Hi! This story is going to be a series of tales from the London Institute! Most are going to be one shots featuring Will, Jem, Tessa, and the rest of the gang.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters. But I do own the plot.

To Eat Your Fears: I know there is a saying, to "drown your sorrows in ice cream," but is there a saying to "eat your fears with chopsticks?" No? I didn't think so. In this story, Will makes this saying a reality when he is eating at a Chinese restaurant with Jem and Tessa.


To Eat Your Fears With Chopsticks

"Well, Jem, I have to admit. This food is really good," Will remarked, shoveling salty chow mein noodles into his mouth.

"Do you regret complaining about not getting to have Italian all the way over here?" Jem said with a smile, glad that Will had admitted that he was right about food for once. Usually it was Will calling all the shots on where to eat, but finally, once Tessa had come along, Jem had won a vote over what to have for dinner.

There were huge platters of food in the center of the table. Jem had ordered enough for ten people, even though there was just the three of them.

"I'm so glad you can understand Chinese," Tessa said, trying to pick up some rice with her chopsticks, "Without you, Will and I may have had to make the waiter read the entire menu to us in English." Jem had spoken fluent Chinese to the waiter, leaving Tessa and Will mystified in what the heck he had been ordering. Nonetheless, it tasted good, so no one was complaining.

"Not me," Will said, pointing a chopstick at them, "I would just order the first things that I saw."

Jem groaned, "You wouldn't know what you were eating,"

"I don't even really know now! It wouldn't make much difference." Will said, spearing a piece of sesame chicken, then popping it into his mouth.

"That's impolite," Jem replied, motioning to the way Will was using the utensils, "It's not a knife. You can't just stab it."

"Then how do you?" Will complained.

Jem did a quick demonstation, holding his chopsticks, and with a quick flick of his wrist, a piece of broccoli from his plate was in his mouth, and he was chewing happily.

"Whoa. Slow down there. If I tried that the food would land on the person in back of me, not in my mouth."

"Yes Jem," Tessa teased, "Not everyone is as perfect with chopsticks as you are. I can barely pick up a piece of rice."

"Rice can be a bit hard," Jem admitted, "Really, once you get the hang of it though, it's not difficult."

"Easy to say for the person who's been using them all his life," Will muttered, then flagged down the waiter, "Could I get a fork? These wooden sticks aren't working for me."

The waiter muffled a chuckle, but agreed, and came back moments later with the shiny silverware in his hand.

"Yes. Finally. I can eat." Will grinned, and started eating with even more gusto than before.

Jem rolled his eyes at his comedic friend, then turned to look at the girl sitting next to him, "How are you doing, Tessa?"

"To be honest, I'm struggling a little. I can't seem to get the food all the way from the plate to my mouth." she demonstrated, picking up a noodle, but it slipped back to her plate before she could get it into her mouth, "See?"

Smiling, Jem said, "Here. Let me help you."

He put his hand over hers a guided her fingers to the right places. Showing her the proper technique, she caught on fast, and was soon eating like a pro.

"Showoff," Will muttered, watching them intently.

"You just are jealous," Tessa replied playfully, tossing her hair over her shoulder for emphasis.

Will's eyes widened just a little. She was gorgeous. More so than any other girl he had seen. Even Jessamine, who was considered a beauty, was nothing compared to the angel that say across the table fron him. How could she not know that he was in love with her? Oh, that's right. He was cruel to her. But it was to keep her safe. He didn't want both of his best friends to be dying.

"Will," Tessa spoke. Will's eyes traveled to her face. Her perfect features, beautiful and kind, we're moving as she spoke, "Will, can you hear me?"

Will snapped out of it, "Yes?" he smirked.

"Are you okay? You've been twirling your fork in those noodles for so long that they're halfway up the handle," Tessa said.

He looked down. Yes, indeed, the noodles had made their way up the handle of his fork. He spat, "It's none of your business." then internally yelled at himself. Why did he have to be so mean?

A look of hurt flashed across Tessa's eyes. Jem noticed it and comforted her, leaning in to whisper in her ear.

"Don't worry about him. He's just in one of his moods." he said, placing his reassuring hand over Tessa's, which shook slightly, as if she was trying not to cry. His hand was warm and gentle, and she immediately felt better.

"It's not my mood if I act like this all the time. You have to learn that it may just be my personality." Will stated, barely looking up from his food. Dang. They had forgotten about his excellent hearing. He poked a piece of meat on his plate. "What is this stuff, anyway?"

Jem glanced at Tessa quickly, and then hesitantly answered, "That's roasted duck, Will."

Will looked horrified, and about to scream. Tessa smothered a laugh, and Jem looked worried about what Will was going to do to him.

"Duck?! You mean I've been eating duck?!" he exclaimed angrily, "By the Angel, you know I hate ducks. Why would you order it?"

Jem flushed, "It's one of my favorites. I thought Tessa would like to try it, and honestly I didn't think you would ask me what it was."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, I thought it was delicious," Tessa said, trying to relieve the tension between the boys.

Will relaxed a bit, but not by much, "Okay, fine. I won't get mad at you, James, but only because Tessa actually does like it."

Tessa was confused. Will, taking her opinion into consideration? Why, minutes ago he had just insulted her! Well, that's the Herondales for you, she thought.

"I am glad," Jem replied, mouthing a small thank you to Tessa.

She mouthed back, You are welcome.

"Still," Will declared, "I will not eat this."

He took his plate and dumped the pile of duck onto the white tablecloth. Tessa watched in horror as the sauce soaked into the fabric, leaving a brown stain.

"Oh, Will." Jem and Tessa said at the same time.


I hope you enjoyed the story! Please read and review, I would love to hear your thoughts on my writing!

Also, if you guys have any plot or character ideas for future stories, I would love to hear them, and I will do my best to incorporate any ideas you have into my stories!

~Hearts With Love~