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The Ceiling doesn't Change

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Alexander Lightwood used to love the idea of soulmates. The concept that someone out there in the world was made perfectly for you. Someone who would love you wholly with your flaws and insecurities. However Alec now knows the truth about soulmates.

While Alec was younger he thought his soulmate as a faceless figure that would play games with him and be his own age, sense at the time Izzy was just a toddler and couldn’t play with him. Then when Jace became part of the family he thought of his soulmate being a boy and how amazing it would be to kiss a boy instead of a girl. Girls had soft curves and soft voices. Alec wanted someone who looked like Jace, strong and with a deeper voice then a girls.

After coming to the realization that he liked guys solely he was ashamed to tell his family anything, he distanced himself. As a preteen he did his studies, trained, and did everything in his power to make up for the fact that he was gay. Still at night though he would dream of a faceless boy cuddling him and loving him wholly taking away all the shame Alec felt.

 

Those were the hardest times for him, he was so stressed keeping himself perfect, taking care of his siblings, hiding who he was. Alec was scared, absolutely terrified. He punished himself for not being the best, for not know every fact about the downworlders, about every rune. The only comfort was that his soulmate would one day come and take him away from all this.

The night before Alec turned eighteen he was very excited to see what his soulmates first words would be. He told everyone else that he didn’t care what his words are. He has built up this persona of a nonchalant shadowhunter that was to be taken seriously. A shadow hunter that wasn't gay and certainly wasn't excited about his soulmate, duty came first after all.

A soulmates first words could appear on any part of the body. Arms, wrists, and shoulders were the most common and just meant that they were compatible. Back, ribs and chest meant that they would always comfort you. Legs and feet meant that they would ground you and hold you up. Having a soulmark on ones face and neck showed that they would be very open with their relationship and never be guilty about their love.

While a mark on your hips, butt, and upper thigh meant that they would have the strongest emotions together. At first it was thought that they would be the most sexually fulfilled, but that seemed to be a side effect of having a deep emotional relationship, they were almost telepathic and could sense each others emotions.

Alec hoped he would not have his mark on his neck or face, his stress about not standing out was already high enough. Alec did not need to have a guy soulmate who liked to tell everyone about them.

It used to be traditional to keep one's soulmark covered up but now they are much more lenient. If only they could act that way towards the LGBT+. Alec is very grateful that when he was sixteen Izzy got him a mundane phone, he told her he doesn't use it but in reality he looked up and learned a lot about the LGBT+.

Alec learned about internalized homophobia, he's learn about privilege and while he doesn’t live in the mundane world, racism is still present in the Clave, it's just mostly targeted on if someone is a downworlders rather than on their skin color. Alec has made himself a better person he likes to think, sure he hides his true self from everyone, but he has accepted himself. And he is even shutting down shadowhunters who just say straight up hateful things about downworlders. He knows he is not making revolutionary changes but he's working his way up.

Alec has finally made himself a better person, a person who is in a good place to have a soulmate. Thinking back on it, if the preeteen Alec who was depressed and scared had a soulmate it would of been an unhealthy relationship. He would of depended on this person to be the one thing that made him happy, that's not a fair treatment of anyone. Alec is finally happy with himself, and it's a good thing because any minute now he is going to get his soulmark. You get your soulmark the exact time and date you were born, and it was taking forever for 9:24 pm to come.

Alec needs to distract himself, he tries reading and after rereading the same paragraph over and over, he gives up. He tries to do some push ups to burn the excess energy, but everally gives up when he realizes his to tired from the mission hours before. Alec ends up laying on his back staring up at his ceiling, his eyes tracing the shadows that are caused by his lamps. Over and over his eyes follow the path until his alarm goes off softly.

Alec jumps up, stumbling a bit due to his head rush. He feels a tingling sensation on the inside of his upper thigh. Alec remembers searching what it is suppose to feel like to get your mark, some described it as a dull pain, some as painful as getting a rune, while others describe it as having boiling water being poured over one's flesh, burning and blistering the skin.

For Alec though it felt like a gentle touch one that was caring and careful, almost scared that he would break apart. Alec quickly discarded his pants in the hopes of seeing the words appear. After his pants are gone and his boxers rolled up the sensation went away.
Taking a deep breathe Alec looked down to his right thigh.

"You look pretty worthless to me"

What?

How could-

Why did they think-

Alec let out a gasp and stumbled towards his bed, still not taking his eyes off the words. The handwriting was nice and curvy, and yet they said such horrible things. Your mark is what you soulmates says directly to you, not in your facility.

 

Alec breathing increases and before he can think he grabs his stele and draws a silencing and locking rune on the door. He drops his stele not caring when it hits the floor. Alec lets out a cry and his breathing increases until his sobbing and gasping for air. He is letting out a string of no's and is begging this not to be real.

Alec only realizes he is having a panic attack when his fingers dig into the skin next to the words, they ground him. He has coping mechanisms but he can't focus on doing them. Alec just digs his nails deeping and starts taking deep breaths. Tears and snot still run down but he is no longer panicking.

When he doesn't feel like he is dying anymore he lies down in his bed on his back. Tears going down his face until they reach his ears, Alec licks his upper lip tasting the mucus. He wipes the back of his hand under his nose but it only spreads the snot to the side of his check. He feels disgusting, apparently as disgusting as his soulmate will see him.

No stop that, Alec tells himself. But that negative voice speaks again, saying that he must have the mark on his inner thigh because his soulmate has a deep hatred and disgust for him.

 

Alec pushes the meat of his palms into his eyes. No. No. No. No.

 

"I am not worthless. I am not worthless. I am not worthless." Alec repeated to himself over and over.

He finally takes his hands away and looks at his ceiling, knowing that only an hour ago he was looking at the same spot with all the hope in the world. How an hour can change so much. Alec tells himself that he doesn't need a soulmate to fix him, that he is not broken, that he will get through this and he will. But Alec also realizes that right now he needs to cry, and he needs to grieve the lost of the soulmate he always hoped to have.