The moment Magnus woke up the next day around noon, he immediately sensed that he wasn't alone. Someone was right beside him, probably watching over him. Knowing exactly that the person meant no harm, Magnus took his time to wake up fully.
He started to scan his body, realizing that his magic was all back to his usual self. Magnus honestly felt relieved that he was doing fine, aside from the fact that he was starving.
But well, that was just normal after working so hard.
That left Magnus with no other thing to do than to face his guest and to eat something. Not to mention to get some caffeine into his system.
He turned around to finally see who his guest was, knowing that it couldn't be one of his dearest friends.
Magnus was faced with hazel-colored eyes, messy black hair, and a worried but also confused expression.
"Alexander," he breathed out, utterly surprised about having Alec by his side.
How long had he'd been hoping for Alexander to wake up beside him in his bedroom. Well, not on the ground where the younger man currently was sitting.
But in his arms.
Reminding himself that they couldn't have that, that he had to protect Alexander at any cost, Magnus slowly sat up. Feeling the magic flooding through his body, Magnus forced a gentle smile on his lips. He had no right to even touch him after all. And goddamnit, his body was craving to have Alec as close as possible.
"Have you been here the whole time?" He asked then, realizing that Alec hadn't spoken a word until now. The Shadowhunter only nodded in response, watching Magnus with an expression that made his stomach clench. Had something happen, Magnus didn't remember?
Flicking his fingers, Magnus let two cups of coffee and sandwiches from his favorite coffee shop appear. Reaching out to one of both, he gestured to Alec to help himself as well.
"I'm always starving when I had to use so much magic," he explained with a shrug and a wry smile. "Not that I mind, though. I'm glad that I could help Luke." And still, Alec didn't say anything, he didn't even smile, just kept watching Magnus.
"I'm also very grateful that you came and shared your strength with me, Alexander. You didn't have to do that," Magnus spoke once more, this time earning a bit of a reaction.
Alec's cheeks blushed in an adorable shade of red, making Magnus smile honestly this time. Even if he knew they couldn't be together, at least, Magnus had some memories of his soulmate.
"I'm just glad I was there in time," Alec replied silently. "Why did you ask for me, anyway?" The question was spoken hastily as if Alec had to force himself to ask it. "You could've asked Clary, or Jace instead," Alec added calmly.
"What did Jace tell you?" Magnus asked between two bites, curious about what Alec's parabatai had told him.
"Uhm...nothing, actually. Just that I had to come over to help you," Alec shrugged, finally reaching out to the coffee that Magnus offered him.
"It doesn't matter anyway. It wasn't the truth. I just...I can't explain it properly, Alexander," Magnus answered silently, earning a hurt look from Alec. It broke Magnus' heart into pieces for the second time since he met Alec all those years ago and realized that they couldn't be together.
"I'm so sorry, Alexander." Taking a sip from his coffee, Magnus took his time to clear his voice and to not show too many emotions. "I wish I could properly explain it to you. I wish it wouldn't be so complicated. Honestly..."
His heart suddenly beat faster as Magnus looked into those beautiful eyes. Which suddenly were full of hope and affection.
Alec felt the same way towards him, Magnus realized then. They hadn't spoken a lot with each other since they officially met, Magnus had made sure of it.
But yet, their souls were craving for each other. There was no way for Magnus to lie to Alec. And so he prepared himself with yet another sip of his coffee, for the truth.
"That, indeed, is true, Alexander."
"So you knew? All the time?" Alec asked then. His voice was gentle and far from upset. That wasn't right, Magnus thought as he watched his soulmate. And so, he voiced his thoughts.
"You should be angry," Magnus reminded him. He could live way better with anger than kindness and understanding. Or, even worse, sadness.
"I uhm...you may be right, but I...I just want answers before we figure out what to do."
Magnus watched Alec in awe. How in hell was he supposed to live his immortal life knowing that his soulmate was the most wonderful creature on earth? Magnus honestly didn't know.
There was no way for them to be together.
No fucking way.
And Magnus hated to have to break Alec's heart.
"Alexander...oh, my dear. I try to answer all of your questions. But please don't mind if I eat awhile." Magnus just couldn't end this conversation right here.
Alec deserved answers.
And then, well, then Magnus would figure out his next step.
Alec smiled shyly before he nodded thoughtfully, apparently thinking about his next questions.
"Okay then...why didn't you reach out to me? I mean, when I was old enough. We must've met very early in my life, is that right?"
"That's right, darling. Your mother reached out to me when you were about a year old. And the moment I looked at you...well, I could see colors. It must've been the same for you. This is way more complicated than I want it to be, believe me, Alexander." Magnus started, not knowing how to explain it for Alec to understand his hesitation.
He sighed and took another sip from his coffee in the afford to buy himself some time.
"Try? I mean...I just want to understand," Alec answered, a sudden sadness in his tone. Magnus hated to hear that. He didn't want to see Alec sad. But well, there was no way around hurting the young Shadowhunter.
They couldn't have a future.
"Alexander. I'm many centuries old. It didn't often happen that a Downworlder and a Shadowhunter come to be soulmates. And, darling, it always ended in the most dreadful way you can imagine. That's why I didn't reach out to you. As much as I wished I could." He'd been waiting for so long to find his soulmate, and he was sure that he and Alexander would have fit perfectly. "You must believe me that I don't take it easy. I've been waiting very long to find you."
Alec attentively looked at him, nodding slowly as he processed what Magnus had told him.
"So...you want to protect yourself from getting hurt?" Alec asked then, his brows furrowed in confusion and hurt.
Magnus wanted to reach out to him but stopped in the middle of it, letting his hand fall onto the sheets of his bed. He couldn't give Alec just a little bit of hope.
Alec watched every move of Magnus. He was already about to lift his hand as well, dropping it immediately as soon as Magnus did.
"No, Alexander. This is not about me. It's all about you, to be honest. I've already lived a longlasting life, had my ups and downs. I have seen so many things. But you...you're so young. You have your whole life in front of you. I don't want you to get hurt. I want you to be happy. And believe me, if we would share that we are soulmates, you would get hurt."
But Alec didn't want to have any of that.
"Oh come on...it can't be that bad," he said, looking at Magnus. His expressive eyebrows furrowed in concentration and disbelief.
But well. Magnus couldn't even hide the affection out of his thoughts.
He would have to move from the country as soon as possible.
As far away from Alec as possible.
He knew he wouldn't be able to resist the Shadowhunter.
But even Magnus knew that he wouldn't be able to leave Alexander. He had to keep an eye on him. And for Lilith's sake, he wanted to be as close to Alec as possible.
"Times have changed, Magnus..." Alec started when he realized that the warlock didn't answer, but Magnus immediately cut him off.
"I know what you try to say. Trust me. When it comes to that, to love between a Shadowhunter and a Downworlder, a Warlock even, things haven't changed. Alexander, what they do to..."
"Tell me," Alec said stubbornly, sitting up straighter.
Magnus sighed dramatically, looking into those beautiful hazel eyes. How could he deny his soulmate anything?
"You're going to be the death of me, Alexander. Literally," Magnus finally said, and this time, he reached out his hand to Alec. The young Shadowhunter took it without a second thought.
Magnus almost forgot to breathe as he and Alec watched each other for God knew how long.
"Alexander," Magnus murmured, trying to hold himself together.
But he failed.
Very soon, Alec was in Magnus' arms.
With a snap of his fingers, the coffee, as well as the sandwiches, vanished.
And very soon after, Magnus was kissing Alec tenderly.
And for fuck's sake, it felt better than anything, Magnus had ever felt during a kiss. His whole body suddenly felt like on fire, and he had to force himself to stop that. Pulling away from Alec a little bit, Magnus took a deep breath.
"We can't, Alexander. We can't do that," he whispered desperately, bringing their foreheads together.
"I don't...I can't accept that," Alec breathed out, holding Magnus' hand firmly in his own. "I want to be with you," he added, almost in a whine. Magnus sadly smiled at these words. By all the demons in Edom, he wanted the same thing.
"Does your family know that you're gay?" Magnus asked then, simply trying to change the topic. And he was successful.
"Uhm...no, not exactly."
"Not exactly?" Magnus asked, curiously.
"You tell me what happened in the past, and I tell you about...uhm...about my family?" Alec asked then, pulling away by himself now to look at Magnus.
He, indeed, was stubborn.
And Magnus found himself falling more and more for the beautiful Shadowhunter in front of him.
"Well...if you ask so nicely, how can I deny you anything?" Magnus asked dramatically, earning a shy grin from Alexander.
"I just want to know, that's all," he shrugged, making himself comfortable right beside Magnus on his bed. As if he belonged just in that spot. Which was the goddamn case, Magnus reminded himself.
"But you start with your story," Magnus hummed, making himself also comfortable on the bed. Refusing to take Alec's hand in his this time, he folded his own in his lap.
"Okay. I can do that."
Alec took a moment to think about what to say, and Magnus gave it to him. He wasn't always patient, but with Alec? Well, with him, it was different.
"So, you know my parents, right? I mean, if my mother visited you..." Alec started, looking at him for a moment. Magnus nodded in agreement. He didn't know how much Maryse and Robert Lightwood had told their children about their past. And so he kept his mouth shut.
"Okay. They're not soulmates. They just...just married each other, thinking it was for the best. A good connection, or whatever. I don't know if they've found their soulmates or not. It has never been a topic. They just don't believe in that, I think. Well, the thing is. Lately, they want me to get married. To a female Shadowhunter, of course. And I didn't argue. I just thought, that maybe I don't have a soulmate," Alec shrugged helplessly, looking over at Magnus for a brief moment.
"Well...and because of that, I thought that maybe it is for the best if I just...marry a woman and try to...pretend? But that has changed now...now that I know that I have a soulmate," Alec explained silently, making Magnus feel bad for the young Shadowhunter. This pure soul would do anything to please his parents.
"You shouldn't pretend, Alexander. Not when it comes to love," Magnus murmured. "And I'm sorry, that I am your soulmate and that it's so complicated," he added, smiling sadly at Alec.
"I won't pretend, Magnus. Not anymore. I'm not sorry that you are my soulmate, I...since we met I knew there was something about you. I want us to be together, Magnus."
"Oh Alexander, I can't even tell you how much I want that as well, but it can't happen. I wouldn't forgive myself if you got hurt."
"I can defend myself," Alec argued promptly.
"Oh, I've seen that, Alexander. But this isn't just about fighting. In the past, the Shadowhunters have used to force Downworlders to vow against a soulmate bond. If the soulmates already met each other, knew from each other, it killed them. Shadowhunters used to torment the Downworlders as soon as they knew. Do you know about the Agony rune?"
"Yes...they use it for interrogations," Alec explained slowly, apparently knowing what was about to come.
"Good...well. The Shadowhunters forced warlocks in the past to prepare a potion that has the same effect as that rune. And as far as I know, Alexander, they still use it against our kind."
"I won't let that happen, Magnus. I...just..."
But Magnus knew that Alec was about to understand and nodded empathetically.
"I know you would never let that happen, darling. The thing is, I wouldn't care if I'd be the only one who would be in pain. I wouldn't hesitate for a second and take the chance to be together with you. But now that you know that I am your soulmate, you would suffer the same. It would kill both of us. I can't let that happen to you, Alexander," Magnus told the young Shadowhunter.
He dared to look at him for a brief moment. Alec's expression was understanding, yet, Magnus could see that Alec was far from giving up.
"There must be a way..." Alec muttered, more to himself, clearly annoyed by what his own people had done in the past.
"I don't think so," Magnus answered, earning a suddenly angry glare from Alec.
"So what? Do you want to tell me that we should give up?"
"Yes...Alexander. It's for the best. You have to understand that..."
"No! I don't, and I won't understand that! We're soulmates! By the Angels, I won't give that up just because some people think that it's wrong!"
"Some people are the whole Clave, and almost every Shadowhunter in the world, Alexander."
"But that's not right! There's nothing wrong with you, or any other Downworlder!"
Rising to his feet, Alec once more glared at Magnus with so much anger in his hazel-colored eyes.
"I don't want to hide it. And I'm sure that you don't want that as well! How can you be so calm? Why don't you fight for what's your natural right?"
"Alexander...I told you...it's..."
"Yeah...to protect me! I don't need no protection, Magnus! I want to live my life and be together with the person I suppose to be together with. And that's you! Not some Shadowhunter. By the Angels!"
Sadly, Magnus smiled at Alec, bringing his legs out of the bed as he watched the upset Shadowhunter.
"I'm sorry, Alexander. There's no way for us to be together...for now," Magnus answered sadly. "We have to accept that. You have to..."
"No! No, Magnus! I won't period! There's a way, I know it! And I will find it," Alec argued.
"Alexander..." Magnus started but got interrupted quickly by the angry Shadowhunter.
"No, no Magnus. Just...I'll leave. You feel better, and my parents will probably look out for me by now."
And with these words, Alec quickly turned around and left Magnus' bedroom.
Very soon after, Magnus heard the closing of his front door.
That wasn't how Magnus wanted it to become between him and Alec. If it had been up to him, Magnus would've kept this secret to himself. He would've kept his distance towards Alec, and it would have been just fine.
Well...whatever had made him think that it would come like that.
Nothing he'd ever planned had come the way he wanted to.
Magnus should've known it better.
It wasn't afternoon by now, and yet, Magnus felt drained again. But this time, it was more mental than physical. Knowing that he wouldn't be able to stop Alexander, Magnus sighed and got out of bed. Soon, he found himself dialing Catarina's number. He definitely needed his friends right now.
The moment Alec stepped into the institute, he was up and about to go to his parents to tell them the truth. But his sister stopped him before he could reach them.
"Where have you been?"
"Why does it matter to you?"
Alec was angry.
Finally finding out who his soulmate was, didn't make Alec as happy as he hoped it would. Lashing out at everyone who crossed his path was all he could do.
Alec just couldn't help himself. Izzy and Jace had their soulmates, they could be happy. But Alec? Of course, he couldn't be that lucky.
Thankfully, his sister knew him better than anyone - even better than Jace. She, for example, was the only one who knew that he was gay.
"You're my brother, dumbass," Izzy answered, rolling her eyes dramatically before she grabbed him by his wrist. "Whatever you're going to do, take a breathe before you do it and calm down big bro," she said, smiling up gently at him. "And tell me about it, so I can kick the person in the ass who annoyed you."
Alec sighed, knowing that Izzy, of course, was right. He was furious and definitely shouldn't meet his parents in that mood.
It wouldn't help him.
And so, Alec forced himself to relax a little and nodded in agreement.
"I'll tell you, but not here...don't want anyone else to hear about it until I've figured out, what to do," he said, suddenly feeling so much sadness like never before in his life. The possibility of not having a future with Magnus honestly broke his heart. Everything in Alec was already craving to be as close to Magnus as possible.
Izzy didn't need to hear much more. Dragging him away from the other Shadowhunters, they went upstairs to the roof. A place, Alec always enjoyed being there. Most of the other Shadowhunters didn't come up here, but Alec loved it. He'd spent many hours here, training, shooting arrows out into nowhere, or just with thinking.
"Okay, Alec. Spill it."
Izzy leaned against the wall, watching Alec with a somewhat worried expression.
"I found out who my soulmate is," Alec eventually answered, earning a delighted squeal from Izzy.
"Oh, Alec, that's great! Awesome! Who is it? And why, by the Angels, aren't you happy and grinning like an idiot?"
Alec crossed his arms the moment, Izzy wanted to come closer and hug him, not wanting to get touched for now. And his little sister stopped, apparently understanding his body language.
"That's the problem Iz...it's Magnus. Magnus Bane. And he doesn't want us to be together. He thinks that I will get hurt if I tell anyone, cause it happened in the past. Goddamnit, Izzy, I don't know how to cope with that," Alec almost growled. His voice carried so much hurt and anger as he filled his sister in to what Magnus had told him. Why they couldn't be together.
Izzy watched him, her face getting angrier and angrier with every word Alec spoke.
"Oh, come on! That can't be true! I've never heard of that before! So he wants you to keep it a secret? That you're soulmates?"
"Obviously. I don't know if I can do that, Iz. I..."
"You shouldn't have to! Mom and Dad will understand, I'm sure they will. Why wouldn't they? Go, tell them!"
Alec watched her for a moment...grateful that she thought the same. That she encouraged him to be honest with his parents. Alec didn't want to consider that they, out of all, would be against his relationship with Magnus. And neither did Izzy.
And that was, what Alec did. Much calmer now, he went straight to his parents' office.
Knocking on their door, he stepped inside without waiting for an answer.
"Alec! Good, you're here! We have excellent news for you!"
His mother greeted him with a bright smile. A blonde woman was joining them, sitting on the couch, but Alec didn't waste time looking at her.
"I have great news for you as well," he simply replied. But well, he was polite enough to wait for his parents to tell their news first.
Alec's father rose to his feet, joining his mother beside the blonde woman.
"Alexander, meet Lydia Branwell," Robert said solemnly, his voice full of pride.
Alec politely smiled at the blonde woman, Lydia, and nodded his head in her direction. He'd heard from her a few times but hadn't met her until now.
And he honestly didn't care about her at this very moment. But yet, Alec waited, because well, that couldn't be the news his parents had mentioned, right?
"You and Lydia should get to know each other better. You're going to get married by the end of the week."
By every fucking Angel out there, Alec hated his life.