2x08 coda because so much happened and my boys need to talk
Once the others have finally poured out of his home, taking at least part of the nervous energy still lingering against the walls with them, it takes Magnus a few seconds to locate Alec and he feels a twinge of anxiety when he realizes that he’s left the safety of the loft in favor of the balcony. Even knowing he’s undone the spell that allowed his guests’ greatest fears and insecurities to fester, the thought of Alexander alone up there makes him vaguely nauseous, images of Alec’s graceful fall too fresh in his mind, too painful still, for him to bear it.
If he had been a few seconds late…
But Alec is nowhere near the ledge now. He’s sitting on the sofa, forearms resting on his thighs and head in his hands, fingers tensed and angry where they’re gripping his hair.
It’s been a long evening for all of them, upsetting at its best and terrifying at its worst, and Magnus wishes there was an easy way to approach this, a simple phrase that could make it all better for both of them.
He makes his way the couch carefully, steps loud enough to alert Alec of his presence, before letting his body drop heavily next to him. He links his fingers together between his legs, resisting the urge to touch Alec, to force him to look up so he can try and read his face. Instead, Magnus presses his thigh against Alec’s in what he hopes is a comforting manner. So much happened in so little time and he has no idea where he should even start.
He’s still trying to figure it out when Alec speaks first.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” he says fiercely into his hands.
“I’m not,” he repeats and Magnus knows what’s hiding underneath, the guilt and anger of all the times Alec has felt he failed the people who matter the most to him.
“Hey,” Magnus says instead of replying, putting a careful hand on Alec’s body, adding a hint of magic to his touch, warmth and safety against the broadness of his back. “I know what you’re trying to say but that’s not on you.”
“Yes, it is,” Alec argues, body tense like the string of his bow.
“It’s on all of us,” Magnus argues, keeping his voice calm despite the anger boiling in his veins. “Shadowhunters, Downworlders…. we’re all going to pay for Valentine’s actions if he’s not stopped.”
He still can’t quite believe Clary kept her secrets for so long when they all should have been working together to stop Valentine’s plan.
“I know,” Alec replies, leaning into Magnus’ body for a second before taking his hands off his face and straightening his back. “I know that, but that’s not…” he sighs, frustrated. “That’s not what I meant.”
It’s been a long time since Magnus has been on the other side of such fervent protectiveness and he shivers a little at the intensity of Alec’s determination, mind flickering to the charm he now carries everywhere.
“The thought of losing you…” Alec continues, closing his eyes and shaking his head like he’s trying to convince himself that saying whatever he wants to say is okay, is allowed. “I just found you,” he says softly, trying again. “And thinking about what might happen to you…. it’s just… unbearable.”
“Well now you know how I felt, seeing you out there,” Magnus replies seriously, gesturing towards the ledge, heart beating faster at the sound of Alec’s sincerity. “And I think you know I can easily take care of myself.”
“I know,” Alec sighs. His eyes wander to the ledge for a second and he grimaces, clearly uncomfortable at the thought of talking about it, but aware that he can’t say nothing, that Magnus won’t be satisfied by that. “I’m sorry if I scared you,” he whispers. “The spell messed with my head, it’s true but I.. I don’t… I don’t want to talk about Clary or Jocelyn. Please.”
Magnus waits for a second, looking into Alec’ anguished face, his closed eyes and defeated posture, and he wishes he could drop it, he really does.
“You’re not weak Alexander.”
Alec flinches, trying to move away from Magnus’ body but he’s too quick, moving both of his hands to grip Alec’s shoulders.
“Letting a demon in,” Magnus whispers directly into Alec’s ear, “feeling consumed by guilt… even failure; none of those things make you weak.”
“Magnus,” Alec begs shakily.
There are things magic can’t fix, memories that burn deeply within Alec’s core that only time can soothe and no matter how powerless Magnus feels, he has to accept it.
“Okay,” he whispers before kissing Alec’s shoulder, right next to where his thumb is still digging into the flesh. He lets go slowly, starting to move away from Alec when he feels him grabbing his hand.
“Thanks,” Alec says, voice small but grateful. “And I’m sorry about tonight.”
“That wasn’t your fault.”
“I mean about my mother… and Max,” Alec says with a gulp, eyes wide and sad.
Magnus smiles softly. “I knew what to expect from Maryse when I agreed to throw this party, Alexander. And Max is just a curious child.”
“Yes but…” Alec hesitates for a second before inhaling deeply and exhaling. “I’m still sorry if he made you feel uncomfortable,” he says after a few seconds, reaching up to stroke Magnus’ temple with a few calloused fingers, stopping in the corner of his eye.
Magnus feels his smile slipping and he wishes he could hold on to it, wishes he could pretend for a few more seconds, but he feels exposed, cracked open, and Alec has already taken a peek at the rawness inside.
“I’m more worried I made you uncomfortable,” Magnus admits in a small voice.
“What?” Alec frowns, looking sincere and offended and isn’t that the most incredible thing. “No, no. You could never make me uncomfortable,” he says vehemently. “Not for that,” he adds softly, leaning in to press a tender kiss in the corner of Magnus’ eyes.
Magnus leans into the touch, appreciating the warmth of Alec’s body against his, the warmth of his reassuring words.
“A lot of people have been,” he admits and he wasn’t planning on saying that until it slipped right out of his mouth. He can feel Alec exhale against his skin, heated and tickling.
“I can’t imagine how,” Alec replies and Magnus turns his head to face him, letting the glamour drop easily. Alec gasps in response, a tiny thing that doesn’t sound disgusted or overwhelmed. “You’re so…” he smiles, cheeks reddening.
“So what?” Magnus asks, curious now that Alec’s face is painted with embarrassment.
“Kind,” he replies like it’s the most natural thing in the world.
“Oh,” Magnus says in a small voice and he has been called many things in his lifetime but he’s rarely been called kind, even if he’s always tried to be.
“Clever,” Alec continues, hazel eyes bright with intensity. “Beautiful. Powerful.”
“Alright,” Magnus chuckles, putting a hand on Alec’s chest to try and stop him.
“I just mean…. that it’s another part of you and there’s isn’t a part of you I haven’t liked so far.”
“Oh Alexander,” Magnus teases, a hint self-deprecating, “that will come.”
“And I’m looking forward to it. To get to know all the parts of you that fit with me and all the parts that don’t… and all the ways we’re gonna work to be together despite those.”
Alec clears his throat and lets his gaze wander to where their legs are still touching. He starts fidgeting like maybe he didn’t mean to reveal this much and Magnus is almost glad that he broke their eye contact because it gives him the time to blink a couple of times and stop himself from crying.
There are so many things that Magnus could say, so many feelings intertwining in his chest. Instead, he grabs the lapel of the suit he carefully chose for Alec and drags him into a bruising kiss, swallowing the way Alec sighs and moans so beautifully.
They’re still pretty lucky, despite it all.