Post-Battle Procedure

Author's Note: Randomly spawned from this post by badgeralec @ Tumblr:
Shadowhunters where everything’s the same except the activation of the parabatai battle bond causes an intense sense of intimacy so after killing a bunch of demons parabatai pairs are overwhelmed by an urge to…….. Cuddle

Canon-compliant (except for the cuddling *g*). Set vaguely sometime before the memory demon, because Clary makes such a nice outside POV. 🙂

***

“So they’re gay?” Clary was staring at the corner, where Jace and Alec were hugging each other tightly, dark-clad arms wrapped around waists and shoulders, blonde head buried against rune-covered neck. It was an incongruous sight, especially considering that a few minutes ago they’d been kicking some serious demon ass alongside Clary and Izzy.

The latter gave her brother and his parabatai an affectionate glance and laughed, “No. Well, I mean, they’re not, like, together. It’s a parabatai thing.”

Clary had noticed the amendment of the initial denial, but she decided there was no need to call Isabelle on it. Alec’s sexuality really wasn’t any of her business, and if she was honest with herself, she was mainly relieved that Jace wasn’t taken. Even if he was at this very moment in the arms of his parabatai, doing an excellent impression of a limpet.

They made for a strange pair, none of Jace’s usual cockiness on display as he allowed himself to be held, reminding Clary that he wasn’t much older than she was. Alec, too, seemed much younger, almost like a different person, tender and at peace, all his defenses down. Both men had their eyes closed, clinging to each other, their breathing deep and slow, and a closer look revealed that their chests were moving in perfect tandem. Not that Clary meant to stare, intruding on a moment that was almost unbearably intimate, yet she found that she had trouble looking away, captivated in spite of herself.

“It’s a good sign, I’m told. It means their battle bond is working. Still, we like to give them their privacy - Shadowhunter society isn’t exactly big on PDA.” Izzy’s explanation broke into her reverie, and Clary jumped guiltily. To her relief the other woman was smiling at her, softening the gentle chiding, and Clary nodded, turning away resolutely. Instead she followed Izzy’s example and activated her iratze, sighing with relief as healing warmth spread through her, although it would take a few hours for the nasty gash on her forearm to disappear completely.

A few minutes later she heard Alec’s voice, low and intimate, murmuring something that garnered a warm laugh from Jace. When the two men joined them, Clary shot them searching looks, but if she had halfway expected to find signs of embarrassment, she didn’t find any. Instead they both looked completely relaxed and refreshed, belying the demon dust still coating their clothes and skin. Their cuts and bruises were mostly gone, too, so they must have used their steles on each other at some point, accelerated healing apparently being yet another parabatai perk.

They did, however, walk a bit closer together than what was strictly normal, and Clary realized Alec’s hand was resting lightly against the small of Jace’s back, as if they couldn’t quite let go of each other yet. Jace was grinning up at his parabatai, blue-and-gold eyes sparkling, and Alec was returning his gaze with so much naked affection, Clary felt herself blush. She would probably never completely understand the bond these two shared, but she finally had at least an inkling of how deep it ran, transcending love as Clary knew it.

“You guys ready to head out?” Jace made it sound as if Izzy and Clary hadn’t been the ones waiting, and Izzy rolled her eyes at him. She didn’t say anything, however, just agreed and rolled up her whip, which she’d been swiping back and forth idly. Clary followed her example, and Jace smiled at her, his normal, slightly flirtatious grin that always set butterflies loose in her stomach. “You did good today, Clary.”

She flushed, pleased and proud, and pretended that she didn’t see Alec’s raised eyebrow. The gesture lacked its usual sting anyway, probably because Jace was leaning into the archer’s side, unselfconsciously seeking contact. Alec’s eyes flicked over to Clary, who simply smiled slightly, causing him to shrug and sling a casual arm around Jace’s shoulder. Clary wasn’t quite sure what exactly had transpired, but for the first time since she’d been thrust into the Shadow world Alec didn’t seem openly hostile, and she figured she’d take what she could get.

If that meant seeing two grown warriors cuddle, so be it.

***

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