Clary dies in childbirth. She’s 25 and they’re expecting a girl, a tiny kick-ass GI Jane. They plan to call her Amatis after Clary’s godmother, the older sister of her step-dad Luke. And then Clary dies. And their daughter dies with her.
Jace… Jace falls to pieces. He just breaks. And if it weren’t for Alec, who has been his best friend since kindergarten, whose family took Jace in after his parents died in a car crash, who was Jace’s best man at his wedding with Clary, who helped Jace paint Amatis’ room and assemble all the impossible furniture from IKEA… If it weren’t for Alec, Jace would break irrevocably.
But no, Alec’s there, always, whenever Jace needs him. He moves Jace into his and Magnus’ loft, he helps Jace pack Clary’s things, helps him get rid of all the stuff that Jace and Clary and their extended family bought for Amatis… and when Jace’s knees buckle at his wife’s and child’s funeral, he’s there to prop him up physically, steady as a rock.
It’s Alec who helps Jace regain some semblance of normalcy.
And two years later, Jace’s there to return the favor. He wishes it weren’t ever needed. Oh, just how much he wishes it!
When Magnus dies of cancer, two short weeks after having been diagnosed, he’s only 32 and he just made partner in his law firm. And Alec just… stops. His whole life simply comes to a halt. He doesn’t become emotional, he doesn’t rage against the world like Jace did after Clary’s death, he just…checks out.
But Jace is there, right there. He takes care of everything, from bills to funeral arrangements. It’s he who fights with Magnus’ father when the bastard has the audacity to try to get his filthy hands on his son’s estate. Jace sics Magnus’ lawyer buddies, Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss, on him, and he doesn’t allow the guy to get within a hundred feet of Alec.
And he’s patient. Jace wasn’t aware he knew how to be this patient. He moves Alec into his new flat, far away from all the things that remind Alec of his dead husband, but he doesn’t push, he gives no ultimatums. He’s just…there. And slowly, so very, very slowly he manages to pull Alec out of his shell.
Because he knows, he remembers what it’s like.
And Alec never moves out. And Jace never asks him to.
They watch TV together, curled up on the couch, under one afghan and with their feet inextricably tangled. They split the bills and buy groceries and cook dinner together. They go on vacation together, the first vacation for both of them since they lost their partners. They even get a dog together…
And soon, they become one entity in the eyes of their friends, Jace-and-Alec, not really two people but one unit. For their neighbors, they’re “the widowers from 12B.” For the giggling staff of the little café down the block, they’re “the cute couple that tips well…”
4 years, 3 months and 2 days after Clary dies and 2 years 1 month and 11 days after Magnus’ death, they kiss for the first time. They’re making steaks for dinner - and it just happens. It’s the barest brush of lips, noses bumping, and there’s no urgency behind it, it simply… is. And then they eat their dinner and walk their dog and watch TV, still curled up under the same afghan.
And when they make love for the first time, it’s as if something hurting and raw is finally soothed. It feels like a deep, content exhale after a back-breaking weight has been dropped off one’s shoulders.
“What do you think that they would say if they could see us now?” Alec asks, lying on his back in their luxuriously wide bed.
Jace, feeling pleasantly drowsy, rubs his cheek against Alec’s chest and smiles at the sensation of his lover’s knuckles running up and down his naked back. “Clary and Magnus?” Jace’s smile widens. “They would say, ‘Finally!’”