I’ve been thinking about professor!magnus and soldier!alec since yesterday and idk if I want to commit myself to writing something like that when I know nothing about the army but I feel like there could be something very heartbreaking about it.
Like maybe Alec is about to be deployed and it’s his what… 2nd? 3rd? tour and he’s happy to be unattached, despite what his siblings always say, because he knows how hard it is to be separated from the ones he loves but also to be left behind and he doesn’t want to do that to someone. So he doesn’t date and he doesn’t have a lot of close friends apart from his family and it’s ok, hes doing something important, serving his country and following his family’s footsteps (ofc they’d be a big military family) but then he meets Magnus … Idk where, somewhere random like a bookstore or grocery store or the outdoor market Izzy dragged him to and sparks f l y. And Alec is confused/overwhelmed and reluctant despite Magnus flirting 110% with him. Maybe they exchange numbers maybe not, maybe they randomly meet again and Magnus is like uh funny twist of fate *flirty grin* and Alec is just…. abort mission holy shit help ???Because even though he’s had flings and hooks up, he’s never had a crush or somebody that made him go w o w like this and it’s new? But he kinda wants to break his rule and say yes when the hot college professor asks him out and that’s new and kinda scary but he blurts out yes before he can fully think about it or change his mind. Of course, he has a nervous breakdown afterward and Izzy is like pls find your chill but he can’t find his chill cause he’s going away to get shot at in less than 3 months and the timing couldn’t more off and that’s not fair to Magnus to get him involved like that… Because, of course, Alec is the type of person to worry too much before anything even happens. Anyway, so they go on a date maybe a walk at dusk and some ice cream?? Idk why but I’m imagining this is set in a small coastal town? They can walk near the water while talking about everything and nothing?? I’m seeing a make out session on top of a lighthouse? Anyway, when Alec tells Magnus what he does and where he’s going he’s all sorry about that I should have told you straight away when you asked me out but Magnus is all its ok lets just see where this goes, it doesn’t have to be serious since you’re leaving so soon and they agree to have a fling… but feelings happen and it’s inconvenient!!!
I like imagining Alec walking Magnus to his classes when he’s stayed over the night before (Magnus teaches history in this, I feel it). And maybe on mornings he wasn’t at Magnus’ he does a little detour on his morning run to buy him breakfast and he leaves it in his office during the 8am lecture that Magnus hates so that he’ll have something nice after that hardship, a little muffin and a coffee with a cute note on the cup ‘cause Alec is sappy af even though he tries very hard to hide it. And maybe he buys Magnus peonies at some point, just because they’re pretty and Magnus is pretty and he’s never bought flowers for anyone before and he wanted to… And Magnus keeps teasing him flowers are not casual Mister!! because it’s easier to flirt and tease than to acknowledge the fact that Alec is leaving really soon and he might not come back, and Magnus isn’t even important enough to be considered someone he’s leaving behind (or at least that’s how he feels). Magnus tries not to think about it but he’s obsessing over the idea that he doesn’t even know Alec’s family and friends, doesn’t know anyone who would tell him if something happened??? But he doesn’t want to bring it up because it’s supposed to be casual and meaningless, something that ends when the semester ends. So they keep going on dates and Alec cooks for him and Magnus tries to ignore the uneasy feeling growing in his chest as time flies too fast. Until there aren’t any time left and Alec is leaving. So they take a walk just like their first date and they have ice cream and they make love and they definitely don’t talk about it even though they both know that they should and Alec just… leaves.
And Magnus tries not to have a hard time about it but it’s tough and he’s grateful it’s the end of the semester ‘cause at least he’s busy between marking terrible essays and correcting exams. He goes out with his friends from the history department once they’re all done and he tries to have a fun time, but truth is… he’s worried. He starts watching the news a little too obsessively and his friends don’t like it but he can’t help himself.
Alec has been gone three weeks when the first letter comes. It takes Magnus by surprise at first because in all the times they’ve been together Alec has always been a man of little words. That’s not to say he was emotionally unavailable or unwilling to discuss things and his feelings, but this is new, the way the words flow easily on the page like it was no hardship at all to put it all down, descriptions of his unit and where he is, a full paragraph about how much he misses Magnus’ cat and nothing about them at all. But Magnus gets it, he sees it for what it is, a peace offering maybe or a stubborn unwillingness to let go, so he writes back. He talks about his students, their successes and their struggles, and his friends, little things that have reminded him of Alec since he’s been gone. Soft stories for a soft boy in a hard place. And they keep going back and forth, sending each other little pieces of their respective lives and it should be enough, it’s more than Magnus expected, but it’s tough and he misses Alec like a limb, misses him in his bed and in his kitchen, misses him when summer classes start and he has no one to hold his hand on his way to work, no callused fingers to wrap around his… But every new letter is a blessing. It says many things but underneath it all, the most important message is I’m still here, I’m alive and I’m thinking about you.
Okay so maybe it all comes to a halt one day when his phone rings and it’s Alec on the line, after all those weeks, all those months, and he sounds like h e l l and he’s there on the phone, apologizing to Magnus because his phone bill is gonna be awful but I …. I just… I needed to hear your voice Magnus, I’m sorry. You… you c-can send me the bill if you want, I just… and it takes everything Magnus has for him not to break down and cry right there and then because Alec really doesn’t sound okay and he has no idea what happened and he has no idea what they are but that’s his boy there on the phone who’s hurting and he hasn’t heard his voice in weeks… So Magnus is like Please shut up about my phone bill, I don’t give a fuck about that. How are you? Are you okay? What happened? And Alec is reluctant to talk about it, doesn’t want to give any details, just keeps saying rough day, Magnus, rough day in this small voice and Magnus hates it more than he’s ever hated anything in his life. He doesn’t want to push Alec too hard so he just asks what can I do? and he hates the way his voice shakes, he wishes he could be stronger than this but Alec doesn’t seem to mind, he just sighs like he’s tired deep in his bones, deep in his soul, and says: just talk to me. So Magnus does, he rambles on nervously about what he had for breakfast and what he taught today, his lecture plan for tomorrow, his neighbor’s hatred for his cat and his favorite designer on the new season of Project Runway. He just babbles on, hoping it can help. All he wants to do is help. Alec hums here and there, asks a few questions, especially about Magnus’ work and at some point he runs out of things to say. There’s a beat of silence before he whispers I love you and he knows that won’t help but he can’t keep it inside anymore, he can’t live with this trapped inside of him, fighting to break free. Alec sighs again. I.. I w-wish… You… you shouldn’t say that. Don’t say that, please. It shouldn’t take Magnus by surprise but it does and it hurts. Me not saying it won’t make it untrue Alexander. Alec groans in frustration and Magnus can picture it perfectly, the way he’s probably bent over, head between his knees, one hand harshly buried in his hair. I didn’t want to put you through that. I didn’t want to put anyone through that but especially not you. He’s so noble and he’s so caring and Magnus knew that already but it hits him again, hard, that this is a man who puts others before himself every single time and who will fight tooth and nail anyone who dares try taking care of him. So Magnus does his best to sound as stern as he can: Well just too bad because I’m here and you’re there and I love you. And you wishing it hadn’t happened won’t change anything and if you like me even the tiniest bit you’ll call me again because I have been worried sick.
Alec calls every week after that. There’s a new kind of anxiety that comes with waiting for the phone call, waiting for the confirmation that Alec is okay, but Magnus is happy to live with it when it means he can hear Alec’s voice once a week, warm and soft when he asks Magnus what he’s been up to and insists to be put on the phone with the cat. I don’t want him to forget me!
They don’t talk about what they are again and it takes until Alec is back on American soil, his head buried in Magnus’ neck so no one can see him cry, for him to say I love you back, but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t need it. For now, Magnus cherishes every time his phone rings and he gets connected to Alec, he cherishes every time he can make him laugh, he cherishes every single plan they start making, every single hint that they can have a future together.