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Private ease my mind

Discussion in 'Pandopolis' started by Alec Lightwood, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    january 18th, year 108
    @Magnus Bane

    It had been a long patrol. Alec felt like there was two strings tying his shoulder blades together, drawing them tight. He wanted to go home and curl up on the sofa in front of the fire, preferably with Magnus right beside him. For a while, after he'd gotten back from searching the newly rearranged Pandora for Magnus, he'd put off going back to work. Didn't want to leave the house and come back to find Magnus wasn't there. The thought that he'd lost him, the one that had haunted him the entire time he'd looked at him, had been so big and terrifying he could barely comprehend it.

    But he'd found Magnus (or they'd found each other really) and they'd gone back to their house where which had survived, somehow, was back as good as new - even their cat had turned up - and he'd spent as much time as he could manage with him. But things eventually had to move on - as much as he would have liked to spend a lifetime doing nothing but lounging around the house with Magnus, it wasn't in his blood. And it wasn’t in Magnus' either.

    So they'd gone back to work.

    And things were good.

    And then they weren't. There's something....off. Alec couldn't figure it out. He'd been trying to avoid it but it was like a toothache, something he couldn’t stop prodding. He kept telling himself it was just the patrols - he was working more and more lately and taking on more than he probably should have.

    It was stress. Just stress.

    When work calmed down his head would clear, and he'd find that he'd been building everything up in his head.

    It was cold out, on the walk home and he was all too eager to get inside when he walked up the pathway to the house. He toed off his boots as soon as he got inside, hanging up his bow on the weapons rack he'd put up (small and unobtrusive but he couldn't go down to the basement every time he needed a weapon) and stretched, rolling his shoulders in an attempt to get out the ache.

    "Magnus?" he called. "You home?"
     
  2. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus was reading another letter. This one was new - and it was the 10th one in two weeks. Some days he got none, and others he got two or three; never from the same person but always with the same meaning behind them.

    It was impossible. They were dead, every last one of them. Axel and Elizabeth and George and Imasu, among the numerous other exes... none of them were alive. And even if they were, if there was some chance they were here in Pandora, none of them felt the need to contact him before now. He abused some of his power as the Head of a government department to go through the records of the citizens here, but there wasn't a single mention of any of them. None of the 10 whose names were signed at the bottom of the letters he keeps receiving.

    He couldn't just throw them away or write them off. It was their handwriting, and they wrote of things that only they would know. Except the words were harsh. Each letter seemed to be worse than the last, picking apart things Magnus said or did during their time together. How quickly he tossed aside a fling after a night, how careless he was with the emotions of others, how he could never truly love a mortal knowing they would leave him in the end... how he didn't deserve for them to stay, how he would never be worthy of the sort of love that would truly last a lifetime, not after everything he's done in his life. Not with who he was, deep down, at his core.

    Such harsh truths to consider in any light, but coming from those he loved, to know he hurt them so... they got under his skin one word at a time. He was re-reading the letter he received today when he heard Alec's voice sound from down the hall. With a wave of his hand the letter in his hands vanished, finding its home in an envelope in the back of the bedroom closet. It was the safest place - his new personal assistant at the office was too ambitious for his own good and would likely discover them, but Alec rarely went digging through the closet when he could just grab the cleanest thing closest to the front.

    "In here, darling." Magnus called from the living room where he sat with a mostly-empty drink beside him. "How was patrol?" He tried to focus, but his mind was still on the words from the letter no matter how much he tried to forget them.
     
  3. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Despite all that had happened, Alec still marveled at the feeling that came over him every time he stepped into the house. Their house. He'd never imagined he'd have anything like it - never let himself imagine a future that wasn't about being a Shadowhunter or running an Institute. And here he was in Pandora, where there was no Institute and his life didn't revolve around saving the world.

    He still did patrols, but it wasn't - it was a job. Not his life.

    Most of the time. Sometimes he still got a little carried away, too focused on the fact that every patrol meant keeping people safe so that it was a bit hard to put it aside, sometimes.

    But the was getting better.

    Magnus' voice came from the living room and Alec padded down the hallway, expression softening at the sight of him. "It was alright," he said, the line of his shoulders tenser than usual, and when he came over to press a kiss to Magnus' lips, he grimaced, just a little at the pull. He wasn't sure what he'd done to make the muscles in his back so mad at him, but he'd have to activate a rune or something later. "Same as usual," he expands, glancing at the nearly-empty drink beside him. Magnus drinking wasn't out of the ordinary in the least, but Alec still wondered if that was the first, or one of many.

    He immediately felt bad for thinking so.

    "How was your day?" he asked, wanting to sit down but still hoping that the longer he stood the less his...entire body would ache.

    It was looking less and less likely by the moment. ​
     
  4. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Oh, nothing exciting here." He said dismissively. He wondered if he should tell Alec. He knew that it'd be the right thing to do - maybe he'd have some insight that Magnus was lacking. Or, at the very least, some better advice on what to do about the letters besides keep them hidden to pull out and read two or three times a day until he can recite each one by heart. Every last painful word.

    He looked up at Alec, who was still standing, and really looked at him for the first time since he came home, and caught the tension in his stance, the slight grimace that came when he shifted the wrong way. That was a long time of Alec walking in and pulling faces, now that he thinks back on it. Plenty of things he should've noticed sooner, but he didn't, because his mind was elsewhere.

    He reached for the glass on the table beside him and finished it. "Did you hurt yourself? Here, let me look." Magnus stood, already bringing his hands up, ready to hover over Alec's shoulders with a spark of blue.
     
    #4 Magnus Bane, Jan 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  5. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec hummed slightly, in response. He doubted that anything Magnus ever did was 'nothing exciting' but then again, Alec never shared all the various things he did on patrol because they were pretty normal for him. Also, he knew Magnus worried and telling him about every close call on patrol was just a recipe for disaster.

    He watched Magnus down the rest of his drink and stand up, a curl of a smile on his mouth. Whatever stress came from patrol, it melted into the background with Magnus in front of him.

    The smile turned toward a slight frown as Magnus stepped forward, hands up, and he put a gentle hand up to block him, just in case he was going to start using his magic without letting Alec reply. "No it's - it's just sore. It was a long patrol." He attempted to lean in for a kiss instead, fingers curling around one of his wrists. "I just need a hot shower or something."

    He didn't like Magnus wasting magic on him when it wasn't necessary. He never knew when he might need it. ​
     
  6. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus wanted to help, but Alec brought a hand up to stop him. No, it was more than that. Magnus needed to help. Because the words that swirled around his head were of how selfish he always is - how those around him will never do anything other than sacrifice for him. And he sees it here, with Alec in pain and not willing to accept Magnus' help because it would inconvenience him.

    Magnus barely responded to the kiss, allowing Alec's hand to pull his down from where it reached towards his shoulder, aware of Alec's fingers around his wrist, aware of the lips pressed against his own, but going through the motions rather than properly giving any of it the attention he should.

    "Alright, then."


    He pulled back, sparing another glance to Alec's shoulder. "I think there's one of those heating pads in the closet?" Not allowing Magnus to use his magic for every little ache isn't anything new, so Magnus went out and bought a few things meant to help a few weeks back.

    "I can get something whipped up for dinner while you shower." He offers, desperately wanting to feel useful enough to bring himself out of this hole he's fallen in.
     
  7. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    A tiny furrow deepened between Alec's brow when Magnus barely kissed him back. Maybe he was just tired. He smiled, looking just the slightest bit uncertain as Magnus started talking about a heating pad. He nodded. "Okay," he said. He was pretty sure a hot shower would be all it would take to get rid of the aches.

    "Oh," he said. "Yeah that'd be nice - if you want." He shrugs, and winces just a little bit. "Unless you wanted to....?" he offered, a tilt to his smile, although he knows Magnus isn't going to come shower with him almost before it's out of his mouth. There was something distracted about him, something a little off and Alec tried his best to push it aside because maybe he was just....maybe he was just making mountains out of a molehill.

    He didn't want Magnus getting upset with him because he kept pushing. ​
     
  8. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Great." The word was out of his mouth and he's standing to head towards the kitchen before Alec could even continue, missing the second part of his question entirely as he turned to make his way back towards he kitchen. Honestly, he needed the distraction. He needed the time to pull himself together, because for some reason he hadn't been ready for how just looking at Alec would feel after his day of self-loathing.

    He managed to convince himself that he'd be able to switch those thoughts off and be completely fine once Alec was back home, but that clearly wasn't the case, and he had to sort himself out before he said - or did - something stupid. The nagging voice in the back of his head told him to just talk to Alec about the letters, but he firmly ignored it.

    "It'll be ready by the time you're done." He called back over his shoulder, hoping the enthusiasm he tried to toss in this time carried through from his slightly more lifeless responses before. See, an improvement already, he thought. This was going to be fine.
     
  9. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Well, he'd been right about Magnus not wanting to shower with him. It seemed like he'd barely even heard the question at all, already turning to go into the kitchen. Alec's face fell, feeling a little like there was more distance between them than just the feet between the living room and kitchen.

    He wanted to follow, to make Magnus tell him what as the matter but he knew Magnus would just tell him it was nothing. Or maybe it was nothing. Maybe Alec was just jumping to conclusions. It'd been a hard few weeks, being away from Magnus, searching for him, he couldn't help that when they'd finally been reunited, he was a little overprotective.

    It didn't really show any signs of abating though, which was kind of.... he figured Magnus would find it smothering, eventually, and he didn't want to give him any reason to push him away.

    "Oh," Alec said to himself, blinking at the empty space in the room as Magnus sped out of there. "Okay," he said, loud, for Magnus to hear, before trudging to the bathroom to take a nice, hot shower.

    When he stepped out, the tension was still there between his shoulder blades, and he'd managed to convince himself that he'd done something that'd upset Magnus somehow. He couldn't think of anything, but he'd been working a lot lately and sometimes his mind went on autopilot.

    He got dressed, a pair of sweats and a dark tee, wet hair falling into his face. He headed toward the kitchen, hoping things would be less....off. ​
     
  10. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus didn't want to upset Alec. He really, truly didn't. So when he heard that fall in his voice at the 'Okay' before he left to take his shower, he couldn't shake feeling like so much of a burden in this relationship right now, and he knew he had to fix it.

    First, he poured himself another healthy portion of whiskey that he tilted back and finished in one go. Time was, of course, of the essence here. And then he set to work on dinner, all the while systematically forcing all thoughts of the letters and their contents into the back of his mind.

    When Alec came back out of the bathroom in sweatpants and a t-shirt, hair still damp, Magnus was very determined to make sure he wiped any trace of things not being fine in his life from his face, voice, and actions. In fact, he was so determined to make things less off between the two of them that he - in true Magnus Bane fashion - overdid it just a little.

    Okay, a lot.

    "I hope pasta is alright! I didn't want anything that'd take too long to cook, but we had leftover chicken from yesterday to add in for a quick scampi." His voice was bright, and full of an enthusiasm that he didn't feel, not really, but that he placed there anyway. There was a smile on his face that he did his absolute best to keep there, even as he turned away from Alec to toss the pasta and sauce in the pan with the chicken, because he was afraid if he dropped it for even the briefest moment he wouldn't be able to get it back.

    He walked away from the pan, letting it simmer as he walked over to Alec, leaning in for a kiss on skin still warm from the hot water running over it the past few minutes. "How was the shower? Shoulder feeling better?" It was as if nothing that happened when Alec first came in ever transpired.
     
  11. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec blinked at the onslaught of words as he padded into the kitchen, glancing over at the stove where the food was being prepared. That feeling that something was off was back and Alec watched him helplessly, wondering if he should say something or just let it be. He didn't - he was still getting used to things, he supposed. They'd been together for a while but there was always new things to learn.

    Like letting his boyfriend be when he was pretty sure there was something wrong but didn't want to ask in case there wasn't, and he was just being annoying.

    "Yeah that sounds...good," he said, watching as Magnus turned to tinker with the food. he smiled, slightly, when Magnus came over, lips finding skin, and he paused, stilling a shrug because then it'd be pretty obvious when he winced that the shower hadn't helped, and he didn't want Magnus worrying.

    He was fine.

    "It's alright," he said, gaze drifting over Magnus' face.

    He looked at him for a few moments, lips parted like he wanted to say something but wasn't sure what, but he settled for taking one of Magnus' hands in his, just to hold it. ​
     
  12. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus thought he could sense the tension still in Alec's shoulders, the way he held them too still, but he didn't want to pry. Because if he asked too many questions about what Alec might be trying to keep from him, that would open him up to the same questions from Alec, and that wasn't something he wanted just then.

    So he allowed Alec to say it was alright, even though he was pretty sure it wasn't.

    "Maybe after dinner I could give you a massage," he suggested with a wink, giving the hand that Alec continued to hold a little squeeze as he leaned over to turn the burner off with his free hand. "No magic, I promise." He added quickly, knowing that Alec already made it very clear he didn't want him to heal whatever was wrong with him.

    But he didn't say anything about going about trying to help in more mundane ways.
     
  13. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    His stomach grumbled slightly, and he realized how hungry he was. He'd never been very good about eating on patrol - mind always distracted by what needed to be done instead of what he needed.

    A smile slid over Alec's mouth at the suggestion, head ducking just a little bit. "Yeah, that might be nice," he admitted, even if he didn't really want to trouble Magnus about a sore shoulder. "Could return the favor after, see if I'm picking up any new skills," he suggested.

    It sounded like a nice night in.

    Massages and scampi.

    Maybe it would help the both of them start feeling normal again, although Alec still wasn't sure what was wrong in the first place. ​
     
  14. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "That sounds like the perfect night," Magnus says, and at least that much he doesn't have to lie about. It does sound like a lovely evening in with his boyfriend, and if he can manage to do something about that ache of Alec's, all the better. "Now take a seat, I'll have the food over in a second. There's some wine out, if you want." Alcohol with Alec was hit or miss, and almost entirely dependent on his mood from day to day, so instead of pouring it for them ahead of time he's taken to simply putting the offer out there and waiting for Alec to decide. All he knows is that he's definitely having a glass - or several - with dinner tonight.

    Magnus busies himself plating up the food and bringing it over to the table for them, setting it down with a flourish and a smile. "Bon Appetit." He remains standing just long enough to pour himself a glass of wine before taking his own seat.

    "Hey, strange question, but - you haven't been getting any letters lately, have you?" He can't imagine that he has - Alec isn't the best liar, and he doesn't seem like he's hiding anything, but he has to ask. He's too curious - what if Alec is getting them, too? Or what if Alec's found some of the ones meant for him? Magnus can't always guarantee he's the first to check for any mail, not that they ever get much of it here.

    He tries to sound as nonchalant as possible while asking, following the query with an immediate, and long, sip of his wine.
     
  15. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec smiled, glad that suggestion went over well. He eyed the table for a moment before taking a seat, trying to decide if he felt like wine tonight. He's tired and sometimes alcohol makes him even sleepier, but honestly, at this point that's a pro rather a con. He pours himself a glass, not too much, setting the wine back and taking a small sip.

    He's better about not grimacing every time anything remotely alcoholic touched his lips, and he likes wine better than most of the other things Magnus has been known to serve. Soon enough the food is brought over and Alec's stomach growls audibly.

    He's about to lift a forkful to his mouth when Magnus speaks, and he paused, a brow quirked upward. "No, I don't think so," he said, frowning just a little. "Everyone usually just texts me," he said with a shrug, although the number of people texting him was relatively small.

    "Why?" he asked, curiously. ​
     
  16. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus frowns. He's relieved, of course, because these aren't the sorts of letters that he would actually want Alec to receive... but a selfish part of him hoped that maybe he was getting something similar, just so Magnus could know he wasn't the only one. That this wasn't some strange thing singling him out in this world.

    "No reason." He shrugged. "I was just wondering if anyone ever bothered with post mail these days." It was such an obscure question that there was no way Alec could tie it to the real reason he was asking, so he figured he was safe enough there. He'd just have to keep an eye on the letters coming in and make sure to get to them before Alec did.

    Assuming, of course, this was going to continue. But at the rate it was picking up Magnus didn't see it stopping any time soon.

    He takes a few small bites of his own dinner, though his appetite is almost entirely nonexistent. He mostly ignores the food in favor of finishing the wine in his glass, trying to make the second glass he pours as nonchalant as possible.

    "I was thinking of going into town tomorrow. Do you need anything?" He hadn't been, but the words slip out in his attempt to do something to make himself feel useful here.
     
  17. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    "Oh." he said, shrugging. "Yeah, I think most people text if they can," he said. It was easier. Alec preferred to use fire messages sometimes but they were hard to send when there were only a handful of other people from his world in Pandora and everyone else seemed to have no idea what a fire message was.

    He works on his dinner then, his stomach grumbling annoyedly at the delay. He didn't think he'd ever get used to how good Magnus' cooking was. Before Magnus, he used to eat take away in the Institute - that or anything instant. It was far better than eating Izzy's cooking, or his own.

    Alec chews the bite of food in his mouth as he considers. "Hmm. No I don't think so," he said. "Thanks though."