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We’ll Be Carrying Each Other

Chapter Text

“Psst, Alec!”

Alec blinked once in the dark and then turned over in his bed in confusion. It was a Friday and past midnight (Alec knew because he’d been looking at the clock every five minutes while he failed at falling asleep) who could possibly be trying to get his attention right now?

His door creaked open wider to reveal his sister standing in the doorway.

She was dressed in jeans and a leather jacket rather than her pajamas and that was how Alec knew that whatever she was here for couldn’t be good.

“Izzy,” he said, sitting up in bed and squinting at her in the dark, “why aren’t you asleep?”

Something Alec couldn’t quite read flicked across her face, too quickly for Alec to even be sure he saw anything before she grinned wide.

“Why would I be sleeping when I could be going on an adventure. ” She whispered conspiratorially.

Alec unconsciously darted his eyes to his still open door. Anyone could have heard them. Alec wasn’t in the mood to get in trouble yet another time.

“Izzy we can’t,” he argued stubbornly. He’d already had to take the fall for the missing weapons Izzy had decided to use without permission, he wasn’t in the mood to get berated by their parents again.

“Come on Alec, it’ll be fun. You aren’t sleeping anyway.”

Alec wanted to say no, but there was something desperate in his nine year old sister’s eyes when she looked at him. It was a look that said, plain as day, that she needed him. And Alec would never say no to that. He’d promised himself a long time ago that he was going to protect Izzy with his life. From the moment he saw her wide brown eyes stare down at him from his mother’s arms he knew she was his to protect.

“Okay fine,” he mumbled, pushing the covers off his legs and sliding off of his bed, “meet me on the roof.”

Izzy’s eyes shone so bright that it made the possibility of being caught worth it.

Alec quickly changed into dark jeans and a sweater, throwing on a gray jacket over it to protect him against the November chill.

When he made it up to the roof, Izzy was already there.

She was leaning against the rails and looking down over the edge. Her long hair blew softly in the autumn wind and he smiled.


She turned and smiled back at him, eyebrows raised.

“How is the roof an adventure?”

Alec grinned, giddiness starting to light under his skin. He wasn’t one for breaking the rules, but whenever Izzy quietly urged him in the direction he found that the it wasn’t all that bad. Could even be a little fun. Not that he’d ever admit that to her.

He pulled out his newly picked out stele. He’d only just turned twelve and got to pick out his own stele rather than using the spares and the idea of having a stele of his own was still crazy.

Izzy, who had only just recently had her rune ceremony,  watched with wide eyes as he brought the stele to his arm and drew a rune onto the empty skin of his forearm.

“Surefooted,” Izzy said proudly and Alec nodded. They both watched as the gold faded into black against his skin and he smiled to himself.  He could feel the tingle of the magic flooding into his veins that was slowly starting to become more and more familiar.

Izzy took the stele from his hand and went to draw the same rune on her arm. Alec watched carefully, making sure all the curves of the rune were correct as the gold burned into her skin. Izzy had dutifully studied every rune in the gray book just like every Shadowhunter in training but Alec would always be protective anyway.

When she was done she handed Alec the stele back and looked up at him. Her hand absently traced over the newly drawn rune.

“Why do we need to be sure footed?”

Alec grinned slowly at her before stepping closer to the edge of the roof.

“Because,” he said, turning back to look at Izzy over his shoulder, “we’re going roof hopping.”

Izzy’s eyes widened and lit up against the New York night. Alec felt a surge of pride swell through him at successfully surprising her.

“You want to go roof hopping?” she asked incredulously, “ You? Mr. What If We Get In Trouble?”

Alec rolled his eyes as he took a few steps away from the edge of the roof.

“What? I can be reckless.”

Izzy laughed but she looked up at him with stars in her eyes, every bit the little sister to Alec’s big brother. He’d never get tired of the way she looked at him. Like he knew the answers to all of her questions. He hoped she never stopped looking at him like that, even if he was pretty sure he didn’t have all the answers she wanted.

Alec turned to look at the ledge of the roof next to the Institute. It wasn’t too far. He’d made longer jumps before.

Izzy was standing next to him when he turned to look for her. He moved to take her hand in his and squeezed.

“Ready?” he asked, grinning when Izzy bit her lip on a smile and nodded.

They started running full speed towards the edge of the roof, jumping as they hit the edge and soaring into the air. Alec heard Izzy’s loud laugh cut through the air and grinned at the second of weightlessness before they dropped onto the second roof.

They’d both landed in a crouch, hands still clasped in one another’s.

Izzy was still laughing when she stood up and looked at Alec with unrestrained glee.

“That was awesome ,” she said breathlessly and Alec patted himself on the back for coming up with the idea. It had been awesome. The adrenaline spinning through his veins as they’d kicked off that ledge and into the air. The split second where he’d felt like he was flying. He smiled to himself.

He nodded to the next roof and smirked.


Izzy only grinned in answer.

And then they were both running at the next roof, their laughter mixing with the familiar sounds of late new york traffic and chatter.

They stopped when they reached an empty parking garage that looked over the city. The night sky was just starting to lighten and the city lights were still blinking around under them.

Izzy’s laughter was still bright and awestruck and Alec loved her so so much. He watched her sparkling eyes sweep over the skyline before turning away.

He climbed onto the ledge of the garage and let his legs dangle off the edge. The ground was at least five stories under him but he wasn’t scared of falling. He felt invincible tonight.

Izzy joined him on the ledge a moment later and they both looked up towards the sky. A thin layer of orange had curled across the it, illuminating the outline of clouds in gold. Izzy’s head fell against his shoulder and he looked down at her.

Her eyes were fluttering, brushing softly against Alec’ neck as she tried to stay awake. They’d been awake most of the night, and after a full day of training and studying before that, he didn’t blame her for being on the verge of slumber. Alec felt his own exhaustion weighing over him and yawned before laying his head on top of hers.

He was about to drift off, the steady rise and fall of Izzy’s breath against him lulling him to sleep, when Izzy broke the silence.

“You won’t forget about me right?” she asked quietly.

Alec felt his brows furrow in confusion and he lifted his head to turn and look at Izzy incredulously. Forget about her? His brilliant little sister who was no doubt on her way to being one of the smartest Shadowhunters New York had ever seen? His sister. Quite literally the only person who could make him laugh until his chest hurt. She thought he could ever forget her?


Izzy shifted against him and picked her head up from his shoulder. Her eyes looked troubled when she looked up at him.

“It’s just that, the new kid, Jace. He’s coming tomorrow.”


Alec had thought about what a new addition to the family would mean ever since their parents had sat the two of them down and told them about Jace. A lot would change. He and Jace were about the same age. Only 2 years apart. They’d probably train together. Alec would have to spend huge chunks of his day with him. He didn’t know whether to be excited at the prospect of a new friend or wary at the amount of change their little routine at the Institute would have once Jace arrived tomorrow.

Apparently Izzy had been thinking about it too.

“He’s ten,” Izzy said softly, “he’s allowed to do real training with you. I just-“ she looked away suddenly and Alec felt a pang in his chest.

“Iz,” he started, placing a hand over hers when Izzy looked back at him. There was worry in her eyes and maybe just a little bit of embarrassment.

She searched his eyes and Alec tried his best to make them look a encouraging as he could. He never wanted Izzy to feel like she couldn’t tell him something.

“I don’t want to be left out.” She finally breathed out after a long moment.

Alec shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t believe Izzy actually thought anyone could take her place in his life. Alec was pretty sure it was impossible to fill Isabelle Lightwood’s shoes. If anything Alec should have been the one who was worried about Jace taking his place.

Izzy’s eyes were wide and open in the way they always were when she looked to Alec for guidance. Alec would never ever stop feeling an overwhelming surge of protectiveness at that look.

“Izzy,” he said softly, “you’ll be ten soon too and I’m not going to just abandon you.”

He bumped their shoulders together teasingly but didn’t let go of her hand.

“I don’t think this Jace kid will know how to sneak pancakes out of the cafeteria better than you.”

At that Izzy smiled and Alec internally applauded himself on victory.

She dropped her head back onto his shoulder and Alec smiled.

“And besides,” he continued, “when have rules ever stopped you?”  

This time Izzy laughed, bright and familiar into the dawn. The sound set happiness alight in Alec’s chest and he pulled her closer.

Alec didn’t know how Jace would change their lives. But he did know that as long as he had Izzy by his side, they’d be just fine.

Chapter Text

“Come on , Alec.”

Alec threw Jace a withering look as he followed Izzy out of the Institute. Jace only shrugged and grinned maniacally back at him.

It was Friday night and Jace had come up with the absolutely ridiculous idea of following the night patrol out on duty.

Of course Izzy had been on board before Jace had even finished his sentence, and that left Alec with no choice but to go along as well. If only to make sure they didn’t get caught.

Alec had his bow and quiver strapped to his back and Izzy had her newly chosen whip curled around her arm. Jace had two random seraph blades he’d snuck out of the weapons room because he had still yet to make up his mind on a weapon.

They stood quietly in front of the door of the Institute for a moment, watching the crew of twelve Shadowhunters get far enough away before they started following.

They were a mix of adults and teenagers. People ranging from his parents age all the way to only a year older than he was. Alec wondered what going out into the night, runes burning on his skin, and protecting the city felt like. What meeting a demon head on and sending it to its death would feel like.

He imagined the simulated demon fights they performed in the safety of the Institute training room were very different from the real thing.

“This is such a bad idea,” Alec muttered when Izzy pulled him behind a wall as the patrol split up and went into opposite directions.

“Don’t be a buzzkill,” Izzy said with a roll of her eyes. She and Jace shared an exasperated look over Alec’s shoulder and he sighed.  They were so similar, the two of them. Sometimes Alec was afraid that one day they’d tire of him and his rule following and leave him behind.

Izzy took his wrist and pulled him out from behind the wall to follow the group headed for the Lower East Side and he pushed the thought away for the time being. He couldn’t stop being the overprotective older brother because then Jace and Izzy would never stay out of trouble.

They activated their soundless runes to make sure they wouldn’t be heard and shushed each other as they crept behind the group.

Izzy had a spark in her eyes that Alec hadn’t seen in far too long. Not since their parents had decided to stay in New York for the rest of the year and their mother had taken over their training from Hodge for the time being.

Alec wasn’t blind to her obvious favoritism. She loved Jace because he was flawless. He had wit and charm and hadn’t lost a fight since he’d gotten to the New York Institute. Alec wanted to hate him for how quickly he’d earned his mother’s acceptance when Alec had worked for it for fourteen years and still wasn’t even close.

But he couldn't be jealous. It was Jace . Alec was one of the only people who knew exactly how many nightmares kept him up at night and the kind of demons that he hid under that charm. For some reason that Alec would never understand, Jace trusted him in a way he didn’t trust anyone else. Not even Izzy. Alec loved him and so he couldn’t hate him.

Alec knew his mother was proud of him. He’d worked hard to be top of his class and deadly with a bow and arrow. But he wasn’t perfect no matter how hard he tried. He still messed up, still got his ass handed to him in hand to hand training, and took the punishments he deserved. Because his mother expected nothing less than perfect.

Izzy was at the bottom of his mother’s list of favorites. Alec had noticed the way she looked at Izzy disapprovingly when she spent hours in the lab with Danielle, the forensic pathology expert, instead of spending all her time training. At how she’d send her a sharp look if Izzy even tried to question her orders. Those were the only times Alec would almost stand up to her. He could sometimes feel the protest on his tongue. Because Izzy deserved to be listened to, instead of being brushed off as if she wasn’t even in the room. But Alec was never brave enough and so he failed Izzy too.

Even if their mother wasn’t, Alec was proud of Izzy. At least Izzy was doing what she wanted, what she believed was right and being honest about who she was. Alec was too much of a coward to be himself and that was the only reason why he wasn’t at the bottom of Maryse’s list.

Alec was pulled out of his thoughts when the patrol stopped in the middle of an alleyway. He quickly pushed Izzy and Jace behind him and did his best to blend into the shadows.

The patrol didn’t notice them, they were all too busy looking upwards. Alec followed their gaze and noticed the sound of claws scuttling over the walls.

His breath hitched in his throat as he saw demons scrambling down the walls and around the group of Shadowhunters. They all had their weapons out, stood in a half circle, back to back in the way Alec knew they’d been taught during training.

“By the Angel,” Izzy whispered behind him.

The first demon threw itself off the wall and into the crowd of Shadowhunters.

Alec brought his arm up to hold Jace back, “No,” he hissed, “we can’t get caught.”

“Alec-“ Izzy argued but Alec sent them both a glare.

These were adult Shadowhunters on a patrol. They could handle themselves and didn’t need help from three kids who hadn’t even finished their training.

He watched, heart beating fast as the Shadowhunters hacked at the demons. They were a whirling mess of weapons and ichor and Alec was entranced. Jace and Izzy were vibrating behind him. He knew they wanted to join the fight, but it was dangerous and Alec would never forgive himself if either of them got hurt.

One of the Shadowhunters fell to the ground and didn’t get back up. Alec’s breath caught in his throat. He knew the threat of death was very real for Shadowhunters, they’d been taught at a young age to always be ready for their parents and friends to not come back from a mission. But Alec had been lucky enough to not have anyone close to him die yet. This was the first time he was seeing a possible death up close. It let his guard down enough that Jace slipped past him and into the fight.

Alec cursed and had an arrow drawn before he could think about it. Jace was a reckless idiot who drove him mad but Alec would be damned if he let him get himself killed.

Izzy stepped in behind Alec, the sound of her whip familiar in his ears.

Alec didn’t have time to tell her to stay back. He let his arrow fly just as Jace spun to take out a demon on his left. He watched as the demon exploded ichor and sizzled out into sparks

He had just killed a demon. A real demon.

Jace had faced real demons before. He’d told Alec stories of his father’s training methods on those late nights when he couldn’t sleep and always seemed to end up in Alec’s room. He’d told Izzy dramatic embellished stories of demon hunting that made her eyes bright with amusement even if she didn’t believe a word he was saying.

But this was Alec’s first real run in with a demon. The first time he’d sent a real demon back to hell where it belonged. Alec could feel adrenaline flood through his veins and he spun around, letting another arrow fly at a demon that was about to attack Izzy from behind.

At the sound of the arrow zipping past her she looked up and grinned, eyes bright with the same kind of glee Alec felt as he let arrow after arrow fly.

It was addicting, the sense of accomplishment that came from watching a demon disappear into sparks and knowing that it was him who had done it.

By the time the last demon was disposed of Alec had almost forgotten that they’d snuck out and were probably going to be in huge trouble now that the patrol had seen them.

Jace’s eyes were shining in a way that made Alec’s chest warm and Izzy’s smile was full of awe.

“That was crazy ,” she said, breathing heavy and vibrating with energy, “we fought real demons. And won !”

Alec couldn’t bite back the smile that made it onto his face. They had won. Ichor burned uncomfortably through his jacket and he was a sweaty mess but none of them had gotten hurt and they had won .

Jace bumped their shoulders together and raised his eyebrows in that annoying way he did when he was teasing Alec.

“I told you this would be fun.” Alec just rolled his eyes in response. He wasn’t going to admit he’d had fun. Even if Jace could read him well enough by now that there was no point trying to pretend otherwise.

When Alec looked up again the giddiness was knocked out of him completely. Marcus Blackwood, the patrol head, was walking towards them with his arms crossed.

They were in so much trouble.

“Damnit,” he muttered under his breath, moving to stand in front of Izzy and Jace.

“Lightwoods,” Marcus said with a faintly amused smile that made Alec’s cheeks warm in a way that he tried not to think too hard about. In a way that scared him to think about, so he never did.

Marcus had transferred to the New York Institute a few months back and Alec had immediately been intrigued by him. He was tall, with long dark hair that always fell into his eyes and a carefree smile that Alec always had to try much too hard not to think about. He was twenty-two but always stopped to talk to the Shadowhunters in training and give them tips when he had the time. He was probably one of Alec’s favorite people at the Institute other than his siblings and Hodge, and now he was about to get berated by him for following a patrol. Great .

“Hi,” Izzy said waving sheepishly and widening her eyes in that cute way that usually got her whatever she wanted.

“You guys could’ve gotten hurt,” Marcus lectured.

Jace lifted his chin next to Alec and crossed his arms in a poor attempt at mimicking Marcus’ body language.

“But we didn’t.”

Marcus laughed good naturedly which helped to calm Alec’s nerves over the potential of getting in trouble.

The rest of the patrol walked over to Marcus and he turned to speak with them for a moment. The Shadowhunter who has fallen had his arms draped over a woman who was holding him up, but he wasn’t dead. Alec breathed a sigh of relief.

“We’re gonna take him back to infirmary,” the woman told Marcus who nodded and patted her on the shoulder.

“You go ahead,” he said, “I’ll deal with these little stowaways.

Izzy made a noise of protest over being called stowaways but Alec silenced her with a pointed look. They were already in trouble. No reason to make it worse by arguing with the patrol lead that had found them out.

When Marcus turned back to them they all straightened, lifting their chins and staring up at him.

“You know how dangerous this was, right?” Marcus asked softly, “that you could’ve gotten yourselves seriously injured.”

Alec nodded, clasping his hands behind his back. Izzy and Jace nodded in sync on either side of him.

He was startled when Marcus’ serious expression spread slowly into a smile.

“It’s a good thing the three of you are well trained,” his eyes dropped to Alec’s bow, “you’ve got good aim, kid.”

Alec bit his lip to hide his surprised smile as Marcus went on to compliment Jace and Izzy.

When he was done, he clapped his hands together and looked down at the three of them.

“How about we make a deal? I won’t tell your parents about your little outing tonight if you promise not to sneak out on a patrol again.”

He held his hand out in front of him with amusement in his eyes that said that he didn’t believe for a second that the three of them would keep their end of the deal. 

Alec smiled and took the offered hand, giving it a hard shake.


Chapter Text

“On your six!”

Alec spun on his heel and had his bow pointed at the demon at the end of the tunnel in less than a second. He let the arrow fly and grinned when the demon sputtered into sparks.

He felt Jace slide in against his back, both physically and through their parabatai bond. The contact sent a shiver down his spine and he clamped down on the feeling in panic before Jace could feel anything through the bond. Or at least he hoped he had.

Hiding his feelings for Jace had already been hard, but now that they were bonded it was almost impossible. He knew that with practice parabatai were able to close the emotional aspect of the bond, to mute it into background noise, but he didn’t know how .

“Alec, focus,” Jace’s voice cut through his thoughts. Alec felt a zing of worry that wasn’t his.

Right, they were in a subway tunnel fighting demons to try and forget about their collectively shitty week. Now was not the time to be dwelling on his stupid one sided crush.

Alec could sense Jace moving in towards the demon before he physically did it and pulled out his seraph blade to hack at the demon on his other side to cover him.

More demons had arrived because of the commotion. Alec could see Izzy whirling around with her whip and blades of her own behind him.

Alec instinctively ducked as a ravenor demon went for his neck and Jace slashed its head clean off. The ichor scattered over the both of them and Alec grimaced. He was pushing three years into being an active duty Shadowhunter and the slight burn of ichor against his skin would never not be uncomfortable.

“Ugh,” he muttered and grinned involuntarily against the push of Jace’s amusement against the bond.

Jace laughed and helped Alec up, patting his cheek before turning back to the remaining demons, leaving a faint sort of warmth in his place.

Alec stamped down the affection burning in his chest and breathed out deeply.

He felt Izzy’s gaze on him and had to turn away from the sad sympathy in her eyes. Somehow she knew, without Alec ever having to tell her, because fuck he wasn’t even sure he’d be able to say it aloud if he tried.

She had tried to talk to him about it at first; after Alec had decided not to back out of the parabatai ceremony.

But Alec shut down completely. He couldn’t . Just thinking about it sent him into a spiraling sort of panic.

He’d spent his entire life trying to be perfect. He couldn’t stand to see that be ruined because of this.

Izzy was persistent and kept trying to bring it up those first few weeks. And then one time she’d started to bring it up while Jace was in the room and Alec had exploded. He’d yelled at her to back off and had stormed away, locking himself in his bedroom.

It was the only time Alec had actually yelled at Izzy. They’d had their fair share of fights of course, but Alec had never outright yelled at her before. He regretted it solely because of the way her face had crumpled and she’d taken a step backwards in surprise. He was meant to protect her and he’d done the opposite that day.

She’d stopped bringing it up as often after that. Only making vague comments that Jace wouldn’t pay any mind to, raising her eyebrows knowingly when a particularly attractive man was in their vicinity, and then the worst- the sad eyes when she knew Alec was trying to hide from it all.

Alec tried not to think too much about Izzy’s look as he kept fighting, keeping watch on both Izzy and Jace from the corner of his eye to make sure they didn’t need any help.

A few minutes later, he felt a twinge of surprise and then a muted second of panic before he turned towards Jace and saw his blade clatter out of his hand.

Alec didn’t think, didn’t even have to. He threw his own blade towards Jace, who caught it without missing a beat and stabbed it into the demon’s chest.

Without his blade, Alec opted for using an arrow short range and trust it into the demon he was fighting’s neck with a sense of satisfaction.

Izzy finished it off with her whip and then the three of them were standing alone in the tunnel, dripping with sweat and ichor.

“Well that’s one way to take out your anger,” Jace said, breathing hard.

Izzy’s eyes went stormy at the reminder.

Alec steeled himself. After all some of Izzy’s anger was no doubt directed at him.

Earlier that day, she’d walked in on his and Jace’s discussion with their mother. Maryse had called both of them into her office for the express purpose of talking about Izzy.

She’d told them they should know better than to let her run off with Downworlders and to get her under control. As if Alec controlled her in some way. He’d felt anger burn hot in his veins and he’d wanted to protest but both he and Jace had been shot down before they could even try.

Jace, being the golden child and having more room to fight back, had tried to continue arguing, but she’d just told them both to leave her office.

When they walked out and found Izzy outside of the room they knew she’d heard the whole thing. She’d heard Alec utterly fail to defend her and he’d felt shame burn in his throat.

Now, Jace shared an uneasy look with Alec but Alec was at a loss for words. He wasn’t good at the talking about his emotions thing, especially where his mother was involved.

Jace, though he was just as bad at it, was more willing to try.

“Do you want to talk?” He asked, awkwardly not looking at Izzy as he spoke.

Izzy clenched her hand into a fist and Alec felt himself do the same.

“No,” she answered shortly, turning and walking further down the tunnel.

Alec flicked his gaze over to Jace again and they nodded at each other before following Izzy.

There didn’t seem to be any more demons for Izzy to fight to alleviate the tension and so the silence was thick between the three of them.

“Look, Izzy, Maryse she-“ Jace started but was cut off when Izzy froze and spun around abruptly.

“Mom is having meetings with the two of you without me,” she said, voice loud as it echoed down the tunnel, “What? Because you’re parabatai now and don’t need your annoying little sister around anymore? Because I need to be gotten under control?

Alec took an aborted step forwards, the instinct to gather her into his arms one that he would have followed in any other situation, but he held himself back. Izzy was upset, but she was also angry.

“Iz, you know that we don’t think that,” he said instead, voice quiet under the echo of hers.

Izzy’s gaze moved from Jace to Alec and he was startled to find them wet.

“Isabelle,” he said, even softer, heart breaking as he watched Izzy’s lips twitch downwards as if she was trying not to cry.

“You said you wouldn’t leave me behind,” Izzy whispered and Alec felt his own eyes grow damp. He remembered that promise he’d made her up on that roof. And he hadn’t lied. He needed Izzy in a way completely different to the way he felt about Jace.

Izzy was the one person who understood and accepted Alec without him ever having to say anything. She understood him from a glance in a completely different way than parabatai do. She was his little sister and his sole confidant. He could never leave her behind. He needed her to know that.

“Iz,” he started shakily, “you are one of the most important people in my life. I’ll always need you just as much as I need Jace. We both need you and if we ever made you feel like that wasn’t true, we’re so sorry and we will fix it.”

He’d barely finished his sentence when Izzy practically threw herself into his arms and clung. Her face was buried into his shoulder and Alec could feel the wetness of tears through his shirt. He rubbed her back soothingly like he’d been doing since she was a baby and caught Jace’s eye over her shoulder.

Even if Alec hadn’t been able to feel it through the bond, he’d be able to read the hesitance on his face clear as day.

Alec nodded slightly at him, smiling when he came over and wrapped his arms around Izzy as well.

“Mom was out of line,” Alec said softly, when Izzy seemed to have stopped crying, “and I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to defend you.”

Izzy looked up at him through wet eyelashes and smiles a small smile.

“It’s okay, Alec,” she said quietly, eyes full of understanding. Because she did understand. Understood that Alec was so terrified about the secret held close to his heart that it was hard for him to do anything his mother deemed less than perfect. That he was scared. And she didn’t hold it against him.

“You didn’t do anything wrong. And you definitely don’t need to be gotten under control,” Jace added, smoothing Izzy’s hair down tenderly.

She snorted into Alec’s shoulder and then rolled her eyes at Jace.

“If Mom thinks I need to be reigned in because I associate with the Downworld that’s her problem. You can tell her I kissed a seelie for all I care.”

Jace pulled out of the hug and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, “ did you kiss a seelie?”

Izzy glared at him but Alec could see that her cheeks had gone a slight shade of red.

“None of your business,” she said.

Jace turned to Alec with a silly grin.

“She totally kissed a seelie,” he whispered to Alec, loud enough that Izzy could still hear.

She groaned and pushed Jace in mock anger who just kept teasing her in retaliation. Izzy looked more at ease now that the anger was off her chest and Alec was glad.

He watched the two of them bicker as they started making their way back out of the tunnel and smiled. They were his two rocks in his mess of a life and he wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Chapter Text

Alec leaned against the bar at the club he, Jace, and Izzy had managed to sneak into despite only Alec actually being twenty-one and sighed.

He could easily spot Jace on the dance floor, his blonde hair cutting through the mass of dancing bodies. He seemed to be dancing with some girl he’d met in the less than hour since they’d gotten here.

He couldn’t find Izzy, but assumed she was also somewhere on the dance floor. They were at a mundane club so Alec wasn’t too worried about having lost her. She could handle herself just fine.

Both Jace and Izzy needed this from time to time. To go out and get lost in the sea of bodies and just unwind. And despite Alec’s slight aversion to the whole club atmosphere, Alec did too.

So every few Fridays or so when none of them had night patrol they’d sneak out of the Institute and make their way to some club in the city. The three of them would dress up, Jace in low cut v necks and tight leather pants, Izzy in crop tops and short skirts or equally as tight pants, and Alec in a nicer shirt and tighter pants than he’s usually wear. It was nice, being able to feel normal for a few hours. He could just be Alec instead of Alec Lightwood, eldest Lightwood and successor to the New York Institute.

Izzy and Jace quickly disappear to the dance floor every time they go out, leaving Alec to lean against the bar and watch people get drunk and dance in a sweaty tangle of bodies. Sometimes he talked to the bartender if there wasn’t too much of a rush at the bar, but Alec mostly kept to himself.

It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy clubs. He actually quite liked the carefreeness of the people and the way the bass thumped just a tad too loud in his ears. He especially loved when a particularly well known song came on and the entire club would erupt into cheers as they all screamed more than sung the words. He imagined how it would feel to be a part of that messy tangle of bodies all jumping and dancing in laughter.

Alec never ventured out onto the dance floor though, no matter how hard Jace or Izzy tried to drag him onto it. He’d even had his fair share of girls come ask him to dance. But he’d never gone out onto the floor. He wanted to. He really did. But he couldn’t exactly go out there and dance with a man out in the open like he wanted to, so he stayed away.

Alec startled when there was a tap on his shoulder and he turned around to face the bar. Jessie, one of the bartenders that Alec had made conversation with a few times, was smirking at him.

Alec raised an eyebrow at her and her smirk just grew wider.


Jessie placed a drink down on the bar in front of Alec and looked at him expectantly. Alec just stared at the glass for a second in confusion. It seemed to be something fruity, the liquid pink and shimmery under the club lights.

“I didn’t order that,” Alec said finally.

Jessie laughed, “I know.”

“Then why-“

Jessie cut him off and nodded at a man sitting on the other side of the bar. When Alec looked at him their eyes met and Alec had to quickly turn away.

“It’s on him,” Jessie explained and Alec felt his heart skip a beat in panic.

He hadn’t been doing anything that could’ve given away where his romantic preferences lied. Had he? Shit, had he been obvious? Was he always obvious? Fuck .

He was saved from having a full on crisis by Izzy who all but slammed into him and stumbled into his arms.

“Woah,” Alec said, grabbing her by the waist and righting her before she fell over completely.

“Hermano!” She yelled over the pulsing music and Alec couldn’t help but smile fondly. She was very very drunk.

When Izzy got drunk she got loud and often didn’t make much sense to anyone except herself, and sometimes an equally as drunk Jace.

“You should sit down,” Alec said and stood to guide her onto the stool next to his.

As soon as she sat down Izzy’s eyes were on Alec’s untouched drink and she turned to Alec with raised eyebrows. She knew Alec rarely ordered anything when they went out.

“What’s that?”

She gestured clumsily at the glass then picked it up to taste. Alec intercepted her with the drink halfway to her mouth and plucked it out of her hand. She’d had enough to drink already.

“Nothing, it’s-“ Alec glanced back at the man who’d bought him the drink again unconsciously and averted his eyes quickly before he could notice, “nothing. It’s nothing.”

Izzy, even in the state of intoxication that she was, noticed the quick glance and gave him a withering look that would’ve been more intimidating had she not almost fallen out of the stool while pulling it.

“Shitty,” she said, once she’d righted herself, and then paused in consideration, “ Shitty . You’re a shitty liar.”

Alec grit his teeth and forced himself not to look over at the man again.

Izzy leaned in towards Alec, close enough that Alec could smell the alcohol on her breath as she whispered to him.

“He’s cute, ask him to dance.”

No ,” Alec answered immediately, heart going into a panic again at merely the thought. There was no way he was getting out on that dance floor. Especially not with a man. What if someone saw?

Izzy could read Alec like an open book even when she was drunk off her ass and so she looked him in the eye as seriously as an intoxicated person really could.

“No one’s gonna see. No Shadowhunters here but us,” She said clumsily. She was still wobbly on the stool but her eyes were serious when she looked into Alec’s “you deserve to have fun.”

Alec knew Izzy wasn’t trying to send him into a panic, even if that’s what was happening. She only wanted him to be happy. But there were some things that were just never going to happen. Alec wasn’t ever going to be truly happy no matter how much he or Izzy or even Jace wanted him to be. Alec had come to terms with that.

He was saved from having to try and reason with Izzy when a shout erupted on the other side of the club.

Alec quickly spun to look in the direction, Izzy turning as well, albeit slower than Alec due to the alcohol.

Alec’s eyes widened when he saw Jace break out of a crowd of people and start running in their direction. A man yelled after him and started following him through the crowd.

Alec was standing by the time Jace reached them. His eyes were bright and glinting as he grabbed both their arms and dragged them towards the door.

“What the fuck did you do?” Alec asked as he pushed Izzy in front of him and they stumbled towards the door.   

Jace just grinned a wicked smile that turned into an outright laugh when he looked over his shoulder and saw the man getting closer.

Izzy giggled into her hand and Alec rolled his eyes in equal amounts of exasperation and fondness.

“You’re an idiot,” he told Jace seriously.

Jace stumbled over his own feet and laughed delightedly as they tumbled out the doors into the night.

Alec savored the cool breeze on his sweat slick skin for a moment before Jace grabbed both his and Izzy’s arms and dragged them forwards. They sprinted down the street and around the corner, even though the man wasn’t chasing them anymore. Jace was laughing so hard Alec had to keep stopping and dragging him up off the floor and Izzy kept cackling at Alec’ attempts. By the time they landed in a heap in the grass in Bryant Park, Alec was breathless and laughing as well.

Jace was draped over Alec’s stomach effectively cutting off his breathing and Alec and Izzy’s legs were somehow tangled together.

Jace was the first to recover from their laughing fit, rolling over so he wasn’t suffocating Alec anymore.

He lay on his back next to Alec and looked up at the sky.

It took Izzy a bit more maneuvering to untangle herself from Alec but once she was lying on her back on Alec’s other side, their laughter finally faded into silence.

After a moment Izzy turned to look over at Alec.

“I meant what I said,” she said. Her words were still slightly slurred together but she seemed more sober than earlier.

Jace turned onto his side and pushed himself up onto his arm clumsily to see Izzy over Alec’s body.

“What did you say?”

Izzy heaved a dramatic breath and turned back to look at the sky.

“That Alec deserves to be happy.”

Jace was nodding vehemently even before Izzy had finished speaking and Alec was hit with an overwhelming love for the two of them. The only two people in the world that looked at him and saw something special.

“He does,” Jace said, looking at Alec very seriously, “you do.”

Alec wished he could be happy. God, he wished . The two of them didn’t get that it just wasn’t possible for him.

“A guy at the club bought Alec a drink,” Izzy said when Alec stayed quiet, “he was cute.”

Jace’s eyes turned sad and Alec quickly turned away from him. His cheeks were burning and he kind of wanted to punch Izzy for bringing it up. They’d never explicitly talked about Alec’s romantic preferences with Jace. Alec wasn’t sure what his reaction would be. He wasn’t even sure Jace knew .

“Look Alec,” Jace said, voice uncharacteristically soft, “I know you’re scared and that you think you need to be perfect at everything because maybe then people won’t notice your secret. Hell, I know the feeling. I was scared every single day when your family first took me in, that the moment I wasn’t perfect they’d send me away. I know that’s not even close to the same thing, but I’ve learned that it’s not possible to be perfect and you shouldn’t have to be. You’re human and Izzy’s right. If anyone deserves happiness it’s you.”

Alec was blinking back tears by the time Jace finished his speech. He would never understand why exactly the two of them looked up to him the way they did. That they believed he deserved things that Alec wasn’t sure he actually did. But he would be forever grateful for their devotion.

“When did you become so smart?” Izzy mused from Alec’s other side, saving Alec from having to try and talk around the lump that had formed in his throat.

Jace shrugged and smiled softly, “must’ve been the tequila.”

Izzy rolled her eyes and then crowded into Alec’s space, dropping her head on his shoulder and wiped away a stray tear that had made its way down Alec's cheek without saying anything. Jace crowded in on Alec’s other side, head on his chest.

Alec grumbled and wiggled under them until they’d all gotten comfortable.

“I’m going to have to drag both your drunk asses back to the Institute,” he said in faux annoyance.

Izzy pressed a wet kiss to Alec’s cheek and Jace laughed into his chest.

“You love us,” he said with complete certainty.

Alec smiled against the fondness pooling in his chest.

“Yeah, yeah I do.”

Chapter Text

Alec stood against the wall in the ops center and glared at where Jace was sitting at the mundane’s bedside.

Jace had disappeared after their failed mission earlier in the night. Leaving Alec and Izzy to deal with the fallout of a failed, unapproved mission while he’d apparently been off in Brooklyn following a mundane.

The very same mundane that had ruined their mission in the first place.

Jace had burst into the Institute with her limp in his arms barely a half hour ago. A mundane in the Institute when he knew that wasn’t aloud. They were already fucked because of the unapproved mission, how the hell was Alec supposed to justify the girl. He was the acting head of the Institute, Jace wasn't going to be blamed for this. Alec was.

Obviously Jace didn’t care enough to actually realize that.

Alec whipped his head around when a hand landed on his shoulder, softening his glare when he found Izzy standing next to him.

“Woah,” she laughed, undeterred by Alec’s generally angry demeanor, “ someone’s pissed off.”

“There’s a mundane in the Institute,” Alec muttered, crossing his arms and turning to glare at Jace’s back again, “of course I’m pissed off.”

Izzy moved so she could lean beside Alec and looked across the ops center at Jace as well. She didn’t say anything for a long moment.

“Jace doesn’t think she’s a mundane.”

Alec bristled and glared at the still unconscious girl.

“Jace is an idiot.”

Izzy snorted under her breath and Alec felt his lips twitch slightly upwards. Izzy never failed to make Alec smile, even if he was in a terrible mood.

“Well that’s a given,” Izzy said, rolling her eyes and looking up at him, “but the rune didn’t kill her so I think he might have a point.”

Alec had to bite down on the leftover anger from when he’d found out about that particular bit of information. What the hell had Jace been thinking using a rune on a girl he had no reason to believe was a Shadowhunter? Alec had almost decked Jace when he’d heard about it. What if she’d died? What would they have done then? Who's to say she wouldn’t still die?

“Yeah well she hasn’t woken up yet so don’t be so sure,” Alec muttered.

Izzy raised her eyebrows at him and shook her head.

“Okay, Mr. Broody, I think you need a distraction,” she looked back over at Jace who was now leaned at an awkward angle by the girl’s bedside, “and so does Jace.”

Izzy pushed off the wall, grabbing Alec’s arm and pulling him with her towards Jace.

“This is a terrible idea Iz,” Alec grumbled, but let himself be pulled through the ops center all the same. Maybe getting Jace away from the girl that had captured his undivided attention would help.

Jace barely looked up when Alec and Izzy sidled up beside him. His eyes were trained on the bed where the girl lay unconscious. Her hair was still slightly damp from the rain but the makeup that had been smudged all over her face had been wiped off, probably by Izzy.

“Jace,” Izzy said quietly.

“What?” Jace asked, looking away from the girl with what looked like a great deal of effort.

“I think you should take a break. Staring at her like a creep isn’t going to make her wake up any faster.”

Jace glared at her and got up from the chair by the bed.

“It’s not creepy.”

Alec raised his eyebrows and looked pointedly at the girl sleeping in the bed and then at Jace who was still standing weirdly close to the bed, “it kind of is.”

This time Jace just rolled his eyes and Izzy laughed under her breath.

“Shut up.”

The familiar teasing helped to ease some of the tension that had begun to build up under Alec’s skin. No matter what happened, how pissed of Alec got at Jace, the three of them were always a team. A team that relentlessly teased each other, but a team nonetheless.

“So what do you say?” Izzy asked, looking up at Jace in the way that she knew always got her what she wanted. She was twenty years old and yet somehow the puppy dog eyes still worked on both Alec and Jace. It wasn’t fair.

Jace looked back at the girl, who was sleeping soundly, curled up on her side with her head buried in the pillow.

“I don’t know,” he said quietly, voice gone soft in a way Alec didn’t think he’d ever heard before, “I want to be here when she wakes up. She’ll be scared.”

Izzy placed a hand on Jace’s shoulder and looked at the girl as well.

“Don’t worry, I asked Hodge to keep an eye on her and let us know as soon as she starts to wake up.”

Jace still didn’t look convinced, worriedly running his finger over the blanket next to where the girl’s hand was curled into a loose fist.

Alec wanted to shake him. How could he be so illogically pulled towards some girl he barely even knew? It didn’t make any sense. Jace never let people in, never looked that vulnerable unless it involved the Lightwoods or Hodge. People who he’d known for nearly half his life. He’d known this girl for less than a day and yet here he was, eyes worried and open as he stared down at her.

“Come on Jace, she'll be fine,” Izzy said quietly, still trying to coax him away, “it’s Friday night.”

At that Jace sighed and nodded. It had been more than a decade since the Friday night tradition had originated and almost a decade since Jace had joined in on Alec and Izzy’s little adventures. They didn’t quite manage every Friday night but they did as many as they could if they were all free.

It was the one night of the week where Alec felt as close to his true self as he’d ever probably allow himself to be. With just Izzy and Jace by his side, both with stars in their eyes and love in their smiles when they looked up at him, Alec could be just a little bit free.

Izzy lit up at Jace’s agreement and grabbed both his and Alec’s hands, leading them out of the ops center.

“Perfect. I heard there was chocolate cake for dinner,” she said with a bright easy smile, “Maybe we can snag some leftovers.”

So they snuck into the cafeteria and stole a piece of cake to share and then made their way up to the roof. The spot all three of them tended to go to brood.

The city sparkled on the horizon as the door swung shut behind them and Alec breathed in a lung full of fresh air.

They sat down on the floor close to the railing and passed the cake around to share. Izzy of course took obnoxiously large bites that made Jace whine that she was hogging the cake and Alec had to wrestle the plate away from him when he tried to stuff half of it into his mouth in retaliation.

They were laughing by the time the cake was finished and Alec had even almost forgotten about the failed mission and the mundane in the ops center.

As Alec was setting the empty plate down behind them, Izzy pulled a bottle of wine and a corkscrew out of seemingly nowhere and grinned at the both of them.

“Who wants to do the honors?” She asked, holding both items out towards them.

Alec rolled his eyes and took them from her, opening the bottle and then passing it to Jace who took a sip before handing it to Izzy.

“Only a sip?” she questioned playfully with a raised eyebrow.

Jace rolled his eyes at her and crossed his arms.

“I’d like to be coherent when Clary wakes up,” he muttered.

“Clary?” Alec asked before he could stop himself.

“The girl,” Jace answered, “her name is Clary Fray.”

His lips had twitched up into a small smile and his voice was low and soft as he said her name. It made something turn over in Alec’ chest and he had to grit his teeth against it.

“You followed her to her apartment and found out her full name?” Izzy asked, sending Alec a quick worried look that Alec studiously ignored.

“Yeah,” Jace confirmed and Izzy huffed out a laugh.

“So you’re a stalker.”

Jace threw his hand up and glared at her.

“Clary killed a demon back at Pandemonium. I was trying to keep her safe. And thank god I did because she was attacked. If I hadn’t given her an iratze she’d have died.”

Alec clenched his fists against his anger.

“She’s a mundane. You can’t just give her an iratze.” He said lowly, trying to keep his anger in check.

“She’s not,” Jace argued,turning his glare on Alec, “the iratze worked on her so she can’t be.”

“You don’t know that,” Alec burst out before he could stop himself. All the anger that had been collecting under his skin bursting out at once. “You had no proof she wouldn’t die if you gave her a rune and you gave her one anyway. What if she’d died? Do you have any idea the consequences you’d face for that. That I’d face for that?”

Jace seemed surprised for a half second over Alec’s outburst before he clenched his own hand into a fist and raised his voice. “But she isn’t dead, Alec.”

His voice was hard over Alec’s name. Harsher than Jace had spoken to him in a long time.

“Well she isn’t awake either is she?” Alec said standing up from the floor, “For all we know she could be slowly dying from the rune.

Jace stood up as well and stormed up to Alec, their faces so close Alec could feel Jace’s harsh angry breaths against his cheek.

“Shut up.”

They stood like that for a moment, both glaring at each other, hands in fists by their sides until Izzy stood up as well.

“Hey!” she said loudly, “ Stop it .”

Jace took a step away from Alec first and Alec let the tension fall from his shoulders when he stepped away.

Izzy looked at Jace first, “Clary isn't dying. I’m going to go keep an eye on her,” she then turned to face Alec, “and you two are going to talk and stop acting like children before you come join me.”

And then she was gone, taking their empty plates and barely touched bottle of wine with her.

Alec and Jace stood in silence for a long while and  Alec moved to the railing, looking out over the city and tried to get his anger in check.

Ever since their parents had left for Idris with Max, making Alec acting head of the Institute, he and Jace had been fighting a lot more than usual. With his new job Alec had to strive for perfect even more than usual and he was essentially in charge of Jace. Jace who made reckless, stupid decisions and went on unapproved missions that always ended up getting Alec in more trouble than Jace. Jace just didn’t get it.

Izzy had become their mediator. She’d pulled them away from decking each other more than once and never picked a side. Instead she called them both children and shook her head in disappointment.

Alec startled when Jace joined him by the railing but he didn’t turn to look at him.

“I’m sorry,” Jace murmured softly, “I know it was a gamble to do what I did and I know it could have gotten us both in trouble.”

Alec blinked against the sting in his eyes but still didn’t look over at Jace.

“But you’ve got to trust me,” Jace continued, “there’s something about her. Clary’s important. I know it.”

Alec swallowed, “I do trust you Jace, of course I do. But you don’t think before you do anything.”

“I know,” Jace answered, letting out a breath, “and I’m sorry.”

He pushed away from the railing and turned to go back inside. Alec stayed where he was, still trying to get himself under control.

Jace stopped with his hand on the door and turned back towards Alec.

“Hey Alec?” He asked and Alec turned around slowly to face him, “it’s still us against the world right?”

His voice was small and worried. As if a fight had ruined Alec’s sense of loyalty to him. It wasn’t possible. Alec would love and protect Jace for the rest of his life. No matter how many reckless, idiotic, infuriating things he did.

Alec smiled against the tightness in his chest.

“Yeah, yeah it is.”

Chapter Text

“People come up with the weirdest curses.”

Alec looked up from the pile of patrol reports he was organizing and raised his eyebrows at Magnus, a signal for him to elaborate.

Magnus settled further back into his side of the couch, running his foot along Alec’s calf where their legs were tangled together between them in the center of the couch.

“I’ve got a client that’s suffering from a curse where there's a quacking noise every time they walk anywhere.”

Alec dropped his cheek to the back of the couch and laughed brightly.

“That’s amazing.”

Magnus’ eyes glittered beautifully in the waning sunlight coming from the open balcony doors as he looked at Alec from across the couch.

“I could hear the quacking in the background when they called me,” Magnus laughed, “It was the hardest I’ve had to try to keep myself from laughing.”

“Jace would be absolutely horrified,” Alec said, giggling just thinking about it, “he hates ducks.”

Magnus’ lips turned up sharply at the corners, his smile gaining a mischievous edge to it, and Alec kicked his shin.

“Hey, don’t curse my parabatai,” he chided and Magnus dropped his head back onto the armrest.

“But  darling , it would be so funny.”

Alec couldn’t exactly argue with that. It would be hilarious. Jace would also probably try and kill both of them afterwards.

“You’re a menace,” he told Magnus fondly, grinning when Magnus bit his lip against a radiant smile.

“You love me,” he said simply. And oh how right he was. Alec loved him. So much so that sometimes he felt as if he’d burst with it.

“Yeah, I do,” he said, words low and affectionate, “so much.”

Magnus pressed his lips together as if he was trying to suppress a smile.

“Are you getting sappy on me, Lightwood?” He asked airily, untangling his legs from Alec’s and moving so he was kneeling between Alec’s knees.

Alec grabbed his wrist and kissed it softly.

“That’s Lightwood-Bane to you,” he said against the thin skin.

When he looked up at Magnus through his eyelashes they were unbearably soft. A kind of look that Alec never imagined he’d ever be on the receiving end of.

“Yeah,” Magnus breathed, “ so sappy.”

He dropped his hands to Alec’s knees and leaned forwards for a kiss, but Alec ducked his head and put a hand up to stop him.

Magnus pulled back and pouted down at him adorably but Alec didn’t give in.

“You told me you needed to get your work done, remember?”

Of course Alec wanted to kiss his husband, but he knew from experience that if he let Magnus kiss him that they’d be spectacularly distracted.

Magnus widened his eyes and leaned their foreheads together.

“Just one kiss?” He asked, eyelashes fluttering against Alec’s cheeks and smile warming him from the inside out. Alec would have to have been a much stronger man to deny him anything when he asked like that.

“Fine,” he relented, “just one and then back to work.”

Magnus looked him in the eyes, going a little cross  eyed as he did it because of how close they were and Alec laughed slightly.

“Yes sir,” Magnus whispered teasingly and Alec rolled his eyes.

He leaned in to press a short peck to Magnus’ lips, leaving a pout in his wake.

“You’re evil,” Magnus said glaring at him playfully. Alec just shrugged his shoulders unapologetically.

“You never specified what kind of kiss.”

Magnus ducked in for another quick peck to his lips and one to his cheek, surprising Alec. He then retreated back to his side of the couch, leaving Alec blushing.

Once they were settled again, and had been working for a few minutes, Magnus looked up at Alec lazily.

“We have visitors,” he said, snapping his fingers and opening the door with a flash of magic to reveal Izzy and Jace standing in the doorway, poised to knock.

“Are we interrupting something?” Izzy asked, eyeing the alarming amount of papers strewn around them in the sort of organized chaos Magnus seemed to thrive in.

“No,” Magnus said with a wave of his hand, “just some work. Oh, and Alexander and I were contemplating casting a duck curse on Jace.”

Alec was startled into laughter when Jace made a horrified noise behind Izzy.

“You’re the worst brother in law,” Jace accused, pointing threateningly at Magnus.

Magnus laughed and Alec couldn’t wipe the stupid smile from his face.

Ever since their wedding. Since they’d lost Clary. Jace and Magnus had gotten closer, they’d leaned on each other in grief and Alec was pretty positive one of the reasons Jace was doing so well was because of Magnus who knew how to deal with the pain of loss better than most.

Watching his brother and his husband teasing each other like family lit a warm fire in his chest that he never wanted to go out.

Izzy sent Alec a knowing happy smile. She still always knew exactly what he was thinking and he knew she was so happy for him. He loved her with his entire heart.

“I’m your only brother in law,” Magnus said and Jace rolled his eyes at him, making Izzy giggle.

“Not that I don’t love both of you,” Alec cut in, “but why are you guys here?”

“Simon told us about laser tag last night and we decided the three of us had to try it.”

“Laser tag?” Alec questioned, flicking his gaze to Magnus who usually filled in Alec’s gaps on mundane culture.

“It’s a game,” Magnus said.

“Yeah. You’re in teams and you need to take down the other team’s base. Everyone has laser guns instead of real weapons,” Izzy continued.

“Alec we have to go,” Jace said, excitement bright in his eyes, “we’d be so good at this.”

Alec took a moment to think it over. It did sound fun. Their shadowhunting training would probably make their team a hard one to beat. And Alec had been making an effort lately to have a little more fun.

Izzy and Jace apparently took his silence as a rejection because they exchanged a look and then Izzy pulled out the puppy dog eyes.

“It’s Friday night Alec,” she told him wide eyed.

Alec rolled his eyes at her, “I was already going to say yes.”

Jace and Izzy cheered, high fiving each other like children. Alec was hit with the realization that the three of them had never just done something for the fun of it. They’d gone on countless little adventures and nights out since they were kids but they’d never exactly been just for fun. They’d always been running from something, trying to get away from their problems. From their mother, from their own emotions and secrets, from the end of the world.

They were happy now. Alec was happy. He was married to the love of his life, was the head of his Institute, and paving the way for Downworlders and Shadowhunters to live together in peace. He wasn’t the repressed teenager who thought it would never get any better anymore.

Jace had gotten better about letting people in and being less prone to throwing himself into danger without backup. He’d found a friend in Simon and was Alec’s right hand man in overseeing the implementation of the downworld deputy program into the Institute.

Izzy was weapon’s master and her skill as a forensic pathologist had spread so much so that all of the Shadow World consulted with her on their most difficult cases.

So much had changed. For the better.

Alec stood from the couch and bent down to kiss Magnus goodbye. The kiss was a little more involved that he’d intended, the angle making it easy for him to part Magnus’ lips and they were both breathing a little harshly when they pulled away

“I’ll be back later,” he whispered, head still bent down in Magnus’ space.

Magnus smiled and leaned up to peck his lips a final time.

“Good,” he said softly, “Maybe I’ll actually get some work done without you here being distracting.”

Alec only realized how long he was taking when Jace cleared his throat pointedly.

Izzy raised an eyebrow at Alec from the door when he moved away from the couch. Magnus looked between the three of them fondly.

“You ready?” Izzy asked.

Alec smiled. A lot of things had changed over the last almost year, but Alec’s Friday nights would always belong to Izzy and Jace.

A lot had changed, but Izzy still knew everything that went on in Alec’s head and looked up to him with the same stars in her eyes as when she was nine years old. Jace still came to Alec when he needed to be put back together and still protected Alec like his life depended on it. The two of them were still an integral part of Alec’s heart and always would be.

Alec wouldn’t have it any other way.