“Alec, what are you doing?”
Alec looked up over the pot he was currently stirring in the Institute kitchen to see Isabelle leaning casually against the door frame.
“I-” Alec started before cutting off abruptly when the pot began to boil over. Once he turned down the heat he finished, “I invited Magnus for dinner here tonight.”
“You… Invited Magnus here? Like, for a date?”
“Yeah,” Alec responded grimly.
Alec sighed, “we are always at his place, or we always do things that he suggests… I just didn’t want him to think I’m ashamed of him or something, and that’s why we never come here.”
“Um, obviously. You never come here because here sucks,” Izzy responded gesturing to the general area of the Institute.
Alec rolled his eyes and threw some spices into the pot, “are you going to say anything helpful anytime soon? Because if not, leave me to my meal.”
“Actually, that’s why I came. It smelled like something was burning, and Alec… I’m pretty sure food isn’t supposed to look like that.”
“You have absolutely no leg to stand on,” Alec said defensively, “it’ll be fine. I’m sure if I just keep adding things it’ll eventually even out.”
“By the Angel, what is that awful smell ”
Alec sighed when Jace walked in. The exact last person he wanted to see right now. Jace would never let him live this down, so Alec resigned himself to humiliation.
“Alec invited Magnus here for a date and offered to cook for him,” Izzy said with a smarmy grin.
Jace’s eyes widened, “you invited him here? Are you aware that he owns a beautiful penthouse apartment with the world’s most luxurious showers? Honestly, I’m glad to be home… But I still daydream about that shower. Also, there are way fewer people… Don’t you want privacy?”
“Considering how often you guys interrupt us anyway,” Alec said ignoring Jace’s sound of protest,” I’m not actually sure it matters where we are. And would you stop! He’ll be here in half an hour, it’s too late to suddenly change plans. So, either help me or leave me to my misery.”
Jace and Izzy shared a look that Alec knew well- it was the ‘Alec is such a loser’ look, but he didn’t call them on it. Especially because, after a moment, they both shifted their shoulders back into soldier positions. They may drive him insane, but they’ll always come through for him.
“Sure, buddy, why don’t I help you make a dinner that resembles human food?” Jace offered, and Alec sighed with relief. Of the three of them, Jace was by far the most capable in the kitchen.
“Where were you thinking of setting up?” Izzy asked.
Alec blushed slightly, but responded, “it’s nice out… So I thought, maybe… We could eat on the balcony of my office?”
“Wow, look at you, bro,” Izzy said punching his arm playfully, “you are actually a secret romantic.”
“Shut up,” Alec said turning away. “We don’t have much time, so Jace…”
“Say no more,” Jace responded, taking Alec’s pot and dumping everything out ignoring Alec’s soft sound of disapproval. “We don’t have a lot of time, so I think your best bet is some type of pasta dish, we’ll throw some fish on top because fish cooks faster than meat, make a salad and call it a day.”
“Do you have wine?” Izzy asked.
Alec nodded, at least that part he had completed. “Yeah, it’s chilling in the fridge.”
Izzy nodded in approval, “I’ll go set up your balcony. Alec, why don’t you go shower and get ready?”
“But what if Jace needs my-”
“No!” Jace said with alarm, “no, it will be less work for me if you’re not here. But don’t forget, you’re going to owe me big time.”
“Duly noted,” Alec responded, “what do you want?”
“I’ll tell you later,” Jace said already focused on his task of chopping vegetables.
Alec nodded and ran to his room, cursing softly. It was disorganized because he’s been so distracted and busy lately. He hastily shoved a few empty, day old mugs into empty drawers, chucked his clothes into a laundry basket and then put that in the closet. With his room now looking moderately less terrible he rushed to take a shower, shaving his face and using the after-shave he knew Magnus liked so much. Or at least, Alec thinks he likes it based on the way he always seems to nuzzle closer on the days he uses it.
He knew he couldn’t waste any time, Magnus was religiously punctual (at least, with Alec. Otherwise he was more than content to make people wait. The preferential treatment always made Alec smile.)
By the time he got back to the kitchen Jace was just about finishing up dinner.
“Okay,” Jace said upon seeing him, “I plated it and put the extras in your office, so that should be fine. I did place a heating rune on the pot, so no worries.”
“You are the best parabatai,” Alec said pulling into a hug that surprised both of them.
“Sap,” Jace said squeezing back just as hard.
“I’m done with the balcony. I put the wine in an ice bucket out there,” Izzy said as she walked in on them hugging. Alec pulled her into the hug as well, because while his mother may insist that Lightwoods aren’t huggers, that particular family trait did not pass down to her children.
“Try not to be too tragic, okay, Alec?” Izzy said as they pulled away. Alec made a face.
“I’m not tragic.”
Jace and Izzy shared that look again, “okay.”
Alec opened his mouth to respond but his phone vibrated, with a message from Magnus letting him know he came.
“I gotta go,” Alec said.
Jace turned to leave with a wink, “if you end up fucking on the desk in your office I wouldn’t blame you.”
“Goodbye,” Alec said walking away to let Magnus in through the front door.
Magnus took his breath away, as usual. He was dressed well, but Alec didn’t expect anything else. There was something special about this, though, about having Magnus on his turf and opening the door for him. It was nice knowing that for once, Magnus really didn’t have to do anything- Alec could take care of him completely. It was a surprisingly heady feeling, Alec thought he might ask Magnus to come here more often after all.
“I didn’t want to come empty handed,” Magnus said holding out a cake tin. “So I figured I’d bring dessert.”
Alec took the cake and leaned down slightly to meet Magnus’s lips for a welcoming kiss. “Yes, very sweet.”
Magnus rolled his eyes at the line but smiled anyway and kissed him again. When Magnus pulled back he immediately nuzzled Alec’s cheek, which made him smirk internally. Looks like he was right about that aftershave.
Alec led Magnus to his office and was hit by the scent of well-cooked pasta covered in a fragrant sauce. Jace really was a life saver. The second thing he noticed was the table on the balcony, with candles placed over a clean white table cloth, beside it was a smaller table with the wine he got chilling in an ice bucket. He even heard soft jazz playing in the background.
“Wow,” Magnus said his eyes slightly wide, “is this some type of anniversary I forgot?”
Alec laughed, “no. I just… Wanted tonight to be nice. Jace and Izzy helped a lot.”
Magnus smiled, “I thought I recognized that smell. I think Jace made this for me once when he was staying with me.”
Alec was burning up with happiness that bordered on giddy. He walked to the table outside, his hand still holding Magnus’. Letting go briefly, he pulls out Magnus’ chair for him. Magnus, who has been watching him with a soft smile, actually blushes at that. Alec thinks that if he can keep that wide-eyed look of wonderment on Magnus’ face as often as he can, he’ll have lived a good life.
The place settings already had two plates full of food on them and had a small warming rune burned into the corner of the ceramic.
He moved to open the bottle of wine when he realized he didn’t have a wine opener. Alec opened his mouth to start stuttering something when the bottle was suddenly uncorked in a haze of blue magic.
“Thanks,” Alec said, his cheeks still slightly red.
“It’s the least I can do,” Magnus said gesturing around them.
Alec rolled his eyes, and reached one hand out to grab Magnus’ and pressed a gentle kiss to his knuckles. “I’m glad you like it.”
“Of course I do, you didn’t need to go to all this effort but I do appreciate it. I love you,” Magnus said, his eyes warm and gentle as the looked at Alec. He was always struck by how beautiful Magnus’ eyes really are, they express so many emotions, they can be gentle and kind, and icy cold. Right now they radiated love, and Alec’s breath caught in his throat.
“I love you too,” he responded. “Now, should we eat? This looks delicious.”
“Sounds like a plan, Alexander.”