the aftermath of it
can’t find it in herself to be mad anymore.
At the start, after Magnus had portaled home, staggering and hurt and halfway to death with this boy leaning against him, asking that she help this Shadowhunter first… she remembers healing him – Alexander
– and feeling rage. With runes stark on his skin and blood
on his knuckles, he had been every inch a Nephilim. The Nephilim who
had stolen Magnus’s heart.
She remembers the way she’d frowned at his unconscious face,
comparing him to the strip of photographs Magnus left on his desk.
Watching him lying there on a makeshift cot in the living room,
suffering from the shock of blood loss and broken bones, she couldn’t
imagine him making funny faces, couldn’t imagine him looking at
Magnus with soft, sweet eyes. Couldn’t imagine that
he’d want Magnus’s touch, that he would smile
that boyish, lopsided smile with her best friend’s arms looped
She remembers thinking, you don’t deserve him. This
Shadowhunter, this lying Head of the New York Institute,
didn’t deserve Magnus and his love. Magnus, who had started
sleeping exclusively on the right side of the bed, who looked at
Madzie with something wistful in his gaze every time she ran toward
him, who always protected his people at the expense of his own
He’s too good for you, she had thought as she glared
daggers at the boy in front of her, with his angel blood and penchant
for prejudice. But she hadn’t said anything, hadn’t rolled him down the stairs, and had gone to help Magnus instead; her best friend, drained of magic and still stubbornly trying to heal himself. She’d gone to the balcony afterwards to clear her mind for a minute, to rest her hands, and now, as she turns around to check in on Magnus…
The Shadowhunter is missing from his cot. Classic. Rolling her eyes, she opens the
door to the master bedroom.
They’re lying in Magnus’s bed together, Magnus’s head
pillowed on Alec Lightwood’s chest, nearly asleep as he slowly
heals from the wounds of battle. His body still lies stiff from the aches
of demon venom coursing through his blood, skin paler than its usual
golden hue, bruises littered everywhere, yet his arm is still curled
possessively around the Shadowhunter’s waist in a familiar motion.
And the Shadowhunter…
He’s looking at Magnus like he’s a miracle.
His eyes never leave Magnus’s and his face is soft and warm and
content, like he’s holding onto something he thought he’d lost
forever. He looks young like this, the way he smiles and whispers
secrets into Magnus’s ear, the way his fingers trace patterns on
his bare shoulder, the way he readjusts the red silk blanket so that
it’s tucked carefully under Magnus’s chin.
Magnus can’t see it, with his face buried into the
Shadowhunter’s shirt, but from the doorway, Catarina can. This boy…
he’s truthfully, honestly, painfully in love. The
type of love Catarina hasn’t seen Magnus receive in too long, the
type that’s as helpless and natural as the sky is blue. And a part
of her still wants to be angry, to shake Alec Lightwood until his
teeth click in his skull, to tell him, don’t you ever hurt
him, but from the way he’s staring down at Magnus with his
heart in his eyes, she thinks he already knows.
Catarina starts to turn around, when unexpectedly Alec Lightwood’s
eyes dart up to meet hers at the sound of her loafers swishing
faintly against the rug. They stare, frozen for an awkward moment,
and she nearly laughs at loud at the way his cheeks go rosy pink. She
opens her mouth to say something, to make fun of him
maybe, or tell him to let Magnus sleep, but right then Magnus shifts,
groaning low in his throat, and the Shadowhunter breaks his gaze,
mumbling something into Magnus’s hair that makes her friend smile
Wordlessly, Catarina magics the door closed, staring at the smooth
black wood as Magnus and Alec fade from view. In the kitchen, she
makes herself a cup of chamomile tea, hands wrapped around the
soothing, fragrant heat as she sighs in exhaustion. The two of them…
they don’t make sense to her, not at all. They shouldn’t work.
But Magnus is Magnus, and he’s never done anything by halves. If
his happiness comes in the form of a too-tall Shadowhunter with
gentle eyes and a cautious smile, then Catarina will be the very last
person in this dimension to tell him no.
Can we take a moment to think about Magnus? He says he got Madzie out just in time and that they went to Catarina’s. Can you imagine the absolute terror he must’ve felt falling through a portal because he’s in so much of a rush that he can’t even keep his balance? That he must’ve dropped in on Catarina unannounced, with a child, but his mind is entirely focused on the destruction he’s barely managed to get them away from? The terror that Alec is still in that institute with a raving lunatic that has a heavenly sword? The endless pacing at Catarina’s apartment as he waits for the sun to rise because he doesn’t know if it’s safe to go back. And the instant he feels like it’s ok he’s giving Madzie a hug, promising a whirlwind of favours to Catarina if she just takes care of the girl please and opening a portal near the institute. And he sees Alec as he steps out of the portal and suddenly he’s running; he needs to be close to him and the utter relief that cascades over him when Alec turns around and pulls him into his arms is breathtaking, because he’s alive, they’re both alive.