As he detachedly observed his own hand gliding across Alec’s soft pale cheek Magnus felt a sense of contentment emanating from within him.
“You are so beautiful,”Magnus breathed heavily and Alec quickly flushed to a shade of red. His cheek was suddenly warm under Magnus’ gentle fingertips.
Even after all this time,just out of habit, Alec was prone to shying away.
Magnus had never found him more endearing but he had also never experienced such gripping and cold fear.
All this time and yet hardly enough.
Magnus sighed softly and Alec buried his face in the nape of Magnus’ neck to comfort him.
“One day”, Alec whispered, so softly that Magnus thought he had imagined it,” you will tell Max the story of a man, hardened over the ages and struggling against time and stagnation, who…”
“…No,” Magnus kissed Alec gently on his crown, “I will tell him of a man who loved deeply, dressed elegantly, lived gloriously, and glittered magnificently.”
Alec pouted. Magnus was mildly amused by how he could sense Alec’s expressions without looking at his face.
He also sensed the blood and the draining life force.
“You can be in the story too” He chided Alec,”A stupid little boy with sweater holes and confusion who fell down the stairwell.”
Alec may have spoken something along the lines of, “By the Angel, that was ONE time” but it was indistinct because Alec’s whole body was quivering with laughter.
Alec’s Laughter…soft and pure.
Magnus hurt all over.
“I want you to know,” Alec croaked and Magnus’ heartbeat quickened. How was he still so vulnerable after 400 years ? Why was there “guilt” gnawing at him for this humane vulnerability he felt?
The red bloomed across Alec’s back. Magnus could feel the dampness on his fingers.
All this time and yet hardly enough.
“I want you to know,” Alec said in a stronger voice,”that there is no one else I would have rather loved, no other life I would have rather lived and no other way I would have wanted to leave. I am scared and I want more time but I cherish our memories, all too much. When I realised that I was irrevocably in love with you, I knew then, that with you, there would never be enough time. You were light, you were noise, you were exhilaration and you were the one constant anchor. You were wrapped in danger and inevitability. There would never be enough time. Regardless, I regret nothing, Magnus Bane.”
“Hush,My young Alexander, save your strength.”
“You are my strength” Alec smiled and Magnus’ heart broke just a little, with a sweet ringing note that resonated through his whole world.
“I have been unfair to you,” Alec’s eyes held great sadness and wisdom as he spoke,”I have caused you much pain.”
Was this the wisdom of a dying man? Did the same knowledge reflect in his own eyes, Magnus wondered, a man who has learnt through the years…of greater sorrow and grief?
“I chose it for myself, Alexander” he replied as he stroked Alec’s soft, dark hair,” It was a small price to pay for love.”
“Will-will you make sure Max remembers me?” Alec asked and Magnus bent down to kiss his warm familiar lips.
The guilt still fought within him…wrestling with his peace of mind. He relished the pain and agony.
“I couldn’t save you” Magnus finally said and he felt his own voice waver with emotions,”I am so,so sorry, my love.”
Alec’s gaze was steady and persistent, “You did save me, Magnus.”
The conviction shocked Magnus….
yet somehow………….it eased him.
At that moment, when feline-warlock eyes with a strange sadness looked into the deep blue eyes of the injured Shadowhunter, Magnus felt a different form of magic which was infinitely strong and pulsing all around him.
“Aku Cinta Kamu” Alec whispered as he closed his tired eyes. A smile tugging at the corners of his mouth…now frozen in time.
Magnus bowed down to kiss his eyelids, almost reverently, one at a time. The gentle rise and fall of Alec’s chest was gone…Magnus could not bring himself to put his hand on Alec’s arm to feel for a pulse that wasn’t there. Magnus brought his palms up to his face and they came away wet.
After all this time?
Magnus realised there were teardrops on Alec’s cheeks too.
He wiped them away with careful tenderness.
“Thank you, Alexander Gideon Lightwood,” he said as he gently lay Alec’s head down onto the earth and grass. He lay down next to Alec and laced his long fingers through Alec’s calloused ones.
Light blue sparks involuntarily danced in between their loosely held hands.
A tall stately figure next to a shorter delicately chiseled young body.
Magnus smiled as the tears returned, “I promise to tell him, every night, of glitter and dusty sweaters.”