Pairing: Magnus Bane/Alec Lightwood
Summary: Alec turns up unannounced and discovers a party he hasn't been invited to. Just a fluffyish little scene that demanded to be written, really.
AN: Set after City of Fallen Angels, but doesn't reference the events - one major spoiler for City of Glass.
Alec stood on the steps in front of the door to Magnus' apartment building and chewed his nail. The amount of light and music coming from the windows upstairs suggested heavily that a party was in full swing, and he hadn't expected that. He'd hoped to catch Magnus on his own, he wasn't in the mood for socialising. Not that he ever was, much. He had no desire to interrupt, and even less inclination to raise the awkward question of why he hadn't been invited in the first place.
He was on the brink of turning away when the centre of the wooden door shimmered slightly and a giant eye appeared in the woodwork, staring at him.
Alec frowned. "Uh. I - " he started, embarrassed, only for the eye to wink slowly and deliberately at him. It closed again and was still. The door clicked open.
"Right." Trust Magnus to have this kind of security system. Still, Alec reflected with a glimmer of hope, he might not have been on the guest list, but he was at least apparently welcome.
Pushing open the door at the top of the steps he found himself in a welter of noise. Magnus had apparently had enough of ethereal faerie bands, as in the corner a decidedly hairy rock group was belting out a raucous number. Werewolves, Alec thought, frowning slightly.
A ripple in the crowd, and there was Magnus, pushing his way out of a knot of pink-haired nixies.
"Alec!" Magnus' expression was one of surprised pleasure, mingled with concern - not, Alec was relieved to note, irritation or guilt. "Is everything alright?"
Alec realised how it must look, turning up out of the blue, and hastily reassured him. "Yes. Yes, everything's fine," he lied. "I - just - "
He wasn't sure how he would have finished the sentence, but he didn't have to; Magnus had reached him, slipped an arm around his neck, and kissed him hello.
Aware of the curious stares of the people around them, Alec squirmed a little, but at the same time a warmth flared in his stomach that hadn't been there before. He smiled up at the spiky haired warlock with more conviction than before.
"I would have invited you," Magnus was saying, waving a vague hand at the rest of the room. "But I thought you wanted to spend some time with your family."
It was the first night since they'd been back from Europe when there hadn't been some kind of high drama unfolding. They'd parted at the Institute earlier with a promise to see each other the following day. That had been roughly six hours ago, Alec realised sheepishly.
"Yeah," Alec shrugged, sighed. "Well."
Magnus eyed him shrewdly, then slipped a hand in his. "Well dearheart, seeing as you're here, you'd better come and meet this bunch of reprobates."
For the next half an hour, Alec trailed from group to group behind Magnus, smiling politely back at the open stares he received. He realised he must look a dismal sight beside the warlock, who was dressed in a silk shirt that changed colour every few seconds over a pair of scarlet leather trousers that were more buckle than material.
Alec was wearing threadbare jeans and a faded jumper. He hadn't expected a party, he argued with himself, then wondered somewhat forlornly what he'd have worn if he had.
A disturbance broke out at the far end of the room, as a green skinned faerie blithely requested the werewolf band play Hound Dog. Magnus rolled his eyes, then glanced at the clock high on the wall. It was a few seconds to midnight.
"Right. Cinderella hour," he muttered. "Hold on to me."
Alec took the hand he was offered automatically, as Magnus flicked the fingers of the other in a discreet gesture of dismissal. As the clock struck twelve, every partygoer suddenly felt seized by the compulsion to depart, and filed out of the door with varying expressions of surprise, some still carrying their drinks.
As the door banged shut behind the last one, Magnus looked round at him and grinned. "A handy little spell. If you don't mind tripping over hundreds of odd shoes on the steps the next morning."
Alec smiled, despite himself. He was never entirely sure when Magnus was joking. "And this was to stop me being sent out too?" he asked, raising their entwined fingers questioningly.
Magnus looked shocked. "I'm hurt you think one of my spells would be so imprecise." He grinned. "No, I just wanted to hold your hand."
Alec finally laughed then, relaxing slightly. "I'm sorry," he murmured after a second.
Magnus frowned delicately. "While the enormity of getting a Shadowhunter to apologise about anything ever is not lost on me - I have to wonder what it is you're sorry about?" he enquired, squeezing Alec's hand.
"I didn't mean to gatecrash your party," Alec mumbled.
Magnus shook his head dismissively. "I told you, I would have invited you if I'd thought - "
"And I'm sorry you were lumbered with dragging me round with you the rest of the time," Alec ploughed on, determined to finish. "I'm - just not the world's best mingler."
Magnus was looking genuinely bewildered now. "Alec - " he sighed. "I was showing you off."
It was Alec's turn to frown. "You were?" He looked lost and Magnus laughed at him, not unkindly.
"Come on." He tugged gently at Alec's hand, still folded into his, and pulled him across the open living space and into the cosier confines of his bedroom.
"Still. You probably wouldn't have cut things short if I hadn't turned up," Alec persisted, sitting self-consciously next to him on the canary yellow bedspread.
Magnus made a despairing noise in his throat. "Alexander Lightwood. Why do you think I threw a party in the first place?"
Alec looked at him blankly, and Magnus took both his hands in his. "To distract me from the fact that this was the first night in ages I've not been with you. I thought you'd be deep in the albeit rather repressed bosom of your family by now."
"Yeah, well. Izzy's off somewhere with Simon. And my mother's not exactly in the most talkative of moods. And - and I don't even know where Jace has gone." Alec stared at the floor miserably. "I thought - "
"You're always welcome here. You know that." Magnus leaned over and planted a kiss where Alec's shoulder met his neck. Alec sighed, miserably, and Magnus slid his arms around him. "Right. And the rest. Out with it."
"It just seemed - so empty somehow. At the Institute. Not like home any more." Alec hesitated. "Without - " he broke off, staring into space.
"Max?" Magnus finished for him, softly.
Alec nodded, the room blurring slightly as tears he wouldn't shed in front of his family welled up, unbidden. The arms round him tightened, and he buried his face in Magnus' neck, forcing down the grief for his little brother with an act of will.
"It's okay to cry you know," Magnus murmured, stroking his back. "I won't tell," he added, pressing a kiss to Alec's hair.
Alec shook his head stubbornly, sitting up again. "I'm fine," he managed, blinking fiercely.
"Oh Alec." Magnus shook his head. "What am I going to do with you?"
Alec raised a watery smile. "The mind boggles."
Magnus laughed, accepting for now that Alec wanted to change the subject. "Well therein lies a challenge. Seeing as how you're already on my bed and everything."
"I don't know how you can even sleep in something this bright," Alec jibed, pretending to shade his eyes from the vividly coloured bedclothes.
"Hmph. Very well, is this more to your taste?" Magnus waved his hand and the duvet and pillowcases promptly turned into pink gingham with little pink satin bows all over them. Alec gave him a look and Magnus sighed. "No?"
Alec raised an eyebrow, and Magnus sniggered. Waved his hand again and the cover set swapped out into sober navy blue. "Better?"
"Much." Alec smiled, appreciating Magnus' attempt to cheer him up. "You're barmy, you know that?"
"Would you have me any other way?" Magnus fluttered eyelashes that were laden with silver glitter and Alec pushed him teasingly.
"So, are you staying?" Magnus asked after a moment, sliding his hand over Alec's where it rested on the covers.
"I should go back."
"No pumpkin, what you should do is get out of those clothes and come and snuggle." As he spoke Magnus started discarding his own clothes with a lack of inhibition that still made Alec blush even after weeks of travelling with the man.
Magnus strode into the bathroom without looking round. Alec made up his mind and quickly disrobed himself, until he was in boxer shorts and vest. He climbed into the bed, noting that Magnus' now sedately shaded linen hid a lurid purple sheet underneath. He smiled and slid under the covers, enjoying the feel of the cool cotton against his legs.
Magnus reappeared, a lime-green silk robe belted around his waist, and his hair de-spiked and loose to his shoulders. Shedding the robe, he climbed in behind Alec and before the younger boy could object had gathered him firmly into his arms.
After a second, Alec's tension melted away and he shifted bonelessly into the embrace with a quiet sigh. They might have been back in town for a couple of days, but now, finally, it felt like he'd come home.