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Envoy of the Clave

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Jalec || Shadowhunters || Jalec || Envoy of the Clave || Jalec || Shadowhunters || Jalec

Title: The Alphas of Jace Herondale – Envoy of the Clave

Fandom: Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments

Disclaimer: All rights to the Shadowhunters show reserved to Ed Decter, the books the show 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: m/m, alpha/beta/omega dynamics, wingfic, canon divergent, pining, fluff, f/f

Main Pairing: Alec/Jace

Side Pairing: Lydia/Isabelle

Shadowhunters Characters: Jonathan Christopher 'Jace' Herondale, Imogen Herondale, Alexander Gideon 'Alec' Lightwood, Lydia Branwell, Isabelle Sophia 'Izzy' Lightwood, Robert Lightwood

Summary: Instead of killing herself, Céline sought help and Jace ends up being raised by Imogen. Alec and Jace meet as children, when the Inquisitor comes to visit New York. Alec immediately falls in love and knows he would work hard to prove himself to be a good alpha, a good fit for the sought-after omega heir of the Inquisitor.

The next time they meet is during the war against Valentine.

Envoy of the Clave

The Alphas of Jace Herondale

Alexander Lightwood had a destiny. He was the firstborn, the oldest child and he was also an alpha. He had the strong, proud wings of a snow-owl, like his father and his grandfather before him. He would have to uphold the Lightwood name and family-line, he had to prove himself to be a worthy heir to the family legacy. Worthy to continue it and bring honor to the name.

His parents were the leaders of the New York Institute and he knew that, one day, he would be head of the Institute and he would have his own omega-mate at his side. They would be a power-couple, ruling the Institute fairly and well. Alec was going to become a great Shadowhunter and a great leader and he was one day going to meet the absolutely perfect omega to have a family and legacy with, a perfect omega to lead the Institute at his side.

Alec's younger sister Isabelle was an omega – a spitfire omega. And Alec hoped his sister and his future hypothetical omega-mate would get along well. Because a spitfire omega was exactly what Alec was looking for in a mate too! Some families still raised their omegas to be demur, thinking an omega's job was to bear strong heirs to keep the bloodlines strong and nothing more. That wasn't what Alec wanted in a mate though. Okay so Alec was still young and he didn't know the exact capacity of what having a mate really meant – mother and father kept saying that it was grown-up stuff that he would understand once he went into his first rut which was like an initiation for alphas.

Still, even at age twelve, Alec very clearly understood that having a mate meant having a partner for life. Someone to share secrets with, someone to rule the Institute with together, someone to be family and to always trust and rely on. Alec wanted someone he could spar with, both physically and intellectually. Someone who would support his decisions but also question them and not just nod along to whatever Alec said. He wanted to have an equal partner, that's what he had read about so much in the large tombs. There was nothing stronger than an alpha and omega as a mated pair, a perfectly tuned mated pair – a pair of parabatai. Soulmates, tying not just their lives but their souls together. That sounded incredibly scary because for Alec as a child even teenage years sounded long-lasting and like it would be forever until he'd go into his first rut, so spending all of his life with someone? All of his life was a lot of years.

Still, Alexander Lightwood was the Lightwood-heir. He would become head of the Institute one day and he was going to rule with an amazing mate at his side and live happily ever after, because they would both be head-strong, good fighters, good leaders and they would make each other happy.

/break\

"What's with all the fuss?", asked Isabelle and wiggled her nose.

"The fuss is about the Inquisitor coming over", replied Robert.

He was carrying his daughter on his arms, Izzy clinging onto his neck as she looked around the Institute curiously. Alec was walking behind his father and looking around too. Though he looked differently than his sister; Izzy was looking with the curious eyes of a child and Alec, he was looking at what exactly was different, what to prepare and watch out for when the Inquisitor came to visit. Because one day, he would be the leader and one day, he would be in charge of these preparations and meetings. He knew the other kids – Lindsay, Duncan and their other friends – were with Hodge, some last-minute lessons to make sure the kids would be presentable and not get into any trouble and embarrass the Institute in front of the Inquisitor.

"Will I go with you and mother?", asked Alec hopefully, looking at his dad.

Robert laughed and reached one wing down to grace Alec's before putting Isabelle down. "I know you're always eager to learn what our jobs are like, but not this time."

"Why not?", asked Alec with a slight pout. "I will be well-behaved, I swear."

"Of course you will", assured Robert amused. "But I have a different, very important job for you."

"You... do?", asked Alec and perked up visibly.

"Inquisitor Herondale has a grandson who's living with her", started Robert. "His name is Jonathan. He's around your age and while your mother and I will take care of business, I want the two of you to show him around and show him how well-organized and well-run our Institute is, because I'm sure he will report back to his grandmother how his experience here was."

For a moment, Alec frowned. That sounded like babysitting and not like a real actually important job. Still, if his parents thought this was important, then Alec was going to do his very best.

"Okay. We'll keep him company", nodded Alec obediently.

"Good boy", chuckled Robert, patting him on his head again.

/break\

Jonathan Caelinus Herondale had a destiny. He had no siblings, his parents were dead. He only had his grandmother – his grandfather had passed away two years ago. His grandmother was the Inquisitor. They were Herondales. Herondales were important, they were an important family. Well-respected. And Jonathan was the only heir to that name.

He was an omega, but that did not make him weak or unfit for the title of the heir. He worked trice as hard as any beta or alpha in Idris. He studied all the important texts and strategies. He was going to be a great warrior and a great leader. One day, he might even follow his grandmother's steps and become the Inquisitor too. But that was far, far into the future and his grandma tended to laugh at him, kiss his forehead and tell him to go and play or else he was going to miss his entire childhood.

Today was one such day where she wanted him to enjoy his childhood while he was going to play junior Inquisitor, because his grandma was visiting the New York Institute – she did that, occasionally, visiting Institutes and making sure everything was up to standards. Normally, envoys to the Clave would do that, but sometimes it was nice to get out there herself and see something different. She used those opportunities to show Jonathan the mundane world. It was educational for her grandson and that was why she did it; to show him how different people ran different Institutes, how things went in an actual Institute and also to meet many different families.

Because one day, and Jonathan was acutely aware of that, he would have to marry into one of those families. He was the Herondale heir, but he was an omega. So while he would keep the Herondale bloodline going, he was not going to carry on the Herondale name. Unless he was going to find a very progressive alpha. Which meant that he had to pick a good and worthy alpha, a good and worthy family who would be deserving to join the Herondale family.

"Inquisitor Herondale, it's a pleasure to welcome you here. And this must be your grandson?"

Jonathan watched quietly how the nearly bald man – Robert Lightwood, he assumed – greeted Imogen. His grandmother had that polite work-smile on her lips as she returned the greeting.

"Jonathan Herondale, sir", nodded Jonathan politely.

Robert smiled at him and nodded. "My children will show you around while me and my wife will show your grandmother around. If that is alright with you, Inquisitor?"

Imogen nodded, resting a hand on Jonathan's shoulder for a moment. "That sounds reasonable."

When he turned some, he saw two kids around his age – a boy, maybe a little bit older than him, and a girl, maybe a bit younger than him. Both had dark hair and the same warm, brown eyes. The adults gave them one last look before moving on, leaving the three children behind.

"Hello, I'm Alexander Lightwood. That's my sister Isabelle", greeted the boy.

"I'm Jonathan Caelinus Herondale. It's a pleasure visiting your Institute."

The girl – Isabelle – started giggling at that, earning her a stern look from her brother. "It's a funny name! Caelinus. What do people call you?"

"Caelinus isn't a funny name. I'm named after my mother who died when I was born. And people call me Jonathan. Because that's my name."

"No", huffed Isabelle and shook her head. "Everyone calls me Izzy! And everyone calls Alec Alec! So what do your friends call you? Like, your nickname?"

"I don't have one", huffed Jonathan, clearly confused. "Everyone calls me Jonathan Caelinus. Or Jonathan, for short."

"That's not short", argued Isabelle and crossed her arms. "A nickname! Like... Like... Johnny!"

"He doesn't look like a Johnny", muttered Alexander beneath his breath.

"I don't", agreed Jonathan and crossed his arms, staring Isabelle down.

"Well you're not helping", huffed Isabelle. "What would you suggest, Alec?"

Not very interested, Jonathan rolled his eyes. The brother was probably going to be as creative and successful as the sister. Honestly, he would rather like to follow his grandmother and learn.

"Jonathan Caelinus...", whispered Alexander softly, thoughtfully. "Jonathan Caelinus.. J.C...? Mh. No, that's a bit awkward. J.C., J.C., J.C... Jace... Jace?"

Blinking slowly, Jonathan turned toward the young alpha and looked at him. "That... doesn't sound overly awful, I guess."

"Jace. Great. Come, Jace. We're going to show you around!", exclaimed Isabelle excitedly.

/break\

Jace Herondale was the perfect omega. Alec knew it the moment he looked at the blonde boy with the fascinating mismatched eyes. Alec had never seen someone with bicolored eyes, but Jace's were golden and blue and beautiful. Particularly stunning were his wings though. Of course did Alec know about the Herondales, they were an old and well-respected family – and they were particularly well-known for their heron-wings, hence the family name. Jace's wings however... they were white and golden and beautiful. They reminded Alec of those of a barn-owl. And when Jace told them that he was named for his dead mother, Caelinus, Alec guessed that it was not just to honor her but also because Jace shared her wings. Though the look on Jace's face when he had accepted the nickname Alec gave him – that had made Alec's chest swell with pride.

Alec and Isabelle showed Jace every corner of the Institute – even their hidden little spots they kept from everyone. Jace's eyes were sparkling with curiosity as he followed their lead. After exploring, they went to the training room and Alec just couldn't sit still. He had to spar with Jace.

As all omegas, Jace was very flexible and swift in the air. It was where omegas had the upper hand over alphas. What they lacked in brute strength, they made up for in speed. Alphas were made for attacks and omegas were made for the chase. And Jace was good. He knew exactly how to dodge and also how to attack. How to use an alpha's momentum against them.

"You're good, Lightwood", stated Jace, Alec pinned to the ground. "But not good enough."

All Alec could do was gape up at the other boy. Alec trained harder than anyone at the Institute, he won. That was what he did. But here was this cockily grinning omega, pinning him to the ground.

"That was awesome!", exclaimed Isabelle excitedly.

"Thanks", chuckled Jace and got up. "Show me the showers and then maybe the room I'll be staying in? It was a long journey and I'm a little exhausted."

"Of course", agreed Alec, hastily getting up. "I'll show you."

He beat Isabelle to it, who stared at him in curious confusion.

/break\

Jace. He liked the sound of it. It was a bit odd, he was very used to being called Jonathan, but something about it sounded really nice. Really... fitting. And the Lightwoods seemed pretty cool. He had to admit he didn't have too many friends, he was always too focused on training and learning.

"Hey."

Jace startled and turned to look at Alexander. Alec. The young alpha – while only twelve and thus unpresented, there was always a tell to alphas and omegas, though their scent was duller, like smelling it through many, many layers of cotton – was standing right behind Jace.

"I got a bit bored in my room", admitted Jace. "And your library is interesting."

"Oh. You're reading about Achilles and Patroclus", whispered Alec as he caught sight of the book.

"It's my favorite story", replied Jace with a grin. "It's a thing I always do when we visit different Institutes. I check what kind of books they have on parabatai. Each author has a different take on the parabatai-bond. Some try to play it down to totally platonic, which is... so stupid. There is way too much evidence about how it's like a soulmate-bond."

"Soulmates?", echoed Alec curiously.

"Well, what... do you think they are?", asked Jace and looked up at Alec.

"Mh. I don't know. I always figured it was like... finding the right person to compliment everything you stand for. Like a best friend and true love in one, but... not really like destiny and stuff", admitted Alec. "Finding someone you think you can fight alongside with and who you'd never want to miss in your life, but... it's like your decision. Not fate's decision."

For a moment, Jace stared at him thoughtfully, before shrugging. "I always figured that... the Angel put that person into your path. Yes, it's your decision with whom to bond, but... this person that you deem the right one to compliment you, Fate could have put them onto the other end of the planet and you could have never met. Instead, somehow, on this large, large planet not only are you born in the same place, you're both Shadowhunters so you can bond. What... else would that be?"

Now it was Alec's turn to just stare at Jace, with slightly reddened cheeks. "I... I guess."

"Boys? Mom says you're supposed to come for dinner", called Isabelle out from the doorway.

Jace closed the book and put it away before following the two Lightwoods out of the library.

/break\

Alec continued being a hard worker. He was a young man, strong alpha and leader. In the back of his mind was still the image of that perfect omega who would rule at his side. Only that the concept had been less vague ever since he had met Jace Herondale. He knew the Herondales were one of the most respected families in all of Idris, which meant that Alec would have to truly prove himself worthy to even be considered a viable option for Jace. Jace, who by now could have everything.

While Alec had never seen Jace again in person – not spoken to him – he had seen Jace in passing in Idris a few times over the years. When Alec tagged along with his parents. Just a fleeting image of how much Jace had changed over the years. The cunning boy had turned into a gorgeous young man and from everything Alec had heard through the grapevines, he was a cunning strategist and a formidable warrior. Literally Idris' most sought-after bachelor these days. The unmated omega heir of the Inquisitor. Alec felt like a commoner with a crush on a literal prince.

But then Clary Fray barreled into his life. Everything he had worked for so hard seemed to be slowly slipping away from him and he felt like he was completely losing himself. Valentine was returned. Hodge betrayed them. The Mortal Cup. Jocelyn Fairchild. And Alec's parents... Alec's parents were former Circle members. The Lightwood name, what Alec had always thought to be his burden to carry – to be his legacy to uphold and to honor – suddenly it was a different cross to bear. Circle members. The harsh reality was that his parents were on house-arrest, essentially. Being heads of the Institute was their own form of punishment. The name Lightwood held little weight in the real world. Everything he had learned from his parents turned out to not be true. It really was like Alec's life was crumbling and slipping away from him.

"At least one person at this Institute has a good reaction time", stated Valentine Morgenstern as he caught Alec's arrow with ease – and then let the glamour melt away.

Alec lowered his bow and stared in surprise. They had been told that the envoy of the Clave would arrive today. To take over. The Lightwoods were officially out of the game. Everything that had happened in the past week was apparently too much. Understandably so.

"That you always have to be so dramatic, Jace."

Alec turned only barely to see a blonde woman roll her eyes with an exasperated sigh. Then, his focus was drawn back to the person in front of him. Soft golden hair falling into his face, eyes of mismatched color, legs wrapped up in tight black pants, the wine-red dress-shirt hugging his torso very nicely, golden-white wings raised high behind him making him look like more of an angel than any Shadowhunter Alec had ever seen. What stood out the most were the mismatched eyes though. Blue and golden, in a combination that Alec would never forget.

"Jace", whispered Alec softly, stunned.

"Jace Herondale. The Clave sent me to... help out", offered the blonde. "I hope we will work well together and that you won't see our visit as an... intrusion."

"Alec Lightwood", replied Alec on auto-pilot, shaking Jace's offered hand.

Jace certainly didn't remember him. Apparently not. And why would he, really? They had me only once, ten years ago. Jace and his grandmother had only stayed for two days. And while Jace had left a lasting impression on Alec, why would Alec have left a lasting impression on Jace?

"Lydia Branwell. The two of us are here to help you... re-structure and re-prioritize some things", stated the blonde woman as she stepped up to Alec and Jace.

Alpha. Imposing wings raised, not threateningly so but in a way to display her capabilities. Not a hair was out of place. Peculiar. She also subtly reached one wing out, not to entirely cover Jace but to touch his wing. Not a huge gesture, might have gone unnoticed by others. Not by Alec. And Alec didn't like it. He schooled his features into a neutral expression as he motioned at the two.

"Please, follow me to the conference room. I will brief you on... everything", offered Alec.

"Actually, I want to meet Miss Fairchild", argued Jace. "Lyds?"

"We'll meet up later", nodded Lydia and turned toward Alec. "Will that be okay?"

"Of course. Izzy! Can you bring... Jace... to meet Clary?", called Alec out.

Moments later and Isabelle joined them, a polite smile on her lips. "Sure thing."

/break\

Lydia surveyed the room curiously. It was... luxurious, to say the least. The bell-tower. Tall, with room to fly up. Stained windows offering beautifully colored light from the outside. A fire-place even and a piano. Definitely not a standard room.

"There you go again, getting special treatment for being the Inquisitor's grandson", teased Lydia as the door to the bathroom opened. "Though the New Yorkers went all out."

"It's... a nice room", grunted Jace, toweling his hair dry.

"Yes. Nice", echoed Lydia mockingly as she sat down on the bed. "Surely has nothing to do with the crush the Lightwood alpha has on you."

"Crush?", snorted Jace and went to his suitcase to get a change of clothes out.

"I stood close enough to him when you revealed yourself. I could smell his reaction. Also, he was quite literally gaping when introducing himself to you", laughed Lydia.

"Not exactly a reaction new to me", sighed Jace tired. "Every damn time, Lyds. 'Oh, pretty unmated omega.'... Such... mindless alpha-brains. No offense."

Lydia snorted at that and shook her head. "None taken. You're not exactly my type."

"It's why you and me get along so well", smirked Jace.

"But don't you think it was unnecessarily cruel that you pretended not to remember him?", asked Lydia and raised her eyebrows while Jace struggled with a shirt. "I mean, that's him, right? That's the one who gave you your nickname. Alec Lightwood."

"Why would he remember me", grunted Jace pointedly. "We met once as kids. Besides, you and I are here on official business. What good does it do anyone to act all chummy?"

"...You like him", hummed Lydia, eyes widening. "You do!"

"I don't. I don't know the guy", grumbled Jace defensively.

"You actively avoided being in a small room alone with him and me by ditching me to go and meet the Fairchild girl. Don't lie to me, Herondale", warned Lydia.

She cuffed him with her wing and he groaned, rolling his eyes. "Okay, okay, fine. So... I volunteered us to go because I was hoping to go back and meet them again, because this seemed like a good excuse. Alec was... nice. Most alphas I met over the years were just trying to get on my good side for my name, but he was just genuinely nice. And... have you looked at him? Tall, dark, handsome. Really tall. Like. Towering tall. I like tall alphas."

There was the slightest whine to Jace's voice as he sat down opposite Lydia on the bed. "Oh, I know. I snuck so many tall alphas out of your room in my life already."

"Have I ever mentioned you're the best, by the way?", asked Jace with a grin. "Turn around."

Lydia huffed and obeyed, lifting his wings and spreading them some so Jace had proper access to groom them. "I have to admit, he is very handsome to look at. But seeing his sister, I think the good looks might just run in the family."

Jace hummed amused as he started sorting Lydia's feathers, straightening any that were out of place and plucking the loose ones. "Interesting. So your type are chipper, unapologetically sexy female omegas then, mh...? I got to admit, I like her too. Not like that. But an omega who knows how to use their omega-status and their sex-appeal for their own gain is impressive. It's such a taboo-topic still. Omegas should be more docile and if they are sexually active, they're deemed sluts. She owns it and she actually does achieve her goals with it."

"Mhmh. Now tell me about the Fairchild girl", prompted Lydia.

"Arrogant", replied Jace and made a face. "Never touched the Shadow World before but thinks she knows better than anyone else. She's completely untrained! Knows nothing of self-defense or runes or even how to properly fly, but she thinks everyone else should listen to her. It's... very exhausting and I do understand how someone like her would... derail everything. Like finding the Mortal Cup is not a hard enough mission on its own – we both know that, it has been missing so long, after all – but when someone keeps hijacking the mission like that..."

"You think she's a serious threat? Security risk?", asked Lydia seriously.

"Oh, no", laughed Jace and shook his head. "She's just a little girl. Like a... lost child looking for her mother and throwing a temper-tantrum because she can't find her. From what I can gather, I guess helping her was the right call – it did lead to valid information. But... the girl is entirely missing the bigger picture and from everything I heard from the other Shadowhunters I talked to, that's where the problem lays. She keeps derailing everything because all she wants is to find her mom. Which, I suppose, fair enough, but then again... she's an adult, she should put more thought into her actions. But yes, they definitely need our help. All done, switch."

"What do you suggest?", asked Lydia curiously as they adjusted so Lydia was sitting behind Jace and could start grooming his wings. "How are we most efficient?"

"Divide and conquer", hummed Jace thoughtfully. "We need to keep Clary away from the actual investigations. Help was promised to her and, to her credit, she is very strong-willed and won't accept a no. So someone has to help her. But so far, the investigation into Valentine had happened directly with Clary on board. She is not qualified for such missions. Those two things have to happen separately. I want you on Fairchild-duty. Take Isabelle Lightwood, she seems to have bonded with Clary already, and a team. Search for Jocelyn Fairchild, but mainly keep her distracted so we can recover the Mortal Cup safely. There is no doubt in my mind that she would immediately give it up if Valentine were to offer her mother in exchange – and I can't quite blame her for it. The Mortal Cup means nothing to her, the Shadow World means nothing to her. She only cares about herself and what directly affects her; her mother. Look for Jocelyn, try to find her before Clary does something... dangerous. I'll take charge of the search for the Mortal Cup."

"But you know Jocelyn is going to face charges when we find her", pointed Lydia out.

"Let's not tell Clary that for now. She hasn't made that connection herself yet, I don't know if it's naivety or ignorance though", mused Jace thoughtfully.

"Let's see how well the Lightwoods take divide and conquer", stated Lydia.

Jace hummed in agreement and relaxed as Lydia finished grooming him. "Tomorrow though. Today was a long day and I need some sleep. See you bright and early tomorrow so we can tell them."

/break\

Alec stood awkwardly in the hallway. He had given Jace the nicest room they had. After his briefing with Lydia, he had kept busy for a little while and then went and... stood awkwardly in the hallway. He had meant to go and talk to Jace, but he didn't even know what to say. So he lingered.

"Stalking the Inquisitor's grandson. Not a good look, Mister Lightwood."

Alec's eyes widened when Lydia Branwell exited Jace's room. The alpha was smiling at him as though she could read him like an open book. Like he had the words 'Jace Herondale is the prettiest omega on the planet and I would like to look at him some longer' written on his forehead. Instinctively, Alec raised his wings, feeling threatened by the other alpha.

"Relax", chuckled Lydia, one eyebrow cocked in amusement. "I'm not here to threaten you."

"Really, because the way it looks to me you and Jace are here to take the Institute from my family", muttered Alec beneath his breath, wings still raised.

"That was not what I was talking about", hummed Lydia mischievously.

She indicated her head toward Jace's bedroom-door. Alec's eyes widened and his cheeks grew darker as he cleared his throat. Was he really that easy to read? Then again, Lydia was an alpha too. Gritting his teeth, Alec turned away and abandoned his plan of talking to Jace.

/break\

"A political marriage is not a good idea, Lyds", stated Jace with a frown, pacing.

"I lost my mate shortly before our mating ceremony and I have been in mourning since then", countered Lydia gently. "I don't believe in finding my true love anymore, Jace. And Isabelle? She is a beautiful, head-strong omega. She is brilliant – have you visited her at her lab yet? When she talks science, her eyes sparkle. It's... mesmerizing. She is also a strong fighter. By all intends and purposes, she is a wonderful match. And don't think I don't know why the Lightwoods suggested it. To make them look better, to gain stronger ties to the Clave."

For only a moment did Jace pause to look at her before he resumed his pacing. "You're right, Isabelle is a very good match as an individual. But... the family. Why did you agree? I don't like Robert and Maryse much. They're... slimy. Suck-ups."

"All the more reason", hummed Lydia and tilted her head.

Once again, Jace paused and narrowed his eyes at her. "Elaborate."

"By becoming my mate, Isabelle will become a Branwell", replied Lydia, raising her eyebrows. "The Lightwoods had escaped the responsibility for their actions for too long. Maryse and Robert are going to pay for their deeds as Circle members. An example will be held. Their punishment had always been too lax and too many have been whispering about the dubious decision of making them heads of an Institute. The Lightwoods have fallen from grace by allowing Valentine's wife and daughter to live undiscovered in their jurisdiction. Isabelle does not deserve to take the fall for her parents, to live under the disgrace of the Lightwood name. Not to mention, I have seen the way Maryse treats her daughter. She is cold and detached. Omegas deserve to be raised with warmth and love, deserve to be loved and cherished by their family. If her mother failed her, I am more than willing to be the wife who will not fail her."

With a groan did Jace collapse next to Lydia on the bed, spreading his wings out. "You really thought this through before agreeing. Still, is now truly the right time for it...?"

"We have the Mortal Cup", argued Lydia with a frown. "We found Jocelyn Fairchild."

"And we should bring both safely to Idris before we hold a wedding", countered Jace. "This Institute was run by former Circle members and we... can not with a hundred percent certainty say where their loyalty lay. The longer the Mortal Cup stays here, the greater the risk."

"What do you suggest?", asked Lydia curiously.

Jace smiled brightly as he sat up. "I'm your best man, right? How about we move this wedding to the Herondale estate? To show that the Inquisitor herself approves of your choice in omega."

"Imogen hasn't even met Isabelle yet", sighed Lydia. "Jace, don't promise things in her name-"

"Ly—ydia. Come on. You know she can't resist those", huffed Jace.

He motioned at his eyes and did his best sad puppy-pout, making Lydia laugh and shake her head. "Very well. Do whatever you want, Herondale. You'll do it anyway."

"Great. See you tomorrow. Don't be late to your own wedding", stated Jace and dashed out.

Before Lydia could ask any questions, Jace was already out of the room. The Mortal Cup was not safe here. Jace did not trust these people he didn't know, even if he believed the Lightwood children themselves to be trustworthy. Too many variables. The only place the Mortal Cup would be safe would be in Idris. Soon enough, Jace spotted the two people he was looking for.

"Lightwoods. Great. Can I have a word for a moment?", requested Jace.

Alec and Isabelle paused in their conversation and turned toward the blonde. They followed him toward the room Jace had been staying in and after the door was closed and Jace activated a silencing rune – just to make sure no one eavesdropped – he turned to face them.

"Change of plans in the wedding", stated Jace. "We're moving the thing to Idris. Alec, I'd appreciate it if you could get the Mortal Cup discreetly and when I accompany our beautiful bride-to-be to my family's estate, you will come too, as her brother. No one has to be any wiser."

"Why the secrecy?", asked Alec with a frown.

"Let's be real for a moment: We do not know if Valentine has any spies here or when he will attack the Institute again", replied Jace and crossed his arms. "I don't think the Mortal Cup is safe here. I want you to bring it to the Clave, while your sister and I... do a little shopping."

"Shopping?", echoed Isabelle and perked up.

"A beautiful bride needs a beautiful dress", offered Jace amused.

"Why the Herondale estate?", asked Alec.

"Mh? Oh. Sorry. Not many know this, but technically Lydia is kind of my sister", replied Jace. "My grandmother took her in as a young teen, when Lydia's parents died. We had already been friends. She's a Herondale by anything but blood and grandmother will be absolutely delighted to host."

"...I can't imagine the Inquisitor delighted", whispered Isabelle lowly.

Jace laughed at that and shook his head. "That's because you ever only saw the Inquisitor. She's far warmer with her family, of which you will be a part after the wedding. Now let's go."

/break\

Alec had brought the Mortal Cup to the Inquisitor, the Clave praised him for his good work despite his 'unfortunate circumstances' (meaning his family, as Alec realized with an internal wince). Afterward, he oversaw the transportation of Jocelyn Fairchild to the Silent Brothers, to look for treatment of her comatose state. Of course did Clary accompany her mother and not leave her side. Alec all the while went to the Herondale estate to find everything already decorated. It paid to be one of the most wealthy families of Idris. Alec stared wide-eyed as he tried to avoid being in the way of anyone working. He yelped when he was suddenly pulled aside.

"Come with me, taste-testing", ordered Jace all of a sudden.

Alec barely had time to blink as he was dragged along. This was weird. Over the past week of Jace and Lydia being at the Institute, they had found the Mortal Cup and they had found Jocelyn. Admittedly, Jace and Lydia truly had brought a good outside perspective in. Jace had brought exactly what Alec had always dreamed of finding in his ideal mate. Someone headstrong and clever who could challenge Alec's decisions and push him into the right directions if he was off-course. And he had been off-course. He had been distracted, by the reveal of his parents' lies and by the headache that was Clary Fray. Jace and Alec had proven to be a wonderful team. The way they fought side by side against demons... it was not comparable to anything Alec had ever experienced out on the field and apparently, Lydia fought very well with Isabelle. Enough for Izzy to agree to an arranged marriage. Granted, Alec knew Isabelle could do worse, but still...

"I still can't believe we found the Mortal Cup", muttered Alec lowly.

The next moment, he got a piece of cake shoved into his mouth. "Because we worked together. You and I, we... worked really well together. I appreciated that. I expected more... resistance about my presence at the Institute. But I guess I underestimated you."

"Underestimated...?", echoed Alec as he swallowed the cake. "This is good."

"Mh, I agree", nodded Jace as he liked his lips after trying a piece too. "And yes, underestimated. I thought you'd huff and puff like alphas tend to when being 'bossed around' by an omega. Instead, you've been... cooperative and a great partner to work with. You've never once looked down on me as an omega. Which, unfair. I should have known better. You were always... a good guy."

"Always...", echoed Alec, eyes widening. "You remember me."

"Wait. You remember me?", asked Jace, eyes equally wide.

"You're hard to forget", countered Alec before blushing.

"Oh, will you two just kiss and admit that you've been pining for each other?" Both boys startled and turned to look at Isabelle, who stood with her arms crossed in the doorway. "This is my wedding day. I'm not having your pining ruin it. You'll be each other's plus ones and you'll behave."

"Pining? Izzy!", hissed Alec, wings fluffed up in embarrassment.

"What? You... You didn't seriously buy into the 'I don't remember you but I still go by the nickname you gave me', did you, brother?", asked Isabelle, eyebrows raised. "And you're really bad at hiding your crush. You keep staring at Jace like he's the moon. Even Simon has noticed."

"The mundie?", sputtered Alec embarrassed.

Isabelle only raised her eyebrows higher, a pointed look on her face before she turned her back on them and headed out again, because she did have better things to do on her wedding day than watch two idiots who kept stealing glances at each other without the other noticing.

"So... you got a crush on me?", asked Jace, eyebrows raised. "I mean, I'm not surprised. Every eligible alpha has a crush on me. Look at me, I'm hot, strong, of a wealthy and respected family."

Jace was looking at Alec, waiting. Usually, this was where alphas would scoff. They didn't like omegas who knew what they were worth. And damn did Jace know what he was worth.

"Yes, you are", nodded Alec, eyes large as he stared at Jace, making Jace blush just a bit. "I mean, you really are... e... everything I always thought I was looking for in an omega. I always set myself up to find the perfect omega to hold up the legacy of my family. And then I met you-"

"And in a week's time you knew I'm the one?", teased Jace amused.

"No. I mean, when we first met", clarified Alec. "You... proved you're strong and clever and you just... you're you. And I just... knew that I had to work extra hard to prove myself a worthy alpha to you when we'd meet again. But..." Alec paused and cleared his throat, averting his eyes too. "The name I was once so proud of proves to be worth... nothing."

"So?", asked Jace, raising his eyebrows questioningly. "My name is worth enough for two."

"...What?", grunted Alec, frowning surprised.

What he got in return was a careless shrug. "I once figured that I'd have to marry into a good family, but why? My family is strong and wealthy enough to take my mate in instead. Why should the omega have to join the alpha's family? Why not the other way around?"

"I...", started Alec, eyes large and nervous.

"Relax. I'm not proposing to you", snorted Jace and rolled his eyes. "I'm just saying, I came to the realization years ago that on the list of things I'm looking for in a mate, the value of their name doesn't rank very high. Things as strength, courage and kindness are far more valuable. And you, Alexander Lightwood, are very strong, very courageous and very kind. And on top of all of that, you got it all wrapped up in a very handsome package. And besides, you and I recovered the Mortal Cup – do you know how much that means? You're quite the catch, Alec."

Jace winked at Alec, positively making him blush. "So... what you're saying is..."

"I'm asking you out on a date. Granted, our sisters' wedding seems like an odd place for a first date, but... I guess there could be worse first dates", replied Jace. "What do you say?"

Jace thought that Lydia really was onto something. Alec and Isabelle were good people, they deserved more than to be reduced to their last-names, the last-names of traitors. Alexander Herondale had a nice ring to it, though Jace knew he was getting a little ahead of himself. Then again, he had always believed in destiny and the Angel putting Alec into his path again like this, it could not mean anything but destiny. He smiled at the cutely overwhelmed expression on Alec's face and happily leaned in to kiss the alpha briefly. After that, Alec positively looked like his brain couldn't compute. Yeah, this was the kind of alpha Jace wanted for himself. Strong but sweet.

~*~ The End ~*~