Taking Refuge

Author's Note: 300 words for a prompt by Takara_Phoenix.

"You're coming with me to sleep over at Magnus's." Alec's tone brokered no argument. "You haven't slept since Clary, don't think I haven't noticed."

Jace flushed but didn't try to deny it, letting Alec lead him outside by the hand. It was the sort of gesture that would have felt dangerous before, but he found it hard to refuse his parabatai anything these days, the guilt of almost killing him a not-inconsiderable part of the weight that was crushing him. He could still hear the Owl's taunting as the arrow went into Alec's chest.

"Jace, it's good to see you." Magnus's voice interrupted the all-too-familiar train of thought, and Jace realized with a start that they'd reached their destination. The warlock looked the same as always, but underneath Jace could see a tiredness in his eyes that made his heart ache. He opened his mouth to beg for forgiveness again, only to be forestalled by a hand on his mouth. "No more apologies. It was my choice, and I stand by it. Not only would Alexander have been lost without you, somehow I've become rather fond of you, too."

Magnus chuckled wrily, and Jace blushed, suddenly aware of Alec still holding his hand. A tremble ran through him, and without thinking he threw himself at Magnus. The warlock's arms opened immediately, as if he'd expected this, and Jace hid his tear-stained face in the crook of his neck. His legs threatened to give out, but before they could, a strong body pressed against his back, Alec's long arms embracing them both.

Sighing, Jace let himself be held. He wasn't fine, not by a long shot, guilt still churning in his stomach, but for the first time, feeling Magnus's strength, Alec's unwavering loyalty, he thought that maybe he wasn't past redemption.

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