""I've getting Magnus"
Alec could barely focus on Jace's worried face as it hovered above him, desperately begging his older brother to hold on, but the mention of his former heart's name sent of bolt of fear lancing through him, clearing his head. He managed to cough as he lurched upward, knocking Jace back on his knees.
""Ddd…" he stuttered, rasping breaths making it difficult to form the words. "Dddon… get…Mmmgnsss. Dddnt… Mggnss." He fell back to the dirty ground in the middle of Central Park, exhausted, left hand trembling within the blond's firm grip.
""Alec, stop, you're okay", Jace tried to soothe him. "You're going to be fine, but we need a warlock for this. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but Magnus is the best in the- Hey! Whoa, stop," he exclaimed as Alec tried to move away, groaning as the movement wrenched at the wound deep inside. Jace grabbed his brother's shoulders and slid behind him, wrapping his strong arms around the raven-haired Nephilim, effectively stopping his tangled rush to escape. "Alec, what in the world? Izzy get over here"
Izzy quickly turned and dropped to her knees beside the pair, leaving behind the Clary and the DownWorlders. She grasped her brother's sweaty face with both hands, flinching at the rasping noises coming from his mouth and the pale, gray veins that had begun to emerge at his temples. "Alec, listen to me", she said holding his gaze, "You have to stop struggling. Alec, this is serious", she tried to center him as his fearful, unfocused gaze roamed the trees, looking for an escape. "Alec, focus on me, come on, come on, look right at me, I'm right here."
His hazel eyes slowly tracked up to her face, but the depths of the fear, the desperation that Izzy saw contained in their depths would continue to haunt her long after the night ended. "Hey, hey, it's okay, it's okay," she soother, her own voice starting to tremble. "What's going on, big bro, why can't we get Magnus, Alec? Why are you so upset, we need him"? Alec jolted again at the warlock's name. "Alec, if he has his power's back, he's the only one who can help you. Alec, come on, talk to me. Alec…" Izzy placed her hand on her brother's chest and gently shook it there, growing more concerned as his listlessness increased with every passing moment.
Alec felt Izzy's approach, but couldn't find the strength to concentrate on her tired and worried voice. Only when he vaguely heard her concerned inquiries about Magnus did he begin to anxiously shift around, desperately grasping the blades of grass around him, fingers scrabbling for a tangible hold to ground himself. "Dnnt… Magnus", he managed to grind out, despite the pain.
"Alec, we have to, you'll die if we don't. He's the only one who's ever been able to mend a body-soul split before. Alec, you're already fading, and…" Izzy stopped, seeing that her brother was losing himself again. "Alec, come on, focus on me," she cried as his hooded gaze dropped even lower, his desperate search through the grass slowing. "Alec, why don't you want Magnus", she clasped his face more tightly between her small hands, whip glowing around her wrist.
Alec heard her last question and blinked tiredly. What about Magnus/em, he wondered. I miss his cat eyes, his dopey smiles in the morning, when he runs his fingers through my hair while he thinks I'm sleeping.. Mmmm, sleep… So… tired… His thoughts wandered until once more he felt Izzy's panicked grip tighten and he forced his gaze open and upward.
"… talk to us", he heard Jace's deep tones reverberate through his back. "Come on back bro. You have to stay… There you are." Alec could feel Jace's relief through their bond as their gazes met. "Alec, you have to stay awake, bud". He thought he nodded and Jace smiled.
"Alec, we know you and Magnus ended things, but we need a warlock, one that's powerful-like him", Izzy pleaded, her dark eyes shimmering. "Alec…""Alec shifted in his adoptive brother's arms as he tried to take a deeper breath to explain. But all that came out were gasping coughs, and he felt drained as he finished. However, the eldest Lightwood was determined to protect the man he loved at all costs. He spoke, his voice barely above a whisper. "Magnnnsss… Can't… knn… know. My lllovvVV… cost … magic…" He forced the last word out before collapsing back limply, eyes threatening to close.
Jace caught him as Alec slumped back even further, and hastily palmed his neck for a pulse. It was there, faint, but still going. "Jace… His runes," said Izzy quietly. Jace looked down, his own Parabatai/ rune burning in his side, to see Alec's runes slowly growing dimmer, shade by shade. The gray veins had begun to run across his cheeks, skin pale under the dark clothes he always wore. Jace took in a sharp breath as he felt Alec's pain, felt his heart waver underneath his hands, threatening to slow, and to stop. "Dammit Alec! Izzy get Dot over here, we're running out of time, this pointless argument…" he trailed off as Izzy turned, heading to the knot of Shadowhunters and Downworlders gathered at the edge of the cluster of trees with their prisoners. She grabbed the arm of the dark-haired warlock, both jogging back to where Alec lay under Jace's care.
As they approached, Jace looked up from the man in his arms, the desperation in his face causing Dot's heart to lurch in sympathy. "Dot, you've gotta do something" he begged, a slight rise in his tone an indicator of how much he and his Parabatai were hurting. "You gotta save him, he doesn't have much time, the poison is spreading, it's so fast". His voice broke again as Alec's breathing hitched, three faces anxiously watching the eldest Lightwood and sighing in relief as air continued to flow in and out of the Hunter's scarred chest. Dot shrugged helplessly.
"Jace… I, I can't, I don't actually know that much about this kind of stuff. My magic has always been defense, wards, manipulating space… Sure, I can do minor cuts, bruises- why do you think Clary never got hurt growing up?" She gestured to the red head who had joined their little knot, surrendering her guard position to another Hunter to be with her family. "This? This is beyond me," she admitted, her hands gesturing at Alec, who lay still, growing paler by the minute, the dark lines on his face becoming more pronounced. "Catarina could fix this, I know it, but she's in Europe with Madzie. And Lorenzo- well, we all saw what happened with Magnus when… What?" She stopped as the younger Lightwood siblings hushed her, fixing their gaze on Alec, who, despite the mention of Magnus' name, continued to lay still, his shallow breaths causing his chest to barely rise and fall. Izzy and Jace let out a sigh of relief before turning back to the warlock. "Okay, what's going on here," Dot asked suspiciously.
"There's not a lot of time to explain," replied Izzy in a whisper, "we just need to get Magnus here to save Alec and Alec refuses his help. They broke up a few days ago, but I know they still love each other. Magnus has to help us, he's got to." Her hands shook as they clenched and unclenched nervously, helplessly. The raven-haired whip-bearer was an expert in the medical field, one of the best to have ever graced the Institute. But with this kind of demon poisoning, she was helpless. Jace nodded in agreement as he checked and re-checked his brother's pulse.
"We just need to get him here, to agree to come help Alec, no matter what happened between them. Alec wouldn't tell me what was going on, he just said that 'sometimes, life just doesn't go the way you want it to'- whatever that means, we're getting Magnus, he said, whispering the Asian warlocks name so as not to risk upsetting his Parabatai again. "Maybe Alec just thought that Magnus needed space, or time, to deal with this whole magic thing, I don't know. I don't know. I've never, never felt that kind of sadness and frustration before, from Alec, from anyone, never. It almost felt, I don't know- not Angelic, I don't have any other way to describe it."
At this, Dot's head was spinning, trying to come up with an idea, any idea, to help the young man on the ground, struggling to stay alive. She watched for a moment as Alec slowly drew in a breath, piece by piece, his blond brother gently coaxing him to stay awake. Alec's eyes remained closed, despite Jace and Izzy's prodding, his skin growing waxy, lips turning blue as each stuttering inhale failed to deliver the oxygen he needed. In moments like this, the boys both looked younger, much younger. They needed more time to grow up, to become the men, the Shadowhunters they were destined to be. Alec needed more time with the ones he loved, the warlock he loved- "space" be damned. Wait a minute. Dot's eyes narrowed as an idea began to take hold. Space… Time… That could work! She turned to Clary excitedly, but as Dot opened her mouth she heard a low cough and all attention quickly turned back to Alec, whose eyes had finally, blessedly re-opened- but his expression refused to track, no matter how hard Jace tried, the eldest Lightwood wouldn't respond. The body-soul split had begun.