The office was an atrocity at seven o’clock in the morning.
Alec Lightwood strode in, coffee in hand and brow furrowed as he watched several uniformed officers shuffled past in an attempt to get to the evidence lockers. The small hallway making it difficult resulting in him nearly spilling the only thing that was going to allow him to make it through the day.
“Is there a reason for all the kerfuffle?” He asked, raising an eyebrow and placing his mocha on the edge of the desk. Thankfully, before his departure two months prior, he’d had the good sense to clean up and was now immaculate, a far cry from his partner’s desk across from him.
From his view of the bullpen he could see it in all its glory; three of the five detectives on the floor were crowded around a table at the far end of the room, Lydia, Simon and Maia, their stormy expressions and stiff body language only the beginning of the frantic energy the precinct was radiating. A loud bark from the evidence locker sent the uniforms that had crossed Alec’s path earlier rushing for the elevator at the far end, tails between their legs. A few moments later Captain Luke Garroway barged out, throwing a glare to nobody in particular.
“Kerfuffle? That’s the first word I hear my partner, best friend and brother in arms say to me after two months god knows where? Not even a ‘hey Jace, I missed you so much’” A voice came, knocking Alec out his stupor. He turned to see his partner, Jace Wayland, slouched down in his chair.
Alec sat and logging onto the mainframe, was bombarded with email after email, oh, to be back again . He looked up at Jace with a crooked smile.“I’m sorry? I can’t hear you from all that goddamn mess over your desk, how the fuck do you work in that?”
Jace opened his mouth to answer but was cut off when Luke’s voice carried over the bullpen.
“Listen Up!” He barked, “There have been reports of three deaths from last night to this morning linked to this new drug on the market. Pixie Dust. I know this isn’t as high profile as it seems but these murders are violent. I want every detective, uniform, goddamn secretary on this case. Roberts-” He turned to Maia with steel in his eyes, “I want you and Lewis to work on finding as much information about this drug and its effects- Branwell, start to piece together as much information about the victims you can.” He finally focuses his attention on Alec, “Lightwood, Wayland.” he says grimly, “Go to the crime scenes, find out what you can.” He dismissed the rest and walked over, clapping a hand on his shoulder with a pained smile. “Good to have you back, Lightwood.”
“Good to be back, Captain.” Alec nodded and grabbed his coat. This was going to be interesting.
The smell was the first thing that hit Alec, it was a cross between syrup and rotting eggs. The two detectives pulled up to the crime scene. Not fully understanding why there was so much fuss over a drug overdose as two other police cars clocked around the alleyway between a small hole-in-the-wall bar and what seemed to be an abandoned video store. He and Jace got out the car and leaned against the bonnet, sipping coffee and praying in vain that the smell would subside.
“Okay, fill me in, what did I miss?” Alec breathed through his mouth. Refusing to allow the bile in the back of his throat the chance to make an appearance. The cold winter chill filling his lungs with cold,
Jace scrunched up his nose and tried not to gag, “Clary keeps telling me that we should get a dog- but she wants a husky and I want a golde-”
“About the case, dumbass- We have time to catch up later.” Alec sighed, starting the walk to the other cars after finishing the dregs of their coffee,
“Right.” He threw his partner a grin before turning serious once more as they ducked beneath the yellow police tape. “Pixie Dust is the latest drug on the market.” He began, “it’s been on our radar for about a month now, although there’s been no casualties at all and we haven’t really made it a priority, the stuff is popular with high profile users, not really seen on the common ground if you catch my drift. And now all of a sudden we get a dozen calls saying people are dying.” He said, running a hand through his sandy blond hair,
Alec thought for a moment, stopping before they reached the start of the scene and pulling his coat tighter around him to shield from the arctic breeze; “how do you know these deaths are linked to this ‘Pixie Dust’ stuff?”
“Well, a key component of it is glitter and well…from the reports...” Jace shook his head and lead him to where the body was, exchanging a few words with the officer in charge.
The sight was something to behold. The victim couldn't have been older than twenty-two, maybe younger a voice in his head thought disturbingly . Alec’s senses screamed at him to back away and get as much distance between himself and the dead body as possible as he took a tentative step forward.
His face was haunting. His mangled lip and obviously broken nose were caked in dried blood, congealed and cracked. The now browning blood had drizzled down his face like so much rain down a window pane. His dark hair knotted and sticking to the sides of his face. Eyes blown wide and scared, the ice blue of them making him seem almost as frozen as Alec felt in the cold November chill. What was left of his clothes were torn, a frayed white cotton button up that hung loosely either side of his lacerated torso, his flesh dangling in a similar way. The scarlet liquid had drenched his white shirt, the light had left his eyes as the colour from his rosy cheeks vanished as if ice had struck him. Blood still weeping from the wounds that snaked their way across the remnants of his chest. The smell became unbearable, it was a mix of something sickly sweet that overpowered the stink of maggots festering and wriggling in the gash. And the curious thing was that everything was covered in glitter. So much glitter. On the walls. The ground. The body.
“What the fuck. ” He muttered, crouching down, behind him Jace began to gag, turning away from the scene. “How the hell did this happen?”
A forensics worker that had been standing not far off advanced on them, breathing heavily through her mouth as she spoke:
“The glitter was applied post-mortem, so was the wound from the base of the lungs to the intestines. Whatever they wanted. It was inside the body.”
The ride to the precinct was quieter. Jace stared blankly out the window for the majority of the ride. Alec focussed on the road. Nothing in his eight years on the force had been as gruesome as that. He had seen bullet wound after bullet wound, stab wounds, bar fights, everything. Nothing. Nothing, compared to that, and to add insult to injury was the glitter, scattered over the body of practically a child like some sick and twisted birthday party.
“Where’ve you been the past two months?” Jace asked in a small voice, not diverting his attention from the bustling scenery of New York on the other side of the window.
“I told you before I left, man, I had a family problem.” He replied softly, heart aching in his chest
A family problem, yeah, sure, you can say that.
It was more than that. Something Alec couldn’t find the heart to tell his best friend just yet.
“Alright.” Jace said vacantly,
“I missed you though, I missed everyone.” Alec tried, Jace didn’t answer.
They pulled up fifteen minutes later in silence, sharing sorrowful looks as they entered the now calmer bullpen. Lydia and Simon came to greet them as they entered.
“This is bad, guys. Really bad. I cannot stress how fucked up this all is.” Simon blabbered as they stepped into the briefing room, Maia already setting up a pin board with all the information they had. Which was not a lot.
“What do we have already?” Jace said, immediately taking a seat on the table.
The board was covered with pictures from the rest of the crime scenes, each one covered in glitter like the one he and Jace had seen. They were all covered in blood and had gashes on their stomachs, slicing them open in one clean cut.
“Each one was found in an alleyway, either behind a bar or nightclub or something similar.” Maia began, pointing to various points on a map of New York City, her bushy brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. “They were all covered in glitter, and the gashes they sustained were post-mortem. Lydia and Simon got reports from the analysis team that the victims that came in earlier were all either known to be homeless, or sleeping rough.” She swallowed before continuing, “they were also all between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one.”
The five of them fell into an uncomfortable silence for a moment before someone broke it,
“What’s with the post-mortem then, and what’s the cause of death?” Lydia questioned;
“The cause of death is definitely an overdose,” Maia replied, “whether it be of the Pixie Dust itself or a mix of other drugs to go along with it. The wounds are from the base of the lungs to the intestines and a swift, single cut. Allowing whatever organs in there to either be completely ripped apart, or fall out-”
Simon made a gagging noise, looking sickly pale at her graphic description, “Sorry, continue.” He mumbled after righting himself and leaning against the desk,
“Do we have any leads on who could be dealing these drugs?” Jace asked, looking expectantly at Simon, the colour returning to his cheeks with a vengeance under the direct eye contact.
Simon had had a crush on Jace since his first day on the force, but after a failed attempt at a relationship with one of the EMTs, Maureen- and after Jace started dating his best friend, Clary, he had stayed away from the dating scene altogether. Alec admired him for coming out as pansexual at the beginning of his career. God knows he got so much shit for it. Alec wished he had the guts to tell people how he felt, but under the watchful eye of his mother and father he knew it could never happen, his father didn’t have a good track record with those who favoured the same sex, Alec had heard from a rookie that his father had had found out two partners were seeing each other, both male, and had a few of his confidants dig up some nasty stuff on the both of them to get them thrown off the force; and his mother- that was another can of worms.
“Not any real names, although we keep getting a recurring pseudonym: Pan.”
“Like Peter Pan? Is that why they call it Pixie Dust?” Alec inquired, raising an eyebrow. The other four looked at him suddenly as if only just noticing he was there. He shrugged his shoulders before motioning for Simon to go on,
“...Yeah,” Simon continued, “most of our contacts say that he’s the person who first got Pixie Dust on the market and is a ghost of sorts, nobody knows anything about him or where he operates from. The ones who want Pixie Dust have to pay a pretty penny to get it, and even then they’re given a location and find a packet on the ground.”
“What does the drug actually do?” Lydia asks, leaning against the table next to Alec, who shifts his weight from foot to foot, uncomfortable with her close proximity.
“The drug itself is a higher concentration of ecstacy, although there are traces of other narcotics that even we haven’t seen before, and obviously it’s covered in silver edible glitter. It’s meant to enhance the senses to the point of psychosis, some of the effects include hallucinations, hysteria, and stuff like that.” Maia finished.
Alec took a breath, staring at the evidence in front of them.Taking a step forward and pointing to a list of names pinned up next to a particularly grisly crime scene photo,
“Is there anyone else that might have a connection to this Pixie Dust? Maybe even this Peter Pan guy?”
Maia and Jace shared a look, they seemed to have grown close after Alec left for the autumn,
“There is one person, he’s a high profile club owner,” Maia stated, looking up at Alec wearily, “he’s always been suspected of having ties to the mob, as well as the narcotics world, but we haven’t had anything to pin on him yet.”
This piqued Alec’s interest, nobody had ever told him about this .
“Who is he?” He asked,
Simon reached behind him and picked up a pretty thin file from the table, handing it to Alec,
“His name” said Simon, “is Magnus Bane.”
“Magnus… Bane?” Alec asked incredulously, “what kind of name is that?”
Jace shrugged, “we think it might be another alias, but that’s all we have to go on, and if anyone knows anything about these murders, it’s him.”
Alec sighed again, flipping open the file to see a slightly fuzzy picture of an east asian man, dark eyes surrounded by black kohl eyeliner and deep blue eyeshadow, pouted lips pulled into a crooked smile, his clothes were no disappointment compared to the rest of him, silk shirt and tight trousers hugged a figure Alec would have considered more than attractive in any other circumstance.
“What do we have on him? Any prior arrests?” Jace asked, leaning over to get a better look at the board
“His club isn’t a stranger to the odd police visit, but nothing on him himself, not yet.” Lydia glares and the file disapprovingly, “although the company he keeps is less than desirable.” She takes a confident step forward, invading Alec’s space once more, motioning to the man Mr. Bane was talking to in the picture. Now, Alec did recognise him.
“Meliorn? Isn’t he a-”
“Prostitute and known drug dealer?” Jace finished for him, “Yeah.”
Alec felt his stomach flip, although he loathed to know the reason why.
“Anyone else we can look into?” He asked, Maia shook her head,
“Not without a warrant, like I said, only the high profile get this stuff, and besides, if he’s got nothing to hide, what’s the worst that can happen when we go in?”
Alec and Jace both started,
“What do you mean ‘go in’?” Jace spluttered, “we aren’t going to talk to this guy with no evidence against him? Are we?”
“No,” a strong voice from the doorway caught all their attention. Captain Garroway walked in, standing in front of them all, “I’ve got a few of my contacts that are regulars at Mr. Bane’s club to set up a meeting with him for a new DJ, Simon will go in as such and you, Alec, will be acting as the assistant to the manager.”
“How are we supposed to find out about Pixie Dust from that?”
“Simon, you get two drinks in you and you’ll make friends with anyone,” Jace grinned, “Alec will just have to tell you that you want some of that Pixie crap and you’ll find it, especially if Bane is as easy as people say.”
Simon spluttered and turned red, shaking his head “first of all: I’m not going to whore myself out for a job, and secondly: Magnus Bane is not my type.”
Luke sighed, giving an exhausted glance to Alec, who was staring just as bemused at them as he was, “That’s why Alec will be going with-”
“ Alec is going to whore himself out for a job? ” Jace’s eyes went wide for a second as he broke out into a shit-eating grin, “If anyone here would make a good prostitute it’s me!”
“NOBODY WILL BE WHORING THEMSELVES OUT, DETECTIVE.” Luke shouted, causing Jace to sink back into his original silence.
“Alec and Simon will be taking jobs at the club in order to sift out any information on Pixie Dust they can get. Simon will be the DJ, Alec, you’ll be working with the manager of the club, who happens to be a close friend of Mr. Bane,” Luke continued at a more reasonable sound level, “You two better be ready, your first shift is next Saturday.”
Alec shared a look with Simon, he may have been a bumbling, blathering dumbass at times, but the kid had a good work ethic. At least if they had any chance of getting close to Magnus Bane, they had to come up with a plan of action. Fast.
The next few hours were filled with him and Simon brainstorming a way to come off as convincing as possible; Simon had it easy; before joining the force he was in a semi-successful band, and knew how to DJ already. Alec, on the other hand, had few managerial skills when it came to clubs and stuff, though he had been surrounded by managers his entire life, with his father being high up on the food chain and such, and his mother’s demanding law practice. It would be easy enough to pick up.
“So what’s your cover story?” Simon asked, a mouth full of a pastrami sandwich Maia had picked up, Alec gave him a quizzical look before asking: “What do you mean?”
“Well,” he said, wiping a spot of mustard from the corner of his mouth, and sitting back in the plastic chair of the briefing room they’d been in for god knows how long, “Your family are kinda famous, y’know, the Lightwood name and all that. I’m still boring old Simon Lewis, What’s your alias?” Simon quirked an eyebrow as Alec thought it over,
“I don't know, Alec is a pretty common name, and the best lies are the ones closest to the truth, so I'd keep that; last name, I don’t really know. What do you think?” He was putting a lot in the hands of his new partner with this, but his brown eyes lit up when Alec suggested it so he figured he’d throw him a bone.
“What about Singewood? That’s close enough but not too close, plus it sounds freaking amazing!” He said animatedly. Alec rolled his eyes, it was probably a reference to some obscure occult book series or something-
“Fine, that actually sounds kind of believable. What else do we need to know about this place?” He picked up the report and looked over the information for the thousandth time that afternoon, the sun was setting through the window, casting long shadows across the wall to their right. Bathing the room in a soft, warm, wintery glow.
“Well Pandemonium, the club, is in the East Village, not far away from that bar Maia used to work at, actually, she told me it’s frequented by those in gangs in the area, lots of nasty characters. The manager, Raphael Santiago, is the guy you’ll be ‘working’” He made inverted commas in the air with a breathy laugh,”- with, I’ll also be working with him, but you’ll be closer to Bane, and be able to get all the names of who we want to investigate, I’ll round up all the low-level dealers and see what I can find out about this ‘Peter Pan’ guy, you find if the boss has any ties to him.”
“Luke told me that we could get information back to the precinct through Maia, how?” Alec asked,
“Her boyfriend, Bat, still works at that bar, The Hunter’s Moon, I think he'll pass on any messages we send.”
“Are we sure he can be trusted?”
“Yes, at least if he’s not we have jurisdiction to let Maia and Lydia kick his ass.” Simon split into a grin, Alec chuckled at the thought.
“I hope this goes well. It’ll be a nice comeback to the job to solve these murders.” He smiled,
Simon nodded. A beat.“Where’d you go for the past couple months? Everything okay? Cap told us it was a family thing,”
Alec felt his stomach drop, he put down the remainder of his sandwich, suddenly lacking an appetite. “Yeah, everything’s fine,” he forced a smile. “Let’s just focus on who we need to target, yeah?”
Simon gave him a worried look, but turned back to the files in front of them to carry on.
By the time Alec stumbled into his apartment it was past midnight, after wrapping up at work Simon had bullied him to go to Taki’s with Jace and Lydia ‘ to celebrate his return ’, which was more than uncomfortable as Lydia had him pressed up against the side of the booth like it was nobody’s business, for fuck sake, did nothing about him scream homosexual? What did he need to do to get across to Agent Branwell that he was not interested .
Alec’s head was swirling as he had to down a few beers and other things to take the edge off having to act straight.
Of course Jace knew- they’d been partners since they started as detectives, which was incredible considering that had been six years ago, and like a good friend he had kept it to himself; allowing Alec an outlet to fawn over the guy at the coffee shop, or not give him a strange look when he checked a guy out while walking down to Taki’s.
Alec groaned again as he toed off his shoes and flopped onto the old sofa, his apartment was small, a kitchen and living space in one room, a short hallway with a bathroom, and enough for two bedrooms for when Max, little Max. It hurt just thinking about him at the moment, even his alcohol addled brain seemed to understand the hurt he was going through, and turned his study on more pleasant things, like when Izzy was staying over, visiting from Washington where she worked as a medical examiner for the police up there. He enjoyed her visits too, she was the first to know when he had realised it himself, coming out to her was the toughest thing for seventeen-year-old Alec to do, and she had been supportive. Always had been.
The alcohol swimming through his veins made his inhibitions lowered enough to let his mind wander to Magnus Bane, even in a picture, he had been attractive as fuck, all cheekbones and eyeliner and ass. For a second Alec’s conscious work brain made itself known and shut down those thoughts, leaving a confused and drunk brain in its wake. With a final shove off the couch and a drunken amble to the bed, Alec flopped down, fully clothed, and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Alec Lightwood, more like Alec Lightweight.
Alec wore sunglasses to work the next day.
Simon seemed to have the same idea and they nodded silently to each other as Alec took a seat at his desk across from Jace, who had his head on the desk and was mumbling incoherently into the wood.
“You good there, Champ?” Alec asked, massaging his temples, Jace just groaned in response.
“I hope you two are bright-eyed and bushy tailed for today.” Lydia suddenly appeared beside them, looking fresh as a daisy and grinning like a cheshire cat, Alec envied how she could get trashed the night before and still turn up to work the next day in perfect condition.
“What do you mean, Branwell?” Jace glowered at her over his arms,
“We’ve found a way to get you into Pandemonium earlier than expected. Apparently he’s got a soft spot for one of his assistants, who happens to be an informant of ours.”
“Who?” Alec asked, sending a silent thanks to the gods of coffee as he took a sip of his morning mocha, immediately feeling the warmth wake him up a little.
“Lily Chen, she and Santiago are friends, Simon got in touch with her and told her to talk you up. According to her, he’s impressed with your fake resumes and wants to meet with you tomorrow night.”
Alec perked up at her last sentence, tomorrow? That couldn’t be right.
“What? We aren’t nearly as prepared as we should be!” Alec said indignantly, staring up at her with wide eyes, before focusing his attention on Simon across the bullpen, nursing a mug of steaming coffee,
“Oi, Lewis!” Alec shouted at him, causing all of them to flinch at the loud noise. Simon shuffled off his desk and came to join the trio, shooting a small smile towards Jace, who was still glowering at the wooden desk in front of him.
“Tomorrow, are you kidding me?” He growled, not ready for this much information at eight a.m.
“I’m sorry, Cap says we can’t spend too much time on this and is really getting heat from the higher ups to get this solved.”
Alec passes a hand over his face in an attempt to regroup. “Fine” he said finally, “what do we need to do?”