Be Still My Racing Heart


*.*.*.*.*

Alec felt like he was going to die.

Maybe not literally, of course, because he had been on death's doorstep a thousand times over during the course of his life, and he knew what it felt like to have death staring down at him, trying to entice him just over the threshold with promises of warm coffee and his favorite dinner waiting for him in the dining room, and he knew that he was probably not actually going to literally die right now.

Maybe tomorrow, but not right now.

Probably.

He would hold tight to that probably, too, because his heart really was thudding too loudly in his chest, skipping a beat every moment or so, and his breath—God damn, could he not catch his breath for even a moment.

But it was fine, he would be fine, it would all be fine, he kept repeating to himself as he took in several deep breaths and turned his attention back to the alcohol in front of him, setting himself about fixing the drinks he had told Magnus he was going to get for the both of them. He looked back over his shoulder despite himself, though, and when his eyes landed on Magnus he smiled to himself before he turned back around, nerves quelled ever so slightly.

He had that image of Magnus burned into his mind as he went about making their drinks. The love of his life sitting on their couch, long legs draped over each other, one of his arms slung over the back of the couch as he awaited Alec's return.

Once he did return, he knew Magnus would accept the drink graciously, would take a long, pleasant sip of it before he plopped it down on the coffee table next to the remnants of the dinner they had abandoned hours ago. He would slide closer to Alec and wrap his arm around him, would pull Alec closer to him and maybe nose at his neck, or nibble at his ear, or coax him into a slow, easy makeout session that would turn into Something Else eventually—though Alec knew, on a night like tonight, it would remain just as slow and as easy. And it would be nice, he would revel in Magnus' easy touches, in being able to take their time, in just being present and in love with every little bit of Magnus and this night.

It would be far too easy to just let the evening go in the same way it had gone a million times previous, would be easy to forget about the other plans Alec had waiting for his boyfriend, but…

Alexander Lightwood was never one for taking the easy way out, so he let those thoughts drift away from him, though he let the warm, comforting feeling settle over him all the same, only to push away the feeling that he was going to die. Anything to stave off that feeling, anything to make his life even the slightest bit more bearable right now and help him get through the rest of the evening the way that he wanted to.

It would be fine, he repeated to himself for the umpteenth time as he closed his eyes for a moment, steeling himself before he opened them once again, and took up the drinks, walked over to Magnus with them. As he handed Magnus his and was rewarded with a brilliant, warm smile in return, the awful nervous feeling that made him feel like he was going to die returned in full force.

He was never going to get through this night, was he? He thought to himself as he took up his spot on the couch next to Magnus once again, took a long drag of his own drink, hoping the familiar warmth and sting would soothe everything that ailed him and help him to get through the evening.

His phone began to vibrate in his pocket, then, and he pulled it out idly to glance at it; phones were forbidden for the most part on date night unless an emergency sprung up, and even then the call they received to talk about it was meant to be proceeded by an SOS text so they knew to answer the phone, but Alec had received no such text, just a call from Jace. Whatever it was, it could wait until morning. If it was an emergency, he could text as much and try calling again, but until he did so, Alec wouldn't dare take a call from him on such a peaceful night.

With a shrug, he leaned forward and plopped the phone down on the table.

"Just Jace," he said in response to Magnus' raised eyebrow.

"Ah, I should have known," he said lowly, taking a sip of his own drink before that was deposited on the table as well, and he stretched his arm out so his fingers splayed onto Alec's shoulder, fingers trailing idly wherever they so chose and pleased.

"It doesn't seem to be an emergency, though, so," Alec shrugged again, leaning into Magnus' touch as he took another drink before that too found its way to the table before them. He needed enough to quell his nerves, but not so much that he was out of it for what he wanted to do; neither of them deserved for Alec to be drunk or even tipsy for what he was about to do.

"A hair emergency doesn't count, you mean?" Magnus teased.

"I don't think so, but let me ask my boyfriend—he is the expert, you know," Alec insisted, scooting closer on the couch towards Magnus despite himself.

"Is that so?" Magnus all but purred, smiling at Alec in that way that absolutely melted his heart.

"Mhm. He's the expert on most things, you see," he continued, heart hammering in his chest as he tried to figure out a way to segue into the speech he had planned out in his mind. And he wondered idly to himself then if he was even actually good enough to pull off such a stunt.

"Is he an expert on why his boyfriend's parabatai is calling him now?" he asked, his own phone vibrating on the table and flashing Jace's name in front of both of them.

Alec frowned at that, and wondered to himself if maybe there was an emergency after all, for just a brief moment. Why would Jace call Magnus, after all? After he had been unable to reach Alec, that was? Surely there was a reason for that? Maybe he was in trouble and unable to send an emergency text?

But then, he hadn't left a voicemail for Alec, and surely if there were an emergency and he couldn't text, if he could call he would be able to leave a voicemail explaining things? Alec would have listened to a voicemail, if nothing else.

He paused for a moment and tried to still his thoughts, tried to push past his nervousness and anxiety to try to feel if Jace was in any trouble. If he was in pain, if he was in an emergency situation, Alec would be able to feel it through their bond. He would know if Jace was in trouble, and he and Magnus would be able to act, but…

He felt nothing at all. No hint or inkling that Jace was in trouble or hurt or needed their help. So why he was trying to reach both Magnus and Alec was beyond him. Maybe Magnus was right, maybe it was a hair emergency or something on the same level as that and he just forgot that it was their date night or something.

It was certainly or something.

"I don't think even his boyfriend is an expert on that one," Alec finally replied, flicking his eyes away from the phones and back to Magnus, who seemed to be playing around with the same thoughts, if the look on his face was anything to go by. "I really don't want to think about Jace right now, though, if it's all the same to you," he added, scooting even closer to Magnus, pressing the sides of their bodies together as best he could. The more he could touch Magnus, surely the less he would think about his brother, the less he would think period, the more he would just…

Act.

"I don't think I want to think about Jace right now either," Magnus agreed, leaning into Alec and pressing a kiss to his lips that Alec reveled in.

Though somehow, it made his heart race even harder in his chest, made him feel, once again, like he was about to die.

Maybe he was just actually about to die.

(If he had to die, he would rather do it in Magnus' presence than anywhere else, if truth be told, though he wondered if Magnus would share the sentiment.)

"Everything alright?" Magnus mumbled when he pulled back, much too soon for Alec's liking.

"Mhm," Alec said, leaning back in for another kiss that Magnus indulged him in, though it too was short lived.

"Your heart is racing, darling; what's the matter?" he asked, worried in a way Alec did not want him to be.

"Nothing," he lied quickly, hoping Magnus would simply let him go back to kissing him and leave it at that for some moments, but…

Magnus was much too caring and thoughtful for that, something that Alec loved about him dearly, under normal circumstances.

"I know when you're lying," Magnus chastised playfully. "And I know you don't still get nervous every time we kiss, so… are you worried about your brother? You can call him, if it will put your mind at ease, just to make sure he's okay. Or send him or dear Isabelle a text? Or we could—"

"Magnus," Alec interrupted pointedly, his heart absolutely swelling at how Magnus was trying to remedy the situation, at how he was trying to make sure Alec felt better about whatever was bothering him, even though he could not be more wrong about just what it was that was making Alec's heart race as such. "It's… I don't want to call Jace; I promise, it's got nothing to do with him and everything to do with you."

"Me?" Magnus asked, hand coming to his chest in a scandalized manner, and Alec thought he was absolutely adorable for that. "Don't tell me you're actually nervous whenever we kiss again? Because it's adorable and I love that for us, but I don't want to be scared I'm going to give you a heart attack every time I want to make out a little…"

"Magnus," Alec laughed despite himself, sitting up ever so slightly and reaching a hand out to cup the side of his face gently. "I love you so much, you know that?"

Magnus smiled at him, and reached a hand up to hold the one Alec had at his face, said, "And I love you, my darling, so very much indeed."

Alec lost his breath at that—absolutely lost every bit of it and then some, completely and utterly floored breathless by Magnus and how incredible he was and how absolutely lucky Alec was to have him, how lucky he would be to have him for the rest of his life and then some, if Magnus would have him. God, did he hope Magnus would have him.

"I'm so glad to hear it," Alec murmured, leaning in to brush his nose against Magnus' gently before he leaned back enough and drew his hand back from Magnus' face, his heart setting off once again. "Because—"

Bang bang bang!

Alec looked over to the front door of the loft and gave it a look of annoyance, hoping that whoever was on the other side of it so rudely pounding on it could feel the look and feel shame for interrupting Date Night. Honestly, who the hell did whoever it was think they were? Everyone knew better than to so much as call, never mind pound on Magnus' door.

(It might have been an emergency, of course, but… no emergency pretext meant there was no emergency, that was just how it was, Alec did not make the rules.)

"What the fuck…" Magnus murmured, looking to the door with a confused look as well.

"Magnus!" an all too familiar voice that made Alec groan shouted from the other side of the door.

"Why the fuck is your brother so determined to ruin our date night?" Magnus murmured to Alec, who simply shrugged in response.

Why the fuck indeed. Any other night and it would be slightly more acceptable, but not tonight, God damnit. Not fucking tonight, Jace.

"Magnus, come on! I know you're in there! Is Alec alright? What's going on in there!"

Alec rolled his eyes, maybe if they told him what they wanted to be going on he would leave them in peace—not that Alec was actually that lucky, of course, but a Shadowhunter could certainly dream.

"Alexander is fine, Jason," Magnus called out finally, rolling his eyes in return.

"Are you sure?"

"Fairly," Magnus called back, throwing the door a sour enough look.

How long until Jace tried to break down the door or tried to use a rune to unlock it, Alec wasn't sure, but he did know that, given the wards Magnus had up, neither option were going to end well for Jace. And he should have known as much; if he tried either and wound up with a broken bone or two for the trouble of it, it would absolutely serve him right. Part of Alec almost hoped that he tried something, just to teach him a lesson about interrupting Date Night, assuming he would actually learn anything at all, of course.

"Can I see him?"

"Are you serious?"

"Yes!"

Magnus let out something that was caught between a huff and a sigh, and gave Alec a questioning look, seeming to ask what he wanted him to do, if he wanted him to let his brother in, or send him packing. And honestly, all Alec wanted was for Jace to go back home and leave them in peace, but… knowing his brother, he wouldn't get what he wanted until Jace got what he wanted.

"I'm going to fucking kill him," Alec mumbled under his breath as he nodded to Magnus, who leaned back on the couch and snapped his fingers, opening the door without another thought in the world.

A whirlwind of black and blond fell through the door, then, and came bolting over to the couch where the pair of them were both sitting, sporting matching unamused looks that didn't deter Jace in the slightest. He bounded right over to where Alec was and immediately began inspecting him, turning over his arms and patting his body down, and what he was looking for Alec couldn't say, but it only proved to put him in even more of a bad mood.

Why was his brother like this, God damnit.

"What the hell—"

"Alec, what the hell happened?" he demanded, coming to kneel just in front of Alec, looking worried and kind of pissed off himself, though Alec couldn't even begin to understand why. What right did he have to be pissed off or annoyed in this moment? He was lucky Alec didn't punch him right in his stupid, date night ruining face is what he was.

"You tell me," Alec insisted, giving him a look that always made him reel back, ever so slightly. "What is so important that you had to interrupt Date Night? You know Magnus and I never have any time to ourselves and this is supposed to be the one night that you don't bother us," he reminded him, like scolding a child.

"I know," Jace nodded, seeming to be ever so slightly ashamed and/or embarrassed, which was a start. "Izzy gave me the same talking to already, believe me, but what the fuck am I supposed to do when you won't answer your phone and I'm like, 95% convinced that you're dying? What would you have done?" he demanded, and this time it was Alec's turn to reel back, to play that sentence over in his head a time or two.

Oh. He thought… because Alec thought…

Oh. Oh fuck. He should have known, god damnit.

"Sorry," Magnus sat up on the couch suddenly, called to attention by the notion of Alec dying. "Did you just say you thought he was dying? Why did you think he was dying?" he asked, voice high with concern.

Alec fell back against the couch and rubbed his eyes as Jace went into far too specific detail as to just why he thought Alec was dying and had called and come over when no answer had been given as to why he felt like his parabatai was physically dying.

With every word, Alec sank further into the couch, and with every word he felt Magnus' gaze on him intensify.

"… So I just want to know if he's been poisoned or put under some spell or something because he seems physically fine, but my heart is still racing and my chest feels like the Statue of Liberty is taking a nap on it, so I'm just a little concerned here."

"As am I," Magnus agreed, and Alec took that as his cue to sit up once again, to let his hands fall from his eyes and regard his boyfriend and brother and their concerned looks at last. "Alexander, if something happened before you got here, it won't ruin date night to let me fix it. You dying, on the other hand, will absolutely put a damper on the evening."

"I'm not… nothing happened before I got here, okay? I'm fine, no one is dying other than Jace," Alec promised, reaching a hand out to grab for Magnus', to reassure him, to try to calm his own nerves as best as he could. Not that it would make any difference at all, because Jace was still there and had already aired all of Alec's dirty laundry for the evening.

(That was fine, though; Alec knew where all the baby pictures were, after all, and was something of an expert on blackmail and embarrassing his younger siblings when it was called for. Jace's time would come, he just had to be patient and bide his time.)

"Then why—"

"Because, Jace," Alec interrupted pointedly. "I was going to propose tonight, alright?" he said finally, the admission knocking the wind out of him and wiping Jace's face clean. He looked over to Magnus, then, who seemed to be taking the admission in in his own way, a wide, teary-eyed grin on his face as he regarded Alec with a lovesick look on his face. "I was nervous because I was going to propose, and that's a big deal, so you'll have to excuse the whole feeling like I'm going to die thing; I was nervous that he would say no, so I think I'm allowed to feel—"

"As if he would ever say no to you," Jace snorted at the same time that Magnus said:

"Yes."

Alec looked to Magnus at that, heart pounding again for an entirely different reason now, unsure that he had heard him right, even though he knew—God, of course he knew.

"Magnus—"

"Of course I will marry you, Alexander," Magnus said, hearing no nonsense about it.

"I didn't even… I had an entire speech planned out, you know. I was going to wax poetic about how much I love you and how lucky I am to have met you and how the stars and planets aligned perfectly for us to work out like we have and how you've changed me and my life for the better and I can't wait to be your forever if you'll be mine and—"

"Alexander," Magnus interrupted again, sounding just as choked up as Alec felt in that moment, now that it was all really coming crashing down on him and his mouth was running away from him.

But God, he hadn't even gotten to properly ask.

"It's okay. I already… know all of that and then some, you tell me every day how much I mean to you, how happy I make you, how in love with me you are—I already know, darling, and I love you, and it's okay. I want to marry you, too," Magnus swore, the gaze with which he pinned Alec to the couch far too intense and stubborn for him to argue with.

"Now, will you accept my yes?" he asked then, his tone laced with finality and an authority that said Alec was going to accept his yes, one way or another.

Why did Alec think he could argue with him on this again?

"Of course," he said finally, after a beat.

He felt the room around them exhale with those words just before Magnus came crashing down on him, and then it was all touches and lips and whispered words that meant nothing and everything at the same time.

And to think, Alec had been worried.

(Jace, thankfully, let himself out sometime between the acceptance of the proposal and Magnus tackling Alec on the couch, and sent them texts of congratulations and apologies shortly thereafter. Said texts were shortly followed by texts of congratulations from Izzy and Clary and Simon and Maia and Maryse and Luke, and, well, everyone else that had found out while they were too busy celebrating to share the news themselves, really. But of course, all of them went unanswered until the next morning. Proposal or no, it was still date night, after all. And the only emergency at hand was Alec and Magnus being so hell-bent on proving to each other just how much they loved the other, lost to their love and each other until the wee hours of the following morning, where the bliss followed them.

If they were lucky, it would continue to follow them for the rest of their lives. And Alec, for one, thought they were really quite lucky in that department indeed.)

*.*.*.*.*