Jumping

Alec was off in the bedroom as I heard Max starting to stir. I went in to start getting the little blue man ready for his day. I assumed he’d be going to the Institute with his grandparents but I really had no clue. He squirmed as I pulled clothes on to him and changed his diaper. I still couldn’t get over how blue his skin was.

I grinned down at him. “Your dads are pretty cool. You are lucky. I can only hope Dakota is not missing me too much. Or too jealous I’m not there taking care of her instead of us.”

The little one cooed at me as I hitched him on my hip just as Alec was standing in the doorway. I smiled and handed him off to his father who took him quickly and tossed him in the air that sent his son into fits of giggles. I missed my family. The pain and fear and the resulting loss of seeing them again rose in the back of my throat. I fought the anxiety down, put on a smile and walked past Alec and his son and pretended to be busy in the kitchen while Alec finished getting his son ready. He stepped inside, “You alright?”

I nodded my head but it was about all I was going to manage coherently. I heard a soft sigh, “We have to go to the Institute, drop Max off then we can wander the streets looking for demons or rogue downworlders. I already told Jace to go with Clary and let let Izzy and Simon go their own way. Which means there will be little to no patrolling done today anyway.”

I turned around with my fake smile and knew he didn’t believe it. “Let’s go.”

Alec lead the way down the stairs and out through the streets of Brooklyn to the subway station. It was the same uneventful trip that I’d taken twice already. We sat in the same row and I could feel the warmth of Alec’s leg against mine and two little feet kicking me softly which drew my attention to the little boy who was no longer blue.

Alec smiled when he saw me look up at him, “Sometimes he manages it on his own. It’s like Magnus knows what days those will be. He forgot this morning and I figured he’d be bundled up. But he has it. May not last, but it’s there.”

I smiled. “Talent runs in the family.”

Alec grinned at me even though he was still blushing. I leaned back against the chair and waited for our stop in the City. I waited outside the building again as Alec went inside and dropped off his son. But I didn’t miss any drama as Robert Lightwood walked up the sidewalk and stopped directly in front of me. “Where in the angel have you been? We’ve had scouts out for you all night.”

“With your son.” He gave me a look that said so much more than words. I read the disgust on his face and I bit back my biting comment. I didn’t think Alec would appreciate my sarcasm at this moment. And he was my host at the moment and I rather liked sleeping in a bed. Robert Lightwood clearly did not like the fact that his son was gay, and used me as an excuse to show his dislike of it.

I felt Alec more than saw him when he came rushing up behind me. “Father.”

Robert looked at him, “Why did he leave the Institute?”

Alec stood up straighter, “Because I didn’t tell him he had to stay.” Which was only a partial lie.

I sighed, “Even if he had I wouldn’t have listened. You can ask my own father. I hardly ever listen to anyone at any time. It’s such a bad trait.” He tried to grab me by the arm and I dodged him quickly which surprised me, I started walking down the sidewalk away from Alec’s father. Alec caught up and glanced back at his father with a pained look. “I’ll be back to get Max later. Mom has him.” Alec frowned as he turned around, “I don’t know why he won’t just go back to Idris.”

We walked in silence for several blocks before I stopped in front of what was supposed to be the AU building across the street, even Bonnie’s little diner across the street was different, it was still a diner, but definitely not Bonnie’s.

I grabbed Alec’s arm and tugged as I headed for the building. I opened up the glass doors and we slipped inside no one noticed. I wasn’t glamoured like he was, but no one noticed as I headed for the stairs. I started up them and Alec frowned, “Where are we going?”

“To the top.” I said.

He looked at me, “All 55 floors?”

I grinned at him, “Come on. You are stronger and faster than I am and I can do it.”

“This building doesn’t exist where you come from.” Alec said as we rounded the third landing.

“But I can run the whole set of 55 floors where I am from. I lived here – remember.”

Alec sighed and we climbed the rest of the stairs with only the sound of our breathing and foot falls echoing in the stair well.

The door to the roof was locked, and Alec etched a symbol on the door and it came unlocked without any damage to the door. I whistled, “Good thing Shadow hunters don’t rob banks.”

Alec looked at me like I was crazy. “Don’t tell me Shadow hunters don’t go bad.”

“On occasion. But robbing a bank?”

I smiled as a gust of wind tugged at my shirt. “Dragons like to rob banks for their treasures. Even Venatori have been known to taken on humanities worst qualities a time or two, no race is impervious to the easy way of the dark side.”

Alec frowned, “You aren’t alluding to some geeky reference are you?”

“Only a little. Star Wars – I’m sure Simon has told you all about it.”

Alec nodded and then changed the subject, “What are we doing up here?”

“I’m going to jump.”

Alec paled. I added, “I need some stability in my life. I can’t control the pain of missing my family or the nightmares, but I can conquer my fear of heights. I’ll feel better. You don’t have to come.”

Alec sighed, “You expect me to walk all the way back down? By myself?”

I grinned, “You could jump with me. I promise you you will be fine.”

Alec looked lost in thought. “Alright, how is this going to work? Details…”

“We can go down one of many ways. You and I can jump together and you trust that I have you with out any physical contact. Usually only experienced jumpers do that.”

“You do this regularly that people jump with you?” Almost all of Alec’s color had left his face when he asked that question.

“People don’t normally jump with me.”

“Why not?” Concern riddled his voice.

“Because most people know I don’t want them to.”

“But you’ll do this with me? Why?”

I laughed, “Does it really matter? I brought you up here. I need to do this Alec. You can walk back down or jump with me. Either way is fine. I will see you down at the bottom.”

“Why did you bring me up here?”

“Because you look like you could use the 8 seconds of free-fall too. It’s freeing, it’s a rush. It’s unexpected.”

“Won’t someone call the police?”

I threw up a veil all around us. “No one can see anything. Not you. Not me. Not anything falling from the sky.”

“You mentioned less adventurous ways down?” Alec sounded resigned to do this.

“There are a few intimate ways to do it which are probably our best option since the third is using a harness, which I don’t have, but could easily make. But that isn’t easy to do and I don’t think you want to worry about my magic holding out as we fall.”

“Can it fail?”

“It never has before.” I smiled. “The remaining ways is one of us holding on to the other. Most beginners choose the harness and facing up and the jumper facing down. It’s easy enough to just hold on without the harness.”

“We can do it facing each other, facing the same way, direction doesn’t matter for me, so whatever you feel comfortable with. One of us has to stretch out their arms to help slow us down. Like skydiving.”

Alec sighed. “I don’t know.”

“You can walk back down.” I frowned, “I’m sorry I dragged you up here. I should have told you, but you look like you need something to help with freeing you, helping you let go, to just be you.”

“And this is you? This helps you?” Alec asked as he leaned over the edge of the building looking down at the drop.

“Yeah. It helped shape me.”

He sighed. “I don’t think I can look down and do this.”

“How’s this? We go over backwards, I’ll go first, you don’t have to do anything other than let me pull you with me. Stretch out your arms and legs like you are a starfish and let me do the rest?”

He nodded looking over again. “Okay.”

I didn’t wait for him to chicken out, I climbed up on the top of the ledge and Alec took a deep breath and followed me up. He stood directly in front of me and I wrapped my arms around his waist. The height difference was negligible which was oddly strange for me. I spoke quietly in his ear. “I have already softened the ground with earth and water, and I have wings of air to catch us the moment we lean backwards. It will be about 8 seconds from that moment to the ground. You ready?”

Alec nodded and I adjusted my grip on his waist locking my hands around him. “1…2…3” And I fell backwards on three. I felt Alec’s body tense but he fell with me backwards over the ledge. I felt the drag of the air on my body as the wind whipped past my ears. I closed my eyes and trusted in my ability. My anxiety fell away, there was nothing but the feel of falling in a controlled state and the man I had a death-grip on, not for my sanity but his.

I counted down the seconds to myself and waited for the soft pillow like landing that I expected. Except we landed in a squish instead of semi-bounce.

I sighed as I felt the mud seep into my clothes.

I wasn’t certain but I was sure I heard laughter coming from the man who was now standing up and staring down at me. I sighed, “Normally it’s not so messy. I think I overcompensated to reassure you.”

He was smiling – not a shy hidden smile – really smiling and I couldn’t help but grin back at him. “Now that is a smile you should show to others more often.”

He blushed but the smile never faded. I pulled the water and as much of the mud off of me with my ability but I knew it was going to look gross until they were properly washed.

He put an arm over my shoulder and whispered, “That was fun. But let’s not do it again.”

I laughed. “Dorian would agree with you.”

“You miss him, don’t you?” Alec tugged me into walking and when I complied he dropped his arm back to his side. The added warmth was missed, but I wasn’t here to become attached to him. I’d done what needed doing and I think it did both of us some good.

“I’ve missed him for months, a few more weeks added to it won’t change anything. Except this time he really thinks I’m dead without really knowing deep down I’m alive.”

“Magnus will find a way to get you home.” Alec reassured me.

“I appreciate the thought, and I hope you are right. But this place isn’t so bad to be stuck if I have to be stuck somewhere.”

Can We Keep Him?

We stopped by the Institute and picked up Max. I waited outside the run down cathedral as I didn’t really want to run into Alec’s parents. Magnus came out carrying a few books and Alec the little boy wearing his favorite glamour. I grinned as Alec played with his son as he carried him. I took a few books from Magnus to lighten his load so he could at least hold Alec’s hand easily.

I followed in their wake and gave their little family space on the train. Though we all sat together, but I pretended to be off in my own little world. I didn’t want my envy to show. I missed the pack which surprised me for all my complaining that they never left me alone. And sleeping alone had sucked last night – not that I expected anything less than nightmares, nor did I expect things to change tonight.

I watched as the New York City skyline faded into the darkness and we rattled across the surface of the Brooklyn rails. It was an excellent ride, and it proved to be a great time to think. I flipped through the few books that I’d taken from Magnus. Unfortunately I could only read one of them, and I had already thumbed through it once before. There was mention of some white book, all capital letters in the Latin book, but I could only read those two words on the whole page, so I had no idea what any of it was talking about. I closed it and resigned myself to watching Max sleep in Alec’s arms while Magnus and he spoke in hushed whispers. I didn’t even bother trying to listen in.

I closed my eyes and drifted. I started awake when someone touched my shoulder just as a tentacle of air from my own personal demon was about to strike. I hated my nightmares. I knew the look on my face showed the fear, I could feel my pulse racing and knew I was probably sweating overly much. But it was just Alec letting me know it was time to get off the train.

I stood slowly and slowed my breathing as we got off the train and started walking to their loft.

Magnus walked in front of me but Alec fell in step with me, “Magnus could probably make you something to sleep.”

I shook my head. “It doesn’t stop the nightmares. Only puts me in a state to which I cannot wake up. They were supernatural in creation and I’ve only found one thing that keeps them away.”

“And that is?”

I grinned. “Dorian. It’s about feeling safe and loved and knowing it continually while sleeping. We’ve tried to replicate the phenomenon, I do better in our bed, when it smells like him, but I still dream and still wake up just not as harshly. It’s his physical presence, maybe part of us own aura that keeps me safe. We don’t really understand why.”

Magnus was pushing his door open as he spoke, “Must be hard living a life when you can’t sleep well.”

I shrugged, “Been that way since I was 5.”

“If you know it’s supernatural in nature, you know who caused it? Or is that some side effect of being you?” Magnus asked curiously.

“Honestly. I don’t know if it’s a side effect. But yeah, I know who caused it, he’s dead now. Sanctioned kill under all laws in my world.” I sighed, “The only kill I’ve ever performed that wasn’t in self defense. There was no challenge issued, I just killed him when he threatened me.”

“But he did threaten you.” Alec muttered.

“No one but I could see that at the time. He was given to me because the leader of the CCB knew he’d hurt me, and hurting children is highly unforgivable in any supernatural culture.”

Magnus asked, “Was their proof he hurt you? Why couldn’t you take action earlier?”

“It was his word against mine. The proof was on my body for years, but it was self inflicted. He was a dream walker. He inhabited my dreams to help me control my ability and since the only thing that he could find to make me use my ability uncontrolled was physical violence, so he beat me in my dreams, and when I’d spark, he’s manipulate me to hurt my sleeping self in the real world. A rare gift among my people. The scars are gone on the outside – my body didn’t know to recreate them when I was burnt to near death and rose again from the ashes.”

“The Phoenix.” Magnus smiled. “How many times have you near died?”

“I would postulate three times. Once that enabled my ability when I jumped off a 55 story building to catch a bad guy.”

“That was stupid.” Alec said as he got back from putting Max down. “He would have been dead anyway.”

“Not really.” I grinned. “I jump off building regularly. Using my ability like a parachute. I accidentally showed the kid the feat and he tried to use it. But he didn’t know the mechanics, he would have died without my assistance, but I didn’t know that at the time. I followed him to bring him to justice. Broke every bone in my body and internal injuries. I should have died but I didn’t.”

“The second was when my doctors were poisoning me directly there after to prove I was immortal. Or at least my healing ability made me near immortal. Whether or not I age has yet to be seen so it could just be an extraordinary healing ability but the main genetic researcher claims it’s immortality.”

“And the third was a fire?” Alec asked.

I nodded. “I stepped between my father and his target, he didn’t like it. He threw fireballs at me until my shield broke and one landed. He left in despair but my vampire friend helped me and I healed quickly.”

Alec yawned and Magnus stood up taking him by the hand. “We are going to bed now.”

I nodded and picked up all the books Magnus had brought back. “Goodnight. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Magnus shook his head, “You sure you don’t want something to sleep?”

“I’m good, thanks.”

I wasn’t good. I did try to sleep but the nightmares came, fueled with threats of demons and magical portals and my own personal demon leading the way. Even though I knew he was dead, he haunted my every sleeping moment. I finished off the night by looking through the books. 6am rolled around and I was showered and dressed and had done too many sit ups, pull-ups on the door frame and push-ups that my arms ached. It had been a while since I’d been so vigorous in the morning. My schedule had been hectic since Ascending.

I made breakfast. Their kitchen was fully stocked with everything I could possibly want. Coffee started. Bacon in the oven, Eggs scrambled and waiting the fresh vegetables to soften in the pan before making the frittata.

Alec walked into the kitchen stretching above his head, the bottom of his shirt lifting above his boxer line and I had to avert my games or the boy might die of embarrassment. He smiled. “It’s okay.”

“What’s okay?” I looked back at him and offered him a cup of coffee.

“That you were looking at me.”

“Not really. Looking doesn’t hurt. But .. I’ll not tempt myself.” I smiled and prepared a plate of the finished food and pushed it at Alec. “Will Magnus get up for food?”

As if by magic, Magnus stood in the doorway with his nose in the air. “Did someone cook … bacon?”

I pushed a second plate towards Magnus and he sat down promptly and picked up bacon with two of his glittery fingers.

I ate from a third plate, which I had already been nibbling from as I made the food.

Alec mumbled through the food he was chewing around, “This is good.” Or at least that’s what I think he said. When he’d finished chewing he looked at Magnus, “Can we keep him?” He turned the shade of a pretty rose and Magnus laughed. The pair exchanged a look and I knew it too well. I left the room to pick up the books in the spare room I’d been flipping through and sat down on their couch.

I looked up and Alec was watching me from the kitchen door way, Magnus had slipped back off into their bedroom I assumed. His glitter and flamboyance were no where to be seen.

“Did I make you uncomfortable?”

I laughed, “Duckling you will find it hard to embarrass me. I was giving you two space.”

“Why do you flirt with me if you know I’m with Magnus?” He asked with a straight face.

“I flirt with everyone.” I grinned. “Dorian asked me once, even the ugly ones. I told him especially the ugly ones.”

“You didn’t flirt with Maia.”

“I didn’t want to get my hand bitten off, or worse my head. Don’t think I can regenerate that. Though who knows.” I curt laughed.

“Do you want me to stop? Seriously.”

Alec shook his head. “I…Uh.. No. It’s not that.”

“You and Magnus do this so easily. Magnus takes care around me. Never pushing my limits too far too fast. You don’t have boundaries.”

“I’m not pushing you anywhere. I’m just flirting.” I sighed. Insecure was so much work.

Alec nodded, “I know. But no one flirts with me. It’s always Jace and Izzy. Magnus was the first and only until you fell out of that portal.”

I laughed. “Jace is not my type. Sure he’s good looking, he’s got the physic most girls like, but he’s got too much bravado for me. We’d clash. Your sister is hot, but she’s dangerous. I like my women a little more needy except for my Isabel who is not needy in the least, but it wasn’t about loving her at first. We fit and we worked. I needed a strong mate to rule the pack. You, on the other hand, remind me of Dorian right down to the coloring of your hair, your eyes and even your skin. Put you in a grand suit and tie and I could almost forget I wasn’t home from a distance.”

Alec gave me half smile, “Do you want to go on patrol with me? Be better than sitting her reading that crap. Magnus said there were promising leads yesterday but he wants more info before he tells you. He needs those books anyway.”

Magnus stepped into the room wearing a purple suit with the shirt baring his chest and layers of necklaces, the highlights in his hair matched his outfit as did the nail color. I laughed softly to myself. “Is purple your color?”

He glanced down and smiled, “I suppose today it is.”

“Looks good.” I stood up and reached the top of his head and gave him an extra color. “There that’s better.”

Magnus glanced in the mirror at the blue I’d added against the purple. “You are right.”

Alec rolled his eyes, “You two are the same you know that?”

I smiled. “I don’t dress like your warlock, maybe in the Academy for days I really wanted to play the gay up. But those days usually resulted in a beat down too.”

Magnus picked up the books and smiled as he formed a portal. “You two have fun patrolling. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”

Alec blushed and I followed Magnus out with a questioning look. He turned with a grin. “I trust you’ll take care of my nephilim Nox. Don’t get him killed.”

“I’ll do my best.” I let the prior comment go. Nothing undue was going to happen.

Alpha v Alpha

The music flowed through me keeping the best of the depression away. I was grateful for the distraction when a woman sat down next to me despite the look she was giving me. It wasn’t friendly, but it wasn’t aggressive either. She leaned over and spoke loudly. “What do you think you are doing?”

I raised an eyebrow and hoped this was a case of mistaken identies. “Pardon?” I asked.

“I don’t know you. You need to declare yourself to the pack leader!” She informed me rather rudely.

“I’m not a werewolf.” I turned back to the bar and tried to ignore the proximity of the woman next to me.

She stood closer to me and I could feel the power of her wolf trying to overpower mine and I looked at her like she was crazy. “I told you I’m not a werewolf. You can’t force me to change no matter what I feel like to you.”

She looked confused and put her hand on my arm and I felt the jolt of power as she tried again with contact. I sighed and put my hand on her shoulder and pushed her away from me and let my power flow thru here and I felt the ripple of her wolf giving over to me. “I told you, you can’t make me shift. I’m not a werewolf.”

Her mouth dropped into an O, “What are you?”

“Nothing you’ve ever heard of.” I sat back down and nursed my water.

“Who are you?” She demanded.

“My name is Nox.” I said flatly staring off into the mirror behind the bar. I saw Alec rushing this way with Magnus only a few steps behind.

Alec put his hand on the female wolf. “I’m sorry Maia, I should have said something earlier. He’s with me.”

She looked up at his blue eyes pleading his apology and smiled. “Alec, why do you have an undeclared wolf?”

He blinked at her and sighed, “It’s a long story. But he’s not a wolf, not really so I forgot about it. I’m sorry.”

Alec waved his hand in my general direction. “Nox, this is Maia, the Alpha of the New York pack. Maia, this is Nox. He’s kinda out of place, we need to get him home.”

Maia asked, “What is he? He feels like a wolf.”

I grinned at her. “It doesn’t matter what I am. I’m not a wolf.”

“But…” she stammered.

Alec put his hand on the little wolf and smiled. “It’s complicated. Trust me it’s better this way.” He turned to me with a sad smile, “Do you promise not to hurt another wolf or to try to take the pack away from Maia?”

I shrugged, “Why would I want to do that? It won’t get me home.” Alec gave me that look. The one that says humor me, please. Yes the please I could see in his eyes. “Fine. Yes, I’ll follow the rules. You have my word.”

“What good is his word if I don’t know him?” She was asking Alec.

He looked at me. “You have my word.” He looked at the little she-wolf, “That good?”

She nodded at Alec then looked at me with a sneer. “Don’t try what you did before again!”

I smiled at her, “Duckling, I didn’t start it.” I leaned forward and whispered in a loud voice so everyone could hear over the loud music, “You don’t touch me. I won’t touch you.”

She stalked off and I frowned. Sipping at my water. Alec tapped me on the shoulder and waved towards the door. It was time to go.

Alec fell into step with Magnus and they entwined their arms around each other and I felt like a third wheel following descretely behind them out of the club and into the chilly night air. I at least had a good view.

I saw Magnus turn around to see if I was still following, and once we were well past the noise of the club he nearly shouted, “I think our friend is checking us out.” to Alec.

I grinned as Magnus looked back, “And he doesn’t even deny it.”

I asked, “Should I?”

He shrugged his shoulders with flair, “Most people do when they get caught.”

“What’s the point in denying what you clearly saw? It’s not like you two aren’t cute together, or highly attractive men. I’m sure you’re both used to be stared at from time to time.” I waved away the thought that I should deny I was looking at them. “Besides, looking don’t hurt anybody.”

Magnus laughed. “Poor Alexander, is going do die from all the blood rushing to his poor face.”

I snickered. “I’m sure that’s where all the blood is rushing.” I knew that the archer boy’s face grew redder without having to even see it as he shifted uncomfortably under his boyfriend’s arm. I added, “Alec, if I bother you speak up. Or punch me, either way I’ll stop.”

Alec stopped and wound up his arm with a grin plastered on his face and I winiched when he let it fly and stopped with a gentle tap against my arm. He started walking off.

“Was that your way of telling me to knock it off?” I asked curiously.

Alec hung his head and shook slowly as he continued walking without saying a word. “I think he was being playful.” Magnus said. The colorful warlock put his arm around my shoulders. “You seem to be contagious.”

“I’ve been called worse things.”

Pandemonium

Isabelle nearly dragged me through the crowded streets and subways of New York City. It wasn’t until I recognized some stares that I realized all five of the others were hidden from view. I looked like I was talking to myself. I veiled myself and I heard Isabelle gasp. I grinned and released it, “I can do it too.”

Isabelle smiled, “Sorry didn’t realize you weren’t glamoured. Can you hide from everyone or limit it to everyone but us.”

I shook my head, “I can veil us all which is pointless but you could see me.” It’s what I did so that I wasn’t quite so standoutish. “It really doesn’t matter how big it is so I can just make it large enough to encompass us, but in a fight I will be visible. Unless I hide from everyone.”

Jace nodded. “That’s good to know. You are crazy.”

“I am. But usually I don’t talk to myself.” I agreed with a smile.

We walked up outside of a club. “The disturbance is in the club?” And as if my question heralded the mass of people fleeing the club under pretense of fire we snuck in. “Okay then.” I added having my question answered for me.

The five Shadow hunters – which I thought was an apt name since they hunted demons who were shadowy creatures. They also called their world the shadow world. I supposed it was better than the underworld or the underground like we called it. The five Shadow hunters called out words I barely understood. “What do you say to make your swords glow?” It was an innocent question.

“Angel names.” Simon said quickly. “You don’t know the angels?”

“Uh. No. I’m not even slightly religious, the human religion as they know it is only part of what we believe. And most of it’s wrong because we made so – we as in the supernatural world.”

“You don’t have angels?” Clary asked.

“We do, but they are nothing more than good aligned demons in comparison, -taking over human hosts so they can live a life. Demons, angels and ghosts are all the same class supernatural of creatures – we called marionettes.”

Simon laughed. “Puppets.”

I nodded. “Precisely.”

Alec shushed us and I stuck my tongue out at him and he rolled his eyes. Simon grinned and whispered, “He’s never any fun.”

I spoke loud enough for Alec to hear but made it seem like a secret. “I’m fairly certain he is a lot of fun in certain circles.” I saw red creep up the archers neck and brighten his ears even in the dim light of the club entrance. He didn’t look my direction again but he waved us all into position and we spread out. I went with Isabelle, Jace and Alec went up the stairs to left and Clary and Simon headed off into the club to the right. Isabelle and I went straight down the middle. Isabelle grabbed my hand and she bumped into a person who I could have sworn had green skin, but I didn’t have time to gawk as I dropped my veil and Isabelle and I danced our way through the crowd. She waved to me as she saw a commotion at the far side of the club.

The music thrummed through my body and I could feel the waxing and waning of the music pull at me. It was hard to stay on task with the throng of bodies around me and a beautiful woman whom I was dutifully following. I didn’t think her boyfriend would appreciate my thoughts. But he can’t get in my head so I was more than fine with looking. Cause that’s all I’d do my heart and hands had other things to occupy themselves – if I ever got home.

The group we were encroaching upon had started pushing the smaller group around. I didn’t think this looked like a demon attack until one of them shifted their face into something Alien like or maybe it was Predator type – didn’t matter, it wasn’t normal. An arrow flew threw the air and landed in the shifted demon’s eye and it shattered into a burst of fire and sparks as Jace landed just feet away from it from above.

Isabelle had her whip out and people in the club looked at us with disdain, some fled, but most that remained all stayed, just away from where the fight started to break out. I saw Clary and Simon near the bar coming up behind the demon horde that looked like a bunch of drunken men and women, but they hissed through weird faces and when they attacked it was a blur of motion. I stood and watched as the Shadow hunters carved their way through the demons. They hadn’t needed my help but one demon was flanking Alec and I threw a razor sharp flow of air just in front of Alec and it split the demon clear in two as they both dissipated into fiery sparks. Alec spared me a glance and a nod of thanks as he let more arrows fly across before he pulled his sword out and recited another angel name Nox didn’t know and it began to glow that eerie glow.

The fight was over before it began really. None of the Shadow hunters were hurt, not even a small injury as they gathered in the center of the area they’d been fighting collecting whatever remained. The group that had been attacked was looking at Jace with frightened eyes. They were flowery and pretty and very dangerous looking. Isabelle scowled, “You need to leave here now. The Cold Peace hasn’t been broken we were doing our jobs. Go now!”

Isabelle looked up at my querying look of confusion. “Long story.” She smiled. “You didn’t throw any fireballs.”

I shrugged, “You didn’t need my help.”

Alec added, “He got one that I didn’t see.”

“You would have gotten it. I just saw it first.” I smiled. He shrugged it off like he had everything else I had notice. Alec only seemed confident in himself when Magnus was around and what a shame.

The music had never stopped thrumming, and now that the disturbance was over the club was filling up again. The throng of people was pooling around them. Isabelle smiled happily, “Well, we are already here.” She grabbed Simon’s hand and dragged him out into the dance floor. Jace shrugged and offered Clary his hand and she took it with ease and they danced their way out on to the dance floor. Which left me with Mr. Archer and his shy self.

I nodded towards a table big enough for all of us and a tiny waitress came over and asked our order. I smiled, “I’ll just have a water, Duckling.”

She smiled at the endearment and looked to Alec, “Same.”

The table was round, and the bench curled around it, both of us had chosen to sit near the middle so the others could pile in around us. I moved closer so I didn’t have to yell. Alec looked at me in confusion and he blushed. I grinned across the small space between us. “I’m not going to hit on you or make a move. At least not unless you want me to. I don’t want to yell so you can hear me.”

Alec nodded. He was a man of few words. I leaned closer, “Call him.”

“What?”

I repeated myself with a little more detail. “Call Magnus. I’m sure he’d join you.”

“He said he’d text me when he got home.” Alec glanced at his phone and showed me the time stamp of his last text. “He’s not home yet. He’s trying to help you. I’m fine. Besides that would leave you alone.”

I grinned at Alec, “Duckling, I can entertain myself. Girls and boys aren’t so different here as they are at home. If I wanted to get laid I could.”

I watched as the blush light up his face and he didn’t look at me. I smiled. “Am I too much?”

He shook his head. And his voice was low, embarrassed. “No one talks like that to me – other than Magnus.”

I leaned back and draped an arm around Alec, resting it on the back of the cushioned bench, “Then they are missing out.”

Our water arrived and Alec hastily pulled it to his lips and swallowed the whole thing in two gulps. I pushed mine to him and he took it gratefully but drank it a little slower and leaned back against the chair. The ends of his dark hair tickling the bar skin of my arm. We sat in silence watching the throng on the dance floor.

I pointed out Simon and Isabelle and Alec giggled softly to himself as I commented, “He’s such a nerd. Not sure how Isabelle handles all that – it sure isn’t dancing.”

Alec jumped as I heard the small vibration in his pocket. He pulled out his phone and looked at it with a bright smile. “Magnus is home.”

“Invite him here.” I said with a smile.

Alec was busily texting with Magnus as the waitress brought us more water. I sipped at mine as I watched Jace and Clary dance. They were clearly in love, and very clearly they moved well together. I was almost jealous.

I didn’t think I’d been staring off into the crowd too long but I felt another person scooting across the seat and looked up to see Magnus grinning at Alec. I moved my arm and Magnus winked as Alec threw his arm around the warlock’s shoulders. “I’m going to go find someplace else to be.” I said as I started moving to the side. Magnus grabbed my arm “You don’t have to. We’ll behave.”

“No, by all means misbehave, break the boy out of his shell. He blushes too much.” Which of course had Alec deepening in color. “See.”

Magnus just grinned knowingly as I pulled free of his glittery grip and made my way out onto the dance floor. I turned to see the two men kissing tenderly in the booth and went about my own business. Actually I took it upon myself to help out Isabelle with her boy-toy.

I stood behind Simon and he nearly yelped when I grabbed Isabelle from the short distance and pulled her against her boyfriend. She grinned up at me. Simon was trying to break free of the sandwich I’d created of him. I bent his knees and Isabelle danced against him. Simon eventually picked up on what I was trying to do as I put one of his hands around her neck and the other on her waist. He moved more fluidly with Isabelle against him and smiled a nod to Isabelle and turned to move against another nearby person. They leaned against me.

I let the music thrum through my body. It had been a good long time since I’d been on a dance floor that didn’t cater to slower dancing. I felt someone up against my back side and smiled as I raised an arm around me and leaned back against them. He was taller than I was. My fingers ran through the back of his hair and found it full of product. I looked back over my shoulder to find Magnus pushed up against me. Alec was behind him blushing. I pulled away from the warlock. He was grinning as he pulled me back and whispered, “Alec wants you to do what you did with Simon.”

I looked back at the archer and his blushing seemed to deeper even though I knew he hadn’t heard. I nodded and Magnus turned to take Alec in his arms and Alec nearly melted into his boyfriend. He didn’t need my help, but he didn’t move either. He let Magnus take the lead and followed without any additional advice. But that wasn’t what he wanted help with.

I took a deep breathe and placed myself at Alec’s backside and felt him tense. I whispered in his ear, “Relax. I’m not going to do anything more than guide you. Even if I want to very badly.”

I knew Alec was blushing deeper but I pulled away from him – he was tempting. Such allure to the inexperienced. But he was taken, and I had my own rules and my own loves. I pushed my knees against Alec’s and he loosened up his posture a little falling more into sync with Magnus’ movements. The glittery man moved with precision and grace that only a dancer could have. I wondered if he had had lessons. Once Alec was relaxed enough I put a hand on his hip and moved him against Magnus which garnered yet another blush and Alec leaned against Magnus chest and buried his face in the crock of Magnus’ neck.

Alec looked like he belonged there. Magnus mouthed “Thank you!”

I nodded. And I left the dance floor before being accosted by another couple looking for dancing advice. My heart was aching as I took a seat at the bar and with a water and waited till my friends were danced out.

Another Attack

Clary muttered to herself as she translated the Latin. She didn’t sound like she had found anything important either. I pushed the books away. “This is going to take forever.” I whined.

The door burst open and the nerd that was Simon came in waving shrieking, “We gotta go Clary, there is another attack and it’s in progress.”

The boy was wearing an Avenger’s t-shirt, at least some things remained the same, he looked at me and frowned. “Maryse said you need to stay here. She wants to talk to you – alone.” Simon smirked and Clary hit him in the arm. “Sorry, it’s never good to be alone with Maryse.”

I sighed. “Fine. I didn’t want to fight no demons anyway. Ugly bitches.”

Simon grinned and pointed at me, “I like him.”

Clary pulled Simon after her, she spoke softly, “You could pretend that Simon didn’t tell you.”

I grinned, “And get your little nerd friend in trouble. I’m game.”

Simon started snickering until he realized what I said then belted out, “Hey!”

I followed the pair out into what I’d found out to be the Armory. Alec and Jace looked up when I stepped in and Jace smiled but Alec frowned. “Um. You…”

Clary put a finger to Alec’s lips and he looked down at the little red-head. “We aren’t saying anything.”

The archer with his bow and quiver continued to frown down at her and sighed when Isabelle hooked an arm around my waist, “He’s with me.”

Simon looked from Isabelle to me then gave me that, she’s my girlfriend look and I wrapped my arm around Isabelle’s shoulders with a grin. Simon walked up to me and held up a finger. “That’s my girlfriend. She gets hurt it’s on your head.”

I grinned down at him and smiled before I reached up and ruffled his hair, “He’s so cute. You must be so proud.” I said to Isabelle.

She grinned. “I am. Though I don’t understand 80% of what he says.”

“That’s nerd for you.” Simon beamed up at me.

Jace waved at the weapons case and I shook my head. “I’m good.”

The big burly blonde frowned, “I can’t let you go without being armed.”

Alec interjected, “Would you offer Magnus a sword?”

Jace shook his head and Alec continued, “So why the frilly human shaped alien friend here? He uses magic.”

I grinned, “Frilly?”

“I figured alien might have gotten a comment.” Alec was being playful which I hadn’t seen with anyone other than Magnus around. “But you choose frilly.”

“I’m not frilly. Eccentric, colorful, enigmatic, but frilly. I’m not wearing ruffles and skirts.”

Simon guffawed, “I’d not put it past you.”

“Shush up nerd boy.” I raised a fireball with a playful grin on my face, “I can fry you like marsh-mellow in the fire.”

“S’mores sound good now.” Simon frowned, “Thanks for that!”

I laughed softly. “Don’t you have demons to fight?”

Jace pushed the weapons rack back into place and nodded. “We do – let’s go.”

Training

I did only a little wandering before the sounds of fighting drew me towards the training room I’d passed earlier. I stood below the platform and watched Jace and a few other’s I hadn’t met yet sparring with staffs. Nothing glowed like when I had seen them fighting before.

They moved quickly but not faster than a Venatori – faster than me though. I watched as the blond moved through the other three. He was faster and smarter than they were, even outmatched as he was.

A felt a bump against my arm as the red-head stood staring up at me. “You should join them.”

“I’d get the shit kicked out of me if I didn’t cheat. They are faster and stronger than I am.” I was honest.

“I’ve seen you fight. I doubt it.” A second voice sounded from behind me, the little brunette with stalked up behind us in seven inch heels and up on to the platform. She offered me a hand like we were to dance and I rolled my eyes and took it.

She went off to the side and grabbed a staff and threw it at me. I caught it as it came into reach and took up a stance to fight the short brunette. Her name was Isabelle, I couldn’t forget that name not even if I wanted to. I smiled at her, “An Garde.”

Her laughter was musical as she started circling me and I followed her around, but I wasn’t going to play games. I struck out with the stick and she quickly moved sending my balance off as she wasn’t where she was supposed to be. “See. Fireballs and demons don’t move like you.”

“So don’t play fair.” Isabelle teased.

I tossed the stick to the side of the floor where the other weapons were housed and it rolled a little ways before stopping. I wove a ball of air and tossed it at her and she dodge easily. She abandoned her staff for her whip and I frowned but nodded. The dynamic had changed.

She unfurled the whip and the sound of it cracking in the air sent a shiver down my spine but I tossed another ball of air at her and she slashed it in two. The wipe came down close to me and with a twitch of her wrist Isabelle sent the whip my direction. I dodged out of the way with the whip curling around a bar of air that I used to block as I went under.

I threw blast of air at my opponent and she took a few steps back with the force of the wind and started trying harder. At least that was the impression I got from the look on her face.

We played cat and mouse for a good while, the entire platform had become or playground with everyone stepping to the side who was there to watch. I heard the tell-tale sound of an arrow being loosed and I turned in time to see it arcing its way towards me. I batted it out of the way with a gust of air and it landed with a peircing sound into the floor to my left.

“Hey big bro this is mine.” Isabelle shouted at Alec.

“It looks like fun.” He shot another arrow and three more followed in rapid succession and I rolled out of the way throwing a weave of air across the ground towards Isabelle and watching her fall backwards as I threw an air ball at Alec who was bounding down from his high perch. He fell backwards as the ball of air landed against his chest. I threw a wall of air behind Alec so he didn’t go over the edge of platform and he smiled in thanks as he thudded against it.

Jace laughed, “Well done.”

I shrugged. “That was fun. Venatori like their guns.”

“But not you?” Alec asked as he collected his arrows from the ground.

I shook my head. “No. Guns don’t work to well against vampires, or werewolves. Silver bullets are expensive, when I can throw a fireball and burn them alive, or slice of their heads with a razor sharp thread of air. But I try not to kill them unless I absoultely have to.”

I stood up with a slight sheen of sweat running down the side of my face. “I should probably get back to those books.”

Clary, the red-head, that was her name, she joined me in my walk towards the library, “I’ll help you. Alec said you needed help with translations. I could use the practice.”

“What you don’t know the ancient languages?” I teased.

“I’ve not been a Shadowhunter since birth like everyone else. My mom tried to keep the Shadow world hidden from me for as long as possible.” Clary spoke as if it didn’t matter now, but it had at one time.

“Parents do what is best with the resources they have.” I added.

Clary smiled, “So I’m told. But it’s over and done with. You were good with our little blueberry.”

I grinned. “Have one at home – though it’s complicated.”

The red-head smiled at me as I opened the door for her and let her pass into the library and we sat down with the books. She picked up a book in Latin and started thumbing through it slowly. I wasn’t exactly sure this was what I wanted to be doing. But it was the only way I could think of how to get home. I hoped Magnus had better luck.