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(Love in) All shapes and forms

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When he started dating Maia and Isabelle, Simon expected backlash. He expected his fellow vampires to sneer at him and call him selfish for loving not one, but two exceptional women. He was ready for their harsh words and their judgement.

Instead, all he gets are impassive stares and a shrug, as well as the occasional question of ‘ which girlfriend are we talking about? ’. Surprisingly, Raphael is incredibly supportive. The vampire mumbled something about having to support members of the community, no matter how annoying they were, and Simon knew his Clan Leader would always have his back.

Maia and Isabelle, he knows, aren’t as lucky as him. He’s heard stories about shadowhunters whispering behind Izzy’s back and disrespecting her for not being in a conventional relationship. According to them, it’s bad enough to have gay shadowhunters, but polyamorous ones? Absolutely unacceptable. He’s also heard stories about werewolves challenging Maia for her pack’s leadership just because she’s dating both a vampire and a shadowhunter, two species wolves usually despise.

So really, Simon has been very lucky so far. All he has to do is avoid both Izzy and Maia’s homes, which is easy enough considering his apartment is the best place to meet up. He’s aware his girlfriends are angry about the situation and trying their best to smooth over things with their respective housemates, but he doesn’t mind too much.

They stick to mostly mundane establishments, switching between three or four coffee shops they all adore. Simon constantly has blood on him to lace his drinks, but they make it work. The girls always feel the need to apologise for the shadowhunters’ and werewolves’ behaviour, but Simon has learned to shrug it off.

“I just wish we could go into the Hunter’s Moon without being harassed by dozens of downworlders who are unhappy about seeing us thrive in our relationship,” Maia sighs one day as they’re walking into their go-to morning spot. The barista smiles at them, as kind and welcoming as always. The mundane has probably figured out they’re more than just friends, but she’s never sneered at them so Simon doesn’t care. “Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to disappear into the mundane world whenever we want to and enjoy our time together. However, Magnus and Alec have been pestering us about a double date for months and you know how much your brother hates mundane places, Iz.”

“Oh please,” Izzy rolls her eyes, leaning against the counter as they wait for the barista to hand over their usual drinks. Simon takes a second to slide a few bills and an extra tip to the young woman before turning his attention back towards his girlfriends. “Alec would do anything for Magnus, and if that means eating at a mundane place, then so be it. I swear, those two are never going to get any less disgusting.”

“I think the word you were looking for was cute ,” Simon corrects her, ignoring her eye roll. “Although I agree with you; I’m pretty sure Alec physically can’t say no to Magnus. Not that I can blame him, since I would do just about anything for you two, but… I guess I’m trying to say that it doesn’t matter whether we can go to Downworld places or not. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the company.”

“New lyric for a song, Si?” Maia snorts. Simon elbows her in the side playfully. It’s a running joke between the girls to tease their boyfriend about his tendency to write them songs and poetry in his free time. “I can already imagine it, a single called ‘ The Company ’ that talks about the people mattering more than the place. The girls are going to go wild.”

“We’re going to have to fend off another crowd,” Isabelle adds with a sigh, smirking at Simon. “Not that you mind, do you, Simon?”

“Having you around and seeing you kick people’s asses?” Simon asks, raising a disbelieving brow at his shadowhunter girlfriend. “It’s my favourite thing in the world, Izzy, you should know that by now.”

“Oh I do,” Izzy grins widely, pecking Simon’s cheek and leaning in to whisper in his ear. “I just like hearing you say it over and over again. You have no idea how much I love knowing you don’t find your badass girlfriends too tough or strong for your tastes.”

Simon huffs. This is another recurrent conversation between the two of them. Isabelle, especially, has a hard time believing Simon when he tells her he doesn’t mind being the weakest fighter. It’s not like he can’t defend himself – thank you vampire strength and speed – but he knows his girlfriends are a lot more skilled than him at protecting themselves, and he finds it incredibly hot.

He also finds himself wanting to beat up whoever told these two wonderful women that their gender impacted their ability to fight and defend the people they love. Isabelle is a shadowhunter , for heaven’s sake. He can’t quite comprehend why there are still gender stereotypes within a race of fighters, but he stopped trying to understand Nephilim culture a long time ago. Isabelle insists it isn’t worth it.

“Remember that time with the pack, at the very beginning of our relationship?” Maia asks mischievously. Simon groans and buries his face in her neck, not wanting to go through this again. As a vampire, he can’t blush, but his girlfriends have informed him he gets ‘ all scrunched up and adorable ’ when he’s embarrassed, and he doesn’t think he can deal with that right now.

He’s never been more thankful for their coffees, grabbing the beverages and heading towards their usual table. He knows he’s running away from the girls, but if their laughing is anything to go by, they don’t mind at all. The delightful sounds wash over him and he relaxes in his seat, admiring the two women as they walk towards him.

“See something you like?” Isabelle winks as she sits down, and Simon can do nothing but nod adoringly. Maia joins him in staring at Izzy lovingly, and seconds later their shadowhunter is blushing an endearing shade of red.

It’s one of his and Maia’s favourite things to do. Izzy likes acting as though nothing can get to her, as though she’s so much tougher than her brother when it comes to flirting. Truth is, although she’s great at teasing and playing around, she has no idea how to accept genuine compliments. It’s adorable as well as heart-breaking, and her partners have made it their mission to make sure she knows just how amazing they think she is.

Laughing, Maia bends over to kiss Izzy’s right cheek. Simon leans in and mirrors her to Izzy’s left, and the two of them giggle against their girlfriend, loving the way she blushes an even darker shade of red and swats at them to leave her alone.

Simon opens his mouth to say something about how beautiful Izzy looks, even when she’s abashed and embarrassed and unsure about what to say, but someone interrupts them before he can get a single word out.

Because of course someone has to come ruin their perfect morning in their favourite coffee shop. Of course the prejudice and discrimination couldn’t just stay hidden in the Shadow Word. Simon has always known mundanes were sometimes just as bad – or worse – than shadowhunters and downworlders, but he didn’t think they’d have to deal with anyone here .

“I didn’t know this place welcomed people like you .”

The mundane who accosts them is taller than Simon, blond, and would have probably been attractive if he weren’t currently spouting hate at them. Next to him, his – supposed – girlfriend looks uncomfortable and apologetic. However, she doesn’t speak up or try to tug the man away, so Simon dismisses her. He’s not in the mood to deal with more than one ignorant idiot.

Clearly, neither are Izzy and Maia.

“And what kind of people would that be?” the werewolf smiles dangerously, baring her teeth at the mundane. If they were anywhere else, Simon knows her eyes would be flashing threateningly. “Insanely attractive couples? I know it must be a novelty to see people who look as put-together and wonderful as us, but there’s no need to be so shocked.”

The man sneers at them, and Maia’s grip tightens painfully around Simon’s wrist. He knows it’s her way of holding back and not jumping at the man, but he still grimaces minutely. That’s definitely going to leave marks, and Raphael is definitely going to tease him about them.

Damned man probably won’t even believe him when he tells him how it happened.

“I was talking about your disgusting display of everything that’s wrong with the modern world, but sure, go ahead and be arrogant about your flaws,” the man continues, curling his lip. “I’m certain you’ll get kicked at as soon as I inform people of your… issues.”

Simon feels his fangs slip out and he barely refrains from snarling in the man’s direction. He may not be as hot-headed as Maia, but he’s not about to let anyone insult his girlfriends and their relationship.

He’s never understood why people feel the need to interfere in other people’s personal business, and he’s not about to start now. This man has no idea who he’s messing with, and not even their shadowhunter will be able to stop them if either Maia or Simon go off on him.

The woman at his side shifts and finally tries to pull him away, having obviously seen something in their faces that makes her afraid, but the man doesn’t pay attention to her. His gaze is fixed on the trio, unabashed disgust swimming in his eyes. It makes Simon seethe internally.

How dare this hateful bigot judge them for something as amazing as the love they share?

“Oh, you’re talking about our public displays of affection?” Izzy finally exclaims with a seemingly innocent grin. Simon can see the sharpness off its edges and he wonders if the man can too. “I’m sorry, do you not like it when people kiss their significant others in public? You can just look away if it bothers you so much, sir. My partners and I can be very quiet when we want to be.”

Simon lets a bemused smile twitch at his lips. He can see Maia biting at the inside of her cheek out of the corner of his eye, and he almost bursts out laughing at the sight. Of course Maia would get a kick out of Izzy flaunting their sexual lives to a prejudiced dick.

“You make me sick,” the man snaps out, looking seconds away from spitting in their faces.

“Well so do you,” Simon shrugs, tired of hearing this man speak. He gestures for the barista to join them and either make the man leave or at least get him away from them. “At least we’re even on that front.”

“Is there a problem here?” the barista asks, frowning at the scowling man. “Do the five of you know each other or is there another issue?”

“The issue is that you’re letting freaks like them into your shop,” the man scoffs, waving at the trio as though there’s something inherently wrong about three people enjoying each other’s company. “You should pay attention to just who you let in here.”

The barista’s eyebrows fly up in surprise for a second before her gaze flicks between the couple and the triad. It takes her less than a moment to understand what’s going on, for which Simon is infinitely grateful. The sooner the man leaves, the sooner he can go back to basking in his girlfriends’ presence.

“Maybe I should,” the barista answers dryly. “Sir, if you insist on bothering regular patrons of mine, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave. We don’t stand for bigotry in this shop, so take it outside and don’t come back.”

“You’re defending them?” The man looks genuinely taken aback, but their barista only nods decisively and points at the door.

Simon thinks the man is going to keep on protesting, maybe say something insulting or criticise the shop’s clientele. Thankfully, his girlfriend tugs him away from the scene, her cheeks flaming and her gaze full of shame. Good, Simon thinks. Watching someone act in hateful ways without doing anything is just as bad as acting hatefully in the first place.

Finally, they’re left alone. The three of them turn grateful smiles towards the barista, who’s rolling her eyes at the retreating couple before beaming at them brightly.

“I’m sorry about that,” she says with a slight grimace. “I hope one bad experience hasn’t ruined this place for you guys.”

“Of course not,” Izzy shakes her head. “In fact, you might have just made me love this place more . People usually leave us alone, but I’ve rarely seen someone stand up for us. Thank you, both for being accepting and for making that asshole leave. You have no idea how much it means to us.”

“It’s no problem at all,” the barista shrugs awkwardly. There’s a hint of a blush on her cheeks, and Simon can hear Maia coo under her breath. “Love is love, you know? It’s way past time for people to realise it comes in all shapes and forms. Besides, you guys are absolutely adorable together. Anyone with eyes can see how much you adore each other, and that’s way more important than the fact there’s three of you rather than the conventional two.”

With that, she waves at them and hurries back towards the counter, where a new client is waiting for her.

Simon and the girls watch her leave, all with varying degrees of awe. Isabelle looks especially shocked at this turn of events and Simon squeezes her hand to catch her attention. He knows she’s been the one struggling the most with their relationship. The only shadowhunters who seem to have accepted it without blinking are her siblings and those who are part of the community.

Having someone stand by them so unconditionally is probably new for her.

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” he murmurs, pressing a kiss to the crown of her head. He can feel her nod against his lips. On his other side, Maia slips a hand around his waist and reaches for Izzy with her free fingers, carding them through her hair gently. Simon has never seen anything as beautiful as them. “You have to remember, Iz, that there are a lot of people in the world who’ll support us no matter what.”

“It’s just…” She trails off, obviously not knowing how to put her thoughts into words. Simon and Maia smile at her knowingly. They don’t need Isabelle to speak out loud to know what she’s thinking.

“You’re just so used to the bad that you’ve forgotten there’s good out there too?” Maia guesses softly. Isabelle nods again, shutting her eyes in an obvious effort to stave off tears.

“Good people will always stand by good things, Iz,” Simon murmurs. “And our relationship? It’s the best thing in the world.”

Maia nods and Izzy buries herself even further into Simon’s chest. When he glances up, Simon can see the woman at the counter smiling at them contentedly, throwing him a thumb up when she notices his gaze.

During his next gig, he dedicates his newest song ‘ All shapes and forms ’ to the lovely barista at their local coffee shop.