Better Left Unsaid

Author's Note: Two separate anons wanted Tumblr prompt #20: things you said that i wasn't meant to hear

This mini-fic is truly an angst bomb - sorry! 🙂 Set vaguely during 2x05 - Dust and Shadows.


"Iz, I'm worried about Alec." Jace's voice carried through the calm night air, and Alec knew he should make himself known, let his sister and his parabatai know that he was back. But although he felt better, less raw, after his talk with Magnus, he still shied away from facing Jace. The man whose mother he'd killed, no matter how many people told him that it wasn't his fault what the demon did while inside him.

Intellectually he knew that they were right - he didn't blame Raj or Izzy after all - yet knowing and believing were two very different things. So Alec did nothing, waiting for Jace and Izzy to move away in order for him to slip inside unnoticed.

"Me too. He's been through so much, Jace - you should have seen him when you were missing, half the time he seemed dead inside, numb, the other half he was lashing out. And now the thing with the demon…" Izzy shuddered, and Alec was tempted to reach out to her but had to trust Jace to do so in his stead. "I can still feel the thing slithering around my mind, trapping me there while it used my knowledge of Alec's weaknesses against him."

"He knows that wasn't you." Peeking around the corner, Alec saw Jace enfold Izzy in an embrace. For a second he ached with the desire to be there with them, although he wasn't sure whether he wanted to console his sister or accept comfort from his parabatai. His heart contracted painfully, the world receding again as the numbness Magnus had momentarily banished resettled on his shoulders. Izzy was better off without him, and he certainly didn't deserve Jace's forgiveness. No matter how much love he could hear in Jace's voice as he repeated, "He knows that wasn't you, but I'm afraid there's a part of him that blames himself for what the demon did. He's in so much pain, and he won't let me in!"

Dull, physical pain shot through Alec, and he realized he had been squeezing his hand, almost reopening the wounds Magnus had healed earlier. Jace sounded so… broken, desperate in a way that reminded Alec of the moment he'd felt his parabatai pull him back from the abyss by sheer force of will. Although he knew it had happened only a few days ago, he'd begun to think he'd imagined it, that feeling of soul-deep peace they'd found in each other's arms for a precious moment. Before they'd been torn apart again by Aldertree, and while Jace was back now, there seemed to be a distance between them. Alec wasn't sure who'd caused it, who'd pulled back, but there was no doubt Jace was hurting now because of it.

He almost stepped forward then, only to be stopped short by Jace's voice, barely more than a whisper into Izzy's hair: "I love him, Iz. I don't know when or how it happened, and I know it can never be, but, Angel, I do. What's wrong with me, Iz - first Clary, now Alec? Why is my love poison?"

"Oh, Jace…" Izzy replied softly, full of compassion but without any advice to give, and now it was her turn to hold Jace, whose shoulders were shaking while he clung to her. Gasping for breath, Alec stumbled backwards, feeling as if his insides had turned to razor blades, cutting him up.

How many years had he dreamed of hearing these words, despite knowing all too well what the Law said? How many sleepless nights, filled with self-loathing and bitter jealousy? How much had it taken for him to open himself up to the something that Magnus offered? How long since he'd finally started to see Jace the way he'd always been supposed to - best friend, parabatai, soul-brother? And now all of that was gone, ripped away by words he wished he could unhear.

Whirling around, Alec ran back into the night, aimless, truly unanchored and lost. Behind him, Jace lifted his head. "Alec?"


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