Malace || Shadowhunters || Malace || Clary's Malace Fanarts || Malace || Shadowhunters || Malace
Title: Clary's Malace Fanarts – How They Brought Three Pining Boys Together
Fandom: Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments
Disclaimer: All rights to the Shadowhunters reserved to Ed Decter, the books the Shadowhunters is based off and its characters belong to Cassandra Clare. This fanfiction on the other hand is entirely mine. No money is made with this, though reviews are more than welcomed.
Warnings: shounen-ai, polyamory (threesome), fluff, hurt/comfort, families of choice, shoujo-ai
Main Pairing: Magnus/Alec/Jace
Side Pairing: Lydia/Isabelle
Shadowhunters Characters: Jonathan Christopher 'Jace' Wayland, Magnus Bane, Alexander Gideon 'Alec' Lightwood, Clarissa Adele 'Clary' Fray, Isabelle Sophia 'Izzy' Lightwood, Lydia Branwell, Madzie, Catarina Loss
Summary: Isabelle and Clary actively ship their brothers. If only the idiots – or at least their warlock – would catch on with that. It's only when Jace finds the drawings of himself with Magnus and Alec and steals them from Clary that things finally start happening.
Clary's Malace Fanarts
How They Brought Three Pining Boys Together
"He's so... adorable. When he's pouting and glaring. He does that quite a lot."
Isabelle raised an eyebrow as she sipped her cocktail. "Doesn't sound like Alec."
"...Not Alec", admitted Magnus softly, staring into his own drink.
"Oh, you are not admitting to liking someone aside from my brother", warned Isabelle.
"Well, I mean, technically, they do share a soul, so does it really count?", mused Magnus.
Isabelle blinked slowly as she watched Magnus empty his drink in one go. "Jace? You? Jace?"
"It's Alexander's fault", bemoaned Magnus and summoned a new drink. "He had to make me fall in love with not just himself but also his other half. Stupid, pretty Shadowhunters..."
"Su—ure", drawled Isabelle with an amused look on her face. "So, tell me how this happened."
"Honestly, I don't know", sighed Magnus as he straightened his back and turned to look out the large windows at the New York skyline. "It started when this beaten, broken boy stood in front of my door, asking for shelter, I suppose. And then it happened gradually." Magnus paused and drank from his cocktail, eyes dark. "Don't take me for a fool, Isabelle. I've always known of Alexander's feelings for our blonde. And for a while, I was set on making him move on from Jace, forget about Jace. By now... I'm enabling him, I guess. By having Jace live here too."
"But it's Alec's fault", chuckled Isabelle fondly.
"Absolutely", agreed Magnus solemnly.
Lydia smiled as she sat down next to Alec at a table at the Hunter's Moon. Isabelle and Magnus had formed a rather solid friendship over the past months, one that was partially based on a certain bonding experience where the two of them gave everyone in their group a makeover.
And with everything going on these days, Magnus had requested a night of cocktails and his best friend. Alec didn't hold it against his lover, had kissed Magnus gently, hugged his sister and left to call his best friend outside of his family. After their supposed wedding, Lydia and Alec had formed a good and deep friendship of their own, one that even survived her prolonged stay in Idris. She had only recently returned, accompanying Isabelle and Jace back to New York after Valentine's escape.
This was the perfect opportunity to get properly updated on her best friend's life. The two didn't get enough time to spend together. Ever since she had gotten back, both had been rather busy.
"Tell me everything that is new", demanded Lydia with a smile. "You and Clary...?"
"It's still weird", sighed Alec before pausing. "I'm 95% sure Jace is using the puppy eyes on Clary to make her be sweet around me. I know he's using the puppy eyes on me to make me behave."
"I was sure that learning they're siblings helped you there too", teased Lydia half-seriously.
Alec flushed and sank down lower in his chair, confirming Lydia. "...They're not actually blood-related. We learned that a couple weeks ago. Though... it didn't really change things between them. At least not from Jace's end of things. And that's where things between me and Clary got awkward again. When she kissed him at the Seelie Court. Which yes, wasn't her fault because she was forced to, but all I really care about is how uncomfortable it made my parabatai and how she basically ignored him afterward and treated him like air. Because it made him feel miserable and guilty even though he hadn't done anything. It made me so very angry with Clary. Again."
Lydia hummed in acknowledgment. "I can't wait for the day you two actually do get along then. How are things between you and Magnus?"
"Still going strong", grinned Alec with a nearly dopey grin. "Magnus is amazing. He's beautiful and wonderful and perfect. I'm... kind of... living with him at this point? I spend more nights at the loft than at the Institute, I have most my stuff at the loft too."
"Most your stuff, including your parabatai?", asked Lydia curiously. "I was confused when I heard he doesn't live at the Institute anymore. I was surprised when I heard he moved in with Magnus."
Alec gulped very hard, throat tightening. "After everything with his imprisonment and Aldertree..."
"Aldertree has been gone for a while now", pointed Lydia out, one eyebrow raised.
"I guess he's just comfortable at the loft", shrugged Alec a it helplessly.
"And are you comfortable with him at the loft?", asked Lydia a little more serious. "I mean, if you and Magnus are doing well, does that mean you're... over your feelings for Jace?"
"No", sighed Alec and shook his head. "If anything, nearly losing him... when Valentine held him captive, when the Clave took him from me... it only made me love him more, made me even more protective of him. So yes, I am very comfortable with him at the loft. Knowing he is at the safest place I know, knowing that even when I'm not there, my boyfriend will be there to protect my parabatai for me. I've been... I've been paranoid about Jace. I know that. But him being taken forcibly from me twice in the past months... I just... I need to know he is safe."
"I understand that", whispered Lydia gently as she reached out to squeeze his hand in comfort. "But... how is Magnus handling that? Having the boy your boyfriend loves live with you..."
Alec laughed, a bright and nearly delighted sound as he shook his head. "Oh, that's the best part. Where Magnus thought Jace was just a cocky, arrogant brat... he's been learning that Jace is pretty layered and that the cocky arrogance only cover up the vulnerability beneath. And Magnus pretty much fell for that hard. I think at this point, Magnus is nearly as protective of Jace as I am."
Lydia blinked surprised, her eyes wide. "I did not see that coming."
"Funny, that's nearly exactly what Magnus said when he confessed to me about falling for Jace", chuckled Alec fondly, sipping his drink and making a face. "Anyway, I mean... for now, we're just content having Jace close by and safe. And helping him get better is all that matters for now. He has such a hard time dealing with the trauma of the past months. Between his captivity at Valentine's hands and the death of the Downworlders due to the Soul Sword... he's broken. The past year has broken something inside my parabatai, something precious that managed to survive his childhood abuse. And all Magnus and I want to do is help him get better right now."
Jace was laying sprawled out on the floor, literally covered in cats. Chairman Meow was curled together on Jace's chest, allowing the blonde to pat him. The newest addition to their family was laying on Jace's stomach – a cute, tiny thing with black fur and intense golden eyes that had thus been dubbed Mini Mags by Jace, a name happily adapted by Alec. Magnus glaring at them and flashing his eyes in warning had so not helped there. Church was laying close to Jace, though just barely out of reach for a patting. Yet the cat still glared at Jace as though the blonde should just try harder to give Church a belly-rub and if he'd really try, he could totally reach after all.
"I will be using this one for blackmail", hummed Clary contently.
Slowly lowering the book he was holding with the hand not caressing Chairman Meow, Jace frowned and turned his head enough to glare at Clary. She was sitting on the couch and she was supposed to also go through the stupid journals. It was why they had met up here.
Jace didn't trust the Institute with the journals. The documentations of his childhood abuse. So he had taken them home with him, because fuck everyone they were his property. Still, they tried to find some kind of clue as to who Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern might be, where he might be. So Jace and Clary were going through the journals. Or at least Clary was supposed to go through the journals. Instead, she was sitting cross-legged on the couch and had a notebook on her legs.
"Are you... Are you drawing me?", asked Jace stunned.
Grinning like a cat, Clary turned the notebook around to show it to Jace. Jace blushed brightly. The pencil drawing was of Jace, laying sprawled out on the carpet, smiling gently at Mini Mags – something he had done earlier when taking a short break from reading – while cuddling the three cats. Clary was such an utter traitor. Jace glared spitefully at her.
"You will not show this to anyone", huffed Jace threatening.
"We'll see about that", grinned Clary mischievously.
Jace narrowed his eyes, growing suspicious. Gently, he pushed Mini Mags and Chairman Meow off, prompting both cats to complain softly. Getting up, Jace snatched her sketchbook from her, making her yelp high-pitched. She tried to take it away from him but he held it up high, flipping through it.
He froze as the drawings changed from just random sketches of the team to pictures of scenes that had not happened that way. One of Jace and Alec sparring – which, okay, happened a lot, but the way they were looking at each other in the picture that had Jace pinned beneath Alec was actually making Jace blush. Another of Magnus with Jace's head on his lap, fingers running through the sleeping blonde's hair. One of the three of them together, huddled up as snow fell around them, a bright smile on Jace's lips as he was sitting between Magnus and Alec, the three of them sharing a very long scarf. Those pictures were breathtakingly beautiful. And fake.
"Clary, what the hell?", whispered Jace disturbed.
Clary was blushing in a way that made her hair look pale. "It kind of just... happened. After you confessed to me that you don't feel the same way as I do, that you're in love with them. I started observing the three of you, out of curiosity, maybe also to help me get over you. And seeing the gentleness between you..." She took the sketchbook away from him and opened it at a page with a lot of smaller sketches of Jace, Magnus and Alec interacting with each other, scenes that might have actually happened that way. "And I started sketching you guys. The more I saw you interact, the more I started thinking that you guys are actually really... cute together. So I got creative."
Jace gritted his teeth, eyes staring longingly at a picture of him, Magnus and Alec curled together in bed, with the cats laying sprawled out over them. It was so beautifully innocent and domestic that it made Jace's heart ache because it wasn't true and it would never be true.
It was stupid. It was stupid and Jace knew that. Honestly, he kind of had a crush on Magnus for years now. Since first seeing the High Warlock at Pandemonium when him and Izzy had gone out to celebrate Jace's twenty-first birthday at the club. To watch Magnus instantly fall for Alec and not even notice Jace had been a bit painful. What was happening with his feelings for Alec was something beyond him to this day, if he was being honest. He didn't know if he might have always been in love with Alec and had just been unable to name the feeling – his solution to dealing with how much more intense they were from his feelings for everyone else had been to make Alec his parabatai because surely that was what it was. And while Alec's confession had shaken Jace a little, the moment it became undeniably clear that he didn't just love Alec but was in love with Alec had been the split-second he thought Alec was dead, holding his dead parabatai in his arms and thinking he might have lost Alec forever. But by then it was already too late and he got to watch Alec fall in love with Magnus. And actually getting to know Magnus had only woken that slight crush and made those feelings grow into something more intense and borderline frightening.
Clary was the only one who knew.
Jace had told her, in his despair to make her talk to him again because she had dodged him for a week straight after the Seelie Court. And he needed her to understand that regardless of the internal battle she was fighting, there would never be anything between Jace and Clary because Jace's heart was already taken by someone else. It had actually helped her to know that. Though things remained awkward for another week before she slowly started coming around again.
"I'm keeping those", stated Jace seriously. "I don't want anyone to see those and ask questions."
Clary didn't argue him on it, she actually looked a little guilty. "Keep the sketchbook, Jace."
There really wasn't much aside from the pictures of Magnus, Alec and Jace, seemingly. Though Jace would see when he was going to actually go through the whole thing. If she gave it to him, he could. Nodding in acceptance, he went to bring the book to his room. By the time he returned, Clary was sitting on the couch and reading one of the journals, as she should have earlier.
Clary smiled as she enjoyed a day out with the girls. Isabelle had been doing her best to try and cheer Clary up since the breakup and Isabelle had easily roped Lydia into helping.
"Thanks for tagging along, girls", sighed Clary as they raided her favorite shop. "I just always end up buying... all the things... and normally, Simon is here to hold me back, but..."
"No problem", smiled Isabelle amused, one arm hooked with Clary.
They were in a sweet, small shop that sold art supplies. Clary could spend all of her savings in this shop. Lydia chuckled fondly as she followed a bit behind, eyes trailing over the expensive pens.
"But why do you need a new sketchbook? The last time I saw you draw into it, yours wasn't even half full", asked Lydia curiously, looking at the sketchbook in Clary's arms.
Clary heaved a sigh and averted her eyes embarrassed. "I gave the other one to Jace. I... drew some pictures that were too personal. Maybe I shouldn't have drawn them. So I gave it to him."
Lydia turned toward her girlfriend with a concerned frown, watching how Isabelle's eyes widened in surprise. "Clary! You said you were getting over him. You didn't draw him naked, did you?"
"W—What? No", hissed Clary, cheeks matching her hair. "Not those kind of personal pictures! I... I understand that he doesn't return my feelings, Izzy."
"Then what kind of pictures were it?", inquired Lydia confused.
Clary's cheeks darkened even more as she stared onto the ground. "When Jace let me down, he told me that he had feelings for someone else. The drawings were of him with that someone else."
"Why?", asked Isabelle, incredibly confused.
"Because I've been... watching them, hoping that it'd drive home that things between Jace and me would never happen. And the more I watched, the more I saw how... good they could be together", offered Clary with a half-shrug. "And I do want Jace to be happy."
"Jace... likes someone?", whispered Isabelle stunned. "But... he didn't tell me. I'm his sister too."
She looked so offended that Lydia couldn't help but pull her into a brief, soothing kiss. "He has a right to his secrets too, love. He must have his reasons for not telling you."
"He does", confirmed Clary and nodded wildly.
"That's still not fair", huffed Isabelle with the slightest pout, holding onto Lydia's wrist to pull her back close again. "I need more than just one kiss to make me feel better here."
Lydia smiled amused, but she indulged in her girlfriend's cheeky demands. Clary watched them with mild amusement as she continued browsing the shop. She really wished for things to work out for Jace, but she wasn't sure how it could. Not if Jace didn't even dare to talk to them...
Jace was sitting cross-legged on his bed, going slowly through the sketchbook, gentle fingers tracing just outside the lines so he wouldn't smudge the drawing. Those were really, truly amazing. All of them. He was definitely going to return the sole sketch of Luke and Jocelyn to Clary the next time he saw her; he had no right to own that one. The one of the seven of them together – Magnus, Alec, Jace, Isabelle, Lydia, Clary and Simon – Jace was going to hang up somewhere. Maybe the living room. Magnus wasn't going to object. It was beautiful. Magnus had an arm around Alec's waist, Alec and Jace having their arms over each other's shoulders, Lydia and Isabelle having their pinkies linked, Clary leaning against Simon. All seven of them were laughing, looking carefree.
But yes, most of the drawings in the sketchbook were of various combinations of Jace, Magnus and Alec, or all three of them. They made Jace's heart ache, ache to have what was drawn on those pages. Most of the drawings were innocent, even domestic. Only some were a little more heated. Of Magnus and Alec kissing, or Alec and Jace sparring – which, granted, if it looked the way Clary was drawing it, then damn it looked like the intro to a porn.
Right now however, he was looking at a different kind of picture. Jace, Magnus and Alec were sitting around the living room table, all three laughing, a board game of sorts set up between them as they were playing with a reluctantly smiling Madzie. That had happened. On the short weekend that Madzie had stayed at the loft before Catarina Loss had been ready to take her in.
Jace had grown incredibly attached to the girl. He knew why. Seeing her with Valentine, knowing the man had manipulated her and hurt her to make her do his bidding, using her as a weapon the same way he had intended for Jace – it connected with Jace. Jace felt awful for her. And the short days she had been at the loft, he saw so much of himself in her. The way she behaved reminded him of himself when he had first come to the Lightwoods. Afraid of screwing up, doing or saying something wrong and earning her a punishment. Trying to prove her worth so she could stay.
And there had been something broken and disappointed in her eyes as Catarina came to pick her up. Even as Magnus knelt down in front of her and promised to come and get her once it was safe. Once the bad man would be gone. It had done little to calm the girl.
Glaring in determination, Jace put the book aside and got off the bed. Everything had been messy lately, there was just pain and he felt like the only good, sweet thing that had happened was Lydia and Isabelle getting together and being disgustingly cute with each other.
No. Jace wanted a happy moment and he wanted it now. Alec and Magnus were out on a date – which in itself already made Jace's heart hurt – so he was going to visit Madzie, to make sure the girl was alright, that she was taken care of and that Catarina knew to deal with the PTSD.
It was ridiculous how most of their dates these days consisted of them fantasizing about Jace together. Oh, weren't they simply pathetic? Magnus had a small, pained smile on his lips as they returned home. The pining was getting ridiculous and Magnus knew that.
"Ja—ace, we're home", called Alec out. "Jace?"
The two of them shrugged their jackets and shoes off and when they didn't get a kind of reply, they ventured deeper into the loft to notice that Jace wasn't home. Frowning, Alec went to check the fridge. They had a deal. If one of them left without being able to verbally tell the others, they'd leave a note on the fridge. They had three magnets for that. A black panther for Magnus, a Golden Retriever puppy for Jace and a snow owl for Alec. They were pretty, detailed, photo-realistic, three-dimensional magnets that the Magnus and Alec had bought in a little shop one afternoon.
"No note", called Alec to Magnus, sounding displeased.
Magnus sighed as the couple poked their heads into Jace's room to see if they could find a clue as to where their blonde was. If perhaps something had happened. If he had been in such a rush that he couldn't write a note. But all they found was Clary's sketchbook, spread out on the bed.
Alec glared instantly, stomach knotting. When Jace had told him about not having feelings for Clary anymore, he had been pathetically hopeful. Like Jace not getting together with Clary was somehow magically make Jace his. But having Clary's sketchbook here...?
"Look", whispered Magnus gently.
Blinking, Alec turned to look at the drawing and his eyes softened. It was beautiful. A drawing of Alec with Magnus and Jace, playing with Madzie. He remembered that evening. He cherished that memory. His heart ached, missing Madzie. She kind of had stolen his heart the first time he had met the shy little girl, because she reminded him of himself. Later on, after Valentine had abducted her, she reminded him so painfully much of Jace that he felt this urge to shelter and protect her too.
"Can we frame this?", asked Alec softly, tugging on Magnus' sleeve.
The warlock chuckled gently and wrapped an arm around Alec's waist as the couple sat down on Jace's bed. Magnus closed the sketchbook to open it on the first page. His heart clenched down some at the drawing of Jocelyn smiling at Luke. The woman had made bad decisions in the past, but she had not deserved death. He could still see the brief flicker of guilt in Alec's eyes, so he flipped the page. A fond smile found its way onto Magnus' face as he looked at the group-picture of their team. There were just a few rough sketches on the next page, of the different members of their team doing various things. When he turned the page once more, things got more interesting.
"Look at how cute you look when we kiss", teased Magnus delighted.
Alec was blushing such a bright red as they stared at the drawing, waist up, of Magnus and Alec in a tight embrace and in the middle of kissing. Why in the world was Clary drawing that? He hastily flipped the page to escape the embarrassment, only that it grew. Jace and him, during training, Alec having Jace pinned to the ground, Jace having his legs wrapped around Alec's waist.
"Mh... I think I dreamed about something like this last night", drawled Magnus teasingly.
"D—Do we really look like that when we're sparring?", muttered Alec embarrassed.
"Oh yes, you do. Why do you think I ravish you in the shower afterward? Because you two give me painful boners when you spar in your little training room", huffed Magnus.
The training room was the newest addition to the loft, because it meant his Shadowhunters were home more often, sparring here instead of going to the Institute for it. Free show for Magnus.
"Clary needs a life", sighed Alec frustrated before turning the pages.
This one however gave both of them pause as they just gaped at the picture. Something that had never happened like this. They were in bed together, Alec in the center, with Magnus resting on one of his shoulders with his head and Jace on the other, Jace and Magnus having their fingers intertwined as they rested on Alec's chest, the blanket covering them and all three with serene looks on their faces. The lighting was soft, as though the sun was just raising.
"Why would she...", whispered Magnus surprised. "It's beautiful."
"I want this", muttered Alec with longing in his voice as he traced Jace's sleeping form.
The couple was so enthralled by the drawings as they continued looking through the sketchbook, getting lost in the beautiful variations of Magnus, Alec and Jace doing domestic, romantic and casual interactions with each other that they didn't even notice how much time passed. In the back of their minds, both of them had the growing suspicion that Jace might have left because of the drawings. Why Clary had drawn them, they didn't know, but it must have chased Jace off.
They had nearly reached the picture they had started on when Magnus' phone interrupted them. Frowning surprised, Magnus took it out and saw the caller ID of Catarina. Worry knitted his eyebrows at that. Catarina normally didn't call. Magnus was the one calling her on a more than weekly base as he wanted to know how Madzie was doing. If Catarina called him, then that must mean something had happened to Madzie. Slight panic took him over.
"Catarina, my dear. How are you doing? Is Madzie alright?", asked Magnus instantly.
Alec frowned, his expression mirroring Magnus' as he leaned in more. The female warlock on the other end of the line chuckled, clearly amused by Magnus and that relaxed him just a bit.
"Madzie is a sweetie. She's fine", assured Catarina smoothly. "And I'm not calling about her. I agreed to babysit Madzie until it was safe for her to live with you..."
"I'm aware", nodded Magnus carefully, unsure where his old friend was going with this.
"I did not, however, agree to babysit your Shadowhunter", stated Catarina firmly.
Magnus' frown deepened as he turned to look at Alec. "My Shadowhunter is here with me."
"Not Alexander. The blonde one", corrected Catarina pointedly.
"...Jace is with you?", asked Magnus surprised.
"Has been for hours now. I don't think I'll be able to get rid of him on my own, so I'd love for you to come here and collect your Shadowhunter", ordered Catarina nearly sweetly.
"Of course. We're on our way", confirmed Magnus before hanging up.
"Jace is with Catarina?", asked Alec confused.
"Perhaps the drawing of us with Madzie... made him miss her", whispered Magnus thoughtfully, turning the pages one more time to find exactly that picture. "I... didn't realize..."
"That he bonded with her that much? Neither did I", admitted Alec and got off the bed.
Magnus opened a portal for them and as they stepped through it, they found themselves in Catarina's living room, finding something that basically melted their hearts. Magnus rested a hand over his mouth to keep from cooing and waking them. There was a giant pillow-and-blanket-fort in the middle of the living room, spanned over between the backrests of the two couches. And inside the fort were Jace and Madzie, both deep asleep, Madzie nestled against Jace's chest and Jace's arms tightly wrapped around her in a protective manner.
"That might just be the cutest thing I ever saw", whispered Magnus. "Go lay with them. Then it'd definitely be the cutest thing I ever saw. How are they so adorable?"
Alec huffed and blushed a little. But yes, Magnus was so right. Jace and Madzie were utterly adorable. It reminded Alec of Max's childhood. Out of the three of them, Jace had probably spent most time playing with Max. They all knew it was Jace catching up on the childhood he had missed. Things like playing hide and seek or tag or building pillow forts had all been new to Jace. Back when Jace had first come to live with them, he had been all fixed on training. It took so long for Jace to feel comfortable around them. So when Max was just a little older and Isabelle and Alec started playing with him and such, Jace would always linger around, watching curiously until he understood the rules and then he'd join. At one point, Jace had grown comfortable enough that he had become the one to spend most time playing with Max.
"I've been trying to subtly kick him out for an hour now", stated Catarina as she entered the room.
"They're adorable. We can't wake them", argued Magnus, looking at them.
He got his phone out to snap a couple of pictures because he needed this for his nightstand. Alec all the while got down onto all four and slowly crawled up to the fort to brush Jace's hair out of his face. The blonde instantly stirred and stiffened. Alec had never met another person with such a light sleep and Alec knew it came from being raised by Valentine.
"Alec?", whispered Jace and relaxed.
"Hey", smiled Alec, voice soft so he wouldn't wake Madzie. "We got worried when you weren't home and didn't leave a note. Then Catarina called."
"Shit, sorry", hissed Jace, face scrunching up. "I forgot..."
"No problem", assured Alec gently. "But I think Catarina wants us gone."
"Yes. Catarina wants her living room back", agreed Catarina evenly.
Jace frowned as he turned to look at Madzie, still asleep and cuddled up against him. "But..."
"We will visit her again", promised Magnus as he joined Alec. "All three of us. I'm sorry, Jace, I hadn't realized you had grown that attached to her too. We would have brought you along..."
Jace blinked very slowly at that, still staring at the little girl in her arms. "He hurt her. She's just a child and he hurt her and wanted to turn her into a weapon. She needs to be protected. She deserves to have a happy childhood and to never see Valentine again. I just... I sat with her through her nightmares the two nights she stayed with us and I remember my own. I want to protect her."
Catarina gently grasped Magnus' arm and tugged him along out of the room while the parabatai talked with each other for a little more. Magnus frowned at the serious and sober look on her face.
"The two of them really connected", whispered Catarina softly. "He managed to coax her out of her shell more in the past four hours than I managed in the past four weeks. He knows exactly what tone of voice to use, how to deal with her... attacks, when she freezes up and doesn't react. The way he handled that baffled me, actually. I've been struggling with that the whole time and he just talked her down from it. I do think that their shared trauma at Valentine's hands gives them a special bond and I'd really advise you to bring your blonde with you the next time you visit."
Magnus and Alec came to visit Madzie at least once a week, even if it were just short visits to take her out for ice-cream. After all, Magnus had already decided that he was going to adopt her. He saw so much of himself in the lonely, scared little orphan. The orphan who had used her powers to kill people. Magnus wanted to keep her, to raise her with the love he himself had been missing. And he had told Alec so. He had also clarified that he knew their relationship was too fresh for them to play happy family and adopt her together, but Alec had assured him that despite that he supported Magnus' decision and he wanted to help out too. And maybe, with time, they would be a family. Both of them agreed that having Madzie live with them right now was just not possible.
Magnus and Alec were both so busy with the war and as involved as they were, they were prime targets. Madzie would be used against them, would be dragged back into this mess because of them. Until the war was over, she would be safest with Catarina.
"If I had realized... I would have brought him from day one", muttered Magnus as he watched Alec, Jace and Madzie. "I didn't think he would have gotten this attached in the brief time..."
"Then you probably haven't realized how attached he is to you either?", chuckled Catarina.
"What?", asked Magnus confused and turned to look at her.
Catarina's eyes were trained on Jace. "I observed them all afternoon. They talked a lot about you and Alec. About how much Madzie wants to live with you. And the way he talks about you and Alec is dripping with emotions and fondness. You can hear the love, if you listen for it."
Magnus blinked slowly as he turned back to also watch the scene in front of them. Madzie had woken up by now and Alec and Jace were now braiding her hair, each one braid on one side of her head, the girl looking utterly pleased at that. Magnus took another picture.
"They talked about how much Madzie wants to live with us?", asked Magnus softly.
Magnus had spent every single visit and phone-call reassuring Madzie that he wanted her to live with him, trying to ease her into the idea. After all, he didn't want to force her to live with him if she didn't want it. Which was also why he visited her so much, to make her get used to him. But she was a very quiet girl who very rarely talked and she never verbally reacted to Magnus' offer.
"It was the first time I heard her talk enthusiastically about how much she was looking forward to living with her daddies too", confirmed Catarina, voice soft.
Magnus' heart warmed at that. With that warmth in his heart, he went to approach the three in the living room. Smiling gently, he sat down opposite Madzie, who offered him a reluctant smile too.
"Hello, sweetie", greeted Magnus. "We missed you a lot. Have you been good?"
Madzie nodded timidly, as much as she could with the two Shadowhunters braiding her hair.
"Good girl", chuckled Magnus, patting her head gently. "But it's getting late and you need to head to bed and we have to leave. I know, sweetie. But we'll visit you this weekend, I promise."
There was a pleased sparkle in Madzie's eyes as she nodded. But then she turned toward Jace with large eyes, gently tugging on his shirt until he leaned down enough so she could whisper in his ear.
"Of course will I come and visit you again, buttercup", promised Jace, eyes large and doubtful as he stared over at Magnus and Alec briefly but long enough that Magnus understood.
"When we come over this weekend, we'll bring Jace along too, of course", stated Magnus.
Both Madzie and Jace looked utterly pleased by that and smiled. Madzie went to hug each of them for long moments, clinging onto them like she wanted them to stay.
"This weekend", promised Alec softly, running his fingers over her hair.
She stood silently next to Catarina as Magnus opened a portal for them to leave again. Jace was rather subdued by the time they reached their own living room.
"Hey", whispered Alec gently, grasping his parabatai's hand to pull him close. "We'll visit her this weekend, Jace. She's safe with Catarina, safer than she would be here."
"I know", sighed Jace with a frown. "But still..."
"Give me your phone", ordered Magnus, holding his hand out.
"What? No. Why?", asked Jace suspiciously.
Magnus just raised his eyebrows. Sighing in defeat, Jace got his phone out and unlocked it before handing it to Magnus. The background image gave Magnus some pause. It was a photo of Magnus, Alec and Jace all covered in flour and laughing into the camera. That had been three weeks ago, when Magnus and Alec had found Jace during one of his midnight baking binges, something Jace indulged in regularly to avoid his own nightmares. Magnus and Alec had decided to help Jace with the apple pies and it had turned into a bit of a food fight, but with a delicious result. Shaking the memory off, Magnus proceeded to do as he had intended.
"I saved Catarina's number. You can call or text her if you want to know how Madzie is doing, or if you want to spontaneously visit. She does not appreciate to be surprised like you did today, so do call beforehand", explained Magnus gently.
"Oh. Uh, thanks", grinned Jace and took his phone back.
"When we were looking for you, we found Clary's sketchbook on your bed", stated Alec as the three of them sat down on the couch. "Why do you have it?"
"Clary gave it to me", grunted Jace semi-defensively.
"Because of the drawings inside?", inquired Magnus, eyebrows raised.
"I-", started Jace, eyes wide and cheeks red as he averted his gaze. "...Maybe."
"Jace?", asked Alec utterly confused, looking at Magnus questioningly.
Right, his precious archer hadn't heard Catarina's words. Magnus smirked. Oh, he was in for a surprise and Magnus couldn't wait to see his face. The smirk grew as he gently grasped Jace's chin and tilted his head up to look into those dual colored eyes.
"Be honest with me, sweetheart", ordered Magnus gently. "Do you... like me and Alexander?"
Jace's eyes widened even more, like he was afraid of the rejection – no, terrified. Magnus' grip turned more gentle as he caressed Jace's cheek, prompting the blonde to lean into the caress.
"Maybe", mumbled Jace defiantly, decidedly not looking at either of them. "But it doesn't matter. You two are happy together and like that disgustingly perfect golden couple, so just forget about it."
"Are you crazy?", muttered Alec wide-eyed. "I—I've been in love with you for ten years, I am so not forgetting you admitting that you like me!"
"...You were in love with me, but then you found Magnus and got happy", argued Jace.
"Yes, I found Magnus, yes, I'm happy with Magnus, yes, I love Magnus. But I also still love you", disagreed Alec a little frustrated, a fist tangled in Jace's shirt. "I love you, Jace. I love you. If I have any chance at being with you, please don't deny it to me, please, Jace."
"I... but... Magnus?", whispered Jace confused, looked at the warlock.
"But Magnus also wants you, pretty blonde", hummed Magnus roughly, gently running his hand down Jace's chest. "For a while now, to be honest. And looking through those pretty pictures our little Biscuit drew of us, I can't help but long to recreate them. You do look oh-so pretty entangled with Alexander and I in bed, deep asleep. Would you like to test that theory with me?"
"What a lame pickup line", snorted Jace despite himself.
"Don't avoid with snark", warned Alec irritated. "Please, Jace."
"...If... If you're sure...", whispered Jace nervously, shifting a little, looking up at them.
Alec couldn't hold back any longer, he pulled Jace into a slow, deep kiss. Jace gladly melted into the kiss, leaning fully against his parabatai. Jace gasped, out of breath as they parted. There was a cutely dazed expression on Jace's face as he was gently pulled into a kiss by Magnus next.
Jace, Magnus and Alec were looking refreshed as they stepped through the portal into their loft after a nice little romantic weekend get-away, the parabatai having their fingers linked behind Magnus' back as Magnus had one hand in Jace's back-pocket and one hand in Alec's back-pocket.
"Daddies!", exclaimed their daughter excitedly.
The threesome easily let go of each other in favor of welcoming Madzie in a tight family hug. She was positively glowing as she was being surrounded by her adopted fathers like this.
"Hey, buttercup. You didn't give your aunts a too hard time, did you?", asked Jace gently.
Isabelle and Lydia had taken turns with Clary in babysitting Madzie while the threesome had taken their first alone-time vacation since adopting Madzie half a year ago, only weeks after the war had ended. But they didn't last longer than a weekend, missing their daughter far too much.
"Never", gasped Madzie as she buried her face in Magnus' chest. "Aunt Izzy taught me how to cook daddy's favorite! And aunt Clary drew lots of pictures with me and aunt Lydia sparred with me!"
"...Aunt Izzy cooked with you?", asked Alec a little mortified.
"No worries, Lydia and I helped", called Clary out, amusement in her voice.
She got up from her spot on the floor where papers and crayons were spread out. Magnus smiled gratefully at the redhead as he surveyed the various drawings of their family.
"Oh, those are all beautiful, sweetie", smiled Magnus as he picked one of Madzie's drawings up.
"We are definitely hanging them up on the wall", agreed Alec with a smile.
"...Where?", asked Clary, amusement dancing in her eyes.
Since she loved to help them out with babysitting, she spent a lot of time drawing with Madzie and basically every wall in the loft was covered in framed crayon drawings signed by Madzie Bane at this point. Magnus made a dismissive hand-gesture and one of the expensive renaissance paintings disappeared from the wall, to be replaced by four of Madzie's paintings. The warlock smiled pleased as their little family settled down on the couch so Magnus, Alec and Jace could listen to what Madzie had been up to this weekend, the little girl telling them animatedly about her adventures as the men listened closely, making Magnus' heart swell with love for his little family.
~*~ The End ~*~