Have you ever been killed multiple times because two of your friends are head over heels in love with each other but won’t admit it? … Okay, probably not. But Mallory Keen has and she’s not going to put up with this situation any longer. Making an alience with your friend’s friends (one of which is really handy with magic) to hook them up isn’t going too far, right?
Or the one where Magnus and Alex are tied together for an indefinite amound of time by one of Hearthstone’s runes (that TOTALLY wasn’t on purpose)
In ao3 (information about updates is there so check it out)
“I can’t take this anymore!” Mallory Keen yelled, at the brink of pulling out her hair due to frustration.
Sitting on the couch of her suite were T.J and Halfborn. And while T.J was looking at the girl pacing up and down the room with worry in his eyes, Halfborn couldn’t deny there was something strangely attractive about his girlfriend when she was furious like this. Not furious with him, of course, but Halfborn always had a thing for women who could fight and kick butt just as good as him. Mallory’s angry expression and red face made her look like she was ready to rip off someone’s arms.
“Mallory, maybe you should calm down,” T.J suggested worriedly, hand twitching over his riffle. He had learned in his life (and death) that angry women should be handled with the upmost delicacy so as not to lose a limb in the process.
“Calm down? Calm down?!” The girl nearly shrieked. “How am I supposed to calm down? We’ve been impaled, decapitated, burnt to death, trumped under the feet of dragons and all of that before even a half hour of combat because Magnus and Alex can’t keep their minds off each other!”
The two boys sighed. It’s not like they didn’t agree with what the girl was saying, the situation with those two was getting out of hand, but there wasn’t much they could do. Sure, some of them (read: Halfborn) had been making jokes in an attempt to make them realize their feeling and get together but it didn’t seem to work.
“I mean, it’s so obvious they like each other! Just kiss already!” The redhead continued. It was a good thing the rooms were soundproof or else all of Valhalla would have heard them.
“I’m sorry to remind you, but you and Halfborn were tiptoeing around each other for years before you finally got together,” T.J said matter-of-factly, used to being the voice of reason in their group.
A blush as red as her hair spread over Mallory’s face and T.J could have sworn he saw a faint flash on the Viking’s cheeks as well. “T-that’s different!”
The soldier raised an eyebrow. “How exactly?”
“Tha- we- the world wasn’t about to end then!”
Silence fell over the room. There was a sort of mutual agreement not to mention Ragnarok. The coming of Doomsday wasn’t exactly something you’d want to hear about on a daily basis.
Mallory plopped down on the couch with a sigh. “I’m sorry, it’s just….”
“It’s alright.” Halfborn put his hand on her shoulder. Loki’s escape had them all jittery, full of energy and nervousness. It didn’t matter how long you had trained for it, no one could know what would happen once Ragnarok came. Mallory was just directing all her uncertainty at something she could understand. They all did; T.J played even more shooter games, letting the familiarity of the action calm him and Halfborn had been studying for a PhD in math.
“You have a point, though,” T.J said after Mallory had calmed down. “But you can’t rush these things. They’ll have to do it on their own.”
“Yeah, it’s not like we can make an alliance with Magnus’ friends to hook them up,” Halfborn joked. He realized the mistake he made when Mallory turned to look at him slowly.
“Halfborn,” she said, a mad glint in her eyes, “you’re a genius!”
“Magnus, for the last time, calm down!” Mallory yelled. “We’re just taking a break; the world won’t end because of it.”
The Floor 19 gang was strolling down the streets of Boston, a normal group of teenagers if not for their weapons concealed under glamour. Yet there was a nervous air around Magnus and it wasn’t hard to guess why; he had been questioning this outing since the start.
“She’s right, Magnus,” Alex agreed. Male today, he was the member of their group that stood out the most with his usual green jeans and neon pink hoodie. “Besides, you’ve been pushing yourself a lot lately, you deserve to relax for one evening.”
These past couple of weeks Magnus had been practically killing himself with the amount of training he did daily. (Or he would have if he wasn’t dead.) He spent every available hour practicing on his (limited) combat skills and his healing. After a couple of days everybody had started noticing the black circles forming under Magnus’ eyes and he took longer and longer to wake up after he got killed. It took all of them to convince him for movie night at Blitzen’s.
Magnus sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
Mallory didn’t know whether to laugh or roll her eyes. There was a very distinct difference between how long it took Alex to make Magnus do something and how long it took anybody else. Oh, she was going to make so many whipped jokes once they got together.
“Nah, it’s fine man. Plus, all that training’s been paying off. You’ve build up some muscle!” To empathize his point, and because they had agreed beforehand it would be funny to do this, Halfborn lifted up Magnus shirt, exposing his midriff. The blonde quickly batted the Viking’s hand away, too surprised by the sudden action to notice the blush on Alex’s face.
Mallory smirked. This was so much fun and they hadn’t even gotten to the good part.
“How far is Blitzen’s house?” T.J asked.
“It must be somewhere around here,” Magnus said, checking the address Blitzen had texted him. “It’s that one over there.”
After Blitzen’s boutique opened the dwarf had been considering renting an apartment in Boston since the daily commute from Nidavellir could be very tiring. On top of that, Hearthstone was living with him and while he tried to pretend the solarium bed was enough Blitzen could see the constant darkness was affecting him.
Their apartment was at the end of the second floor. Despite his friends living there for a while, Magnus hadn’t had the opportunity to visit them yet and see what the place was like.
“Welcome, come in!” Blitzen answered the door, holding it wide for the five einherjar. “How have you been? Did you get killed a lot in practice?”
It was weird how bizarre that sentence would have sounded to Magnus a few months ago but now he didn’t even blink at it. Valhalla could do that to you. “Just the usual.”
“The usual?” Alex asked. “Magnus, you were eaten by a dragon last Thursday and then he threw you up!”
“And that other time you were crashed by a boulder,” T.J continued.
“And you got shot in the ass and fell off a cliff a few days ago,” Halfborn said matter-of-factly, inspecting some of the books on the selves. “Oh, I’ve been meaning to read this one.”
“And don’t forget the time he died by chocking on a biscuit,” Mallory added. At this point they were all laughing; even Hearthstone was smiling from behind the kitchen counter.
“Can we talk about something else that isn’t my embarrassing deaths?”
“If you insist, but you’ve given us a lot to work with.” Alex smirked and Mallory wished she could take a picture of Magnus’ face because it looked like he was going to have a heart attack any minute now.
“So how have you been?” Magnus asked, eager to change the subject.
“Fine, things have been pretty quiet lately. The shop has been doing great and Hearth’s been practicing some new runes.”
I can show you later if you want, Hearthstone signed from the kitchen and Magnus translated since the others didn’t understand ASL that well yet (with the exception of Halfborn, who learned because he was bored).
“Well, you get comfortable; I’m going to go get the movies from our bedroom,” Blitzen said and disappeared down the hall. Magnus followed him, eager to see what the house looked like and curious as to why the dwarf said ‘our’ bedroom.
The apartment was normal. A joined living room and kitchen and a hall that lead to a bathroom, a small room full of sewing machines and clothes and a bigger room with a double bed, the walls painted a soft yellow. There were the not-so-normal touches here and there as well; Hearth’s solarium bed, rune stones scattered around the house and the mismatched furniture characteristic of a dwarf’s home.
“You guys share a bed?”Magnus asked. He was still standing by the bedroom door, while Blitzen had made his way to the living room. “How come?”
Magnus realized he said something wrong when Blitzen’s face turned into the very definition of ‘oh, shit’. Hearthstone glared at the fashion designer and Magnus never thought that he’d find the sight of an elf in a flowery frilly apron frightening, but apparently there was a first time for everything.
You didn’t tell him?
“Tell me what?”
“Well, um, Hearth and I, we’re… we’re kind of-“
It took a moment for the information to sink in, but once it did Magnus couldn’t have been happier. “That’s great! Congratulations, guys!”
“T-thanks,” Blitzen replied, playing with his shirt nervously. “I’m sorry we didn’t tell you earlier but we wanted it be between the two of us just for a little bit.”
And you were shy, Hearthstone signed. It was kind of cute, actually.
“A-anyway,” Blitzen attempted to (not so subtlety) change the topic, “isn’t Sam coming?”
“No, apparently they’re having dinner with Amir’s family tonight and she couldn’t come.”
“So what are we watching?” Mallory asked. She and Halfborn had already made themselves comfortable on Blitzen’s couch and were sitting close together. T.J had moved all the snacks on the coffee table and set up the DVD player. For someone from the 1860’s he was really good with technology.
Alex was inspecting a vase near the door. Magnus could just see his mind’s gears turn as he picked the things he liked from it and thought of way to incorporate them in his pots, bottom lip stuck out just slightly. It honestly muffled Magnus how the same hands that could be absolutely deadly with a garrote could make such pretty pots and vases and handle them so gently.
“… do you want?”
Magnus was brought out of his little daze by Blitzen’s voice. He felt his cheeks burnt at being caught staring and quickly tried to figure out what the others had been talking about. On the coffee table were ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘The Force Awakes’ and ‘Scream’.
“Um, maybe we should start with ‘Mean Girls’?” He asked, wishing they were talking about the movies and not about something else.
“Sounds good to me,” Alex said and plopped down on the couch. “To be honest, I was expecting you to pick something like ‘Lord of the Ring’.”
“I was thinking of getting that just to tease Hearth, actually,” Blitzen admitted sheepishly. “But he threatened to kick me out of bed if I did.”
Hearthstone nodded in a dam right I would way.
They put the movie in and talked as they waited for the pizza delivery guy to arrive. Halfborn had insisted that, while popcorn was definitely good, no proper movie marathon could start without a main meal and you didn’t go against a hungry Viking. (And yes, Magnus had tried to convince them to get falafel but it didn’t work.) The conversation had somehow sifted back to Magnus’ embarrassing/stupid deaths and he tried to find something to say and change the conversation to save his pride before they got to the yoga incident.
“Hey, Hearth, you said you were working on a new rune. What does it do?”
I was trying to find a way for us to communicate when we’re separated or fighting. It’s like a mental link. I can show you how it works, if you want. Just give me your hand.
Magnus held out his hand, not giving it a second thought. This was Hearthstone after all; he trusted him with his life.
Alex, you too, please.
“What? Why me?” Alex asked, suddenly agitated.
I’ve been using Blitzen to try it out but I need to see if it works just as well on a different person at first try. Plus, you’re going to be with us for the quest this summer, so it might as well be you.
That didn’t seem to calm Alex. Magnus could see him frantically try to think of an excuse, body tense like he was preparing to fight. He remembered back in Jotunheim, how Alex refused to let him heal a simple cut because he didn’t want him to get into his head. Sure, he had accepted that risk later when they were bowling, but that was a life-or-death situation, he didn’t really have a choice.
“Hey, Hearth? How does it work exactly?” Magnus asked. “Like, if I suddenly think I want some falafel, will Alex hear that?”
No, the others only hear what you want them to. It works kind of like a phone.
“Can you see into the other persons head if you want to?”
No, we tried with Blitzen. It doesn’t work like that. Hearthstone smiled a little. Thought that might have been because there wasn’t anything to see in there.
“Hey!” Blitzen protested, lightly hitting Hearth’s shoulder in that endearing way friends often did. Hearth smiled back, which for him was like he was laughing out loud. It was good to see him happy like this, especially after everything that happened with his father.
“But yeah,” Blitzen continued. “Even if you wanted to look into somebody’s head with the link you wouldn’t be able to.”
“I wouldn’t try anyway,” Magnus responded, a smile on his. He might have been looking at Blitzen but his words were 100% directed at Alex. “That would be just rude.”
Alex’s shoulders relaxed. He gave his hand to Hearth and let him cast the rune. The elf put their hands together on top of the coffee table and put one of the wooden runes Sif had given him on their joined fingers, a simple X carved on it.
“Hey, that’s the same rune you used on Blitzen when he was a statue. What does it mean?”
Bound. And you can use runes for many different things.
Everybody looked at the rune as it glowed but all Magnus could pay attention to was how warm Alex’s hand felt. His fingers were long and slender and he could see some pesky pieces of clay under his nails. He found himself thinking back to when they held hands back in ‘Utgard Lanes’. It would be nice to hold hands like that again in a non-deadly situation.
Alex’s fingers moved just a tiny bit and Magnus looked up. Alex mouthed ‘thank you’ and smiled at him. He remembered thinking that Alex’s smile warms up the room by five degrees but it honestly felt like ten right now. Or fifteen. Maybe twenty. Or maybe that was just Magnus’ brain short-circuiting.
“So…,” Mallory said once the glowing stopped. “Did it work?”
Magnus concentrated on Alex and thought again and again falafel falafel falafel. “Did you get that?”
“No, but you looked like you were about to fart.”
Maybe I’ll need to work on it some more.
Just then the bell rang. Blitzen got up to go get the pizza, telling Magnus to get some napkins from the upper left cupboard on his way out. Once pizzas were equally distributed between the five einherjar (which is a gruesome tale best left for another day) they started the movie.
Now, don’t get him wrong, Magnus likes this movie, a lot to be honest, but it’s hard to pay attention when you have somehow ended up sitting on a love seat with your crush next to you. (And yes, Magnus has admitted that he has a crush on Alex, at least to himself. You can only think of kissing someone so many times before you do.) It wasn’t even like there wasn’t any other room, but everyone had spread out and when Magnus came back with the napkins the only available spot was next to Alex.
Well, we have five movies to watch, so that’ll take a while. I hope I don’t potentially combust, Magnus thought dryly. Like, yeah, they’d be here long but there was no reason he couldn’t handle sitting next to Alex, right?
Just as he thought that, Alex tossed a piece of popcorn in the air, opening his mouth to catch but the snack bounced off of his nose and fell down. “Damn,” he muttered, bottom lip jutting out just slightly as he pouted but tried again anyway.
No, he’s too cute. I’m doomed.
It was well past 1a.m when the five einherjar finally left Blitzen’s house, leaving the dwarf to carry a sleepy Hearthstone to bed. They instinctively went into battle formation as they walked back to hotel Valhalla, with T.J at the front, his riffle looking like a baseball bat to other people, Halfborn carrying a sleeping Mallory on his back in the middle and Alex and Magnus bringing up the rear.
It was a miracle that Magnus didn’t say anything stupid to Alex while they were watching the movies, what between his laugher every time somebody got killed in ‘Scream’ (did people’s laughs always sound that nice?) and deciding that resting his head on Magnus’ shoulder half-way through ‘The Force Awakens’ was a good idea (it’s not like Magnus didn’t pay attention to the rest of the movie because of it, of course not).
“Hey,” Alex said, talking quietly.
“Thanks for back there.”
“No problem. As I said, looking into somebody’s head without their permission would just be rude and I know you don’t like people doing that. Besides, you would cut my head off if I tried it,” he joked, trying to lighten the mood.
Alex smirked. “Good to know you’re aware of that. I didn’t know you were such a gentleman.”
“It’s just one of my many charms,” Magnus agreed, continuing their little messing around.
Alex rolled his eyes but Magnus could see the corners of his mouth angling upwards in a small smile.
They sneaked into the lobby, Hunding winking at them as they passed by. Yep, being friends with the bellhop definitely had its advantages. Magnus should really bring him some nice chocolate soon.
After that, they should have just gone to bed and sleep like the dead for the rest of the night (get it? Dead?), but luck wasn’t on their side. Just as Alex and Magnus went their separate rooms they felt a sudden tug at their wrists. The stumbled backwards, a surprised yelp coming from their mouths (okay, it was just Magnus).
“What the fuck was that?” Alex said. He rubbed at his wrist, Magnus doing the same thing. Whatever that was, it stung.
“Wha happened?” Mallory asked as she woke up on Halfborn’s back, a bit of dried drool at the side of her face.
“Dunno.” Alex kept inspecting his wrist. “We just tried to go to our rooms and then this… thing happened.”
“It was like we were tied at the wrists and we were yanked back,” Magnus added.
“Maybe something went wrong when Hearthstone cast the rune,” T.J suggested. “You said he used it again another time so maybe it can do multiple things. He probably mixed them up.”
“Maybe. Runes are complicated.” Magnus sighed. “But we can’t ask for help now, their sleep- AH! What was that?”
Alex winced, rubbing her wrist more now. “I was trying to see what sets it off. The moment we’re ten feet away from each other that weird thing happens.”
Magnus felt his stomach tie up in knots. “Then… where are we supposed to sleep tonight?”
Judging from his expression, Magnus was pretty sure Alex would have preferred fighting giants over the situation they were in.
like i know i’m just being so aggressively extra at this point but i always appreciate the thought colin put into his characters when it comes to the little teeny details. like he was like to himself “is tom anderson the kinda guy who licks his fingers before turning a page?” and the answer was YES it was yes my people!!! so anyway i hope colin knows that i see the little ticks he adds to his characters that make them more human and i hope he keeps doin’ what he’s doin’