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Private Fourth Time's the Charm

Magnus Bane

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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September 2nd, Year 110
(Tag: @Alec Lightwood )

Apparently the third time wasn't always the charm, Magnus thought to himself while perusing his options for the perfect drink mix. But the fourth time would be. The fourth time had to be, because Magnus couldn't imagine waiting another second to propose to Alexander at this point.

It was one thing while they were figuring things out in this world, despite being together in the one Magnus came from... only after Magnus' time. Magnus never imagined anyone would want to marry him, let alone a mortal, and let alone a Shadowhunter. But time and time again Alec proved that he loved him beyond any shadow of a doubt, that he wanted to make a home together, that he wanted this commitment and understood what it meant, not just for himself but for both of them. Every time Magnus got close something stopped him - his own insecurities, the world ending, Alec disappearing, Alec's loss of memories - but for the first time in a very long time everything was calm, and nearly perfect.

Magnus wasn't missing another chance.

...except Alec was.

Every time Magnus planned to propose to Alec over the past month, something came up. Alec's stomach got upset and he left before the desert and champagne Magnus planned to put the ring in a week ago. Someone called out at work and Alec had to miss dinner at the restaurant in Centria Magnus planned, or the picnic at a beautiful spot in the Crystal Vales he planned.

Maybe it was a sign. After all, though his plans were about half as elaborate as they could've been, perhaps the solution was to avoid making an event of it altogether. Just a nice homecooked meal, Alec comfortable after coming home from patrol and changing, and a simple drink in their home, with just the two of them. That's the 'plan' this time around, and for the hundredth time since he started cooking Magnus brought his right hand down to the pocket of his pants to pat the small box there.

He couldn't wait for Alec to get home.
 

Alec Lightwood

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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101
There was only about an hour left on his patrol and it was looking like it’d be a quiet night. He didn’t mind those - okay, maybe he did sometimes want at least a little something to make him feel like he was actually doing his job, but quiet was good. Quiet meant getting home to Magnus without the tension of a paperwork headache or the stench of demon ichor that forced him into a shower before he could so much as kiss his boyfriend hello.​
It felt like they never got to spend any time together these days. After getting his memories back Alec had - well, he’d had a thought at the back of his mind he couldn’t quite shake. Thoughts about how much he wanted Magnus to be his husband. He knew Magnus loved him, and he had a pretty solid hunch that he’d say yes if he asked, but for some reason Alec couldn’t quite commit to popping the question until he’d planned it out in meticulous detail. He had an outline, a plan - he knew what rooftop he wanted to take Magnus to, what food he wanted served, what he was going to wear even, but the date? The date he couldn’t quite nail down.​
Soon though.​
Definitely soon.​
The beep of an alert had him glancing to his phone, dark eyes narrowing at the message. Demon sighting. Of course. Tonight wasn’t going to be a slow one after all. He made his way to the coordinates without hesitating, thumbing his phone to a new text to Magnus on the way.​
Going to be home late tonight. Demon. he typed. Love you.​
Message sent, he headed down the dark alley - his senses already picking up the lumbering form of a demon in the distance. He reached for an arrow, bringing his bow up in preparation.​
 

Magnus Bane

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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Everything for dinner was well underway (after all, it might be a simple dinner at home but that didn't mean the meal itself had to be simple, and perhaps the prep work was a little time consuming but at least it kept him distracted until Alec got there) when his phone buzzed.

Going to be home late tonight. Demon. Love you.

Magnus's hand tensed around the knife he was holding, thankful it wasn't something more breakable as he took a moment and a few deep breaths to reign his immediate flare of frustration back in. He wasn't mad at Alec, of course - Alec was just doing his job, and on a normal night, coming home late just meant dinner waiting for him in the fridge and nothing more. But this wasn't a normal night.

This was attempt number four and, like the three before it, it seemed as if the universe had other plans than Magnus' proposal.
...well, two could play at that game.

Magnus considered texting Alec back to ask exactly where this demon was, but he knew Alec well enough to know that by now his phone was back in his pocket, on silent, and he wouldn't check it again until his mission was over. So instead Magnus reached around his neck and slipped off the necklace he wore there - an arrow, the twin to the one Alec also wore, which would always point the way to the other.

The perfect thing to track Alec's current whereabouts with.

Magnus tapped his pocket again to make sure the ring box was still there, took a moment to make sure the stove burners, oven, and anything else he was using for dinner prep was turned off, and then tracked Alec. It took a few minutes of serious concentration before he locked in on it, but he got it soon enough.

Then, impulsively, Magnus opened a portal and stepped through into a dark alley. He was surprised for a moment to find himself face-to-face with an arrow aimed at him by his boyfriend until he remembered exactly why he was here in the first place, besides the proposal. The whole, you know, demon thing.

"Nice to see you too, darling," Magnus said, already moving to side-step out of the way of whatever was very obviously behind where he just appeared.
 

Alec Lightwood

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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101
As he peered into the darkness, he regretted not activating some of his runes on the way over, too preoccupied with texting Magnus back. The shape in the shadows was large, hulking just beyond where he could make out. There was an edge of nerves in his gut, though it was overtaken by the sharp focus, that easy sense of calm that seemed to fall into place whenever he was doing his job - the one that he’d been trained practically since birth to do.​
He knew he was good at it (though that...hadn’t really kept him from ending up on the wrong end of a demon once or twice).​
He crept forward, keeping his gaze on the moving shadow, not willing to release his arrow until he knew he had a clear shot - and hopefully it was something that the arrow would actually do something against. It was always annoying when they batted them aside like nothing - and it meant he’d have to get closer - bring out his seraph blade. That wasn’t a problem, really - he was pretty good at hand to hand combat (or hand to...claw) - but it wasn’t his preferred method.​
Magnus’ sudden appearance startled him into lowering his bow, brow furrowing in confusion as his stomach swooped, a twist of dread filling him. “Magnus?” His gaze raked over him, but he didn’t see anything wrong and the greeting had been unbothered enough. “What - is everything okay?” he asked.​
 

Magnus Bane

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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Magnus realized a little belatedly how this probably looked, showing up when he knew Alec was not only on patrol but in the vicinity of an actual demon he needed to fight. It was a little too late to worry about it, though, and he certainly wasn't going back now that he was here, his resolve solid.

"No," Magnus said. "Everything is not okay, because this is the fourth - fourth - time I planned a proposal dinner just for something to get in the way, and I'm tired of waiting. Alexander-"

Perhaps he vented his frustrations a little too loudly because before he could get to the part where he actually, properly proposed, he heard a low growl emit from behind him, from the direction Alec's bow had been pointing a moment ago. Magnus winced.

"-right, not dying first, proposal second," he finished instead, with a sigh of annoyance. No need for the moment to be tainted by one of them being immediately maimed afterward, after all.
 

Alec Lightwood

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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Something twisted in the pit of his stomach at Magnus’ response, his mind already running a thousand miles a minute with all the things that could be wrong. But then his words hit and Alec was feeling unbalanced for an entirely different reason, the puzzled worry on his face slowly morphing toward a smile - one that was cut short at the sound of the demon growling from the shadows.​
Oh.​
Right.​
His job.​
“You….” he started, only to be cut short himself when the demon roared from the shadows. Right. He should - take care of that. He lifted his bow, wasting no time in stepping in front of Magnus because he wasn’t about to let anything happen to him (especially before he could finishing saying what he’d been about to say).​
He let loose an arrow, the shriek from the demon making him shrink away for a moment, too high-pitched and grating.​
 

Magnus Bane

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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500+ years
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Magnus watched Alec step in front of him with such an intense swell of emotion. He was always so willing to put Magnus first, no matter the risk to himself. Alexander was like that with everyone he cared about, too, not just Magnus, and it never failed to fill him with awe at just how good of a person Alec was. It wasn't only because of his job, but because he wanted to - he couldn't be any other way if he tried.

The arrow flew true and hit the demon, but the grin of satisfaction on Magnus' face only lasted a moment before a shriek pierced the air which had Magnus flinching, balls of red magic in his palms shooting toward the demon's face to stop the noise at the very least.

This was, quite literally, Alec's job and he didn't want to overstep, but he also wanted to kill the demonic threat as soon as possible so he could get back to his proposal.
 

Alec Lightwood

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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Alec had another arrow ready to go in a second, working on reflex even as he tried to fight off his body’s reaction to the shrieking. There was a brief moment of relent as he watched Magnus’ magic fly toward the creature and the corner of his mouth tilted upward. He always liked working with Magnus - it was so seamless - effortless.​
Of course, it was tempered by the fact that Alec couldn’t stand seeing Magnus in danger, but he knew he could never keep him away.​
He let another arrow fly, grinning when it struck true - only for the grin to slide off his face as the demon seemed to implode, the force of it making Alec lunge for Magnus on instinct, trying to cover his body with his own as they were drenched in ichor and demon guts.​
 

Magnus Bane

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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Magnus' reaction time was a fraction of a second too slow to spare them from the worst of the aftermath. He was so relieved to see Alec's arrow hit its mark, watching the smile spread across Alec's face as it did, that he dropped his guard entirely in that split-second before the demon began to implode rather than vanish or melt down in place.

The moment Alec's smile dropped Magnus started to turn, his vision blocked as Alec threw himself in between Magnus and the spray of ichor and demon guts. At the same time Magnus tried to throw up a barrier between them, but only managed to block about 1/4 of the actual demon debris.

Once it was over - and properly over this time - Magnus took a step back and held Alexander at arm's length, eyes surveying him from head to toe. "Are you alright?" Magnus asked, magic already working to remove the worst of the ichor in case it burned. Demons in Pandora tended to function differently from back home, so not all of them had the same stinging, caustic properties that he's most used to.
 

Alec Lightwood

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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101
It wasn’t the first time Alec had been covered in demon gore, and it probably wouldn’t be the last, though his attention was mostly on Magnus and how he was doing rather than any of the the ichor that had gotten on him. There was no burning sensation though - they must have lucked out (there were better places to frantically take off his shirt when Magnus was involved) - and the grin was back full force as soon as he finished his once over to make sure Magnus was okay and also not melting.​
I’m -” he said, Magnus’ words hitting him again, and he couldn’t do anything but pull Magnus in for a kiss - conveniently ignoring any of the ichor that Magnus’ magic hadn’t managed to wipe clean.​
“Did you mean it - what you - four times?” he asked when he had to pull back, a little dizzy with lack of oxygen.​
 

Magnus Bane

The Shadowhunter Chronicles
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The kiss was promising, Magnus thought. He was a bit worried that Alec might be upset with him for trying to do this here, now, and he was more than a little relieved that Alec didn't seem to mind.

Magnus nodded solemnly. "Four times," he confirmed. "Last week was supposed to be a ring in your champagne, except you got an upset stomach and we never made it through dinner. Before that was the restaurant in Centria and the picnic in the Crystal Vales we had to cancel."

It was very important to Magnus that Alec understood this wasn't some spontaneous thing he suddenly decided had to be done tonight, right that second. He needed Alec to know that this was a long time coming.

"And then tonight, when you sent that text, I knew I couldn't put it off another dinner. Not another hour, not another minute, not another second longer than I had to. We're never going to have perfect, predicatable moments, so we make the most of the time we make for ourselves; we always have."

Magnus wasn't sure if that's enough of a 'speech', but he didn't care. It was the truth - their truth - and he suddenly realized that this was the most perfectly Magnus and Alec set-up he could probably imagine.

Magnus wiped a bit of leftover ichor off of his hand then pulled the ring box out of his pocket.

"Alexander Gideon Lightwood," he started. "I wasn't sure I would love this openly again before I met you. In fact, I wasn't sure I would love again at all, but I love you deeper than I've ever loved another soul in all my centuries." Magnus hopes the declaration isn't too much because it's the truth, and Alec deserve the truth now more than ever. He opens the box, showing the ring inside as he offers it forward. He feels like he should say more, do more, but Magnus didn't even want to waste another moment speaking without getting an answer and making it official.

"Alexander, will you do me the honor of marrying me?"
 

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