Julian straightened the collar of the suit. It was bright in shade, a thing of fire and gold. It was the kind of fire so bright it almost seemed to hold no color at all, leaving the shimmering runes custom to shadowhunter weddings to almost compete with the brightness of it. It was blinding, and Julian could admire the craftsmanship of the suit, tailored to near perfection. Julian could care less about the flashiness of the suit though. It wouldn’t matter whether he were wearing jeans, or even were covered in paint splatters. What mattered was that he was getting married to his best friend, Emma Carstairs.
For the longest time, he was sure he wouldn’t have this opportunity. He had thought he had sealed his fate on that day in Idris. The day after the Dark War, when he had asked the person he loved to be his parabatai. He was prepared to live a life of unrequited love, but by some stroke of luck, he was getting married to her. The bond had been broken, and they could be together. He could be happy.
A pang went through him as he thought back to those days, back when Livvy was still with them. She would've been wild with excitement to be there, to have planned it to perfection. Julian was almost surprised that the pain hadn’t dwindled over time, but there was still an ache as he thought of her. The feeling of loss never truly fades. He had enough space in his heart to love Emma, while still hurting from the loss of his sister.
Julian tugged at the bottom of the jacket once more.
“You look lovely, Jules.” He turned to spot his sister, Helen Penhallow Blackthorn, his suggenes, leaning against the doorframe, a bright smile on her face. She herself was dressed in a flowing gown barely brushing against the top of the floor. “We should probably get going though, you wouldn’t want to be late to your own wedding.”
Kit Herondale should have known better. It was bound to happen really, he was definitely pushing his luck after about the second or third wedding he’d been to, but he hadn’t expected it to be so sudden. It had all started earlier that year, when virtually every friend of Jem and Tessa’s had collectively decided to destroy Kit’s life, a simple one of sneaking Mina extra cookies and avoiding his problems, by forcing him to face all his problems at their weddings. And currently, he was faced with the person he was avoiding most.
Kit had somehow managed to skate by during most of the weddings though. Simon and Isabelle’s was first, Kit having managed to stay as close to the crowd as possible, and silently slipping away after the main portion of the ceremony to reduce his chances of getting involved in a rather awkward discussion. Only a few months had passed before Clary and Jace got married as well, Kit glimpsing a head of dark hair before bolting as soon as he could, claiming that he had to take care of Mina. In fact, what was doing was hiding in the library, pouring his heart out to his little sister.
“You’d think after 3 years my heart would stop beating so rapidly that I became concerned about my own health, but no,” Kit glanced at Mina, who was currently laughing at him, eyes half shut from joy.
She let out another giggle.
“How dare you find joy in my pain?” he said, dramatically laying a hand on his head and leaning back against the bookshelf, though the smile illuminating his face revealed his true intentions. “How can I go on now, betrayed by my own sister?”
Kit smiled at the thought.
Kieran, Mark, and Cristina’s wedding had been somewhat more challenging, him having been caught behind a huge oak tree by none other than Livvy Blackthorn, but he had somehow managed to convince her to tell no one, i.e. her twin brother, a.k.a. the person Kit was trying so desperately to avoid.
“Please, Livvy, don’t tell him I’m here,” Kit was pleading now, already on his knees, gazing up at the ghost above him.
Livvy rolled her eyes. “Fine, but only because I want you to do this on your terms. Remember though, my ship must be canon!”
And that finally brought them up to this wedding, Emma and Julian’s to be more specific. Having been related to, however distant that relation may be, the bride had seemingly got the Herondale/Gray/Carstairs family (or as Kit liked to call it, the Herongraystairs family) a one way ticket to the wedding, and consequently, Kit facing the person he was dreading to meet again.
It had been going relatively well, he’d thought, the ceremony about to begin, and Kit quietly tucked into a corner. That was until Mina dragged him towards the table piled high with drinks, having spotted Max Lightwood-Bane, Rafael Lightwood-Bane, Tavvy Blackthorn, Gianna Blackthorn-Rosales, and Nico Blackthorn-Rosales (Cristina, Mark, and Kieran had Gianna and Nico a year before being married, and Mina instantly fell for them, claiming that they were her “best fwends”) playing near there, and Kit had thought maybe a drink or two wouldn’t hurt. He was severely wrong of course as Kit had failed to notice one head of dark hair standing not far from that very table.
Kit blamed Mina’s doe eyes, and his ability to fall for them instantly.
After his first drink, a voice had made Kit turn, causing him to end up where he was currently, nearly on the floor.
“Hello. I’d like to talk to you.”
Julian was bubbling with joy, a smile brightening his face as he was led to a platform, Helen by his side. He stopped at the top of the steps, turning to give Helen an appreciative nod and a smile. Julian took a sharp inhale as Emma walked around the corner, Cristina lending her off to the stage. All thoughts left him. She was breathtaking, wrapped in a gold silk gown that hugged her waist before flaring down to the ground. A sheer overlay on the silk skirt caught the brightness of the witchlight, complimenting the gold in her hair.
But it wasn’t only gold, was it? It was a beautiful mix of cadmium yellows, naples yellows, golds, yellow ochres.
She was beautiful, and Julian couldn’t help but think that he was the luckiest person in the world. As Emma reached the platform, she leaned in, a grin plastered on her face.
“I know, I look stunning.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder in a playful manner.
Julian shot back a nod. “It is your wedding, I’d expect no less.”
And with that, the ceremony began, Brother Enoch reciting a few words, before steles appeared in their hand. It passed by in a blur, and before Julian knew it, they were kissing. Time seemed to still, Julian thought he heard a crash somewhere in the crowd, a flash of blond hair blurring by the table, but he paid no attention to it. The room melted away, it was as though they, Emma and Julian, were the only two people in the room. It was perfect.
“HOLY-” Kit choked on his drink. He had forgotten how graceful shadowhunters were, how easily they could move without alerting anyone surrounding them. Unfortunately, that shadowhunter grace had apparently skipped a generation because Kit found himself clutching at the table for support, having nearly fallen from shock.
“Are you alright?” It was none other than Tiberius Nero Blackthorn, his arm outstretched. He was looking at him, and at that moment, all rational thought left him. He said something roughly equivalent to an audible keysmash before clearing his throat.
“Yeah, I’m alright,” Kit brushed himself off, standing up as though nothing had happened. If you pretend to be confident, it won’t be long until you begin to feel confident as well. For the first time since the wedding fiasco began, he actually looked at Ty. He was taller now, Kit was surprised to see, though he supposed he shouldn’t have. Three years did a lot to change someone, he supposed, but those eyes were the same. A beautiful yet deadly storm churning above a sea. “So, what did you want to talk about?”
Kit leaned against the table once more, this time a bit more suave and cool, and less panicky than the first.
“Why are you avoiding me?” It was a simple question, clear as day. Kit choked up a bit. “And why did you leave?”
All of a sudden, he was fifteen again, doing anything he could for Ty, the beautiful shadowhunter that had held a knife to his throat. The nephilim he would have done anything for. Years of suppressing his emotions didn’t prepare Kit for this moment, he doubted anything could have. Ty looked calm enough, but his hands were frantically twisting and unknotting a ball of pipe cleaners. He was nervous, Kit knew it, and so Kit blurted it out. He never could have told Ty a lie, even if he wanted to. Even after three years.
“Because I was hurt, and I was running away from what had happened,” Kit took a deep breath, as Ty nodded, understanding it. Kit, suspecting he was going to turn away, proceeded to continue talking, hoping to get a laugh, a smile, anything out of Ty. “Tessa thinks it was the Herondale dramatics though.”
Kit didn’t add the second part of what she said, “Running away from the person you love ‘for their own good’ is alarmingly common among Herondales,” but Ty let out a laugh, bright and brilliant, so it was a win in Kit’s book.
It was an amazing laugh, low and lovely, beautiful to hear.
“Tessa knows Herondales well.”
The silence stretched on for a moment, though it was a comfortable one. A silence in which both parties simply enjoyed the presence of the other.
The soft piano finally registered in Kit’s mind. A crazy idea formed in his head, one his fifteen year old self would banish to the darkest corners of his brain.
“May I have this dance?”
Turned out he wasn’t the only one to have that idea, Kit thought as he accepted Ty’s hand. An impish grin spread across Kit’s face.
“I thought you’d never ask.”
Soft music began playing from the piano in the corner, Jace Herondale shooting a wink at Helen as she rolled her eyes at his antics. A smile rested upon her face, as Helen looked at her brother and Emma, both beaming joy, foreheads together as they swayed to the music. It was so genuine, and beautiful, she couldn’t stop grinning even if she wanted to. She’d already missed so much of her family’s life, exiled on Wrangel Island, that she was glad to be here, sharing this moment with them.
And how lovely it was, gold decorations pinned to the walls, tables lined with dishes and drinks. Kieran, Mark, and Cristina were on the sides, cooing at their third child, Emelia, an adorable baby girl born only a few months ago. Helen spotted Ty dancing with Kit by the drink table, both blissfully unaware of the children bouncing about close to them. Dru was at the center of the ballroom with Jaime Rosales, gown flaring as she was spun.
Aline leaned into her, resting her head upon Helen’s shoulder. She was stunning, in a wine red gown with glittering gold accents, dark hair brushing against her back. Helen couldn’t stop but think about how lucky she was, to have someone so beautiful, so wonderful.
“Young love, it’s beautiful isn’t it?”
Her wife was most certainly correct, and Helen agreed wholeheartedly.
“It really is.”