“Your friends are down by the wall, watching the fireworks. Don’t you want to join them?” Magnus asks when he finally finds Alec sitting in the grass at the edge of the dark woods.
Alec shakes his head, as he watches bright colors light up the night sky. “No. I needed a little peace and quiet.”
“Should I go, then?” Magnus offers, though he would rather not.
With a smile, Alec shakes his head again and pats the grass next to him. Magnus takes it as the invitation it’s meant to be. He sits down and their shoulders brush.
After a moment of companionable silence, Magnus dares to remark quietly without looking at Alec, “I saw you talking to your parents…”
Alec sighs and pulls his knees to his chest, hugging them. “You want to know how they’re taking my illicit - and by now infamous - affair with a malewarlock? Not well. They don’t shun me, not exactly, but I don’t think it’s because of me precisely. They’re still in shock because of what happened to Max and I’m now the only son they have left, related by blood, I mean. It wouldn’t be proper to disown me without trying to ‘save’ me first.”
Magnus winces. “Did they say so?”
“Outright? No. But I could see it in their eyes. They’re all about appearances, all they care about is what the Clave will think” Alec shakes his head sadly. “My mom… I think she could come to terms with it, eventually. But dad…” He sighs again, deeply, heavily.
For a moment, they fall silent. Then Magnus says, “Maybe you just need to spend some time apart.” When Alec looks at him quizzically, Magnus perks up, grins and claps his hands. “Oh, I know. How about a holiday?” He leans in and grabs Alec’s hands in his. “Just you and me and all the wonders of the wide, wide world out there! Please, Alexander, let me show them to you!”
And in the face of his lover’s enthusiasm, Alec can only agree.