Magnus hates that he has to go back there, to that Institute, to those claustrophobic walls, dripping with memories of him and Alexander, memories that are already beginning to fade, hidden behind the overwhelming tidal wave of prejudice Magnus has suffered at the hands of Alec’s own people. But he had closed the door in Alec’s face before he could tell him where the rift was, so he has no choice but to portal the Lightwood siblings out from this horrendous place. He’s sulking, trying hard to distract himself from Alec’s bare arms as he runs his stele over his arrows, imbuing them with angelic power. He still loves Alec, he knows that much, but he can’t stop the anger that ignites in his chest at the slightest breath, at the quickest glimpse of messy hair or dark runes. He can’t stop the feeling of betrayal that flashes behind his eyes every time he thinks about the Soul Sword.
“If we could hurry this along?” Magnus says to Isabelle. “I had a previously scheduled plan to celebrate the last remaining hours of my life by getting day drunk and listening to my phonograph, and this whole demon business is getting in the way,”
“Yes, sorry,” Izzy responds, nudging Alec’s side “Come on, big brother, we’ve got a rift to seal,”
Alec didn’t say a word, just turned silently towards Magnus, who turned gracefully so that his back was the only thing Alec could see. Magnus tried to tell himself he wasn’t really trying to punish Alec as he made his way over to Izzy’s other side.
“Wait, Magnus,” Alec’s hand met Magnus’ arm, firm but with every intention of letting Magnus break from the grip if he wanted to. Before Magnus quite knew what was going on, he had spun around and was face to face with Alexander Lightwood.
“I’m already sealing this rift for you, Shadowhunter, what more could you possibly want out of me?” Magnus cringed internally at the way Alec’s face fell, at the anger that erupted from his voice even though he had been fighting to keep it back.
“Nothing,” and Magnus was surprised to hear how hurt laced his voice, drilling deep into Magnus’ heart like no one else ever could. “I just wanted to say thank you, for doing this. And…” Alec worried at his lip, and Magnus could see the way Alec was building up the courage from the way he closed his eyes. “I love you, and I’m sorry…I just…I need you to know that…in case something happens to me.”
Magnus smiled gently “Nothing is going to happen to you, Alexander,”
“You don’t know that,”
“Yes I do, because no matter how mad I am at you…I’m not going to let you get hurt,”
“I’m sorry,” Alec said again because he didn’t know what else to say.
“That’s a conversation for another time,” Magnus stepped away from Alec, clearing the thickness in his throat “For now…we’ve got some demons to kill,”
Magnus snapped his fingers, swung his arm in a circle, and took Izzy’s hand so she could bring them where they needed to go. Alec did the same, a weight he hadn’t realized he’d been carrying lifting slightly from his shoulders. As his boots came in contact with the sandy shore, he saw Magnus catch himself a little, tugging the wrinkles out of his coat. And a tightness pulled at Alec’s chest, as he realized that Magnus hadn’t said he loved him back. From off in the distance, a deafening screech rang out, drowning out even the waves crashing on the shore. There was no time to think about anything else, Magnus was right, this was a conversation for later. Alec knocked an arrow and laced his fingers gently around his bow string, for now, there were other battles to win.