He feels their eyes on him as he sits at the bar, waiting.
They aren’t subtle. They stare openly, gaze flickering from the runes on his neck to the flush of his cheeks to the way his foot taps against the sticky floor. Their whispers are more like accusations, their words loud enough to overcome the thumping bass ricocheting off Pandemonium’s walls, and even without his hearing rune activated the sentiment is clear as day.
It’s uncomfortable, even after Valentine’s demise, to be the sole Nephilim here, hands empty of drinks with the weight of hundreds of stares on his shoulders. Alec pulls his phone out to text Magnus or Izzy or anybody, but he pauses when a gradual hush falls behind him, silence rolling through the club like a warning. Alec turns slowly, seat swiveling with a creak, and then there he is, parting the crowd on sheer presence alone.
Magnus, except it’s not tender smiles and soft kisses and bitter coffee, and it’s not clever grins and wise quips and crackling energy.
It’s Magnus in his element, gaze sweeping lazily over his territory, saturated in the faint neon glow of pulsing lights, looking perfect and untouchable with his hair swept high and dark eyes flashing. Alec doesn’t… he doesn’t even know how to describe it properly, the way Magnus looks different here – words aren’t coming, tangled on his tongue, and all Alec knows is that there’s an urgent, inexplicable, overeager thing inside him that runs so hot it freezes him in place. And when Magnus smirks at him with a raised eyebrow, dammit, Alec wants to –
Alec turns, heart beating rabbit-fast as he tracks the voice coming from a hovering stranger who stares down at Magnus with lime green lizard’s eyes. God, he’d forgotten there were people around, forgotten that he was in the middle of a club. A few feet away, the stranger scowls at him with something close to annoyance, but Magnus chuckles and gives Alec a pointed look before clapping the warlock on the arm in a familiar gesture.
The man leads Magnus to a group in the corner, and Alec watches as they surround Magnus until Alec can barely see the glossy tips of Magnus’s dark hair from his seat by the counter. Sounds of laughter fall like a summer storm, cheerful and loud and raucous, shouts of Magnus’s name spilling from their lips. The six warlocks around Magnus turn into twelve turn into more warlocks than Alec’s ever seen in one place, faces blurring as everybody crowds around with smiles on their lips and shot glasses in hand, and Alec can’t see Magnus anymore beyond a single ringed hand rising from the fray, slotted in the middle of the horde.
The High Warlock of Brooklyn, king amongst his people. And the kinder side of Alec’s mind tells him to smile for the way Magnus is loved, to be happy that others know his worth, but that voice is being bulldozed right now by greed and want and frustration burning under his skin, asking why the hell did you interrupt and come back come back come back.
When Magnus is done, when he finally returns to Alec, still smiling and indescribably perfect, Alec’s palms are aching from the way his fingernails dug in, and the thing that froze him in place before comes angry and alive. When Magnus drags him backwards with a laugh, winding between drunk Downworlders, and sways his hips in time with the pulsing beat, Alec follows with intent.
The want flares into a flaming thing, hot and heavy when Magnus dances around Alec like a twist of silk, hands lingering on Alec’s neck, his waist, his chest, his eyes closed in bliss. And when Magnus grinds back against Alec and bares the long, sinuous line of his neck to Alec’s teeth, his spiked hair grazing Alec’s cheek… all Alec wants to do is wreck him, to smudge his makeup and bury his hands in his hair. But not here, not in Pandemonium, not with Seelie whispers and vampire stares and Alec feeling like he’s going to knock everything over with how much he wants. He’s a quivering mess and Magnus is just watching him, eyes sweet and sly, and it’s unfair that Magnus can do this without even saying a word. The way color catches on the high, upswept wave of Magnus’s hair, the way his eyes glow like melted gold, the way his lips are slick and wet and waiting… Alec needs it for himself and no one else.
They’ve danced themselves onto the edge of the floor, and the memory of the last time he was in this spot races through Alec’s head. He remembers a sparkling ruby, an arrow buried in the chest of a murderer, and a glimpse of a man who he didn’t yet know was going to change his life.
But just as quickly, he forgets it. He doesn’t care about before right now. Instead, he just pulls Magnus into him, and the flame under his skin turns into the sun as he kisses Magnus for a taste of tequila and smoke.
“I want to leave,” Alec says hoarsely between kisses. “I want to go home now.”
And around them, the soundtrack of pulsing music fades in favor of a gang of warlocks who whoop and shriek for the way their High Warlock smiles wickedly into the lips of a Nephilim boy.