Chasing the Sun.

Summary- AU/AH: After a brutal tour in Afghanistan turns his life upside down, Jace is forced to battle a new war. This time, one of his own. Fortunately, he's not alone. Can new next-door neighbor Clary help heal a wounded soldier's heart? Vulgar language and lots of lemonade.

A/N at bottom.

The explosions ripped Jace from his sleep. He sat up with a startled cry, white shirt clinging to his back with sweat while a tremor wracked his body. With a groan he raised his hands to cover his ears as the whistling filled them, the screams and gunfire. It never ended and he doubt it ever would.

"Every fucking morning" he swore bitterly to himself, collapsing back down onto the bed with a heavy sigh. His body still shook slightly and he felt sick with the pain sitting up had caused to his hip. Jace lowered his hands and let them rest atop the duck-feather pillow, eyes clenching shut. Would the sights, sounds and smells of war ever vanish? He didn't think so.

The bedroom door clattered open and Jace's instincts kicked in instantly as his hand snapped to his hip for a gun, but of course, there was nothing there.

"Jace?" his mother asked, worry in her eyes as she stood in the doorway with her face as pale as a sheet at the sight of her son frozen at the sight of her. Her hands hadn't stopped shaking for days now. "I-I'm sorry. I didn't think..." Jace felt guilty when tears filled those beautiful eyes of hers and he relaxed, shaking his head, making sure to avoid looking directly at her.

"It's okay" he told her gruffly, yanking the covers up over himself, shame trickling through his veins like sand in an hourglass; if he'd had a gun, he would have shot his own mother without a pause for thought. It horrified him. War changed a man, and not for the best.

Celine Herondale shifted slightly as if to step closer, but didn't – he'd been yelling for her to go away since he'd come home four days ago. They had been the most awkward four days of Jace's life. He'd rather be back out in the field with a gun in his hand and an enemy dead before him than faced with his sobbing mother who had been quite inconsolable at first. "Do you... want something to eat? I was going to make some pasta" she asked hesitantly, hoping he'd start to eat something at long last.

"No" Jace told her, voice softer than before. His heart pounded in his chest, the shells still whistling loudly inside his ears even now. "I just want... to be alone." He turned his head away and sighed, tugging the covers even higher over himself with his back facing her. When Jace heard the door shut, he rolled onto his back and lay there staring up at the ceiling for so long he lost track of time while his body throbbed painfully.

When the sun started to peek from behind the cottony clouds, a flash of gold caught Jace's eye. He turned his gaze reluctantly on the trophies and medals for his achievements in football in High School on the top shelf of his bookcase, acid bubbling up inside his throat, making him feel even more nauseous.

I'll never play football again Jace thought numbly, suddenly wishing he had a baseball bat so he could take it to the shiny trophies that meant nothing to him now. They were hunks of useless metal. All they reminded him of was the past, when he could...

Jace grabbed the empty glass from his bedside table and threw it as hard as he could at the shelf of trophies, a cry of frustration and grief tearing itself from his throat; the glass shattered as it made contact with the largest trophy, but it didn't knock it off.

Fuck the world. Fuck everything.

He didn't know how the hell he was going to cope. How could he? The life he knew before, the life he loved and was comfortable with had been shattered beyond repair.

A/N: This idea has been simmering away for while in my head, really. I wanted to write a gritty story with real situations and issues as well as an unlikely romance. If you like your men in uniform, your story angsty and hot, you have come to the right place. This will be very different from what I've written before, but no less hot and spicy. It's AU and AH with some OOC in the characters at times. This is the prologue to see if people are interested in reading more. If so, drop a review. I'll post the first chapter when I deem enough people want more. Thank you.

In other news, can I have some recommendations for The Mortal Instruments fics? Preferably ones that are AU/AH and are relatively unknown in the FF community. Both finished and ongoing. No super popular ones though, because I'm pretty sure I've read all of those ones by now. It can be your own or someone else's, I really don't mind. I'm open to new ideas! Every time I update I will add some fic recommendations of my favourite's on the end for you all to enjoy.


p.s, a big thank you to Isla and Katie. The pair of cheerleaders I want to squish and hug.