#but..... the important thing here is that she'll give me a discount so it's worth it
WHAT TO BUY THE SHADOWHUNTER WHO HAS EVERYTHING (And Who You're FINALLY Officially Dating... And More)
SUMMARY: In compliance with our roleplaying group's winter holidays special activity, following the prompt: “Someone has just become fabulously wealthy and is picking out gifts for their family.”
CHARACTER/S: Magnus Bane, Alec Lightwood, Max Lightwood-Bane
TAG/S: rpgroup, writing challenge, romance, winter holidays, christmas
also @ ao3
Last minute Christmas gift-shopping was always a terrible idea. Either things would be out of stock by that point or nothing much of worth would be left on the shelves. Not to mention the surprising long lines that still exist that late into the holidays. Not to mention having to deal with ill-tempered customers in line with you and the frustrated staff who had to be stuck at work instead of spending the last few days before Christmas preparing for their own celebrations at home. But that's not always the case, not if you were like Magnus who knew exactly where to go.
Everywhere you looked in the Liberty Mall were a festoon of lights, ribbons, tinsels, shiny ornaments, and faux evergreens decked along escalators, archways, and guardrails. A massive Christmas tree that reaches up to almost the third floor of the mall, stood tall at the center of the atrium. This was the place to be in Manhattan for Magnus's quick, at-the-very-last minute shopping spree. All the shops were still open despite it being Christmas Eve already but there weren't a lot of people there compared to other stores and strips around Manhattan around this time in the afternoon. The reason for that most likely had something to do with the stores there being lavishly-priced luxury stores. And that was most unfortunate for him since he liked the attention and stares he'd get for the captivating outfits he usually wore.
Today he had on black leather pants, a studded black belt that looped around his waist twice, and a blood red wool overcoat open over a white wool deep V-neck sweater. A pair of gold thin rimmed sunglasses sat neatly over his coiffed hair and his face was subtly slathered with silver bits of glitter just over his eyelids and out towards the outer corners of his eyes. At least there were still some store managers to dazzle, he thought, perhaps he'd even get discounts as it sometimes often happens to him. Not that he needed any discounts. He had a perfectly wonderful yet complicated relationship with money that never really failed him even at times when he'd end up with nothing but the shirt on his back. He could get himself anything he wanted and anything anyone else wanted. Which is how he ended up going for a last minute shopping spree in the first place.
He didn't have to be there. Personally Magnus wouldn't really bother with shopping "traditionally" for anything. He could just conjure up anything from somewhere and compensate for them later, that is if he remembers to do so, and it was more reliable than online shopping. But now that he was practically sharing his life with Alec, some changes with his lifestyle had to be made. His roguish shopping habits weren't something Alec particularly liked leaving the warlock no choice but to oblige.
He sauntered through the marbled floors of Liberty Mall, going in store after store to pick out presents for tonight's party. It was a gathering at the Institute, mostly a Shadowhunter event despite other Downworlders like him being invited and despite Christmas not exactly traditionally celebrated among the Nephilim. It was an excuse to have a party for the holidays and a way to have their growing families gather together for a night. He wasn't in charge of organising this party, a mistake and a tragedy for them if you'd ask Magnus. He would've done it for free if they asked but the other people who aren't his friends and family that will be there were still predisposed into thinking Magnus would have turned it into a Downworlder rave. At least it was Isabelle helming the celebration, he could count on her to pull off something he would still enjoy despite the restraints of the ever-so-uptight Nephilim traditions.
It was easy enough to think of gifts for the women in his life since fashion was always the answer. He went to every big-named fashion houses at Liberty and was immediately entertained by store attendants, likely believing he might be someone important or famous with the way Magnus always carried himself. And if not that, it was the wads of cash he'd fan and flaunt to their faces, Magnus always wanted to do that. Isabelle was easy to give gifts to since she was always more than willing to try out anything Magnus recommends and her taste and style was to his liking. He simply got her anything he thought would look good on him if he was a woman. Maryse, much like her daughter was somewhat easier to give gifts to. Some jewelry here, designer coats and handbags here and there. They didn't always see eye to eye but ever since his little blueberry, Max, came around, Maryse had softened, even Robert too. She'd often invite him over just to chat, although he was certain she just wanted to spoil little Max. But it did give him the opportunity to get close to her and know her well which also pleased Alec.
Lily was another person he found to be easy to gift to, she'd accept almost anything fancy he gave her, even the not-so-fancy ones he'd sometimes trick her into believing were fancy. Clary on the other hand was slightly more difficult as to this day she still had little to no fashion sense and would deny him the opportunity to enlighten her about the latest fashion trends. Even Maia was easier to bend, provided it came along with a couple of board games and video games. But that won't stop him from trying. He didn't want to force Clary into things that would be uncomfortable for her even if they are trendy. He didn't want to change her, he only wanted to open her eyes to different possibilities than just sticking with something safe and casual. Good thing Jocelyn wasn't as difficult as her daughter. He got her some clothes and jewelry but of course he had to give her the finest brushes and paints as well as coffee table books on art. He was certain Clary would be jealous of them but she'll have to up her fashion game first before he gives her anything she actually wanted.
Men were difficult to give gifts to, he thought. If they weren't anything like him who had a taste for all the pretty and stylish things in the world, he wouldn't be enjoying even thinking about what to give them. Raphael and Ragnor were the exceptions since their gifts were almost exclusively joke gifts and expensive ones at that. But, well, it wasn't possible to do that anymore. He completely rushed through gifts for Jace, Simon, Luke, and Robert and got them simple, not-as-thoughtful as the rest gifts. A set of throwing knives from Japan and a set of Scandinavian hunting knives were for Jace. Simon gets to inherit some of the rare comic books in his possession that were still in mint condition. He threw in a couple of the latest computer games in there just to say he actually bought him something. Luke also gets a set of first editions of books he had owned for centuries; he figured he wouldn't mind that they were used books. But he also got him some new clothes and shoes. Magnus appreciated his alternative, scruffy vibe but he can't wear plaid and worn out boots every single day of the week, that's just preposterous, especially when he has to stand next to a lovely woman such as Jocelyn. And for Robert he got him a pair of watches and a set of fashionable ties, dads liked those kinds of things, right?
He also threw in mugs with designs that he thought would fit for everyone like "Nothing Less Than Seven Inches" for Isabelle. "World's Best Grandma and Grandpa" for Maryse and Robert respectively, "Life Is Short And So Am I" for Clary, "I'm A Vampire Let Me Suck You Off" for Lily, things like that. Nobody likes getting mugs, especially not for Christmas, but he had already prepared expensive gifts for them, surely they wouldn't mind the mugs.
He was empty-handed again after sending away the novelty mugs he got for everyone. His loft must look like Santa's Workshop by now with the amount of gifts he sent back there, he was hoping to get back and do some wrapping before Alec and Max comes home. He looked out the glass panes of the side of the mall to see that the sky was still a bluish gray of daylight, and the horizon was just turning into a faint shade of purple. It's only been a couple of hours but going through all those stores felt like a lengthy ordeal. Next year he wouldn't be so generous, he thought, he'll only do it again in ten years or twenty.
Now all that's left was his own little family. Alec and Max. Max and Alec. My family. He kept repeating the thought in his mind. Even if it's been years since he and Alec were together and well over a year since Max came into their lives, it was still a bit odd for him to think that this was all real if he was being honest, but it was all real. Being with Alec was real. Having Max with them was real. He doesn't really show it but even Magnus was still trying to get used to the idea.
Max was not difficult to think of a gift for, what was difficult was restraining himself from spoiling him; Max was such a cute baby it was really difficult not to do so. If Magnus had it his way he would've spoiled him to death, even Maryse was quite eager to do just that, but Alec wasn't going to have any of that, and he was right on this one. Still, it was Christmas, so he got Max some stuffed toys and a rideable toy car that looked very much like the black Maserati he and Alec rode through France last summer. He hoped for the best that Alec would let this slide becuase Max would look really cute in it, provided he didn't float away with it.
Alec was the last person he would be getting a gift for. Magnus could have made an excuse for himself that this was because he saved the best for last but really Alec was the first person he tried to think of a gift for, the moment he woke up this morning to be exact, and since then he hasn't settled on what to actually give him. Magnus wondered how you could love someone so passionately and even know that someone all too well for quite some time, yet you still find yourself having difficulties with thinking of what to gift said someone.
Magnus took respite in a garden cafe on the first floor of the Liberty Mall. He had one of their special winter lattes that were sweet and minty cool to taste while still thinking of a gift for Alec. He knew he couldn't ask anyone else for their opinions, he learned that lesson the last time he tried to think of a gift for Alec on his eighteenth birthday. He could always ring up Isabelle but he figured she would still be busy with organising things for tonight. Scrolling through articles online on his phone didn't help much either since they found them all too tacky and incredibly heteronormative for his liking. He sighed and put down his phone and took a sip from his latte.
His eyes lingered on the stuffed toys sitting inside the toy car he recently bought for Max just sitting next to his chair. He hadn't sent it away to his loft yet since seeing it gave him some sort of comfort. Looking at the car closely made him remember of his time in France with Alec again. That was the time where they finally managed to redo their European trip without having anything to do with demons and cultists. He has been in and out of France far too many times since the Belle Époque but that summer felt like a brand new experience with Alec. Magnus showed him all the places he had fallen in love with in the quaint countrysides of France and Alec showed him how to fall in love with them all over again. He told Alec about how he felt about that and Alec told him how much he looked forward to seeing the world with him. That was a promise that made Magnus believe that what they had was something for the long run, that he would be loving Alec for a long time. And that's when it hit him. He finally figured out what to give Alec.
Magnus's loft never looked so bright and festive unless it was because of his parties. It has been a long time since he last threw one and it was before Max came along. Tonight, his living room was ornamented by the dreamy and warm hues of gold, beige, cream, and white. The usual colours of reds, greens, yellows, and blues were much too gaudy for Magnus's vision of Christmas that year. The only greens in sight were the garlands lined all over the place and the tree sitting at the center of the room, swathed with gold and silver tinsels and ornaments as well as strings of fairy lights. Sitting by the floor and standing about as high as half of the tree were the presents he had bought earlier in the day. Magnus had already changed into the suit he would be wearing tonight. Alec had warned him that he might get looks from people since he would be wearing white when it's not a funeral. Not that Alec really minded but thought he should let him know anyway. Magnus thought that would be ridiculous, he'd be wearing chanterelle beige not white and he would very much like to get looks from people. And that was that, no one could tell Magnus how to dress anyway.
He was surrounded by lights and sparks of blue as he did his magic, as he was still in the middle of boxing and wrapping the last batch of presents when he heard the door swing open. Without pause, he looked over the side of the tree and looking past the mountain of presents to find Alec with an astonished expression on his face. He was also already in his outfit for tonight which was something he asked Magnus to pick for him. He wore dark brown dress pants and brown overcoat over a cozy beige turtleneck sweater that let him look somewhat formal without sacrificing comfort. He would have just worn something semi-formal but knowing Magnus, he wouldn't have let him look too simple next to him. Alec was carrying a little blueberry of a baby in his right arm, wearing a little black and white onesie suit. The little blue warlock was looking far more cheery than Alec at the sight of the presents. Or perhaps he just had a nice mix of milk in his bottle that day, Magnus couldn't quite tell with Max sometimes.
"Did you just rob the North Pole?" asked Alec.
"Of course not! And even if I did, I'd say it's fair game, that jolly old bastard owes me," Magnus just finished tying the final bow on the last gift in the pile when he walked over to where Alex and Max was.
"...Santa Claus is real?"
"Absolutely, and he's a warlock too. I thought that was common knowledge," said Magnus then planted a kiss on Max's temple.
Alec was not always sure whether Magnus was making things up especially when it comes to warlock things and his warlock friends but that wasn't what's important right now.
"You paid for all this, right?"
"I did and here are the receipts to prove it," with a quick snap of a finger there appeared a clipboard of receipts popping up from a blue swirl of light, floating right in front of Alec's line of sight.
Magnus spoke almost too proudly about legally acquiring his gifts. Alec had been persistent in guilting him with the things he'd conjure from somewhere without paying after all. Magnus picked up Max from Alec's grasp before Alec started flipping through the receipts. Then suddenly a gasp was heard.
"By the Angel, Magnus! Twenty thousand dollars just for clothes?" Alec asked, having a more audible and greater shock than the one he had when he came in earlier causing Max to look up at Magnus as if he could understand and was looking at him for answers.
"They were Dior," Magnus simply explained.
"Seventeen thousand dollars for a watch?" Alec continued flipping.
"Two watches actually, believe me that's already cheap, I hope your father doesn't mind."
"How could you even afford all this?" He asked as he still continued flipping but should really be stopping at this point.
"The painting I sold off the other day remember? It was worth millions apparently,"
"Millions?" Alec looked at Magnus with an even greater expression of disbelief than when he started flipping through the receipts.
"This is why I don't want to talk money with you, you look like you're about to faint," Magnus spoke calmly as he held Alec's face in his free hand hoping it would calm Alec down as well.
"Remind me not to ask next time," Alec nodded then sighed. Magnus looked at him, a bit of worry evident on his face but Alec gave him a reassuring smile, "As long as you actually paid for things."
"Yes, dad, I don't do that thing anymore," Magnus quipped with a smile and dipped in for a kiss on Alec's cheek.
"How are we getting all this to the Institute?"
"Right, magic. Almost forgot. Well, we better go ahead, Izzy will kill me if we're late."
"Wait, I'm sure Izzy won't mind us being fashionably late. I want to give you your present right now," said Magnus then passed Max back to Alec's arms.
"You look serious," Alec noted as he let Max nestle comfortably in his right arm.
"Just nerves. I'm not sure why when I know you wouldn't say no."
A whirl of blue light appeared in the palm of Magnus's hand. When the glowing light dissipated, underneath it was a small red velvet box. Magnus could see Alec was already too stunned to say anything. He stared at the box in the warlock's hand for a moment and then back at Magnus. His brilliant blue eyes seemed like they were glistening as their eyes met and Magnus felt his heart warm up at the sight of Alec's smile.
Magnus opened the box and cushioned inside were a pair of rings. One had a round ocean blue diamond set in an intricate basket of flame filigrees, setting on top of a half-braided white gold band. The other ring was a bit bigger in size with an emerald cut blue diamond framed with blue melee diamonds.
"You paid for this too, right?" Alec finally spoke, Magnus almost laughed.
"It's my promise to you, my love," said Magnus. "I still stand by what I said the last time we spoke about it, that I won't have you marry me until you, until we, can marry in gold. You deserve nothing less and I can't have you settle for less just because you chose to be with me. I want these rings to be a promise and a reminder for us everyday when we might glance upon it that this is all real. Just as real as any other Shadowhunter unions. That the kind of love we have is not worth anything lesser just because it's a little bit different than what Nephilim traditions dictate.
"So, Alexander Gideon Lightwood, if I may ask,” Magnus got down on one knee and looked up at the two loves of his life, first to Max and then to Alec, "Will you promise to stand by me until we can marry in gold?"
"Absolutely. Yes. It's a promise," Alec was holding back tears as he said that. Max might have felt it too since he started blubbering things and patting his little hands on Alec's face as if to comfort him.
Magnus picked out the ring with the round cut blue diamond then reached out for Alec's left hand. He slipped the white gold band in his ring finger then looked up into Alec's beautiful blue eyes with his heart full of love. Alec took out the other ring from the box with his free hand as Magnus raised his left hand in front of him. The ring sat perfectly around Magnus's left ring finger and suddenly it was the most priceless ring he had, putting all the other rings he wore to shame. They both leaned in for a kiss, it was sweet and tender and Magnus felt the warmth of Alec's love between his lips. But Max had other plans when he decided to break it off and hit Magnus on the side of his head.
"Alright you little smurf, we're going, we're going," he smiled as he ruffled the head of the little blue warlock.
"Oh, right, Alec," Magnus raised his hand and behind the blue glow of smoke surrounding his hand, he conjured up what looked to be like car keys. He handed it to Alec and he immediately recognized the logo etched on its body.
"Did you rent this just for tonight? Can't we just Portal through?"
"You know I don't trust Portal-ing with the baby," Magnus replied. "And no, it's not rented, it's yours."
"No way. Magnus, I can't—" but Magnus cut him off with a kiss.
"Darling, no more arguments before a party," said Magnus as he pulled away from Alec. He then took Max from him and carried him in his arms. "I don't want us to look stressed when we waltz in there. We have the image of a perfectly perfect family to rub in people's faces."
Alec was still a bit dumbfounded about everything that just happened. All those surprises in one night seemed to be too much for the Shadowhunter. But Magnus liked it whenever he leaves Alec dumbfounded.
"Now come along, Alexander, I don't want us to be later than fashionably late," Magnus was already out the door and was being playful with Max who was giggling his little heart out. "My little blueberry must steal the show, yes you will, you're going to be just like your papa when you've grown."
Alec eventually broke out from his daze. He followed them out and went on their way to the Institute.
The party had already started by the time they rolled in the Institute grounds in the sleek black Maserati GT Convertible Magnus had just given him. Though the streets were lined with snow, luckily it wasn't snowing that evening so they were able to ride the car with the top down. Alec might have wanted to argue with Magnus about it earlier but driving it now let him warm up to the idea of owning it. Max seemed to have enjoyed the ride as well as he sat on Magnus's lap in the back of the car. Everything seemed to be going smoothly on its own that Isabelle had the time to come out and meet with them. Simon was with her of course and Jace and Clary followed too when they heard that Magnus, Alex, and Max were on their way. But it was really just an excuse for them to be able to leave the party even for a moment. Parties really weren't the same without Magnus in it.
Clary immediately walked over to Magnus who was carrying Max in one arm. Max was still bouncy and lively as he wrapped his hands around Clary's finger and patting his other hand on her head. Jace was in awe of the car that his parabatai drove and recognized it was the same one Alec kept talking about when they got back from their European redo trip last summer. Jace nearly flipped when Alec told him it was his Christmas gift and even Simon who wasn't exactly a car guy was impressed by it. The car conversation was cut when Isabelle broke in to reprimand Alec and Magnus for arriving late but immediately had a change of heart when the two showed off their rings. Isabelle practically leapt in to hug her brother and so did Clary with Magnus. They all said their congratulations but no one could say they were surprised. With the way things are between Magnus and Alec it was just the natural progression of things but it was still something nice to see especially on Christmas Eve.
As Magnus had expected and have willed to happen, there were a lot of eyes on him as he walked inside the Institute with Alec holding his hand and Max nestled in his other arm. No one would dare state for too long but he noticed the side glances and whispers as they walked through. Whether they were bad or good whispers he didn't particularly care, it boosted his ego pretty well either way.
He and Alec approached Maryse and Robert first who were in the middle of a conversation with some of the Blackthorns. Maryse was quick to ask for Max when they got close which Magnus obliged to and passed his little blueberry into his grandma's arms. It was Alec who excused his parents for a moment and brought them aside to show them their engagement rings. Maryse looked like she was getting overwhelmed that Robert had to take Max from her while she hugged Alec tightly. Like the others, they weren't entirely surprised by it but the rings really did make all the difference.
When all was finally said and done, Magnus conjured up the mountain of presents that were sitting back in his living room. The presents were all lined up around the base of the Christmas tree for his friends and family to open up later when the other guests have left. He made sure to conjure up the gifts in the homes of the others who weren't able to make it there that night like Jocelyn and Luke who decided to stay in together. As well as Maia and Lily who had hosted a different kind of party for the werewolf pack and vampire clans.
At the Beth Israel Hospital, Catarina finally had time to take a break from cheering up the kids who were stuck there for Christmas. She sat on her own in the breakroom having a snack and some coffee using a mug that said "Why So Blue?". She was on her phone to check the messages she couldn't read earlier and most of them were typical holiday greetings. The one that stood out and brought a smile to her face was a photo greeting of Magnus and Alec showing their rings and Max floating on his own next to them with the caption, "Happy Holidays from the Lightwood-Banes".
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