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Pet Adoption is for Lovers

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Magnus was in love. He could not stop thinking about the object of his affection. He pulled out his phone to look at the same picture for the 27th time that morning. Magnus swooned over the dark hair, blue eyes, and button nose. He clicked to the next picture of him playing with a ball and string. Yes, Magnus had been checking the adoption status of this cat for the last two weeks. He knew that adopting another animal was a big undertaking, but he couldn’t help refreshing the page every hour just to check.

The poor creature had been abandoned over 2 months ago and he told himself that if it was not adopted by the end of the week, then he would make a visit to the local shelter.

First, however, was the task of getting his fiancé on the same page. Alec was not opposed to pets, in fact he was quite fond of Chairman Meow, when the little punk was not using him as a scratching post. But, one cat may be Alec’s limit. He did not know and was a bit nervous to bring it up. Magnus was not used to having to run his decisions by anyone. And dammit he was really attached to this cat.

It had all started as a joke. The Chairman had jumped into the bed when he and Alec were starting to get a bit hot and heavy and had refused to leave.

“Chairman, I think you are getting a bit too used to having all the attention, so I shall begin looking for a sibling first thing tomorrow.”

The cat simply laid down right on top of his pillow.

The very next morning Magnus had pulled up the website of the local humane society and showed the screen to Chairman Meow. The cat had just hopped down from the counter and sauntered back to his bed. Magnus huffed and was about to close the tab when he spotted String Bean. He was a younger cat with a beautiful black coat of short hair. The picture the shelter had put up had a short video of him playing with a toy that looked like a stick with streamers stuck to it.

He had come up with a plan to get Alec on board with the idea of another cat. In fact, Magnus was just putting the finishing touches on the salmon he had been baking for the past half hour. All of the sides were already sitting on the table and Alec was due to be home any minute now. Magnus had just plated the salmon when he heard the door open followed by a long sigh.

“Long day, darling?” Magnus peaked his head pout from the kitchen to watch Alec take his books and leather jacket off.

“Yeah, nothing bad happened, just glad to be home.” Alec made his way over to where Magnus was leaning against the doorframe and gave him a shirt, sweet kiss. “Something smells good.”

“I made salmon with rice and greens for dinner. Go and change, I’ve already set the table.”

Alec looked at him with raised eyebrows, but went off to do as told. Magnus knew he was confused about the fancy dinner. Usually, they either made something together or ordered takeout and enjoyed it on the couch while watching either a documentary or some trashy TV show that Magnus insisted on. They really only used the table for date nights and guests.

Alec returned from their bedroom wearing black sweatpants and a faded grey t-shirt. “What’s the occasion?”

Magnus smiled at him and stole a kiss as Alec passed him. “No occasion, just wanted to do something nice for my fiancé, that’s all.”

And make sure Alec was in a good mood when he asked him his question, but he didn’t need to know that yet.

Dinner passed by with easy conversation with each discussing their days and Alec complementing the food. Just as they were finishing up, Magnus eased into the conversation he had been waiting to have.

“So, do you remember when I threatened Chairman Meow with a sibling? When we were in bed a few weeks ago?”

Alec chuckled, “Yeah, he didn’t seem too concerned." 

Magnus pulled out his phone and opened up the humane society page, “Well, I may have done some looking at some of the local adoptable pets…”

He clicked on the correct cat profile and then slid his phone across the table. Alec picked it up and studied the picture.

“I’ve been looking at him for a while and he seems like he would be a perfect fit. He’s a bit older so we wouldn’t have to look after him all the time like we would with a kitten. He could keep Chairman company when we’re gone or busy. And he’s been in the shelter for over 2 months now, the longest of any of the cats.” Magnus paused and took a deep breath, “But if you’re against the idea of another cat then I’ll drop the subject. This is your home too now and if you only want one pet, then I can be fine with that. I can ask around and see if I can find him another home.”

Magnus realized he was rambling and shut his mouth with an audible snap. He thought he would be fine if Alec said no, but now faced with the reality of it, he wasn’t so sure. He had grown attached to the cat on the screen and would be a bit heartbroken if he had to find someone else to adopt him.

Alec was still looking at the picture. His face was unreadable, until he broke out into a small grin. “He’s cute. Do you think we have time for two pets? I don’t want the Chairman to feel neglected.”

It was a sweet question and one that Magnus had expected. “I take most of my clients from home nowadays so they wouldn’t be here alone. Plus, an adult cat should adjust better than a younger one.”

Alec though about it for a second, then nodded. “My answer is yes on one condition.”

“Anything, Alexander.”

“I get to name him.”

Magnus’ heart leapt in his chest. This was happening. Alec had said yes. “Of course. Just out of curiosity, what did you have in mind?”

Alec smiled and narrowed his eyes playfully as he answered, “I’ll tell you after we meet him, make sure the name fits the personality.”

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Magnus had filled out the preliminary adoption forms that very same night. Alec had insisted that he come with him to meet String Bean, so they set up the appointment for later on the next day. Magnus was dressed up in a golden button down with a black waistcoat and matching black slacks. Alec had looked him up and down when he got home and raised a single eyebrow.  

“First impressions are important.”

Alec lovingly rolled his eyes and changed into a dark blue button up, black suit jacket, and his best pair of black jeans. At Magnus’ own raised eyebrow, he simply shrugged and stated, “Can’t be underdressed to meet our new kid.”

And God, Magnus loved him.

They portaled to an alley across from the humane society and walked over. The attendant began by going over the necessary paperwork and some tips for taking care of cats. After their conversation, they went to the back of the building and into a small private room. Magnus grabbed Alec’s hand as they both sat down and waited for another employee to bring in String Bean. Alec squeezed his hand back.

“I must admit, I am a bit nervous. What if he doesn’t like us?” Magnus admitted into the quiet room.

“It’ll be fine, love.” Alec smiled at him just as the door opened.

“Good afternoon” the new staff member, Stephanie her name tag read, greeted them, “Here he is… I’ll leave you guys alone for a bit. Press that red button if you need any assistance. There are toys in the baskets under your seat, feel free to use any of them you want.” She gave them a kind smile as she shut the door behind her.

String Bean looked up at them and let out a short meow. He walked over to them and headbutted Magnus’ leg. Magnus put his hand out and drew it down the cat’s back as he slid out of his seat and onto the floor. Alec followed suit and soon they were both sitting in the floor with string toys in hand. The cat looked at them, then walked to the corner of the room and sat down. Alec continued to wave his string around, while Magnus switched tactics and began making his fingers dance along the floor in hopes of getting the cat’s attention.

A black fur ball launched itself across the room and pounced on Magnus’ hands. After a few minutes he got bored and pivoted over to Alec’s string on a stick. `

An hour later they were walking out the door with a grey cat carrier in hand. Alec had written the name on the certificate after Magnus had already signed it, because he was determined to keep the secret until they got home. The loft was about a thirty-minute walk away and they decided to walk it, so as to not scare their new family member with a portal trip.

The walk went by quickly and soon they were opening the door to the loft. Magnus went in first and, to his dismay, put Chairman into the guest room and shut the door. They had done research and found that it was better to let a new cat get used to their new environment and then introduce them to any other pets one may have.

Alec set the cat carrier down in the middle of the living room and opened the door. They stood by and waited until a small nose poked out, followed by a paw. Alec went and grabbed the cat toys they had ben storing away, including the ridiculously expensive cat bed that Magnus had insisted on. We don’t want them to think that we are playing favorites, Alexander. This is almost the same bed that Chairman has. When Alec reminded him that Chairman never used his bed, and that’s what had gotten them into this situation, Magnus had simply ignored him.

When he returned, Magnus was sitting in the floor next to the black cat who seemed to be more intrigued by the change of location than scared, which Alec had to assume was a good thing. He handed a mouse on a string to his fiancé and took a seat om the other side of the cat carrier. The bed was sat next to the couch.

“Alexander, not to be impatient, but it would be nice to know our new family member’s name.”

“Oh, yeah.” Alec reached into his pocket and pulled out the collar that he had had made the week prior. Izzy had made it for him with her blacksmith tools and she had carved protection runes into it on his request. It was shaped like a fluffy cloud and had his phone number on the backside. The name was carved into the front with black paint to set it apart from the silver of the tag itself.

“So…” Magnus twisted his head, trying to get a look. Alec handed the collar over to him with a shy grin.

Magnus took the collar and his face grew soft, “Oh, Alexander. It’s perfect.”

He handed it back and Alec called the cat over to him. He picked it up into his lap and snapped the collar into place. He put a finger under it to check and make sure it was loose enough, then gave the cat a grateful scratch behind its ear. Magnus made a noise and moved the mouse toy and suddenly the cat pounced. His tag fastened around his neck.

Apollo.

Alec had known that was the name he wanted to use as soon as Magnus had expressed interest in adopting another cat. He had been thinking about the idea ever since Magnus had mentioned it in passing that night to Chairman. In truth, he had been meaning to bring it up and had decided that he may ask for another cat for his birthday this year. Magnus had just beat him to it. Alec had always loved learning about mythology and had a soft spot for all of the archers. Truthfully, he had been saving the name ever since he could remember. For so long he thought that he would never be able to love who he wanted, so the next best thing he could come up with was adopting a pet. He was going to marry a woman to keep his parents and the Clave happy. He was going to have children to keep the Lightwood family line going. He was going to take the truth of his sexuality, the truth of himself, to his death. He was going to do all of this without complaint because it would keep his family safe. But, by the Angel, he was going to get a pet. He had decided this shortly after becoming the interim Head of the Institute while his parents were away. There were no rules that Shadowhunters could not have pets, but the lifestyle itself didn’t exactly make it an easy thing to do.

The first time Alec had come over to the loft after a date he had been a bit nervous to meet Chairman Meow. Magnus had warned him that the cat could be a bit feisty, if he even showed his face at all. But then Alec had entered the loft, sat on the sofa, and gotten a lap full of feline. All in all, he and Chairman had gotten along like a house on fire. Later on, Magnus had told him that his first meeting with Chairman, where he had gotten the cat to purr in the time that it had taken Magnus to brew some tea, was a major point in Alec’s favor. He didn’t date anyone that his cat didn’t like. 

Alec realized that he had been stuck in his thoughts for a bit when he felt a gentle hand on his face.

“Where’d you go, my love? You seemed lost for a bit.”

Alec smiled and turned to press a kiss to the palm against his cheek, “Just thinking about how much I love you and this life that we have created together.”

Magnus smiled and leaned in for a kiss… and then pulled back sharply at the sound of a crash.

Apollo had found his way onto the side table next to the sofa and right into an antique lamp. The cat looked a bit startled, but otherwise unhurt. Magnus simply waved his hand around and the lamp was a single piece again. To his credit, Apollo did not look shocked at all by this display of magic and just jumped onto the floor and made his way back to the couple. He bumped his head against Magnus’ thigh and meowed. Magnus appeased his request and brought his hand down to run along his back.

Alec hopped up to begin dinner while Apollo and Magnus continued to play and lounge in the living room. A few hours later, after dinner and Apollo’s first meal at his new home (Chairman had had his meal delivered to his temporary prison- fresh salmon and chicken to hopefully lessen his anger at his wardens), they decided it was time for the two cats to meet.

Magnus went to the guest bedroom to prepare his baby, while Alec stayed with Apollo. The Chairman entered the living room, set eyes on his new brother, and immediately ran away.

“Ummmm…” Alec raised his eyebrows at Magnus. They had prepared for Apollo to be wary of Chairman and had a plan if this first meeting went negatively. They had not planned on Chairman being frightened.

Magnus disappeared and returned with the Chairman in his arms. He sat in the chair next to the couch, close enough so that the cats could see each other but out of touching distance.

Apollo immediately perked up and meowed in the direction of the newcomer.

“Chairman, this is Apollo, you’re new brother. I believe he just said hi to you, it would be nice of you to say hi back.” Magnus spoke to the cat in his lap in a soothing voice while petting his head. Chairman looked up at his owner warily, then looked at the black cat and let out a small meow, “Good boy!”

This seems to give Chairman some of his confidence back and he slowly made his way over to Alec and Apollo. Apollo sat perfectly still and let the other cat smell and circle him. Alec reached out to pet Chairman with one hand and Apollo with the other. Magnus watched as both cats curled up on their own respective legs and began to purr under Alec’s ministrations.

“Oh no.”, Magnus said suddenly, “I have made a grave mistake.”

Alec looked at him with his eyebrows raised in question.

“I should’ve known,” Magnus continued dramatically, “my fiancé the cat whisperer. I will never get any attention ever again. Our relationship is over.”

Alec only chuckled, used to his partners dramatic speeches.

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Life went on as normal in the soon-to-be Lightwood-Bane household. Apollo fit in seamlessly and he and Chairman had teamed up to cause mischief more than once already.

Both of the cats had taken to perching on the window side-by-side and would people watch for hours on end. Both Alec and Magnus had hundreds of pictures of this exact scene on their phones.

It was a sunny spring day and Magnus had just portalled in from a meeting with the High Warlock of Dubai. The meeting had been long, but entertaining. Full of reminiscing and Magnus was pleasantly tipsy from all of the wine. To took off his jacket and threw it onto the chair. The chair meowed indignantly back at him.

“Oops, sorry Apollo. Is Dad home yet?” The cat stuck his nose up at him and over to the window to join his brother who was already lounging in the late afternoon sunshine. Magnus decided that he wasn’t too annoyed about being ignored consider he had just thrown a jacket at him, even if it was an accident.

Just then the door opened and Alec stepped inside. He gave Magnus a smile as he shucked his ichor covered boots off. Magnus scrunched his nose in disgust and cleaned then with a quick snap of his fingers.

“Thanks, babe. Didn’t have the chance to clean them, came home straight from a busy patrol.” He explained as he gave his partner a kiss. “I’m so tired, do you wanna order takeout sushi and look at wedding flowers on Pinterest?”

Alec had gotten addicted to Pinterest for wedding content. Magnus thought it was quite adorable. “That sounds perfect, darling. Go shower and change. I’ll order the sushi and set up a blanket pile on the floor for us to enjoy it on.”

Alec saluted and stuck his tongue out at his fiancé. Magnus stuck his out right back and reached for the phone.

The sushi had already arrived when Alec came back out. He sat down on one of the floor pillows and grabbed a blanket. Magnus handed him one of the sushi boxes and a pair of chopsticks. Just as he went to open the box, Alec felt a weight on his shoulder. He looked up and saw that Apollo had apparently climbed form the couch onto his shoulders. He grabbed the cat and rested him in his lap instead.

“Hey, buddy. Where’s your brother?”

A meow sounded from his left and he saw that Chairman Meow had curled himself up into Magnus’ lap.

Alec laughed, “Our kids are really clingy.”

“Yeah, they sure do take after their Dad.” Magnus didn’t quite duck fast enough and was hit in the face with a throw pillow. “Alexander! You could’ve hit one of our children!”

Alec simply threw another pillow at him.

“You little…come here.” Magnus danced his fingers over Alec’s side and was met with a burst of laughter.

Both cats jumped off of their respective humans and moved to their own pillow at the edge of the chaos. They rolled around for a bit until Magnus finally landed on top of Alec.

“Okay, okay! Mercy! Mercy!”, Alec tried to catch his breath as soon as his partner granted his plea. Before he could think of his next attack, however, Magnus had ducked down and pulled him into a deep kiss. Alec met the kiss with just as much enthusiasm. Magnus had begun to work his fingers under Alec’s sweatshirt when he was distracted by two very loud meows. 

Both cats had moved back onto the couch and were staring at the two humans. Magnus put his head onto Alec’s chest and groaned, “You two, shoo, go somewhere else.” 

Apollo laid down and began to lick his fur, while the Chairman rolled over and began to paw at a loose pillow thread.

“I thought this was why we got another cat, so we could do this in peace. Do you think it’ll help if we threaten to adopt another sibling for them?”

Alec reached up to kiss the pout off of his lover’s face, “Can’t you just snap and make some treats appear in the other room with some toys?” 

“And reward them for this behavior? Alexander, are you trying to make out children into troublemakers? If it starts here, where does it end? What will they -oomph.”

He was pulled down into another mind-blowing kiss, so he sucked it up and snapped his fingers. Both cats ran out of the room and Magnus closed the door behind them in a whisp of blue magic.

“Where were we?”