wayfaring_stranger: (Default)
Alternate Universe in which Alec is sent to live at the Los Angeles Institute.

Date: 2017-02-08 03:27 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Thoughtful)
No matter what he thought, how much he hoped, he couldn't think of the New York Institute as home. It was the place where his siblings and parents lived. Where Jace lived. It wasn't more than that. It might have been the place he'd spent the first years of his life, but Maryse and Robert had made sure to remind him that he wasn't welcome.

First they'd taken his home, then his name. They'd tried to take his family as well but Izzy and Jace still managed to send him messages periodically. They kept him connected to the people who he loved, but that wasn't enough to make it home.

It wasn't LA, and it wasn't the community that had embraced him once he decided to quit living in the Lightwood image.

Maryse had been quietly furious when he refused to accept any attempts at familial bonding but she had given him one of the best rooms in the Institute. Not his old room. That had been given to someone else and the new one reflected his status with the Clave. Expensive furnishings. A tasteful selection of books that he scowled at since they were generic choices that would be made for any visiting VIP.

Setting his luggage on the bed, he started sorting through his clothes, grinning as he found items that would give Robert fits. Nothing as wild as what Magnus or Malcolm would have chosen, but different enough to prove the point. As he started putting away his things, he ignored the hope that someone from the past would be happy to see him. He was there for business, not to visit. Thinking anything else would happen would just set Alec up for more heartbreak.

Date: 2017-02-08 04:08 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Um... no)
Once everything was put away, Alec gave the room a once over and grimaced. Proper, boring decor like he expected for the Institute and someone his mother was trying to win favor from. No, not his mother. Years ago, she had made it clear that he wasn't her son. Even if she'd tried to protest Robert's panicked decision to throw Alec out, she'd never done anything else to try to protect her eldest son.

Why should she? She had Jace Wayland to replace him. For years, that thought had hurt but then he'd accepted that Jace needed a home and people who loved him. He was the son Alec's parents wanted and the LA Institute had given him a chance to figure out who he was.

At least there he'd excelled and been content. Once he finished up his investigation, Alec could go back to LA and forget about everything. Like seeing Jace again.

Letting out a frustrated sigh, he scrubbed a hand through his hair and headed for the door. Lydia said she'd have the files ready for him and then he could start the paperwork side of his work.

Opening the door, he blinked when he saw Jace standing in front of it. That... was weird. "Um, why are you hovering outside my door?"

Date: 2017-02-08 04:29 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Focused)
It'd been rare that Alec had been able to catch Jace by surprise. Those had been the small victories that had given him hope that he could be as good a Shadowhunter as his parents wanted. Maybe someday good enough to be Jace's partner or even parabatai. At least he'd hoped for that until he'd started feeling infatuation for his best friend.

He began to smile at the situation when Jace spoke, setting off every warning that Alec needed to be careful. Jace was the Lightwoods' son, someone he was investigating. A few messages between them over the years shouldn't change that.

For some reason the comment about the Clave felt like an accusation. Like it was wrong despite all the good he'd done. The Downworlders on the West Coast liked him. They came to him with their problems because he knew he'd mediate a solution for them. "I work for everyone in the Shadow World," he answered stiffly, not moving away from the door. "If you're not hovering, what are you doing?"

Date: 2017-02-08 04:51 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Emo puppy)
Jace was... different than he'd expected. In his memories, Jace had always been the one who was taller, more confident. He'd always filled a room with his presence. He still did but Alec didn't expect the strange behavior that didn't match the letters they'd shared.

"You're not nothing." The answer was automatic, spoken before Alec even had time to think. An instinctual response to something he'd heard too many times from scared Downworlders or himself when he was alone and scared in a new Institute.

Taking a few steps out of his room, he said Jace's name, hoping his old friend would hear him. Maybe he'd come back. Maybe Alec should follow. Maybe he should... What was he thinking? Jace probably hated him. Robert and Maryse had probably told him terrible things about him. He was the enemy, not a friend.

Sighing, he leaned against the door frame, suddenly hating the reputation he'd built and the Clave's trust. If he'd been less successful, he'd still be in LA, hanging out with the werewolves and pretending that he didn't wait impatiently for every scrap of news he got about the New York Institute, hoping to hear something about Jace.

Date: 2017-02-08 05:21 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Focused)
Alec waited for Jace to come back, heart sinking as minutes ticked by. When they were kids, they'd never... They weren't kids anymore. Alec couldn't expect Jace to react the way he had when they were teenagers. Shaking off his second thoughts, he went to find Lydia, reading through the files they'd been given before starting to search the Institute for Jace.

From what he'd read, Jace was impulsive but he understood the Law. Clary was new to the Shadow World. She didn't know Nephilim ways or the Clave's rules. She wouldn't respect the Clave's authority the way Jace would.

As he entered the training area, he ignored the nervousness that twisted in his chest that reminded him of the beginning of that long-ago crush. That old feeling distracted him enough that he didn't notice the redhead at first, then he realized what they were talking about. "Jace's right. Leaving the Institute, won't help the investigation or help prove that you haven't intentionally done anything wrong."

When he finished speaking, Clary turned toward him, starting to argue as if it was the only way she knew how to have a conversation. Crossing his arms over his chest, he arched an eyebrow as he waited for her to wind down. "If you have a problem with the Clave's decision, speak with Ms. Branwell." She let out a huffy sound and spun away. "Ms. Fray, if you leave without permission, then the Clave will have you escorted to Idris and the investigation will continue there."

He kept his expression neutral while she called him an unflattering name. When she was out of earshot, he gave Jace a curious look. "Is she usually that argumentative?"

Date: 2017-02-08 05:51 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Distancing Myself)
"It's going to get her in trouble if she doesn't start to listen. There's beings out there that want her dead." He understood Clary's drive to get her family back. At least he had when he was younger. Now, he just accepted that his parents would never care enough to want him to return.

Maybe the question about why he'd tracked down Jace made him feel defensive even though he had both their best interests in mind. "No. I wanted to talk to someone who was once my friend." The words were snapped out before he could think of tempering them.

By the Angel, he knew better than to let his temper loose.

Taking a slow breath, he ignored the hurt. He'd known this wouldn't be easy. He'd known that none of them except Izzy probably wanted him back but it still was painful to realize he'd been right. "You look good, too."

Shaking his head, he realized retreat was probably better than trying to have a conversation with Jace accusing him of things that no one in LA would ever think of. "I should go. You need to train and I - " He what? He'd read the files. He needed to question Clary but it was obvious that now wasn't the time. "I'll go back to the room." Not his room. Not his Institute either. And Jace wasn't his friend.

Date: 2017-02-08 06:20 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Quietly heartbroken)
For a few seconds, everything felt like it had before. Jace beside him, hand on his arm, the gesture like so many they'd shared when they were younger. His best friend wouldn't have let him go off alone when he was hurt and confused. Then Jace let go.

For a brief moment, he couldn't hid his disappointment before his expression turned neutral. "Say what you want. I'm not the Clave's spy. I'm like a Mundane detective. If you want proof of that contact Magnus Bane or the vampires in LA." They would vouch for him. They knew he was good.

"Yes, I'm angry. All of you act like I'm a monster instead of someone wanting to help. I'm hurt because - " Because my parents hated what I am. "Why doesn't matter."

His voice dropped to a whisper so that no one else could hear. "I didn't come back because I was forbidden to not because I didn't want to." For years, he'd wanted to, but no matter how hard he worked, it was never enough to please Robert.

Maybe Jace didn't know the truth. Maybe they'd told him some lie about Alec wanting to be away from them all or that he'd run away. He'd always been careful in the letters so his best friend and siblings wouldn't think the worst of his parents. "They told me they never wanted me to come back."

Date: 2017-02-09 04:29 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Um... no)
Alec waited for the arguments or the anger. Maybe accusations that he was there to punish the Lightwoods. Maryse had thrown those at him after he'd arrived and Robert had just looked striken, like his worst nightmare had come true. It probably had, if he'd heard the rumors about Alec's off duty activities.

Of course, he knew what his parents had done when they were his age, so he doubted they'd really want to compare stories with him.

He tried not to be distracted by Jace but he hadn't seen him for years. He'd missed his best friend so much it'd been a physical pain but that didn't mean that he could let his guard down. Jace didn't know him and he probably didn't want to know him. He was probably glad that...

His thoughts stilled when Jace spoke, staring at the blond in disbelief. "Huh?" Wait, he shouldn't have said that aloud. Alec knew how to keep his thoughts to himself. He might be blunt, but he knew when not to speak and blurting out random words was not something that was normal for him.

"No, you deserved to have a home. You needed to be somewhere stable where people cared about you." Alec had eventually found that stability even if he hadn't had a home in years. "Why would I hate you? I never hated you."

Date: 2017-02-09 05:01 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (Smirk)
"I tried," Alec answered softly, thinking of the letters he'd smuggled into the Institute. It had been the best option possible since Robert and Maryse had controlled what contact he had with Izzy and Jace. Training had been a comfort at first, until he realized he was still trying to live up to his parents' ideal. After that, his work had taken a different turn. He'd been determined to prove that he could be better than what they'd wanted while allowing himself to embrace the traits they had hated.

One of the reasons that there were so many rumors about him, even if the majority of them weren't true.

"Not going to hate you for something that was because of what I am."

He knew that he could have hated Jace for what happened, but no matter what Robert might have thought, Jace hadn't made Alec gay. Jace was just the person they caught him pining for. Eventually Alec would have noticed some cute guy and he would have been sent away.

Taking the sticks, he arched an eyebrow at Jace. "I thought the rumors had proceeded me." Of all the weapons he could have chosen, he'd picked one that Alec excelled at. The only worse choice would have been the bow. "Must've been all the Downworld loving ones that ended up in New York, not the ones about my training."

Date: 2017-02-09 05:37 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] angelic_archer
angelic_archer: (rune porn)
While Jace offered an opportunity to attack, Alec ignored it. Instead, he tested the weight of the weapons, deciding that they would work even if they weren't the favorite ones that were stowed in the closet of the guest room.

"That depends on the definition of Downworlder loving." It was an avoidance, but Alec wasn't sure if he wanted to admit the truth when others could overhear. The rumors kept his parents off balance... and most of the Institute since they didn't know what to think about someone who had such open 'relations' with the Shadow World. "Some of the rumors are true, others are false."

Let the Shadowhunters who might overhear figure out which ones were which.

Once Jace started moving, everything seemed to fall in place. It was like things had been before when they'd been teenagers training together. He knew where Jace planned to strike, the angle needed to deflect easily remembered.

All of it was familiar, memory guiding him to evade the sweep and then pressing forward. Instead of the usual swinging blow, he drove for Jace's chest, using the stick more like a staff, ready to attack as soon as Jace tried to avoid the attack.

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