A/N: I've been re-reading the Mortal Instruments series because I finally bought it. They are the only books I've ever been able to re-read. I most recently finished City of Glass and a certain few scenes stuck with me.
Remember when Jace, Alec and Clary broke Simon out of the prison and then they saved "Samuel" who turned out to be Hodge and Sebastian killed him? That's one of them. Sebastian called Alec disgusting, and I wanted to explore how that made him feel. Also, the scene after Max's death (which I cried at, again) where they are all in that house and Isabelle won't come out of her room, etc, stuck with me. However, I felt that there was something missing: A conversation between Jace and Alec. So I wrote it.
So here it is, it's a Jalec. Yet, somehow a Malec. I always seem to write the most bittersweet of things.
A Silent Promise
The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass
Alec sighed. He'd spent hours trying to coax Isabelle out of her room, to try and convince her to attend the funeral. He didn't really get anywhere. The only replies he received were "Go away" and muffled cries. If only she realized it wasn't her fault.
He'd finally retired to the room he currently inhabited in the house to change. He stared at himself in the mirror. He looked tired and worn, after everything that had happened. He still couldn't wrap his mind around it. Thoughts rushed to the front of his mind all at once, and he had no idea which to think about first, so he simply just pushed them all away.
He ran a hand through his black hair, annoyed that it was disheveled, but he didn't have enough will to fix it anyway. Trying to ignore the creases of worry in his forehead, he turned away from his reflection and his bare-except-for -boxers body and glanced at the clothes laid out on the bed.
All white. The color of death. The jacket had runes woven into the collar and wrists in scarlet. They were runes of healing and grief. Somehow Alec hadn't been able to bring himself to dress in them yet. Maybe it was because Max's death seemed surreal. An innocent child died at the hands of a monster. It wasn't fair. In fact, it was so unfair that Alec wished himself dead instead.
He squeezed his eyes shut, remembering his younger brother. His curiosity, tousled hair and love for manga. Tears welled up, but he refused to let them fall. He had no idea how to really feel. How to feel about anything that had happened lately. There was Isabelle feeling guilty, Jace almost dying on several occasions, the Sebastian situation and Magnus Bane. Oh, Magnus...
Suddenly there was a soft knock at the door. Alec couldn't bring himself to speak for the fear that his voice would break, but it didn't matter anyway because the door swung open and Jace stood in the doorway. He was dressed in white as Alec should have been, leaning on the door frame.
A smirk played upon the golden Shadow Hunter's lips. "Are you going to get dressed?" He asked.
Alec had practically forgotten that he was only wearing boxers.
"Yes," he mumbled in reply, but still made no move to dress himself. Instead he just continued to stare at the clothes.
Jace's smirk was replaced by a frown. "Alec?" He watched him with concern.
"Isabelle's not coming," he said. His ice blue orbs finally glanced up to look at Jace.
"She blames herself, you know," Alec began. "Why Jace? Why Max? He never did anything. He was nine!" He hated that he had to use the past tense to talk about his own brother. "Why did we believe Sebastian?"
"I had my suspicions. I could have done something earlier. I should have," Jace said.
"The one time you aren't impulsive happens to be the one time we need you to be. Figures." Alec's voice was bitter. His eyes averted from Jace once more.
"Alec," Jace said softly, putting a hand on the other boy's shoulder. He could tell that he was holding back things. After all, they were Parabatai.
"Tell me what you're thinking."
Alec bit his lip. There was a lot swirling around in his mind. If only he could just let it out…
"Alec," Jace urged once more.
"I'm thinking that this is unfair, Jace!" Alec blurted. "I'm thinking Max was the innocent kid who got hurt because we weren't careful. I'm thinking that it's not fair he's gone and we're still here breathing." He looked up. His blue eyes had turned stormy. "He had nothing to do with any of this and he's dead!"
Jace's strong hand tightened on his shoulder, his facial expression somber.
"Mostly I'm thinking why. Why Max? Why not me? I mean, we all know I'm disgusting." The word left his lips coated in venom.
Jace remembered what it was Sebastian had said to him just after he'd killed Hodge:
"I think we all know what's wrong with you. They shouldn't let your kind in the Clave. You're disgusting."
Alec's face drained of all color at those words and he had said nothing in retaliation.
Suddenly Alec's eyes were locked on his intensely. "Look at me and tell me I'm not disgusting, Jace." Was it horrible that he needed to hear it? Maybe he could believe it if it came from Jace's lips. Alec was still a firm believer that Jace didn't lie, even if he had a few times lately.
When Sebastian had first said it, he was only shocked because it seemed impossible that something like that could come out of his mouth, but over time, it set in. Mostly because he had time to let it sink in to his brain, embedding itself there. It seemed to be plaguing him now.
"I bet it sickened you to find out how I felt about you for years. And despite what you say, I did love you. I always did. It wasn't an excuse. It wasn't because it was safe. Hell, loving you could never be safe-" His rambling was cut short.
Jace had enough. In a matter of seconds, he had pulled Alec close, his strong calloused hands holding his face. And then, his lips were moving against Alec's.
Alec dreamed about this moment for years, but never did he actually think it would happen. He never stopped loving Jace. He only fell out of love with him when Magnus Bane danced into his life with his glitter and cat-like eyes. Magnus caught his attention. Nobody but Jace had ever managed to do so and it shocked him more than anything. It was strange to him, the idea of liking someone who felt the same way.
Jace was wrong all along. Alec had been in love with him. His best friend. His Parabatai. And although he was sure that he'd never felt anything quite like how he felt for Magnus, a part of him would always love Jace. He just wasn't in love with him anymore.
Alec didn't even remember starting to kiss Jace back, but he was. It didn't last longer than a minute, but it felt like eternity.
Jace's lips finally left Alec's, but his hands still held the sides of his face. "You," he began. "Are not disgusting."
Alec nodded dumbly, still shocked by the kiss. "I believe you," he said, dazed.
"Gay or not, once in love with me or not… you're still my best friend. My Parabatai," Jace said. Closer than brothers.
Alec nodded once more as Jace's hands fell from his face.
Jace had just kissed him. He hadn't cringed or anything of the sort. He didn't treat Alec's feelings as if it was a game. He didn't interrogate him either. It wasn't Jace's usual style and it was more than Alec could have asked for. "Thanks Jace."
"Now, get dressed," Jace ordered, moving towards the door. "Although I'm sure Magnus wouldn't mind your almost nakedness, I'm not sure it's funeral attire." And with a smirk, he was back to the snarky Jace he knew.
Alec felt a blush spread across his face. "Jace?"
"I love you," he said.
Jace didn't appear to be caught off guard. "I love you too, Alec," he replied. "Now let's go honor our brother."
Alec nodded, picking up the white pants. "You called him our brother," he observed.
"Of course," Jace said. "Didn't you hear? I'm a Lightwood." He shut the door with a hint of a smile.
After the funeral, Jace and Alec decided to take a walk. They needed an escape from the tears, the memories and the regrets. Most of all, they needed the presence of each other.
They were walking through Alicante in silence. However, it wasn't awkward or uncomfortable. It was almost blissful.
After a while, Jace came to a halt and turned to Alec. "I'm going after him, you know," he said. "Sebastian. He'll lead me to Valentine. I have a way to track him."
Normally Alec would forbid it. He'd tell Jace that there was no way he'd be going.
"This is the part where you tell me I can't leave, Alec," Jace prompted, obviously confused by Alec's reaction.
"This is the part where I think about saying that, but don't because I know you'll go anyway," Alec countered.
"You know me so well."
"You weren't planning on telling me, were you?" Alec questioned. It wasn't usual for Jace to tell anybody of his crazy plans, or ask for permission.
"No, I wasn't. I was going to tell Luke. I had a letter written for you and Isabelle," he admitted.
"Then what made you change your mind?"
"Impulse," he said simply. "That, and I just felt like I should tell you."
Alec raised an eyebrow. "Not even Clary?"
Jace shook his head. "Just you," he told him. "Although I did expect a different reaction from you."
"Honestly, so did I…"
"I know I can do it, Alec. I can kill Sebastian. I can kill Valentine."
"I know you're capable of doing so. I don't doubt that, Jace. It doesn't make me feel any less protective though. Sometimes I get the impression that you have some sort of death wish." Alec held his eyes with his own.
Jace's eyes darkened at his response. "I have to do it. It's not over until I do." It was also about Max. Revenge.
"I know," Alec mumbled. He bit his lip. Should he say it? He had tried to talk to Jace about it after Sebastian killed Hodge and attacked the rest of them after rescuing Simon, but Jace had shut him down almost immediately. "You're nothing like him, Jace. You're not Valentine."
His words hung in the air, although Jace said nothing in reply. However, he didn't stray his eyes from Alec's either. He was lost in the blue ocean.
"Promise me something?" Jace broke the silence a minute later.
Alec looked at him expectantly.
"Be here waiting for me when I return," he said.
When, not if.
Alec nodded. "Always," he said. "Good luck, Jace."
They clasped hands and just looked at each other for a moment, as if they were memorizing each other's facial features in case they never got the chance to see each other again but were hopeful that it would indeed happen. A silent promise between Parabatai.
Reviews are lovely! :)