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Maryse grew up two streets away from Luke. They were sort of friends as kids, in that they knew each other, and their families didn’t have a blood feud. Maryse was the first one in their neighborhood that got her place at the Academy confirmed, and Luke was the second. She rubbed it in his face all summer that she was first choice.

She got under his skin, always one step ahead of him, and it didn’t help that she was easily the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen in his life. At least, until he met Jocelyn on the first day of their second year. He and Valentine Morgenstern bonded over the fact that Jocelyn flipped both of them in training. They became fast friends, and between their parabatai trials and their childish competition to get Jocelyn’s attention, Luke forgot about Maryse Trueblood and her asshole Lightwood boyfriend.

When Valentine introduced Maryse and Robert years later as the newest members of the Circle, Luke had been surprised and a little grumpy. Maryse had graduated two points ahead of him from the Academy, and he could tell she was remembering it when she met his eyes that night.

“No hard feelings, Luce?” She asked, batting those thick, long eyelashes at him, and Luke felt himself blush.

“Nope. None.” He insisted, shaking her hand.

It turned out that they were actually a pretty good team, the five of them. The Circle grew faster than any of them could have predicted, and Valentine became stronger. And then one day, he was too strong, and it was all too real. Downworlders had died, Jocelyn told him with tears streaming down her cheeks.

“It was awful,” she sobbed into Luke’s shoulder, “he was cutting them up and smearing their blood on his face. And his laugh… He was taking pleasure in it. It was awful, Luke, he was awful.”

“I never thought he’d actually… Do it.” Luke murmured, swallowing hard. “I thought it was just talk.”

“It hasn’t just been talk for a long time.” Maryse piped up, and the two of them turned to see her standing in the doorway. “This is not the first time that Valentine and Robert have killed werewolves. And it won’t be the last.”

Maryse had been passing information to the Clave for weeks, it turned out. She offered to cut them in on her deal, but Jocelyn refused. It was her mess, she said, and she had to clean it up.

A week later, Luke was turned.

By the time he was done hiding out at his grandmother’s farm, Valentine was dead. Maryse and Robert had gotten married and disappeared into the sunset, their careers in the Clave shining and proud. Jocelyn muddled together a life in the mundane world, and Luke juggled a tentative position in the New York wolf pack with a job at the NYPD. Together they raised Clary.

Luke had never thought that he’d ever see Maryse Lightwood again, much less that he’d ever hear her apologise to him. He was struck speechless when she took his hand that day in the Institute, her big, beautiful eyes apologetic for what may as well have been the first time in her life. It was badly timed; Jocelyn had barely been dead a month, she was feeling vulnerable after finding out that Robert had been cheating, and Luke was on his way to murder their ex-best friend.

He didn’t see her for a while after that, but Magnus told him things in passing over the next few months that made him wonder.

“Alexander is having lunch with his mother. Apparently he needs her help plotting a birthday surprise for me.”

“Maryse has enlisted me to keep Izzy away from the Institute while she and Alec some fancy new equipment installed in her office.”

“I’m still riding the high of getting a hug from Maryse Lightwood. Yes, you heard me right. She thanked me for loving Alexander, like it’s a chore.”

That one had Luke letting out a low whistle. “Maryse Lightwood? The same woman who almost ripped your head off for ruining Alec’s wedding?”

Magnus looked truly happy, his eyes alight in a way that made him look young. “The very one. She’s come so far, Lucian, the growth is incredible. I’m proud of her. I would even go so far to say that we’re friends now.”

“Seriously? She’s really…? Okay with it all? You being a downworlder?” Luke asked, leaning forward in his seat.

“It seems so,” he nodded. “It’s a shame. She’s finally coming around to being a decent member of shadowhunter society and she’s getting deruned.”

“She’s getting deruned?!”

Magnus hummed. “I feel bad for her, despite everything. Alexander is devastated.”

Luke had to reach out to her. He just had to.

Less than a week later Luke walked into the Hunter’s Moon to see Maryse and the kids having dinner. She didn’t notice him, too busy laughing at something that Izzy’s new boyfriend was saying. It struck him that he hadn’t seen her laugh in… He couldn’t remember ever seeing her laugh like that. Like no-one was watching.

She was free. After all those years working, plotting, scheming, fighting tooth and nail to be at the top, she was finally free. Her hair was down, her beautiful brown eyes full of light. Luke found himself drawn to her, hoping despite everything that she would accept him now. Maybe now he’d finally get the approval from her that he’d wanted since he was a boy.

“Maryse Lightwood?” He asked, approaching the table. She looked up at him, eyes wide, hand brushing her hair back. “At the Hunter’s Moon?”

For a moment she looked shocked, caught off-guard, and how long had it been since Maryse had looked… Sheepish? “Lucian…” Her eyes darted around as Izzy and Jace quickly made excuses to leave, her cheeks going pink.

Luke was surprised when she brought up the deruning, before he could even sit down.

“Obviously you heard what happened…”

“I did,” Luke admitted, hesitating for a moment. Perhaps she didn’t want him here. “I’m sorry.”

She didn’t meet his eyes. “Poetic justice, considering how shamefully I acted when you were excommunicated…”

Luke scoffed, and sat down opposite her. “I didn’t come here to gloat,” he promised, rubbing his thighs nervously. She really had changed, and it meant that Luke might finally, after all these years, be on a level playing field with her.

As he started to tell her about his experiences, and offering her his help, she looked so vulnerable that he had to knot his fingers together to keep from doing something ridiculous like reaching over and taking her hand in his. He found himself complimenting her before he could second guess himself, and she looked as surprised as he felt.

He dropped his eyes to the table, scratching his chin. He found he couldn’t keep the smile off his face, and he knew.

He knew that he was gone for Maryse Lightwood.