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breaking laws (and hearts too)

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Of all the illegal things that could have brought Kit and Ty back together, he hadn’t expected it to be this.

It’s the third night of their mission in Faerie, and Dru’s gone out for firewood. Kit is curled up in his sleeping bag, pretending he hasn’t noticed that Ty’s eyes have been fixed on him for the past fifteen minutes.

They haven’t talked much since they reunited, of course. Whatever horrible, dramatic thing Kit imagined would happen remained a fantasy, and now they’re just… floating around in the same space, occasionally interacting but not of their own volition.

Kit would be lying if he said he wasn’t grateful for the quasi-peace. 

But by the Angel, he hates it. He really fucking does.

Ty shifts where he’s seated across from him, an unnamed seraph blade in his hand. His eyes flick to Kit, and away.

“What?”

Ty startles, hand gripping the seraph blade tighter. Kit totally gets it—he wasn’t planning to speak either.

“Nothing,” Ty mumbles, returning his gaze to the mouth of the cave where they’ve taken shelter.

“Come on. I won’t bite.”

Ty doesn’t move for the longest time, and for a moment Kit thinks he’s swallowed his words again. But then he huffs and looks over at Kit again.

“Are you sick?”

Kit freezes, then lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He will not acknowledge that he expected Ty to be asking about something else. He will not.

“I’m fine,” he says. “Just a little tired.”

Ty’s brow creases. “I saw those pills you put in your bag before we left.”

"Ty, seriously, I'm fine," Kit groans. “They’re just ADHD meds, okay?”

Ty’s mouth closes with a clack. Honestly, Kit's more surprised that he actually knows what that is. The air is suddenly thick and awkward, and he regrets having said anything. 

“Shit,” Kit breathes. “Don’t tell anyone, please?”

Ty frowns. “There’s nothing wrong with you, Kit,” he says, and his eyes burn with a fierceness unlike anything Kit’s ever seen before. It’s actually quite captivating, or at least it would be if he wasn’t currently losing his shit.

“No, I mean, you know,” Kit says, gesturing helplessly. “Isn’t using mundane medicine, like, illegal?”

Ty’s eyes widen the slightest fraction. “Oh.” He looks down at his hands. “You’re right. It is.”

Kit sighs, and hunkers down further into his sleeping bag. After a moment of hesitation, Ty walks over and sits next to him. They stay like that for a moment, letting the sounds of Faerie fill the gap between them.

“You know, I’ve been thinking about something,” Ty says, after a while. Kit turns his head to look at Ty, and finds his eyes resting somewhere on Kit’s shoulder. “Can I tell you about it?”

Kit sits up straighter, draws his knees up to his chest. “Sure.”

Ty reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a pipe cleaner. He starts twisting it into a circle, folding the chenille stem over itself over and over.

“This was invented by mundanes.” Ty lets the pipe cleaner ring rest in the centre of his palm. “But for some reason, you don’t see the Clave banning it. Shadowhunters have been using mundane inventions for centuries, and we’ve never questioned it.

“But what I don’t get is, why are only some mundane creations exempt from the Law?” Ty shifts to face Kit, and in turn Kit angles himself so that he can better hold Ty’s gaze. “Mundane food and mundane medicine are both things that humans can consume. So why is it that Shadowhunters can order takeout from mundane eateries, but we can’t seek mundane medical help without fearing prosecution?” Ty sighs, frustrated. “And this trend extends to Shadowhunter culture as well. We’re allowed to consume folk stories about magic and morals, but not novels about logic and deduction. Why is there a distinction? How does it make sense?”

Ty pauses, as if catching himself, and looks away, a flush on his cheeks. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I didn't mean to go on a rant.” He pockets the pipe cleaner, twists his fingers together.

“No!” Kit replies hurriedly. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” He holds back, weighing the words on his tongue for a moment, before letting them out into the world. “I kind of missed hearing you talk, actually.”

Ty’s head jerks up, and his eyes lock with Kit’s like magnets snapping into place. “Do you really mean that?”

Kit feels himself flush under the sheer force of his gaze. “I mean… yeah? Why wouldn’t I?”

Ty fiddles with the hem of his Centurion jacket, the line of his jaw growing stiff, defensive. “Well, you’ve lied about things like that before.”

Boy, if that didn't come out of nowhere.

Kit flinches, feeling the words hit him like a crossbow bolt to the chest. He scrambles to sit upright, the sleeping bag tangling around his legs. “Ty, I—”

“It’s okay,” Ty interrupts. “I get it.”

No, you don’t, Kit wants to scream. The ease between them has all but evaporated, leaving no traces behind, and Kit wonders bitterly whether it even existed in the first place.

He wishes he knew how to talk to Ty about… that day, but well. 

You can’t always get what you want.

“Thanks.” The word hangs meaninglessly between them. “For not telling anybody. I know you’re a Centurion and technically an enforcer of the law and everything, so.”

“You’re welcome,” Ty replies. His mouth quirks in a tentative smile. “Lex malla, lex nulla, right?”

A bad law is no law. 

Kit can’t help but grin at the small spark of rebellion that Ty has somehow managed to preserve even after studying for three years at a military school in the Carpathian mountains. “Sure.”

Ty smiles back at him, short and strained, but it fades just as quickly. "Also," he says, "it's not exactly my first time breaking the law."

There it is again. 

Kit sucks in a sharp breath, tries to release the tension coiling in his body. "I guess not." Ty makes an impatient sound, and he frowns. "What?"

"Are you just going to keep avoiding it?"

"I thought you didn't want to talk about it," Kit shoots back.

"No," Ty seethes. "I didn't. What I wanted was to know why my friend—" he stumbles painfully on the word, and Kit's heart follows suit, "—said things to me that he clearly didn't mean and then left without a word."

"Ty—"

"You said you wished you never met me," Ty goes on, and Kit can't look him in the eye, can't look at the pain in his expression, the pain that Kit caused him. "And before that, by the lake, you said you—" He cuts himself off, but Kit knows what he’s talking about anyway. “I don’t understand any of it. I don’t understand you. And even after three years, it keeps me up at night.”

He looks away, but the firelight catches the glint in his eyes, the telltale sparkle of tears. 

In that moment, Kit hates himself more than ever. How the hell he manages to screw things up repeatedly in such quick succession, he’ll never know.

He scoots closer to Ty, only for him to shift backward, out of reach. Kit clenches his jaw, and tries to will his own tears away. He kind of wishes Dru would come back right now.

“I didn’t mean it. When I said I wished I never met you.”

There’s a long pause. “Then why’d you say it?”

Kit stares into the fire, the orange burning dancing shapes on the insides of his eyes. “Because I was upset. Because I told you I loved you, and you didn’t care. Because you basically said I was nothing to you.”

“What?”

The disbelief in Ty’s voice forces Kit to look up at him. 

“Kit, how could you think that—you—” Ty cuts himself off with a curse. “I was resurrecting Livvy! I wasn’t processing anything you said.”

And just like that, the world crashes down around them.

“Oh.” Kit blinks at Ty, trying to breathe. ”Well.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

They stare at each other.

“I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions and leaving—”

“Kit, I wanted to tell you that I—”

Thump.

They jump apart and whip round to face the cave entrance, where Dru is standing with a pile of dry logs at her feet.

“So you’ll only talk when I’m not around?” Dru snorts and places her hands on her hips. “Maybe I should just stay outside the entire night.”

Maybe, Kit thinks, sneaking a glance at Ty.

“Whatever,” he says instead, extricating himself fully from the sleeping bag and walking over to help grab the firewood. 

Ty does the same, and if their hands brush when they both reach for the same log, they don’t talk about it. 

That’s a topic for next time.