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.”