Storia appartenente alla serie City of Hidden Houses, scritta in coppia con Tabata.
Genere: Drammatico, Introspettivo.
Pairing: Jace/Sebastian, Jace/Clary, Sebastian/Clary.
Rating: NC-17.
AVVERTIMENTI: Slash, What If?, Angst, Lemon, (somewhat) Incest, Death, Fluff, Spoiler.
- They were all thinking the cleansing power of the Heavenly Fire would've wiped Sebastian from the face of Earth, but that wasn't going to happen. Sebastian survived, somewhat different, somewhat changed, and was held in prison while outside the conditions of the treaty decided by the Nephilim drove the Fairies to move war against them.
Three years later, the war is still going on, at least until Clary (who now has a son with Jace) tries a bold move to stop it. It doesn't work, and Clary gets killed by the Seelie Queen. When Sebastian receives the news, he escapes from his cell and exacts his vengeance before disappearing into thin air.
This is Jace finding him.
Note: La mia è pazzia. Solo io nel mondo posso farmi raccontare dalla mia donna la storia di sei libri che mai nella vita leggerò, innamorarmi dell'antagonista finale e poi mettermi a plottare con lei storie in cui ello sopravvive invece di morire. Ma se mi fossi fermata qui, magari... e invece no, io dovevo scrivere. La follia.
Comunque, fatto sta: io questi sei libri non li ho mai letti, ho scritto sull'onda del mio amore per Sebastian e per il Jacebastian e ho cercato di attenermi a quanto la Tab mi ha raccontato del canon ma se ho fallito il motivo è questo XD
La storia è peraltro uno spin-off/prequel di Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby della Tab, ambientato, fai, un annetto prima. Inoltre, partecipa alla missione introduttiva dei The Pirates!, per farmi ascendere al glorioso grado di Sky Pirate, fuck yeah.
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Original characters and plots are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

Jace can read on Sebastian’s face that, if he ever planned to see him again, this isn’t the time nor the place he’d have figured it’d be. It’s too soon, and this place was supposed to be a secret, he guesses. Not that he cares for Sebastian’s secrets. Or his feelings, he supposes. So what if it’s too soon? Bad shit always happens too soon. You’re never ready for it. He knows a thing or two about it. He can afford to be careless.

Sebastian isn’t surprised, anyway, which probably means he sensed him coming. That’s unsettling for various reasons. Not enough to really worry him, though. Possibly because he hasn’t really been worrying about a single thing – including his own safety and well-being – in quite a while, now. He’s not even sure he remembers what fearing for his life feels like. There’s just been numbness for much too long. But that’s okay. It feels better this way. Jace isn’t worried about this either, and the only thing that touches him, every once in a while, when he thinks about it, is that if Clary was there and found him like this, yes, she’d be worried for him. She would.

She isn’t here anymore, though. Jace pushes the thought away as fast as he possibly can. That’s not what he wants. Not what he’s here for.

“How did you find me?” Sebastian asks. It’s the first thing coming out of his mouth. Not a greeting, not a question about how he is or anything. Jace supposes he shouldn’t be surprised. He’s much changed, in a year, but maybe not quite enough yet to behave like a proper person.

“I just did,” he simply answers in a light shrug.

Sebastian raises an eyebrow, skeptically. “Just like that?”

Jace just nods. “Just like that.”

Sebastian takes quite a while to let that sink, accept it as a reasonable answer and put the question aside. “Well, I guess you can’t always explain everything,” he says, moving away from the door.

“No shit,” Jace answers, stepping in.

Sebastian closes the door, and the moment he does that, Jace can feel it, the apartment starts traveling, the Angel knows where to. He supposes he should be worried about that too, being basically trapped in a locked house headed for somewhere he doesn’t know – somewhere nobody knows, somewhere nobody could come to, to rescue him – but he isn’t. He just isn’t. He looks inside himself to find even the faintest trace of fear for himself, for his life, but there’s just none. It’s liberating, in a way.

“I didn’t plan it to happen like this,” Sebastian says, heading down the hallway and through a white wooden door into a small but comfortable sitting room. A couple of couches, a coffee table. Weird paintings hanging from the walls. An enormous TV screen that instantly gets Jace’s attention the moment he walks in.

“I read it on your face,” he answers, following him to one of the couches and sitting on it, on the opposite corner from him. “But you were planning for it, weren’t you?”

“To come find you?” Sebastian asks, crossing his legs. He doesn’t look like he wants to answer the question, but he ends up sighing and nodding. “Yes,” he says, “I wanted to see you. At some point. I don’t know when, though. Could’ve been in a couple months. Or in a couple of years.”

“You didn’t feel like you owed me an explanation, did you?” Jace asks, sharply.

Sebastian frowns, annoyed at him for the way he spoke. “No, I didn’t,” he admits, “Besides, I don’t think you need one. You know very well why I did what I did.”

“We had an arrangement,” Jace insists, looking sternly at him, “When the heavenly fire cleansed you, you agreed to stay locked up in exchange for your life. You shouldn’t have escaped the prison.”

“I couldn’t help myself,” Sebastian answers with a shrug, “And I’m not sorry for doing it, not any more than you are for not being there to stop me, which isn’t much,” he looks at him, straight into his eyes, “I know that. So, if you’re here to hear me apologize, you could’ve saved yourself the road. And if you’re here to bring me back, well, you can try but then you’d have to bring back my corpse.”

Jace falls silent, looking back at him for a few seconds. Then he averts his eyes, passing his fingers through is hair to get them off his neck. “I’m not here for any of that,” he admits, eventually.

“Then why are you?” Sebastian asks. It’s pretty clear he’s losing his patience. Jace knows Sebastian wanted to see him, it’s so clear it’s almost comical, but he also knows he doesn’t work well with plans going sideways. If he cared for his safety, he’d leave now. Luckily, he doesn’t.

“I’m here because I want to know,” he answers finally, looking back up at him. “You’re right,” he says, “I’m glad you escaped. I’m glad you found the Seelie Queen. I’m glad you killed her. I’m glad you slaughtered whoever tried to get in the way. I’d have done it myself if I could’ve. But I couldn’t, and you saved me a lot of trouble by doing it on your own.”

“So you’re saying,” Sebastian grins, “I was convenient.”

“Yes,” Jace answers, nodding without an hesitation, “Yes, you were. But to know you did it is not enough. I want to know how. I want to know the details. I want you to tell me. That’s why I’m here.”

Sebastian looks intently at him for almost a full minute. He could burst into laughing, Jace wouldn’t blame him for it. He wouldn’t blame him even if he kicked him out of the house, if he just had it stop in the middle of nowhere and dropped them there to die. He knows how selfish his words sounded. He knows they don’t just sound like that, they are like that. Sebastian would be entitled to just tell him to fuck off and get lost.

He doesn’t, though.

“Why don’t you speak about it with your parabatai?” he asks then, “He knows what happened. I’m sure he’s been told in enough details to make you happy. I take the story’s been traveling around the world. I put up quite a show.”

Jace frowns and looks away, Sebastian’s words hitting a nerve. “I’m not talking with Alec, right now.”

“Really?” Sebastian raises an eyebrow, unable to stop a smirk to curl his lips upwards, “What are you, twelve?”

Jace looks up at him, frowning sternly. “Shut up.”

Sebastian dismisses him quickly with half a laughter that echoes freely through the silent, almost empty apartment. “It wasn’t his fault, you know?” he says, “I had the Queen tell me everything. You know she cannot lie. It was Clary’s fault. She was reckless. You must know that. You were there too.”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Jace cuts him out shortly, his voice a little shaky, “And then, if you know it was her fault, why did you kill the Queen? Why did you avenge her anyway?”

“Because I loved her,” Sebastian says, as if it was the simplest of truths. Somehow it still manages to hit Jace hard. “Doesn’t mean I can’t see she was at fault,” he goes on, shrugging lightly, “That’s all for you,” he adds with a vague smile.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he says back, annoyed again, “I loved her. She was perfect to me.”

“Yes, I know. I wasn’t mocking you. In fact, I think that’s kinda cute, in a very lame way.” Sebastian smiles, a somewhat sweet smile. It’s a little creepy on his face, Jace wouldn’t know why, but it still manages to make his features lighten up a bit.

That he can smile like this, that’s all part of the change. They had no idea how the Heavenly Fire would’ve affected him. They were pretty sure in the end he would’ve died. But he didn’t. Sebastian proved to be more resilient than they ever thought he’d be. Or maybe that was Jonathan. Jonathan, unable to accept the idea of dying before having ever lived a day.

It was maybe Jonathan who kept Sebastian alive against the cleansing power of the Heavenly Fire, but Jace has no idea who’s sitting right across him on this couch, right now. He’s not sure it’s Jonathan, but he doesn’t even seem like Sebastian, at least not the one he knew. Perhaps an entirely different person made by parts and parts of the two. He feels like asking, now, and so he does.

“How should I call you?” he says, looking curiously up at him, “Would you like it if I called you Jonathan?”

“I wouldn’t,” Sebastian answers quickly, shaking his head, “In fact, please, don’t call me that. That’s not me anymore. That’s never really been me. That’s what I could’ve been but never really was. It’s just Sebastian, now. I’m Sebastian.”

“But you’re different than who you were,” Jace insists, moving a little closer on the couch, “You feel different.”

Sebastian nods slowly, keeping quiet for a little while. “It does feel different,” he admits, “But when I look at myself in the mirror I don’t see a Jonathan. I still see who I was before the prison. Maybe changed, but I’m still that person. My latest actions prove that beyond any doubt, I think.”

Jace looks down, thinking it over. “No, I don’t think so,” he says, shaking his head, “This was different. You did it for a reason.”

“I always did whatever I did for a reason,” he corrects him, “You just didn’t share those, while you can share this. That’s the difference. It’s different for you, not for me, not really. But I do feel changed,” he sighs wearily, “A little bit colder, a little bit calmer, perhaps. I don’t know precisely. I haven’t had enough time to think it through. But I do know I still wanna go by Sebastian. That’s all I can say for now.”

Jace nods, settling more comfortably against the couch. “Fine by me,” he says, “I’m used to call you that anyway.”

Sebastian laughs, some high-picthed, kind of childish sound that makes Jace’s stomach twitch in a sudden spasm. He supposes that’s Sebastian’s amused laughter, the one he just heard. It sounded weird, the sound somebody who’s not really used to laugh that way would make. The idea makes him cringe, it makes him feel for him. He suddenly remembers that, when he insisted with Sebastian that he wanted him locked up and safe into a cell, it wasn’t because he believed he’d have tried to move war against the Nephilim again, because it was clear, clear in his eyes and he could read it so very easily, that he wasn’t even thinking about it. No, he wanted him in a prison because he wanted an excuse not to feel free to see him again. Because that’s what happens when he sees him. When he gets close to him. That connection that was never really severed, it comes back a thousandfold.

“Alright,” Sebastian says, “What do you wanna know?”

“Everything,” he answers immediately, his body tensing in anticipation, “From the beginning.”

“Mmh,” Sebastian nods, pensively. “Well, I received the news as I received every other news. Whispers, people outside my cell, guards. Everything I got to know about you and her, about what was happening, I knew that way. I knew of the treaty with the Fairies, I knew they had decided to refuse them and declare war. I knew of your son,” he smirks, “Little Thomas, isn’t it?”

“Don’t talk about him,” Jace says, protectively.

Sebastian just laughs and moves on. “Then suddenly I knew she was dead. Killed during a battle. I didn’t know the details of her plan, but I knew she was trying to put an end to the war. It felt like something she’d do,” he smiles sweetly, lost in memories of Clary that Jace would like to carve out of his head with his bare hands in a fit of jealousy that lingers on for a few minutes before disappearing into numbness too, “I cried,” Sebastian goes on, “And then something snapped inside me.”

“Like you went back to your old self?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think so,” Sebastian shakes his head, “I just snapped. I couldn’t stand the thought that she was dead, and yet she was. And what else could I do? Only kill her killer. So I escaped.”

“I know you didn’t kill the guards,” Jace says, looking at him.

“Yeah,” Sebastian looks away, weirdly embarrassed by the remark, “It seemed unnecessary.”

“It wouldn’t have been, years ago. You’d have killed them.”

“You can’t know that.”

“I can,” Jace smiles. It’s an unwilling smile that forces its way up to his lips. Jace doesn’t want to smile, and yet he does. “I know. I do.”

Sebastian looks at him silently for a few seconds, and then looks away again as he carries on with his story. “Anyway, I found her. It wasn’t hard. I had to slaughter a few dozens of fairies to get to her, but she wasn’t hiding from me. She probably thought I was there for something entirely different. She had no idea what was going on, she was very confused about the corpses. Hell,” he smiles bitterly, “She probably thought she had done me a favor or something.” Then the smile disappears quickly from his lips. “I made it instantly clear that it wasn’t so. I broke her legs at her knees so she couldn’t run away. Then I pinned her down on the ground and sat on her. Looked down at her. I started asking questions. I wanted to know. Because I wasn’t there, you know?” he looks up at Jace, his eyes cold, almost indifferent, but Jace knows, he just knows that this coldness is something Sebastian’s forcing upon himself. He’d like to tell him release. Release, let go. Get angry. He doesn’t, though. And Sebastian keeps talking. “I wasn’t there, I didn’t see her die. I only heard about it. The whispers, the talking. I didn’t see her fall. Her beautiful face bloody and broken. I didn’t hear her heart as it stopped beating.” He takes a moment to breathe slowly in and out, to calm down. “So I got the closest thing to it. I broke the Queen’s face. I tasted her blood. I listened as her heart stopped beating.”

Jace sits in silence, listening to him. His voice creates very vivid, very precise pictures that swim into view and then fade away. It’s a very safe way to assist to a homicide, he thinks. A very safe way to exact revenge.

“I was there,” he says in a low, uncertain voice, searching for Sebastian’s eyes and locking his own to them when he finds them, just to give himself something to concentrate on not to float away on his memories from that day, “I was there when it happened. I saw what you missed. Her broken body, her tears, the pain, the blood. I listened to her heart as it stopped beating and I’d give anything and everything to forget it. And then I’d give anything and everything for a chance to hear what you heard, to see what you saw. The Queen as she died.” He smiles faintly, trying to kick back the tears. “We both want things we cannot have.”

“That’s very us,” Sebastian admits with a small smile, and Jace nods slowly.

“Was it hard,” he asks then, “To kill her?”

“Well,” Sebastian shrugs, his voice sounding lighter now that the worst part’s over, “She did put up a little bit of a fight.”

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Jace shakes his head, interrupting him, “I mean, you’ve been with her, for a time. You shared the bed. Didn’t you love her?”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sebastian says harshly, “She was irrelevant.”

Jace nods again, looking down. That’s what Sebastian was, isn’t it? Back before the war, and the fights, and the Heavenly Fire. Much like him, he didn’t really care who ended up in his bed, or who ended up dead by his hand, as long as somebody did. “Irrelevant,” he says, “As so many others.”

“Never you,” Sebastian instantly says, his eyes stern, his features tense, “Never Clary.”

“That’s always been painfully obvious,” Jace snorts half a laughter, relaxing against the back of the couch. He spreads his legs, stretches them out. He feels comfortable. He hasn’t felt this comfortable in a long time. He wonders if he should feel bad about this. He knows Alec’s doing his best to atone for not being fast enough that day. He knows that, despite how hard it is for him now, he’s trying to make him feel better, to give him something to cling to, a place to call home, some sort of new meaning for a life without Clary.

But there isn’t one. Jace would like to tell him, every now and then, but he knows Alec would end up asking him what about Thomas, then?, and he’s not ready to answer this question. What about Thomas? He doesn’t know. Thomas is just a baby, he’s three years old, he’s nothing but a running toddler that only lives and breathe to eat and sleep and play. What about him, Jace doesn’t know. Can he love him? He does. He did it, when Clary was alive and they were a family and raising a child seemed like the best thing they could possibly hope for in their life. But does he want to be with him right now? No, he doesn’t.

He wants to be here. He doesn’t know how long, or for what, but right now, right this moment, he wants to be here, with Sebastian, in this closed space where Clary is still a thing, a dead thing but still a thing, and things get done in her name, people die, a hundred fairies, and Sebastian and him can still talk about her, and she can still exist, if only though their voices.

Nobody talks about Clary anymore, back at the Institute. Nobody. They probably think they’re doing him a favor. They don’t get it, though. That he wants to talk about her. About the way she died and how much it hurts not to have her anymore. If he stops talking about her, he lets her go. Sebastian gets it. And Jace wants this.

“So?” Sebastian says, “You got what you wanted. What now?”

“Yeah, what now?” Jace asks back, turning to look at him, “You said you weren’t planning to come see me soon. So you didn’t want to. How could you not want to see me?”

“How could you not want to see me while I was in prison for three years?” Sebastian shrugs carelessly.

“But I did,” Jace answers, “I wanted to.”

Sebastian gives in to a bitter smirk, shaking his head. “You didn’t come visit me once. All those years. Not once.”

“That’s true,” Jace nods, “I wanted to see you. I just didn’t wanna do it.”

Sebastian frowns, looking at him. “What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean,” Jace answers simply, “I didn’t know what could’ve happened if I came. You could’ve convinced me to do something. Free you or something else. I didn’t want to take the chance.”

Sebastian looks at him silently for quite a long time, and then sighs, shaking his head. “You’ve never been the smartest brother,” he comments wearily.

Jace bursts into laughing, throwing his head back. “That’s right,” he admits nodding, “But you got what I mean, anyway. I wanted to see you. Even if you hadn’t killed the Queen, I’d have searched for you.”

“Yeah, to put me back in prison.”

“Possibly, yes,” Jace nods again, “But still. I’d have wanted to see you first.”

“Jace,” Sebastian says, impatience leaking into his voice, “What are you trying to have me say, right now? Be clear about it.”

Jace smiles softly, looking away. “I would, if I knew, but I don’t know. I want something, but I don’t know what it is. Company, maybe. Comfort. I don’t know. Closeness.”

The words have the undeniable merit to reduce Sebastian to complete silence for a second. Jace looks at his expression – a perfect blend of incredulity and confusion – and can’t help but smile at it, proud with himself for taking him aback like this.

“You want me to get close?” Sebastian asks, his voice a little darker. Jace can sense he’s not exactly angry, just bothered. It’s kinda funny. It gives him some kind of thrill. That hasn’t happened, lately. He was longing for it – he realizes it only now that he’s feeling it.

He sits straight, sliding towards him on the couch. “That’s not necessary,” he says, “I can get close too.”

Sebastian doesn’t move, he just looks at him, watching his every move. He’s not annoyed by Jace’s proximity. He’s okay with sharing the same space, he’s always been. There’s never been any embarrassment between them, their connection made it useless because they always knew what the other was feeling as if they were feeling it on their own skin. There’s nothing you can be embarrassed about when you share everything.

“I know why you’re doing this,” Sebastian says. They’re so close his breath brushes Jace’s lips with every word. He hasn’t been this close to anybody since Clary. Not even Thomas. “You think if you do this you’ll feel better, afterwards, but I’m not so sure.”

“I’m sure I won’t,” Jace says, shaking his head, “There’s nothing that will make me feel better about it. It’s just impossible. But it can take my mind off things.”

“Fine, but why me?” Sebastian insists, lifting a hand to brush Jace’s shoulder, his fingers traveling upwards, along his neck, to his jaw. “You could go out. Find a girl. Bang her senseless. You don’t need me for that.”

“You’re wrong,” Jace lifts himself up on his knees, standing right in front of Sebastian with his hands on both his shoulders. “You’re wrong, it’s gotta be you. Because of what you did. Because you killed the Queen.”

“That’s sick,” Sebastian looks away, but Jace holds his chin between his fingers and makes him turn back to him.

“You’re in no position to judge,” he says.

“I’m not.”

“Because what you did,” he goes on, “Breaking the Queen like that, that’s sick too.”

“I know.”

“Then let go,” Jace says, lowering himself upon him, “And give me what I want.”

Sebastian’s hand moves faster than Jace was expecting it too. It closes roughly around his hair, pulling his head back in a hard, careless tug that makes Jace hiss in pain. “I could give you more than you’re willing to take,” he whispers on Jace’s neck, “Don’t make the mistake to think you can handle me, little brother, because you can’t. I may be changed, but I’m still me.”

“You don’t get it,” Jace answers, closing his eyes as the sharpness of the pain awakens his senses, reviving his body, “It’s you I want. I don’t want to handle you. I’m glad that I can’t.” He fights the pull of Sebastian’s fingers enough to make himself able to look down at him again, and this time he doesn’t lower himself on him slowly, he doesn’t give him a chance to push him back again. He presses his parted lips against Sebastian’s and kisses him hungrily, messily, holding his head between his hands. “I want you to overwhelm me. I need you to hit hard and make me forget. So what if this won’t make me feel better after it’s over? It will make me feel better while it’s still going on. That’s more than I’ve had since she died. And you’re the only one who can give it to me. So fucking give it to me, Sebastian.”

His brother doesn’t answer with words, and Jace is thankful for it. Besides, how useless would it be? Sebastian gets it, he knows it, Jace is sure of it as he’s sure of the pain he feels, of the need that’s devouring him from inside, of the sadness that drags him down into a dark pit every time he pictures Clary’s face in his memories. He doesn’t need to explain anything and Sebastian doesn’t need to hear any explanation, their lips pressed together are answer enough to pretty much everything that’s happening right now or that happened in the last few days. Sebastian’s escape, the Seelie Queen’s death, Jace’s sadness and loneliness, his inability to deal with his son, everything led to this moment, to them touching, to them sharing their mourning as they’ve always been supposed to do.

Sebastian stands up, dragging Jace with himself. He walks backwards out of the room, his lips never leaving Jace’s, his hands closed in a clutch around his shoulders first, around his hips right after. He leads him to the bedroom, a big, dark room with a big, dark bed right in the middle of it. Just one window, closed shut. There’s no light to be seen, there’s no light with which to see. They can’t even see their faces, but they can feel one another. Their pointy angles, the strength of their muscles, the sharpness of their movements. Hands claw, nails scratch, teeth bite while tongues lick and mouth kiss and noses stroke, tenderness moves together with roughness, pain and pleasure come in a weirdly mismatched pair that feels right despite being wrong for so many reasons Jace struggles to count them all.

They rub against one another as simply as any natural reaction would demand, and just when Jace is starting to wonder about what comes after, if it’s gonna be awkward, if they won’t know what to do and if they will be forced to stop because some things you can’t expect to come naturally, some things you’ve gotta talk through, just then Sebastian’s hips thrust forward and Jace’s legs spread open, as if answering an untold question with something ridiculously obvious.

He’s glad that Sebastian doesn’t ask if he’s sure about it, because he honestly doesn’t know. He wants this, that he knows, but the rest is confused, blurry, and questions easily fade away whenever Sebastian’s hands close around him, touching him, stroking him.

Once he really understands where this is going, once he lets the notion sink in, he expects there to be pain, and there is, but not nearly as much as he thought there’d be. There’s some stinging and some uncomfortableness, and then there’s the feeling of something sharp and clearly too big to fit passing right through him in a jolt of pain, but it dies out, it fades away quicker than expected. And after that, there’s only a blissful sense of completeness, an overwhelming feeling of belonging.

That’s it, he thinks, closing his eyes and clinging to Sebastian as he moves inside him. That’s what he wanted. That’s exactly it.

The room falls quiet, once it’s over. And Sebastian was right, Jace doesn’t feel better now. But he does feel at peace. That’s enough of an improvement, for now.

Sebastian rolls on his back, lying down beside him. Jace doesn’t want to move, and so he lies still, breathing heavily, breathing in the scent of sex and them and fills the air of the closed room. He can see the ceiling, now that his eyes got used to the darkness. It’s perfectly white and enriched with delicate low relief geometric decorations. It’s classy, he digs it. From what he’s seen of the rest of the house, it’s all decorated in the same simple but elegant way.

“I like what you did with the place,” he says casually. Sebastian lets go of a breathless laughter, somewhere on his left, and Jace lifts just his head from the pillow, to look at his brother’s outline in the dark. “I’m serious,” he says, “It’s pretty. Don’t fucking mock me for saying it. Learn to take a compliment.”

“Jeez,” Sebastian smirks, passing a hand through his sweaty fair hair, “Don’t get so worked up. I like the place too, but I didn’t make it. Besides, I just laughed because it was a funny thing you said.”

“It’s not a funny thing,” Jace sighs, lying back down, “It’s just post-sex cliché chat. Normal people do that.”

“We’re not normal people, though,” Sebastian chuckles, amused.

“No, we’re not, but it feels good to pretend,” Jace shrugs. “Who did it, anyway?”

Sebastian turns to look at him for a second, and then settles down on his side not to have to look away. “You mean, who decorated the place?”

“And gave it to you, yes,” Jace nods, lying down in a position mirroring Sebastian’s, who laughs again, amused.

“I don’t know if I should tell you,” he says, “He’s somebody close to you.”

Jace frowns, puzzled. At first he can’t understand who Sebastian could be talking about, but then he starts getting it, and his eyes clear up, and his brow unfurls. “You mean…”

“Magnus,” he nods.

“Of all the people…” Jace whines, covering his face with one hand, “Besides, I thought you hated him as every other downworlder.”

“He was the easiest solution,” Sebastian shrugs, “I escaped from the Seelie Queen’s lair, I was confused and covered in fairy blood, not to mention the fact that I thought I had the Clave and the entire Nephilim population on my back. I needed to disappear a while and I knew he could help me. That he could give me a place like the one we used to have, before Clary blew it up,” he adds with a soft smile.

Jace looks at him for a few seconds, amused at the tenderness with which he remembers everything about her. He knows he was broken by losing the only thing he had left of Valentine. He knows he hated Clary for destroying it. But now that she’s dead everything seems so irrelevant. Everything about her is sweet, even the things that weren’t so when she was alive. It’s unfair and it’s a lie, but it’s a comfortable lie, and Jace likes the way it makes him feel, so he goes with it.

“So you just showed up at Magnus’ door and expected him to help you,” he says mockingly.

“Kind of, yeah,” Sebastian nods, “He didn’t want to, obviously. He asked me, why should I help you. And I told him he should do it because I was asking. He didn’t think it enough of a reason, so I threatened to kill him. He just laughed at my face,” Sebastian laughs too, remembering it, “And so I gave up and I just spoke freely. I killed a hundred of fairies, I told him, to avenge my sister. And I’m in pain, and I don’t wanna go back to prison. I don’t, I said,” and he shivers a bit on this, “So help me, please. That’s what I told him.”

Jace instinctively slides closer to him on the bed, covering his lips with his own in a soft kiss. “I bet that convinced him,” he says with a smirk.

Sebastian just nods, accepting the kiss and kissing him back, but without a smile. “I don’t know why, but it did.”

“I know,” Jace says, “He’s got a soft spot for lost causes. You’re definitely one.”

Honestly, Jace thinks Magnus probably caught a glimpse of the truth. Of the real reason why Sebastian had killed the Seelie Queen, of the real reason why he was on the run now, of the real reason why it was important for him to stay out of prison, to be right here in this place when Jace would come seeking him. Jace couldn’t bet on it, but Magnus has always been particularly sensitive about these things. He probably just knew it’d all turn out fine if he helped the deranged kid get out of troubles, as he had done all his life.

He could tell all this to Sebastian. Tell him, I think you’re here for a reason. I think we met again for a reason. I think that reason is that we’re supposed to be together, whatever that might mean.

But it’s funnier to just mock him, to see his lips purse in an outraged pout for being called a lost cause. He laughs to Sebastian’s face, and when Sebastian hits him on his shoulder with a hard knock he laughs even more, indifferent to the pain.

“Anyway, you couldn’t have chosen a worse savior,” he sighs, looking back up at the ceiling, “You don’t wanna be there when Alec finds out.”

“Like I give a shit about it?” Sebastian raises an eyebrow, “Besides, isn’t your parabatai supposed to be dealing with way more important problems, right now? Like a war, for example.”

“The war is over,” Jace informs him, “The day after you killed the Queen, the fairies yielded. They thought we had sent you over to put an end to it. Like some sort of weapon of mass destruction,” he adds with a wicked grin, “You basically ended the war. Can you believe it? Fucking hero of the day.”

“Fuck yeah,” Sebastian laughs, “And I bet the Clave was eager to take advantage of that, despite it being a lie.”

“Let’s just say,” Jace shrugs, “That if you came back now and asked for forgiveness they probably wouldn’t deny it to you.”

“Too bad I’m not interested,” Sebastian answers, turning on his stomach, “I want nothing from them. Just to be left in peace.”

“That’s what they’re going to do, anyway,” Jace nods, “They already stopped searching for you. They’ve gotta keep up appearances, you can’t be a wanted criminal if they’re making the fairies believe they were the ones who freed you and sent you after them.”

“Makes sense,” Sebastian sighs, resting his head against the pillow once again. Silence covers them for a few seconds. It feels good. Quiet. But it still feels good even when Sebastian breaks it, asking a question Jace already knew was coming. “So what about you, now, little brother? What do you wanna do?”

“I don’t know,” he answers honestly, his eyes getting a little darker, “Stay here a while, I guess. That an option?”

“Could be,” Sebastian shrugs, “We’d probably end up bashing our heads in after three days, but I’m willing to try,” he says with a small laughter, that Jace echoes with one of his own.

“Then that’s what I’m gonna do, for now,” Jace answers.

Sebastian nods, pensively. “What about the child, though?” he asks.

Jace sighs, closing his eyes. “He’s a child,” he answers, “I don’t know. He doesn’t know anything, I mean, we told him his mother isn’t here anymore, but he’s just too young to understand. Sometimes I resent him for that, you know?” he says, looking up at Sebastian, “For not being old enough to get it. I wish I could share this with him, but I can’t, and when I think he won’t even remember his mother’s face except through pictures and tales I get angry at her. For leaving us too soon. For leaving me… with this.”

Sebastian nods again, and this time he’s the one moving closer and leaving a kiss on Jace’s lips. Then he smirks. “I’d like to meet him, one day,” he says in a lighthearted laughter.

“Wow,” Jace laughs too, shaking his head, “Never gonna happen. Don’t even think about it. I’m not gonna introduce my son to the psychopath of the family.”

The words are harsh, but his voice isn’t. Actually, it’s more than just that. The denial hides an opposite promise that fills Sebastian with expectation. Jace feels it crackle under his own skin, and his heart just naturally starts sharing the same feeling. He could smuggle Thomas out of the Institute, he ponders, take him to meet his uncle. He wouldn’t have to explain him everything, just that he’s related to his mom. Thomas would be thrilled. He’s eager to grasp everything that can extend his contact with his mother despite her absence. That’s basically the only thing he shares with Jace right now, and maybe this apartment, against all odds, could be the right place from which to start again.

But that will need to be considered carefully. There are choices to make, pros and cons to think about. That’s too much work, for tonight, and Jace just wants to sleep. He hears Sebastian stand up from the bed and announce he’s gonna go take a shower. “I’ll just take a nap,” he says. Sebastian doesn’t even answer, but before he goes he lays down a blanket over him. Smiling in the warmth of both the wool and the considerate thought, Jace easily falls asleep.
back to poly

Vuoi commentare? »

^bold text^bold text
_italic text_italic text
%struck text%struck text

Nota: Devi visualizzare l'anteprima del tuo commento prima di poterlo inviare. Note: You have to preview your comment (Anteprima) before sending it (Invia).