Title: Forkfighting

Character(s): Jace Wayland and Alec Lightwood, guest appearances from Maryse Lightwood, Robert Lightwood, Max Lightwood, Isabelle Lightwood, and Hodge Starkweather.

Pairing(s): None

Rating: PG (swearing, violence)

Spoilers: None, preseries

Word Count: 2,094

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the setting, those belong to Cassandra Clare. And Gema (Gema227) came up with the plot idea, so I don't own that either. Just the writing. Yeah. That's it.

Summary: Oneshot; Alec is mad at Jace, and when dinner at the Institute rolls around, rage shows its face in the form of a battle with eating utensils. Preseries. Rated for swearing and a little violence.

A/N: Oh, God, what the hell have I done? xDDD Sorry if this sucks. This is only my third or fourth attempt at writing anything lighthearted, and I'm not really getting the hang of it yet.

Anyway, this was inspired by a hysterical AIM convo with Gema, who PWNS. She came up with this whole idea – and I mean the fork fighting AND why the conflict between J n' A ended the way it did in the end. A tiny bit of the dialogue, too. I was only the writing, the idea for why Alec got mad at Jace - and most of the dialogue. I can back that all up, too, I still have the chat log.

This was very, very fun to do. Jace is one crazy bastard. (Alec too.) And yes, I know Magnus said "Vindictive little bastards" in CoB. I used that line for Alec on accident and later realized it, but thought it was cute. So I left it. xD

Self-beta'd, so sorry for any typos or anything. Reviews are major love – I don't care how short it is, just lemme know what you think, please! –feels like a copycat- Anyway, here you go:

***********

When you lived with the Lightwoods (plus one Wayland), there were three ways to tell if dinner at the Institute was going to be potentially fatal.

One: Isabelle was helping Maryse cook.

Two: Even worse - Isabelle was cooking alone.

And three: You were Jace Wayland, and Alec Lightwood was screaming your name, malevolence glimmering in his tone like the slick pile of God-knows-what that Isabelle "cooked" into existence.

Jace heard the telltale shouts of his parabatai, saw his clock flashing a number that proclaimed he was sure to die a certain death by Alec in roughly five minutes, and his omnipresent smirk only widened into a huge grin.

It had to have something to do with his love of danger, he thought. Only if someone had a death wish – or at least intense pain wish – would they goad Alec, not once, nor twice, but countless times over the last five years of living in the same house as him. But whatever the reason, Jace had been messing around with Alec again.

And Alec had found out at, depending on how you looked at it, either the best or the worst time.

***********

"You little vindictive bastard!"

Jace nearly choked on laughter and a mouthful of spaghetti as Alec, finally freed from his parent's unyielding observation of his angry features, dug his elbow into his stepbrother's ribcage as quietly and forcefully as he could simultaneously manage. The Shadowhunter boy was furious. Jace could tell from his body language that there were things a lot worse than "bastard" that he wanted to call him. Unruly black hair was hanging in Alec's smoldering gaze, only half-hiding a humongous scowl. The hand he wasn't using to handle his fork was clenched into a fist that hung by the side of his chair. First his thin, nimble fingers had turned white, then Jace had watched with barely concealed amusement and fascination as they took on a shade of red, and eventually purple.

"When I am done with you, Wayland," Alec hissed under the unenthusiastic chatter of his parents, tutor and siblings, "you won't be laughing. In fact, you won't even have the vocal cords to laugh with."

Jace cracked a sideways smirk at him. "I should make use of them while I still have them, then, shouldn't I?"

"You have made enough use of your big mouth for three lifetimes."

"Yes, but that's not what you're mad about."

Alec growled softly, letting his fork fall onto the table with a clatter and crossing his arms over his chest in a sulky manner. He glared at his plate. "You're the worst sibling ever sometimes, you know that?"

Grinning softly, Jace told him, "I know it and I love it."

The dark-haired Shadowhunter shut his eyes, let his neck go limp and drop his head to his chest, and took a very deep breath. Jace was about to ask him if he was going to spend the rest of dinnertime inhaling when Isabelle, humor glinting in her voice, shot across the table, "Tired, Alec?"

Sitting up straight in his chair, Alec gasped out thirty seconds worth of air intake in about a millisecond. "You knew about this?!" Shock and anger was evident in his screech. "Izzy, you… wh… Angel…"

Maryse's eyebrow lifted. "Isabelle knew about what?"

"Nothing!" Isabelle insisted, widening her made-up eyes and shaking her head in a picture of innocence – something that she could barely still pull off at thirteen. "I don't know about anything! No idea what he's talking about!"

"Alec?" Robert Lightwood had a stern expression of exhaustion on his face, as if he had been through this type of scene many, many times before.

A small giggle erupted from Max as Alec's face turned nearly as purple as his fingertips. His jaw was clamped together, a muscle on the side of his face working in fury. He opened his mouth, closed it again, took a breath and shook his head before connecting it with the table in a whack of frustration.

"Jace." Seeming a bit amused despite herself, the mother of the Lightwoods turned to their adopted son imploringly. "Maybe you can tell us what's going on."

Golden eyes slid over to Alec, still slumped down on the surface of the table. He shifted uncomfortably, so he was obviously able to feel Jace's gaze on him, but he didn't lift his head.

Jace calculated. How much of his pride would he lose if he said something uncharacteristically truthful and respectful? (How much blood would he lose if he didn't?)

It didn't take long for him to reach a decision. "Alec is obsessive-compulsive."

He didn't know what he had expected to hear. Maybe a shout of "I AM NOT." or "Well, you're an asshole!" But Jace was nothing short of surprised when something whistled by his ear to land in the wood by his hand, resting on the table. A surprised yelp from Isabelle was audible through the sound of Max jumping so badly that his chair clattered to the floor.

"Sonofabitch, Alec, you almost stabbed my hand!"

"You're right. I missed." Alec's hand was still tightly wound around the end of his fork, despite the fact that it was quivering in aftershock, embedded in the wood of the table.

Jace, despite his alarm, took a look at his friend's fingers and said, "You might want to let up on your hold, or you're going to end up with permanently black fingers. You know, black like that shirt I -"

He was cut off as Alec, with a livid shout, yanked the fork up and out of the table and swung it at Jace with ease that could only be explained by skill with an actual blade. Before he was really aware that he was doing it, Jace snatched up his own utensil and, with a deft flick of his upper arm, parried his Alec's attack. The forks made the satisfying clink sound that was so common in swordplay as they collided.

Standing up from her chair, Maryse began to say something in a loud and furious, but Hodge soothed her with, "They're teenage boys, Maryse, let them get it out."

Jace barely heard him. It was as if he was in a real battle, with his instincts controlling his every action, telling him to shut up, stand up and let the chair fall to the floor, brandishing his fork. Alec was doing the same, balancing his weight lightly on his feet, rage on his face like a written label. He was holding his fork underhand, as if it were a dagger, while Jace held his out almost like he was wielding a seraph blade. He realized – too late – that this was a fairly improper fighting posture for a fork as his opponent's metal weapon shrieked through the air and slapped the back of Jace's knuckles.

If you've ever had a piece of metal ram into your own knuckles, you know the feeling – the stinging pain like you've just been punched, the rushing sensation that causes you to wonder if you're bleeding, asking yourself if you'll ever be able to make use of your hand again. It's not that bad, nothing crippling, certainly nothing that's going to keep you from a fight, but it hurts.

Well, imagine a piece of metal hitting you square in the sensitive part of your finger joints at at least twenty miles per hour, coming from the well-trained hand of a teenage – and royally pissed off - Shadowhunter boy.

Jace swore and looked down at his reddening hand as Alec roared, "JACE WAYLAND, YOU QUIT SCREWING AROUND WITH THE WAY I ORGANIZE MY FUCKING CLOSET!" He began to send another blow from the fork Jace's way – and this time it looked more like a stabbing motion – but the other boy was already in position, twisting his arm to knock Alec's fork away with his own.

"By the Angel, Alec, it's organized by color! And I know since you only wear two or three colors it really isn't all that hard, but - " This retort was met by another attempt from Alec to stab Jace, but his fork clanged to the rescue, inches away from a piercing wound. "I mean, really, live a little!"

Luckily for Jace and his statement that would just fan the flames, Alec wasn't listening. "DO I GO INTO YOUR ROOM –" he hollered, twisting his weapon around Jace's and this time making four thin, white scratch lines just below the sleeve of his shirt – "AND MESS AROUND WITH YOUR STUFF?"

"I actually don't care obsessively about it like you do, so I have no idea!" Jace's fuse was starting to run short, Alec's fury and the pain being inflicted upon him wearing away at his patience. Still, the quick jab of his weapon he attempted to send at Alec was only halfhearted.

It was nothing compared to the wrath glinting in Alec's blue eyes as he sidestepped the blow and shouted, "NO, I DON'T!"

Laugher was coming in great gales from Isabelle, who was sinking back against the refrigerator and giggling nonstop. Jace couldn't see Max in any of the sideways glances he gave the scene in the rest of the room. He might have fled when the battle started getting a little more heated. Maryse looked tense and irate, ready to intervene at any second. Robert actually looked a bit amused, in spite of himself. Hodge was – apparently blocked by Alec's fork coming straight for his Jace's eye.

With a shout of "Christ!" Jace dropped to the ground in a practiced duck and lunged for Alec's knee, fork in hand. He didn't care about not hurting anybody now. Alec had the nerve to piss him off, to fight with him, and now he was going to show him who was boss.

Later, Jace wouldn't know if he was really going to stab Alec. He thought so at that moment, but before he could actually thrust the fork into his best friend's leg, he hesitated. Then its match buried its pointed end in his shoulder.

Bellowing with pain and sinking forward, Jace couldn't help but plunge the shining instrument into Alec's ankle.

***********

"I absolutely can not believe you!"

"Oh, you can't believe me? You know not to mess with my closet by now!"

"Okay, I only mixed up the blues and the blacks, it's not really that big a deal. And that does NOT give you an excuse to STAB me! It does not matter if a simple healing rune - "

"Well, me stabbing you does not give you an excuse to stab me!"

"We're Shadowhunters, by the Angel, of course it does!"

Alec was going to say something back, and from the look on his face is was probably going to be rude, but just then the infirmary door opened and Isabelle stuck her head in. Jace and Alec, sitting uncomfortably side-by-side on a bed, turned to look at her. Her mouth glittered with newly applied lip gloss, and a thin eyebrow rose into newly brushed, shimmering black hair. "You guys are really in for it," she commented leisurely, as if it were something she said every day. (Of course, it almost was.)

Jace and Alec, seeming to ignore this comment, cast each other matching sidelong glances of concern. For a moment, neither of them said anything, and Isabelle was just about to break the silence when Jace turned back to her, raised an eyebrow, and said, "You're looking nice and prim tonight. Going somewhere?"

Isabelle smirked at him. "Watch out for Mom, she's pissed," she warned one last time, disappearing through the door before she could be made to answer the question.

Alec cast a sidelong glance at Jace. "Truce?" he offered.

"Why?"

He smirked. "So we can dispatch whoever she's going to see dressed like that. Side-by-side. You know, parabatai. Pretending we actually get along."

Laughing, Jace rolled his sleeve down over the scratches as if wiping away his grudge and said, "That sounds good to me. And just so you know," he added, "she didn't actually know about what I did to your -"

Suddenly, both boys looked up as they heard Maryse's voice booming down the hallway.

"I SWEAR ON THE ANGEL, YOU TWO ARE GOING TO BE EATING WITH ONLY SPOONS FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS!"

Jace scoffed. "That's won't stop us. I hear you can really do some damage if you hit hard enough on -"

Alec, laughing almost as if he couldn't help it, kicked him.