Notes: Here's the ninth chapter (ten days later than I tried to promise), but to make up for the slight delay, I added 1000 words to its usual length (this stands at 4,045 words without notes).
Magnus Bane will be reintroduced in this chapter.
Disclaimer: I do not own "The Mortal Instruments".
Clarissa Fray was sitting cross-legged on her bed, playing the part of a simple bored character—it was more brave to act unamused than it was to reveal that she was afraid that standing up straight wasn't an option for her at the moment. Nerves gave her weak knees, and she was sure as hell to afraid to stand up without falling—not with a mute camera and bomb in the room that she was supposed to call a temporary home, a sanctuary.
She dimly wondered if whoever had been watching her slumber liked what they saw, and if she was an amusing subject for his foul play.
For the last ten minutes, she had been zoning in and out of the conversation, but she wasn't getting much information from it—all she knew was that Jace was pissed off, Isabelle was confused, and Alec was completely silent. The silence from the raven-haired man was pissing Clary off—she was paranoid, and in her paranoia, she believed that he knew something that could end up hurting her.
The words were skimming past her ears, but she heard the words "trigger" and "detonate" more times than she was comfortable with. The three agents in the room didn't seem to notice the discomfort of the redheaded girl, and continued to speak hurriedly in some vague dialogue that was filled with too many allusions for her to keep up.
She tried to impatiently wait for them to shut up, but the blonde man noticed her discomfort quickly. Clary watched as he moved from where he was watching the camera to sit on the bed besides her, causing the bed to shift slightly with the added weight.
"I suppose you'd like me to give you a quick run-down," Jace said, and Clary nodded. "In simple terms, there's a camera in the left corner of the room. It records in black and white vague pictures, but it has no audio attached to it—not a clue why. We can't clip the wires—there's some kind of bomb attached to it—but we're hoping that someone can come and detonate it within the next few days."
"Few days?" Clary repeated, her voice rising a few octaves into half-hysteria. "How the hell are you so calm? Someone—someone who now is assuredly trying to kill me—has a camera in my bedroom. My bedroom. And you're speaking as though a goddamned butterfly flutters through my windows every night and eats my hair."
"I don't know—I'd be pretty concerned if a butterfly was eating my hair." Jace commented, and Clary rolled her eyes at the sarcastic boy. Isabelle murmured something along the lines of, 'Well, not everyone is...' and Jace shot her an easy smile.
"That's because you're an idiot, and more afraid of butterflies than you are of serial killers." Clary tried not to cringe at the phrase, but Isabelle didn't seem to notice her discomfort. "You can lounge around and soak in your terror of butterflies, but I'm going to call someone who can safely deactivate this bomb."
Isabelle walked out of the room with loud steps—her tall heels clipped against the ground—and Alec followed his younger sister out of the room. It wasn't a concealed fact that Alec didn't enjoy Clary too much, and he obviously liked spending as little time as possible with the redhead. She frowned, looking to Jace to see if he would follow the string of leaving detectives, but he stayed in his place on her bed.
"So, he can't hear us?" Clary asked. Jace lifted his head and looked to her, blinking his golden eyes at her in a way that made her stomach twist uncomfortably—something about the gold of his eyes always made her feel disoriented.
"Hmm? No, he can't. It's easy to identify as a simple camera, and he most likely didn't want to complicate the setup of the bomb with attaching a speaker."
"When will it blow up? Or, detonate?" Clary asked, the foreign word sounding twisted on her lips. It was obvious to even Jace that the way of speaking was foreign to her, and he chuckled softly.
"It isn't going to detonate at a pre-distinguished date. The way to detonate it is to cut the wires and detach the camera, but that would most likely kill whoever was clipping the wires, so we're stuck in a bit of a rut right now."
"Why would he do that? He obviously wanted—wants me dead. What does it matter how I die?" Clary questioned, lying back on the too-soft comforter. She had always had trouble sleeping on the mattress—it was too downy for her, and she often woke in the middle of the night feeling like she was falling simply because the bed caved underneath her weight.
"I've never had the desire to kill, so I wouldn't know what kind of fucked up logic criminals have, but I believe that he may want the pleasure of killing you by his own hand."
"Have you?" Clary asked, and the strange look he gave her told her that the question was much too vague, "Killed anyone. I mean, not because you just woke up one morning and decided to shoot down a carnival, but because you had to."
Jace laid back on the bed as well, but he paused for quite a while before he finally gave her some kind of suitable response. She saw him open and close his mouth multiple times in a half-assed attempt to give her a yes or no, but he silenced himself each time his mouth opened so that he would not be able to say anything to her.
"I have." Jace finally said, and he shut his golden eyes for a moment, feeling a tight feeling wash over him. When he blinked his eyes open, a pair of jade eyes were focused on him. "But I can assure you that I never shot down a carnival." The attempt at sarcasm had only half of his heart in it, and he looked away from Clary—talking about killing people was lower on the list of his favorite activities.
"How many people?" Clary asked, pressing onto unwelcoming territory. Jace noticed that it was a habit of hers to do that—she liked pushing farther than she was allowed to push, but somehow, she always managed to get the results that she wanted. He wasn't sure if everyone was so weak to her big eyes, but he had trouble ignoring her.
"Four." Jace said, and Clary looked surprised. "What? Were you expecting me to be a mass murderer with the blood of fifty bodies on my hands?"
"No, but I was a bit out of the ballpark. My estimate was a two-digit number." Clary said quietly, and Jace tried to laugh softly.
She looked back over to Jace, but his eyes were in the left corner of the room. Clary followed his gaze to the video camera, and cringed when she saw it—how had she not noticed it? It wasn't very hidden.
The video camera was black, and a little bit bigger than half of a baseball would be. It stood out well enough against the cream colored walls—it did not look like a camera at first glance, but it looked like something, something that shouldn't have been overlooked so easily.
"What do you think he's thinking?" Jace asked quietly, looking over to Clary. She frowned slightly—to her, it was a strange question—and she snapped her gaze from the obvious camera to the attractive man lying next to her.
Clary didn't respond, but Jace didn't seem to need a response to put forth his opinion, "Because I think that he's jealous."
This caught Clary's attention, and she gave Jace a look that told him that she thought him to be insane. "Jealous? Why would he be jealous, of all things? Or are you really so full of yourself as to believe that every other man is jealous of your looks?" The blonde man laughed, and the teenage girl hit his arm, "I wasn't making a joke."
"That's what makes it funny." He replied plainly, a hint of a smile still playing across his face. Clary rolled her eyes and looked up at the ceiling, avoiding his strong gaze. "And I think that he hates you, and there's always a whisper of love in true hate."
"I'm not following."
"He's jealous because he's watching you on a bed besides a devilishly handsome man—worlds more handsome than he could ever attempt to be—and he wants me dead, maybe as much as you. It doesn't matter if he wants you or now. You're with someone else, and he's jealous. For all we know, he could be Simon, and he's plotting to kill me and take you as a cute little slave to chain to his computer while he plays Game of Thrones." Jace remarked, and Clary decided against both defending her best friend and telling Jace that Game of Thrones was a book and television show, not a video game.
"Do you have to compliment yourself every time you reference yourself? You can describe yourself without using adjectives pertaining to your physical appearance." Jace laughed at her comment, and Clary was lost at the reason behind his amusement. She looked from the wall to the—though she hated to admit it to herself—handsome man, both of her eyebrows raised.
Jace raised a single eyebrow in reply, making Clary jealous again that she was not able to raise a single eyebrow in question. She liked raising her eyebrows—when she was young, her mother told her not to do so to prevent from wrinkles (so naturally she did the opposite)—when in question, but Jace made her sarcasm seem weak.
"Are you denying that I'm attractive?" Jace questioned, rolling on his side so that he could let his dizzying eyes settle on hers. The movement brought part of his chest to brush against her shoulder, and her breathing became uneven.
"If you choose to twist my words, then yes, I am saying that. I'm not denying anything—that would make me in denial over a clear fact, and I'm sure that not everyone finds you attractive." Clary tried to keep her face as plain as possible, and turned her face to look at him squarely.
The move was an awful one, and it brought her face inches away from his. His breath tickled her nose—it smelled of drinking water and something sweet—and felt hot against her face, but she wasn't uncomfortable. The only discomfort came from denying the strengthening urge to press her lips to his, an urge that was making it difficult to think.
"I don't believe that," Jace said, his voice low in his throat to make it into something even sexier than the usual nuances of his liquid voice were. "Are you also implying that you aren't attracted to me? If I 'twist your words', as you so delicately put it, it sounds like you aren't."
"Maybe I'm not." Clary breathed.
"Prove it," Jace said simply. Before she could ask how she was supposed to prove that she wasn't attracted to him, he sat up and winked at her. Jace then reached a muscled arm to the back of his neck to grab his shirt and pulled it over his head in a single swift movement. He tossed the shirt to the other side of the room and flashed Clary a dazzling smile, and she looked away with blistering cheeks.
"Problem, sweetheart?" Jace asked, and Clary kept her face down—she was just about ready to do anything but look at him. She felt a warm hand underneath her chin, and felt her face being gently pushed to Jace's direction. After a moment, he let his hand drop, and Clary let out a breath that she had not known she was holding. "Because if you aren't attracted to me, then you should have no reason to look away."
Clary had never been one to back out of a challenge, and she saw this as a sort of game to him. A twisted game, yes, but still a game. Her eyes wavered, but she tilted her head to look up at Jace, then let her eyes flicker downwards to the cuts and contours of his bare, lightly tanned chest.
The sight of the leanly muscled—and undeniably attractive—man was distracting at the least, but she was unable to help from glancing at the small scars that littered his chest. They were faint, but they stood out against his skin when focused on them—flashes of white against a tan canvas—and the struggle to fight off a blush strengthened.
"I suppose I wouldn't." Clary crossed her arms to reach for the base of her shirt and pulled it over her head, something she recognized as a bad move moments after she made the gesture. Her green eyes flashed over to her bright blue bra—too blue, something more girly than sexy in her eyes—and she brought her eyes back up to Jace.
Jace's golden eyes flickered over her in a dragging gesture—he was taking his time, and making sure to make her as uncomfortable as he possibly could—to increase the difficulty of the game on her part. She didn't mirror the action, and Jace grinned softly, "You know, Clarissa, I never said I wasn't attracted to you."
He began to kick his shoes off, his hands going for his zipper as to scare her into thinking he would fully disrobe himself, but he only received a moment of her surprised wide eyes before a dramatic voice cut into their strange exchange.
"I'm not sure you kids are aware, but in traditional methods of foreplay, you help each other remove your clothes instead of intensely staring at one another while you fling your clothing across the room."
The redheaded girl nearly screamed at the slightly familiar voice and grabbed the sheets of her bed to pull over her half-naked chest. She gave the tall Asian man standing in the doorway a confused look, and glared when she heard Jace's laughter from behind her. He, of course, made no move to retrieve his shirt from where he had flung it, but slowly made his way to where Clary's top was wadded up on the floor.
"Magnus Bane." Jace greeted, smiling at the man. Magnus looked down to Jace's chest, seeming to be only mildly interested with what he saw, and waved his hand as to dismiss the blonde man standing in front of him. Jace didn't seem fazed by the small denial, "To what do I owe the honor?"
"Just checking up on the little girl," Magnus said, and Clary frowned at the name. "Can you show me your arm?" Jace tossed the shirt to Clary, and she hastily clothed herself, not bothering to ask why Jace was making no effort to cover himself.
"Should I unwind this?" Clary asked, trying to ignore Jace's bare chest. The redheaded girl ignored the urge to fetch Jace's shirt and wring it around his neck, and looked up to see the Asian man nodding.
As Clary unwrapped the gauze, she attempted to ask why the Asian man was wearing glitter, but he seemed like the kind of man who would only provide a stupid answer to a stupid question. He didn't seem to notice the redhead watching the glitter that laced his eyes curiously, and twirled his finger to motion for her to unwrap the gauze more quickly.
"It's healing nicely. There doesn't seem to be any risks of infection, but you might need to get stitches on that in a week or so." Clary winced at the thought of a random doctor sewing her arm together, but Magnus didn't seem to notice her discomfort. "If you need a familiar face, you can drop by New York and have yours truly stitch you up."
"I'd hardly call you a familiar face." Jace remarked, and the Asian man ignored Jace completely. "When did you even get here? I didn't hear a doorbell. Who let your in?"
"Your pretty friend with the eyes." Magnus said with a catlike grin, and Jace had to restrain himself from pointing out that everyone had eyes. "I called ahead to say that I was dropping by."
"Again, how? I didn't give you my number." Jace blew a tuft of golden hair out of his eyes, and Magnus onlt grinned coyly at him.
"That's another point to your friend—he gives his number out like candy." Jace didn't bother to mention that his best friend did not give his number out easily, but he was more interested in interrogating Alec later rather than questioning the extravagant man.
"So, is that all? You wasted a hundred bucks on gas just to come down and make Clary take her bandages off?" Jace asked, a blonde eyebrow raised.
"I'm not sure if you learned this in Police Academy, but doctors make more money than you obviously think. I could drive to visit Little Red in California, and the only thing I'd be wasting is time." Clary rolled her eyes at the nickname, not taking kindly to the fact that the two men would rather ignore the victim of the shooter—and the reason the flamboyant man was there in the first place—than pause their squabbling.
"I wasn't in Police Academy. I'm a trained agent for the FBI—I don't race around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to arrest a man who stole a watermelon from Costco." Jace replied, looking over to Clary for a moment as though she would back him up.
Clary took the opportunity to speak—she hated listening. "He doesn't chase watermelons. Watermelon thieves." Clary supplied, and Jace groaned at the awful attempt at her backing him off.
"Is that what the force does? Take the watermelons people steal, bash them over the heads with them, and send them to Alcatraz?" Magnus inquired, and Jace took a moment to wonder if Magnus was trying to tell a joke, or if he honestly believed that people were still sent to Alcatraz.
"People aren't still sent there, Magnus. And I have bigger problems to worry about—even bigger, shockingly, than the Watermelon Terrorists Of Costco." Jace said, and let his golden eyes flicker upwards to the camera in the room.
"Why do you have a camera in your bedroom? Are you trying to determine whether or not you succumb demonic possession in your sleep and walk around with a lighter?" Magnus asked, and Clary treated him with a strange look.
"Sad to say, but we aren't looking for demonic possession. It was placed by the bastard that tried to kill Clary, and it'll blow if we clip the wires. And unless you're an expert in nuclear weaponry, there isn't much productive work coming from this visit."
"So, does the man know that you two are dating? Or fake dating? Or does he know the whole shenanigan is fake?" Magnus asked, and Jace paused for a moment. The blonde boy finally walked over to where his shirt was hanging on Clary's lamp and twisted it in his hands, letting his eyes flicker to the camera.
"I suppose not. There's no audio, and the camera isn't good to detect what we're saying. For all he knows, Clary is mad for me, and dropped her life in New York to create a new, safer one here." Jace said, and Clary frowned.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you two have to play house in house." Magnus supplied, and he received strange looks from both of them, "Play a couple at home."
"How am I supposed to do that?" Clary asked, and Jace looked as though he was restraining laughter (most likely having something to do with her lack of experience in dating and fake-dating)
"Be adorable. Sleep together. Make everyone around us throw up." Jace supplied, and Clary's eyes widened. "The connotation of 'sleeping together' doesn't always mean sex. It could mean that we sleep in the same bed, or pretend to have sex in my room."
"Or we could take the bomb down and I could live happily in my own room without pretending that I constantly want to jump your bones. Why can't we be a fighting couple that always wakes the neighbors and doesn't need to be constantly dry humping each other?"
"I can give you five reasons." Jace said, holding up five fingers and beginning to count down, "We wouldn't want to live together. We wouldn't have moved in together in the first place. Make-up sex. Break-up sex. Angry-sex."
"Why are more than half of those reasons revolving around sex?" Clary asked, and Jace only shot her a white-toothed grin that made her feel unstable.
"Should I leave so that you two can continue your unorthodox foreplay?" Magnus inquired, and a blush quickly flamed Clary's cheeks. Jace nodded, and finally stopped twisting his shirt in his hands so that he could slip it over his head and lead Magnus out the door.
After a few minutes, Magnus was gone, and Clary was sitting in the kitchen with the three detectives. They were sitting on high chairs around the black marble island—much too fancy and useless for Clary's taste—and discussing Jace's 'ingenious' plan (or rather, ingenious to Jace, since he was the only one who thought it was 'ground breakingly marvelous'.)
"—glitter on your face." Clary heard Jace say, and she tuned in her attention—it was a rather random comment, but enough to tell Clary that they were through with talking about Jace's plan for a few moments. Clary let her green eyes wander to Alec, and he indeed had specks of sliver glitter scattering his neck and part of his cheek.
"What?" Alec asked dumbly, rubbing on his cheek (incidentally, the cheek that was free of the glitter). Clary took a closer look at the silver sparkles, something that looked like they had rubbed off on Alec rather than something that was directly applied. It made sense—though Clary didn't know Alec too well, she knew that he was not the type to apply glitter to his body.
"You have glitter on your face and neck—incidentally, the same kind the sparkly doctor was wearing. And your shirt is on backwards." Jace pointed out, something Clary hadn't noticed. She raised an eyebrow when she saw the nature of his clothing, coming to the conclusion that Jace had.
"He—he gave me a . . . makeover." Alec said quickly. Jace opened his mouth to say something more, but the blue-eyed man pushed his chair out and stood up swiftly. The movement would have been confident if not for the scattered look in his eyes, and he spared a last look at the people around the island. "There's bigger things to worry about than glitter. I'm going to do the camera."
Isabelle let out a short laugh at the frazzled man's phrasing, and even Clary had to hide a smile, "You do that bigger camera," Jace called out after his best friend, and Isabelle hit him in the arm.
"Don't be an ass, Jace," Isabelle chastised, but Jace only treated the girl with an even grin.
"I'm not being an asshole. Clary, am I being an asshole?" Jace asked, batting his gold eyes in an innocent way that made it difficult for Clary not to laugh.
"I think that Alec is right, Jace. The camera is a bigger thing to do—worry about." Clary corrected herself quickly, still thinking back to how disconcerted the usually calm detective was. Isabelle snorted, and Clary wondered if it was the first time she had made the female agent laugh.
"I suppose it is, Clary," Jace said, disappearing into the living room for a moment before returning with the strange note the man left—only this time, the note was in a plastic bag labeled 'evidence'. "And I think it's a big enough problem for us to take this to data analysis."
"Data analysis?" Clary asked, only vaguely recognizing the word from cop shows she remembered watching with Simon when nothing better was on TV.
"Analyzing the data. As in, testing this for fingerprints, and figuring out the identity of the attempted murderer." Jace said, and for once, there was no amusement in his voice.
Secondary Notes: If that was too vague, yes, Magnus and Alec did hook up before he went up to bug Jace and Clary's shirtless session.
Should I write a shot about what exactly what happened with Magnus and Alec? I need to write something with the magnusalec pairing for the third month of gge, but I don't have very much planned yet. If you have a request or idea, leave it in the reviews c:
Question of the day:
What was the last song you listened to? I'm not too sure—it was either Numb by Linkin Park, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, or Teenagers by My Chemical Romance.
leave a review c: