Hit the Floor

Author's Note: For @dnteverdoubtme, who's an evil enabler. 🙂

If you need proof that Jace and Alec basically are Zero and Jude, check out the Zude storyline.

***

Of course Alec Lightwood had suspected he might not be straight before he kissed Jace Wayland, star player of one of the best basketball teams in the country.

It had just been much easier not to think about it too much, considering the rather old-fashioned views still held by his parents, owners of the Shadowhunters, and most of the people working in the NBA. And then he'd started working as Jace's agent, and somehow they'd just clicked, as unlikely as that might have seemed considering the star player's cocky demeanor. But there'd been something Alec recognized, something that made him want to comfort the other man after the scandal broke.

The notorious cult leader Valentine Morgenstern was Jace's father, his ex-girlfriend might be his sister, and Alec had never seen the usually so confident player so vulnerable as in that moment on the roof of the arena. He was standing on the ledge, staring down, the picture of dejection. "I don't know what to do, Alec. My life's gone to hell, and I have no one on my side!"

"Of course you do - you have me!" Alec's stomach twisted in sympathy, and before he had time to think about it, he leaned in and pressed his lips to Jace's.

However, his gesture didn't have the effect he'd hoped for. Jace stiffened against him before jerking away, his mismatched eyes wide with shock. "Alec, I appreciate your support, but I'm not gay!"

"Neither am I!" Alec exclaimed reflexively, immediately aware how ridiculous that sounded.

Jace understandably laughed in disbelief. "Dude, you kissed me! Don't sweat it, though." His eyes softened, and he added more quietly, "I'm glad you're on my side, really."

If Alec had had any lingering doubts that his feelings for Jace were anything but platonic, they were definitely dispelled by the way he practically melted inside at the raw honesty in the other man's voice. He was so, so fucked.

At least he stopped hiding from himself after that. He wasn't out, hadn't even told Isabelle about his stupid crush on the troublesome ball player. However, when an attractive photographer, in the arena for the annual beefcake calendar, looked him up and down appreciatively, Alec blushed but didn't look away. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed that Jace had stopped changing for the shoot and was staring at them with an odd intensity, but Alec shook this off and accepted Magnus Bane's business card.

He even used it, arranging to meet him at a Shadowhunters party, and was steeling himself for his first ever date when Jace showed up at his place and kept coming up with stupid things that needed to be done "...right now, Alec! Are you my agent or not?"

None of the calls Jace insisted needed to be made right now couldn't wait until the next day, and finally, Alec lost his temper, barking, "Enough! Jace, you're making me late! Magnus will be wondering where I am."

Jace sneered, "Magnus? You got a hot date, Alec?"

"Maybe I do," Alec snapped in return, and Jace's eyes widened. If Alec hadn't been staring at him, he would have missed the fleeting expression of hurt darkening that handsome face, but as it was, something hot and triumphant bloomed in his chest. He tilted his head consideringly. "And you can't stand the thought, can you? When I kissed you on the roof that night, I wasn't going off of nothing."

"I… what?" Jace, never lost for words, fumbled for a response, and when it came it was so weak Alec almost laughed. "I don't care who you date. But you don't even know him!"

"But I'm about to, so get out of my way!" Alec rounded in on Jace, using his greater height to his advantage. For a moment it looked as if Jace was backing away, but then he visibly squared his shoulders, and Alec shivered at the look in his eyes. It was hunger, plain and simple, and Alec found he was not the least bit surprised when strong baller's hands grabbed him and pulled him into a heated kiss.

He wasted no time hesitating, just melted against Jace and responded with equal fervor. It was intoxicating, addictive, every slide of lips and tongues making Alec forget there'd ever been a time when he hadn't been kissing Jace. They stumbled through the living room, only interrupting their kiss to rid themselves of their shirts, and then Alec's back hit the wall and Jace's clever fingers opened his pants.

Alec had never gotten so hard so quickly, and when Jace smoothly dropped to his knees, he cursed and scrabbled for purchase, afraid he'd lose his balance as a hot mouth wrapped itself around Alec's straining erection. His eyes slid shut in ecstasy, but he would have sworn Jace was smirking as he proceeded to suck Alec's brain out by way of his dick. Groaning, Alec twisted his fingers in silky blonde hair and was rewarded by a deep moan from Jace, the sound reverberating through his entire body. It didn't take long before Alec could feel his orgasm approaching, and he tugged at Jace until the other man stopped sucking long enough for him to say hoarsely, "Bed, now!"

Jace regarded him for a long moment still on his knees, red lips stretched obscenely around Alec's cock, a sight altogether too tempting. Gripping him by the shoulders, Alec urged him to his feet, capturing his lips for a deep kiss before realizing that the bitterness on Jace's tongue was himself. It wasn't a pleasant taste, but Alec found it incredibly hot anyway, and he almost threw Jace onto the nearby bed.

A startled laugh escaped Jace, and he grinned up at Alec appreciatively. "I like a man who takes the initiative!"

"You talk too much!" Growling, Alec tackled Jace to the mattress, too turned on to be embarrassed, and they fell into another deep kiss, their bodies rocking against each other. Tearing himself away, Alec sat back on his heels and pulled at Jace's pants, pushing them down his legs and then wriggling out of his own. Jace wasn't wearing any underwear; of course he wasn't, and Alec's mouth watered.

Taking a steadying breath, he wrapped his fist around Jace's bobbing erection, transfixed by the sight and feel of another man's cock, so similar and yet completely different. Jace's stream of curses brought him back to the present, and he blinked, licking his lips before leaning down to taste the first drops of semen. It was salty and bitter, but the look of almost-awe on Jace's face alone made it worth it.

"Fuck, Alec…" Jace grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him down on top of him, bringing their dicks into direct contact while their tongues tangled again. Then Jace's fingers crawled between their naked bodies, skimming through Alec's chest hair and over his nipples, making him shudder with need. Jace's strong thighs were bracketing Alec's hips, and they rocked together. It was dry, and Jace stopped kissing Alec long enough to ask, "You got any lube around?"

Shaking himself like a wet dog to clear his head, Alec looked around his bedroom as if he'd never seen it before. Finally his eyes settled on his nightstand, and he fumbled for the drawer where he suddenly remembered he kept some lotion. He wished he hadn't always been too embarrassed to buy lube to use for himself, but he figured it was better than nothing.

Surprisingly gentle, Jace took the bottle from his slightly shaking fingers, slicking up his hand before aligning their cocks again. A sigh of pleasure escaped Alec at the feeling of Jace's erection against his, a sound that turned into a moan when Jace began to jerk them off with just the right amount of pressure. His eyes slid shut, and he almost collapsed on top of Jace as his arms threatened to give way, but when he opened his eyes again, the tenderness he saw in Jace's face was almost overwhelming.

The look was gone the next moment, though, and Jace sped up his movements, sending sharp bolts of lust through Alec. He groaned and buried his face against Jace's neck, nosing at the tattoo on his collarbone. He was rewarded with a gasp and began to properly suck and kiss up Jace's neck, before catching an earlobe with his teeth and pulling gently. Jace cursed, the sound loud in Alec's ear, and bucked against him, and Alec grinned and repeated the gesture.

However, right then Jace's thumb traced over the top of Alec's cock in what was clearly retaliation, and Alec lost the ability to do anything more coherent except rut against Jace until he felt himself tumbling over the edge. Jace didn't stop jerking them off, his voice encouraging, "C'mon, yes, that's it - so beautiful, Alec, so fucking beautiful!"

It was more than Alec could bear, and he came with a hoarse shout, his entire body stiffening as the world turned white. Jace held him through it, not letting go but also no longer moving, and finally Alec regained enough of his faculties to lift himself on his elbows and slide his softening cock out of the loose circle of Jace's fist. Looking into Jace's flushed face, he asked with more calm than he felt, "What now? Do you want to…" His voice cracked a little, but he soldiered on. "Do you want to fuck me?"

Jace inhaled sharply, and his cock twitched against Alec's stomach, making him smirk in spite of his nerves. "I take it that's a yes."

Huffing a laugh, Jace wrapped his arms around Alec's neck and pulled him into a kiss that sparked warm embers in the pit of his stomach. Alec was still too wrung out from his orgasm to get hard again, but he let the pleasant, almost lazy pleasure fill him, making him sigh contentedly into Jace's mouth. Then a strong hand drifted down his back, a soft caress that came to a stop at the curve of his ass, palming it, one finger tracing the cleft and finding his opening without penetrating. Alec shivered and pushed against the weight of it, a mix of excitement and fear replacing the warmth from before, and Jace broke their kiss to ask with surprising gentleness, "You sure about this, Alec?"

Feeling himself flush hotly, Alec nodded mutely. He'd thought about this, experimented a little, even if he'd never quite dared to picture a person in place of the pressure of his own fingers. Reaching for the lotion Jace had discarded earlier, he managed to offer it to Jace, who took it with another kiss before grinning and flipping them over.

Surprised, Alec clung to him, enjoying the sensation of Jace's body on top of his as they traded kisses. While they made out like a couple of teenagers, Jace had one hand wrapped around the base of his cock, squeezing it lightly to keep himself from coming, and when he sat up, cursing under his breath, Alec couldn't help the surge of pride at being the cause of the other man's arousal.

"Excuse me for not being made of stone." With a wry quirk of his mouth, Jace poured lotion over one hand, using the other to prop up Alec's legs. Although it made him feel exposed, vulnerable, Alec let himself be positioned and forced his body to relax. A slick finger probed at his opening, and Alec drew in a deep breath as he felt himself being breached carefully. Watching him like a hawk for signs of discomfort, Jace went in deeper, his entire index finger sliding in easily. Alec could feel him move around until he found what he was looking for, and a bolt of pleasure shot through Alec. He whimpered, his body arching, and Jace licked his lips, his eyes dark and heated. "Fuck, you're perfect!"

While Jace slowly added a second finger, stretching him so gently Alec only felt the mildest of burns, his free hand slid down Alec's neck, carding through wiry chest hair, so different from Jace's own smooth skin, and Alec hissed when he tweaked his right nipple. Nodding towards Alec's quickly recovering dick, Jace grinned and repeated the gesture on the other side. "Look who's waking up again…"

His hand wandered further down, teasing Alec with feathery touches that left him breathless even as a third finger entered him. It made him feel full, stretched, but in an entirely pleasurable way, and Alec rocked into Jace's hand, wanting, needing more. He barely recognized his own voice, hoarse and demanding as he begged, "Please, Jace, fuck, please…"

"Just… be patient, not long now…" Although he was visibly affected by Alec's pleas, his unattended cock leaking liberally, Jace shook his head before working a fourth finger into Alec. When he removed his hand, Alec whined, too aroused to be embarrassed at his neediness, but Jace pulled away reluctantly and fumbled for his discarded pants. "Sorry, just… need… fucking condom!"

After what felt like an eternity, he returned, brandishing the foil-packed square, and leaned in to kiss Alec, who grabbed a hold of him and kissed back hungrily, wrapping his legs around Jace and rocking upwards. Their cocks slid against each other, and Jace swore and sat up abruptly, his fingers trembling as he opened the condom and slid it over his erection with a practised ease Alec couldn't help but envy.

Not one for casual sex and scared to face what kind of partner he really wanted, Alec had only slept with one woman in his life, and while he'd tried his best to feel passionate towards Lydia, it simply hadn't worked. The reason why had never been more obvious than now, with the blunt head of Jace's cock breaching him slowly, dispelling the last traces of regret as Alec relished the sensation of being filled, connected in a way he'd never felt before.

Jace was staring down at him with wide, almost awe-struck eyes, every muscle in his body taut, controlled, lower lip caught in white teeth in concentration. Fingers digging into Jace's shoulders, Alec forced himself to be patient and held on, exhaling in relief when Jace finally bottomed out. The blue-and-brown eyes looking down at him were mostly pupil, and Alec tightened the grip his thighs had on Jace, relishing the way he growled, "Alec, please, can I..."

Something between a laugh and a groan escaped Alec, and he nodded, pulling Jace in for a kiss that was made slightly awkward by their position, more a slide of lips against each other. Jace rolled his hips, and they both gasped, Alec instinctively moving in counterpoint, their movements becoming faster, more forceful as Jace pulled almost all the way out only to slam back in. Alec's entire body shook with pleasure when Jace hit that sweet spot deep inside him, and he reached over his head, gripping the headboard to get better purchase. Jace's hand joined his there, and his thrusts became erratic, a steady stream of bitten-off words and curses leaving his mouth, his eyes only moving away from Alec's face to peer down at the point where their bodies were joined so intimately.

It was not much longer before he warned, "Coming, fuck, Alec, I'm coming…"

Jace's orgasm seemed to last forever, and Alec was transfixed by the sight of him, arching and shaking, wordless for a change, blonde hair sweat-matted as if he'd just been on the court. A flush was spreading down his chest, and Alec traced it with one hand, thumbing over peaked nipples, before Jace slumped over, burying his face against Alec's neck. He was panting, his cock slowly softening inside Alec, and after a moment he pulled out with great reluctance, explaining, "Stupid condom."

He tied the offending article and dropped it unceremoniously to the floor, but Alec was too turned on to mind. Especially when Jace kissed him oh-so-sweetly and then moved down Alec's body, hands and mouth exploring him leisurely until Alec felt like a live wire, every inch of him vibrating with pleasure. No one had ever paid such attention to him, and he almost didn't need Jace turning his attention to Alec's cock. He mouthed over Alec's balls, licking up his straining shaft, around the weeping head, and when two fingers found their way back inside Alec's still-open hole, Alec fell apart with a shout of Jace's name.

Afterwards he was wrung out, exhausted as if he'd just run a marathon, and he barely noticed Jace chuckling fondly and leaving the bed only to return with a cool cloth. Then the mattress dipped and Alec sleepily opened his arms, an invitation Jace accepted after a moment's hesitation that Alec was too tired to notice. He drifted off on a cloud of utter peace and contentment, Jace fitting perfectly into his embrace.

Unfortunately the morning after was anything but perfect. Jace, wearing a smile Alec recognized from photoshoots and interviews, put on his clothes and explained cheerfully, "This was fun, but I don't do relationships. Love… only hurts people."

"You mean you only do relationships with women," Alec corrected bitterly, all his warmth and happiness doused with cold water. "And that's your foster father talking."

Jace had told him about Michael Wayland, the man who'd raised him and who he'd thought was his real father until the recent revelations about Valentine Morgenstern. Alec suspected not many people had been entrusted with even these few facts. Knowing the cause for Jace's casual dismissal didn't help the pain Alec felt now, and he withdrew behind the walls he'd learned to erect under the weight of his parents' expectations.

Not that it helped when it came to Izzy, his sister immediately sensing that something had happened the next time they met. Their meeting was supposed to be about the business, as per usual, but that had never stopped Isabelle Lightwood. Prodding him lightly with her dangerous-looking stiletto, she tilted her head and stated rather than asked, "You've met someone, haven't you."

Alec wanted to run and hide, only he knew that was fruitless, so he just rubbed his face tiredly and replied with studied nonchalance, "Maybe. But they don't want a relationship, so it's not going anywhere."

For a second he thought he might get away with it, but then Izzy's face lit up. "You're playing the pronoun game! Alec, have you gone and found yourself a boy? Fucking finally!"

Even before he felt his face flush Alec knew the game was up. He'd always suspected that Izzy knew or at least wondered, especially since she'd stopped trying to set him up with girls after the fiasco with Lydia Branwell. Still, it felt strange to have it out in the open like this, and he had to swallow a few times before getting his voice to work again. "It's not like that. Yes, it's a boy - a man - but nothing more is going to happen. You can't tell mom and dad!"

"Come one, give me some credit, big brother!" Izzy rolled her eyes and waved a perfectly-manicured hand airily. "You know mom and I are barely on speaking terms, and dad is busy playing hooky in the Bahamas or wherever he's hiding from the IRS with his floozy."

"The floozy's name is Annamarie, and you're not supposed to know about her," Alec chided gently, but he was laughing, relief making him light-headed. Someone else knew his secret, and the world hadn't come crashing down. Knowing that he wasn't alone helped him stand his ground in the face of Jace's unavoidable presence in his life.

Having seemingly completely recovered from the Morgenstern scandal, Jace appeared to be everywhere, playing team politics and turning his new-found bad boy image into coin. He also continued to hit on Alec, as if Alec was the unreasonable one for not jumping at the chance to bed the famous Jace Wayland. But what got to Alec the most were the moments when the carefully-cultivated mask slipped and he caught a glimpse of the man underneath.

Like on the night after Maryse Lightwood revealed with scathing, cutting words that she knew about Alec's sexuality. "You're a disgrace for the Lightwood family name, Alexander! Just make sure your sordid affairs don't tarnish the team, or I'll dismiss you from the Shadowhunters before you can say 'homosexual'!"

"Sordid affairs?!" Jace scoffed when Alec told him about the conversation later, but the hand resting on Alec's shoulder was gentle. "Stones and glasshouses, anyone?"

"I've always done everything she's asked of me." Alec hated how small his voice sounded, hated how grateful he was that Jace had taken one look at him and known that something had happened, but mostly he hated how grateful he was for the genuine warmth in Jace's eyes.

"Maryse would be a fool to cut you loose. You're great at what you do, Alec!" Jace was sitting so close, Alec couldn't help but lean into him a little. "I wouldn't have made you my agent otherwise."

"And here I thought you just wanted to get in my pants," Alec managed to quip, even if his voice was still a bit wobbly, and was rewarded with one of Jace's real smiles, the ones that lit up his entire face. He looked so beautiful, Alec had to pinch his arm to stop himself from drowning in it.

Maybe Alec was imagining things, but Jace seemed to give him those smiles more often, and every time it was a bit more difficult for Alec to remember how much he'd hurt after their one night together. He got a cold reminder when he laid it all on the line for Jace after the Shadowhunters won the season, getting Jace his second championship ring, even if it was as team number two and not one.

Standing in the deserted locker room, Alec looked into the face that kept haunting his dreams. "You know, when I saw you on the court, after the game, all I wanted was to kiss you. But you 'don't do love' or whatever crap your foster father drilled into you, and I'm sorry, Jace, but that's what I want."

"I never lied to you, I told you that I don't do relationships," Jace defended himself. "I'm happy you figured out that you're gay or whatever…"

Alec interrupted him sharply, "Nothing whatever. I'm the same as always, it's just out in the open now. I'm only sorry I've wasted so much time being hung up on you." Gathering every last bit of resolve, he turned on his heel. "Let me know if you decide to stop hiding."

He was almost at the door when Jace called after him, "Alec, wait! Just... " He hesitated, and Alec felt himself soften. "I hired a PI. He dug into my family background and it turns out Valentine Morgenstern isn't my father." Another pause, and Alec had to force himself not to reach out to the other man. "My birth name is Jonathan Herondale."

Alec smiled, touched by the show of trust, even if it wasn't what he'd asked for. "Well, I'd love to take Jonathan Herondale out on a date. Somewhere public." He waited a beat, but the conflicted look on Jace's face was answer enough. "Like I said, give me a call when you want that, too."

Walking away was one of the hardest things he'd ever done, but Alec was tired of settling for scraps. It didn't help that Robert had suddenly decided to take an interest in the business again, probably because Maryse was talking about really getting a divorce. As always Alec was caught between his parents, shielding Izzy as best he could and generally exhausting himself trying to be the perfect son and Lightwood heir.

"They treat me like an afterthought." Once again he found himself confiding in Jace, and once again the ball player surprised him by offering his unwavering support. They were in the middle of a crowded bar, but Alec felt as if they were the only people in the room, Jace's smile full of understanding. He dug his fingers into his palms, using the pain to center himself.

"I don't know how anyone can think you're an afterthought, Alec Lightwood." Jace regarded him with such raw honesty, there was no doubting his words, and something warm and fierce bloomed in Alec's chest. "I think of you first all the time."

All doubts forgotten, Alec licked his lips, seeing Jace's eyes track the movement hungrily, and motioned towards the cloakroom. He turned and walked away, not needing to check whether Jace was following him.

The moment the door closed behind them, they were on each other, mouths colliding while their hands got to work tearing each other's clothes off. It was urgent, almost desperate, and Alec stumbled backwards, grasping at the clothes rail for support, not caring one whit about the cloaks and jackets dropping to the floor as Jace crashed into him. They were both gasping and panting, biting and kissing every bit of skin they could reach, until Alec pushed Jace against the back wall.

He dropped to his knees with a painful thud, fingers scrabbling for Jace's fly. There was no room for hesitation in his head as he wrapped one hand around the freed cock and leaned in, closing his mouth over the head. Careful not to use his teeth, he sucked experimentally and was rewarded by Jace cursing and gripping his hair. Glancing up, his eyes met Jace's, which were glazed over with lust, an exhilarated smile on his face, which led Alec to think that he wasn't doing too bad a job.

Much to his surprise he found the experience incredibly hot. He loved being the one who brought Jace such pleasure, and his own cock was rock-hard in his slacks. Using his free hand to open them, he palmed himself, echoing the rhythm he had going with his mouth and fist around Jace's dick. Consciously relaxing he managed to take in more, so much that he hardly tasted the first drops of pre-cum hitting the back of his throat.

"Wait, wait…" Jace moaned, and Alec obeyed, sitting back on his haunches but keeping his hand around the hard flesh. Shaking his head, Jace grabbed him roughly and pulled him to his feet, manhandling him in a way that took Alec's breath away. Jace might be extraordinarily short for a basketball player, but he was all muscle, and Alec found himself pinned to the wall front-first, greedy hands exploring his back. He twisted his head around for a kiss, a messy tangle of tongues, then Jace moved down his neck, sucking and biting while his cock left wet trails on Alec's butt cheeks.

They had no lube, no condom, but Jace seemed more than happy to just rut blindly against Alec, sliding one hand to his front and wrapping it tightly around his cock. Alec choked on a moan, scrabbling for purchase against the wall as his legs threatened to give out, glad that Jace was keeping him securely in place. Jace accompanied every thrust of his hips with a flick of his wrist, sparks of bright delight spiraling through Alec, setting him on fire until he felt delirious with it, drunk on Jace and the way he knew just how to touch him. After an almost embarrassingly short amount of time Jace stopped moving abruptly and, much to Alec's shock, sank his teeth into Alec's shoulder, making him forget the sticky discomfort of Jace's essence on his lower back.

"Shit, Alec, so good…" Jace finally sighed, pressing his lips against the place he'd just mauled in silent apology. Then he turned Alec back around, sank to his knees and repaid the favor, the heat of his mouth as it had been the first time, and Alec slid his fingers through golden hair, not once looking away from the enticing sight of Jace's lips stretched around his cock. Jace chuckled around the hard shaft, sending ripples of pleasure through his veins, and took him in even deeper. Alec's hips twitched forward, and despite his arousal thundering towards its peak he froze, scared that he'd hurt Jace, only to see him nod encouragingly.

Swallowing, Alec moved again, his breath hitching, and Jace met his uncertain gaze firmly, eyes dancing. Never one to back down from a challenge, Alec squared his shoulders, tightened his grip on Jace's head and began rocking forward in earnest, fucking the other man's mouth. Soon his thrusts became more erratic, and Alec stopped, letting Jace take over again. Strong fingers cupped his balls, teasing the smooth skin behind them, and when they reached his opening Alec cursed and fell apart, spilling himself deep into Jace's mouth.

His eyes slid shut, and he shuddered and bucked, his entire body trembling. He only noticed that Jace had released his softening cock when he was pulled into a tight embrace. He slumped against Jace's side, allowing himself to be held, burying his nose against his lover's neck and breathing in the unique mix of sweat, expensive aftershave and Jace.

It couldn't last, of course, and they reluctantly separated, pulling up their pants, tension settling over them, replacing the illusion of peace they'd shared. Still, Alec allowed himself to hope that maybe, just maybe things would be different, when Jace said softly, "I missed you."

Smiling helplessly, Alec replied in an equally soft tone, "Me too."

However, Jace's next words doused his hopes: "So, who's leaving first, you or me?"

"Seriously?!" Disappointment bitter on his tongue, Alec shook his head in disgust.

"What?" Jace looked at him as if he really had no idea why Alec reacted like that.

That was it, Alec was done. He finished buttoning his shirt with jerky movements, not meeting Jace's eyes. "Nothing has changed. I'm still your fucking secret!"

"Don't be so dramatic, Alec." Jace's studied nonchalance didn't quite ring true, but Alec couldn't bring himself to care.

"Dramatic? We're literally in the fucking closet right now, Jace!" Alec rolled his eyes, focusing on his anger instead of the pain that was gnawing at his heart. "Don't come near me again unless you have something more to offer me."

He managed to leave with his pride and dignity intact, sure no one at the party even noticed that something was wrong. However, instead of going home Alec went straight to the gym, deserted at this time of night, and pummelled the punching bags until his arms ached. After that he was exhausted enough that falling asleep was no problem, although Jace and memories of his hands on Alec's skin kept haunting his dreams.

He should have known better than to think that he could avoid Jace indefinitely. A few days later the ball player cornered him in the locker room and told him that he did have something to offer him - he'd found out who wanted to wrest control of the Shadowhunters from the Lightwoods. The whole conspiracy had been giving Alec ulcers, and he stared at Jace in astonishment, "Why would you tell me that? That knowledge could have gotten you whatever you want from Aldertree and Verlac, including the captainship!"

"I didn't do it for me," Jace replied simply, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "I did it for you. Victor taking over the team would have hurt you."

Alec knew he was gaping, he simply had no idea how to react to this bit of news, but when Jace moved closer, he stepped back instinctively. "No. Sorry, Jace, but that's not what I want from you. Please," he found himself pleading, "if you care for me at all, leave me alone."

This time he was truly going to get over Jace Wayland, Jonathan Herondale or whatever he liked to call himself, if it killed him. So when he ran into Magnus Bane, the photographer he'd stood up on that first night with Jace, Alec figured it was a sign from god. Especially when Magnus accepted his apology and invited him out to a bar the following Friday.

"Wow, that's… public." The remark slipped out, and Alec quickly added, "Not that there's anything wrong with that, on the contrary. Just, my ex - if you can call him that - he preferred to keep things private."

"Ah, a closet case." Magnus lifted a perfectly arched eyebrow. "Well, I hope you don't mind, but I've always lived openly, whether I was with men or women."

"No, I don't mind at all." Alec smiled and could almost believe that things might work out. He liked Magnus, and he was doubtlessly a very attractive man, even if Alec couldn't quite banish the flashes of a broader body, of golden skin and mesmerizing eyes. Luckily he managed to keep those mostly under wraps, only mentioning Jace three or four times during his date with the photographer.

At the end of it, he blushed and timidly invited Magnus home with him, but the other man declined with a curious smile. "Alexander, I like you, but I have the impression that you might not be completely over that mysterious ex of yours."

No one ever called him 'Alexander', and Alec wasn't quite sure whether he liked it, but that was beside the point right now. Had he really been so obvious? "No, Magnus, it's not like that! It's just that he was my first, the one that made me face who I truly am, but what I really want is you - someone who won't be ashamed of me, who I can be with openly."

"Well…" Magnus tilted his head consideringly, and Alec held his breath. "Let's compromise - I won't be coming home with you tonight, but I will meet you court-side after the game on Sunday. Publically. And we'll see where we go from there."

Although it was not quite what he'd hoped for, a part of Alec was relieved. He wasn't sure whether he was truly ready to have sex with someone who wasn't Jace, had suggested it more to prove something to himself. Afterwards, alone in his bed, Alec felt vaguely nauseated at the thought that he'd been so close to using Magnus, a man who hadn't been anything but wonderful and understanding. The photographer didn't deserve this, and Alec found he was looking forward to seeing him again after the game.

He kept thinking of Magnus when he ran into Jace the next day, but he felt no triumph when Jace flinched after he told him that he'd been on a that with 'that photographer' after all. The ball player looked uncharacteristically small, and despite his efforts to remain unaffected his words hit Alec right where it hurt: "But I love you. Alright? I love you, stupid!"

"I love you, too." Alec managed a pained shrug as he added quickly, before Jace could get his hopes up, "But that's not enough. It's been hard for me to come out, and I'm not about to go back into hiding, not when I'm finally my own person. I want a real relationship, Jace, with someone who wants to be with me in every way."

He paused for a heartbeat, looking at Jace expectantly, but he was not surprised when Jace only looked at him mutely. Shaking his head sadly, Alec walked away, pushing down the wave of nausea that threatened to swallow him. He'd dreamed of Jace telling him he loved him, but he also knew that he deserved better. He deserved someone like Magnus, or at least he hoped he might one day soon.

The next day he barely paid attention to the game, craning his neck for a glimpse of elaborately styled hair and fashionable clothes in the mass of ball caps and foam fingers. However, by the time the last quarter ended and the arena erupted into cheers, there still was sign of the photographer.

Instead Jace was making his way through the celebratory crowds, coming to a stop in front of Alec, a strange gleam in his mismatched eyes. Alec congratulated him awkwardly, still glancing around for Magnus and hoping the ball player would take the hint and go quietly. Except Jace just continued to stand there, so finally Alec had no choice but to say, "I'm meeting someone, Jace. So, please, just go."

He wasn't sure what he expected, but it wasn't Jace taking a deep breath and shaking his head. "Sorry, Alec, but Magnus isn't coming."

"I… what?! What did you do?" Alec stared, flabbergasted, and Jace visibly squirmed before squaring his shoulders.

His reply was as firm as shocking. "I asked him not to come. Told him you were… previously engaged."

And before Alec could react Jace Wayland, star player of the Shadowhunters and notorious ladies' man, stepped forward and kissed his agent.

For a second Alec stiffened, then all tension melted out of him and he sighed into Jace's mouth, drinking him deeply as he lost himself in the kiss. In the background cameras flashed and people stared, but all Alec felt was Jace's lips against his, Jace's hands framing his face as if he was afraid Alec would disappear.

Warmth flooding him, Alec smiled against Jace's mouth and wrapped his arms around the man he loved, holding him tightly.

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