Alec normally avoided looking in mirrors, even before the incident. Then, it had been because he didn't really care what he looked like, now it was because he couldn't stand to look at himself. Couldn't stand to see the hatred of himself in his own eyes. He wore a constant look of haggard sorrow, as if his whole life teetered on the edge of a sharp sword and his body was beginning to sink. His eyes were lined with purple and green, bruised and swollen red, even more pronounced with the sallow pallor of his skin. His mouth was a thin line of red, his bottom lip so cracked from biting it that it seemed more a bloody gash in the middle of his face than any part of normal anatomy.
It was not this that garnered his attention – they were just reminders of how he had destroyed everything, thrown it all away. He didn't need those reminders, not when his mind never wavered from them, not when they took up every waking moment and haunted every dream. No, it was not his face that had caught his attention as he was changing, but his stomach. Alec had always been slender, muscled as any shadow hunter was, but thin. Now however, his stomach was rounded, nearly imperceptivity, but there.
Four months, was what Brother Zachariah had told him, the last time they had met. At four months he would begin to show. The bump was just proof that Alec was no longer in control of just his life – the proof that it was no longer just his to live. It was this bump, four months in the making now, that had kept him alive through it all. It was these unknown entities that had succeeded where Isabelle and Jace had failed. It was the reason he kept living.
For a moment, one hand resting protectively on the rounded flesh, he smiled. It was not, perhaps, a happy smile, it had been so long, it seemed, since he had felt an emotion like 'happiness' that surely his body no longer knew how to pull his face into any indication of it. No, this was a sorrow filled smile. It was this bump that he had thrown everything away for. It was this that had sparked the desperate desire to know him; the man who had helped create it. It was this that had caused him to go to Camille, desperate to know his lover, this that had ended it all. He should hate it really, but Alec could not bring himself to hate this tiny bump, this small indication of the lives growing inside him.
It was his only reminder of his happiness, those fleeting moments that burned as brightly as a flame but had flickered and fell like a match. It might kill him, Brother Zachariah had told him all those months ago when Alec thought his missing Parabatai was all that was making him ill. His body was rather obviously not equipped to handle such a process like childbirth although it had been a miracle to have even made it this far. Alec was not troubled by the idea. Shadow hunters were raised to never fear death but embrace the possibility and live regardless. And the idea of bringing these lives to the world, even at the cost of his own, was the only solace he found in his existence.
So he smiled, that fleeting upward movement, patted the small bump he should have despised but couldn't, and slipped his dark, mercifully, baggy sweater over his head. Brother Zachariah had been missing for some time now and only now sent a letter to Alec, telling him he was back and that it was time. He had been stripped of his Silent Brother marks, Jace had reported quietly to him as he sat in the dining room, not eating but showing his family that he was still, somehow, alive. He had done it voluntarily, although Alec could not fathom why. And it didn't matter really, if Brother Zachariah was truly a brother anymore or just another shadow hunter. He had become Alec's most trusted confidant in the months he had spent carefully separated from everyone; the only one who knew of his secret and the only one Alec could depend on to help him with this.
Alec regretted a lot of things but this, he pondered, as he grabbed his bag of necessities and his stele, and left his room, was not one of them. He had no idea if he would ever see this place again, the Institute he was raised in, and didn't know if he wanted to. Brother Zachariah had promised, in his letter, that he had found someone who could help Alec but only if he left and came with them. Who might be able to save him and the two growing inside.
Alec walked out of the Institute under the cover of darkness, without a word to a soul, and never looked back. He was smiling again, that sad smile, and felt free, for the first time in months. His smile did not fade, for once, when he caught sight of a tall figure, dark haired and Asiatic in appearance, one he knew instinctively as the one he called Brother Zachariah although he knew he must surely be going by something else now, and a slenderer figure, a woman with brown hair and the grayest eyes he had ever seen. They didn't say a word, not at this crucial moment, but began walking as soon as he reached them.
It was almost like walking with companions, Alec thought as he fell in step with the former Brother and the woman, a feeling that Alec had not felt since his life had given way. It was almost nice, and a feeling that may have been hope bubbled in him when the woman squeezed his hand ever so slightly. He was not happy; maybe he never would be again, but he was content in this plan, content to trust the tatters of himself with these two strangers. He could not stay here, with this secret waiting to reveal itself at every moment, where the memories of a past life haunted him at every corner.
He did not know what lay before him, on this darkened path, but nothing could be worse than what he was leaving behind.
Jace woke to a feeling of great dread. He could not say how he knew it, when he walked to Alec's room and knocked, but he knew there would be no answer. He had known this would happen, that he would wake up and Alec would be gone, for three months. Had feared this since Alec had walked into the Institute in the middle of the night, covered in blood and tears, and went into his room without saying a word. Something had broken in Alec that day and none of them had been able fix it.
He only hoped as he opened the door and looked into the empty room, his eyes stinging, that Alec could return one day, finally fixed.
So hey, this came to my mind and I really had to write it down. I don't know if I should continue it or leave it. If I continue, Jem and Tessa will play an integral part in Alec's and his babies lives. I hoped you liked it and will tell me if you think I should continue or not. Thank you for taking the time to read this, in any case.