Simon has never been a reckless person. Ever.
Being the oldest sibling, he was constantly under his mom’s thumb, making sure he didn’t do anything completely stupid and ruin his life forever. He never wanted to, anyways, because he loved his mom and smoking pot just sounded boring. Sure, he’s gone on a couple roller coasters and drank some wine with Clary after sophomore homecoming, but that’s pretty much the extent of his rebellious phase.
Needless to say, Clary is pretty shocked when he tells her that he’s dating Jace, the absolute definition of bad decision made without any further consideration. If Simon had a dime for every time he thought that Jace was either going to come home missing a limb or dead, he’d be able to pay for the stress medication he should be taking whenever Jace goes out on a hunt. Shadowhunting isn’t a fun business, and it’s definitely not an easy job, but it always seems like when the Lightwood siblings come back from a hunt, Jace is always the one that looks like he’s been put through a meat grinder three or four times.
The first couple weeks they were together, Simon just chalked Jace’s injuries to the fact that he had to kill actual demons for a living. It wasn’t like he was killing a spider, Simon reasoned, so of course he’s going to come home with a different black eye every other week. It wasn’t like Alec and Izzy were coming back scratch free, either.
But they weren’t coming back with broken finger or ankles every other time.
After those first couple weeks, Simon knew that something else was going on. Jace always had the worse injuries, always had to be half dragged into the Institute after a hunt just because of how badly he was hurt. Every time he saw him on his way to the infirmary, head lolling back and forth like a puppet whose strings had been cut, it broke Simon’s heart.
Finally, after the 3rd broken leg in a month. Simon had had enough. He practically begged Alec to let him come on one of their missions, after swearing seven ways to Sunday that he was just going to watch, and that he wouldn’t interfere at all, and that if he did Alec had every right to kill the demon and then Simon.
They left right as the sun started going down, just Alec, Jace, and him. It was supposedly a relatively easy job; a newly turned werewolf had been roughing up some Mundanes pretty badly, and they were just supposed to go and retrieve them so Luke could come and pick them up. “Nothing we haven’t done a hundred times before.” Alec assured him, as his eyes stayed trained on the bow that he was runing up. Simon could sense Jace behind him, heart beating faster than usual, but not as fast as to be nervous.
Simon was too busy wrapped up in his own head to notice Jace approaching him from behind, causing him to jump slightly when two arms wrapped around his waist and a soft kiss was pressed to the crook of his neck. He turned his head slightly to see Jace’s hair falling over his face, and he gently reached up a hand to brush it away so he could see his eyes. Simon looked at Jace for a moment, trying to decide if he was nervous for himself or Simon, before Jace lifted his head and looked straight at him, eyes soft and kind, just like always.
“Don’t worry babe. You’re going to be fine.” Jace said with a low voice, a tiny smile stretching over his lips in reassurance before leaning in to kiss Simon’s cheek. Simon could feel a blush starting in his cheeks, but it did nothing to ease the apprehension that was twisting in stomach.
“It’s not me that I’m worried about.” Simon murmured, leaning back into Jace to feel his arms tighten slightly around his waist to keep him steady.
“Simon, don’t be worried about me. I am the greatest Shadowhunter ever.” Jace said back, smile breaking wide over his face, and even Simon couldn’t resist doing the same. They were snapped out of their little moment by Alec clearing his throat loudly. They both jumped apart quickly, embarrassment crawling up Simon’s neck and mixing with the fear that was growing even larger, for some reason.
“Come on. We’ve gotta get going.” Alec said before turning around and striding towards the large double doors of the Institute, looking every bit the leader that he was. Jace followed right after, only pausing briefly to look back at Simon and jerk his head to follow. Simon started and caught up to him, slipping his hand in Jace’s before they pushed open the doors and headed out into the world.
Finding the werewolf had been easy enough. All they had to do was follow the trail of Mundanes lying on their backs, groaning in pain resulting from the claw marks on their shoulder. Luckily enough, it was relatively simple to convince them that it wasn’t a wolf that had attacked them, just a particularly nasty dog. They followed the trail until it lead them into an alley between an office building and a tiny Italian restaurant. It smelled like printer ink and rotten tomatoes, and at the end of the alley, hunched in the corner, was a large brown wolf.
Simon looked at Alec only to find him gesturing towards a dumpster, one that would allow him cover while still being able to see what was going on in front of him. Slowly, he crept over and knelt down behind it, holding his breath until he was behind it before realizing that he didn’t need to breathe (that was one vampire trait that he was still getting used too).
He looked behind him to see Alec and Jace advancing on the wolf slowly, Alec’s bow hanging loosely by his side with an arrow already nocked, and Jace with his seraph blade raised slightly. They moved quietly, making sure not to startle the wolf in case he decided to fight back, and before long they were at the end of the alley. Simon leaned out behind his dumpster a little bit more, just so he could see what was happening.
Alec reached the wolf first, speaking so quietly that Simon could only make out a couple words here and there, “okay” and “safe” and “home.” Jace stood back a foot, blade raised warily and shoulders tensed in a fighting stance. At first, it seemed like the wolf was actually going to cooperate, as they raised their head and stared at Alec with big, doleful eyes.
But of course, nothing ever goes well with these three.
The wolf was up and snarling in an instant, and even though Simon was far enough back where he couldn’t get hurt, a spike of fear lanced up his spine all the same. Alec’s bow came up, string taut and ready to fire, but he never got a chance to use it.
As soon as the wolf started to growl, Jace launched in front of Alec and pushed him backwards, blades drawn and out in front of him. From where he was, Simon could only see Jace’s back, but he could hear him crystal clear.
“Come on, wolfie. Come and take a bite outta me.”
Snarling, the wolf leaped towards him, teeth bared and claws outstretched. Simon wanted to run up and push Jace out of the way, but he was stuck in his hiding place, partly out of fear, and partly out of anger.
Because even as the wolf landed on Jace and tore it’s claws down his shoulder, Jace made no movement whatsoever to try and escape.
He just stood there, like a statue, seraph blades raised high and feet squared in attack position. Everything about him seemed to scream fighter, but he did nothing. Simply stood there and let the wolf rake its claws down his front.
Simon didn’t know what he was feeling. As he stood there and watched his boyfriend get mauled by a werewolf, he could only feel a cold sense of dread rising up in his stomach and choking him out.
Alec stepped in after a moment, landing a solid kick onto the wolf’s side that sent it flying into the wall. Jace fell to his knees, hand coming up to clutch the scratches running up and down his front and shoulders. The wolf hit the wall and slid down to the floor with a pained noise. From where he was, Simon could see past Jace as the wolf turned back into a human. A girl, no older than 16.
Simon watched from behind his dumpster as Alec pulled out his phone and called someone, muttering “Yeah, we got her. Alley between an Italian place and an insurance company. We’re on 51st. Cool, thanks Luke. Yeah, see you later.”
With that, he shoved his phone in his pocket and walked towards where Simon was crouched, extending his hand to help him up. Simon took it shakily and pulled himself to his feet, shooting a concerned glance down the alley to where Jace was kneeling. Alec followed his gaze and let out a sigh.
“How many times? Does he do that?” Simon asked quietly, watching as Jace pulled up his sleeve shakily to draw an iratze under his wounds. Three claw marks extended from his shoulder blades to right underneath his collar bone, blood dripping out slowly.
“Every time. You should count yourself lucky. Usually it's much worse than this.” Alex replied in the same quiet tone, sorrow weaving in between the words all the while.
They stood in silence, watching Jace as he drew iratze after iratze over his assorted wounds, shimmering slightly and weaving the muscles back together every time. Eventually, he stood back up, stretching his arms out with a grimace and walked towards them.
Silently, the three of them turned around and headed out of the alleyway, and back towards the Institute.
The walk back to the Institute was silent, only punctuated by quiet birdsong and the occasional siren of an ambulance. When they got back to the church, Alec was the first one through the doors, leaving Jace and Simon standing out on the steps, looking at the setting sun with a detached interest. Neither of them really wanted to go inside, both being content to just stand with each other. Simon, however, was less that pleased with everything that he’d seen that day.
As he stood on the steps of the Institute, the quiet anger that had been burning in him ever since the alley bubbled over. Vaguely, he felt his hands shaking slightly with anger, but he had much bigger things to worry about.
“What the fuck, Jace?” He asked quietly, eyes glued to the stone beneath him. He could sense as Jace turned his head to look at him, but Simon was afraid of what he might say if he did the same.
“What are you talking about, Simon?” Jace replied, mild confusion leaking its way into his voice.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” Simon snapped back, hands curling into fists at his side. His vision had started to haze red with anger, brain whirling and trying to rationalize what the fuck Jace had been thinking. “Back in the alley. You - you let that wolf attack you. You didn’t even try to stop her, Jace. It’s - it’s like you wanted it to hurt you.”
Jace didn’t reply for a long moment. The only thing Simon could hear was the wind rustling through the trees, and the steady thudding of Jace’s pulse. A moment passed. Then two. Still no response. After the silence almost becoming unbearable, Simon opened his mouth to say something , before he was cut off by Jace.
“I just - I - I don’t know.”
“You’re going to have to do better than I don’t know, Jace.” Simon seethed, fingernails digging into the palms of his hands. How could he not know? That’s not something you just don’t know.
“Jesus, Simon, what do you want me to say? Sorry?” Jace bit back, venom dripping from every word and then Simon had had more than enough. His head jerked up and eyes landed right on Jace’s, which were burning with anger and frustration.
“Sorry? Sorry? ” Simon replied, voice growing louder and louder because what was going ON , “You think that sorry’s going to make this better? I watched you practically get torn apart back there, Jace! Sorry doesn’t mean anything !” He was yelling at this point, and he could feel angry tears welling up in his eyes at the thought. How could he think like this? Why was he doing this?
“Then tell me what to say, Simon.” Jace yelled back, taking a step towards him at the same time, fists balled in anger like Simon’s.
“I want you to tell me why you let that wolf practically maul you without fucking fighting back! I want you to say you won’t do that again, you fucking asshole!” Simon screamed, voice breaking as the tears started to flow over his cheeks, hand coming up to hit Jace hard in the sternum. But then, there was just silence.
Simon looked at Jace expectantly, trying to see if there was an answer hidden in his eyes. But there was just anger, and frustration, and just the tiniest bit of regret. Simon pushed off Jace’s chest and stepped back again, hands returning to fists at his side. Jace looked down at the ground, throat working as he tried to come up with a reasonable response.
“I can’t do that.” he whispered to the ground, and Simon felt his heart fall through his stomach and shatter on the steps below him.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I can’t tell you that I won’t do it again. Simon, you don’t understand, I -”Jace replied, desperation saturating his voice as his hands fell limp at his sides and all of the anger drained out of his shoulders. Simon watched Jace cave in on himself, and it felt like he was watching him die.
“No, I think I do, Jace,” he interrupted coolly, anger evaporating into a detached sense of calm and regret churning in his stomach, “I think that I understand perfectly well.”
“Simon, please, just let me explain -”
“When you’re ready to tell me the truth, Jace, I’ll listen. But I can’t stand here and listen to you tell me that you wanted that wolf to hurt you like she did -”
“That’s exactly what I wanted, Simon. Please, just let me -” Jace said, reaching out to try and grab Simon’s wrist, trying to make him stay and understand, but he wouldn’t. Simon ripped his hand away right as he grabbed it, and he used the momentum to push himself towards the doors. He could dimly hear Jace calling after him, but his head was too filled with questions and doubt and fear at what Jace had just told him. He kept walking into the Institute, and as he pushed open the wide oak doors, he didn’t look back.