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The Withering of a Rose

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Japhael || Shadowhunters || Japhael || The Withering of a Rose || Japhael || Shadowhunters || Japhael

Title: The Withering of a Rose – And the Support of Love

Fandom: Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments

Disclaimer: All rights to the Shadowhunters show reserved to Ed Decter, the books the show is based off and its characters belong to Cassandra Clare. This fanfiction on the other hand is entirely mine. No money is made with this, though reviews are more than welcomed.

Warnings: m/m, character death, hurt/comfort, family feels

Main Pairing: Raphael/Jace

Shadowhunters Characters: Jonathan Christopher 'Jace' Wayland, Raphael Santiago, Rosa Santiago, Magnus Bane

Summary: Raphael gets to introduce his sister to his boyfriend, before tragedy strikes.

The Withering of a Rose

And the Support of Love

Raphael was smiling, a genuine and soft smile, as he gazed at the stars with his sister, telling her stories she should know. Sharing memories she had been a part of. It hurt. It always hurt.

"Oh, that's nice", hummed Rosa with a smile as she followed his gaze.

Before Raphael could reply, he was interrupted by his phone. He scowled, everyone knew that nothing had higher priority than this. No one knew what exactly he did during this particular time, but they still feared their great clan leader enough to know not to bother him. Generally speaking, the clan seemed to believe it was 'date night' for Raphael. The scowl eased off his face and was replaced with a pleased look as he saw who had texted them.

"Rosa, there was someone I wanted you to meet. He's... always very busy, but he would be able to make it, if you don't mind", said Raphael gently, looking at his baby sister.

"Oh? Is it your special someone?", asked Rosa with a nearly girly giggle.

Raphael smiled fondly, though if he were human he might have blushed. "Yes. He's... very special to me. I love him and I'd love for you two to meet."

"Raph!", called Jace out as he came jogging toward Rosa and Raphael.

"Angelito. I'm glad you could make it after all", smiled Raphael pleased.

Jace grinned, slipping his own hand into Raphael's and pulling him in to kiss his cheek. When Jace turned toward Rosa, he had his most charming and bedazzling smile on before kissing her hand.

"You must be Rosa. Raphael told me so much about you", greeted Jace. "And I must say, he was understating your beauty. I'm Jace Herondale."

"Oh, such a sweet-talker", laughed Rosa, turning toward Raphael. "Has he charmed you like that too? And such a pretty face. My, you have such good taste."

Raphael smiled and nodded in agreement. "He is quite the charmer."

Laughing, Jace sat down with them and joined them in their conversation.

/break\

Raphael felt rather disconnected from the world as he put his phone down. This morning, the call... He still couldn't quite grasp the reality of it. For a while, he just sat there, on his bed, staring blankly at the wall. Once he gathered himself enough to form a half-way coherent sentence, he texted the three most important people he had to inform them of what had happened.

Magnus, Jace and Isabelle.

Raphael wasn't quite sure how to label his relationship with Isabelle. She was dear to him and he was sure that whatever they had had been more than just blood-lust, but it also wasn't love. Still, he valued her as... a friend? She was his friend. He trusted her and... Rosa liked her. ...Rosa had liked her. The thought squeezed his heart, but before he could get lost in it, a portal opened. Out stepped Magnus, who immediately stepped up to pull Raphael into a tight hug.

"Papá?", asked Raphael surprised, blinking a few times. "But I only just texted you..."

"Did you really think I wouldn't drop everything to come to you, mijo?", asked Magnus gently.

He had a hand resting on Raphael's back, the other in his neck, holding him soothingly and tightly. Raphael closed his eyes and clung onto Magnus, feeling the tears welling up again. Magnus whispered softly, encouraging things that Raphael couldn't focus on. All he could focus on was clinging onto Magnus, the only family he had left now. Gently, Magnus was running his fingers through Raphael's hair as the two of them sat down on the couch together.

"Hey", whispered a gentle voice Raphael knew all too well.

He slowly broke his hug with Magnus, just to have Jace hug him. Raphael buried his face in the soft, golden-blonde hair of his lover and pulled Jace as close as possible.

Honestly, if someone would have told him half a year ago that after his sister's death, he would find solitude in the arms of Jace Wayland... But something had happened. It had come gradually, over the time Jace was living with Magnus. Raphael always visited Magnus a lot, especially while he was recovering from the addiction to Isabelle's blood. Magnus had been his rock, had helped him through this. Jace had hovered. After a while, they started talking, when Raphael had dropped by while Magnus was out on a date with Alec. They... bonded. Jace had his own issues to deal with, between the abduction and torture and PTSD. They grew closer, until they actually started to meet without Magnus, not at the loft. They had learned to support each other and somehow, it was a bond that felt stronger than friendship. At first, Raphael had doubted Jace would be willing to date someone asexual, considering his reputation, but it turned out that Jace was craving emotional support and gentle, physical comfort far more than to get off. For having Raphael genuinely love him and hold him soothingly through a nightmare, Jace was more than willing to just jerk off in the shower alone. They made it work, because they could give each other what they craved most. Care.

"I'll leave you in your boyfriend's capable hands", whispered Magnus gently, kissing the top of Raphael's hair. "If Jace has to leave for a mission and you don't want to be alone, call me, mijo."

Raphael nodded and watched Magnus portal away. Slowly, Jace led Raphael over toward the bed where the two of them curled together, Raphael burying his face in Jace's neck, while Jace gently played with his hair, just holding onto him. They were quiet for a long time.

"When is the funeral?", asked Jace softly, brushing a kiss against Raphael's temple.

"During the day", whispered Raphael pained, clinging tighter onto the blonde.

Another stretch of silence, but this time, it felt more tense. "Do you... want for us to go together?"

"Jace", sighed Raphael tired. "I can't go. I... can't go to pay my sister her last respect."

"What if you could?", asked Jace carefully, bringing some distance between them. "What if... you could become a Daylighter, like Simon?" When Raphael didn't reply and just stare at him in confusion, Jace continued. "I wanted to talk to you about it for a while, but... I don't... I didn't know how to bring it up. But if I don't bring it up now, I'll regret it."

"Jace, bonito", whispered Raphael confused, gently cupping Jace's face. "What are you talking about? You... You know Simon's secret? About how he became a Daylighter? And... you decided that your loyalty would lay with him instead of with... me...?"

"No. No", interrupted Jace firmly, holding Raphael's gaze with a fierce glare that seemed all the more impressive due to his beautiful dual-colored eyes. "That's... That's not it. He knows my secret and he has been keeping my secret."

"You're not making sense, angelito", sighed Raphael exhausted. "Please... I'm not in the..."

"It's my blood", stated Jace, looking nervous as he bit his lower lip hard. "The... The experiments Valentine did on me, with the additional, pure angelic blood. Simon drank from me and... that's how he became a Daylighter. He knows if that becomes public knowledge, I'll become the vampires' favorite little midnight snack, so he promised to keep my secret. I've... been thinking about telling you for a while now, but I just never knew how to bring it up. Especially with what had happened between you and... and Izzy."

Raphael stared at his boyfriend in surprised. "Dios mio... You..."

Jace shrugged, clearly uncomfortable as he tried to avoid Raphael's gaze. Carefully, Raphael reached out to rest a hand on Jace's cheek, making the blonde look at him again.

"You should be able to go to your sister's funeral", stated Jace seriously. "I... family is important."

Raphael nodded slowly and leaned in to kiss Jace very gently. "Thank you for trusting me, angelito. And... thank you for... offering me this. You truly are my angel."

Jace grinned nearly bashfully at that and leaned in.

/break\

Drinking directly from Jace would have been a bad idea, so with a little help from Magnus, they came up with a better solution. Catarina, close enough friends with Magnus to not ask questions, took a bag of Jace's blood, for Raphael's consumption. They went to the funeral together, solemnly, and kept their distance for the following two weeks, just to make sure there was no craving left. Magnus observed everything closely, on both ends.

Raphael gained far more respect than he had before. Being the leader and a Daylighter? And no one was any wiser as to where he had gotten it from. Most assumed he had gotten it from Simon, which also strengthened his leadership position, because the fact that he had allowed the fledgling to get away with the secret and let him dance on the table had undermined him a lot.

"Come in", grunted Jace as someone knocked on his door.

He smiled pleased when his boyfriend entered. Now that Raphael wasn't bound by night anymore, he could come and visit Jace during the day too. He had free access to the Institute – oh, Alec had really not liked the fact that Raphael was now dating his parabatai, but he accepted that what Jace and Raphael had was good for them both and not unhealthy like the addiction between Isabelle and Raphael. Raphael smiled at him briefly before looking around the room in wonder. It fascinated Raphael that his boyfriend was living in a church's bell-tower. The stained glass window painted Jace in beautiful, soft colors as the sun was setting over New York. Truly, Jace was like a piece of art as he was sprawled out on his bed, painted in the reds and pinks of the glass, looking so soft and holy at the same time. Jace smiled at him invitingly and Raphael gladly took the invitation. He sat down next to Jace, gently brushing the blonde's hair out of his face.

"You look exhausted again, mi sol", whispered Raphael disapprovingly.

The nickname made Jace blush a pretty pink. It was still new, but it was very befitting – Jace had literally given Raphael back the sun. Jace curled up against Raphael as the vampire laid down next to him. Sighing, Raphael started playing with the golden-blonde hair.

"Please talk to Magnus about your nightmares and... hallucinations", requested Raphael. "He is powerful. He will be able to help you, somehow. I refuse to stand by and watch you suffer, angelito, as you refused to stand by and watch me suffer."

Jace frowned at him disapprovingly. He hated when Raphael used such things against him, but he knew his boyfriend was most likely right. Hopefully. He couldn't... go on like this. It was slowly driving him insane. Sighing in defeat, he pillowed his head on Raphael's chest. They could go and maybe talk to Magnus. Tomorrow. Right now, he wanted to enjoy having Raphael with him.

~*~ The End ~*~