It had been a normal patrol. Nothing to worry about, a few demons to dispose off and then they could head back to their families. Alec to Magnus and a quiet night of just being with each other, Jace home to Clary and their three month old child.
That had been the plan at least.
Jace didn't know how it had happened, but all of a sudden there had been more demons then he could count, all milling around them, as they tried to beat back the stream of them.
Jace had said something funny, Alec had laughed and they had done a great job of getting rid of the group of demons.
Jace had just pulled out the seraph blade from one of the last demons when he heard Alec gasp and then grunt. As Jace spun around, it was as if everything had slowed down to almost a full stop. Now in front of him he saw Alec, a slightly surprised expression on his face, with a huge demon claw sticking out of his chest. The claw moved and blood came spilling out of Alec's mouth, down over his chin and onto his black leather gear. Alec tried to say something, but all he could get out were another grunt, which ended in more blood everywhere.
Jace was frozen in place, not able to move as the demon pulled his claw out of Alec's chest and watched as he slumped into the floor beneath him.
Jace started to hyperventilate, this wasn't real. This was a nightmare. But it felt so real.
After that it all became blurry, probably the tears in his eyes, but as he crashed onto the ground next to Alec, frantic hands trying to keep the blood inside of his parabatai, the remaining demon were, well, not remaining anymore.
"Alec!" He screamed. Clear blue eyes looked at his, rasping breaths coming from the now very pale Shadowhunter on the ground. Alec started to cough and painted the front of Jace red with blood. Jace pulled out his Steele and drew a few iratzes on Alec, hoping it would heal him in time, before it was to late.
Jace knew there was tears rolling down his face but he didn't care. This was his brother, his best friend. His Alec.
"Don't you dare leave me, Alexander Gideon Lightwood!" Jace tried to say in a light voice, but I came out strangled, with a small hiccup at the end. Alec smiled, and once again tried to say something, but only more blood came up, together with a small hissing noise.
”Not now, everything’s going great. Think about Magnus. You have to stay here for us!” Jace continued as Alec’s eyes started to roll back in his head.
Alec reached out for one of his hands, which Jace took, meaning that he had to let the pressure on the wound go. He could feel Alec's fear through the bond they shared and Jace put his other hand on Alec's cheek.
"I love you, I've always been so proud of you, my brother, my friend." Jace said as he could feel Alec starting to cramp. He stayed there, watching as his parabatai slowly died from blood loss, the iratzes had been to late.
As Alec's heart stopped beating have felt the parabatai bond between them break. Never before had he felt such pain. It was like taking a knife and driving it through his heart again and again, like sleeping on the shards of a thousand mirrors and slowly being eaten alive by vultures.
He don't know for how long he spent on the floor next to his former best friend, but he slowly came back to his body. His head was on Alec's chest, his forehead smeared with blood.
He couldn't breathe, he needed to get out of there and call for help, but at the same time he couldn't move. He was stuck in this position, because if he didn't move then it wasn't real. Then it didn't happen. He stayed like that for what felt like eternity.
As soon as he moved his muscles screamed at him. He fished his phone out of his pockets and unlocked it, about to press the speed dial. But if he did he would never again get an answer. Never again hear a grumpy, sleepy voice on the other end telling him it was in the middle of the night and it better be fucking important. Never again would he hear Alec say something only the two of them would understand. Never again, would he talk to his parabatai.
As sobs wreaked through Jace’s body, then pain came back. Jace took several deep breaths, almost breaking down again, and he found Clary's number. She picked up on the second ring.
"Hey, finally, is everything alright?" She asked, sounding tired. She had no idea how wrong everything was.
"He's dead." Jace said into the phone, head still on Alec's no longer moving chest.
"Jace, I can't hear you, what did you say?" She said into the phone.
"He is dead, Alec's dead. Oh Angel. He's dead. I can't feel him anymore. Clary. He's not moving." Jace almost shouted at the end. He was straying to panic, but he couldn't stop it. It was like a tidal wave, hitting the shores again, and again, and again. On the other end of the line he could hear Clary speaking, but it was just a buzz in his ears.
When she finally came through to him again she asked, "Where are you?", voice high and fast.
Jace gave her the address of the small townhouse they had been in and he could hear a flurry of movement, Clary shouting something at someone else, and then the sounds of New York in the background.
"Stay there, we're coming to get you!" She said. "Don't hang up!" As if Jace could move an inch. He was barely breathing.
Jace knew that some part of him would never be the same without Alec next to him, telling him he was an idiot, but still helping him every step of the way.
It didn't take them to long to find him, but when they tried to move him, he screamed and clutched the lifeless hand in his even closer. Just a few hours ago he would have gotten a yell back, to damned well let go of his hand if he were going to squish it so hard, but now there was nothing.
In the end he moved, his voice hoarse, his eyes red and his face distraught.
Alec's blue eyes were now dull and staring unseeingly at the ceiling. Someone pulled Jace up, and they must have dragged him out to the car, where he passed out from shear exhaustion.
Jace woke up at the institute, in the infirmary, a cold rag against his forehead, and a shaking hand in his. He could hear the other person sobbing and sniffling. Izzy. He held her hand tightly and she fell onto him, shaking with sobs.
He pulled her into a tight hug, and they stayed there for a while, not saying a word. They had both lost the one thing in their life they thought would be permanent. Sure they were Shadowhunters, they died every day like this, but somehow it had felt like Alec was a safe harbour, untouchable from the dangers of their life. He might get hurt, but he was they one who they all had thought would live. The one who was careful, and always looked after their backs.
Now he was dead because of it. Jace told Isabelle this, how it was his fault, how he should have thought it through, how he should have known about it, how he should have been quicker to help Alec, but she just shook her head an mumbled 'no, no, no' into his chest.
After a while they all became quiet, just existing in each others presence.
"Where is he?" Jace asked in the end when he thought that the silence had made him crazy. Izzy didn't say anything, she just pointed to a bed further down in the infirmary, one blocked by screens and sheets. Jace took a deep shaking breath and hugged Isabelle closer.
It was a blur of people, all coming and going, all very sad, but most of them in the typical Shadowhunter way. Only the closest to Alec were really upset. Simon and Clary came in every day, crying and talking with them. Jocelyn, Luke, and the others stopped by too. Even Robert came back from Idris for a day, but worst of it was when Magnus came by.
Soon after have had woken up with Izzy by his side, the doors had swung open to a tall, disbelieving warlock. He had marched straight to the bed where Alec laid, and slowly lifted the sheet of his head.
Magnus shook his head, not believing what he was seeing. His long, slender fingers caressed Alec's cheek so lightly, he would barley have felt it, had he been alive.
"No." The hand still hold the sheet began to shake, and a tear fell from his yellow cat eyes. "Not like this." He had said, then backed away from the body.
Magnus had fallen into a chair, staring at Alec's body, not moving for the rest of the night.
After that they had barely seen him, and when they did he looked terrible. He was there the day the silent brothers came to collect the body, there for the funeral and the reception afterwards, dressed in all white, but that was it.
Weeks went by, and even if nothing was ever going to be the same, the people of the New York institute survived.
In the end Jace went to the warlocks loft in Brooklyn, opening the doors with the key Alec had had. He had found it when they were going through his stuff a few days ago, and Izzy had mentioned that Magnus didn't even answer his buzzer.
At the sound of the door opening Magnus must have gotten his hopes up for someone else than Jace, because his face fell when he saw who it was.
If he had looked terrible before, it had been nothing. Now he looked as if he was on the verge of starving to death, skinnier and thinner than ever, with huge black circles under his eyes.
"What do you want?" Magnus snapped at him. It was true that they had never really been friends, but Jace had thought that if anyone would understand how much me missed Alec, it would have been Magnus.
"To talk. I know that they haven't forgotten about him, and never will, but it feels like if they can't understand that I have a gaping Alec sized hole in my body that can never be fixed or replaced. I thought you might understand." Jace trailed off as the warlock looked at him and gave a small nod.
"It will never be the same." He said, looking at nothing, tears staring to form in his yellow eyes. Jace didn't know what came over him, but the next second he was on the couch, holding a sobbing Magnus, rocking them both slightly from side to side.
"Who were you expecting when I walked through the door?" Jace asked Magnus when the sobbing had quieted down a little. Magnus gave a small laugh, and said through new tears streaming down his cheeks, "You sounded just like him, walking up the stairs."