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"Alec." Jace's voice filled my ears as I stood in the doorframe that led to the roof of the Institute, my eyes watching him as he walked over to Alec, whom was firing arrows off the roof, then exploding in the sky.

After shooting a few, he faced Jace, keeping his aim steady, "Move."

Jace questioned, "How long have you been up here?"

"I'm glamoured." Alec dismisses, "No one can see me- move."

Jace sighs, "You can't beat yourself up."

"I'm not." Alec shot back, shaking his head.

"Who are you talking to?" Jace scoffs lightly, "It's me. I'm your parabatai- I know exactly what you're going through. What happened with Margaret, that wasn't you. That was the demon."

Alec raised his voice, "Get out of the way."

"Hey." Jace puts his hands up in surrender, "Same side, remember?"

"Come on, man." Jace urged when Alec let down his guard, putting the arrow back in his quiver, "Come back inside."

"That's the last place I want to be." Alec turned around, walking over to the ledge and further away from Jace.

"Alec, Valentine has the Soul-Sword." Jace followed him, and now Jace's back was turned towards me and I could no longer see his side like I was before, "He slaughtered the Silent Brothers, we need our best soldiers-"

I moved, my arms crossed, my back now leaning against one side of the doorframe, so I could see Jace's back and Alec's back towards him, but Alec hasn't spotted me yet, as I was hidden behind the metal stairs.

Alec spun around to face Jace and bursts out, his voice coming out as a yell, "Stop pretending this never happened."

"I couldn't save you from the City of Bones. I couldn't save you or Zee from Valentine." Alec's voice was shaking with anger and guilt, as it almost sounded brittle, "I-"

"She was Zee's mother." Alec exhales sharply, and how his voice broke killed me, "My girlfriend's mother."

My heart aches in my chest, as I slowly took a few steps from behind the stairs, coming into view.

"Nobody blames you." Jace was already telling him, in hopes that it would convince him.

Alec turned before his eyes could land on me, but I knew that from the corner of his eye, he saw me.

"They should." Alec activated a rune, then hopped off the roof, Jace rushing to the ledge.

He was avoiding me.

Jace turned, his eyes fixing on me, a sigh leaving his lips, "It's not your fault-"

"Jace," I whine lightly, feeling more guilt ping in my chest, "He's avoiding me."

"Zee-" Jace walked over to me, "I don't have the stamina to deal with two people filled with misplaced guilt."

"I know- I know- it's just-" I huff, "I feel- I don't know- I feel hurt that he's hurt. I feel weird saying that- but- It's so weird- I mean, he's guilty- but he's also off, so I'm off and I-"

"I'm pretty sure that's what happens when you're in love." Jace shrugged, "Because you're making no sense at all."

"Love is a-" I trail off, the word rolling off my tongue as if it was some foreign language, "Strong word, don't you think?"

Jace's lips purse, looking in the distance as if he were in thought for a few seconds, then looked back at me, shaking his head, "Uh, no- not when it comes to you two."

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