Author's Note: Canon-divergent ficlet set after Jace asks Alec to be his parabatai, written for Jalec Spring Break, day 6 - teenage Jalec.


“I’m sorry, Jace, but I can’t.” Although Alec had practised saying the words, they still stuck in his throat like glue. It had been bad enough telling Jace that he needed time to think, but that was nothing compared to the look of utter incomprehension and betrayal etched onto his friend’s face now. It felt like a ring of steel tightening around his chest, making it hard to breathe, and Alec barely managed to continue in a strangled voice, “I’m honored you asked me, but I just… can’t. I can’t be your parabatai. I’m so, so sorry.”

His usually so confident demeanor wiped away, Jace asked accusatorily, in a hoarse half-whisper, “But, Alec… why? I thought we agreed that we’d make a great team. You said we were family.”

“We are! Jace, it has nothing to do with you - anyone would be lucky to have you as their parabatai, and you know it,” Alec replied without hesitation, hoping against hope that Jace would be satisfied with his sincerity. One glance at his friend’s face told him that he hadn’t succeeded, anger beginning to replace hurt. He added reluctantly, “It’s me. I’m not fit to be your parabatai. If you knew... you would never have asked me.”

“Alec, you’re talking complete bullshit! You’re the most honorable person I know, and the only one I’d want to be my parabatai,” Jace protested with a vehemence that Alec couldn’t help but find gratifying, although it also made him feel like a complete fraud. It got worse as Jace continued more quietly, “You know what my dad taught me about emotions, about love. But I can’t believe that what we have is weakness - being together only makes us stronger.”

Had Jace just said that he loved him? Alec swallowed, his heart so heavy in his chest he wondered whether it was going to fall out. The only thing he knew for certain was that losing the boy looking at him with those mismatched eyes was inacceptable. “When did you get so eloquent?”

“Just needed the right incentive - and apparently convincing my future parabatai to stop being fucking stupid counts,” Jace replied with a quirk of his mouth that resembled his usual cocky smirk, making it impossible for Alec not to smile back, even if it was still a bit weak. “See, that’s better. Just say yes, Alexander Gideon Lightwood - we’ll be brilliant, you’ll see!”

Looking into Jace’s relieved face, the word hovered on the tip of Alec’s tongue. It wasn’t as if Jace would ever love him back, not the way he wanted him to, so the law against parabatai falling in love didn’t apply. And Jace was right, they would be great together, and Alec could be happy being Jace’s parabatai, his brother in arms.

Right then, however, Jace licked his lips, and Alec involuntarily tracked the thoughtless movement. He cursed inwardly - who was he trying to kid? He’d never stop wanting Jace this way. Setting his shoulders, he blurted out desperately, “I can’t... Jace, you don’t understand - I love you!”

“Yeah, so?” Jace appeared completely unfazed, confusing Alec who’d expected shock, maybe even disgust. “I love you, too, or I wouldn’t have asked you to be my parabatai. Didn’t you listen to my speech just now?”

It was Alec’s turn to stare, torn between bitter laughter and exasperation at Jace’s obtuseness. Finally he bit out, “I don’t mean that kind of love. I mean the kind that gets you deruned and exiled.”

This time there was no possible way for Jace to misunderstand him, and Alec watched with bated breath as the penny dropped. A wealth of emotion flickered over the familiar features, too quickly for Alec to pinpoint, but he certainly did not expect the soft “Oh” that escaped Jace, nor the hands cupping his face. Jace’s eyes were boring into Alec’s with an intensity that was unsettling, and then his lips curled into the sweetest smile Alec had ever seen. It made him feel lightheaded, even before he took in Jace’s sincere words: “Alec, I don’t care. You’re the most important person in the world to me, and I want you to be my parabatai, the Law be damned.”

With that Jace released his grip on Alec, and he had to catch himself from swaying on wobbly legs. He knew he should protest, that all his reasons were still valid and that the Clave most certainly wouldn’t agree with Jace should they ever find out. However, Jace was regarding him with so much vulnerability, so much love, everything else seemed to fade into inconsequence.

“Alright, alright, you win. I will be your parabatai, Jace Wayland! Someone needs to keep you out of trouble, after all.” Laughing helplessly Alec opened his arms, suddenly feeling almost weightless as Jace stepped into his embrace without hesitation, strong arms wrapping around him as if nothing had changed.

“Just accept that I’m always right, your life will be so much easier!” Jace’s voice was dancing with warm amusement, and Alec closed his eyes and just breathed. They would be parabatai, and it would be enough. The next moment, however, he froze in shock when two lips pressed against his neck, followed by a low whisper into his ear: “By the way, I’m in love with you, too.”


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