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The Pull

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It began when Alec was eighteen. He wasn’t entirely sure how it had happened or why, by the Angel, he’d agreed to it. It was after a training session. They’d been ambushed, with Jace gravely wounded, the day before, and Maryse’s method of dealing with their mistake (in Jace’s case) and inadequacy (in Alec’s case) had been to have them train the entirety of the next day. Jace’s iratze was still gleaming on his chest after having been reactivated so recently. His parabatai seemed on edge, more so than usual. In retrospect, that was probably why, after Jace had pushed himself and Alec had more or less let him gain the upper hand, he'd yielded so quickly when Jace’s hand had slipped past the waistband of his pants.

“Don’t,” he had whispered, but of course he hadn’t meant it. His traitorous heart was fluttering excitedly in his chest. But their bond was so strong back in those days that Jace merely whispered, in an almost chiding manner:

Parabatai…” His eyes were gleaming, passionate things that bore their way into Alec’s soul.

“We’ll commit the sin of eros, Jace.” Alec knew that his words were a product of his feelings of obligation rather than what he believed.

Jace snickered, slowly wrapping his strong fingers around Alec’s hardening length.

“So dramatic. This is stress relief, not romance.”

And Alec prayed to the Angel that his parabatai rune wouldn’t betray him, that he could conceal the true nature of his feelings and nodded, curtly, pushing his own hand down the front of Jace’s draw-string pants in response, wrapping his fingers around the boy’s cock. He left it there, unsure of how to proceed, until Jace started moving, setting a rhythm that he mirrored, albeit more gently.

They shouted their release into the empty training hall, Jace with a fierce passion, Alec in a soft moan.

After that, it happened regularly. After training sessions. In between hunts. Sometimes in Alec’s room. Never in Jace's. They never kissed, never changed what they did, or the quickness of it, and Alec was both deliriously happy and completely overwhelmed. His anxiety began tethering just below his skin, itching for release though he kept it at bay for the most part.

When Clary entered the picture and Jace so relentlessly began flirting with her, ignoring him entirely, culminating in the kiss that Jace so callously gave her right in front of him, Alec didn’t know what to think, what to say, and so he acted, trying to shield his broken heart from further damage, fighting to keep the panic bubbling beneath his skin at bay.

One night, he woke up screaming and hyperventilating. He wondered why Jace didn’t seem to notice that something was wrong. After hours of his heart racing, unable to draw any runes to soothe the pain, he realised, with a sort of detached resignation, that this was probably a result of their weakened bond. That this was, in part, his fault.

Then there was Magnus. A dark, handsome force that entered his life, pushed him to admit feelings he had only just begun harboring. His emotions were a blur that he couldn’t make sense of.

Magnus, who projected ideas onto him that weren’t his own, who claimed he was a virgin in front of everybody, and was technically right. Alec let things happen because they felt easy. Grand gestures were expected and he thought, for the briefest of moments, that if he agreed, if he was able to mirror the grand gestures that Jace made to impress Clary with Magnus, he would gain a level of independence from his parents, and freedom that he didn’t know or think possible.

Things seemed to go well for a while. He settled into a rhythm with Magnus, and his bond with Jace seemed restored, untainted, unbroken.

When Magnus slept with him for the first time, gentle in his administrations, whispering "Alexander" into his ear over and over again, he felt wholly at ease, content, and maybe even happy. The image of Jace, forever stuck just behind his eyelids, disappeared. He was still basking in the aftermath when his phone rang. He picked it up from the nightstand beside him, swiping right to answer.

“Alec. Meet me in your room at the institute.”

Alec got up, detangling himself from Magnus' sleeping form, and hurried to get dressed. He tried to reach out to Jace through their shared bond, trying to figure out what was wrong. There was a mix of emotions: Anger, worry, anxiety, fear.

He activated his agility rune and ran as quickly as he could.

Jace was standing in front of Alec’s bed when Alec entered the room, shutting the door behind him.

“What---”

He didn’t get a chance to speak, because Jace crossed the distance between them in two large strides, grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him down for a kiss. Alec froze, his instincts screaming at him to pull away for Magnus’ sake and deepen the kiss at the same time, anxiety building in him like it hadn’t for the longest time.

Reason finally won over and he pulled away.

“Magnus…,” Alec whispered, “…and Clary…”

“Parabatai,” Jace replied softly, “I need us.”

And Alec broke, and nodded. Jace closed the distance again for another kiss, violent and passionate.

“I need you, Alec,” he whispered, pulling away for breath and viciously descending back onto Alec’s lips, all the while pulling his  parabatai closer to the bed until the back of Alec’s knees hit it and he fell onto it with a thud.

Jace wasted no time in following him. They hurriedly undressed, and Alec was breathing harshly. He knew he could still stop this, that he should probably stop this, but lust clouded his mind, making it difficult to think of why. His fingers were tangled in Jace’s hair now, pulling his parabatai closer still. In the back of his mind, words toppled over each other, Magnus, eros, no, sin, bad idea, Clary, but he was too far gone to register them clearly.

Jace was hissing words into his ear, “need you”, “parabatai”, he couldn’t make out the rest.  Subconsciously, Alec knew they were moving quickly, too quickly. But he was aching with lust, and it was impossible to tell whose emotions he was feeling, their bond pulsing at an intensity he had never thought possible.

Jace spread Alec’s legs, pushing a spit-slicked finger past the ring of muscle and moving it until he instinctively found the sweet spot that made Alec cry out. His other hand grabbed Alec’s cock in a vice-like grip, moving up and down quickly and with precision. Jace added two more fingers, stretching him out and massaging Alec’s prostate until the archer came with a silent shout. Before Alec had time to catch his breath, Jace moved, positioning himself between Alec’s legs, and pushed into him in one smooth motion. His hole, still swollen and sore from Magnus’ attention earlier in the evening, stretched to accommodate his parabatai. Alec gritted his teeth and Jace stilled, waiting for him to adjust before moving, using his right hand, his weapon-wielding hand, to massage Alec’s now flaccid penis until it reluctantly hardened again, Alec straining under the pressure of arousal so soon after coming. He was a mess underneath Jace, hair tousled, pupils blown wide with desire and lust, exhausted from his third orgasm of the night and being coaxed into a fourth one, Jace realised, feeling the irrational anger he’d harbored earlier build in him again, the feeling of having to reclaim what was rightfully his. He pulled back and pushed back in, harshly. Alec moaned, and Jace built up to a brutal, unforgiving pace. He came so hard that he saw stars and watched his parabatai follow him with a pleasure-pained whine.

“Are you okay?” Jace asked, and Alec nodded reaching out towards him and pulling him in for another kiss.

“Angel…” Jace could feel himself hardening again, and Alec, with the grace of a cat, moved to kneel in front of the bed, pulled Jace close and sucked the head of his cock into his mouth in a move that was sinful to behold. It didn’t take long for Jace to come for the second time, shooting his semen deep into his parabatai's throat. Alec shuddered, swallowing Jace’s load, and strained his shaking arms, pulling himself back onto the bed and collapsing onto it face first. White streaks of cum streaked the insides of his lean thighs. Through their bond, Jace felt his parabatai's strain, his sore muscles and his uncertainty. He felt terrible and elated, unable to separate the two emotions like he was unable to separate his love for Clary from his need for Alec.

Alec shot him a panicked glance.

“Magnus,” he said again, more firmly this time. His voice was shaking.
“I know,” Jace replied.

They were fucked, both literally and figuratively, and they both knew it. Alec was the first to get back up. He dressed, shakily. Jace sat up slowly and watched him.

“You can’t fucking do this to me, Jace,” Alec said, “It’s not fair. We’re both in love with other people.”

Jace lowered his gaze. Alec had to know he couldn’t help it, and he could feel the same uncertainty he did permeating through their bond he had before. They might be in love with other people, but their love for one another was sacred.

 “There’s no stronger bond than ours, Alec. You know it.”

Alec wanted to reply, but he couldn’t. Jace was right. He was confused and sore. He felt like crying and laughing at the same time, unable to form coherent thought, and nonetheless confident in Jace’s words, somehow.

“I know,” he said, finally, and left. The night was cool, and his thoughts were racing. By the time Alec returned to Magnus’ loft, he was a shaking mess. He headed straight for the shower and washed himself as thoroughly as possible. Then, he made his way into Magnus’ bedroom and slipped back underneath the covers next to his boyfriend. His boyfriend. Guilt washed over him, hot and shameful, an excruciating pain that he felt mirrored through his parabatai rune. He clutched his fingers over his rune, tensing his shoulders and willing his breath to slow down. His phone vibrated. A message. From Jace. Of course.

<<Don’t worry, parabatai. We’ll figure it out.>>

Alec sighed, screwing his eyes shut, and waited for sleep to descend. It never came.

Chapter Text

Saying the week had been rough for Jace would have been the understatement of the year. Though, to be fair, he had had rougher weeks. Trapped with Valentine after finding out Clary was his sister, for instance. He wasn’t over her yet; he knew as much. And his parabatai had said as much, as well, after… After he had betrayed Magnus’ trust, who was letting him stay with him, and lured Alec to the institute, where he, Jace, was technically barred from going, to do things that were definitely forbidden.

No, lured was the wrong word. He had felt stressed, he needn’t the release, he… He knew himself well enough to know when he was rationalising things. Jace was good at rationalising. After all, when he thought his dad was Michael Wayland and after he had lived under the man’s constant emotional and physical abuse, he had rationalised away all of it. To love is to destroy, his father had taught him, and Jace had believed that destruction was love.

Jace thought back to that stolen moment, to Alec’s half-open mouth and his fluttering eyelashes, to the way it felt to be fully sheathed inside his parabatai, and the noises Alec had made. He could feel himself hardening again and readjusted himself. Tonight was Max’s rune party. He needed to get a hold of himself. For Max's sake. For his sake and for Alec’s. He could still feel Alec’s intense insecurity radiating through their bond, and whatever it was that was going on between them, it would have to wait for another time.

Jace was confused; he felt jealous of Simon and Clary’s budding romance, overwhelmed with his need to possess and reclaim Alec, happy for his parabatai that he had found someone who genuinely seemed to care for his well-being as much as Jace did.

Of course, he hadn’t been able to keep his mouth shut in front of Magnus and had told the warlock to treat Alec well because he was sensitive. Yeah, right, he thought bitterly, because he’d been so careful with Alec’s sensitive disposition. He was a hypocrite in every sense of the word. In some strange way Jace thought that Magnus knew what Alec had been up to, and that he either didn’t mind, because he’d been alive for literal centuries and jealousy was no more than an abstract concept to him, or that he did mind and was biding his time to corner Jace somewhere and manhandle him the way he had manhandled Raj a few days back when Alec had been almost too far gone to get back. When his parabatai had almost died because of stupidly trying to contact him with that stone.

That, Jace realised, was the thing he feared most. Alec had always had self-destructive tendencies. Staying up nights on end for extra training sessions, having to be reminded to eat and drink regularly. After Jocelyn had died, Alec had shot arrows into the sky on the roof the entire night. Jace had been able to sense he was injured, but his emotionally repressed parabatai had shut him out completely that day, opting, he presumed, to go to Magnus for comfort instead.

Given the night’s events, Jace wished he had pressed on, forced his parabatai to talk. When Jace saw Alec nearly jumping off the ledge of Magnus' roof, he was furious – at Alec, for not telling him something was wrong, and at himself, for not seeing it sooner.

Magnus, it seemed, was going through the same emotions. After everyone else had left, Jace could hear them arguing in the room next door.

“It wasn’t just magic, Alexander!” Magnus was shouting, either oblivious or too angry to care that he could hear them, “There’s a part of you that wants to die!”

“Leave it alone, Magnus, please,” his parabatai responded. It was uttered more softly, but Jace could still hear him without having to activate the hearing rune.

He thought of Alec’s seventeenth birthday, long before they’d embarked on any of their stress relief sessions. Jace had been walking down the hallways of the institute and suddenly felt an intense pain and nausea permeating through his entire body, originating, he realised, in his parabatai rune.

He’d raced to the training hall where he’d last seen Alec, and there his brother was, dry heaving on the floor, knuckles bloodied and almost raw. He’d forgotten, he had told Jace afterwards, to use his iratze.

“Did you eat before you decided to go on a mad training spree?”

“Yeah…,” Alec had replied, “I had breakfast.”

Jace had shaken his head, more than a little annoyed at his parabatai’s stubbornness.

“So, you had breakfast, and no lunch and no dinner and then overexerted yourself. Awesome, dude. You need to take better care of yourself,” he’d told Alec and pulled him closer, “If not for your sake then for mine.”

Things, it seemed, hadn’t changed. Just that now it was so much worse.

“You have to talk to me, Alexander!” Magnus was shouting, and Jace could understand why.

He wished he could be there to gather Alec in his arms, pull him close. Open him up and come home. He immediately regretted letting his feelings take over when he heard Alec gasp in the room next door. Having a parabatai meant that his feelings were never entirely his own, though the level of what they both could feel through their connection varied depending on how close Alec and he were, both physically and emotionally. At the moment, Jace could feel all of it: Alec's anxiety, his longing, his confusion.

“Alexander, what’s wrong? Don’t leave… You can’t leave now… Are you…”

Then there were heavy footsteps and the thumping sound of a door closing. Jace jumped to his feet just as Magnus barged into his makeshift room.

“Jace,” he began, his voice beginning to break, “Alexander… please…”

“I’ll find him,” Jace replied, avoiding looking at Magnus directly. He got up, grabbed his jacket and raced after his brother.

Just like after Jocelyn's death, he found Alec on the roof of the institute, curled up in a ball next to the door that led there. It was their shared safe haven, a place they automatically retreated to when either of them felt distressed.

“Jace,” Alec gasped, “Please. It’s too… You need to stay away. I can’t focus.”

Jace knelt down in front of Alec and brushed a stray strand of dark hair out of his face. He wanted to comfort Alec like he was supposed to, in a platonic way, a brotherly way. But the moment he looked into those eyes he was transfixed, pulled back to the night before and the things his parabatai had let him do to him. To Alec, coming apart in his hand so beautifully while he pushed himself into him, to that feeling of being whole. And Jace lent in and kissed Alec, who responded, moaning softly. Jace pulled away.

“Please Alec,” he said, words rough and strained, “Please don’t keep this pain to yourself. You’re hurting, I can tell. And Magnus can, too.”

Alec looked like he was going to say something for a moment. He looked away, eyes fluttering shut, and brow furrowing.

“It gets too much sometimes. I don’t mean to.”

“I know.”

“It’s also… this. I can’t concentrate. I don’t… And now… I know that I’m in love with Magnus, I know it, but I can’t stop… thinking about… You are part of me, Jace, and…”

Jace wanted to respond with words, but he’d always been a man of action, and there was that pull again. Before Jace knew it, they were breathing heavily and undressing, throwing their jackets and shirts to the wayside and closing in for contact. Alec was eager, overly so, for reasons Jace knew were complicated and would probably complicate things between the two of them and between Alec and Magnus even further. Jace wanted to push him down, fuck him open slowly and drive himself home. He wanted Alec to ride him, exposing his throat to him, utterly vulnerable and powerful in his submission. He wanted to push himself into Alec’s mouth, inch by inch until he hit the back of his parabatai’s throat. He wanted to claim him, leave scratch marks all over him, activate his stamina and his agility rune. To shout his release into the night with his parabatai for all to hear. And Alec wanted all of those things, he could feel it, and more. But Alec was also hurting, and confused, and overwhelmed. Alec had just tried jumping off a rooftop, even if it had been under the influence of a spell. Jace knew that if they did this now, if he pushed things further and let them get past the point of no return, that even if their bond was sacred, he might lose Alec. One night of passion could be counted as a mistake, an anomaly, two in a row would push Alec’s already fragile state of mind over the edge. It was tethering too close to it as it was.

It was that thought that frightened him enough to find the willpower to pull back. Alec whimpered at the loss of skin contact, at the feeling of Jace’s finger detaching themselves from where they had been caressing the skin just above his parabatai rune. Through that very same rune, he could feel Jace’s worry and need to protect him, and he shuddered, once, pressing his forehead against his parabatai’s.

“Thank you,” he whispered. He sounded more like himself now, more in control.

“I’ve got you,” Jace whispered in reply.

They dressed, and Alec looked at Jace.

“We’ll figure it out, parabatai,” he said, and Jace tried to smile. They were and would forever be mirroring each other's words and actions, twins in mind and soul if not in body.

“Yeah,” he replied, “We will.”

Chapter Text

Magnus Bane was many things – an extraordinary warlock and an amazing dresser, amongst others - but stupid was not one of them. He’d seen the glances Jace and Alexander shared when they thought no one was looking, their incessant light touches. He’d seen Alexander the morning after, more uncomfortable than he should have been, shifting around uneasily in bed. He’d noticed him leave the night before and return later, and when he’d seen the discomfort he was going through that morning, part of him wanted to help, but another part of him felt that if Alexander wanted to play with fire, he needed to be able to take the heat. He despised himself for his thoughts immediately afterwards, pulling the dark-haired man back into bed.  

“I’m sorry, Alexander, I may have been too inconsiderate of your lack of experience,” he had said, because his wounded pride forced him to let the words sting a little, but he had reached out with his magic and soothed his lover.

Alexander said nothing, just closed his eyes and let it happen. Magnus had many questions, but when he saw the young Shadowhunter laid out in front of him, his dark tattoos a stark contrast to his alabaster skin, the ability to form coherent thought left him. He wanted to take care of this person, he realised, in a way he hadn’t in the longest time. The thought scared him to no ends.

Magnus wanted to broach the subject of Jace with Alexander, he honestly did, but Jace had been right when he’d said Alexander was sensitive. And so, he kept trotting along, a cat turned puppy for a damaged soul. Well, he’d always been a masochist at heart, he supposed.

When Alexander returned with Jace after Max’s rune party he was exhausted, and Magnus was there to take the boy into his arms, lead him back to their shared bed and slip his arms around him.

“Don’t scare me like that,” he mumbled into Alexander’s nape, and the boy nodded, but didn’t say a word. He wasn’t sure what to say. Parabatai were a foreign concept to Magnus, something he knew of, had read of, but couldn’t fully grasp. He hated not understanding. Within him, he could feel a cold anger brewing. He would call it jealousy, perhaps, or possessiveness, but those were both emotions he’d worked hard to overcome and did not want to experience again simply because Alexander was… what was he exactly? Special, perhaps. A light in a darkness he’d thought he’d have to face by himself for the rest of eternity? Magnus didn’t know yet. What he did know was that he wanted Alexander to be safe. Safe and happy.

He's my parabatai. I can’t live without him.               

Magnus remembered his lover’s words, and Alexander's distress when Jace had been missing. He sighed, pulling Alexander closer. At least for now, for tonight, he would have him here. The future was not his to know. It never had been.


 

Alec knew that going on a hunt with Jace so soon after what had transpired between them was a stupid idea, but there were worrying reports of demon activity in Brooklyn that needed to be attended to, preferably before Valentine got the chance to use whatever was going on to gain traction and more followers. They also had to show Aldertree that Jace was an asset rather than a potential threat to the Clave. And after nearly losing him, he wasn’t about to let Jace go on a mission without him, no matter the confusion or unresolved issues between them.

Thankfully, the hunt was relatively easy. After they’d hidden the area from view, Jace cornered the demon, a huge, angry-looking bloated thing, in a back alley, going in a little too close for Alec’s liking. Jace sent it off-center with a well-aimed punch and ducked out of the way just as Alec’s arrow left his bow. The demon disintegrated in front of them, and Jace got up from a kneeling position, cocking his head to his side and looking back at Alec with a smile. A smile that slipped almost instantly. Alec was shaking and breathing shallowly.

“Are you injured?” Jace asked, his voice laced with that worried roughness that had become par for the course over the last couple of days.

“No,” Alec replied, leaning heavily against the wall and slipping down until he sat there. He pulled his knees to his body, hanging his head between them, trying to catch his breath. He’d let his bow fall where he’d been standing, and Jace picked it up, moving to sit down next to him. With a strange sort of detachment, Alec noticed he was crying. It was like watching himself from the outside. That was what it had been like for the last couple of days, if he was being completely honest. Lying to Magnus, thinking of Jace, wanting Magnus, but wanting to fuck Jace at the same time. Scared of losing both Magnus and Jace, and so, so terrified of Jace dying.

It made him want to scream. But he couldn’t. It was his job to be the grounded one, to be the responsible one, although he couldn’t call himself reliable anymore. He was a liar and a cheater, unable to protect anyone.

“Alec…” Jace put an arm around his shoulder and pulled him into his arms, “I need to know you’re okay. Please, let’s meet tomorrow and just talk?”

Alec shook his head no, unable to get any words out. Jace sighed heavily.

“Look, I know Magnus and you are together. I’m not trying to get in the way.”

For some reason Jace’s words infuriated Alec.

“But that’s not the problem, though, is it, Jace?” he spat out, pulling away, and getting up unsteadily, “The problem is that I wanted you in the first place. That I still want you.”

 “Don’t do this, Alec. Don’t you fucking dare turn this into martyrdom. I wanted it just as much as you did. We don’t need to act on it, though.” Alec stared down at Jace, who was looking up at him with imploring eyes, in shock.

“The problem is, parabatai,” Jace continued, anger now lacing his words, “That you won’t let anybody help you with anything.”

Alec threw his hands into the air, exasperated. Jace wasn’t listening to him. He never did.

“It’s not your job to… I’m fine, Jace… ugh…” Alec doubled over suddenly, grasping his parabatai rune. He gasped in pain, lifting his head to look at Jace, who was grimacing. This hadn’t happened in years, their pain feeding off each other until it spiraled out of control like this. Jace eased himself up, using the wall for support, and stumbled to Alec’s side. He pulled Alec closer, whispering “breathe, breathe, breathe” into his parabatai’s ear until his brother heard him, and they breathed in and out together. The proximity was maddening to Jace, and his mind was back in the gutter as soon as his skin touched Alec’s. Jace pushed the taller man up against the wall, crowding him there until Alec could feel Jace’s arousal pressing up against him.

Jace spun him around in one smooth movement, pressing his chest against the gravel of the wall, and fuck, Alec was so filled with need and want that words failed him. He could hear Jace unbuckling his pants, and he was doing the same until Jace grabbed his arms and pinned them behind him. Jace pushed Alec’s pants down, pushing his parabatai against the wall more forcefully. Alec wasn’t prepared this time like he had been that first night because of Magnus --- Magnus ---

“Jace,” Jace supplied, before his mind could travel further down that particular rabbit hole, “My name is Jace.” Alec felt a finger press into him. There was no lube, and it hurt, but because of their bond Jace knew how he had to angle his finger, when he had to add a new one, and that letting go was and always would be Alec’s number one fantasy. His range of movement was limited, but Alec threw his head back when Jace finally pushed the head of his cock against his hole and started working himself in. Alec wanted to push back in spite of the pain, but Jace wouldn’t let him. He was so hard. He needed Jace to fuck him. He needed Magnus. He ---

“Fuck, Jace!”

Jace knew he’d hit the spot he was looking for. After that it was a matter of minutes before both of them came.

Jace backed away, and Alec pulled his pants up in a swift, jerky motion, buckling his belt with shaky hands. He turned around to face Jace, who looked for all intents and purposes like a kicked puppy. He was sure he had the same look of trepidation on his face.

Alec swallowed, nodding slowly. They were parabatai. Their emotions were one and the same. This need of theirs wasn’t going away, it wasn’t going to magically sort itself out. They needed to work it out somehow, before the intensity of their bond pushed both of them over the edge.

“Okay…,” he said finally, quietly, blinking back tears of guilt and frustration, “Let’s talk. Tomorrow after the meeting. Meet me on the roof.”

Jace blinked once, as if he’d been suddenly woken up from a dream. He nodded as well, turning away, and Alec could feel him trying to keep his emotions as bay, not to let them spill over through their bond.

“Okay.”


 

It was past midnight when Alec finally came back to Magnus’ apartment. Magnus was waiting for him. As soon as he walked in, Alec knew he was in trouble. His lover got up in one flowing movement, stepping into his space and looking up at him with glowing eyes. Literally. He could see the yellow of his cat eyes shimmering just behind his glamoured irises.

“Strip,” Magnus ordered.

Alec swallowed, and complied.

Chapter Text

Alec stood there, eyes directed firmly to the ground, as Magnus stepped towards his naked form. He didn’t know what to expect, just that he felt extremely vulnerable, and ashamed. He’d taken a shower in the institute after the whole alley fiasco earlier, but still felt Jace’s hands all over him (felt Jace every time he moved, too – out of all of the bad judgment calls he’d made lately, getting fucked without proper preparation, no matter how good it felt at the time, was fairly high up there).  Alec swallowed again, guiltily. He was terrified of the look in Magnus’ eyes because he didn’t know what it meant. Alec was exhausted. The last couple of weeks had been too much of everything, too much to keep track of. He felt stretched thin beyond reason, and he felt far too tired to have sex again. But whatever Magnus had in store, he probably deserved what was coming his way. He would soldier through it, because that was what he’d been taught to do.

“Kneel,” Magnus whispered when he was standing directly in front of him, voice husky, and Alec did. Despite himself, he could feel his cock stirring. It was the first time he’d witnessed Magnus so decidedly dominant. He didn’t want to think too hard of the implications, of what it meant that he was so turned on by Jace’s manhandling of him and Magnus’ potential total and absolute control, the magic he could wield at any time to bend him to his will.

Magnus snapped his fingers and was suddenly naked as well. His cock was rock-hard, poised directly in front of Alec’s lips.

“Open.” And Alec did. Wide.

He was anxious. He didn’t know what Magnus was thinking, he didn’t know what he knew, whether Magnus was acting this way because he knew or because he’d been gone so long without calling, without checking in. And as Magnus’ length slid into his mouth, he could feel something seeping through his side, through the rune that connected him and his parabatai, a soothing touch to his nervous thoughts, as well as… arousal? Fuck. You’ve got to be kidding me. He was with Magnus, he literally had the man’s cock inside his mouth, he couldn’t deal with this now. Alec tried shutting Jace out, concentrating on the salty girth of Magnus sliding into his mouth until he choked, but it was no use, and he moaned, which Magnus took as encouragement fuck into him even more. He pulled back out just as Alec thought he was going to pass out from lack of oxygen.

“Is this okay?” Magnus asked, the coldness behind his eyes subsiding for a moment, and Alec nodded, because it was and even if it wasn’t, if it was too much, he would rather die than deny Magnus this after what he’d done to his lover, this man who had shown him nothing but kindness.

“You can tap out anytime,” Magnus reminded him huskily. And with that he pulled back completely, lifting Alec into the air and turning him around with his magic, so that he hung there, suspended on his back in midair, legs opened obscenely wide. It wasn’t a comfortable position, but Alec didn’t complain, and adjusted his breathing. When Magnus slid a lubed finger into Alec, the other man moaned, closing his eyes.

As he pushed into Alexander, Magnus could only hope that Alexander knew it was him and not someone else. He snapped his hips back and thrust back in, hard, and was satisfied at the hitched outtake of breath he got in response. Magnus swore to himself that he would make sure Alexander knew he was here with him, and nowhere else.

 


 

 

After Valentine had attacked the institute and had finally been arrested, Alec’s head felt like it was about to explode. He didn’t know why he’d felt the need to tell Magnus he loved him while Jace could potentially hear them. It wasn’t as if it wasn’t true, but it had been an attempt to protect himself. Now he was standing in the hallway with Jace, and Clary wasn’t Jace's sister anymore, and Izzy was a yin fen addict, and the Soul Sword had disappeared, and the tension behind his eyes was building.  He closed his eyes and asked: “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to tell her.”

Alec turned to Jace, stepped up the stairs and stared him down. He didn’t know why he was doing it. He didn't know why he was doing a lot of things these days.

“No.” He grabbed Jace’s shirt and pulled him down, kissing him, then pulled back, shouting a litany of fucks, and turned to the wall and punched it, hard, before Jace could stop him. There was a crack that stunned Jace into shocked silence for a moment. He noted the pang of pain in the rune at his side (more intense than it should be, which was worrying) and grabbed his parabatai’s bleeding hand. Jace activated the iratze on Alec’s arm and stared at him.

“You’ve got to stop this bullshit of yours, Alec.”

Alec spun around to face him, eyes belying the same frustrated anger.

“Why don’t you stop yours then? No bond stronger than ours, Jace! That’s what you said, not me!” he growled at Jace.

Jace dropped his gaze.

“I just thought you’d be happy that we can -- I don't know. But anyway, Clary’s with Simon now. And you’re with…”

“Of course I’m happy for you, Jace. But I…,” Alec was crying again, although Jace wasn’t sure he realised, “Please don’t…”

Alec lifted a hand to Jace’s face to brush away the tears that Jace probably didn’t even know he was crying. His head was pounding. He didn’t know what to do. He was going to lose both of them, both Magnus and Jace, and he couldn’t live without either of them. His vision was swimming. He pressed a hand against the wall to steady himself, and felt the strangest sense of déjà-vu.

“Alec... Alec!” he could hear Jace's worried voice, but it sounded distorted and distant, “Alec! You’re bleeding!”

He stared at his arm, but his hand had been healed. Of course it had, Jace had been the one to draw the iratze. What was his parabatai talking about? He wanted to ask him, but he couldn’t form words, his mouth sluggish and fuzzy. Then the pain behind his eyes exploded into a hot, blinding light, and Alec fell into darkness.

Chapter Text

Magnus heard Jace screaming Alexander’s name from somewhere down the hallway. He’d been talking to Madsie, trying to comfort the girl in the aftermath of what had happened. Clary and Simon were nearby and seemed ready to jump into action when they heard Jace. He caught their eyes and shook his head, gently ushering Madsie towards them as quickly as he could. If Valentine had somehow escaped it would do no good for all of them to rush in and get caught.

“Was that Jace? What’s going on?” Clary asked, fear evident in her voice.

“I’ll go check. If I’m not back in two minutes, circle around,” Magnus said, waiting a split second for Clary to take hold of Madsie’s hand before he rushed towards where he’d heard Jace.

He ran down the corridor as quickly as he could. When he turned the second corner he saw Alexander, lying on the floor, blood seeping from his lips, eyes rolled back in much the same way they had been when he’d tried to contact Jace. Jace was kneeling over him.

“ALEC!”

“Get out of the way!” Magnus bellowed, and Jace did, slowly backing away without getting up, one hand still extended and firmly clasping Alexander’s. He called upon his magic, pushing it into Alexander’s body, trying to get a grasp of the situation. When he did, Jace gasped in pain, doubling over and clutching his side.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” he wheezed, “or what you’re doing … but it isn’t working.”

“I can see that,” Magnus hissed in reply. He closed his eyes, extending his hand towards Alexander once more, trying to find a way to extend into the body. It worked better this time. He looked over at Jace, who was still gasping in pain.

“We have to get him to his room.”

Jace lifted his head wearily, and nodded, slowly, tears falling from his eyes. He was still clutching Alec’s hand.

 


 

 

Later, Magnus sat in Alexander’s room at the institute, studying his frail-looking charge intently. He hated this, all of this. Jace had left to take care of Izzy, because that was what Alexander would have wanted him to do. Magnus wasn’t entirely sure what was wrong, but he could tell that the bond between Jace and Alexander was too strained, somehow. His hands continued hovering over Alexander, trying as best they could to provide whatever type of healing the man required. Magnus knew he was overexerting himself, but he didn’t care. He’d almost lost Alexander one too many times, and he was determined to keep it at almost, no matter the cost.

A couple of hours later, the door opened and Jace stepped inside.

“Izzy’s asleep. She’s doing a little better,” he whispered, his voice still rough and his expression clearly pained. He stepped up behind Magnus, not daring to move up to touch Alexander, although the warlock could tell he desperately wanted to do just that. Magnus averted his eyes from Jace, focusing on Alexander instead. It wouldn't do to let his magic slip out of a lack of concentration.

“Jace, we need to talk,” Magnus said without looking back. He heard Jace breathe out slowly.

“About what?”, the young man asked, “Can’t it wait? Alec is… Alec is…”

“Don’t take me for naïve, Jace,” Magnus said, “And I’d rather look at you while I’m talking.”

Jace didn’t move for a moment, then reluctantly complied, pulling up a chair on the other side of the bed his parabatai was currently lying in. He looked at Magnus. Guilt and vulnerability were clearly visible in his eyes.

“This strain on his body has to do with the bond between you,” Magnus began, and Jace wanted to protest, but Magnus lifted a finger in a shushing motion, “I don’t care that the two of you slept together. It’s not that surprising to me that you did. And I’ve been alive long enough not to worry about what my partner gets up to with others in the proverbial bedroom. You see, I don’t mind as long as Alexander and I can be together. And it doesn’t seem to have gotten in the way of our feelings, but it’s taken its toll nonetheless.”

“I’m sorry,” Jace averted his eyes, “I’m so sorry, Magnus.”

“Don’t be.”

“Alec loves you.”

“I know,” Magnus sighed, “But he loves you, too, and desires you.”

Jace swallowed.

“I just want him to be happy.” Magnus could see that Jace was telling the truth. It was evident from the way his body tensed, and the way he was restraining himself from reaching for Alexander, although he clearly, desperately, wanted to do just that.

“As do I. That’s why I have a proposal for you: If Alexander loves the both of us, cherishes the both of us, and if we love him as well, then we shouldn’t make him decide.”

Jace lifted his eyes again.

“What do you mean?”

Magnus sighed. The boy was too slow for his liking.

“I mean that Alexander and I will continue our relationship, and that you and he will be able to explore whatever it is you have, as long as it doesn’t get in the way. Despite the two of you sneaking around, I trust Alexander. I know he would never leave me. I also know that he can’t reconcile his need to be with me with his need to be with you.”

Jace blinked. He seemed dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, but Magnus sounded genuine, and Jace slowly started to relax.

“As far as Clary is concerned, however,” Magnus continued, looking back down at Alexander, who was grimacing in pain, with concern, “I have no say. And we will have to wait for Alexander to wake up of course, and consent to this arrangement.”

“How’s he doing?” Jace’s voice sounded anxious, his eyes darting over Alexander’s too-still form.

“Better. I can keep whatever is happening at bay, but it’s only a temporary solution. I think you might have to reach out through your bond to bring him back. You know more about parabatai rituals than I do... I gather they can be quite dangerous, but given the circumstances and the intensity of your bond at the moment, I am fairly certain you will be able to do it without harming yourself. I must warn you, though: although I don’t know much, this sort of magic is always painful.”

Jace nodded slowly, taking in the implications.

“I’ll do it,” he said.

Magnus gave him a bittersweet smile and looked down at Alexander, caressing his too-pale cheek.

“I know you will.”