Silver Linings


Get home and we're locked out
Middle of the backyard laying down
Last thing that I'd worry 'bout
'Cause all I wanna do is end up with you
Yeah, all I wanna do is end up with you
—End up With you by Carrie Underwood


*.*.*.*.*

It had taken some getting used to, not feeling the constant thrum of his magic beneath his skin—he had felt like fire, some days, his magic constantly keeping him warm and reminding him that he was alive, so very much so alive, to not feel that suddenly was... Unnatural. Some days, when he first awoke, before he was aware of anything at all, he thought he was dead, he was so unused to the absence of the feeling. It was only when he roused more fully and remembered that he was very much so alive that he remembered why he no longer felt that feeling. Some days, being reminded of it all over again broke his heart, but he was getting used to that feeling too, somewhat.

It had taken so much getting used to, so much accepting of who he was without his magic, and in all honesty, he still wasn't completely used to it. It would take the entire rest of his lifetime to get used to not having his magic, and maybe even longer still. To get used to not being able to bend the universe itself to his will with the snap of his fingers, to not be able to solve any problem, handle any obstacle or challenge that was put before him, to not be able to fix this or that with the simplest of spells. God, it was still going to take so long to unlearn hundreds of years of what had been his life, his normal.

Alexander was a Godsend, of course; as soon as he was back on his feet, he had been there with Magnus every step of the way, had been there to hold his hand and help him through his identity crisis, through all his blunders and all missteps trying to adjust to life completely without magic. And he tried not to make a big deal out of it, that Magnus was without his magic now, but even he had his slip ups sometimes. One night, for example, when they were laying in bed together and Alec was pressed against Magnus' chest, he had muttered, in surprise, that Magnus' heartbeat was so much different now.

And Magnus hadn't had the words to describe how much that had broke said heart.

But they got through it. All of it. Together. One moment, one day at a time.

One of the many downsides of Magnus being without magic, was how much harder it made it for him to spend his nights with Alec; before, it was oh so easy for him to send a portal to fetch Alec, or for him to portal over to bring Alec home himself, but now… there were nights where Alec got caught up in work and it was too late for him to make the trip to the loft, and the two had to spend the night apart.

Magnus missed Alec almost more than he missed his magic on those nights.

But another thing he missed dearly, he thought, standing outside his loft and patting every pocket he had on him in search for his keys, was being able to unlock his doors with a flick of his wrist. He very much so wasn't used to carrying keys; he hardly ever had need for them, everything was locked and unlocked with his magic, with a rune, with a portal, with everything but a key.

But without magic, he had to resort to actually carrying a set of keys to let himself into the loft. A set of keys that he was often misplacing during fights or while out patroling or just walking around—who knew it was so hard to keep track of a set of keys when you couldn't just use magic to relocate them?

Thankfully Alexander had a spare set, and was always willing to drop whatever he had been working on to come over and let Magnus into the loft, and usually wound up staying over when he did, since he was there anyway

But it was late, and Magnus didn't want to have to make Alec make that trip when he might have been in bed or getting ready for bed already. He contemplated calling Catarina for a moment, to ask her to help him into his loft, but, given the hour, she was either at work or sleeping, and he didn't want to risk waking up little Madzie, if she were at home; Catarina held quite the grudge when it came to her charge being woken up in the middle of the night. (Magnus knew from a personal experience that he would rather not relive, thank you very much.)

Deciding that waking Alexander was the lesser of two evils, Magnus pulled his phone from his pocket—how he never lost his phone was something of a miracle, he thought—and dialed him quickly.

"Babe—is everything okay?" Alec asked, his voice not rough enough to have just been roused from bed.

(Which was almost a pity, Magnus thought to himself; Alec's voice was quite sexy when it was hazy with sleep.)

"Wonderful," Magnus said, voice chipper. "Except for the part where I just happened to lose my keys again…"

Alec groaned playfully on the other end, and Magnus could see him raising himself from his chair, reaching for his jacket, for the keys, preparing to come over and let him into the loft…

And it was tempting, to let Alec come over, let him in, fall into their comfortable bed together like they hadn't had enough time to do as of late.

But...

"You don't have to come over," he said then, feeling Alec pause in what he was doing.

"Magnus, I'm not just going to leave you outside all night," Alec said, voice full of concern.

"I know you won't. That's why I was thinking that, instead of you making the long trek over here… maybe I could just come to the Institute and stay the night? That way I'm off the streets, but you don't have to exert yourself after a long day of crime fighting," he teased.

Alec let out a breathy sound of a laugh himself that Magnus smiled at gently, thinking just how thankful he was for Alexander; he wasn't sure he would have been able to pick up the pieces as well as he had if he had lost him on top of his magic.

"I'll wait up for you," Alec said finally, his words a solemn, soft promise that carried Magnus on through his trip to the Institute, where he found Alexander waiting outside on the stairs for him, perched on the ledge and staring out into the quiet, still world around him with a tired curiosity.

Those beautiful eyes of his never missed anything, and the second they landed on Magmus, they lit up, slowly bringing the rest of his body to life until he was sporting a wide grin and met Magnus half way to the building, engulfing him in a hug that Magnus melted into.

"I know where your bedroom is, you know," Magnus whispered in a tease.

Alec pressed a kiss to the side of his neck before he settled back into the hug.

"I know, but I wanted to see you as soon as I could," Alec replied, and Magnus squeezed him at that, pulled back to give him a sweet, lingering, thankful kiss.

"Ready for bed?" Alec asked when they pulled apart, his hand grabbing Magnus' without waiting for a response.

"Of course, my love," he replied, twining his fingers together with Alec's, and letting Alec guide him inside and towards his bedroom.

He would never get used to not having his magic, but at least he still had his Alec, who was willing, every step of the way, to make Magnus' life without his magic as easy and as bearable as possible. And that was almost all he needed some days.

*.*.*.*.*