Title: Best Intentions
Pairings: Magnus/Alec, Clary/Jace, Simon/Raphael, Izzy/Meliorn
Shadowhunters/The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices
Summary: Magnus was holding himself back when it came to Alec so as not to make his unofficial boyfriend uncomfortable, especially considering Alec's parents had no idea he was gay, and word could easily get back to them if he and Alec were too affectionate in public. He never realized Alec might see his actions differently.
A/N: This oneshot is the winning pairing of my SLASH poll on facebook. MALEC won by a LANDSLIDE.
Somewhat AU, but only very slightly.
Also, slight spoiler alert for The Infernal Devices.
There was something wrong with Alec, but try as hard as he might, Magnus couldn't get the Shadowhunter to admit that there was something wrong, much less explain what it was… or if Magnus had done something. The Warlock knew that he was somewhat eccentric, and that Alec was his complete opposite, so it wasn't that far off to suspect that Magnus had done something unknowingly to upset or offend his… were they boyfriends? He wasn't even too sure about that yet, they'd never actually given what they were a name, and while Magnus would like nothing more than to introduce the blue-eyed boy as his boyfriend he knew to take baby steps with Alec.
He had been patient with Alec, understanding. Their pace was snail-like compared to every other relationship Magnus had ever been in (and he was immortal - he'd been in many) but it was worth it. Each day with Alec was an adventure, not even in the fighting-demons way, but in the I-didn't-even-realize-I-could-feel-this-way way. Never before had Magnus been so scared to screw up, and he was scared, all the time. Because this thing with Alec, this name-less, label-less thing they had going on, was the best thing he'd ever had and he did not want to mess it up.
That was why he was so worried right now, trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with Alec. What had Magnus done that could've had him acting so oddly? It wasn't that Alec was acting very obviously different, no, it was only in subtle ways that his change was able to be picked up, and that was another red flag for Magnus.
"Maybe he realized what a pervert you are," Catarina declared with no bit of compassion for him during one of their many calls. "Maybe he realized that he can't keep up with your deviant lifestyle."
Magnus glared at his reflection in lieu of glaring at his long-time friend. "I am not a deviant. I'm adventurous." He flinched. "But maybe too adventurous? Maybe—!"
Catarina giggled in the phone. "Mags, you are worrying too much."
"No, when it comes to Alexander I can never worry too much," he muttered with a groan. "Maybe this is too much stress. His relationship with me will put him at odds with his family, with his co-workers, with his kind." Magnus stared at his own reflection and noticed how tired and nervous he appeared to be. "Maybe he realized it isn't worth it. I'm not worth it."
"You're worth it," Catarina informed him faithfully. "Sure, you're a pain in the butt, but you're one of the best people I have ever met." She paused, listening to his silence. "Don't make me call Tessa."
He smiled at the threat. Tessa, Catarina, Izzy and Clary… he had very fervent female supporters on his side and knew just how lucky he was to have them. Still, he worried, and while he changed the subject, he could tell Catarina was starting to worry too.
The party was in full swing, and Magnus was in his element. Not only did a good party prove distracting, but he'd been so involved in the Shadowhunter world lately that he'd missed out on a lot of Downworlder activities. He loved being amongst his own kind, and it did him good to get away from the self-righteous, judgmental and condescending Nephilim. Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that Alec was one of them Magnus would continue to keep his distance from them, only intermingling when he was getting paid to do so. But, well, life was ironic in that way.
He'd invited Alec, Izzy, Biscuit and even Jace to the party, but doubted they would come. Well, maybe Izzy would come. Yes, he was almost sure she would because for a Shadowhunter she was very much a friend to the Downworlders. Clary would probably come as well. Since Biscuit's best friend was a vampire and her father-figure a werewolf the redhead was definitely open to the Downworld. Jace and Alec though? They would definitely not enjoy one of these parties.
"Magnus!" A voice called in the chaos.
He turned and raised an eyebrow when he saw Clary's best friend, Simon. "Hello Samuel." He knew what Simon's name was, of course, but he got great delight in pretending that he did not.
Simon was used to it by now, and had stopped trying to correct him, having obviously figured out that Magnus was intentionally messing with him.
"Oye." Raphael Santiago, Simon's vampire clan leader, was next to Simon, eyebrow raised. "Torturing baby is a vampire right. Not warlock."
Simon made a face at Raphael, as did Magnus. Both knew him well enough not to take him all too seriously, and both ignored him to eye each other.
"Are you making his life a living hell?" Magnus asked happily.
"It's a hard job," Simon declared with a wide grin. It was obvious that he'd borrowed Raphael's clothes again, because Magnus had never seen a decent piece of clothing that actually belonged to Simon Lewis. "But someone has to keep everything from going to his head."
"It's huge already," Magnus muttered, enjoying ganging up on Raphael with Simon because, well, payback was a bitch. How many years had Raphael done the same to Magnus with Ragnor?
"Idiotas," Raphael grumbled with no heat whatsoever as he turned to Simon. "You do remember you're beneath me, verdad?"
"Ah…" Magnus smirked as he eyed them. "So that confirms that I've won Izzy's, Clary's and my bet on what goes on between you two."
Simon went bright red, which was positively fascinating given the fact that he was a vampire. "Are you saying Clary thinks I… uh… Raphael?"
Magnus shook his head. "Her bet was that it was a mixup."
"Oh," Simon squeaked, completely puce.
Raphael raised an eyebrow at Magnus, looking half disgusted and half superior. "Well, at least you're smarter than you look." He glanced around. "Where's your Nephilim? I am surprised that he is not by your side."
"He isn't here." Magnus took a long gulp of his drink.
Raphael raised an eyebrow. "Has he finally dumped you?"
"You know, sometimes I wonder why I saved you," Magnus muttered at the vampire.
"You wanted to sleep with me," Raphael informed him, causing Simon to choke on his saliva and look between them with wide eyes. With that he grabbed Simon's elbow and led the sputtering, utterly red vampire away.
Rolling his eyes, Magnus glanced around the crowd and froze when he noticed Izzy and Clary laughing with Meliorn at the bar, but they were not alone. Jace was there, looking incredibly out of place, suspicious, and uncomfortable amongst so many Downworlders. It was obvious that the only reason he was there was to keep an eye on his sister and his girlfriend. Magnus searched, hoping to see Alec, but he couldn't find his boyfriend amongst his friends and family. A sigh of disappointment escaped him as he finished his drink and motioned for a server to bring him another.
Eyes wide, Magnus turned to find Alec standing there, looking incredibly uncomfortable. He had obviously let Izzy dress him, and Magnus decided then and there that he would congratulate and gift her with something for her efforts. Alec was always handsome but tonight he was breathtaking. "I did not think you would come."
An odd expression crossed over his eyes. "Should I not have?"
Making a face, Magnus shook his head. "Why would you ask that?"
Alec cleared his throat and shrugged. "No reason."
There was definitely something off with Alec.
"Would you like something to drink?" Magnus asked as the server brought a tray of drinks around.
Alec raised an eyebrow. "Will any of these turn me into a rat?"
Magnus couldn't help his smile. "Not these."
Alec's lips twitched and he reached out, taking a glass and thanking the server.
Magnus did the same and took another glass. Even though they didn't dance, or kiss, or even hold hands, he had more fun than he had in a very long time in his parties. He'd wanted to introduce Alec as his boyfriend to his friends, but he understood that Alec was not truly "out" and did not want to do anything to make him uncomfortable, so he'd held back his instinctive reactions.
He was not going to rush in and ruin this. He wouldn't.
"Hold him down!" Magnus ordered the Nephilim. It took quite a couple of them to keep Jace down as he thrashed and screamed in agony as the demon venom filled his body. Seeing the cocky Shadowhunter this vulnerable was jarring, but Magnus ignored that, and Alec's scared expression as he worked on administering the antidote he'd been up making all night. It'd been close, so close, had they not gotten word to him in advance so he could collect what they needed and start the brewing he didn't believe they would've made it in time. Even now they were cutting it close… too close.
"Magnus!" Clary cried out in terror as Jace started bleeding from his eyes.
"I know, Biscuit! I know!" Forcing the rest of the concoction down Jace's mouth, Magnus covered his mouth and forced the blonde to drink it. As soon as the potion was swallowed, Magnus's eyes and fingertips glowed as he began the chant, connecting with the potion flowing through Jace and ordering it to target the demon venom killing the blonde. There was just so much, everywhere. By the time they'd gotten Jace to Magnus the venom had taken root, and it was battling Magnus with everything that it had. He closed his eyes and fought the pain spreading through him as he realized that Valentine Morgenstern had done something to this demon, its venom was even stronger than it should naturally be.
"Dad!" Alec yelled for some odd reason. "I need you here! Now!"
Magnus didn't open his eyes, he kept them closed and fought to push more and more of his energy into the potion, trying to combat the growing power of the venom. It hurt, it really hurt, the venom was attacking the potion, and through his connection with it, Magnus himself. He was the High Warlock of Brooklyn. He would not be brought to his knees this way! Especially not in front of Alec and his family!
Warmth surrounded Magnus and the familiar scent of Alec surprised and confused him as two hands rested over Magnus' on Jace's chest. "Take my strength," Alec whispered urgently in his ear. "It's too much for you alone, draw from me."
And Magnus did. He drew from his unofficial boyfriend and felt Alec's Nephilim-based power connect and merge with his warlock one. Together they powered the potion which sprung to life, battling the demon venom killing Jace. It was a fierce battle, but fueling the potion together, Magnus knew Alec could sense the second it began to win the war. The potion latched onto the venom and began to consume it, tearing it apart and ridding Jace's body of its destructive influence.
By the time they were done, all Magnus wanted to do was collapse, but he couldn't show such weakness in front of Alec's family. They already despised him due to their shared past, he would not show them any sort of vulnerability. It was why, once Jace whispered a thanks to Magnus while Clary hugged him and cried, Magnus slipped away from Alec, who seemed to have forgotten in his relief to let go of Magnus. If they didn't move Alec's family would start noticing, maybe even question, and Magnus not only didn't want to put Alec through that, but didn't have the strength to go through it himself.
"Are you okay?" Alec asked Magnus, visibly relieved that his parabatai was safe, but there was also an odd expression on his face.
"Yes." Magnus nodded and moved towards the door immediately. He was about to collapse. He needed to get out of there, now. That was why, even though he heard Alec calling after him he walked out. The Warlock barely made it to his bed before he collapsed.
"You're so stupid," were the first words he heard when he awoke.
Magnus groaned and opened his eyes to find Izzy standing over him, hands on her hips, glaring down at him. He'd been hallucinating for the last couple of days though, so he wasn't too sure Alec's sister was actually there.
His bedroom door was kicked open and Clary appeared, burdened down by a large tray filled with food and bottles of water and different sorts of natural juice. Relief was painted on her face when Izzy met her halfway and took the tray from her, bringing it to the bed.
"Magnus, we were so worried!" Clary exclaimed as she arrived quickly by his side and propped up his pillows, helping him to sit up in bed. "Why didn't you tell us that healing Jace took so much out of you?" She looked both relieved and, surprisingly enough, extremely angry.
Magnus opened his mouth to answer when the tray was slammed down on his lap by an equally irate Izzy. He glanced between the two girls and finally asked: "How exactly did you two get through the magical barriers around my front door?"
Izzy raised an eyebrow and motioned to Clary, who had reached into her pocket and pulled out her stele.
Ah. It would seem Clary's ability with runes was getting… intrusive. And yet Magnus couldn't find it in him to be annoyed that his spells had been breached by the pint-sized Shadowhunter. In fact he grinned, shook his head, and was about to start eating when he paused and eyed them curiously. "Izzy didn't cook any of this, right?"
Izzy slapped him up the back of his head.
Clary bit down on her bottom lip to keep from laughing, but still managed a shake of her head, which relieved him enough to start chowing down.
Izzy threw herself on the bed at his feet and turned to lay on her side, eyeing him. "Why didn't you tell Alec you were this bad off? Why did you just leave like that? He was worried."
Really? "I'm a centuries old Warlock," he reminded them around his bite of food. "I can take care of myself."
"Sure you can," Clary muttered as she folded her arms over her chest. Since when had she started getting mouthy? Hanging around with those Shadowhunters had obviously been a bad influence on her.
"When you didn't call, or respond to his phone calls, or answer the doorbell, Alec came to get Clary and I so we could invade your kingdom and bring the walls down," Izzy informed him seriously.
"Then why isn't he here now?" Magnus wanted to know. Not that he was sulking or anything.
"Because Chairman Meow was running low on cat food," Clary responded quickly. "Alec took Jace and went to go and buy some."
Magnus blinked in shock. Alec had? "Chairman has more than enough to feed him for days, and his feeder is one of those that he activates on his own by pawing it, so why would Alec go out of his way to—?"
"He said it was because he likes Chairman Meow more than he likes you," Izzy informed him. "Although, that's just Alec's way of saying he needs to do something. He doesn't like being 'useless', and since Clary took over the cooking, Jace cleaned, and I supervised the whole thing he really didn't have anything to do." She licked her lips. "Plus, you started saying someone's name in your sleep."
That caught Magnus' attention immediately. "Whose?"
"Tessa." Izzy looked like she was trying to appear innocent, but actually had murder on her mind. "Magnus?" She smiled, it was terrifying. "Who is Tessa?"
It took Magnus a moment to answer, mostly because he was trying to remember what his last hallucination had been about. He realized that he had hallucinated Tessa. They'd been in her place having tea and talking about how life could be painful being in love with a mortal when you knew that one day you would lose them to death. Tessa had gone through that with Will, but she'd had a wonderful life with him, and Magnus had always found their love story to be the only thing to give him hope that he might one day have the same thing.
"If you even dream about cheating on my Big Brother I will castrate you," Izzy promised with a fierce smile on her face.
Magnus rolled his eyes at the girl who left him all sorts of rambling, threatening messages on his voicemail every time he and Alec had some sort of argument. "It is not like that, Tessa is a good friend of mine." He took in a deep breath and remembered the many conversations they had in real life about her feelings for Will and Jem, and his for Alec. "She understands me better than anyone else ever could."
A noise sounded at the door.
Magnus glanced up to find Alec in the doorway, a strange expression on his face. "Hello Alexander." He then realized he'd been sick for a couple of days, and was horrified at the thought that Alec had seen him like that, was seeing him like it now.
"Magnus." Alec gripped a plastic bag tightly in his hand, his smile strained.
Izzy jumped off of the bed and grabbed Clary. "We're going to make sure Jace hasn't organized your house so well you can't find anything."
"Thank you!" Magnus called after them, genuinely relieved regarding that. He watched them leave, and then noticed that Alec had yet to enter the room. "I apologize for looking so… unlike me."
Alec frowned and finally stepped into the room, closing the door behind him. "That's what you're apologizing for? That?"
Magnus blinked, surprised at the anger simmering in the usually quiet Shadowhunter's voice. "Did I do something else?"
Alec opened his mouth, closed it, and let out a growl as he leaned against the bedpost closest to him. "Seriously, Magnus?" He flung the plastic bag onto the bed. "Do you honestly have no idea?" Surprising insecurity flashed over his features. "Or is this your way of pushing me away subtly so we break up?"
The Warlock immediately put the tray next to him on the bed. "Wait, are we actually going out? Like, officially?" He saw Alec's horrified expression and pressed on quickly. "Because I always figured we were unofficial, I didn't think you would feel comfortable otherwise."
Alec's horror visibly turned into confusion. "Why would you think—?" He frowned. "Is this because I'm a Shadowhunter?"
"And because I'm a guy," Magnus admitted. "You haven't really come out to anyone except Jace, Izzy and Clary. And I'm not trying to push you to do that, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable or worried that I'm going to do something when we're out in public that will get back to your parents and—."
"Wait a minute." Alec's eyes widened. "Is that why you won't even hold my hand when we're out in public?" He pushed away from the bedpost. "Or why you introduced me as your friend to your Downworlder friends at the party? Or why you gave me the cold shoulder and pulled away the second Jace was healed?" His lips parted and he stared at Magnus as if in shock. "You're holding back because you're worried my parents will discover I'm with you?"
Why was this such a shock? "You have heard of my reputation, Alexander, I know that restraint isn't usually something I'm lauded with, but I understand your situation. So while I would like nothing better than to be out publicly with you, I understand the bias and prejudice of Shadowhunters in general and your familiar in particular." Magnus took in a deep breath. "I do not want to do anything to make you uncomfortable or—."
"But you have been making me uncomfortable! A lot!" Alec sat down on the edge of the bed. "I thought you were regretting going out with me and trying to break things off!"
Magnus just stared at him in horror.
Alec seemed to easily read that horror and let out a chuckle of relief. "You weren't pushing me away."
"Alexander," Magnus finally found his voice. "Pushing you away is the last thing I want to do."
A small smile touched his lips and he cleared his throat, before he made a face. "Who is Tessa? If she's only a friend why are you saying her name in your sleep?"
"Well, to be fair, I was hallucinating, not asleep," Magnus corrected as he sat up straighter, trailing a finger over the material of his bedspread. "And second, she understands me better than anyone else."
Alec's smile fell slightly. "You said that before. Explain that to me."
Suddenly embarrassed, Magnus cleared his throat. "Tessa is a Warlock who fell in love with, and eventually married, a Shadowhunter."
Alec looked up at Magnus in wide-eyed shock.
"I always thought she was stupid, setting herself up for the eventual heartbreak," Magnus admitted softly as he finally turned his cat-eyes on Alec. "But lately I've come to see things differently."
"If this is a proposal I'm turning you down," Alec announced with a growing smile. "We haven't even given my parents a heart attack with the news of our relationship." His grin continued to grow, his eyes mischievous. "We need to give them a couple of years to get used to us being together before we spring a marriage on them."
Magnus had never seen Alec being playful before, and the sight was mesmerizing. He opened his mouth to agree, but he never actually got the words out before Alec's lips silenced them. Cat-eyes widened in shock seconds before they closed and he reached around, fingers sinking into Alec's hair as the Shadowhunter unceremoniously pushed him down on his bed. Butterflies flew in Magnus' stomach. Alec might've been growing more comfortable with being intimate, but never before had he initiated things so cocksure.
Deciding quite quickly that he liked this new side of Alec, Magnus smiled into the kiss and was relieved for Alec's lips on his, because they muffled the sound of his groan when Alec's hand began to trail down his stomach.
A little piece of Magnus had been disappointed that not even one of Alec's parents had had a heart attack upon finding out that their son was not only dating a male Downworlder, but Magnus Bane. He'd seen the horror and disgust on their faces, and things had been hard for Alec, but it really helped that his brother, sister, and Clary, were very much supportive. Looking back, it was probably their staunch support (as well as the many times in which Magnus helped the Institute due to Alec's influence) which had ended up swaying Maryse and Robert. Sure, they weren't happy with the situation at all, but they didn't try to pretend it wasn't happening, or get Alec to leave Magnus (or vice versa).
"I'm so happy to finally be able to meet you face to face," Tessa announced as she gripped Alec's hand the night they finally met at one of Magnus' parties. While usually way too busy to party, Tessa had finally been able to pull away from her busy and hectic life to mingle with others. "Catarina is right, you're too good looking for him."
"Tessa!" Magnus whined despite the fact that he loved that they were getting along so splendidly. He hadn't known exactly when Alec and Tessa had started talking on the phone together but Alec probably talked to Tessa more than Magnus did. He loved that.
Alec merely grinned, the change that had taken place in him over the last couple of months was incredible.
Tessa noticed Catarina dancing and, with a small wink to Magnus and Alec, disappeared amongst the other Downworlders to greet her friend.
"I'm in love," Alec joked as he watched Tessa go.
Magnus scoffed as he reached for Alec's arm and pulled out around his own shoulders. "Yes, with me."
Alec's lips twitched. "You sure about that?"
"Of course," Magnus assured him with a devilish smile. "Just last night in bed you were crying out how much you loved me while I rode—."
Alec clapped a hand over Magnus' mouth, his face extremely red. "Magnus!" He glanced around them quickly. "Downworlders and Shadowhunters with extremely good hearing are all around us!"
No one was paying attention to them. Jace and Clary were dancing together with Izzy and Meliorn. A couple of Luke's wolves were competing against Raphael's vampires to see which could get the most fae contact information. Tessa and Catarina were giggling amongst themselves, clearly planning Magnus' imminent downfall. Simon was rolling his eyes and mouthing the exact words Raphael was using to scold him with as the vampire leader straightened his right hand's jacket.
"See?" Magnus pointed out after Alec had had a couple of seconds to relax in realization. "No one is paying any attention to us at all so they wouldn't know how much you like it when I curl my tongue and-."
Alec once more clamped his hand over Magnus' mouth. "Behave." When Magnus nibbled on the meat of Alec's palm, the Shadowhunter bit down on his bottom lip, eyes darkening. He glanced around the room before clearing his throat and letting his hand fall to his side. "How long do you think we'd have until they realize we were missing?"
Magnus couldn't keep the smirk off his face. "There's only one way to find out." He held his hand out to Alec.
Licking his lips, Alec glanced all around the party once more before he turned to Magnus, grabbed his hand, and began yanking the Warlock towards the stairs that led up to the Warlock's bedroom.
Glancing over his shoulder, Magnus caught Tessa and Catarina both giving him two thumbs up. He grinned and decided not to tell Alec about that as the Shadowhunter finally got them up to the room and yanked him inside.