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   Chapter 1 Flying High

An Uncertain Present By Grace Estellar Characters: 23656

Updated: 2019-12-11 13:09

****Alec's POV****

Alec could feel the wind in his wings as he dodges yet another attack from the wooden sword, a manic grin on his face. The N.Y. Institute let in the soft morning rays, showcasing the stark black runes scrawled on the training room floor. It was true that Alec was meant to be out at flight training soon, but he had agreed to a morning workout with Jace first. Hence why he was in the training room now, battling back well aimed blows from his parabatai's sword.

"I'! Ha...ha..." Jace pants as he continues his barrage.

As it would happen, his wings had made him a lot faster than he previously had been before. Jace had to use his angelic runes just to keep up with him. White wings moved with sinewy grace behind him. The archangel felt as though they were almost taunting him, his parabatai lunging to attack just a second too late as the wings yanked him back. This cycle had been going on for the past few minutes now, and all of Jace's attempts had been to no avail.

"You'd think you would've gotten me by now." Alec teases his brother. He parries a much fiercer thrust in the direction of his abdomen, pushing Jace back with a force that came easy to him ever since the reawakening.

"Heh, I'm just getting started. Remember, I'm the only one who can wipe the floor with you." Jace says with his own cocky grin. Sweat clings to the blonde's bare chest as he had forgone a shirt long ago. Said red t-shirt laid discarded in a pile next to two bottles of water.

Alec flaps his wings in challenge, gripping the two wooden swords he held tightly. It was clear to him that it was time he struck back. Go on the offensive to wipe that smug smirk off Jace's face.

"I'd like to see you try."

With that said Alec lungs across the room to close the gap between himself and Jace. He slashes with powerful strokes at the other man's stomach and kneecaps. Jace manages to just barely block the movement, his sides heaving for air. The two parabatai push away from each other before continuing their fight, each parry and thrust well-timed with the pulse of their parabatai bond flowing freely between them.

When Alec had first become immortal, there had been a concern that the change would negatively affect his bond with Jace. Luckily, his fear was so far unfounded. The Lightwood and Heronadale had yet to have any negative drawback from this change. If anything, their bond had only grown stronger.

"Hah, I win!" Alec let out a huff as he finally subdued Jace to the ground.

One elbow dug into the blonde's throat, his hands pinned down by his knees placed on the palm of each one. Alec's free hand was poised at his side, ready any tricks the other parabatai might have. He no longer had either of the swords he had been battling with earlier, his blonde brother was also sans any weapons. The wooden blades lay discarded haphazardly off to the side, out of use for the time being.

"Ack, fine fine fine. Just get off of me you big lug." Jace sputters out.

Alec lets out a chuckle before stepping away. He dusts himself off as Jace scrambles back onto his feet, going over to put away the wooden swords. Hazel eyes follow his movements, content to just remain in one place after that strenuous training session.

Belatedly he realizes that it would've been best to take off his shirt around the time Jace had. As an archangel, the ability to sweat would eventually disappear with time, as would the usual discomforts of getting sick. At the time being Alec still has these problems though, as was evident in the way his blue-now navy- shirt clings to his back.

The wings trailing behind him were impervious to the sweat, though they did produce a certain oil to make them slicker during battle. Harry had told him it would make him more evasive during a fight. Alec wasn't sure how true this actually was, but as he had no evidence against this claim as of yet, he figured it best to keep quiet.

"That was a good fight. You almost had me that time." Alec admits.

Jace waves off his words as he gulps down dome water from one of the bottles. The contents are gone in a matter of a minute; Jace leaves behind only a few speckled droplets in the wake of quenching his thirst before tossing the now emptied bottle in the recycling bin in the corner of the room.

"No I didn't. Though I did pin you pretty thoroughly last week, so there's always that." Jace said.

Alec rolls his eyes. "I tripped over one of my wings on accident. I don't think that one should count."

He remembers how he had attempted to rush Jace that day, only for one of his feet to land on an outstretched wing, sending him sprawling to the floor. His brother capitalized on the obvious mistake, forcing Alec into an uncomfortable pinned position on the cold floor.

Jace snorts. "Not likely Alec. That win was too epic."

Alec crosses his arms over his chest. He can feel his wings fluffing up agitatedly behind him. They too remembered how uncomfortable he had been. It was as though they had a mind of their own sometimes, especially in moments like these when they outstretched to thwack Jace in the back. The movement forced the Shadowhunter to stumble forward slightly.

"I think my wings agree that you're a moron." Alec says with a laugh.

"Hmm, of course they would. Did you do that....or did they...?" Jace casts an appraising look at the two feathery appendages.

"It was them that time. I wasn't thinking of whacking you, but after seeing it I can't say I'm mad." Alec murmurs.

Jace nods contemplatively. "I guess they can sense everything you do, even desires you didn't know you had."

Alec flushes at that. He recalls all too well the last time that his wings acted out on their own. It had been yesterday, when Magnus came home from work. His husband had been dressed in a ravishing suit that hugged his body in all the right places alongside his sleek black pants. Pair that with some neatly done makeup and slightly mussed hair from Magnus's ring clad hands made the warlock look amazing.

Despite knowing how tired Magnus must have been after a meeting with the Spiral Labyrinth, those wings had all but lung for the warlock to tug him right in front of Alec. The two had wasted no time removing all their articles of clothing (which turned out to be quite a lot) before making out on their way to the bedroom. Dinner had grown cold by the time Alec and Magnus had made their way back out to the dining room, but neither of them had complained. It was a good night for pizza anyways.

He opens his mouth to let out a response, but gets cut off. "I seem to have arrived at the perfect stopping point. Alec, are you ready to get going?" Alec and Jace turn to see Daniel leaning up against one of the entrance pillars. He was clutching his abdomen a little tighter than normal, almost as though he was trying to keep something in.

Alec gives his brother one last pat on the shoulder. "See you at dinner later yea?"

Jace dips his head. "Yea, have fun parabatai. Try not to crash into anything this time."

"Heh, you wish!" Alec says with a chuckle.

The two pull each other into one last hug before breaking apart. Alec walks over to Daniel, letting his wings flare out in preparation for flight. Today, they would be doing some strenuous aerial training, all for the surprise if the upcoming evening after dinner.

Magnus is going to be so surprised!

****Pippa's POV****

Pippa had been busy doing figure eights in the air when Daniel and Alec had finally arrived. As the High Grounds we're still recovering from the battle that had taken place after Dad's reawakening, they had resorted to flight practice over the Brocelind forest. The trees here were laid out in thick combs, the only breaks being the cobblestone path that led to Alicante and, of course, Lake Lyn. Currently the lake was a gleaming shade of gold as the sun shines brightly overhead. The sky was dotted with fluffy white clouds, that Harry was amusing himself with by flying right on through.

"Hey guys!" Alec lets out a call of greeting. His white wings kept him steady in the air, flapping gently with the soft wind.

"Hey Alec, Daniel! About time the both of you got here." Pippa murmurs. Her own flame colored wings balance out behind her as she halts her flight pattern to remain stationary in the sky.

"Sorry we're late, I lost track of time." Daniel confesses.

"Dan Dan, Alec!" Harry cheers. The youngest had his golden green eyes on the newcomers now, his wings dispersing one final lump of cloud before flapping over to them. Harry tugs both males into a tight hug. "Missed you guys!"

"You literally just saw me this morning Har." Daniel grumbles, though he does reach up to pet Harry's unruly head of hair.

Alec smiles fondly at the spectacle, his hazel eyes meeting Pippa's green ones. The Shadowhunter turned archangel had been fitting into his new life nicely, though there were still plenty things he had yet to learn about the winged nephilim. Pippa could only hope the news wouldn't freak him out too much. Otherwise, she was unsure what could be done.

"So, what're we going to do first?" Alec cracks his knuckles. "Jace helped me get warmed up earlier so I'll be ready for whatever we're doing."

"We'll see about that." Pippa said.

"I was thinking we'd do some regular laps up here before attempting some tight space maneuvers down in the forest. If that goes well we can do some aerial fighting afterwards." Daniel tells the group. Her older brother had pulled away from Harry, as had Alec.

"Sounds like a plan." Alec agrees.

"Race you guys. C'mon Pip, bet ya can't catch me." Harry crows before speeding off.

Pippa gives a seething glare in the youngest's direction, ignoring Alec and Daniel semi-amused/exasperated stares as her own wings flare out dangerously behind her. She may be the most temperamental of the the three winged nephilim, but there was only one thing Harry did that would really enrage her immediately. And that was calling her Pip. Harry knew this, and would always take advantage of an opportunity to get her mad. Something to do with being the youngest sibling, she supposed.

"Harry!!!" She shouts as she flies after him.

The youngest had made the decision to try to lose her in the woods. Bronze wings tucked in close to nosedive down into the trees, flapping open at the last second to dive through a rough patch of prickly thorns. Pippa follows suit, her own wings lithe enough to avoid the jabbing thorns that wanted to stab into her plumage.

She comes out of the thorn patch no worse for wear to find Harry speeding on through some scraggly bushes. Pippa gives chase, her own wings propelling her right over the undergrowth with ease. Often Harry would fly without direction, but today his target was Lake Lyn, which became all the more apparent as they reached the shoreline of the large body of water.

The air becomes much cooler once the water is underneath her, small waves rippling with each flap of her wings. Ever the Wild child Harry was flying low enough to the water's surface that his wings splashed up some droplets into the air. Pippa let the refreshing liquid splash her face. Unlike other nephilim, Lake Lyn's hallucinatory effects after coming into contact (or more specifically drinking it) have no effect on herself or her two brothers.

The sprays of water make her blink rapidly to keep her sight on Harry. The youngest was almost at the other end of the lake now, having already done a quick loop around the small island in the middle of the body of water. Pippa chooses this moment to slam into Harry, sending them both catapulting into the sand beside the rippling shore line. A cloud of dust is kicked up upon their cra

sh. Harry's wings flail behind him as he coughs up sand. Pippa grins victoriously from her pressuring weight on his back, feeling a vindictive sort of success at catching her target.

"Don' Pip!" She snaps. "How many times to I have to tell you Harry?!"

Harry's voice is muffled by sand as he responds, still laughing for who knows why.

"Sorrryyyyyy....its just really fun!" He claims with glee. Pippa wants to smack him, but she doubts that stop him from teasing her again in the future.

Daniel and Alec take this moment to land beside them. Judging by the windswept look of their hair and the way Alec had a few twigs poking out from his wings, Pippa would guess that they had followed the same path she had chased Harry down.

"We finally caught up to you guys. Harry, please stop bothering Pippa. You know it only angers her." Alec chides the youngest with one waggling finger.

Harry pouts, his wings as lopsided as the smile he wears. "Awww....but I don't wanna..."

The childishness of her younger brother could be unbelievable at times. Today was no exception. Pippa swats his head one final time before pulling away. Luckily she was dressed in training clothes today, otherwise she'd be even angrier at Harry for soiling her outfit of the day.

"Harry." Daniel mutters sternly. His black wings were sleek shadows behind him in the sunshine, somewhat dull in the daylight. They always were much nicer to look at during the night, when the star like glimmer of them was easy to pick out.

"Fine. I won't do it" Harry said. Daniel and Alec were seemingly appeased by this, the small trail of annoyance in their wings vanishing for the time being.

"Well, then it looks I'll just have to keep smacking you down next time." She mutters.

"Yea, if you can catch me." Harry says with a wink.

They both knew that Pippa always caught Harry regardless of whatever trick he pulled. The youngest might be the fastest of the bunch in the air, but Pippa has relentless determination on her side. She would catch him, it was just a matter of when.

"So, now that the shenanigans have been done, let's get some aerial fighting in. Pippa, you'll be with me. Harry you'll pair off with Dad. Try to figure out where he is instinct wise and improve from there." Daniel said.

"Alec, you ready for some flight fight?" Harry says excitedly, flexing his wings. A few spatters of sand kick up as a result. The peaceful sound of Lake Lyn's gurgling water continues on undeterred by the movement.

"Sure...though I'm not sure how good I'll be." Alec admits.

Pippa finds his confession to be pretty accurate. This would be the first time the new angel would be doing some in air fighting after all, there was no telling how easy it would be for him to learn the necessary techniques involved in aerial combat.

At least this isn't technically his first time learning.

The more Alec remembered of his past, the more likely this kind of training would be easy. It helped too that Alec was born and raised a Shadowhunter. The nephilim were known for their battle technique, the runes that gave them enhanced power only serving to aid in their strategy and prowess in battle. Mid air fighting was essentially a step further from what an everyday Shadowhunter could do (mostly because the extra angles of attack and the need for some of your focus to always be on keeping in the air) so it should be manageable at the very least.

"You'll do just fine, I'm sure of it." Daniel pats Alec on the arm reassuringly.

"Thanks, hopefully you're right." Alec responds.

Daniel gives one more nod before motioning to her that it was time to take to the air. Pippa follows the eldest with ease, glancing back one last time to see Harry sling his arm around Alec's shoulder tugging him off towards the other side of the lake for more room, as aerial battle could take up a lot of space.

****Jace's POV****

He had been pacing the training room floor for the past five minutes now. The wide panel windows let in the rays of sun from outside, lighting the room without the artificial lighting. The staff he has in his grip had been twirled a great many times now, his skilled hands noting every divot and scratch in the adamas endowed wood.

He had been training since the early hours of the morning (long before Alec showed up), so much so that sweat clung to him like a second skin. Training had always been a form of emotional release for him. Jace could always count on a hard work out session to relieve the tension he had riddling his tired frame.

But that had not been the case today.

Jace had thought long and hard about what he was going to say to this person. He could only hope that they would be able to help him.

Jace was uncertain that they could.

"Jace, you wanted to see me?"

He turns to see Simon walking in. His friend was decked out in casual wear: a Star Wars logo t-shirt, some skinny jeans and an old pair of white tennis shoes. There were plenty of runes covering the new Shadowhunter's arms already, despite the fact that he'd only been one for a little over two months now.

"Yea, there's something I need to talk to you about." Jace walks over to the bench, grabbing up his water bottle to take a big gulp from it. The cool liquid was refreshing to swallow. It satisfied the dehydration from all the training he had been doing. Though it did little to solve the problem of his sweaty palms, of the anxious pounding of his heart.

"Alright. What is it then?" Simon asks.

"Uh, well...." he scratches the back of his neck anxiously. The words seem to abandon him now that he's face to face with Simon. What was I trying to say again?

Simon must notice his odd behavior too. An amused and curious smile stretches out across the planes of his face. His dark eyes blink, the darker lashes on them casting small shadows on his face from the light of the training room. Sometimes, Jace is surprised that this room still stands. Clary had tested numerous new runes in here, and he would be lying if he said none of them resulted in powerful explosions.

"I can't believe it. Is the Jace Lightwood Herondale nervous?" The question is said much more like a statement. Jace resists the urge to glare at his friend.

"Pfft no, of course I'm not nervous. You're being ridiculous." He tells Simon.

The new Shadowhunter raises a skeptical eyebrow at him; Jace has a feeling that he does not believe him at all. The case in his back pocket feels like a heavy weight. Jace hasn't the slightest clue why it is taking him so long to finally give the ring inside a purpose. Maybe it's just nerves. Yes, it's probably nerves.

"Well, it that isn't the case, then I guess you have nothing to worry about."

Jace struggles to find words....and unfortunately is unable to find the right ones.

And so he gives a numb nod, unable to swallow the lump in his throat. That does not stop him however from speaking about other things. Simon had also mentioned there was something he wanted to talk about. Talking about his up and coming (because yes, there's no way that he wouldn't be doing it) proposal would happen soon enough. He just had to wait for the right moment.

Jace just wants everything to be perfect for Clary.

"So what's been bothering you then?"

Now it's Simon's turn to grow nervous. His hands clasp behind his back, his body shaking with nervous energy. Jace's eyebrows furrowed with confusion. He had never seen his friend act quite like this before, which was saying something seeing as how Simon used to be. Back when they'd first met, Simon seemed to get freaked out over just about everything, which really was saying something.

"Oh, well, there's something I've been planning for some time now. I figured I'd tell you about it first. And then hopefully Alec next." Simon said.

"And that would be what exactly?" Jace asks, tilting his head to the side curiously.

The water bottle on his hand was covered in dewy moisture. Some of which was sliding down onto his hand. Usually, he would not be using a regular, plastic water bottle. In his haste to get to the training room this morning though, he had forgone his normal metallic bottle.

"I think it might be best if I just show you." What Simon pulls out next sends Jace into a surprised sort of shock.

The object turns out to be a small, velvet box. And when that box is opened, there is a ring inside. And not just any ring....

An engagement ring.

"That-that's....." Jace is at a loss for words.

"I never knew how much I needed Isabelle in my life until I had her. I-I...Jace, I want to marry her. I want to marry Izzy. It's all I want. So what do you think?"

Jace may be uncertain about how he will propose to Clary, but he knows how Simon's confession makes him feel.

"That's wonderful news Simon." He murmurs. His heart bursts with happiness for Isabelle and Simon both. He only wants the best for both of them.

****Harry's POV****

Harry swipes sweaty strands of hair out of his eyes, forcing himself to focus on the situation at hand. He and Alec had been battling for the past several minutes now, trying to see just where Alec's learning curve fell with his instinctual knowledge and what his faintly returned memory had taught him.

Initially, the youngest would admit that he had been taking it easy on Alec. There was the concern of him being too challenging during the first session, making him hold back on his more...let's say dangerous skills. He found himself floundering a few times though, surprised to find that Alec already had mastered the basics.

"Haaaaaaa!" Alec yells as he tries another blunt dive at him. Harry manages to spin out of the way just in time as two white wings slice through the spot in the air he had been just moments before.

Harry jabs one of his own wings out in retaliation, which Alec decides to catch and throw backwards. Balance alludes him momentarily as he spins waywardly before finding his balance with a strong gust of wind. His father takes this moment to launch another attack. This time he successful in jabbing him in the gut that he is unable to recoil from fast enough.

"Got you that time." Alec gives a victorious grin.

Harry can't help but return the smile, impressed at Alec's quick learning. "You clearly know the basics, and are plenty capable of thinking on your feet." He praises.

Now that they've halted fighting, Harry can get a good look at his father. The angel's hair was windswept from flight, his clothes all black as was the norm for training attire. A few leaves still littered the white wings behind Alec from the dive into the bushes earlier. To be honest, Harry has no idea how the twigs hadn't fallen out yet considering how many weird movements Alec had made in the air in the past hour. Harry also notes the blue glow in his father's eyes. It appeared that whenever Alec called upon heavenly power, his hazel eyes would turn back to their original shade. This was interesting, considering that this was the only time these blue eyes seemed to appear.

"Thanks. I think Institute training has a lot to do with it."

"Perhaps in some cases, " Harry concedes. "But I think how quickly you learn is all you."

Alec gives a nod. The two continue training for the next hour, occasionally observing Daniel and Pippa across the lake. If Harry had to make a guess, he would say that the pair was mostly even during the fight. Though with Daniel, one could never truly be certain, the eldest always having some miraculous trick up his sleeve to use at the last moment. Harry and Pippa and even Sara never saw this trick coming until it occurred and by that point it was much too late for the other siblings to do anything about it.

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