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Take These Broken Wings

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Herondale.

It was stupid, how upset the word made him. No, the name. His name.

He didn’t want it. Not the name, that separated him so much from the life he’d been immersed in only two weeks ago. Not the legacy that followed it, attracting admiring, expecting looks from him.

It was stupid, his aversion to himself, to his family, but the feeling didn’t go away, all the same. He wasn’t Christopher Herondale, he was Kit Rook. He wasn’t the fancy Shadowhunter everyone wanted him to be, he was the son of a merchant, and a shady merchant at that.

He sighed, glancing around his room in the Institute, which he’d already managed to make a mess of. Clothes were scattered everywhere- all black, annoyingly enough, for his own clothing had been destroyed, and the Shadowhunters didn’t seem to own anything in any other colors.

And then there was him, perhaps even more of a mess than the room. His hair was disheveled, clothes rumpled, and there were deep purple shadows under his eyes. He hadn’t been sleeping well- how could he, with the memory of his father’s death playing on constant repeat inside his head?

A knock sounded at the door, and he glanced up, startled, before relaxing, moving to open the door. It was Ty, of course. The other boy had made a habit of checking in on Kit, a gesture the blond appreciated far more than he’d like to admit.

He didn’t want to be here, a fact he was certain he’d made incredibly clear, but at least Ty made it bearable. At least he had a friend, throughout the chaos that had followed his father’s…. passing? He didn’t want to say death, although he knew that was the word for what had happened.

Kit swung the door open, frowning slightly when he saw Drusilla, Ty’s sister, at the door. “Well you’re not Ty.” He said, raising an eyebrow, voice dry.

Drusilla laughed, eyes twinkling. “No, really? How could you tell? He sent me to make sure you’re alright- he and Livvy had to go deal with some rogue demons by a mundane cafe or something. I didn’t get the details.” She hesitated, meeting his eyes. “You should feel very honored, you know. Ty likes to keep to a schedule. I’m still surprised he adjusted it for you.”

Kit shrugged, trying to hide his surprise. He’d known Ty liked to keep to a routine, sure, but something in Dru’s voice made him think it was more than that. Bigger than that. He’d have to thank Ty next time he saw him.

“Alright….” He blinked at her, unsure what to say. “Well, thanks for checking in?”
She laughed, a coy smile playing on her lips. “I’m not really checking in if you don’t tell me if you’re alright.”

Kit nodded, slowly. “I’m alright.” He lied, suddenly unable to meet her piercing eyes.

“No you aren’t.” Drusilla said, pouting. “How stupid do you think I am?”

Kit looked up at her, wincing. “Fine. What do you want me to say, Dru? You want me to talk about my dad’s death? Because that’s not really something I want to do, now or ever.”

Drusilla shook her head, grabbing his wrist. “No. I want you to admit that you’re upset, because it’s a lot easier to cope with grief if you can admit you’re experiencing it. And I want you to come downstairs because Jules made pancakes and you’re incredibly skinny.”

Kit hesitated, before nodding, smiling at her. “Okay. Fair enough, I guess. I have heard great things about these pancakes.”

For the first time, he thought he might have found a friend. Besides Ty, of course. But Ty was different, special in a way Kit wasn’t sure how to describe.

Having a friend made him feel at home, even if he’d never had friends when he’d lived with his dad, where he’d really had a home.

His smile seemed to widen as she tugged him down the stairs by his wrist.

Chapter Text

When Tiberius Blackthorn returned from his mission, the smell of pancakes was enough to make him grin, despite the black demon blood that covered him. He glanced at his twin sister, whose clothing was drenched with the same substance, and smiled at her, proudly.

It had been their first mission. Well, their first real mission. Their first solo mission- before, they’d gone with Emma or Julian.

This was big, and Ty had been quite nervous about it all week, although he hadn’t said anything. He hadn’t needed to- Livia knew, like always. That was, in the end, what mattered, for Livvy knew him better than anyone, and she knew how to calm him down.

He’d been scared he wouldn’t be able to use his headphones. Livvy had made sure he was able to- had fought for him with Julian, who was usually understanding about it all.

Ty didn’t understand why this had been so different for his older brother, until he heard him arguing with Livia.

He’d been scared the demon would break the headphones, or they’d fall out, or something, and then Ty would be at even more risk than he already was.

But luck had seemed to be on his side today: Livia had somehow convinced Julian to let him use the headphones, and somehow, everything had gone alright.

There had been close calls, close enough that he knew he should probably start training without the headphones, but he was glad it had worked out today. If it hadn’t, he was almost positive he’d be dead.

He hoped everyone hadn’t worried too much- everything was silent.

Then a peal of laughter- Tavvy- sounded, and he relaxed, slightly, as everyone else’s laughter joined in, although inside, a small part of him wished they were worried.

That small part of him was selfish, and was a much bigger part of him than he wanted to admit. And it was confusing.

Because that part of him desperately wanted Kit to be worried.

Why Kit? Ty wasn’t sure- it didn’t make sense. Of all the selfish things to want,why had he settled on having a boy (who worried far too much as it was) worry about him?

He sighed, focusing back on his sister. “I’m going to take a shower. D’you mind telling Jules we made it?”

She nodded, smiling at him. “Sure thing, Ty-Ty. Good job today.”

He grinned at her, bumping their shoulders together- normally, Ty didn’t like to be touched, but Livvy was the exception, because she understood him more than anyone else did, even Julian- and spoke proudly. “You too, Livvy.” Turning, he walked up the stairs towards his bedroom, and from there, to the attached bathroom.

When Ty met Kit’s eyes, his face flushed at the happiness that lit up the other boy’s face.

“Oh, hey.” Kit seemed to relax, smiling widely. “Julian was worried about you too, just so you know.”

Ty smiled pleasantly, unsure how to respond. Luckily, he didn’t have to, for Dru piped up cheerily, eyes on Kit.

“Please, so were you.”

“Was not.” Kit grumbled, but it was affectionate, and suddenly, Ty was starting to feel quite scared, for reasons he couldn’t explain if he tried.

Was something going on between them?

He did his best to maintain the pleasant smile, although from the way Dru’s eyes narrowed, it was clear he hadn’t succeeded. Still, he sat down, grinning at his older brother.

“These look delicious, Jules. Where’s everyone else?”

“Livvy’s in the shower, Cristina’s with Diego, Tavvy’s napping, and Emma and Mark went down to the beach, I think.” His face was impassive as he spoke the last part- he was much better at hiding his emotions than Ty, although Ty still wasn’t sure what emotions he was hiding- but Ty could see the way his fists clenched when he mentioned Emma and Mark.

Jules didn’t seem to like their relationship, although Ty wasn’t sure why. He probably just didn’t want either of them to get hurt- of course, no one did, but while they all loved Emma, Julian had always loved her best. After all, they were parabatai.

“Okay.” Ty glanced at Drusilla, who had visibly flinched when Diego and Cristina were mentioned- everyone knew she had the biggest crush on Diego. Maybe nothing was going on between her and Kit- a fact that shouldn’t comfort Ty as much as it did. Then again, he doubted anyone could stop her feelings for ‘Perfect Diego’, handsome Herondale or not.

Why were relationships in this house so difficult to understand?

Chapter Text

Kit yawned, glancing between the twins.

“It’s too early for this.” He grumbled, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt- well, Ty’s shirt, as he was the only Blackthorn whose clothes even remotely fit Kit (who wasn’t quite as muscular, or tall as any of the boys in the household, including Ty), although it was a stretch, and the shirt was quite large on him.

“Jules said you needed training.” Livvy’s eyes were a pretty blue, he noted, although not as pretty as Ty’s, which were more unique, like Ty himself. “So we’re training you. Well, Ty is. I’m just here to mock you when he beats you every time.” Normally, the words would’ve unnerved Kit, but there was something in Livvy’s tone, in her eyes, that made Kit feel far more comfortable than he would’ve if someone else- say, Julian- had said it.

Ty just smiled, putting on his headphones, and casually walking over to the corner of the room, where the weapons lay. Grabbing a knife, he turned back to Kit, smirking.

Kit looked at him, then back at the knife, and suddenly, he was smiling too, recalling the first time he’d met Tiberius Blackthorn- the dark-haired boy had had a knife then, as well, although back then, it was certainly a different circumstance, and Kit had hated Ty much more then than he did now.

He really should’ve been more apprehensive when Ty picked up the knife. It’d been an hour since the Blackthorn twins had woken Kit up, and the golden-haired had already been pinned to the ground, or the wall, with a knife at his throat.

He didn’t think Livvy had stopped snickering at him at all, throughout the entire training session.

Even Ty had a little self-satisfied smirk on his face, and if it had been anyone else, Kit was certain he would’ve been angry.

But not at Ty. Somehow, he found it impossible to summon anger towards the taller boy, although he’d only known him for a couple of weeks.

“Alright.” Ty announced, finally. “I think we’re done for now.”

Livvy gave him a merciless smile. “I’ll train with you tomorrow, okay Kit?”

He really doubted the idea that he had a choice he had in the matter. Apparently, he was right, because the brunette continued speaking.

“I smell bacon! C’mon, let’s go eat food.”

Kit grinned, falling into step beside Ty as they trailed after Livvy, who had eagerly bounded out of the training room- although she hadn’t gone to far, Kit noted. She was ahead of them, but he knew she would never go too far, for in all his time at the Institute, he had only seen the twins leave each other’s side once or twice.

He grinned at Ty, despite his embarrassment at how easy the defeat had been.

Ty’s smile had a certain confidence that Kit had learned to look out for in the Shadow Market- someone with a smile like that was risky, for you never knew if they were right to be confident, or if they were just an easy scam. Ty had a right, of course, as he’d just proven to Kit.

When they entered the kitchen, the first thing Kit noticed was not, for once, the food. It was the annoyed expression on both Julian and Emma’s faces.

“What’s going on?” Livvy spoke up, looking to her older brother.

It was Dru who responded, from her place at the table, an angry pout appearing on her face.

“The Ashdowns are coming to the Institute tomorrow, apparently.”

Livvy frowned, clearly confused as to why that was such a big deal. Kit blinked, eyes widening in recognition. “Like Cameron Ashdown? Emma’s ex? I mean, he’s a bit of a prick but it’s not that bad. Why are you all so upset?”

“Ashdowns, plural.” Julian’s voice was filled with a deep hatred that made Kit shiver. The older boy was quite terrifying, if he wanted to be.

“Oh, no.” Kit turned around, surprised to hear the same hatred in Livvy’s tone, which was usually much kinder than he’d ever thought. “Paige too?”

Ty flinched, and Kit looked around, suddenly quite worried. “Who the fuck is Paige?”

Julian coughed out something that sounded a lot like ‘language’, but no one paid him any heed.

“A bitch.” Dru was glaring at the floor as she spoke, the emotion in her voice just barely controlled.

That much, Kit had gathered, but as he looked around at the faces of the Blackthorn’s- and Emma- he felt a deep sense of dread.

He still didn’t know much about Cameron Ashdown’s bitchy sister, but already, he knew that meeting her was not something he was looking forward too.

Chapter Text

It was Livvy who pulled Kit aside, when the rest of the Blackthorns hurried off to grudgingly greet their guests.

Livvy, who glanced around them, making sure Ty hadn’t noticed she was gone, she explained when Kit asked what she was looking for. He wasn’t sure what exactly Livvy wanted to hide from Ty of all people, but many things she did were done for Ty, so he decided not to question her.

“Right. So Kit, you know Paige is a bitch, right? We’ve all said that much.”

Kit nodded, slightly confused as to why he needed a rehashing- and as to why Ty couldn’t overhear it.

“Okay, well, you should probably know how much Paige loves attention. And you, as the ‘Lost Herondale’- don’t look at me like that, Kit, you know I don’t call you that, I’m just saying that that’s how Paige will think of you- you’re the center of attention right now, as much as you hate it. And you’re cute- it’s kind of common knowledge Kit, it’s not like I’m saying I’m in love with you or anything. Paige will notice and she’ll try to flirt with you. Non-stop. And she’s very flirtatious. So, just in case you ever forget that she’s a bitch, I’m going to tell you a little story.”

Again, Kit nodded, slowly. “Okay, Liv. I’m listening.”

“Alright. When we were younger, Paige used to come here a lot with Cameron. We were the only kids her age, so she played with us, although it’s quite possible that Cameron made her. Of course, that never occurred to us back then. So, Ty had a bit of an obsession with cars- y’know, he was a kid, kids have their obsessions with stuff like that.”

Kit bobbed his head once more in agreement, although really, he didn’t know about obsessions like that, not in one’s childhood- his own childhood had been comprised of much of the same thing it had been made up of just weeks ago. Work for his father.

“So, Ty decides he can trust Paige- we’re both convinced she’s our friend. He confided in her about his obsession. Back then, that much felt like such a big deal, such a huge secret.”

Again, Kit made a motion of understanding, despite his utter lack of the whole circumstance- not the trust part, that he understood. He knew about trust- he’d trusted his father, and, although it went against everything he’d ever been taught about Shadowhunters, he trusted the Blackthorns, especially the twins and Dru. He just didn’t understand how a car obsession could have such an enormity to it. When he was a child, he’d kept secrets much bigger than liking cars- he’d kept secrets that people payed his father to hear.

Livvy, though, didn’t seem to notice his lack of relation to her story (or if she did, she chose to ignore it).

“Paige, sarcastically, told him how ‘interesting’ it was, and how he should ‘come over and tell her more about it’. Ty’s always taken things, well- literally, I suppose? I don’t really know how to explain it.”

This time, when Kit nodded, he really did mean it- he really did understand. Although he’d only known Ty for two weeks, he knew him well enough to understand what Livvy meant.

Her eyes cleared, and she seemed to understand what he had meant by that nod.

“Okay. So, back then, Ty took things even more literally than he does now. He wasn’t able to recognize her sarcasm, so he went over to her house, because he thought she’d invited him. Paige being bitchy Paige, she laughed in his face and told him he was stupid.”

Kit winced, glancing at the hallway that chatter was already drifting back from- he could make out Ty’s quiet, serious voice greeting them, and noted the lack of the passion that was so usually in the taller boy’s voice.

Glancing back at Livia, he frowned, hands clenching into fists. “How pissed would Julian be if I punched Paige?”

Chapter Text

Livvy had been right: Paige was, indeed, quite lovely. The kind of lovely that Kit- perhaps if he hadn’t heard Livvy’s story, definitely if he hadn’t witnessed the dread that filled the residents of the Los Angeles Institute upon the news of the Ashdowns’ arrival.

Now, of course, her appearance repulsed him: her hair, a duller version of her brother’s shockingly red locks; her slanted green eyes, which Kit couldn’t help but believe were focused on him, in a cool, calculating gaze; her lips, pursed into a never-ending disapproving frown.

He’d always wanted red hair, actually. It was tied to his longtime longing to be someone else, someone interesting. Someone who was more than Kit Rook, someone whose worth was based off more than how good his father was at finding information. Red hair was interesting, unique. Kit wanted to be unique, more than just Johnny Rook’s son. Now, of course, he was. He even had a title, according to Drusilla. And yet, his worth was still determined by that of his family, by that of Jace, who had saved the world. It seemed the only way he could prove his own worth was to save the world, and Kit doubted he’d ever be able to do something greater than saving the world.

Paige was the kind of girl who didn’t seem to want to make her own name- sure, she wanted attention, but from what he’d heard, Kit doubted she’d care if her attention came from being known as “Paige Ashdown: Shadowhunting Hero,” or “That Girl Who Married A Shadowhunting Hero.” Attention was, after all, attention.

He glanced back at her, and her lips spread into a wide smile- God, even her smiles looked cruel- and giggled, wiggling her fingers in a wave that was probably meant to be flirtatious.

Groaning, Kit turned back to Livvy, an expression of pure agony painted across his pale features. “Help me, Liv.”

She merely tossed him a sympathetic smile, which Kit considered kind, although incredibly unhelpful.

“Don’t cause a scene, Kit. None of us need attention from the Clave right now, especially not Ty.”

Sighing and rolling his eyes playfully, Kit conceded, recalling the Clave’s opinion on autism- they didn’t know about it, and Kit didn’t think they really wanted to. So, for Ty, he played along, already beginning to map out the best hiding spots in the Institute, for situations when he didn’t have time to lock himself in his room.

Livvy grinned, elbowing him affectionately, before grabbing his arm and tugging him along to Ty, who leaned against a wall in the corner room, expression dark, hands fidgeting by his sides, playing with the hem of his shirt.

Kit watched as Livvy reached out, grabbing one of Ty’s hands and rubbing her thumb across his knuckles. Kit felt a pang of jealousy, an emotion he’d never experienced around the twins before, and couldn’t explain if he tried.

He was surprised to a hand grabbing his own, and glancing down, he noted the owner- Ty.

He looked up at the other boy, face flushing. His gaze wasn’t returned, but Kit could see the smile that spread across Ty’s face as Kit squeezed his hand, his grey eyes crinkling in a way that made Kit’s stomach turn, a feeling he was unused to, and not quite certain of the meaning behind it.

Kit beamed (although why he was so fucking happy, he had absolutely no idea), copying Livvy’s movements, and running a calloused thumb across Ty’s soft skin.

“Paige is looking at you, Kit.”

Livvy’s voice cut across Kit’s wave of thoughts, and he winced, glancing up at her. “Good lord. I may not be a perfect person, but what the hell did I do to deserve this?”

Livvy laughed, and Ty glanced between them, smile falling into an expression of thoughtful consideration. “Do we really have to be here? Couldn’t we just go to the library or something?”

Please.” Kit smile widened, as he stared at Ty, feeling a wave of affection towards the other boy wash over him. “See, this is why you’re my favorite. You’re the idea man.”

Ty’s smile returned then, and he was looking right at Kit, and oh god he was beautiful, and suddenly Kit thought he knew what he’d been feeling, and oh no, he needed to stop falling, because he couldn’t fall for Ty, who was out of his league, and definitely uninterested, and-

“What about me?”

Livvy’s voice, mockingly hurt, drew him back into reality, and he focused his smile on her, grateful for the distraction from feelings he should definitely not be feeling.

“You’re definitely up there, Livia Blackthorn.”

“What are we talking about?”

A shrill voice cut across Livvy, who had opened her mouth to respond, and Kit glanced at the girl next to him, inwardly groaning.

“Oh, hi. Paige, right?”

He faked a smile, wanting nothing more than to throw up, and get as gas away from her as he could.

“Yes. And you’re Christopher Herondale. The Lost Herondale.” Her tone made it obnoxiously clear that she wasn’t asking a question.

“He prefers Kit Rook.” Kit had never heard Ty’s voice this cold, and he blinked, at the other boy, who made no eye contact, his grey eyes fiercely focused on the space just over Paige’s head.

“Oh, like you’d know.” Paige rolled her eyes at Ty, and Kit would’ve slapped her, if Ty’s hand hadn’t been in his.

“He would, actually.” Livvy’s voice was dangerous. “I mean, they’ve been dating for the past two weeks, and they were pretty close friends before that.”

Kit blinked, looking over at Ty, whose face was pale, surprised. Then, he glanced at Livvy, whose jaw was set, eyes blazing, and flinched, wishing she’d come u with a better plan then him fake dating a guy he really wished he didn’t have feelings for, although the truth was painfully obvious. A guy who happened to be her twin. And the brother of Kit’s only other friend.

Which meant if he told Ty how he felt and screwed up their friendship (because there was no chance in hell that Ty would feel the same), he’d lose not just Ty, but Livvy and Dru.

And fake-dating Ty would only make it harder to keep his feelings in check.

But if it kept Paige away, he’d follow through.

Smiling brightly, he nodded, squeezing Ty’s hand in an attempt to communicate what was going on.

“Yeah. You know, I’d heard so many lovely stories about you, and I was really looking forward to becoming friends, but if that’s how you’re going to speak to my boyfriend, I think I’ll pass. Anyways, Ty and I were about to head to the library. Liv, why don’t you keep Paige here company?”

Sighing, Livvy nodded, waving to them as Kit gently tugged Ty away, their hands still clasped together, a thought that made Kit incredibly nervous, and oddly excited.

Fuck.

This was going to be difficult.

Chapter Text

Ty frowned, eyebrows creasing together in conclusion. “I still don’t get why Kit has to fake-date me. I mean, dating you, Liv, would be just as effective in keeping Paige away from him.”

Kit flinched internally, trying his best to not let either twin see that he was hurt by Ty’s immense aversion to the idea.

Livvy shrugged. “I panicked, okay? Besides, this way she’ll think Kit’s into guys, and that she doesn’t stand a chance with him.”

“I am into guys.” Kit blurted, glancing at Ty before he could stop himself. “And girls. I’m pansexual. And she still doesn’t stand a chance with me.”

Livvy blushed, looking awkwardly. “I didn’t mean you weren’t-”

“It’s fine, Liv.” Kit interrupted hastily. He wasn’t in the mood for an ‘I didn’t mean to assume,” speech, or anything resembling one. He’d already gotten that from his father.

Livvy nodded, still looking a little pink.

Kit scratched his neck, awkwardly. “Right, well, we can’t hide in the library for forever, can we?”

Ty looked up, looking a little panicked, and Kit almost laughed at his enthusiastic protest. “We could stay longer though, couldn’t we?”

Kit smiled slightly at the other boy, trying to ignore the jolt of excitement that coursed through his body when he met Ty’s eyes, although the moment was brief. “Sure. Beats interacting with Paige, anyways.”

Livvy bobbed her head, a smile returning to her face. “Doesn’t everything?”

Kit laughed, eyes crinkling warmly. “You make a convincing case, Livia Blackthorn.”

“Of course I do. I’m quite talented when it comes to arguing.”

Ty laughed, and Kit smiled, trying not to blush when he heard Ty’s laugh, Ty’s beautiful, hearty laugh. Ty didn’t laugh often, but when he did, you found yourself wanting to laugh along with him.

Control yourself, Kit.

But how could he control himself when Ty sat just a few inches away from them, their ankles practically touching?

It was a struggle not to just blurt out what he felt, not to ramble on and on about the grey-eyed boy’s beauty.

So he supposed the closest he could get to controlling himself would be keeping his uncontrollable thoughts inside his head.

He looked back at Livvy, smirking. “You would make a great lawyer, Liv.”

She blinked at him, and he suddenly recalled how little Shadowhunters knew of the mundane world. “It’s someone who argues- sort of- for a living. Based off the law? Sort of? I don’t really know how to explain it.”

She nodded slowly, and Kit could tell she didn’t understand.

Ty smiled. “Oh yeah, I’ve read books with them. I think you’d like being a lawyer,
Liv. Maybe. You have to argue for your clients, so you can’t argue based off your opinion, it’s all about the opinion of the person who’s paying you, if that makes sense.”

Livvy shrugged. “Kinda? I don’t know, you two will have to teach me more about the mundane world someday.”

Kit nodded, grinning. “That’s a promise. One day, I will teach you all there is to know about the mundane world.”

The door was flung open, and they all looked up as Drusilla flung herself into the room, looking quite frightened.

“Kit, you need to get back downstairs. Now.”