot,” Izzy said, jumping out of the car. Jace followed after putting it in park and turning it off. Izzy was running up over the rocks and Jace quickly followed her. After she climbed up over the rocks, she saw the reservoir. It was bigger than she had imagined, and was almost completely filled with water.

“ALEC!?” she screamed, looking out over the water. She tried to find him by scanning the top of the water, “ALEC?!”

“THERE!” Jace yelled, his hand on her shoulder as he pointed. Alec’s head was barely above the water, but he was still breathing. Jace went running across the rocks, nearly falling as he went. Izzy followed him. Jace tossed his phone and keys out of his pocket before he dove into the water and swam over to his brother. Izzy waited on the bank, watching the two of them.

“ALEC! Alec!” Jace grabbed his shoulders as he swam over to him. Alec looked around then smiled before he got hit with a wave of water, going up his nose and into his mouth. He coughed, trying to expel the water from his lungs. Jace dove down into the water and found that Alec’s legs were chained to a metal ring that was stuck deep in the ground.

He pushed himself back to the surface and took a deep breath in.

“I think I have bolt cutters in the van,” Jace said, “I’m going to send Izzy over here to keep you breathing,”

Alec only nodded, trying to conserve what oxygen he had left, conveying the trust he felt with his gaze. Jace nodded and swam away.

“IZ!” Jace yelled, “you need to get in the water. Keep him breathing,”

She nodded, pulling her phone out of her pocket and dropped it on the ground before taking a running dive into the reservoir. She swam over to him and put her hands on his shoulders as she tread the water.

“Hey big brother,” she said with a smile.

“Izzy,” he said, putting his hand on her cheek.

“Keep breathing for yourself, Alec,” Izzy said, “when you can’t anymore, put your head underwater, and I’ll give you oxygen CPR style,”

“But you exhale carbon dioxide,” Alec said.

“There’s still a little bit of oxygen,” Izzy replied, “it doesn’t have to last long,”

He only nodded, struggling to keep his mouth above the water and soon, only his nose remained above water. Izzy took a deep breath in and dove under the water. She grabbed Alec’s face and put her mouth over top of his before exhaling into his mouth. The two made eye contact as she went up for more. She saw Jace approached on the shore with the bolt cutters in his hand.

Izzy took another deep breath before diving back under. She gave Alec another breath before she surfaced again. Just as she did, she saw Jace dive down next to her, bolt cutters in hand. Alec’s eyes followed his little brother down deeper until he went into the cloudy water below. Izzy gave him another breath as he felt the pull of the chains loosen.

Alec began pushing himself to the surface and Izzy helped him. She helped him float as he took in deep breaths of air. Jace popped up next to them and was breathing heavily as well. Then he grabbed his brother under the arm and began pulling him to the shore as Izzy grabbed under his other arm to help.

When they got to the shore, Jace tossed the bolt cutters onto the ground and climbed out. He grabbed Alec again and began dragging him out. Izzy climbed out as well and helped. All three were taking deep breaths once they were all safely out of the water. Alec was lying on his back, taking deep breaths despite his injured rib. He slowly began to sit up, and Jace supported his back as he did.

“Alec…” Izzy trailed off, letting her hand run through her brother’s hair. She could barely take in his appearance. He was only wearing pants, and one of his arms was certainly broken. His body was gaunt and malnourished, and he had a six week old beard on his face. His torso was littered with bruises, and that was just the stuff she could see. Alec brought his not broken arm around her and pulled her to him.

“Isabelle,” he said softly, tears clearly falling from his eyes. He ran his fingers through her hair, holding her as close as he could given his situation. He pulled away from her, his eyes shining with tears, before running a hand over Jace’s face.

“Jace,” he pulled his brother into a hug. Izzy saw the tears running down Jace’s face, and her own tears began to fall again. After an agonizingly long six weeks apart, they were finally reunited. So there all the Lightwoods sat in a tiny circle together, soaking wet, crying, on the shore of a reservoir in the middle of Pennsylvania, without a care in the world because they were back together again.

Chapter Text

Getting Alec back to the van had been slow moving. None of them had wanted to move at all: electing to just sit beside the reservoir all day and hold each other. Even though they were already all soaked to the bone, when it had begun to rain they decided it was time to leave and go pick up Magnus.

Jace and Izzy had helped him slowly up over the rocks, with Jace on his left side supporting most of his weight, while Izzy was on his right for additional support.

“Can I sit in the front?” Alec asked, seeing they had brought the van, “I’ve...uh...I’ve laid down a lot and I’m not gonna be able to, uh, to hold myself up in the back of the van,”

“Of course, brother,” Izzy said, ignoring his additional comment, “I’ll take the back,”

He nodded as they helped him into the van. Normally on their jobs, Jace and Izzy took the front while Alec took the back, since he was usually the one executing the jobs. Izzy had no problem accepting Alec’s request as she went around the back.

“Where’s Magnus?” Alec asked as Jace began driving slowly backwards down the mountain, as they didn’t have the space to turn around.

“Back at his father’s,” Izzy replied.

“We’re going back there!?” Alec panicked. Even with his siblings near, they wouldn’t be able to protect him, and he wouldn’t be able to protect them, “Magnus is still there!?”

“This was a part of the plan,” Izzy assured him, “Asmodeus should be dead,”

“Dead?” Alec asked, turning his head as much as his injuries would allow. He saw her nod.

“Magnus should’ve taken care of it,” Jace remarked as he found enough space for them to turn around.

“No…” Alec said softly, knowing how much killing affected him, but let alone killing his own father…

“Stop thinking like that, Alec,” Izzy said, looking over at her brother, “he insisted he had to do it,”

“I was going to,” Jace cut in, “but he insisted he had to,”

Alec nodded, focusing on the road ahead of them. Jace saw sirens in the rearview and pulled over, allowing the police car to pass. Though the car was far ahead, Jace saw their tail lights turn into the neighborhood Asmodeus’ house was in. Jace hoped they weren’t too late.

“Hey Izzy,” Jace said, pulling over, “find out what’s going on in there,”

“Yup,” she pulled her earbuds out of her piles of stuff she had around the back of the van and plugged them into her phone, which she slipped into the pocket of her leggings. She pulled her hair into a ponytail and jumped out of the back of the van.

“I’m gonna loop so we don’t look suspicious,” Jace said. Izzy only nodded before slamming the van door shut. She watched the van pull off before she crossed the street. The tears of joy on her face mixed easily with the rain that fell, both soaking her recently dried face once again. She couldn’t begin to describe the relief she felt at having her brother back with them. She wouldn’t lie and say that she hadn’t thought that there was a very distinct possibility they’d lose him. But they hadn’t. He wasn’t going anywhere, not on her watch.

As she jogged around the corner, coming up on the cul-de-sac, she saw it filled with police cars. An officer stepped up into the sidewalk, blocking her path. She slowed her run and took out her earbuds.

“Ma’am, you need to vacant the premise,” the officer said, pointing back to the direction she had come from.

“But I live there. I was on a run when I got caught in the rain,” Izzy lied, pointing to the house next to Asmodeus’, “what’s going on?”

“Oh, um…” the officer trailed off, as if debating whether or not to tell her.

“Don’t worry, I’m an ER nurse,” Izzy lied again, keeping her voice soft and sweet, “I’ve seen it all,”

The officer sighed, “well, um, your neighbor, he was shot and killed,”

“Oh no,” Izzy said, trying to sound as sympathetic as she could, given the man had kidnapped and tortured her brother.

“I know, and it was his son who did it,” the officer said.

“Really?” Izzy asked, acting surprised, “did you catch him?”

“Yes,” the officer vaguely gestured to a car behind him. Izzy glanced over his shoulder and saw Magnus sitting in the car, staring at the ground. She wished he was looking up so he could give him some kind of sign that Alec was okay.

“So he’s going away for a long time?” Izzy asked.

“Yes, there will be no need to worry ma’am,” the officer replied, “he’ll probably be transferred back to New York,”

“Really? Why? I thought you were usually tried in the state you were convicted in,” Izzy said, not hiding her curiosity.

“Yes, but other states have the ability to press charges,” the officer replied, “both him and his father were New York residents, and this county’s DA is very overwhelmed,”

“Ah, I see,” she remarked, “it’s interesting,”

“Sure is,” the officer said, “I would advise staying away from your house until we all clear out of here. I can give you a ride if you need it,”

“No, my brother is just around the corner,” Izzy said, the first thing she had said the entire time that wasn’t a lie, “thank you very much, officer,”

“Anytime, ma’am,” he said, turning back to his colleagues. Izzy put her earbuds back in and began running out of the neighborhood. She sighed loudly and began walking when she was out of sight of the cops. She rubbed her eyes, not knowing quite what to do next.

She watched the street and saw the van drive past her then pull over on the other side of the road. She jogged across the road and opened the back before jumping inside. She sat with her back against the wall, eyes closed. When she opened them, she saw both her brothers looking over the seat at her.

“Magnus was arrested,” Izzy sighed.

“NO!” Alec unbuckled his seatbelt and went to open the door.

“Alec, no you can’t!” Izzy said, leaning over the seat and grabbing the door handle, “if they see you...how are you planning on explaining yourself to them?”

“I don’t know, I just need to see him,” Alec said, “he needs to know I’m alive,”

“Alec, you can barely walk!” Izzy said sternly, “he’ll call one of us and then you can tell him yourself,”

Alec sighed, buckling his seatbelt.

“Why was he arrested?” Jace asked urgently.

“Why do you think?” Izzy looked at her brother, “he killed his father and he got caught doing it,”

“But how?!” Jace asked.

“Asmodeus had a plan,” Alec said, “he said something to me, before he left me in the reservoir, about his plan playing out perfectly,”

“What?” Jace asked.

“He knew Magnus was going to kill him,” Alec said, “and however long this grand scheme has been planned, this was always the endgame,”

“But why?” Jace asked.

“Because Asmodeus is crazy,” Alec said, “if I can’t go see Magnus, can we at least go home, please? We can figure out what to do from there,”

“Of course,” Izzy said, resting her hand lightly on Alec’s shoulder. Jace put the car into drive and pulled out onto the road, “he’s most likely gonna be transferred to New York,”

“Why?” Alec asked, knowing far too well how criminal proceedings worked.

“The DA here is stretched thin,” Izzy said, “plus Asmodeus and Magnus are both permanent residents in New York, so…”

“Right,” Alec said, “that’ll make visiting him easier until we can get him out,”

“What do you mean?” Izzy asked, “you’re not talking about breaking him out, are you?”

“Of course I’m talking about breaking him out,” Alec said, “if he’s not released, once I’m healed, that’s the first thing I’m doing. He doesn’t deserve to be in there,”

“Oh shit, Alec we should get you to a hospital,” Jace said, remembering his injuries and moving towards an exit.

“No!” Alec said quickly, “I just wanna go home,”

“But Alec, you’re clearly injured…” Jace said.

“So we’ll call Cat or Clary,” Alec said back, “I just don’t want to go to a hospital...I don’t want to be anywhere but home right now,”

“Oh, Clary,” Jace said, pulling his phone out, “I should tell her we got you,”

“What? She knows?” Alec asked, looking between his siblings.

“She knows everything,” Izzy said.

“What? Why?” Alec asked.

“Well, the night we went back to look for you, Jace had a date that he didn’t show up to, so she showed up to the house and we kinda had to explain...everything,” Izzy said.

“Clary! Hi,” Jace said into the phone before Alec could respond, “no, everything’s fine. Great, actually. We got him back...yeah, we did. So you can come back...and actually, if you could stop by the firehouse...well, yes I missed you too, but Alec is injured and refusing to go to a hospital...no, we’re about four hours away, so you’ll probably beat us there...yeah, you know where the key is...I love you, too, see you soon,”

Jace hung up the phone and put it back in his pocket before looking over at his brother, who was giving him a confused look.

“Where was she?” Alec asked. Jace and Izzy looked at each other, making Alec sigh, “you gotta tell me one way or another,”

“So, in order to get you back...Asmodeus sent Magnus a list of people he needed to...to kill to get you back, and, um, Clary was on it,” Izzy said, “along with four other people who were looking into the death of the little girl Magnus shot before he left his father,”

“So that’s why, he, um…” Alec trailed off, looking down at his broken arm.

“Yeah. That’s why he did,” Jace said, “Magnus only killed two of the five of them,”

“That’s still two too many,” Alec said.

“We know,” Izzy said, “but he would’ve killed them all for you...these two had many arguments about that,”

“Well, yeah, obviously…” Jace began.

“We’re not getting into that right now,” Izzy said quickly, “but also, Magnus did do what you asked. He never showed us the videos,”

Alec nodded, grateful Magnus had at least done that. He didn’t hold a grudge against him for not killing those people. It may have brought him a great deal of physical pain, but in the end, killing those people would’ve ruined Magnus. He also didn’t know if Asmodeus would’ve freed him after that, given he had a plan that ended with Magnus killing him.

“Anything else life changing happen while I was gone?” Alec asked, joking a little.

“Uh, actually, yeah,” Izzy said, “Magnus freed us from The Circle,”

“Magnus did what?!” Alec yelled, nearly jumping out of his seat before slowing moving back to a neutral position after wincing in pain..

“I reached out to The Circle, trying to get their help to get you back,” Jace said, “they refused, saying they didn’t mess with Asmodeus,”

“Then Magnus took that and ran with it,” Izzy continued, “apparently he went down to the docks and threatened to destroy their entire operation on behalf of Asmodeus,”

“Yeah, he even got them to pull out of the store completely,” Jace added.

“You don’t really think they’ll leave us alone?” Alec asked.

“Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?” Izzy asked. The others nodded and continued their ride in silence, content in the fact that they were all back together again.

***

The last time Magnus had been this manhandled was when he lived with his father.

Well, technically it was about six weeks ago when he was last in bed with Alec, but he had more than welcomed that kind of manhandling.

However, he did not welcome being dragged around a police station with his hands cuffed behind his back.

It had all been a blur since the handcuffs had first been put on his wrists. He had been shoved into the car and forced to sit there. He watched officers go through his father’s front door and make the call that he was dead. When they brought his father’s body out of the house, though it was under a sheet, he looked down at his knees.

Magnus had never been a very religious person. Whatever faith he had put in a higher power at a young age had been mostly wiped out by his father’s cruelty, and whatever was left after that had completely wiped out by his mother’s death. Despite all that, in this moment, he prayed. He didn’t remember many prayers, but he figured any sort of prayer would do. He sat in the back of the police car, his head bowed and his eyes closed, and just asked, begged, any sort of higher power to let Alec be safe. He asked as if it were his dying wish.

The door opened and an officer got into the front of the car, and another followed suit.

“Lucky for you,” one of them said, “you’re going to be tried in New York,”

“What?” Why?” Magnus asked, “I thought I was gonna be tried here,”

“Yeah, yeah, everyone thought,” the officer said, “but you and your father were both residents there, so the DA transferred the charges,”

“Right,” Magnus replied, at least he’d be in the same state as Alec, if Alec was alive.

“Don’t try anything,” the other officer said.

“Wasn’t planning on it,” Magnus said, leaning back. This was going to be a long drive.

And it was. He couldn’t see the clock in the front of the car, so he didn’t know how much time had passed. He also knew that at this point Alec was either dead or alive. He could only hope for the latter. The two officers talked to each other a little and some chatter came through their police radio, but that was all Magnus heard through the whole ride.

When they arrived at the police station, Magnus was manhandled out of the car and into the station. He was brought up the front desk where Magnus recognized one of the officers sitting there. It was the detective who had investigated the shooting at the restaurant.

“Mr. Bane,” Simon said, pushing his glasses up and squinting, making sure he was seeing it right.

“What? You know him?” one of the officers holding Magnus asked.

“He was a suspect in one of my investigations,” Simon replied.

“Oh, so this isn’t out of character for you,” the other officer asked Magnus.

“I was innocent then,” Magnus spat, “and I still am. This was self defense,”

“He was innocent, he actually saved lives that day,” Simon confirmed, “what he’d do?”

“You didn’t hear?” the one officer asked. Simon shook his head, “he killed his father,”

“He deserved it!” Magnus said, before looking directly at Simon, “detective, please, I can explain all of this,”

“Get him in a room,” Simon said to the officer standing next to him, “we’ll chat, Mr. Bane,”

Magnus nodded as the other officer who was at the desk with Simon led him off down a hallway. He was deposited in a windowless room and the cuffs on his wrist were switched out for cuffs that were chained to the desk in front of him. He rolled his shoulders out, grateful that they were no longer being pulled behind his back.

“Detective Lewis will be with you shortly,” the officer said. Magnus nodded, staring at the wall. Then he began thinking. He had wasted the entire car ride thinking about nothing, now he had to come up with a story to tell the cops. There were parts of the story he could, and had to tell the truth about. But other parts, like how his father had kidnapped Alec in the first place, or that he had killed two people, that he needed to change.

“Magnus Bane,” Simon said as he walked through the door with a file in his hand, “convicted of patricide,”

“It was self defense,” Magnus said.

“Did he attack you?” Simon asked.

“Well he kidnapped and tortured my boyfriend,” Magnus said.

“The same boyfriend that was shot?” Simon asked, Magnus nodded, “poor guy,”

“You’re telling me,” Magnus said, fiddling with the chain around his wrist, “I don’t even know if he’s alive…”

“Well, as soon as we’re done talking here, you can make a call,” Simon said, Magnus nodded, “so, tell me what happened,”

So Magnus launched into the story, lying and just saying that he didn’t know how his father had taken Alec in the first place, only that he didn’t come home one night and the next night he got a call from his father through Alec’s phone. He also said that his father had only given three people to kill, all of whom were still alive.

“That’s quite a story,” Simon said when he had finished.

Magnus nodded, “I wish it was just a story,”

“Here’s the thing, Magnus,” Simon said, leaning forward slightly, “your father recorded the conversation you guys had before he died,”

Magnus noticed how he took the care to say ‘before he died’ instead of ‘before you shot him’. He appreciated that. Simon was a good person, he had a feeling.

“Why does that matter? All we talked about was how he stalked me and kidnapped my boyfriend,” Magnus said, “shouldn’t that make my case?”

“In my eyes, this is clearly self defense, and I’m sure there’s more about your relationship with you father I don’t even know about,”

“There sure is,” Magnus said under his breath.

“But we need more testimony,” Simon said, “because he did not specifically threaten you physically before you shot him, it’s not clear cut self defense,”

“Of course it’s not,” Magnus muttered. He looked up at Simon, who either didn’t hear him or pretended not to.

“Who else can I call on corroborate your story?” Simon asked him.

“Alec,” Magnus said, “and his siblings, Jace and Izzy. And Jace’s girlfriend, Clary,”

“Wait. Wait, wait, wait,” Simon said, “Clary Fray?”

“Yeah, why?” Magnus asked, “do you know her?”

“I’ve known her all my life,” Simon said, “she mentioned not too long ago that she was dating a guy named Jace,”

“I also have a friend, her name is Cat, and she knows of the situation, but I pushed her away to keep her and her daughter out of danger,” Magnus said, “so I don’t know if her testimony would mean anything,”

“Probably not,” Simon said, “why didn’t you guys push Clary away?”

“Well...remember those three people my father wanted me to kill?” Magnus asked, Simon nodded, “Clary was one of those people,”

“What?!” Simon nearly jumped out of his seat.

“Clary knew the other two so Jace relocated them out of the city so I had an excuse to give my father,” Magnus said, “she’s safe. I promise,”

“Okay...okay, I’ll call them in,” Simon said, “in the meantime, you can make a call,”

“I can?” Magnus asked.

“Usually we wouldn’t allow it,” Simon said, “but I want you to find out if your boyfriend is alive,”

Thank you, detective,”

“Call me Simon, please,” Simon said, “after you make a call, you’ll be transferred to a holding cell until we’re ready for you to go on record,”

“Why are you doing this, Simon?” Magnus asked, “why do you seem to care?”

“I...uh...I have my own story, my own life,” Simon said, “just as you have yours and, well, let’s just say you and I aren’t too different,”

And with that, Simon shut the door. Magnus exhaled and fiddled with the chain around his wrists as he replayed the interaction in his head. Maybe if he had Simon as a friend, or at least a sympathiser, it wouldn’t be so bad. He was still furious at his father for getting him arrested. All he wanted to do is go to the firehouse and hold Alec for the rest of their lives.

That is, if Alec was alive.

His foot began tapping impatiently as he waited for someone to come take him to make his call. He decided to call Izzy, knowing she was more likely to pick up than Jace. When the officer entered, he undid the cuffs holding Magnus to the desk, and put on another pair, this time with his hands bound in front of him.

The officer led him out of the room and into another one across the hall. He saw a phone mounted on the wall, and the officer closed the door behind them and then stationed himself in front of it.

“Can I use my cell phone?” Magnus asked, still feeling it in his pocket.

“You can use it to get a number, but then I have to take it,” the officer replied.

Magnus nodded, removing his phone from his pocket. Of course he had no service here, even if he had been allowed to use his phone the call wouldn’t have gone through. He searched through his contacts, pulling up Izzy’s number. He dialed it into the phone and sat in the chair next to it.

“Who is this?” Izzy asked defensively when she picked up the phone.

“Izzy! It’s Magnus, is Alec…”

“Magnus! Alec is alive, we got him,” Izzy cut him off.

“Oh thank god!” Magnus yelled, tears welling up in his eyes. He didn’t care what kind of reaction it got from the guard standing at the door. Alec was alive. His father hadn’t succeeded. He hadn’t taken the single most important thing in his world from him.

“Can I talk to him?” Magnus asked.

“I wish,” Izzy said, “him and Clary are at the orthopedist’s getting him checked out. Clary can’t do everything out of her nurse’s bag,”

“So you called Clary back?” Magnus asked.

“Yeah. Alec was too stubborn to go to the hospital, so he insisted we go back to the firehouse,” Izzy said.

“Sounds about right,” Magnus chuckled, sniffling and wiping his tears, “you’re all going to be called in to testify,”

“You told them what happened, right?” Izzy asked, “shouldn’t that be enough? Why do they need to talk to us?”

“I thought it’d be enough, but my father recorded the last conversation I had with him, after you guys left, and because he didn’t specifically physically threaten me, they need more testimony,” Magnus sighed.

“Right, so, um,” she lowered her voice, “if we have to testify, our stories need to match, right?”

“Yes,” Magnus said, glancing over his shoulder at the officer, he needed to seamlessly tell her what he changed, “remember the night Alec went out and didn’t come home? The night he was taken?”

“Yeah I remember,” she said.

“That was one of the hardest nights of my life,” Magnus said, “and when my father called me the next night from Alec’s phone and told me that he had taken my boyfriend I…”

“It’s okay, Magnus,” Izzy said, comforting through the phone.

“The other hardest decision to make through this whole thing was to send the three of them away,” Magnus continued, “to a place I couldn’t find them if things got too bad,”

“Right,” Izzy said, “was anything else hard?”

“No, no...those were the hardest moments,” Magnus said.

“I’m glad you got that off your chest,” Izzy said, playing right into his story.

“Thank you for letting me,” Magnus said.

“I’ll have Alec call when he gets back,” Izzy promised as she changed the subject.

“I don’t think he can do that,” Magnus said, then he turned to the officer, “officer, my boyfriend can’t call me, right? I have to call him,”

“That’s right,” the officer said, “also, finish up your call,”

Magnus nodded before relaying the information to Izzy.

“Do you have to go?” Izzy asked.

“Yes,” Magnus said, “please tell Alec I love him,”

“I will,” Izzy said, “and thank you, Magnus,”

“For what?” Magnus asked.

“For helping us get our brother back,”

She hung up before he could protest that he had gotten Alec into that mess in the first place. The officer took his phone along with the few other personal items he had in his pockets. He was promised those items would be available to him upon his release. Magnus was then transferred to a holding cell, where he was able to get the first good night’s sleep he had had in the past six weeks.

His father was dead.

And more importantly, Alec was safe.

***

Two Hours Earlier

Alec nearly cried when they pulled up to the firehouse. He never thought he would see it again. He would be lying if he said he had become more pessimistic as his time stuck in Asmodeus’ basement had gone on, particularly in that last week. When Izzy opened the car door for him, he just shifted his body slightly, taking in the garage around them.

“You ready, big brother?” Izzy asked.

“Yeah,” Alec sniffled and wiped his eyes. Izzy wrapped her arm under Alec’s arm and put her hand on his shoulder. He put a lot of weight on her as he eased himself out of the car. Once he was out, Jace shut the door and got his arm under Alec’s other side. They moved slowly towards the garage door, taking it at Alec’s pace.

When they arrived at the door, Jace was the one who took the step forward to pull the door open. Alec tensed when he saw someone stand up off their couch before he recognized her as Clary, the nurse from the hospital and Jace’s girlfriend. Jace stopped for a moment when the two made eye contact before continuing to help Alec into the room. She moved out of the way and allowed them to sit Alec down on the couch. Then Jace turned to Clary.

“Clary…” he trailed off, meeting her eyes. She took a few steps to close the distance between them and kissed him. Izzy sat down next to Alec and two allowed them to have their moment. Alec’s heart hurt, knowing that he could’ve had that with Magnus, but he was locked in a jail cell.

“Okay, guys,” Izzy said, “that’s enough,”

Jace took a moment longer before he pulled away from Clary, but he didn’t go far, keeping his arms around her and letting his forehead rest against hers.

“Clary, I am so so sorry…” Jace began.

“Jace, stop,” Clary said, putting her hands on his face to force him to look at her, “this is not your fault. This has nothing to do with you. This is a crazy coincidence,”

“I know but I can’t help but feel responsible…” he tried again.

“No, Jace, you kept me safe,” Clary said, then she looked around for the person who had been tasked to kill her, “speaking of, where’s Magnus?”

“Prison,” Alec said, his tone bitter.

“What?” Clary asked.

“He got arrested after he killed his father,” Jace clarified.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said, looking between the three siblings.

“Thanks, Clary,” Jace said, pressing a quick kiss to her lips, “would you mind giving Alec a look over?”

“Of course not,” she said, bending down pulling her bag out from where it sat next to the couch. She looked up at Alec, “so, Alec, where are you...hurt?”

“Um…” Alec trailed off, looking at his siblings, “could you guys give us a minute?”

“Alec…” Izzy began, but Alec cut her off.

“Izzy, please,” Alec insisted, trying to hide the tears that were welling in his eyes, “I’ll be fine, just...give me the space,”

Izzy sighed, not wanting to leave her brother’s side, but she stood and walked into the kitchen.

“Thank you, Clary,” Jace said, leaning down to kiss her before following at Izzy. As soon as he shut the kitchen door Izzy pulled her brother into a hug.

“Is this real?” she asked, still holding him tightly.

“Yes, this is real,” Jace whispered, holding his sister tight, “we got him,”

She let out a sob, “he’s never going on another home invasion again,”

“Maybe he won’t have to,” Jace said, pulling away, “maybe The Circle will actually stay away...like, we have enough money in the reserves to set ourselves up nicely,”

“Jace…”

“We can move out of the firehouse,” Jace said, “I can run an actual jewelry store...I can sell earrings to rich old ladies and reasonably priced engagement rings to couples. Alec and Magnus can go off and just live peaceful lives. He could go back to archery. And, Izzy, you could go to college…”

“Jace,” Izzy said firmly, bringing him out of his fantasy, “regardless of whether or not The Circle is really gone, we still might have one more job,”

Jace sighed, “break Magnus out of jail,”

“Yes,” Izzy said, “if we have to,”

“But if The Circle does leave us alone,” Jace said, “we can just...lead normal adult lives, and...and just leave this all behind us,”

“This will always be a part of us, Jace,” Izzy said, “we’ve been doing this since we were sixteen…”

“I know, and I will never forgive your father for that,” Jace said, “he took seven years from us. He took Alec away from archery, he didn’t let you go to college…”

“We made the choice, ultimately,” Izzy said. She didn’t know whether or not to defend her father. He had been her hero in her youth, but as she got older, she began to see the flaws in the person that he was. She had never fully been able to reconcile his actions with her admiration of him.

“We made the choice because Alec convinced us to,” Jace said, “because your father threatened him to convince us,”

“He didn’t though,” Izzy said.

“What? No, I heard them yelling about it…” Jace began.

“No. I overheard a conversation they had one night,” Izzy said,

“What did he...what happened?” Jace asked.

“He threatened us,”

“What?”

“My father…” Izzy trailed off, taking a breath in, “my father threatened to hurt us, and...and to make Alec watch if we didn’t start helping them. That’s why Alec all but begged us to join them,”

“Oh my god, I’m gonna kill him,” Jace said, “I am going to go down to hell, and I’m going to kill him again,”

“Get in line,”

Both of them turned to see Alec standing in the doorway with Clary holding him up.

“Trust me, when I get to hell I’m gonna be the first one to kick his ass in deeper,” Alec said, wincing as he took a deep breath in.

“I’ve convinced him to go see an orthopedist,” Clary said, “do you mind if I borrow the car? I don’t have one and I don’t think he’s making it on the subway,”

“Of course,” Jace said.

“Thank you,” she said before she and Alec turned and left the room. Jace sighed and put his head in his hands. Every once in a while he thought about what would have happened if the Lightwoods hadn’t adopted him. He wouldn’t be in this life, he wouldn’t be running a black market operation through his jewelry store, but he also wouldn’t have his two best friends: his siblings. But he also wouldn’t have ever been exposed to the monster that was Robert Lightwood.

Even though he had never gotten it as bad as Alec and Izzy had, he still had to watch them go through it, and it hurt him to watch his siblings go through that. Even though he never took their last name, he still considered them his siblings, but he did not want to share a name with Robert Lightwood. He let his left hand trail over the tattoo he and Alec shared as he stared down at the L on his wrist.

“I know,” Izzy said, “I think about that sometimes too,”

“About what?” Jace asked, snapping out of his trance.

“About what would’ve happened if my parents hadn’t adopted you,” Izzy said, looking down at her own tattoo, “this may be selfish but...I’m glad you got caught up in this mess with us,”

“Who else would operate the black market jewelry store if you didn’t?” Jace asked with a laugh.

“Can I ask you a question?” Izzy asked.

“That was a question,” Jace said with a smile, causing them both to laugh.

“Why do we all make that joke!?” Izzy yelled through her laughter.

“Because it’s a stupid, Lightwood family joke,” Jace laughed, “but seriously, what’s your question?”

“Where did you even learn all the jewelry stuff?” Izzy asked, “I feel like you just...knew it,”

“The vocational programs through our high school,” Jace replied.

“What?” Izzy asked, “how the hell did I not know?! We were in the same grade for crying out loud!”

“Your father made me keep it a secret,” Jace sighed, “he was the one who told me to do it in the first place, and, honestly...he scared me too much for me to object. It’s like he was setting me up for this,”

“God,” Izzy said, “I might have to push Alec over for the first blow to Robert in hell,”

“Ha,” Jace barked out, “I don’t think either of us will be able to stop Alec from getting the first blow, the last blow, and every blow in between”

“You’re not wrong there,” Izzy sighed, “did you ever find out if my father ever…”

“Oh, no I didn’t,” Jace said, remembering the conversation they had had after Alec had been shot, about whether or not Robert had ever hit him, “there’s been so much happening,”

“I know,” Izzy said, “there’s part of me that doesn’t want to ask, but I know if we don’t, he’ll never tell us of their own volition,”

“I think we all have more pressing matters to deal with,” Jace said.

“Right,” Izzy said, then her phone rang, “I hope this is Magnus,”

“Me too,” Jace replied.

***

“What on earth did you do?” Dr. Gray looked at Alec and the cuts and bruises covering his torso. He was sitting on a table in the orthopedist’s office with Clary sitting in the chair across from him.

“I fell out of a tree,” Alec replied. Clary was a little shocked by how easily the lie fell off his tongue.

“And then waited a week to come to the doctor?” Dr. Gray looked at him, “some of this bruising might be even older than that…”

“I didn’t think it was that bad, but my friend here, who’s a nurse took one look at me today and brought me here,” Alec said.

“Alright, we’re going to get some x-rays of your left arm and your chest,” she said, “and given the bruising on your lower abdomen, it probably wouldn’t hurt to send you downstairs for an MRI,”

“Okay,” Alec said, not objecting now that he was at the doctor. He knew it was smart to get his insides checked out, especially since he was coughing up blood less than two weeks ago. A nurse came to retrieve him from his room and Clary helped him down the hall to take x-rays. When they were done, the nurse got them a wheelchair to move him downstairs to take the MRI. Dr. Gray had ordered a full body MRI, allowing them to see any internal damage he might’ve received.

“You did all of this falling out of a tree?” Dr. Gray asked incredulously, when he returned to the room nearly an hour later.

“It was a tall tree,” Alec said, matter-of-fact. She sighed and looked over at Clary.

“Would you mind giving us a moment, ma’am?” Dr. Gray asked. Clary nodded and exited the room, shutting the door behind her. Alec looked at her skeptically.

“I just thought you and I could have a chat alone,”she said, sitting on the stool, “do you live alone?”

“I live with my brother and sister,” Alec replied, not sure where this was going.

“Do you guys get on well?” she asked.

“The best,” Alec replied, “they’re my best friends,”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“I have a boyfriend,”

“Right. Is he kind to you?”

“Yes!” Alec said, almost appalled the question was even asked, “oh my god, he loves me more than anything in the world,”

“Okay,” Dr. Gray said, standing and going back over to the x-rays, “I’m sorry to pry, but I need to ask. Given that some injuries are older than others and the other scars that have clearly been there longer...I had to ask,”

“I appreciate your concern,” Alec said, then he took a breath in and before he could stop himself, he said, “okay, do you want to know what actually happened?”

She looked a little taken aback, “yes, definitely. This is all confidential, Alec,”

“Okay,” Alec sighed, “okay, okay, okay...I was kidnapped and tortured by my boyfriend’s father,”

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” Dr. Gray said, “are you safe now?”

“Yes. He’s dead,” Alec said, “that’s how I was able to escape,”

“Well, I’m glad you’re safe,” she replied.

“I appreciate the concern you have for me,” Alec replied.

“I’m a doctor,” she replied, “if I didn’t ask these things I wouldn’t be doing my job,”

“Well far be it from me to keep you from doing your job,” Alec said.

“Right...looking at the fracture on your arm, we can try and let it heal on its own, but I won’t lie to you and guarantee that you won’t need surgery,” she said, “and you do have a broken rib, but as long as you limit your physical activity, ice it, and make sure you breathe normally to avoid pneumonia, that should heal on its own,”

“Is there any internal damage?” Alec asked.

“There’s some traces of internal bleeding but nothing your body hasn’t already fixed itself,” she replied.

“Well, thank you, doctor,” Alec said, shaking her hand.

“You’re welcome,” she said, “I’ll have someone come in to take you to the casting room to get a cast on your arm. After that, you need to come back weekly because if you do need surgery we need to catch is sooner rather than later,”

“I agree,” Alec said, “thank you,”

“Of course.” Dr. Gray smiled and exited just as Clary walked back in.

“What the hell was that about?” she asked.

“She wanted to know if I was in any sort of abusive relationship, given the nature of my injuries,” Alec said.

“Oh,” Clary said, staring at her feet, “did you tell her?”

“I did,” Alec said. Clary’s head shot up, “not the extent of it, just the gist,”

“Ah,”

“Clary?”

“Yes?”

“Would you be able to...after I get my cast...could you drive me somewhere?”

“Well, that depends,” Clary replied “where do you want to go?”

***

Alec stared out the window of the car as they drove through the metal gates. It was getting dark and the stones were casting shadows over the green grass. Alec gave Clary wordless directions as she drove them to their destination.

“Do you want me to come with you?” she asked when he told her to stop.

“No,” Alec said, “if you could just wait...I’d appreciate it,”

“Of course, take all the time you need,” she said, sitting back and taking out her phone.

“Oh, and Clary?”

“Yeah?”

“Um...please don’t tell Jace I’m here. Or Izzy,”

“Of course,” Clary gave him a small smile and allowed him to leave her in the car. He walked forward a few steps before stopping in front of the headstones that marked his mother’s and his brother’s grave.

“Hey guys,” Alec said, “I’d sit, but I don’t think I’d be able to get up if I did,” he paused, “I’m sorry I haven’t visited in a long time, things have been...crazy,” he laughed a little, “but I needed to come now. We...um...we got away from The Circle,” Alec laughed and wiped a tear from his eye, “they’ve been leaving us alone. All because, well, I met a guy...Max, I think you would’ve really liked him, and mom I think you would’ve like him too. His name is Magnus so, he fits in with the Ms…” he trailed off, letting his now casted hand run over the M tattooed under his shirt.

“I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been happier, definitely not since I lost you two,” he paused, taking a deep breath in, “he got us away from The Circle, but then he...he got arrested because he killed his father...in order to save me from him, and...I don’t know what to do,” he cried.

He took a deep breath in and a sob racked through his body, ignoring the pain in his ribs. He put his head in his uninjured hand and wiped his tears, sucking a breath in as he did.

“When I get him back...I’m bringing him to meet you,” Alec said, “but it might not be able to stop by as often because...I might have to break him out of jail, and if I do, we’ll have to run. We might not even be able to stay in New York. I don’t want to leave you guys and I don’t want to leave Jace and Izzy, but I can’t leave him in jail. He doesn’t deserve to be in there, he saved me, in more ways than one,”

Alec didn’t let his mind wander as he calmed down. He just stood, staring at his family’s graves. Well, his mother and his brother. He had decided that his father was no longer a part of his family. He ensured that he was buried nowhere near his mother; he wasn’t even in the same cemetery.

When Alec had calmed down enough, he said his goodbyes before turning and going back in the car. Clary jumped when he opened the door, but gave him a soft smile when he pulled himself into the car.

“Anywhere else you need to go?” she asked.

“Just home,” Alec replied. She nodded and put the car in drive.

***

“Magnus called while you were gone,” Izzy said as soon as Alec and Clary walked through the door.

“What?” he said frantically, trying to break away from Clary but quickly finding he wouldn’t be able to move as fast without her, “give me the number, let me call him back,”

“You can’t,” Izzy said.

“What?”

“He’s still in jail, Alec,” Izzy said, “but we all have to go and testify,”

“Do they know what happened to me!?” Alec yelled, wincing slightly at the pain in his ribs.

“They do,” Izzy said, “but apparently Asmodeus recorded the last conversation he and Magnus had, and because Asmodeus didn’t physically threaten him before he shot him, they need all our testimonies in order to exonerate him,”

“Okay. When do we go?” Alec asked.

“I don’t know,” Izzy said, “we need to wait for the cops to show up,”

“Well when is that going to be?” Alec asked.

“I don’t know, Alec,” Izzy said firmly, “Magnus didn’t exactly give me a timeline,”

“We can’t let him stay there overnight. He doesn’t deserve that! He shouldn’t be there!” Alec yelled, “we need to go get him,”

“Alec, we can’t just go marching down to the station and demand they release him,” Jace said, “in case you’ve forgotten, we’re criminals. They might not know it, but if we want this to work, we don’t want to piss them off. We need to work on their schedule,”

“Go to bed, big brother,” Izzy said, “you’ve had a long day. You should sleep,”

“No! I can’t leave him in there! I need to get him out of there!” Alec insisted.

“Alec, go to bed,” Jace said, “or we’re going to make you go to bed,”

“Fine,” Alec huffed, “but if they don’t come for us by tomorrow night, we’re going down there,”

“Fine,” Izzy said, “do you need help, or…?”

“Clary can help me,” Alec said as he still stood there, leaning on her.

“Sure,” Clary said, looking at Jace, who nodded, “let’s get you to bed,”

***

Jace woke up to what sounded like voices coming from his brother’s room. He couldn’t quite tell what they were saying, but he assumed it was just him and Izzy talking. He shifted slightly closer to Clary, who was laying next to him with her arms around his waist. He wrapped his other arm around her and pulled her closer before placing a kiss on top of her head.

He was just drifting off again when he heard his phone vibrate. He pulled himself partially away from Clary and grabbed his phone where saw he had a text from Izzy.

Do you hear voices coming from Alec’s room?

He shot her a quick reply, telling her that he did but he thought the two of them were having a conversation. When she said it wasn’t her, he offered to get up and check on him, both concerned about what world Alec might enter in sleep.

Jace threw the covers off himself and untangled himself from Clary’s arms.

“Hmm...Jace?” Clary’s voice was soft and full of sleep. She barely opened her eyes to see him moving, “where are you going?”

“I need to go check on Alec,” he replied, “I’ll be back soon,”

“Mmm...okay,” she rolled back over and fell back asleep. He put the blankets down around her before looking around his darkened room for a pair of pants. He found a pair of sweatpants on the floor by his hamper which he quickly pulled on before exiting his room. They always left at least one light on in their main room in case of emergency, so he squinted as his eyes adjusted to the light.

“Alec?” he asked softly, knocking lightly on his brother’s door. When he got no response, he turned the knob, letting light flood into the room. He saw it empty save for Alec, thrashing around on the bed, mumbling to himself.

“Alec,” Jace said, rushing into the room and kneeling down next to the bed, “Alec, wake up,”

Alec didn’t hear him, and could only see the layer of sweat that covered his face and had spread onto the sheets surrounding him. Jace put his hands on Alec’s shoulders and shook him slightly, trying to get him to wake up, to pull him out of the nightmare.

And it worked. Jace had to jump back as Alec shot straight up, taking in deep breaths as he sat up in bed. He was looking around frantically, trying to find out where he was.

“Alec, you’re home,” Jace said, getting off the ground then sitting on his bed, “you’re in your room. You’re safe, Alec,”

Jace took his hands and put them on either side of Alec’s face before pressing their foreheads together. It was something they did as children that they hadn’t done in years; whenever one of them was upset, they would just sit with their foreheads pressed against each other until the other was feeling better. They also used to do it when one of them had gotten sick, but that always ended with the other contracting the same illness. When they had gotten a little older they realized the lapse in logic.

Alec brought his hands up to Jace’s, holding them as if they were the only thing keeping him grounded. Alec took a few deep breaths before he opened his eyes and looked at Jace.

“Thank you,” Alec said softly.

“Of course,” Jace replied. Alec closed his eyes and held him there for a few moments before he let go of his hand and pulled him in for a hug. Jace held him there and didn’t let go, “I’ll always be here for you, Alec,”

“Thank you,” Alec said, pulling out of the hug.

“How are you doing?” Jace asked.

“I’m fine,” Alec said. Jace scoffed.

“Not to be the master of the obvious, Alec, but I just had to wake you up in a pool of your own sweat. That doesn’t seem fine to me,” Jace replied. Alec sighed.

“Yeah...no...I’m not fine,” Alec said, “every time I close my eyes...I’m back in...in that place. I was having this dream that I was still there. Each time, I try to escape, and each time he catches me, except when he throws me back in there…” he took a deep breath in, “you’re there, or Izzy’s there, or, more recently, Magnus is there too,”

“Well, he’s dead,” Jace said, “Asmodeus is dead. I know. I checked,”

“How?” Alec asked.

“Called in some favors, asked around, made sure his body showed up at a morgue,” Jace replied, “he’s there. He’s set to be cremated tomorrow,”

Alec nodded, “that’s reassuring. Thank you,”

“Is anything else bothering you?” Jace asked.

“I just,” he took a breath in, “I miss Magnus. So much. I feel teased,”

“What do you mean?” Jace asked.

“I feel like this was all a part of Asmodeus’ cruel plan,” Alec said, “I saw Magnus for a brief second, through a window. Now I’m back, and he’s not. Though we didn’t physically swap places, it feels like we did, and it’s just...it’s not fair,”

“Yeah, I know,” Jace said, “it’s not fair, but we’re going to testify and he’ll be released,”

“Yeah, but what if he’s not?” Alec said, “if he’s not...then we have two options. Either him and I live our lives together forever separated by the rules of prison visitation or we break him out. If we break him out, then he and I have to run, and I’m leaving you and Izzy behind,” he took a shaky breath in before he screamed, “it’s not fair! It’s just not fucking fair!”

“I know. I know. It’s not fair,” Jace said, pulling him into a hug as he began to cry, “I know it’s not fair, Alec, just let it out,”

“What’s wrong?” Izzy was standing in the doorway.

“It’s not fair,” Alec mumbled into Jace’s shoulder. Izzy sighed and climbed onto her brother’s bed, wrapping her arms around him from the other side. She started running her fingers through his hair, trying her best to soothe him.

“It’s okay, brother,” Izzy said, “you’ll see him again soon,”

“But I don’t want to see him through a panel of glass or...or, or at a table surrounded by guards where I’m not allowed to touch him,” Alec said, “I want him here. In bed. Next to me,”

“Soon. He’ll be here soon,” Izzy said.

“How do you know?! How do you know that our testimony will be enough…” Alec trailed off.

“It will be,” Izzy said, “when they see your physical state and you tell them what happened to you and what Magnus saved you from,”

“I don’t know what I’d do without him,” Alec said softly, “I can’t live without him,”

“I know, Alec,” Jace said, “and we’ll get him back. I promise. Even if we have to destroy the entire prison system. We’ll get him back,”

“You promise?” Alec asked.

“I swear,”

***

The next morning, Jace was making breakfast for Alec, Izzy, and Clary. Alec had changed his clothes for the first time, and even though he still hadn’t taken the time to shower or shave, the change of clothes was heavenly. He never thought he’d appreciate something as simple as a new pair of underwear, but he had never been as happy as he was when he put them on this morning.

Then there was a knock at the door.

“I’ll get it,” Izzy said, standing up from the kitchen table. She walked through the main room and to the front door. When he opened it, she saw a cop standing on her doorstep. He was wearing glasses and his hair fell messily around his head. She’d be lying to herself if she didn’t think he was a bit cute.

“Hello,” she said with a smile.

“Uh...hi,” he said, smiling back, “my name is, Simon, uh, Detective Simon Lewis,”

“Isabelle Lightwood,” Izzy said, extending her hand out to him, which he shook after staring at it for a moment.

“Right, hi,” Simon said, shuffling on the balls of his feet. Izzy wanted to laugh at his awkwardness, but she decided to leave it as she thought it was endearing.

“What can I do for you, detective?” Izzy asked, leaning on the door frame.

“I’m here to talk to you about Magnus Bane,” Simon replied, slipping back into work mode, “and about what happened to your brother,”

“Of course,” Izzy said, “would you like to come in? We’re all just having breakfast?”

“Sure,” Simon said, stepping through the door. Izzy walked past him and led him back towards the kitchen.

“Iz! Who was at the door?” Alec yelled as they heard her approaching.

“A cop,” Izzy replied, as she entered the kitchen and she smiled, “a detective, actually,”

And when she said that, Simon entered the kitchen after her and he stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Clary there. He certainly wasn’t expecting to see her here.

“Clary?” Simon went over to her as she stood up and pulled him into a hug, “what the hell are you doing here?”

“This is my boyfriend, Jace,” Clary said, gesturing to Jace, who was plating breakfast.

“I didn’t expect to see you here,” Simon said, looking between her and Jace.

“Yeah, well, I’m here,” she said. Simon nodded before he turned to Alec.

“Alec, hi, nice to see you again,” Simon said, extending his hand to shake, which he did. He winced as he did, “geez, man, what happened to you?”

“Asmodeus Bane happened to me,” Alec replied, “Magnus killed him to save me,”

“Alec…” Jace began.

“That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?” Alec asked, “you want to talk to us about Magnus?”

“I do,” Simon said, “I want him to go free. In my eyes this is clear self defense, but we need to go about this the right way and to do that we need more testimony to avoid any problems in the future. You all need to come down to the station and corroborate his story, on record,”

“Alright,” Alec said, standing slowly, “let’s go,”

“Finish your breakfast first,” Simon said, “I’ll go down to the station and get everything set up, then you come join us and we can free him,”

“Why do you seem to care so much, detective?” Izzy asked, “you barely know him,”

“I know,” Simon said, looking at Izzy,“but...I can sympathize. I don’t want him and Alec to be separated because of this messed up legal system,”

“Big words, coming from a cop,” Alec said.

“Yeah,” Simon said, looking over at Alec, “if this were to go to trial it might not end well, so I want to end it now,”

“We will end it now,” Alec said softly, “we most definitely will,”

***

An hour later, the Lightwoods and Clary walked into the precinct. On their way over, they had stopped and purchased Alec a cane so he didn’t need to constantly lean on one of them for support. Now they were all walking in together at Alec’s speed, Jace held Clary’s hand and Izzy had her arm linked with her older brother’s.

“We’re here to see Detective Lewis,” Alec said when they reached the desk.

“Oh yes,” the receptionist said, “I’ll call him up,”

“Thank you,” Alec replied, turning back towards his siblings.

“Everyone remembers the story?” Izzy said under her breath. The other three nodded. Izzy had relayed the story that Magnus had given Simon when he was first taken in, so they all had the same story. Izzy was about to speak again when she saw Simon emerge from another part of the precinct.

“Hello,” he said, as he approached them, “good to see you all again,”

“Good to see you too,” Izzy replied.

“Sorry for the wait, I was just getting Magnus’ testimony on record,” Simon said.

“Can I see him?” Alec asked.

“Unfortunately not,” Simon said, “you guys can’t talk to him before you testify,”

“But he already called Izzy!” Alec said.

“Sh! Keep your voice down!” Simon hissed, “I technically wasn’t supposed to let him call you guys and I’d rather not face the consequences for that,”

“Right, sorry,” Alec said.

“I can set you guys all up in my office, and I’ll take you in one by one?” Simon asked. The others nodded and Simon began leading them down the hall. They went into his office which was small but had enough space for all of them to sit.

“Alec,” Simon said once they were all inside, “do you want to go first?”

“Sure,” Alec said.

“I’ve got the recorder all set up in the interrogation room,” Simon said, “it won’t be the most homey, but I promise we won’t handcuff you guys,”

“I appreciate that,” Alec said. Simon nodded and exited the room, and Alec followed him slowly down the hall. When they arrived at the room, Simon opened the door and allowed Alec to enter first. He went and sat on one side of the table and Simon sat on the other.

“Let’s hear your full story,” Simon said, turning on the recorder. Simon sat on one side of the desk and turned on his computer, “please state your name for the record,”

“Alec Lightwood,” Alec said.

“Please tell me, in as much detail as possible, what happened,” Simon said.

“About six weeks ago, Asmodeus...kidnapped me. I went out on a late night run. I like to take them in central park so I’ll usually take the train uptown. He got me there” Alec lied. He did like going on late night runs in central park, but that wasn’t what he was doing that night, “and for nearly a month, he kept me locked in a basement. He didn’t give me enough food. Everyday all I got was a chicken breast, some potatoes, and some vegetables. When he took me, I tried to fight him off but I was stabbed, and I didn’t have any medical supplies. All I had was a toothbrush and toothpaste as well as a toilet and toilet paper as far as hygiene went,”

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” he said.

“Thanks, I appreciate it,” Alec smiled, “anyway, that went on for nearly a month, it was like he was slowly weakening me. Then, on my birthday, I’m going through my usual routine and he knocks me out. I wake up tied to the ceiling, and he films himself beating the shit out of me,”

“Where is the video?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I assume Magnus has access to them somewhere,” Alec said, “but he beat me half to death. I coughed up blood the first time he did it,”

“The first time?” Simon asked. Alec nodded.

“I’m getting to that,” Alec said, “when he beat me, he said that if Magnus didn’t completely whatever task Asmodeus had given him, then he would do this again the following week. After he did that he left me. Thankfully no permanent damage was inflicted, but I was deteriorating fast because I didn’t have the nutrients in my body to heal properly,”

“Right,” Simon said, “do you know what the task was?”

“I don’t,” Alec lied, “Asmodeus never told me and I’ve been focused on reuniting with my siblings to ask anyone what it was,”

“Asmodeus asked Magnus to kill people,” Simon said, “which he didn’t do,”

“Yeah. I picked up on the fact that he didn’t do it,” Alec said, raising his casted hand as a point of emphasis.

“That’s actually good for him,” Simon said, “because it doesn’t make it seem like something he usually does, leading us to a self defense conclusion,”

“Right,” Alec said, “then a week goes by, and there’s no interaction between Asmodeus and I, but exactly a week after the first beating, he comes back and beats me again, and films it again. I’m barely alive at this point. I didn’t know if I would survive another one and was beginning to come to terms with the fact that I was never getting out of there,”

“That must’ve been terrible,” Simon said.

“It was,” Alec replied, “then, two days before he’s meant to beat me again, Magnus and my siblings show up at the small window I had at the top of the basement he kept me in. They came for me, and I moved over to the door to be ready to yell for them if I needed to. Then Asmodeus comes into the basement and knocks me out,”

Alec took a deep breath in, this was the moment of truth. This was the moment that could make or break getting Magnus free.

“And?” Simon asked.

“And I wake up and he’s chained me to the bottom of a reservoir that is slowly filling,” Alec said, “he said that his plan has worked perfectly. And I sit there as the reservoir slowly fills,” Alec took another shaky breath, “then out of the blue, Jace and Izzy show up and free me just in time,”

“Wow,”

“Yeah,” Alec said, “and they told me, apparently, Magnus talked to his father and found out where I was. He sent Jace and Izzy off to get me while Magnus stayed back to keep him from following them. Then...then he did it,”

Alec paused and made eye contact with Simon.

“From what I learned about how crazy Asmodeus Bane is...or, how crazy he was,” Alec said, “if Magnus hadn’t done what he did, all four of us would be dead right now, along with the people Asmodeus had asked him to kill,”

“That’s some story,” Simon said.

“Is it enough? Does it exonerate him?” Alec asked.

“We definitely need to see the videos,” Simon said.

“Well, you can ask Magnus where those are. I don’t have access to them and neither do my siblings,” Alec said, then he thought for a moment, “I imagine they’re probably on Magnus’ phone,”

“If I got you his phone, do you know the password?” Simon asked.

“Yeah, I do,” Alec replied.

“Then I will be right back,” Simon said, standing and exiting the room. Alec tapped his foot intensely until Simon returned, not quite ready to see the videos Magnus was forced to watch. When Simon returned, he was holding Magnus’ phone in a plastic bag. He handed the bag to Alec.

“If you could just unlock the phone and find the videos,” Simon said.

“Sure,” Alec nodded and pulled the phone out. He entered the password that Magnus had told him ages ago and went straight to the messages. He looked through any messages he had gotten over the past week, looking for either Asmodeus’ name or an unknown number. The only message that had been sent six days ago, was under his own name. He clicked on it and saw the videos there.

A wave of nausea hit him as he realized that Asmodeus had been using his own phone to contact Magnus. He had access to every message he had ever sent Magnus or anyone. Asmodeus’ weird obsession with him already made him sick, but the fact Asmodeus had access to every single message he had ever sent Magnus, dirty, loving, or otherwise made him want to throw up.

“Are you okay?” Simon asked, “you just went really pale,”

“Bucket,” Alec coughed out, “I need a bucket,”

Simon immediately jumped up and grabbed a trash can from the corner of the room. He shoved it into Alec’s arms just as he began to throw up. He didn’t notice that Simon left the room and return with a small paper cup of water. When he finished, he took a few deep breaths while leaning over the can.

“Are you okay?” Simon asked.

“Uh, yeah,” Alec said, taking deep breaths.

“Drink,” Simon said, referring to the water. Alec did as he was told and Simon took the trash can from his hand.

“No, I can take care of that,” Alec said, reaching towards the bucket.

“No, I’ve got it,” Simon replied, “trust me, I’ve seen far worse,”

He exited the room with the can and returned moments later without it.

“What set you off?” Simon asked.

“Well, I found the videos,” Alec said, “but I realized that he communicated with Magnus using my phone,”

“Oh,”

“Yeah, and, well, Asmodeus kinda had a creepy obsession with me,” Alec said, “and to know he had access to every message we ever sent each other…”

“Yeah,” Simon said, “if you just show me where the videos are, I can send them to myself,”

“Sure,” Alec unlocked the phone again and handed it over to Simon.

“Thank you, Alec. I know this must’ve been hard for you,” Simon said, putting the phone back into the plastic bag.

“Anything to get Magnus free,” Alec replied, “he doesn’t deserve to be in there,”

“I know,” Simon said, “I just need to gather the other testimonies, and compile a report,”

“Sure,” Alec said as he stood. He grabbed the cane and leaned on it as Simon led him back to his office.

***

“So how’d yours go?” Izzy asked when he returned from her testimony. Jace had gone after Alec, and Izzy had followed him. Simon had just taken Clary back and the siblings were now alone, sitting together on Simon’s office couch.

“Besides the fact that I threw up in the middle of it,” Alec said, “just fine,”

“You what?” Jace asked, sitting up a little.

“I threw up,” Alec repeated.

“Why?” Izzy asked.

“I found out that Asmodeus use my phone to communicate with Magnus,” Alec said, “which means that he had access to every single text I ever sent him,”

“Yeah, he did…” Izzy said, trailing off.

“Yeah and he already had a weird obsession with me,” Alec said, “and the fact that he had access to every dirty or loving text that I ever sent him, I just...it’s disgusting,”

“Oh yeah,” Jace said, “so...you gave the detective the videos?”

“Yeah, he needed them to exonerate Magnus,” Alec said, “how he physically hurt me,”

“Right,” Jace bit his lip, “you’ll never let us see those?”

“You have no reason to,” Alec replied quickly, “Magnus shouldn’t have even seen them,”

“Of course,” Jace said.

“How’d your testimonies go?” Alec asked, changing the subject.

“He is not a very confident dude,” Jace said, “I think I intimidated him,”

“Jace, you intimidate a lot of people,” Izzy said, “we all do,”

They all laughed at that.

“If that’s the case, how are two of the three of us in relationships?” Jace asked.

“Cause we’re all big softies on the inside,” Izzy said, “and possibly three of us,”

“What?” Alec asked.

“Possibly three of us are in relationships,” Izzy said.

“Are you seeing someone we don’t know about?” Jace asked seriously.

“No,” Izzy said, “Simon asked me on a date and I said yes,”

“Simon?” Jace asked, “like, the detective?”

“Yes,” Izzy said.

“Why?” Jace asked.

“You’re supposed to be in there testifying that Magnus saved my life and you come out with a date?!” Alec yelled, clearly annoyed.

“Both of you, stop it!” Izzy said, standing up off the couch, “I gave my testimony before he asked me out. When I finished and he turned the recorder off, we got to chatting and he asked me out. I said yes because I think he’s funny and sweet,”

“But Izzy, he’s a cop!” Jace said, then he lowered his voice, “and we’re criminals,”

“We were,” Izzy said softly, “we were criminals,”

“Still!” Jace hissed, “if he finds out, we’ll all be arrested!”

“It might not go anywhere,” Izzy said, “that doesn’t mean I can’t go have a nice dinner and get laid,”

“It’s still not a good idea,” Jace grumbled, leaning back on the couch.

“Just, leave it, Jace,” Izzy said, “don’t hate on the guy. You barely know him,”

“And you do?” Jace asked.

“Both of you, stop!” Alec said, “Jace, let Izzy go on her date. If it develops into something more, then we’ll deal with it. Izzy, be open to the idea that dating a cop might not be the smartest thing you’ve ever done. Can we both do that?”

“Yes,” Izzy and Jace grumbled. Just as Izzy sat back down, Simon and Clary reentered the office. Simon had the recorder and Magnus’ phone in his hand.

“I unfortunately have to ask you all to leave my office,” Simon said, “I need to compile the report and once I do, I can release him,”

“Do we have to leave?” Alec asked.

“My office? Yes, you have to leave. But you don’t have to leave the precinct,” Simon replied, “you can just wait out in the lobby,”

“How long is it going to take?” Alec asked.

“Maybe a few hours,” Simon said, “you might want to go to the cafeteria and get some food,”

“Okay,” Alec said. Jace stood and helped him stand as well.

“See you soon, Simon,” Izzy said with a wave, and the four left the room.

***

Magnus perked up to the sound of footsteps down his hall. He had spent most of his day pacing the cell, thinking of Alec and how they were so close to each other, yet there was still so much separating them. Now the sun was going down and he was prepared to have to spend another night in the cell. He walked to the edge of the bars to see who was coming down the hall, and he saw Simon in the distance.

“Simon,” Magnus said, when he got closer “what are you doing here?”

“Releasing you,” Simon said.

“What?” Magnus asked, taking a few steps back, “really?

“Yeah. I spent the day gathering testimonies in your defense,” Simon said, “I also got access to the videos of Alec, which definitely showed how much of a threat your father was,”

“Alec...is he here?” Magnus asked.

“Yes. He’s waiting for you,” Simon said, stepping aside, “you can follow me,”

Magnus quickly followed him out of the cell, and it took all in his power not to run to every room in this building to find Alec. They rounded a corner and Magnus stopped dead in his tracks as he saw Alec standing in the lobby of the precinct talking softly to Jace, Izzy, and Clary. He had a cast on his left arm and he was leaning on a cane that he held in his right hand. He had some cuts still healing on his face and he knew there was more bruising underneath his clothes, but he couldn’t bring himself to think about that right now.

“Alexander,” Magnus said, pushing past Simon and practically running down the hall. Alec looked up at hearing his name.

“Magnus,” he said, pushing away from his siblings and moving as best he could towards Magnus.

Magnus practically launched himself into Alec’s arm when the two collided. He wrapped his arms tightly around Alec’s neck and pulled him close and tight, taking in the fact that he was here.

“Alexander...oh my god,” Magnus choked out as he grabbed at him, taking fistfuls of Alec’s shirts in his hand, trying to hold him close. Alec held him tight, dropping the cane and keeping both arms wrapped firmly around Magnus. Neither of them cared about the pain the hug was causing Alec. Tears gathered in Alec’s eyes as well and began to fall. Magnus pulled back slightly, showing Alec his own watery eyes as he cupped Alec’s his face in his hands. He pulled Alec’s face down to his level and began to kiss his cheek, where he tasted the saltwater of his tears. He kissed slightly above the spot he just had and began kissing around his entire face where there was any exposed skin he could get his mouth on. Through the whole thing, Alec kept his hands firm on the small of Magnus’ back.

“Magnus,” Alec choked out before moving his hands to Magnus’ face and surging forward and kissing his lips. Magnus opened his mouth and let Alec slip his tongue inside, neither of them not caring at all that they were in the middle of a public space

“I didn’t think I’d ever see you again,” Alec said when he pulled away, gasping for breath, letting his hands rest on Magnus’ shoulders as their foreheads pressed together.

“I...I am so so sorry…” Magnus said, not letting his hands moved from Alec’s face but looking him in the eye.

“No. Magnus, stop it,” Alec said softly, as he let his hands run down Magnus’ body to grip his biceps, “we’re not talking about that now. I’m here. That’s what matters. I’m here and we’re together, and I’m never leaving you again,”

“Alexander,” Magnus choked out a sob as a new round of tears fell from his face. He launched himself forward and pulled him into a tight hug, which Alec returned with fervor. Alec let his head rest next to Magnus as the two just breathed in each other’s scent. They held each other as they cried, scared that if they let go, the other would disappear again. They didn’t move from their spot in the precinct and no one tried to stop them.

Chapter Text

It took a while before Alec and Magnus were ready to let go of their embrace long enough for them to leave the station. When they finally left, the sun had gone down, and Alec leaned more on Magnus than the cane, trying to keep as much physical closeness between them as they could. Jace drove home with Clary in the passenger seat, and Alec and Magnus sat with their sides pressed together while Magnus’ head rested on Alec’s shoulder and Alec’s head rested on top of Magnus’. As they walked into the firehouse together, Alec had his arm around Magnus’ shoulders, leaning on him when he needed to, and Magnus kept his arm around Alec’s waist, holding him up as they walked.

“Alexander, darling, have you showered?” Magnus asked when they entered and were out of earshot of everyone else.

“No,” Alec replied, “I haven’t had the time,”

“Let’s go get you showered, darling,” Magnus said. Alec nodded and went to go towards the stairs but Magnus held him in place, and he turned towards Jace, Izzy, and Clary.

“One moment,” Magnus said, pulling partially away from Alec, but keeping their hands intertwined. It was the furthest they’d been apart since they were reunited, so Alec held his hand tight.

“Clary,” Magnus said, facing her, “I am so so sorry for any sort of...um...stress or inconvenience I caused you through this whole ordeal,”

“It’s okay, Magnus, really,” Clary said, taking his free hand, “I know it’s not your fault, I understand it was a tough situation, for both of us. I just, well, if I’m being frank, I really appreciate that you didn’t kill me,”

“Anytime,” Magnus said with a smile, causing them both to laugh, “and thank you for testifying for me,”

“Of course,” Clary said with a smile, “this was a terrible situation, and you didn’t deserve to be locked up,”

“Thank you,” Magnus smiled then he turned to Jace and Izzy. Clary let go of his hand, and he took a deep breath in.

“Thank you, both,” Magnus said, “truly, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much. I know you guys don’t like cops,”

“Of course, Magnus,” Izzy said, taking his hand, “you’re a part of our family,”

“Yeah,” Jace agreed, taking a step closer to Izzy, “and we’re not going to leave you behind,”

Magnus smiled and nodded, blinking away the tears that were misting in his eyes. Izzy smiled then she pulled him into a hug. Magnus hugged her back with only one arm, keeping his other arm outstretched to hold Alec’s hand. When Izzy let him go, she wiped a tear from her eye then Jace stepped in and took his spot. Alec tugged at Magnus’ hand a little, and Magnus pulled away from Jace.

“Thank you,” Magnus said again.

“Of course,” Izzy said, “we’ll be there for you, Magnus,”

“Always,” Jace said. Magnus nodded and turned before they could see the tears fall from his eyes. He couldn’t believe how far his relationship with Jace and Izzy had come. They had been ready to kill him when he had been brought into this operation and now, barely six months later, they were calling him his family. He quickly wiped his eyes, hoping Alec wouldn’t notice. If he did, he didn’t mention it, which, at this moment, Magnus was grateful for.

He began helping Alec up the stairs, towards the bathroom. He looked back and saw Jace and Clary move into the kitchen as Izzy went into her office. Jace and Clary were speaking softly as they walked, and Izzy was smiling at her phone before she shut her office door. He smiled at the scene below him. Everything was back to normal.

“I need to thank you too,” Alec said as they entered the bathroom.

“What for, darling?” Magnus asked, taking one of his hands and letting the other rest on Alec’s cheek.

“For getting me out of there,” Alec replied, his eyes misty, “and for not losing yourself in the process,”

“Did you think I wouldn’t come and find you?” Magnus asked, taking a half step forward with concern written all over his face.

“It’s not that I didn’t think you would, I just didn’t think you would in time,” Alec said, taking a shaky breath in, “if...if you had been two days later than you came...if he had...I wouldn’t have survived that again,”

“Oh Alexander,” Magnus placed a tender kiss on his lips, “I was always going to find you. And I am always going to find you. No matter what the future holds, I will always find you, so please don’t think I ever would’ve left you there to die,”

Alec stepped forward and kissed him, deeply.

“I love you, Magnus,” Alec said, resting their foreheads together.

“I love you too, Alexander,” Magnus said, pressing a kiss on his cheek, “let’s get you clean, darling,”

Alec nodded as Magnus took the cane from his hand and rest it on the wall behind them. He grabbed the hem of Alec’s shirt and slowly pulled it over his head. He gasped as he took in the sight of his gaunt and bruised torso. Even though he had seen it through videos, it was nothing compared to seeing the injuries in person. He ghosted his fingers over his chest.

“Please don’t focus on that, Mags,” Alec said.

“Mags?” Magnus asked with a small smile on his lips.

“Oh, um, sorry,” Alec looked down, “do you not like it?”

“No, no, I do, a lot,” Magnus said, with a smile, “it just kinda came out of nowhere,”

“Oh, yeah I guess for you,” Alec said. Magnus raised his eyebrows, “right, um, when I was there, and I was...I was physically and mentally exhausted and I’d think of think you, my brain just cut your name short,”

“Well, I like it,” Magnus said, pressing a quick kiss to his lips. Then he took a breath in, “can I...can I see your back please, Alexander,”

“I don’t really want you to,” Alec replied softly.

“But will you let me?” Magnus asked. Alec sighed and nodded before he turned around. Magnus held back his gasp as he saw the red, angry cuts that were beginning to heal on his back. He let his hands run lightly over the tattoos on his back that had gotten destroyed by the torture his father had inflicted on his boyfriend.

“How bad is it?” Alec asked, “I haven’t actually seen it,”

“Um, it’s not great,” Magnus replied, “you are going to need to invest in a lot of scar oil,”

Alec laughed at that, “yeah I was planning on doing that,”

“You’re also going to need to go back to your tattoo artist,” Magnus said, “once the scars are healed over. Some of them are...not ruined, but certainly not what they were,”

“The M,” Alec said, moving towards the mirror and lifting his arm, “is the M okay?”

He looked in the mirror and saw the M over his rib cage was perfectly intact. He exhaled. All of his tattoos that had meaning were untouched.

“Come on, darling, let's get you in the shower,” Magnus said. Alec nodded, allowing Magnus to pull off his pants and underwear. Then he went over to the shower and turned it on.

“How hot do you want the shower?” Magnus asked.

“Pretty hot but not boiling,” Alec replied, Magnus nodded and adjusted the knobs accordingly before he began stripping off his own clothes.

“Oh Magnus, you don’t have to,” Alec began.

“But I want to, Alexander,” Magnus said, walking over to him, “do you have a bag of some kind that I can put over your cast?”

“I think there’s one under the sink,” Alec replied, “Jace broke his arm a few years ago and I don’t think we ever got rid of the bag,”

Magnus nodded and began digging around under the sink before he found the bag. He held the one end open and help Alec get his cast into it.

“Let me get these bandages off you so we can get those washed,” Magnus said. Alec nodded as Magnus knelt down in front of him. In any other situation, Alec would’ve been extremely aroused by this, but right now, that didn’t even cross his mind. This was a different type of physical intimacy that they both needed after the emotion trauma they had endured.

Magnus threw out the old bandages before taking Alec’s hand and leading him towards the shower. They both tested the water before stepping inside. Alec moaned as the water flowed over his body. This was the first proper shower with warm water that he’d had in almost six weeks. Magnus got himself wet before allowing Alec to take up most of the space under the showerhead. He reached up and ran his fingers through Alec’s hair, letting the water run off it.

“I cleaned myself a little bit while I was there,” Alec said softly, “but it was mostly sponge baths and I used my shirt as the sponge,”

“Alexander, I’m…”

“If you’re going to apologize, Mags, stop right now,” Alec said, letting his hands rest on Magnus’ arms.

“Darling, I’m going to spend the rest of my life apologizing,” Magnus said with a chuckle.

Alec sighed, “I’m serious, babe, I don’t blame you for what happened,”

“Well I blame me,” Magnus said, not meeting his eye.

“Please don’t,” Alec said softly, lifting his chin to force him to look him in the eye.

“You know it’s not that easy, Alexander,” Magnus replied.

“I know,” Alec said, “we’ll work through it. Together,”

Magnus gave him a soft kiss before grabbing the shampoo resting on the ledge behind him. It was his own shampoo that he had accidentally left in the bathroom a while ago. He rubbed some between his hands before he began massaging Alec’s head, rubbing the shampoo through his dirty, greasy hair. As he began to rinse it out, there were hardly any suds there, showing how truly dirty his hair was. He had to shampoo it two more times before it was actually clean and he could run some conditioner through it.

“How are you feeling, Alexander?” Magnus asked, running his hand down Alec’s arms, “you’re being very quiet,”

“I feel wonderful, Magnus,” Alec said, leaning into his touch. Magnus nodded and grabbed a wash cloth that was hanging over the shower curtain rod. He lathered it in soap before he began to rub it over Alec’s body. He went gently over the cuts that were still red and raw, but put enough pressure on them to make sure they were clean. Alec winced a little as he cleaned over the stab wound on his leg, but Magnus pressed a light kiss to it as he left it behind.

Alec leaned against the wall and rested his hand on Magnus’ shoulder as he cleaned his feet. He hadn’t worn shoes for six weeks, so there were six weeks worth of dirt and callus on the bottoms of his feet. He had to rinse out the washcloth and re-soap it twice before all the dirt was gone. He then rinsed the cloth out again and washed the conditioner out of Alec’s hair.

“Okay,” Alec said, grabbing the shampoo from the ledge, “now you,”

“No, darling, you’re not doing that,” Magnus said, “I’ll clean myself real quick, you don’t have to worry about it,”

“But Magnus, I want to,” Alec said, taking Magnus’ hands in his.

“Maybe when you’ve healed, we’ll get to that,” Magnus replied, kissing him lightly. Alec nodded and let Magnus clean himself quickly. Once he was, he pulled Alec closed and kissed him under the rain of the shower water. Alec deepened their kiss and pulled him close, pressing as much of their bodies together as they could.

“I missed you, Alexander,” Magnus said when they both pulled apart for air, “I didn’t…” he paused and took a breath in, trying not to cry, but to no avail, “I didn’t think I’d ever see you again,”

All Alec did was pull him close and kiss him again, pushing his tongue into his mouth and bringing them impossibly closer.

“Me too,” Alec choked out softly before taking a shaky breath in, “I can’t believe we’re here,”

“We’re here and we’re okay,” Magnus said, their foreheads pressed together, “we’re together and I’m never leaving you again,”

“You’re not allowed to leave me,” Alec said, holding him tightly, “I love you, Magnus,”

“I love you too, Alexander,” Magnus ran his hand through Alec’s now clean hair, “do you want to shave your beard, darling?”

“Yes please,” Alec said softly. Magnus nodded and turned off the shower. He reached out of the shower and grabbed two towels from the towel bar. He handed one to Alec and took the other himself. He wrapped his over his shoulders before taking Alec’s and beginning to dry him off.

“Magnus, I can dry myself off,” Alec said with a laugh, trying to take the towel from him.

“No, I’ve got it,” Magnus said, looking up at him, “let me do this, please,”

“Okay,” Alec said softly, “thank you, babe,”

“Of course,” Magnus smiled, “let’s get that bag off your arm,”

Alec nodded, extending his broken arm to Magnus who pulled the plastic bag off his cast. He hung it over the towel bar to dry as Alec wrapped his towel around his waist. Magnus quickly dried himself off before wrapping how own towel around his waist.

“I’m gonna go get clothes,” Magnus said, “what do you want?”

“Uh, sweatpants and a t-shirt, please,” Alec said.

“As you wish, darling,” Magnus smiled and pressed a light kiss on his lips before exiting. Alec moved over to the sink and went into the drawer, pulling out beard clippers and a razor. He plugged the clippers in and began to shave his face.

“Alexander!” Magnus scolded as he re-entered the room wearing only basketball shorts with a pile of clothes in his hand, “you’re not supposed to be doing anything,”

“I can shave my own…”

“I’m doing this. I’m taking care of you tonight,” Magnus said, then he took the clippers from Alec’s hand, “now I’ll take these, you put your pants on, and then sit on the toilet with your towel in your lap,”

“Okay,” Alec said with a soft smile. He took his towel off before putting his sweatpants on. He sat on the toilet and let the towel rest on his lap. Magnus then turned the clippers on and began to shave Alec’s beard.

“Will you at least let me shave the rest of it?” Alec asked when Magnus had finished, leaving just a thin layer of stubble on his cheeks.

“Do you not trust me not to cut you?” Magnus asked, a little hurt.

“Do you usually shave a face that isn’t yours?” Alec asked, his eyebrows raised.

“Um, no,” Magnus sighed.

“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” Alec said softly, taking his hands, “it’s about me being a control freak,”

“Wow, I did not expect you to admit that,” Magnus said with a smile, “give me the towel. I’ll take it down to the laundry room while you shave. Meet me in your room,”

“Okay, I love you,” Alec said with a smile.

“I love you too,” Magnus pecked his lips before taking the towel and leaving the room.

***

Magnus woke up in the middle of the night when felt Alec move in the bed beside. He didn’t know what time it was, so he thought that his boyfriend was getting up.

“Alexander,” he grumbled, his voice full of sleep as he wrapped his arms tighter around Alec’s waist, “don’t leave me,”

When Alec moved again, Magnus realized he wasn’t quite pulling away, just moving in his sleep. He opened his eyes and sat up a little, looking over at Alec. In the darkness, he saw Alec’s face was screwed tightly and was covered in a layer of sweat. He was muttering to himself while beginning to move around in his sleep.

“Alexander,” Magnus said softly, shifting so he was resting on his elbow as he ran his hands through Alec’s hair. He didn’t respond, only continued to thrash around as he was stuck in what Magnus assumed was a nightmare.

“Alexander, darling, you need to wake up,” Magnus said, shaking him.

“M-Mags-Magnus…” Alec muttered thrashing his arms around, taking shallow breaths.

“Darling, I’m right here,” Magnus rested his hand on Alec’s cheek, “please, wake up,”

“MAGNUS!” Alec shot up, nearly knocking Magnus off the bed as he did. He winced as he was breathing heavily and looking around the room frantically. Magnus took Alec’s face in his hand and turned him towards him.

“Alexander, I’m right here,” Magnus said, “take deep breaths, darling. Calm down,”

“Magnus, Mags…” Alec put his hands on Magnus’ face and pressed their foreheads together, “you’re here,”

“I’m here, darling,” Magnus said, wrapping his arms around his neck, “I’m not going anywhere,”

Alec nodded against Magnus’ forehead, their breath mingling between them.

“You feeling a little better, darling?” Magnus asked. Alec nodded.

“My rib hurts,” he said softly.

“Let’s lay you back down then,” Magnus said, wrapping his arms around Alec’s torso.

“You’ll come down with me?” Alec asked.

“Of course, darling,” Magnus said, helping Alec lower himself back to lay down. Usually, Magnus would lay his head on Alec’s chest, but given the nature of his injuries, he laid in the crook of his neck. He put one arm lightly over his chest and Alec wrapped his arm around his back.

“Thank you, Magnus,” Alec said, kissing the top of his head.

“Of course, darling,” Magnus said, “do you wanna tell me what it was about?”

“Every night,” Alec began, still keeping his arms tight around Magnus, “every night... in my dreams, I lose you,”

“Oh darling…”

“Either...either I’m back in that basement...and you’re there in worse condition than I was,” Alec said, “or...or you’re there and I have to watch him put you through what I went through...except...and, and then…”

“Shh...shh…” Magnus ran his hand through Alec’s hair as he began to cry, “I’m here darling, I’m not going anywhere. I promise. I’m here. My father is gone. I’m never leaving you,”

Alec nodded, letting the tears run down his face. Magnus let his hand go up to Alec’s face and wiped the tears away. Magnus held him tight as he took shallow breaths, letting him let his emotions out. He whispered comforting words to Alec as he did. As Alec’s breathing calmed down, the comforting words stopped, and Magnus began to fall back asleep.

“Magnus, can I ask you something?” Alec asked softly, just as Magnus had begun to drift off to sleep.

“Of course, darling,” Magnus replied without opening his eyes.

“Promise not to freak out,” Alec began, “and I won’t be upset if you say no,”

“Now I can’t guarantee I won’t freak out, darling” Magnus said, his eyes open now and glancing up at Alec, “but ask away,”

“Will, um, will you marry me?” Alec asked. Magnus immediately sat up, shocked by the question. In a panic, Alec was quick to fill the silence, “we don’t need to get married, like, right away, if you don’t want to. But if you want to, we totally can. Or we can wait years, decades even. Hell, we don’t even have to get married, we can stay engaged forever. I just...I don’t know...I want to know that we’re always going to be together...that, like, we’ll always come back to each other…” he took a breath in, Magnus’ continued silence freaking him out, “you know what? Never mind, forget I even asked…”

“No no no, Alexander,” Magnus said quickly, putting hands on Alec’s soft cheeks, “I would love to marry you. Yes. I will marry you. I’d marry you tomorrow,”

“Seriously?” Alec said.

“Yes,” Magnus said and then he panicked, “if that’s what you want,”

“Yes...yes! That’s what I want!” Alec said smiling, taking Magnus’ face in his hands, “let’s get married tomorrow!”

Magnus leaned forward and kissed him, opening his mouth as he did, letting Alec slip his tongue inside. He pulled his hands through Alec’s hair, pulling them impossibly closer.

“How quickly do you think Jace could make rings?” Magnus asked, pulling back

“He’s gonna have to make them quick,” Alec smiled and pulled Magnus in for another kiss. He pulled away from his mouth and began kissing down his jaw and nipping at his neck as his hands slipped lower down his body, cupping his ass

“Alexander, are you sure you can?” Magnus asked, “I don’t wanna hurt you, darling,”

“Just be gentle with me,” Alec said.

“I think I can do that,” Magnus smiled, kissing his mouth again.

***

“Izzy, I need to look perfect,” Alec said as they continued to move through the mall. He was leaning on his cheap cane while carrying a box with a much more ornate cane in his other hand, “because he’s going to look impeccable and I need to be somewhat perfect,”

“You guys literally sprung this on all of us,” Izzy said, “I don’t think he’s going to mind if you aren’t dressed perfectly,”

“I know but I want to be,” Alec said, “and I know he’s not going to wear a penguin suit so I feel like I need to find something unique,”

“But here’s the thing about you and Magnus,” Izzy said, “Magnus is a very eccentric person, and he’s not one for penguin suits. You, on the other hand, are a very traditional person. Well, except for the part where you’re getting married out of the blue after dating the guy for six months,”

“You don’t think it’s a good idea, do you?” Alec asked, the disappointment evident in his voice and body language.

“No! I do think it’s a good idea,” Izzy said quickly, “don’t get me wrong, it certainly surprised Jace and I, because we know you as a person and this is very out of character, but we’re both really happy for you,”

“That doesn’t exactly convince me you think it’s a good idea,” Alec said.

“Look,” Izzy said, turning towards him and taking his hand, “I don’t know what it is about you and Magnus, but you two are literally soul mates. You click together so well it’s like you guys have known each other for your entire lives. So Jace and I think this is a great idea, regardless of how shocking it was, we’re both super happy for you guys and think it’s a wonderful idea,”

“Thanks Iz,” Alec said with a smile, “now if only I could find something to wear,”

“About that,” Izzy said, “I have an idea,”

“Yeah?” Alec raised an eyebrow.

“Yes,” Izzy replied, walking towards another store, “and Magnus is gonna love it,”

***

“Cat. I don’t know what to wear,” Magnus stared at his wardrobe, “I have the whole world of fashion at my fingertips and I can’t find something to wear to my own damn wedding,”

“Magnus, Alec didn’t fall in love with you because of your fashion sense,” Cat replied, sitting on his bed surrounded by the various clothing items he had already discarded.

“Yeah, but I know he’s gonna look amazing, and I just want to be on his level,” Magnus sighed, “and I can’t do that with anything I have in my damn closet and this wedding is in six hours, I don’t have time to commission something. Maybe we shouldn’t go through with this,”

“Magnus,” Cat said, taking his hands, “you can’t cancel your wedding just because you can’t find anything to wear,”

“I’ve thought about this day more times than I care to tell, Cat, and each time I am dressed half as well as my fiance,” Magnus sighed, “I just want him to look at me and only think about taking my clothes off,”

Cat laughed at that, “I think Alec always looks at you and thinks about taking your clothes off,”

“I know, but, I wanna shock him,” Magnus said, “and I can’t do that with any of my stupid clothes in my stupid closet,”

“What were you wearing the night you met him?” Cat asked.

“I don’t want to wear the same thing I wore when I met him,” Magnus said, “that’s too cheesy. We’re already getting married where we met,”

“Just tell me what you wore that day,” Cat said, “because maybe if you just put a little touch of something from that outfit into the outfit you’re planning for tonight…”

“I mean, maybe…” Magnus said. Cat sighed and stood up before digging through his closet.

“What about this?” Cat asked, pulling something out of the back part of his closet, “this is very you,”

“Oh, I forgot I had this,” Magnus took the fabric in his hands, “we can definitely build something around this,”

“Yeah, between this and what you wore when you first met,” Cat said.

“Yeah...yeah. We can make this work,” Magnus said with a smile.

***

Six hours later, Jace, Izzy, Cat, Madzie, and Clary were all gathered in the main entrance hall of Magnus’ house. Clary had created and altar at the base of the staircase and had managed to roll out a red carpet in front of it. They had moved Alec and Magnus into separate rooms on opposite sides of the main hall after they had both finished getting ready. The couple hadn’t seen each other since Izzy swept Alec away the minute they had told her they were getting married today. Izzy had planned the whole ceremony and told them each separately how it was going to play out.

Izzy stood at the center of the altar with a binder in her hand. That morning she had taken the time to become an ordained minister online so they wouldn’t have to hire someone who would stand awkwardly during their small, intimate ceremony. Cat stood on one side of the altar and Madzie stood at the other end of the aisle with a basket of flowers in her hand. Clary and Jace stood on the other side of the altar, and Jace held a small box holding the rings he had spent the day crafting.

The rings themselves were both made of white gold. They each had a relatively thin band, with a slightly thicker head. On the head, where the letters LB, for the name they had decided to take: Lightwood-Bane. The letters were in the same style that the L that was tattooed on all three of the Lightwoods wrists. On either side of the letters, there were three diamonds embedded in the band that got smaller as they moved away from the center of the ring. Each ring also had the date engraved on the underside.

“Are we ready?” Izzy asked, looking at everyone there. They all nodded and she turned to the ledge behind her and began playing music. Madzie walked down the aisle they had made, letting flower petals fall from her hands and onto the ground. When she reached the altar she went and stood next to her mother.

As the music picked up, Alec exited the room he was in. He leaned on a sleek, black cane that had an ornate golden head. His suit was all black, except for his shirt and shoes, which were both a shiny gold that matched the head of his cane. When he reached the altar, Madzie was the first to run over and hug him. Then he moved to Cat, then his sister, then Clary, then his brother. After he hugged Jace, he turned his body to face the center of the altar, and turned his head to face the aisle.

The music crescendoed as Magnus entered. Alec couldn’t help but let his hand cover his mouth when he saw his husband-to-be, and Magnus stopped in his tracks when he met Alec’s eye. The first thing that caught his eye was the long, deep blue cape that he wore over his shoulders. He wore a cropped, black overcoat underneath, with a black waistcoat and a white shirt. His shoes and bowtie matched the blue of his cape.

Magnus resumed walking after they both took a moment to just stare at each other with love and admiration. When Magnus reached the altar, he went around hugging everyone as well, beginning with Jace and ending with Cat and Madzie. Then he turned towards Alec and clasped his hands in front of him, letting the cape nearly close around the front of his body and Alec did the same.

“We seven are gathered here today to witness the marriage of Magnus Bane and Alexander Gideon Lightwood,” Izzy said, “I will keep my bit short and sweet. I’ve known my older brother all my life, and he’s always been, for lack of a better word, constantly miserable,” this got a small laugh from everyone in the room, and an eye roll from Alec, “but since meeting Magnus, I’ve never seen him happier, and I can’t even begin to thank you, Magnus for making my brother this happy. As for Magnus, well, Jace and I weren’t his biggest fans when he came into our lives, but I think you can tell how this has changed, given I spent the day organizing this ceremony and Jace spent the day making custom rings for these impatient lovebirds. I love you both and wish you the best in your new lives together. Now I hope that you have both prepared your own vows,”

They both nodded.

“Alec, do you wanna start?” Izzy asked. Alec nodded, stepping forward as Magnus did as well. They took each other’s hands.

“Magnus Bane. I always go into jobs expecting the unexpected, but the one unexpected thing that I never could have expected was you. Though we haven’t been together for a long time, I feel like you were the part of me that’s been missing all my life. I’ve never been one to believe in divinity, but I do believe that you’re my soulmate. After everything that has happened with my parents, with my family, with my life, you were the first light I’ve seen in a very long time. I honestly can’t remember a time when we weren’t together because my life has been so much better because of you that I’ve forgotten the times that were miserable, and I only remember the times with you. I love you, Magnus Bane, and I never want to be parted from you again,”

Alec took the ring that Jace had extended to him and he slid it onto Magnus’ finger. This was the first time they had both seen the rings. Magnus looked down at it and flexed his hand before Alec took it in his own. They both stood to admire the ring a moment longer before Magnus turned to face Alec.

“Alexander Gideon Lightwood,” Magnus said with a smile, “after I escaped my father, I thought I was going to have to live the rest of my life materialistically, indulging in the basic pleasures of life with no real constants. Then you waltzed through my front door, sporting a fake name and coming to steal my things. I don’t want to bring up the organization that put you and your family through hell, but I can’t help but thank them for sending you my way. I mirror your thoughts on divinity, but our meeting feels like a divine intervention. I know I would’ve kept spiralling if you hadn’t come and pulled me out of the dark,” he took a deep breath and smiled, “I love you, Alexander Gideon Lightwood. You complete me in a way I didn’t think anyone could. Being apart from you is terrible, and I want to be by your side for the rest of our lives,”

Jace handed Magnus the other ring and he slid it onto Alec’s finger. The cast was low enough on Alec’s hand that the ring was clearly visible. They each took one step closer to each other, their gazes not leaving each other’s eyes.

“Magnus,” Izzy looked at her soon to be brother-in-law, “do you take Alec to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love him in times of joy as well as sadness, in sickness and in health, to catch him when he falls, and when he soars, to help him reach his greatest heights as long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” Magnus said, his gaze not leaving Alec’s.

“And do you, Alec, take Magnus to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love him in times of joy as well as sadness, in sickness and in health, to catch him when he falls, and when he soars, to help him reach his greatest heights as long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” Alec smiled.

“With the power vested in me by the church of the internet, I am now very happy, proud, and honored to pronounce you one. You may now-”

Before Izzy could finish her sentence, Alec pulled Magnus close to him and kissed him like his life depended on it. Their family clapped and cheered behind them. When Magnus pulled away from the kiss, he pulled Alec into an embrace that they both melted into.

He was safe now.

They were together.

Everything was going to be alright.