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Magic Touch

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“I don’t like this one bit,” Bin said, standing in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest.

“Which part?” Minhyuk asked, twirling his stele the way mundane students twirled their pens. “The part where the love of your life is shirtless, or the part where I’m about to put my grubby little hands all over him?”

“Yah!” Jinwoo shoved at Minhyuk’s shoulder, then flashed Bin one of his sweet, crinkle-eyed smiles. “Don’t listen to him, Binnie. You know it’s not like that.”

As a warlock, Bin didn’t look one hundred percent human. Most people only saw his vertical-pupil cat eyes as his sign of being a warlock, but he was a bit more feline than that. He resisted the urge to bare his fangs and hiss at Minhyuk.

“I know it’s not like that,” Bin said. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

“Myungjun has steadier hands, you know,” Jinwoo said, as Minhyuk touched the crystal tip of his stele to Jinwoo’s torso like it was a pen and started to draw a Shadowhunter rune.

“Myungjun,” Minhyuk said, making a graceful swooping curve very carefully, “is not your parabatai.”

Parabatai were platonic soulmates of a sort, and a Mark made by one’s parabatai was more powerful and lasted longer than one made by another random Shadowhunter.

“I could be, though,” Myungjun said, and came tripping out of Dongmin’s room, smiling dopily, a few kiss-bruises on his torso along with Marks he’d probably drawn himself. “There’s no rule that parabatai need only be two.”

“That’s true,” Jinwoo said slowly.

Bin interrupted. “No. Don’t even think about it. I barely like sharing you with Minhyuk.”

“As if I want to share my Junie,” Dongmin said, appearing in the doorway of his bedroom, also sporting kiss-bruises on his throat, but in typical Dongmin fashion his shirt was buttoned all the way up and he looked almost respectable.

He even looked a little cute, with the small deer antlers sprouting from his head, his warlock feature.

There really was no rule that parabatai only be in pairs. There was a rule, however, that parabatai weren’t allowed to be in love, and for that, Bin was grateful.

That was also why Sanha was sulking by the doorway, having Marked himself before the others had arrived. His crush on Minhyuk was glaringly obvious to everyone but Minhyuk, who seemed to only hold affection for Jinwoo, weapons, and trips to the public sauna. Sanha had wanted to be Minhyuk’s parabatai, but the Council had forbidden it.

Bin still wasn’t sure why the rule existed, and he wasn’t sure the Council had good reason for it either.

“What are you hunting tonight?” Dongmin asked as Myungjun buckled himself into his uniform and some black leather armor, then proceeded to count out a frightening number of arrows and throwing daggers and not one but three seraph blades.

“Nothing major,” Myungjun said. “Just an arch-demon.”

Bin whipped around to actually look at Myungjun. “A what?”

Myungjun smiled sunnily. “Like I said, nothing major.”

Bin turned back to Jinwoo, whose torso was covered with dozens of Marks in addition to his permanent Marks and tattoos. Bin could only understand Shadowhunter Marks in passing, and he spotted ones that granted speed and strength and accurate marksmanship and stamina and tracking and -

“Come here.” Bin beckoned.

Jinwoo started toward him.

Minhyuk hissed in annoyance. “Hyung, I’m not done yet.”

Bin crossed the apartment and shoved Minhyuk aside, gathered Jinwoo into his arms, and looked into his eyes.

“I only had one more to do,” Minhyuk protested from the sidelines.

“Be careful out there,” Bin said, and leaned in, kissed Jinwoo.

Jinwoo melted against him, all smooth skin and sleek muscle and -

“Ew,” Minhyuk said.

“Ew,” Sanha agreed.

“Dongminnie, do I get a kiss like that?” Myungjun asked.

Bin pulled back just enough to breathe out a spell, one of protection and safeguarding. “Come back to me,” he said.

“I will,” Jinwoo promised.

“If you’re quite finished getting your magic touch all over him, he needs one more Mark,” Minhyuk said.

Bin extended his claws and swatted at Minhyuk, who dodged easily, twirling his stele while he was at it.

“All of you be careful,” Bin said.

Sanha said again, “Ew.”

Bin glanced over his shoulder and saw that Myungjun had Dongmin pinned up against the bedroom door and was kissing him very enthusiastically.

Minhyuk put the final mark on Jinwoo, and then they both began pulling on their armor. Sanha and Myungjun stepped in to help them with the buckles and straps, and there was another weapons check before all four Shadowhunters headed for the door.

“Later, gators!” Myungjun called cheerily, and the four of them left.

Bin slewed Dongmin a look. “You have got to stop teaching him English.”

Dongmin just shrugged and blushed prettily. He looked a little less innocent and cute with a massive bruise mark visible beneath his unbuttoned collar. “What now?” he asked.

Bin reached for his gym bag. “I’m gonna go work out.”

“You’re immortal,” Dongmin called after him.

Bin was. But his lover wasn’t, and Bin needed to not think for a while. Because he was immortal, he could work out for a very long time. Counting reps would distract him.

Two days later, four Shadowhunters tumbled into Dongmin and Bin’s apartment, bruised and sore and cut, but alive.

“Good thing you’re back,” Dongmin said. “Bin almost got a team of government scientists called on him because he was at the gym for six hours.”

Bin swept Jinwoo into his arms and held him, breathing in the scent of his skin.

“I said I’d be back,” Jinwoo murmured, his deep voice rumbling against Bin’s chest.

Bin kissed him.

“Ew,” Minhyuk said.

“Ew,” Sanha agreed.

“Dongminnie, do I get a kiss like that?” Myungjun asked.

“Yes, you do,” Dongmin said, and pushed open the bedroom door.

Sanha and Minhyuk looked at each other and sighed.

“Come on, let’s go back to the Institute,” Minhyuk said. “We can stop and get some of those waffles you like on the way.”

Sanha lit up. “Sounds good, hyung.” And he hustled Minhyuk out the door.

Bin said, “Ew!” right before the door swung shut, and Jinwoo laughed.

“What now?” Jinwoo asked.

“Now,” Bin said, “how about some more of my magic touch?” He waggled his eyebrows.

Jinwoo nodded and tugged Bin toward the other bedroom. Bin flicked his fingers, and the lights went out as he passed.