A New Rune

Author's Note: Dom wants a wings rune - so he gets a wings rune! 🙂

***

It was supposed to be an easy hunt, which was how Jace and Clary ended up trapped on the roof of a skyscraper by themselves. They'd called Alec for backup but were afraid that by the time he got there it would be too late. The horde of nasty Dahak demons had them backed into a corner, with no way out either one of them could see.

Suddenly, Clary froze, and Jace barely managed to jump in and decapitate the demon she'd been holding off, leaving a mess of writhing tentacles on the ground. "Clary!" he yelled, angry and worried, but she waved him off and took out her stele.

"Quick," she urged him, grabbing a startled Jace and pulling him around the corner, giving them a bit of breathing room. Then she pulled down the back of his shirt. He cursed but let her do it, kicking at an approaching Dahak while she drew an unfamiliar rune between his shoulder blades.

It burned, like all runes did, but the familiar sensation was followed by a sharp pain that made Jace cry out, a sound that turned into one of shock as, with a great whoosh a pair of wings suddenly broke through his skin. Jace gasped, breathless, and craned his neck to see them. They were huge, with white-gold feathers that caught the rays of the fading afternoon sun. He reached out, wanting to touch, feel, but Clary shook her head at him and hissed, "Escape first, admire later?"

Jace thought that was rather unfair, considering she'd sprung this on him without warning. However, right then a Dahak grabbed at him with its tentacle, octopus legs skittering as it tried to round the corner. Jace slashed at it, then turned to stand on the ledge of the roof, offering Clary his hand and pulling her up next to him. Lifting her into his arms, he looked down with a deep breath. The ground was very far away, and Clary's eyes were wide as she wrapped her arms around his neck and held on.

"Alright, let's do this!" Jace murmured, more to himself than to Clary. There was a nasty hissing behind him, and with a silent prayer to the Angel, Jace jumped.

For a terrifying moment it felt as if they were falling, but then his wings caught the wind, and their plummet turned into a glide. It was simultaneously the most frightening and the most exhilarating experience of his life, and he whooped in triumph, as they soared through the air. He found himself moving his wings instinctively, directing them in a wide curve towards the Institute as if he'd been flying all his life.

"Hey, that's Alec!" Clary's voice broke him out of his ecstasy, and he followed the pointed finger to the dark shape of his parabatai running at full speed towards the skyscraper. Tucking in his wings easily, Jace swooped downwards, bringing them to a halt in front of a startled Alec.

They landed with barely a stumble, and Alec stared, wide-eyed. Grinning, Jace preened, flexing the wide span of feathers until Clary wriggled impatiently in his arms, demanding, "Let me down, then you can show off for as long as you like."

"Thanks for coming to help us, parabatai." Unfazed, Jace set Clary down, then turned back to Alec, explaining, "We were trapped, so Clary drew a new rune."

"Yeah, I figured that when I saw you flying down with wings." Alec managed to roll his eyes despite his continuing astonishment, which was obvious in the wonderment with which he reached out towards Jace's new extremities. Jace twitched them in invitation, only a draw in a sharp breath when Alec's fingers carefully touched him, sending a shower of sparks down his spine.

"How do they feel?" he asked, strangely hesitant.

Alec met his gaze, an enchanted smile on his face. "They're silky yet sharp, a bit like steel... It's hard to describe. Why don't you see for yourself?"

Jace knew he was being foolish, but still it took him a moment longer before he actually reached back and touched a trembling hand to the place where his fingers grew from between his shoulder blades. The feathers were cool to the touch, and he trailed a finger along an edge that was sharp yet didn't cut him.

It felt good, but not as it had when Alec touched him. He figured that was normal, like having someone play with your hair always feeling better than doing it yourself. Then Alec's touch was back, nimble fingers carding through his feathers softly, making Jace shiver involuntarily. Worried, Alec snatched back his hand. "Jace, did I hurt you?"

"Nah." Laughing wryly, Jace shook his head. "Feels nice, actually."

Their eyes locked, and Jace saw his own blush mirrored in his parabatai's face. Time stood still, and then Alec reached out again, slowly, carefully, and Jace's wings moved towards him as his eyes slid shut. He wondered whether this was how cats felt when they were being petted, because his bones were turning to liquid and he suspected that he'd be purring if he could.

"Boys, I think it's time to put the wings away now." Jace jumped when Clary's amused voice broke into his reverie, and a look into Alec's startled eyes told him he hadn't been alone in getting caught up in the moment. He began to laugh helplessly, and Alec grinned back, any trace of embarrassment vanishing when Jace turned around, offering Clary his back to deactivate the rune.

He felt Alec's intense stare between his shoulder blades when his wings disappeared as smoothly as they'd appeared, leaving Jace feeling strangely incomplete for a moment before his body remembered its normal state. When he lifted an eyebrow quizzically, Alec explained, "What? It's an amazing rune - it's very likely we'll need it again sometime."

"Admit it, you just want to play with my wings again!" Jace teased him, but Alec just shrugged.

"Or maybe I want wings of my own." They turned back towards the Institute, Clary trailing them with a look of fond exasperation in her eyes. It was an expression she often wore when it came to Jace and Alec.

Jace cocked his head, imagined soaring through the sky with his parabatai. Amazing, indeed.

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