It was nearing 2:00 in the morning, and for just a moment, Alec convinced himself he was so exhausted he imagined it. Mostly because for a few moments, all that he felt was a deep pull in his gut. It was so uneventful compared to what followed. And when it hit--well, damn. Alec finally knew why they said losing a parabatai was the worst kind of pain a Shadowhunter could feel.
He fell off the edge of the bed with a cry of pain, clutching his side like he could somehow hold the bond there, but he sobbed as he felt it slipping away one strand at a time. It was a kind of pain he thought the Angels were cruel for ever allowing. "No, no, this isn't- No, no," Alec choked out brokenly. He fell sideways, expecting to hit the ground but instead, arms caught him. Magnus's face of concern was barely visible through the tears muddying his vision. Then the pain crescendoed into one magnificent howl before dying down into nothing, an aftermath that left Alec shaking and breathless, still feeling aftershocks of pain in his head.
"Alexander, hey, what happened?" Magnus called out to his fiance, wiping tears from his face.
The sudden tightness of Magnus's arms around him felt too constricting. It was a heavy weight on his chest that he couldn't get rid of. He tried pulling away only to have the grip on him tightened. "No, no, no, no, Jace, he's gone, he's gone, he can't be gone, he can't be dead." But when he looked down at his hip, the skin there was blank. Devoid of the rune that normally connected him to his parabatai since they were 14, gone.
Magnus jumped into action mode, setting Alec up to sit against the bed before calling Jace. He wasn't sure what he expected to happen, if Jace was really dead, there would be no answer. And there wasn't. So he called Clary. No answer. He swore, then jumped and gasped with relief, remembering the drawing of him and Alec she had given to him. On the half-chance it would register as hers, he tried to track it. And whether it was the ink or the paper or the drawing itself, miraculously, he found her at an institute in Chicago. He turned to make sure Alec was okay. Or at least, wasn't about to die. And Magnus honestly couldn't be confident about either of those things. But he was sobbing softly with his head in between his knees and hands in his hair, rocking back and forth. But Magnus knew he wasn't going anywhere at the very least. And he opened up a portal.
The bedroom he stepped into didn't have Clary in it, but Jace was there, in a similar state that Alec was. The clock on the bed said 1:00, and this thing that had happened seemingly woke Jace up. He looked up hopefully, gasping and jumping off the bed. "You're alive," Magnus said.
"Where's Alec, is he okay?" Jace said, his voice quiet and face red. Magnus nodded, pulling Jace backwards through the portal.
Alec let out a little scream at seeing Jace. He started to stand and reach for his parabatai, but Jace was already there. The two stayed on the ground for a long time, both crying and hugging each other. Alec could see Jace, and feel him under his hands, hear him breathing heavily, but the bond wasn't there. Alec had forgotten what it felt like to be just Alec. Magnus stood for a moment but then turned, calling Clary again with no luck. Worry bubbled inside him but he turned back to the more pressing issue, kneeling by Alec and running a comforting hand through his hair.
"What the hell just happened?" Alec finally said after a while. He and Jace pulled apart, but still sat side-by-side pressed together, their hands linked. Each convincing the other they were alive and okay.
"It happened to Clary too," Jace said. his voice was gravelly from the crying. "She woke up screaming Simon's name. He was a few rooms down and left to find him." Magnus's blood ran cold, imagining Clary in the same pain Alec and Jace were.
"Who did this? Why would anyone do this?" Alec said, her voice choked as a fresh round of tears rolled down his eyes. He swung his leg over Jace's so they were rested one over the other. Magnus shook his head sadly, continued to play with Alec's hair.
They all stayed like that for the rest of the night. Ignoring the rest of the world.