Remix: If you put your mind to it (You can't roller-skate in a buffalo herd remix) [Justin, Alex, 554 words, rated PG, incestuous themes], by nessataleweaver
Until now, everything that makes Justin happy – really, really happy – can be sorted under two categories: magic and Alex.
But now he’s at Wiz Tech, and it’s everything he hoped college would be, years early. He can answer all the questions, and get praised for it. His classmates look at him with admiration and jealousy. He might actually be… well, popular?
It’s like he and Alex have swapped places, in a parallel-universe sort of way. Only he’s not deceiving anyone or getting out of trouble with immense amounts of natural charm, or understanding what makes people tick just enough to make them do what he wants, without understanding how much they could be damaged.
(Alex has never understood how much she’s damaged him. You only hurt the ones you love. That’s because the more you love someone, the more vulnerable you are to them.)
Okay, so despite what he says, he thinks the robes are silly, and the glasses make the bridge of his nose itch.
(But those glasses, they don’t look so bad on her. Hell, they look adorable. But maybe that’s just because he is prejudiced.)
He’s still happier here than he’s been anywhere else, except in the Lair, or on a flying carpet.
(Alex is here with him, after all. And as much as he misses his parents, at least he doesn’t have to feel guilty when his eyes linger on Alex. He misses Max, but at least he can give Alex all his extra-curricular attention now.)
But somehow? No matter how much he tells himself he has everything he really needs, he can’t help but feel there’s something missing. It’s not until he finds Alex huddled under the stairs and trying not to cry that he figures it out. She isn’t happy. So how can he be?
(He pushes away just how happy he is to have her crying on his shoulder, or just how much he loves holding her tightly. The deeper in denial he is, the easier it is to cope.)
But she doesn’t take the portal key. Instead, she looks… well, hurt, by the fact that he’s offering something he knows will make her happy.
“Do you want me to go?”
“I want you to be happy,” he looks at his hands, his voice a little strained.
(Because he can’t ever let her know that without her, Wiz Tech is nothing but a pile of stone. There is no happiness in magic without her to see.)
So when they’re home again, stuffed full of parental adoration and ten-cheese enchilda surprise, he’s surprised to find her crying on the couch. She looks at him like her heart’s breaking, but says he should go back to Wiz Tech because she wants him to be happy, and he can’t help but pull her into his arms.
(It would be dangerous to let her see his face. Even more dangerous than letting himself acknowledge that she fits in his arms like he was born to hold her.)
When he tells her, “I am happy wherever you are,” it’s the most basic truth he’s ever known. Way beyond e equals mc squared. Even beyond Joss Whedon being his god now.
(In the end all that matters is that she is happy, because his happiness comes from her being happy, wherever she is.)