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The Soulmate Mystery

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Jimon || Shadowhunters || Jimon || The Soulmate Mystery || Jimon || Shadowhunters || Jimon

Title: The Alphas of Jace Herondale – The Soulmate Mystery

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, soulmate AU, strings of fate, alpha/beta/omega dynamics, wingfic, hurt/comfort

Main Pairing: Simon/Jace

Shadowhunters Characters: Jonathan Christopher 'Jace' Herondale, Simon Lewis, Alexander 'Alec' Lightwood, Isabelle 'Izzy' Lightwood, Clarissa 'Clary' Fray, Luke Garroway, Valentine Morgenstern

Summary: A red thread links you to your soulmate. Only that Simon's just... ended in an abandoned church. So he assumed his soulmate was dead. At least until Clary stumbles right into the Shadow World and he gets to meet his soulmate for the first time when Jace drops his glamour.

The Soulmate Mystery

The Alphas of Jace Herondale

Everyone had a red thread attached to a finger. The finger varied, the hand varied. Only the people connected to that specific red thread could see it. A way for soulmates to find each other.

Simon Lewis knew his soulmate was dead.

He had gone on an excited expedition as a kid, together with his best friend Clary. He packed a map and lunch and then they went on an adventure. Elaine, Jocelyn and Luke had regarded them fondly, because most threads led far, far out of the city. Clary's, hers had led too far away and, assuring her that soulmates always found each other, they had ended the search for now.

Simon's search ended in New York. In an old, abandoned, run-down church. Simon's thread just—ended. When a thread just ended, it meant it had been severed by death. The fact that it ended in a church was even more evidence of that. Simon had cried for weeks.

Simon still cried about it for days at a time when he was left to think too hard on it, or when he saw two happy soulmates. Like when Maia Roberts had found her way into their life through Luke during a case and suddenly, Clary's soulmate was right there, was living in New York.

Still, Simon never let the sadness overtake his optimistic attitude. He was happy for his best friend and his new friend. He knew that even people who lose their soulmates could be happy. He knew Elaine was, in a way, happy. She had lost him, had lost Simon's father, and it had wrecked her, but she had managed to push through it and live on for her children's sake and she was happy, happy with their family, even when she still missed her soulmate.

Simon would miss his soulmate too, even though he had never met them before.

/break\

"Pandemonium, huh?", muttered Jace to himself as he looked up at the club.

He was on a mission with Alec and Isabelle. The club was infamous and he had meant to come here before but somehow had never quite found the time. Distracted by the thought that he would rather come here for fun with his siblings than for work, did he not notice where he was going. He ran into a short redhead who glared up at him. Directly at him. As though she could see him.

What distracted him even more – even more than the girl who could see through the glamour – was the guy next to her. Glasses, dorky smile and... the other end of Jace's thread.

It was hard to miss. With only inches between the two of them, Jace could see it very clearly. The red threat going from Jace's finger to the stranger's, tying them together. His soulmate.

Jace hightailed out of that situation, following Isabelle and Alec inside to take care of their mission. He couldn't afford to get distracted like that. Soulmates were nothing but distractions.

He knew he didn't need a soulmate. His father had raised him to know that. Soulmates were a distraction, a weakness, something others could use against him. Love was nothing but destruction.

He gritted his teeth as he glared down at the red thread. Never mind. There was no way he was ever going to see that random mundie again anyway.

/break\

So Clary wasn't doing drugs. That was a good thing. Probably. Though honestly, whatever he had pictured did not live up to the truth. Clary was working with invisible angels to find her mother.

And one of those invisible angels was Simon's soulmate. The first time the blonde un... uhm... unglamoured was the word? Simon was left staring stunned, gaping wide-eyed.

"You're beautiful", whispered Simon.

"...You already said that", grunted Jace with a frown.

He was leading the way into the church, Simon and Clary trailing after him. "I'm sorry, but you are literally an angel. You have wings. Large, white, golden wings. My soulmate is an angel."

Alec, Isabelle and Clary all raised their eyebrows at him in surprise. Right. No one aside from him and Jace could see the red thread tying them together. Jace. That was his soulmate's name. It sounded cool. He looked cool. Cool and handsome and an actual, literal angel.

"That doesn't matter. I don't believe in soulmates", grunted Jace unimpressed.

Simon frowned confused and stared at the blonde. There was a lot he had to digest here, but this was the heaviest part. What did that even mean...? Simon still didn't understand what was going on.

/break\

So what was going on was a lot. As suspected. Clary was also an angel, sprouting beautiful red wings after the magic concealing them was being lifted by Magnus Bane, who was a real-life warlock. She was also what they called an omega – which was apparently a Shadowhunter thing.

And Simon... was now an alpha. And also a vampire. That had happened. Simon had died.

So, for a while, he had actually kind of forgotten that he had a soulmate to worry about. He had died, after all, and was now craving – blood. Because he was a vampire. Not to mention the whole turning into an alpha thing, because his primal urges had shifted and his, ah, anatomy had kind of changed too – he now had a knot. That kind of messed with his head too.

He also had to deal with Rebecca and their mom not learning the truth.

Oh also the only father-figure he had had for the past ten years turned out to be a werewolf. And while probably some of the most awkward conversations Simon ever had, Luke could at least explain the whole alpha and omega stuff. Apparently, it had to do with the soul-bond, since his soulmate was an omega – which, finally, brought Simon's thoughts back to Jace.

"You're not... who I'd thought to be Jace's soulmate."

Simon huffed and stopped his pacing to look at Alec and Isabelle Lightwood. Alec looked tired. Granted, Simon must look just as tired. Jace had been gone for three days now.

Three days ago, Valentine Morgenstern – Clary's father... Jace's father. Another can of worms Simon wasn't sure how to open – had kidnapped Jace. Jace had gone willingly with his father, so Valentine would spare his friends. Would spare Alec, Isabelle, Magnus, Clary and Simon. Simon had stood there, helplessly watching how his soulmate disappeared through a portal.

Simon had barely gotten kind of the hang of being a vampire and alpha. He had barely gotten used to that whole thing. Angels and demons. Half-angels. Nephilim. But oh they had wings, beautiful wings. Jace's wings were large and white, dusted with gold, just like his eyes and hair shone so golden. And he smelt so good. Omega. That was what it was. Jace was an omega, his omega, and Simon was an alpha, an alpha who didn't get to hug or kiss or hold his omega.

"But you care about him", offered Isabelle gently.

"He's my soulmate. We're supposed to be each other's happily ever after. I spent all my life waiting for this, trying to find him and now he's been taken away from me by his abuser!"

Simon glared in outrage, throwing his hands up in the air. He knew the stories. Clary had told him, gently and carefully. The story of the falcon. She had told him with pity in her eyes, because she was trying to explain to him why Jace was so against finding his soulmate. Because Valentine Morgenstern liked to snap the neck of those Jace loved.

"We're going to find him", stated Alec, voice and posture tense.

He was the only one who felt as strongly as Simon did, because in his own way, Alec had a soul-bond to Jace. They were what Shadowhunters called parabatai. Platonic soulmates. Chosen soulmates. That stung a little, considering how adamant Jace was on denying his soul-bond with Simon, but okay. Fair enough. He had gotten to know Alec first, for years, Alec had been Jace's person, protector and friend alike. Alec had gotten years to earn Jace's trust before forming this bond with him. Simon was just some random stranger. Which was why Simon was okay. He was okay with giving his severely abused soulmate all the time he'd need to get to know him first.

"When?", asked Simon irritated. "It's been three days already. He's out there and—and I'm here. I'm here and useless and I can't find him or help him or anything. I wasn't there for him for two decades already and now that I finally met him, that I could and should be there for him, help him and protect him, I can't and I... I can't disappoint him like that..."

Alec gave him a look. Simon felt like the longer Jace was missing, the more Alec came around on Simon? Like he was seeing something in Simon that he approved of. Simon would have preferred that to happen without his soulmate being abducted.

Simon heaved a sigh and rubbed his face before sitting down. He was so exhausted by absolutely everything that had happened in the past few weeks. Isabelle approached him carefully.

"Hey. We're doing everything we can to save him", whispered Isabelle gently, resting a hand on Simon's shoulder. "Luke took the pack to search for him everywhere."

Right, because Jace was Jocelyn's son. And while Jocelyn was kind of not taking the news too well, Luke was determined to save her son and to unite their family fully. Clary was with Jocelyn, had barely left her mother's side since she had woken up from her coma.

"Yeah", muttered Simon and nodded his head jerkily. "Yeah..."

/break\

"And you're sure it's okay for me to live here?", asked Simon worried.

"Simon, you can't stay with your family right now and I will not let you live on the streets. You're like a son to me, you know that, right?", countered Luke, voice soft.

Simon offered him a watery smile before hugging Luke. He was so grateful to have Luke. And Luke was right. Keeping being a vampire a secret from his mom and sister was going disastrously and since Jace had been abducted, it got even harder. Simon was so on edge, he kept lashing out.

"This place is amazing", noted Simon as he looked around. "I totally... forgot about it."

"Yeah, we haven't found the time to come here in a while", sighed Luke. "Might as well give you a proper roof over your head and with your new vampire-speed, you'll be back in the city in the blink of an eye. You don't have to worry about noisy neighbors or anything either."

"You mean I don't have to worry about accidentally attacking humans", muttered Simon.

"Si", started Luke gently, resting a hand on Simon's shoulder. "You're young, you only got turned a few weeks ago. You died. You have to grow accustomed to it. I... When I got turned into a werewolf, it took me time to get used to it too. But yes, this is safer for... everyone."

Simon heaved a sigh and threw himself onto the couch, staring up at the ceiling. "Thank you, seriously. I just... everything is going wrong these days and I want... some stability."

"How are you holding up, with Jace gone?", asked Luke concerned.

He sat down on the arm-rest of the couch, looking down at the boy he considered a son. He knew about the soulmates, of course. Simon had told him, whined about it really. And then, over the weeks, the tune changed. Simon had learned more about Jace Wayland and he had come to realize that Jace denying the soul-bond had nothing to do with Simon himself; it had everything to do with the abuse the boy had suffered in his past. Luke had honestly never been prouder of Simon. He knew it wasn't him and he was ready to wait for his soulmate to come to terms with it and accept him, Simon was willing to support Jace and be there for him until he found it in himself to trust Simon. Luke may not know much about Jace just yet (though he planned on; considering he was Jocelyn's son, Clary's brother and Simon's soulmate), but he knew enough to see that Simon was exactly the kind of person Jace needed in his life. Gentle, kind, supportive, loyal, understanding and filled with so much love to give. Exactly what Jace needed.

"I just... I want to save him", muttered Simon upset. "I want to be there to save him. I can't... Sitting around, unable to do anything... It drives me crazy, Luke. And then there is that whole... uh... biological thing... I just... I feel so aggressive and growly at everyone because I'm getting more impatient and I... I just want to hold him, to... to make sure he's safe..."

Luke smiled softly at that. This was more than just the soul-bond. Simon had started to develop actual feelings for Jace. He just hoped that Jace would come around soon, because Simon, despite his patience, deserved to hold his soulmate and have him be there for him too.

/break\

"Hey. Hey, come on, time to wake up, angel."

Simon was shaking Jace gently but firmly, trying to wake him up. Jace had swallowed a lot of water on their way off the Morning Star. When Clary had a lead, she did not go without Simon, knowing he needed to be there to save his soulmate himself. So they went, together and – and Valentine, he tried to make Jace kill the werewolf-girl. Gretel. Valentine had not expected Simon though. The vampire managed to give them the upper hand. At least for long enough so Simon, Clary, Jace and Gretel could jump into the river. Simon managed to cling onto Jace, but they got separated from the girls. Jace blinked blearily as he came to it, coughing up air violently.

"Hi, hey, are you alright? I mean, you're obviously not alright, you've been seriously beaten up."

"I'm... fine... What happened?", asked Jace, voice rough.

"Get you to a doctor now, talk later?", suggested Simon. "Uhm... hold on tight?"

"Oh no. No, you're not-", started Jace to protest.

But Simon beat him to it by gathering him up bridal style and holding him securely pressed against his chest before running at full vampire-speed to the Institute, where he very easily found Alec and Isabelle, who were both incredibly relieved. They led him to the infirmary, where Alec applied some healing runes first – apparently, they were more effective when applied by a parabatai.

"I can't believe you found him", whispered Alec, looking up at Simon.

"I... I had to", offered Simon dazed. "We... We have to find Clary. And, uh, Gretel. She's a werewolf. We kind of... saved her life? When we escaped. But Jace and I got separated from them."

"I'm texting Luke, alerting the pack", assured Isabelle. "How about for now you... get changed into something dry, maybe take a shower? The doctor'll check Jace through in a moment."

"No. I'm staying right here", grunted Simon firmly.

"Simon. There's nothing you can do right now and you're literally dripping river-water."

Simon looked conflicted for a moment before Alec chimed in with a sigh. "You can use Jace's room. Just grab a couple of his clothes from the closet."

Isabelle smirked amused at her brother, because he had found the exact right angle to get Simon to move. Turning toward Simon, Isabelle smiled and decided to guide Simon toward Jace's room.

"I found him, Iz", whispered Simon with a broad smile. "He'll be safe now. Right?"

"Of course he will", assured Isabelle, smiling kindly at him.

/break\

"How is that I'm gone for one shower and when I return-", snarled Simon.

His fangs were out, a vicious expression on his face. Alec looked non-threatened and unimpressed. He also looked angry though. And Simon knew it wasn't Alec's fault – but he couldn't help it. After a week of having been imprisoned and tortured, Simon had finally managed to help free Jace. And then, while Simon took one shower, the Clave decided to take Jace away from him again.

"Believe me, I would do anything to save my parabatai too", growled Alec back. "But Jace..."

"Went willingly with them, just like he did with Valentine, right", muttered Simon.

He deflated, suddenly feeling so very drained. Alec gritted his teeth but nodded. Of course had Jace done that, he'd never want to cause trouble for those he loved. It was one of the things that Simon was slowly coming to love. He took a shaky breath, rubbing his face.

"You know what, when I learned that my soulmate was a kick-ass demon-hunter, I somehow expected less 'saving the damsel in distress' situations", muttered Simon.

Alec choked out a laughter at that and shook his head. "Don't... say that to his face."

Simon smiled, though I was a sad and frustrated smile. "What... do we do, Alec?"

Alec shook his head with a tired sigh. "Me and Iz, we're going to do everything we can. I already tried talking to Aldertree, but... I'm going to try again. We'll get him out."

He patted Simon reassuringly and the only reason Simon felt reassured was because Jace was Alec's parabatai and Simon knew that Alec would move the world to save him too. Simon just... wished that there was no need to save Jace. That Jace would simply be safe.

/break\

Jace was tired. He was honestly just... so very tired. His father – what he had done on the ship. Jace shuddered at the memory, closing his eyes tightly. And then the City of Bones, the... the... He took a shaky breath and shook his head. No. No thinking about it. Also not thinking about how his... mother had tired to kill him because she thought he was pure evil because he had demon-blood. Or how his mother was now dead, had died while Jace had been imprisoned in the City of Bones.

But after everything he had been through...

He couldn't take it anymore. Couldn't take Aldertree's harassment, him pushing Jace around. Not now. Not after being tortured by his dad, being tortured by Aldertree, losing his mother. No.

"Jace. Hey", greeted Luke surprised when Jace slid into the seat opposite him.

"You look... awful, brother", noted Clary concerned.

She side-eyed Jace from next to him. This had been the first and only thing Jace could think of. Luke had told him, after the reveal of Jace's parentage, that Luke would be there for him, whatever Jace needed. Because Luke was Clary's dad, basically, and since Jace was Clary's brother, he claimed to feel a sense of responsibility for Jace too. Even though he didn't have to.

"Thanks", huffed Jace and made a face.

He was still getting used to having another sister now. It was weird, but he also found an odd sense of comfort in Clary, maybe especially so because she was also an omega. He instinctively leaned a little closer to her, brushing their wings against each other.

"Are you... okay?", asked Simon tentatively.

Jace tilted his head and gulped a little. The alpha was... everything he never expected from his soulmate, to be honest. Jace still wasn't sure what to think about Simon, though he knew he couldn't think anything bad about Simon, because he had been so... good? Kind. It was weird.

"I'm alive. That has to count for something", muttered Jace, slumping forward on his seat and looking at Luke. "You... once said that... I could come to you if I needed anything, right?"

"Of course. Anything you need, my boy", assured Luke seriously. "What is it?"

"A... place to live?", admitted Jace reluctantly.

"Is it really getting that bad with Aldertree?", asked Clary concerned, wrapping a wing around Jace.

Jace wanted to laugh, give a cocky remark, but honestly, he was just so bone-tired and done. "I just... can't take this anymore. Not right now. Not after what happened on the Morning Star. Not after getting tortured some more by my own people in the City of Bones. Not after losing... a mother I never even got to know. I don't... I can't take his shit anymore, not right now. I need a break."

"Of course", nodded Luke with a frown.

There was a raw pain in his eyes at the mention of Jocelyn, while Clary leaned some more into Jace. She had lost her mother too, after all – and she actually had known Jocelyn. Jace sighed and relaxed a little, because while Luke had promised it, that didn't necessarily have to mean much. Not in Jace's experience, at least. Luke was frowning deeply as he looked from Jace to Simon.

"But you see, my place is... not exactly big. I don't have a guest-room, you'd have to sleep on the couch. Which was why I offered Simon the farm-house", continued Luke.

Jace deflated some, hunching in on himself. Of course. Why would Luke have a room to spare?

"The farm-house is really big enough for two people, you know", offered Clary pointedly. "I mean, seriously. We've been going to that farm together, mom, you, me, Si, Elaine, Rebecca, for years. I'm sure Simon and Jace could just... room together there. It's an entire house, after all."

Jace stiffened at that and turned to glare at Clary pointedly. He knew she had a hidden agenda. After all, he was her brother and Simon was her best friend and she really wanted them to work out.

"I mean... if you don't mind, Jace", offered Simon awkwardly.

Jace gritted his teeth for a moment. He kind of wanted to say no because the thought of living all alone with an alpha – his alpha, if he had to be technical – was making him feel slightly anxious. But he also had no real other option, did he? He'd rather live with Simon, who seemed genuinely concerned for his well-being, than continue living at the Institute right now.

"We could... give that a try", agreed Jace after a moment.

/break\

Magnus Bane was a godsend who installed a permanent portal between the farm-house and the Institute so Jace didn't have to spend hours driving every day. The house was also pretty nice. Jace got to stay in Clary's old bedroom, which was kind of fun, because it smelt – very faintly – like her and thus, it smelt... safe. Like family. Also, he got an insight into Clary. Photos and drawings, the books and things she still had here. It all told a story and made Jace smile.

"He—ey, roomie. I made... uh... breakfast. You awake yet?"

The door opened and Jace's alpha poked his head in before yelping and covering his eyes. Jace rolled his eyes. Just because he was only wearing sweat-pants. Really? Was that now cute because it was considerate, or simply ridiculous...? Both, probably. Which summed up Simon Lewis.

"You don't even eat, Lewis", pointed Jace out and stretched himself.

Simon made a small, miserable noise as Jace's six-pack flexed at that. Someone was peeking between his fingers. Jace smirked amused and tilted his head at that.

"I don't. But you do", offered Simon reluctantly. "I just... You know, you gotta eat well because you gotta slay all the demons, right? And I..."

"And you want me to like you", supplied Jace with a sigh.

He walked past Simon, though he paused slightly behind him. "I don't dislike you, Lewis."

While Jace continued walking, he missed the way Simon's entire face lit up because this was infinitely more than Jace had been willing to give two weeks ago. Jace walked toward the kitchen, following his nose. He was surprised at just how much breakfast Simon had made. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh strawberries even. Jace licked his lips and sat down at the set table.

"Uh. It's vegan bacon though, just a fair warning", offered Simon as he served them both food.

"Vegan bacon? Why would you do that?", asked Jace with a disgusted and betrayed face.

"I'm Jewish. Hadn't that come up yet? Ye—eah. Bacon-free zone. If you don't mind."

"...Oh. No, it's... okay", nodded Jace slowly.

Simon frowned at the confused look on Jace's face, though he just got his blood out to spray it generously over his own serving of food before sitting down next to Jace. They ate in silence for a while, until the thoughtful look on Jace's face bothered Simon too much.

"Okay. What's wrong? Is it a... problem for you that I'm Jewish?", asked Simon confused.

"No. Not... Not a problem. It's just... we Shadowhunters, we don't do mundie religion", offered Jace carefully. "We believe in the Angel. In someone we know to be real, someone who gave us our powers. Everything else just... serves us. We hide our weapons and holy water and whatnot in the temples and churches and houses of belief. How... are you coping with things? I mean, learning Angels are real, demons are real, it must... rattle you some, right?"

Simon smiled faintly at that and shook his head. "I died. And came back. And my soulmate is an angel. And my father-figure is a werewolf. Honestly, I've been so busy trying to take it all in, I... didn't have any time to have a crisis of faith so far. It's... probably going to hit me, once I get like... five minutes to breath. So far, that hasn't been the case."

There was a pause before Jace reached out with one wing and brushed it against Simon's shoulder, startling the vampire. "For what it's worth, you're doing great. You're... really adaptable. And reliable. I don't think Clary would have been able to keep herself together like this without you."

Simon smiled as his eyes fell to the table. There were only three inches between their hands, the red thread tying them together clearly visible to them both. They were physically close right now, but it went beyond that – Simon had never felt closer to his soulmate before.

/break\

Simon smiled softly as he very carefully pulled the blanket around Jace to keep him warm because the blonde kept snuggling closer to him in his sleep. Living together, Simon had decided to introduce Jace to movies. Every evening, when Jace was completely drained from missions, he'd come home, shower and then share dinner with Simon while watching a movie that Simon thought Jace really had to see. They'd talk about them, Simon would explain more and Jace would listen.

They had grown closer through that, slowly building up some trust and a kind of relationship. Not a romantic one, but at least some kind of relationship. Jace leaned more into him – quite literally right now, because Jace had fallen asleep in the middle of Valentine's Day. And once he was asleep, Jace had started cuddling up to Simon, seeking out his... well... there was no body-heat. Maybe it was the bond, the fact that Simon smelt like alpha, like Jace's mate, and even though Jace was still in denial about it, instinctively he knew that meant safety. Still, due to a lack of body-heat, Simon pulled the nice, warm, fluffy blanket closely around Jace, causing the omega to sigh contently.

"You can be so cute", whispered Simon softly, carefully caressing Jace's hair. "I can't wait for when you're comfortable enough to be this cute around me when you're awake."

He wrapped his arms around Jace's waist and pulled him closer before focusing on the movie again. Jace wasn't sleeping a lot, or very well, so Simon wasn't going to wake him. He wanted Jace to rest as much as he could... and he also enjoyed having his omega this close. There was something inherently soothing about having Jace close, about Jace's scent and body-heat and just generally the feeling of Jace's body pressed against his own like that.

/break\

Simon woke up screaming, clawing at whatever was closest. Something had woken him up, but he didn't really know what it was until his vision came more into focus, until his hearing and nose were in the here and now. He could smell something sweet like strawberries, smelt like home and comfort, there was a weight on his waist and something warm and gentle touching his cheeks. And then he saw, actually saw. Jace was sitting on top of him.

"Hey. Sh, calm down, Simon. You're safe. You're at the farm-house, with me. It's three in the morning, you just had a nightmare. Everything is fine. You're fine", assured Jace gently. "Focus on your breathing, you're hyperventilating. Just listen to mine, try mirroring my breathing."

He was cradling Simon's face with both his hands. His voice was softer than Simon had ever heard it aimed at him. Slowly, Simon calmed down as he come more and more to himself. Even when Simon's breathing was evened out again, Jace didn't climb off him.

"I'm... I'm good", nodded Simon shakily. "Did... Did I wake you?"

"I mean, kind of. I was sleeping on top of you when you started trashing around", grunted Jace and ran his fingers through his hair. "I... think we fell asleep during the movie."

Right. They were in the living room. The TV was still on. They had been watching cheesy rom-coms and then Jace had fallen asleep against him and... Simon hadn't dared get up because he hadn't wanted to wake Jace up so he must have fallen asleep too.

"What was it?", asked Jace, voice very gentle as he settled down at the foot-end of the couch.

"Mh...? Nothing, just... a random nightmare", laughed Simon awkward.

"Don't do that", grunted Jace, shaking his head a little. "Tell me you don't want to talk about it, but don't like. You're a really shitty liar, Lewis. And I know what someone looks like who had a flashback. I've seen that haunted look before in the mirror, you know."

Simon heaved a sigh and averted his gaze. "I just... didn't know if you'd... want to hear."

"Look, you can accuse me of a lot of things, but I'm never going to fake interest", offered Jace. "When I ask you, I mean it and want to know the answer. Otherwise, I'd not ask."

"It's... crawling... out of my grave", admitted Simon after a long moment. "Not even the dying itself, but waking up buried alive – or not alive – and not understanding what's going on and..."

Silence settled between them as Jace kept staring at him with an unreadable look on his face. At the same time, Jace also reached out with his wings, embracing Simon gently. They were warm. They were incredibly warm and comforting and Simon didn't remember ever having felt that safe before.

"I buried you", whispered Jace, voice only audible to Simon thanks to his vampire-hearing.

"Hey. No. I mean, I know that, but I also know it was like necessary to-", started Simon.

"No, I'm not... I'm not trying to sound like I'm blaming myself for your nightmares", sighed Jace and rolled his eyes. "I don't regret doing that, because otherwise you would have stayed dead."

"Okay...", nodded Simon, looking at Jace with curiosity.

"I buried you", repeated Jace, his arms around his own knees. "And I thought... my father had been right all along." That got Simon's undivided attention, eyebrows furrowed and two seconds from protesting, but he decided to let Jace continue to see where this was going. "He always told me that love... destroys. That soulmates were only something that could be used against you."

Jace took a shaky breath and rested his forehead against his knees. "I... I thought he was right. Because I had barely just... met you and then you died. And you were dead and at that point, we didn't even know if it... if it would work. If you would turn into a vampire. And I buried you, very selfishly because... even though in that moment, I felt like my father was right, there's always been a part of me... that wanted this. That... hoped I'd find my soulmate. That hoped I'd meet you."

There was a sharp intake of breath because it was honestly the first time Jace actually acknowledged that they were soulmates, the first time he made it sound as though he didn't absolutely hate the idea of being Simon's soulmate. Simon leaned in eagerly, hoping for more.

"I didn't want to give up on you because I had... hope", continued Jace. "Part of me still believed that finding my soulmate would magically fix everything. Which was... naive and dumb. Meeting you didn't just magically fix my life." Jace snorted and Simon deflated a little. "...But you made it... better. I'm glad I met you, Simon. You're a good person, a selfless person. I know you were searching as relentlessly for me as Alec when I was... And you and Clary came and freed me, saved me. I know you didn't have to let me stay here with you, but you did even though I've been nothing but hostile to you. And I... I'm happy here, living with you. You're... fun. Warm. Comforting."

"I... genuinely don't know what to say", whispered Simon and gulped hard.

"Don't say anything", sighed Jace and got up. "I just... want you to know that. That... I'm glad you crawled out of that grave instead of staying dead. I'm glad you came into my life."

Simon smiled softly to himself as he watched his soulmate walk upstairs to go to bed.

/break\

Jace stood next to Clary, staring at her phone in utter horror at the viciously smiling face of their father. Valentine Morgenstern, smiling viciously into the camera. And then he pulled Simon in.

"Your little friend, Clarissa", stated Valentine before tilting his head. "And, as I hear, so much more to you, Jonathan. Pathetic, son. I always knew you were pathetic, being an omega. But that you'd get yourself an alpha? A Downworlder, at that."

And then, Jace was forced to watch helplessly as Valentine cut Simon's throat. Simon was bleeding, was helpless, was at Valentine's mercy. It gave Jace crippling flashbacks to how he had lost his falcon – his first and only childhood friend, watching Valentine snap his neck just because Jace loved him. And that was exactly what this was. Jace had been stupid, dumb, he had grown attached to Simon, had allowed himself to hope – to hope that maybe, he could be happy after all. That maybe, love didn't always end in destruction, that maybe his soulmate really meant his happiness. But here they were, Valentine proving himself right once again, taking what Jace loved the most once again, killing Simon just to prove a point, making Jace watch to destroy Jace with it.

"Jace, brother, come on, you have to breath", urged Clary gently, holding onto his shoulders.

Slowly, Jace became aware of his surroundings again and he realized he had tears burning in the corners of his eyes and that he had slipped into an anxiety attack.

"I can't lose him", blurted Jace out and collapsed forward into his sister's arms. "I only just found him. I only told him that I'm glad he's in my life. I never told him-"

"He knows that, Jace", whispered Clary gently, wrapping her wings around him. "He knows. That's why he sticks around. Why he's being patient, taking things at your pace. Because he knows. And we're going to save Simon, together. Let's calm down and come up with a plan."

/break\

"No, Clary, I can't—I can't control it right now, I can't drink from you", mumbled Simon.

His vision was blurry and he was out of it. He had lost a lot of blood, nearly all of it really. He knew he was only seconds away from bleeding out completely. Thanks to Valentine Morgenstern. And then Clary had walked in and now she wanted to let him drink, but he didn't want to hurt his best friend. And if he wouldn't be this close to final death and this out of it, he would have noticed that something was off – that the red thread on his finger connected to this Clary's hand...

"It's okay, Si, just drink", assured Clary gently and bared her neck.

While he drank from Clary, the redhead shifted into a blonde. Into his blonde. His soulmate. And then, everything was... even more blurry? He was still too out of it, there was fighting around him and the next time he was fully aware, he was in the hall with Jace.

"I could have killed you, Jace, you shouldn't have-", started Simon softly.

"I would have let you", replied Jace without looking at him.

/break\

"I would have let you?", echoed Simon in a bad mockery of Jace's voice. "I would have let you! You know, there's really romantic ways of saying 'I'd do anything for you, soulmate' or 'I love you', but 'I would have let you kill me' is not, in fact, romantic, you idiot!"

Jace startled a little as he turned to watch Simon be angry. "I couldn't let you die."

"I couldn't let you die and I would have let you kill me are two different things", grunted Simon distressed before taking a calming breath and grasping Jace's face. "I love you. I don't know if you're ready to hear this, but over the past months of knowing you, over the past weeks of living with you, I've fallen in love with you. What... What do you think what it'd make me feel like if you died...? If... If you died at my hands, Jace?"

Jace closed his eyes at that, taking a shaky breath of his own as he leaned into the alpha's embrace. "You nearly died because of me. Because you're my soulmate, because Valentine found out, because... he likes to destroy everything I love. You're not... safe, Simon."

"Oh, shut up", huffed Simon and wrapped both his arms tightly around Jace. "I'm a vampire now. My life is dangerous. Besides, he would have done the same to hurt Clary because I'm her best friend. Because Valentine is a bag of dicks. But that doesn't mean you don't deserve to be happy. If... uh... you think I could make you happy. Jace, he's under arrest. He's downstairs, in a cell, right now. You're safe. And so am I. Damn, all I want to do is kiss you right now, but I don't want to overstep anything and I know you still need time and this was like a major setback and I'm ready to wait as long as you need, but I need you to know where I'm in all of this. I love you. I want to kiss y-"

He was interrupted by a soft press of lips. His eyes widened in surprise, but he was quick to react and wrap his arms around Jace's waist, pulling him close and, in an act of pure happiness, he started to whirl his omega around. Jace's scent was sweeter and calmer than ever before.

"I nearly lost you twice now", whispered Jace against his lips. "What good did it do me to keep you at arm's length? That didn't make either time hurt less. I could... I could lose you any day and I'd... rather have you for that. You're... You're the best thing that has happened to me ever since I came to New York for the first time and met Alec, Izzy and Max."

"Okay", nodded Simon, looking up at Jace whom he had lifted up by the thighs. "So, Jace Fray, do you want to be my boyfriend then...?"

Jace huffed, not commenting on the chosen last-name here. "...Yes, I do. Dork."

Laughter bubbled up in Simon's chest and though they were both covered in his blood, he pulled Jace into another kiss. They were so focused on each other, so captured by the moment, that neither even noticed the sunlight falling through the Institute's windows, bathing them in its warmth.

~*~ The End ~*~