Imagine Alec on Thanksgiving.
No, the Lightwoods don’t celebrate the way mundane families do, and the only reason they’re together at all is because Max asked. But regardless, they plan to have dinner together on a cool November night, for the first time in a long time.
Nobody’s cooking – nobody wants to die. But Alec takes Izzy, Jace, and Max with him to a grocery store where they buy obscene quantities of food: turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread, ham, and other random things including three pies because everybody loves a good pie.
He books one of the spare rooms in the Institute for the whole thing, but it’s not very formal. Between plastic cartons and barcode stickers on all the boxes, none of this is could ever be particularly fancy. And he shrugs when Jace asks to bring Clary, since he’s bringing Magnus anyway, since this is a family affair and that’s who should be present.
There’s no tradition with this – the point is just to spend time together, despite everything that’s gone wrong in the past few months, or in spite of it. Yet while everybody fights for the drumsticks, Alec finds himself pausing to take a breath and glancing around the table.
He looks at his mom, beaming now that her children are with her and the divorce papers are on their way, and his dad, sitting awkwardly across the table from her.
He looks at Max and Izzy, both happy and healthy and stronger than they’ve ever been.
He looks at Jace, half-smiling at Clary the whole time, looking like he’s almost happy for once.
And then he looks at Magnus, who’s looking at him, legs pressed together under the table, a smile gracing his face, a soft, tender thing that’s grown as familiar to Alec as this warm, indescribable feeling pulsing in his bones. He sees the way Magnus slots into this family, his family, the way Maryse hands him the bread basket with no hesitation, the way the space at Alec’s side is molded in Magnus; shape and meant for him only.
He thinks of what might have been, and he compares it to today.
“Alexander,” Magnus says gently, nudging him with his shoulder as he passes him a buttered roll.
And you know that all Alec can think is thank you.