"I'm taking the floor," Alec said firmly, talking over Jace's protests that the bed was big enough to share. "Last time this happened during a hunt in bumfuck, New Jersey, you kicked me - several times."
That wasn't the reason, of course, but Alec couldn't very well say that sharing a bed with his parabatai was a form of torture on par with a lecture on responsibility from his mother. Therefore he quickly stripped off his outer layers and bedded down on the floor in boxers, socks and t-shirt, very determinedly not looking at Jace, whose shirt joined the rest of his clothing. Over the years of living and training together Alec had built up a certain immunity to his parabatai's body, attractive as it was, but it was put to the test when he wore nothing but a pair of briefs, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination.
Cursing himself inwardly, Alec squeezed his eyes shut and tried to force himself to sleep. He did manage to fall into a restless slumber despite the hard floor and inadequate cover, because while the bed had had two pillows, the motel obviously expected their guests to be comfortable enough with each other not to mind sharing a blanket. Therefore Alec was forced to use the thin quilt that had covered the bed during the day, and as the night wore on, it became more and more obvious that their accommodation had been cheap for a reason. The temperature kept dropping, and when an icy draft began to waft under the door, Alec began to shiver strongly enough to wake himself up.
Scrabbling blindly for his jeans, he took out his stele and drew a heat rune with trembling fingers. Blessed warmth spread through him, and he relaxed back onto his uncomfortable resting place with a sigh of relief. Unfortunately he'd have to refresh the rune several more time during the night, so it wasn't ideal, but better than nothing.
"Now will you come up here?" Alec started at the sound of Jace's exasperated voice, and he quickly activated night vision, wishing immediately that he hadn't. His parabatai was sitting up, blanket pooling around his shirtless chest and sporting a bed head that made Alec's fingers itch with the urge to touch. He'd obviously been quiet for too long, because Jace said impatiently, "Don't be stupid, Alec. Unless there's some other reason?"
Alec's stomach twisted nervously at the challenge. He shook his head, grateful for his years of experience in not letting his parabatai know about his great secret, which enabled him to reply evenly, "No, of course not. So, scoot over already, because I'm not falling off when you unavoidably start squirming."
Jace huffed but obeyed, which was how Alec found himself in the one position he'd so desperately tried to avoid, in bed with his parabatai, the one he loved with every fibre of his being, and in ways he absolutely wasn't supposed to. At least Jace fell asleep quickly, leaving Alec to stare at the ceiling, trying to ignore how warm he suddenly was, not just because of the covers but because Jace was a furnace. He rarely wished to be less tall than he was, but he most definitely did so now, because he couldn't avoid the proximity.
Finally he managed to force himself to sleep through sheer willpower, only to jerk awake a while later - unsurprisingly not because Jace was kicking him, which he'd made up earlier. Instead he was hugged awake, Jace having rolled over in order to attach himself to him like a very affectionate limpet. He'd never done that before, and Alec stiffened, unable to think of a way to extricate himself gracefully. Especially because there was a part of him that very much didn't want to.
Almost involuntarily Alec found himself embracing Jace in return, at first very gingerly, but when Jace snuffled a little and inserted a leg between Alec's, he gave in and wrapped him in his arms as he'd dreamed of so often. It was both heaven and hell, so Alec resigned himself to sleeplessness, instead committing every little detail about their position into memory. If this was the closest he'd ever get to Jace, he'd take it.
Of course, the moment he'd gotten halfway comfortable, Jace woke up, too.
Alec let go of him like a hot potato, his entire body going stiff as a board, terror rendering him mute while he waited for his parabatai to... what?... jerk away, accuse him, call him names? However, the seconds ticked by, and Jace still hadn't disentangled himself, still lying half on top of Alec, still very much awake. Through their bond Alec could feel that there was something underneath Jace's apparent relaxation, but he couldn't pinpoint the exact emotion.
When Jace finally spoke, his voice was so casual, Alec knew it to be an act: "Alec, parabatai, relax. I liked it better when I wasn't hugging a plank."
Alec's mind scrambled to understand what Jace wasn't saying. He couldn't mean to compare this with their usual embraces, could he? Not when Alec was almost certain that he could feel a decidedly non-platonic pressure against his hip. It made it rather difficult to concentrate, but after closing his eyes and balling his fist a couple of times, Alec ever so slowly forced himself to relax and lifted his arms again. When he wrapped them around Jace, his parabatai released a small sigh, which tickled Alec's neck rather tantalisingly, and wriggled even closer.
"Jace?" Alec asked shakily. There was no mistaking the hardening line of Jace's dick now, and Alec bit his lower lip as his own reacted quite predictably. "What... what are you doing? What are we doing?"
Jace didn't move away, but he did lift his head, eyes glittering in the darkness. "Something I've wanted to do for a long time."
"You... what?!" If Alec didn't know better, he'd have thought he was having a stroke. "You haven't... you didn't..."
"Yes, I do," Jace's reply was firm, as was the pressure of his fingers against Alec's cheek, turning his face so their eyes met. "And I think you do, too. But if you don't, just say the word and we can pretend this never happened."
A huff of laughter escaped Alec through the still-lingering haze of shock and confusion. "This is probably a very bad idea."
"Probably." Jace agreed with a chuckle that Alec could physically feel vibrating through his chest. "But when has that ever stopped me?"
Alec had never been so much as tipsy, but he wondered if that was what it felt like, as he allowed protective barriers he'd upheld since their parabatai ceremony to drop. In response Jace's eyes widened, his lips parting in surprise, his heartbeat speeding up to match Alec's.
The last of Alec's scruples melted away like snow in the sun, and with a giddy laugh, he kissed his parabatai. Jace reacted immediately, surging to meet him, the way he always did.