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Complete this is the (apartment) hunt

Discussion in 'Pandora Town' started by Magnus Bane, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    December 15th, year 7
    Tag: @Alec Lightwood

    The timing for this was either the best or the worst, and Magnus hadn't fully decided one way or the other yet. Isabelle was missing... though at this point it was safe to assume that the girl was no longer in Pandora at all. He didn't know if this was better or worse than missing, only that Alec was still justifiably troubled over it. And looking for an apartment was either going to be a wonderful distraction, or entirely tainted by the idea that he was trying to move on with his life here without any real closure over it.

    But he was trying his best to keep this a positive experience, mostly because they needed a place that wasn't the hotel. It was nice for a while, being close by when something went wrong around the Valentino, having the easy food and drink options available from the restaurant downstairs, the pool for swimming if they wanted, etc... but it was also a hotel. It was difficult for it to feel like home when it was also work. Not to mention the fact that Magnus liked the idea of starting somewhere from scratch with Alexander, somewhere they could make uniquely their own.

    "Alright, what's first on the list," he said, turning to Alec who was currently in possession of a few open listings they came across around town.
     
  2. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    The past few weeks had been...well, difficult. The fact that he’d been unable to find Isabelle was eating at him, and while it seemed to be an obvious conclusion that she’d disappeared, he wasn’t so sure. But there was nothing he could do about it at the moment, so when Magnus brought up looking for an apartment, it seemed like a good distraction.

    Even if he was a little distracted from the distraction.

    “Ummm,” Alec said, glancing down at the list. “There’s one – does this say three bedrooms?” He squinted at it, then glanced over to Magnus. “Why do we need three bedrooms?” Honestly, Alec couldn’t quite comprehend having that much space. Growing up, he’d lived at the Institute, which while expansive, only one room was his and it was about as impersonal as it could get. And then there was the hotel which was certainly bigger, but it’d always felt more like Magnus’ than his. He wasn’t really even sure where to start.

    “It’s in Silverpool,” he said. That was a start – it was close to the hotel, which meant Magnus wouldn’t have to go far for work, though he wasn’t sure that was really a concern given Magnus could just portal there whenever he wanted. Maybe he’d like it if he saw it though. ​
     
  3. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Well, I suppose strictly speaking we don't need three bedrooms," Magnus commented with a casual shrug. "But it isn't like we have to keep them bedrooms - you could turn them into all sorts of things. We can fireproof an entire room for Artemis if we wanted." Magnus laughed, though it wasn't a half-bad idea the more he thought about it after the joke.

    "There are all sorts and sizes on there, though. It isn't like we're committing to anything just because we look at it - better to get an idea of all the options out there instead of looking at the same thing over and over." That was his tactic, at least. They could look at 50 one bedroom apartments, but they'd all just be one bedroom apartments, and probably all mostly the same. At least this way they'd get an idea of the different areas that had buildings to rent from, and who knew, maybe he could convince Alec that they could use all the space that came with some of the roomier options. He could certainly afford them, so why not?

    "It's close. Good place to start, then we can work our way out." Setting aside an entire day to look at potential places was either a great idea or a terrible one - getting it all out of the way in one shot seemed like a good idea, but would they still feel that way after the first two or three, if they even made it that far? He supposed they would find out.
     
  4. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec grinned, huffing a little laugh of his own. It wasn’t like Artemis set a lot of stuff on fire, but it was certainly a risk. Maybe they did need a fireproof room for her. He looked down at the list again, then back to Magnus and gave a little nod. That made sense. He didn’t know the first thing about looking for a new place to live but he assumed Magnus would have at least some sort of idea. How many different places had he lived over the years?

    “That sounds like a good idea,”
    he agreed, putting the list back in his pocket. Despite everything going on at the moment, he was still excited about the prospect of having a place that was just his and Magnus’. The suite had been theirs, sure, in the fact that he spent every night there and all his stuff was there, but it still wasn’t something they’d picked out together and decided to live in.

    “Is there anything you want in a place?” he asked, curiously. “I mean besides a fireproof room for Artemis?” he teased, starting in the direction of the address. ​
     
  5. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "A mansion with vaulted ceilings and a wine cellar," Magnus replied without hesitation, before pausing, breaking into a grin, and laughing.

    In honest answer to Alec's question Magnus could only give a little noncommittal shrug. "When you find the right place, you'll realize it. Maybe not at first, but every place just sort of has that 'moment' when you can either see yourself living there, or you can't." It was difficult to explain, but he hoped he was getting the general idea of it across. "If you go in hung up on white cabinets or a blue carpet, nothing is ever going to be perfect enough. And honestly, most things like that you can change if you wanted to anyway."

    He had to remember that this was Alec's first time looking for a place that would actually be his, and not just a room he had somewhere else, or a place he just sort of stumbled into through Magnus like with (what he assumed happened with) the loft back in New York and the penthouse suite here in Pandora. And for that reason Magnus was extra aware of Alec's reactions as they made it to the first building and were let in to look around at the first option, wanting to make sure he didn't end up talking his boyfriend into something he didn't want for his first real place.
     
  6. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec’s brows rose for a second, looking like he was thinking about the logistics of that – honestly, he’d live wherever with Magnus just so long as it was theirs, but he did look a little relieved when Magnus broke into a grin.

    He didn’t really like not knowing what, exactly, they were looking for. It was always easier for him to have a plan, something concrete to stride toward, but it made sense. There were so many different places in Pandora as well, that it might be impossible to find something specific, or they might find something they hadn’t even known they’d wanted. “Okay,” he said, nodding at that. He could work with that.

    The first place wasn’t bad. It looked like it’d be nice to live in and while it was big, Alec didn’t have any complaints about it. “I like it,” he said, after they’d toured all the rooms, glancing idly around. It was true – it was a nice place, but he didn’t feel any special connection to it. He could picture living here, but in the way that he could manage to picture just about anywhere. “What do you think?” he asked. ​
     
  7. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    There were a lot of empty rooms, certainly more than the couple needed, but that didn't stop Magnus from mentally filling each and every one of them as they walked through. A study, a practice/training room, perhaps a room entirely devoted to Artemis and some cat-specific toys and towers that they could get for her with the right amount of space... yes, it was big, but it also wasn't as if he didn't have ideas for what they could do with all the space if they had it.

    "It's nice," he agreed, but could already tell from the casual way Alec said it that he wasn't in love with the place. "It might be a bit more space than we really need, though I'm sure we could find ways to use it all." He said, vocalizing what he was thinking only moments before Alec asked. "We'll just have to see how it compares to the others."

    He gave Alec a questioning look to see if he was ready to move on to the next ones or if he'd rather spend some more time looking around here. This wasn't the first time Magnus looked for a place to live, so he had it down to a finely tuned art-form at this point, of knowing what to look for where, and what was worth the price for him. But for Alec, with everything to take in, he didn't want to rush him if he wanted to give it more time to really look around.
     
  8. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec nodded. “Alright,” he said, taking one last look around the place. He caught Magnus look and gave another nod, heading toward the door and stepping out onto the doorstep. He took the list out to find the next house, turning as Magnus came out to offer his hand. “Look’s like we’re going to Blackhaven now?” he said, angling his head toward the list that he held in his free hand.

    “An apartment, I think.”

    He knew that area well enough, so he led the way.

    Alec eyed the street, mouth pressed into a thin line – he was pretty sure he’d killed a demon down that alleyway at the end. The apartment looked nice enough, however. It wasn’t falling down or anything and he looked from the door to Magnus and gave a nod. “It’s close to where I patrol,” he said, but wasn’t sure if that was a pro or con. And actually, he was pretty sure it was in the territory he did patrol. ​
     
  9. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    It was a nicer part of Blackhaven, which Magnus had to give the area credit for. Things over in this section of town weren't always the best, not when he first arrived, so to see the transformation that happened over just a couple of years was rather impressive.

    "Close to work is nice," Magnus said, also sounding a bit unsure. The building itself did look nice enough, he observed from the outside. That was the point of this day - a variety of apartments in a variety of locations. Everything was worth a shot.

    Or so he thought, until they were allowed inside the apartment they came to look at. Size-wise it was pretty nice, with two bedrooms, two baths, and a decently sized living area. The kitchen was very small, and a dining area entirely nonexistent, but... well, the size of the space was about all it had going for it.

    The rest of the building was a disaster, from the broken elevator that forced them to take a stairwell up to the third floor, to the stairwell itself which looked like it hadn't been cleaned in.... ever. The empty apartment was much the same - apparently the last tenant vanished so everything they owned was left behind, but the room itself looked as if it hadn't been touched in months. Dust gathered on everything and the pain on the walls was cracking in a number of places, wallpaper peeling and more than a few patches of carpet ruined by burn marks.

    "I wonder who used to live here," he said, trying to sound conversational and not judgmental, but failing pretty miserably. "...they weren't too big on upkeep, were they?"
     
  10. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    It was close to Alec’s work – which was a plus, it meant less time trying to get home – and for Magnus it didn’t really matter how far away they lived considering he could just portal.

    But inside. Inside was...well, no proximity to work was worth what waited for them inside. He wouldn’t have minded the broken elevator – he was perfectly capable of making it up three flights, or the small kitchen, or even the lack of dining area. But the whole apartment was just...dirty. Those things might have been easy to fix – though Alec wasn’t sure he wanted to know what was with the burned carpet, but everything together was hardly a promising picture.

    “I....don’t think they were,” Alec agreed. He eyed Magnus, moving a little closer to him like he was afraid someone might overhear. “I don’t...think this is the place, do you?” he asked – and he wanted to be optimistic and say that he could live just about anywhere, but there was just a feeling about this place.

    The feeling said: don’t. ​
     
  11. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Somewhere in his mind he knew that everything he disliked about the apartment was something he could change. They could trade out the carpets for different flooring, and cleaning up the area was far from impossible, but the fact that no effort had been made into making the place a little more presentable before showing it to potential buyers made him question how any other sort of upkeep would be for things around the building.

    It wasn't promising. "I don't think so either," Magnus agreed, glad that Alec had said it first. With a pleasant smile and the promise to get back to the landlord once they talked it over, he felt rather relieved once they left the building. "Alright, well, nowhere to go but up from there, right? What's next?"

    For the next two hours they hopped around the different districts within Pandora Town, looking at three other apartments, for a grand total of five (except it was really four once you entirely discounted the Blackhaven one) apartments as the sun was starting to set for the day. There was one last option on their list - an address for a small house in River Street, the only actual house on the list.

    Honestly, Magnus wasn't sold on the idea, but he threw it in for good measure, just to see. It was recently listed, a decent price for the land it was on (and the only of their options that would have any sort of yard to speak of), but it was a house, and after his flat in Brooklyn and the penthouse suite here in Pandora, the idea of living in anything other than an apartment just felt weird to even consider.

    But he kept all of that to himself, and reminded himself to keep an open mind as they got close. "Alright, last one." He announced as they found the right street.
     
  12. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    By the time they got to the last option, Alec was a little overwhelmed. There were so many different places, each with their own pros and cons and honestly, Alec would be fine living in all of them (except the one in Blackhaven). He didn’t really feel especially swayed toward any particular one – which, wasn’t really a bad thing. After all, he just wanted to be with Magus. Having a place away from work, where he wouldn’t have to share Magnus with anyone who knocked on their door in the middle of the night because they had a problem, was enough.

    The last one was in the River Street district, somewhere Alec hadn’t had much cause to frequent before. It was also a house which was....also a novel idea for him. He’d only ever lived at the Institute, or with Magnus and the idea of having a place with more than one room that was just his (well his and Magnus’) was appealing. He wasn’t expecting much though – houses always seemed like something other people had. Mundanes, mostly.

    “The street looks nice,” Alec said, as they made their way down it. There weren’t any dark alleyways or broken down buildings and it was quiet without looking as if no one lived there. The house was nice too, when they finally approached it. Small, but nice. “I don’t think they’ll be room in there for Artemis’ own room,” Alec said, angling his head toward Magnus so that they real estate agent who was coming outside wouldn’t’ hear him, mostly joking. ​
     
  13. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus wondered if trying to fit so many different places into one day was a bad idea. He didn't want to scare Alec off of the idea entirely by overwhelming him with too much, but at the same time finding the better part of a day that the two of them were both free to do such things was nearly impossible, and it made the most sense to try and get as much done as they could with it.

    Alec made a few small observations as they walked down the street and up to the house, and Magnus nodded alongside him. The street was nice. And the house itself had a certain charm to it, even just from the outside. "No, I doubt it. But she doesn't seem to mind the penthouse, so..." he knew Alec was joking, mostly, but it was to that bit of truth behind the words that he decided to comment on anyway. After all, the other places were a bit larger, and there had been casual discussion over a little room just for Artemis and her growing collection of toys, small beds and pillows, and soon a little tower to climb on (since Magnus hasn't left the cat out of Christmas, after all).

    They greeted the agent and went inside, the small front hallway breaking off into an open living area and kitchen, with two doors on either side before that going into a bathroom, and a space that looked about right for a potential bedroom. The real estate agent gave them some space to wander on their own after the brief tour of the rooms and Magnus found his gaze drifting slowly around them. "It's cozy," he said, wandering over to the little corner fireplace which was on, helping to heat the little house against the cool December air outside.

    He turned a questioning glance to Alec, to see what his thoughts were so far.
     
  14. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    It didn’t take long for them to be led inside. Alec let Magus go first, idly looking around as they were given a brief tour of the place. It was small, smaller than most of the places they’d looked at, and it was a house, which he knew wasn’t Magnus’ first choice, but the more he walked around the more he found himself liking it. There was just something about it, something that felt familiar even though he’d never lived in a place like it in his entire life. Alec made a vague noise of agreement as Magnus spoke – it was cozy – too busy poking his head into the kitchen again. It might not be big enough to host another Thanksgiving, but it looked like it’d fit a table in there just fine.

    After a moment, he noticed Magnus’ gaze and looked back to him, a little half smile on his face. “I like it,” he said, honestly. Then again, he’d said that about most of the places they’d gone to today, only this time there was just something more sincere about it – not that he’d been lying about the other ones. But here he could just – he could picture being on the couch in front of the fireplace with Magnus, or standing outside on the patio drinking wine, or watching Magnus magic something up in the kitchen.

    “It is small though,”
    he agreed, and he tried not to seem too into it – because he just – this wasn’t a place Magnus Bane would want to be stuck in, was it? It was in a quiet neighborhood, away from both of their work. There wouldn’t be enough room to host all the people Magnus had befriended here, and the spare bedroom was very small – though he supposed if they did use it for Artemis it wouldn’t matter much considering her diminutive size (though she was plenty trouble for how small she was). ​
     
  15. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    There was something about the smile on Alec's face that gave more meaning to his reaction this time around than the other 4 times that day he heard the exact same phrase leave the other's lips. He liked it, which was all well and good, but there was a bit of a sparkle to his eyes as he looked around the place that he hadn't seen at any of the other apartments.

    In fact, at all the other places Alec had mostly hung back or stayed by his side, a neutral observer, but not here. Here he was wandering a bit, looking into rooms and really seeming to be more invested in really checking things out. "Small doesn't have to be a bad thing," Magnus pointed out. "Less to clean, for starters. And we are only two people..." he said, putting the considerations out there.

    He wanted to get Alec's real opinion, and not just what he thought his boyfriend wanted to hear. Just because he was used to something bigger didn't mean he was entirely incapable of downsizing. Maybe now that he'd said some good things about it Alec would be a little more forthcoming with his own opinions, rather than backpedaling to neutral.
     
  16. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    He lingered by the French doors that led out onto the patio, hand absently resting on the handle as he looked through the windows. It didn’t look like much now, all dull and gray outside, but it might be nice in the summer. The view wasn’t as good as the one from Magnus’ balcony back in New York had been, but Alec had never really been fussed with views before. He nodded, taking in Magnus’ words, shoving down a tiny little glimmer of excitement.

    It was just a house and they’d seen plenty of other places that made just as much if not more sense as a place for the both of them. And yet. “We are – but what about when everyone comes to visit?” he asked, forcing himself to be pragmatic. His expression faltered for a moment and he swallowed, staring a little harder out the window. Everyone was apparently an ever-changing group in Pandora – Izzy’s absence was like an aching wound, one that he apparently couldn’t stop prodding.

    He cleared his throat.

    “I like the fire place though,” he added, lamely. ​
     
  17. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus couldn't read him. He tried to watch any expression that crossed Alec's face, any twitch of his lips or glimmer in his eyes, but somehow it all looked so neutral as he spoke, even as he found another excuse for why this house was too small. When 'everyone comes to visit', Magnus thought, wondering if he was just making up excuses now.

    "A fire place is nice," Magnus agreed. "And that balcony would be lovely once winter passes," he added. "Plus, there is easily room for 4, even 6 people at a table we could fit over there--" he motioned to a spot where a dining table would likely fit. "And how often do we really have more than that over, even now?" It was rare. Almost never, actually, save Thanksgiving. So was it really a big deal?

    "We could always do what we did for Thanksgiving with any future large gatherings," he pointed out, playing devil's advocate. "But if you don't like this place, you can just say it." Or maybe he was playing devil's advocate as well, trying to figure out any reasons why this particular option may not work for them, getting any negatives out before moving on to some better points.
     
  18. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    “No, no I like it,” he said, gaze still trailing round the room as he made his way back to Magnus. “I do – it’s just – y’know, it’s as good as any place we’ve looked at,” he said. Which was true. It was good – maybe slightly less than the others they had looked at. There wasn’t anything here that jumped out at him that he could seize and say yes – this is it – this is the house. It was just a feeling, and Alec wasn’t even sure if maybe he wasn’t clinging to this place because it was the last one they’d seen and the freshest in his mind.

    He wanted Magnus to be happy, wherever they settled in. Cooped up in this place? He wasn’t sure he would be. And it wasn’t like Alec wouldn’t be happy wherever he lived. As long as Magnus was there, he was fine. So he shrugged, shoulder bumping gently against Magnus’ as he came to stand next to him, looking toward the fireplace and trying not to picture him and Magnus curled up on a sofa in front of the flames.

    “Honestly, Magnus, I’m good with whatever place you like. I’ve lived in the Institute my entire life, anything’s going to be a step up,” he said, with a slightly crooked smile. ​
     
  19. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Of course," Magnus agreed, his gaze lingering on Alec a bit longer while he spoke. There was something there, something in his expression as his eyes drifted around the room, behind that crooked smile of his that he defaulted to so easily these days, but Magnus just couldn't place it. What wasn't he saying?

    The realtor came over again, having given them plenty of time and space to make their way around on their own for a bit, and asked if they had any questions about the place. And that was when, much to Magnus' surprise, Alec actually did. He asked a few, nothing much, but enough to show an actual interest that went beyond looking around and going 'yeah okay this is fine'. Enough to care about more than just the surface of what they could see, which was more interest than he showed in any of the other places they walked through where Magnus did all of the talking, if there was any talking to be done.

    Perhaps he was just more comfortable with the process now, but something told him that wasn't the case.

    "Well, we certainly have a lot to think about after such a long day," Magnus said, once the few questions they thought to ask had run out. "I'll certainly be in touch once we have some time to talk it over." There was a lot to consider, and it obviously wasn't a decision they would make overnight, after all.
     
  20. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Despite himself, Alec couldn’t help but question the realtor. One moment he was about to step aside to let Magnus talk and the next he was asking about storage space and the neighborhood and if they’d ever had any demon issues in the neighborhood. He managed to reign himself in before he could ask too many questions, thanking the realtor politely when he was through. Alec nodded in agreement with Magnus, lingering just a bit as they started to leave – and tried to tamp down the slight disappointment churning in his gut.

    It was just a house. Whatever place they picked would be fine.

    He took Magnus’ hand as they walked down the walkway, resisting the urge to look over his shoulder. “So, today was productive,” he said, with a little smile. He had no idea how they were supposed to decide. “Which one was your favorite?” he asked, knowing full well that his own input would boil down to – all of them were great except the one in Blackhaven and whatever you want will be fine. ​