pripyat river

The Taming of the Shrew

          In some ways being with the Clave was a lot like being in the Circle. Unarmed and watched, there was that difference, but the meetings were pretty much the same, planning at war rooms, pouring over maps and laying out strategies.  The Clave stormed Chernobyl on his second day there, his directions leading them on as Alec himself sat blind at Lydia’s office, answering to pointed questions and refraining from offering his commentary unless it was specifically asked for.

They will be waiting for something, but not this.

          He had betrayed the Circle and ran away with Jace, true, but even so no one would expect a Lightwood to actually defect to the Clave. To give it all up as he did. It was the best chance the Clave had in months, years- Ever since the beginning of this very war and Alec listened carefully for any mention of his parents’ names, bracing himself for the worst.

          Maryse Lightwood killed two shadowhunters from the Clave before getting away. Alec had a hard time holding back a smirk as he heard, it was his mother after all, and with his betrayal pounding at their very door Maryse and Robert would be working extra hard, proving themselves.

          As Alec suspected, the surprise attack was hardly enough to bring down the Circle of Raziel, though it did put a dent in it’s structure. Without the labs it would be nearly impossible to make forsakens, he had assured Lydia, and having the base compromised would push them into their backup plan. The Morning Star ship was meant to sail only once they had the Mortal Cup, but it was clearly the best option without Chernobyl.

“They’ll be untrackable in the water, but all that was planned goes out the window,” Alec concluded, it was bound to make them sloppy

          Lydia nearly smiled herself as the reports proved him true: The Circle retreated towards the Pripyat river.   

          After that he was allowed to call his sister. Isabelle’s voice was a mixture of worry and anger on the phone and Alec could only imagine what it looked like to her. His request for her to stay awake, their very home under attack, Izzy’s hurt tone as she put it all together, It was you… 

“I’m sorry,” Alec pleaded, and he meant it“I had no choice.”

“Все для него,” it wasn’t a question. “I hope he is worth it.”

           And Alec really had no right to ask, but he still did, if not for himself for the fact that no matter how angry Isabelle was, how right she was to hate right then, she was still good. Better than he would ever be. “Join me,” he said instead, and silence was the only answer he got for the longest time, “I made a deal. They will have you, if you want, no charges.” 

          Isabelle might never have been anywhere near the Clave before, but she knew her brother, knew him enough to imagine exactly how much he had to have given up to be able to make her such an offer. If she said no, this would be the last time she would ever hear of him, unless they were to meet in battle and that thought alone was enough to make up her mind. Even if the proposition had already been tempting, the idea of being on a different side than Alec, of seeing him in a fight-

“Okay.”

          His sigh of relief was audible even through the phone. After that it was more planning, a meeting point and another armed escort, Lydia promised to go get his sister personally. Alec didn’t trust her, not with his life, but he trusted her to keep her word; if nothing else, to assure his continuous cooperation. The success of their first mission wasn’t lost on him. 

          Izzy came in that night and Alec finally felt like he could breathe a little easier for the first time since he had left Ukraine. The rest of his week was a bit of a blur. Lydia was incessant in her interrogations and by the end of it Alec was sure he had told her everything there was to know about the inner workings of the Circle. Her office was covered in maps, blueprints, anything he could remember really. It felt like he spent more time there than anywhere else in the Institute. 

          An armed guard followed him absolutely everywhere, which really consisted of his assigned room, Izzy’s, Lydia’s office and the bathroom. He didn’t really feel like exploring much, the nasty looks he got whenever someone crossed his path didn’t do much in terms of helping with that. They either looked scared of angry and it made Alec wonder if the guard was actually there for everyone else’s benefit or his own. Just in case someone snapped.

          So Alec didn’t wander and that meant he also hardly saw Jace. The whole reason for him to end up at the Institute in the first place and all he got being there were glimpses. He knew where Jace’s room was by then ( four doors down his corridor, to the left ) but he didn’t dare got there, not while there was still a guard following him around. The fact Jace hadn’t come to see him was also telling. Either the blond didn’t want to call attention to their connection anymore than it was already done or he simply didn’t want to see him, Alec respected both, so he kept to himself. 

          Jace knew where to find him.

          At the end of the second week the guard was relieved from door duty at night, Alec was allowed to lock his room from the inside - not that ha hadn’t been doing so every night with a rune already. Still the small liberty was all the invitation he needed to venture down the hall and all the way to Jace’s bedroom once the corridors were empty. Screw space, he’d waited long enough.

          Bare feet padded quietly across the floor, a silencing rune in place just in case. The door wasn’t locked, and Alec made a mental note of pointing out the imprudence in that before closing it once more and stalking in. He felt awkward in the borrowed clothes that were nothing like gear, sweatpants and a snug black t-shirt, nothing like himself as he approached Jace’s bed. The darkness made it impossible to actually analyze the room, but Alec could still make out the shape under the covers enough to reach for his shoulder. 

“Jace.”