rippingbutterflywings: Heeeeey, guys! So, yeah, this is my second collaboration going up tonight, because writing with people is actually the best thing in the entire universe. This one just sort of casually happened, and we wrote it over the span of, like, two days. But it's huge. It's so huge. Oh my God. Anyway, yeah. I really, really enjoyed myself writing this one. It was so fun, and spikeyhairgood is awesome, obviously, and we laughed and died a lot as we wrote this, so yeah. I hope you like it!

spikeyhairgood: Hello! Me & rippingbutterflywings came up with this idea during ridiculous conversation and I can't be more happy with how our impulsive collaboration story came out. We hope you laugh as much as we did and get enough feels to write in caps. Because we definitely did. Enjoy & please, let us know what you think. :)

Clary smiled as Isabelle opened the door to her apartment. Isabelle raised an eyebrow at her and put a hand at her hip, causing Clary's smile to fall.

"Is that really what you're going to wear to seduce a boy you like?" Isabelle asked, and Clary's eyes got wide.

"Oh my God, Isabelle," Clary hissed, looking behind her to check if a boy was already in their apartment.

"He isn't here," Isabelle said, rolling her eyes at her and stepping aside.

Simon popped his head from the bedroom. "But I am."

"We've already talked about the heinous things I would do to you if you say a word to him," Clary said, taking off her coat and throwing it onto their couch.

"And we've already established that, because I'm the bestest friend in the entire universe, I'm not going to tell him anything."

"I thought I was your best friend," Isabelle said to Clary.

She rolled her eyes. Those two were always talking about this, and it drove her insane. "Oh my God, guys."

"I knew her first!" Simon called from his and Isabelle's bedroom.

"I was born first, you dimwit."

He scoffed. "You're only two months older than me."

"And infinitely wiser," she told him, giving him a kiss. To Clary, she said, "Come on. I'm gonna make you hot."

The two girls stood in front of the door and stared at Simon. "Okay, it's understood," he said, side-stepping his way out of the bedroom. "No need for hostile body language."

Clary hid her smile as she followed Isabelle into the bedroom. Once she heard the doorbell ring, she pushed Isabelle to walk faster and Simon could hear Isabelle yell, in a hushed whisper, "Oh my God, Clarissa. You are ridiculous."

Simon flinched as Clary slammed the door shut and he walked over to answer the door.

"Hey," Simon said, stepping aside so Jace could walk in.

"Hey," Jace replied, but Simon noticed he was looking around. He rolled his eyes at Jace.

"She's in the bedroom," Simon told him when he saw Jace's eyes land on Clary's jacket.

Jace took off his own and put it on the couch. "I wasn't looking for her."

Simon sighed. "Fine. You weren't looking." He walked past Jace into the kitchen.

"What's up with you?" Jace followed him into the kitchen, taking out a water bottle from the fridge.

"I just think it's about time you tell her," Simon admitted. "I mean, how long have you felt like this? Months? Years?" When Jace opened his mouth to speak, Simon raised a finger to silence him. "I don't wanna know. The point is that, if you don't tell her, some dude's gonna come along and snatch her up and you're gonna be regretting everything you never said."

Jace squinted at him. "Are you high?"

Simon rolled his eyes. "You need to get ready."

"I feel like you're high."

"Oh my God."

"I mean, can we though? Can we get high tonight?"

Simon closed his eyes and focused on not reaching over to smack the back of Jace's head.

"Okay, stop trying to feel Jace's presence through the door. Come in here," Isabelle commanded. Clary walked over, glaring at the back of her head. "Try these on." Clary held her arms out and Isabelle put an array of short skirts and crop tops on them.

Clary scrunched her nose. "Why do I need to wear your slutty clothes tonight? I mean, specifically tonight."

Isabelle stepped out of the closet, hooking three different heels on her fingers. "Because you will be drunk, and so will he. I'm tired of watching you two do this dance."

"We do not dance," Clary said, throwing her shirt off. She stared at one of Isabelle's tops; it had so many open spaces she wasn't sure where her arms went.

"I don't actually mean dance!" Isabelle yelled, grabbing her makeup bag. She stood in front of Clary, applying mascara. Clary knew better than to resist. "You two can just be so awkward around each other. It's time to see if there's something more to the tension." Isabelle resisted the urge to grin. Nightly, Simon and Isabelle talked about how they can get Jace and Clary to just tell each other about their feelings.

"Slutty clothes and makeup don't exactly scream a 'sharing feelings' moment," Clary said, looking up as Isabelle did her bottom lashes. "It says something else that doesn't require the feelings of a relationship." Clary's face became serious as she pulled her head away. "You know that I actually like Jace, right? That I'm not trying to just—"

Isabelle gasped. "I think he heard you."

Clary glared. "Okay, so you do now they're actual feelings."

"Yeah, yeah, I know." Isabelle waved her off. "But we both know that dressing up the way you usually do doesn't get you anywhere. I mean, we've been living together for a year now, and you've had feelings for him for, what, a year and a half now? You obviously can't approach him being yourself; you're too shy for that. So…" She let her voice trail off as she motioned in the direction of the clothes. "We're trying things my way now."

Clary knew that, with every counterargument she came up with, Isabelle would bring up a million more. She hated to admit it, but her best friend was as stubborn as she was, if not more so. There was no way she was going to win this argument. Which, by the way, they'd had a thousand times before.

"Fine." She let out a sigh. "But I get to pick my top."

After considering this for a few seconds, Isabelle nodded. "Deal."

Which was how, ten minutes later, Clary ended up in front of a mirror, fully dressed. She wore a black skater skirt (which was a little too short for the fall, in her opinion), black tights, black converse, a light gray shirt shirt, and a leather jacket.

Clary stood as still as a statue as Isabelle curled the ends of her fiery red hair, which contrasted with the dark clothes she wore. She closed her eyes as Isabelle yanked, but she didn't complain. She just waited, gritting her teeth and swallowing curses. When Isabelle clapped her hands and proudly proclaimed that she was done, Clary reopened her eyes and looked at herself in the mirror.

Clary breathed a sigh of relief. With all the pulling and application of brushes against her eyelids, she thought Isabelle had done a complete make over. Clary leaned towards the mirror to see the perfect nude smokey eye that Isabelle applied. Her eyes glanced down at her hair, which Isabelle tamed into soft, messy curls.

"I know," Isabelle said, interrupting her thoughts. "I'm good."

Clary turned to face Isabelle and rolled her eyes. "Okay, all hail Isabelle Lightwood. Happy?"

"I am always happy with being adored," Isabelle responded as she reached for her purse on the bed. "Now, get out there and get him, tiger."

"Isabelle, I hope you know that looking like this isn't going to actually make me blurt out my feelings," Clary said as Isabelle held the door knob.

Isabelle turned to Clary. "Clary, I hope you know there are sayings that imply things like dancing or 'getting him' that don't mean you are actually dancing or getting him." Isabelle gave her a look then opened the door.

Isabelle stepped out of view and across the room. Sitting on the edge of the couch was Jace—with a joint in his hand, for some reason. He looked up at her and she saw his eyes widen. She looked down, forcing herself not to smile. She turned off the light and closed the bedroom door behind her, thinking that maybe Isabelle was right.

"Okay, people!" Simon's voice rang loudly through the apartment. "We leave in five minutes!"

Clary couldn't help but smile at the way he seemed like a Boy Scout leader or something, with his hands cupped around his mouth to amplify the sound of his voice. Isabelle was the only one not in the living room, and God knew what she was doing.

In five minutes, though, just as Simon ordered, they filed out of the apartment. She felt someone's eyes on her, but she didn't dare to turn around. It could've just been Simon; he didn't like it when Isabelle used his methods on Clary. It could've been Isabelle, admiring her work. Or—

Nope. She wouldn't think about it.

They walked over to Jace's car. Simon was the designated driver, so Jace tossed him the keys. Naturally, they fell on the pavement. Simon gave Jace the finger as he turned on his phone's flashlight and searched for them in the darkness. Clary rolled her eyes at the two of them and, as soon as the car's doors were unlocked, climbed inside the car. When Jace tried to sit in the passenger seat, Simon shook his head, saying that, "If a cops pulls us over and sees how high you are, we're infinitely screwed."

Simon cranked up the heater and turned on the music. She felt Jace's presence as if every one of her senses was heightened. She was too self-aware to even breathe without wondering if she was breathing wrong. She didn't usually felt this way, but she never really dressed like this, either. Especially not in the fall. When it was freezing.

She's got you high,
And you don't even know yet.
She's got you high,
And you don't even know yet.
The sun's in the sky,
It's warming up your bare legs.
You can't deny it you're looking for the sunset.

She couldn't help but nod along to the sound of "She's Got You High" by Mumm-Ra. A sudden happiness overtook her, and every single bit of nervousness fell away. She was nineteen, in the car with the best people she'd ever met, and, as she looked back, she realized that every happy moment she could remember had happened with them.

She didn't say anything, but she looked at them with a smile on her face as Simon drove twenty minutes to get to Magnus's birthday party.

Jace met her gaze and smiled, his eyes slightly red. Yep. He was high. At least he'd had the decency to be slightly sheepish about it. He looked at her now, with his painful gorgeous, perfectly sculpted face and his lopsided smile, and she wanted nothing more than to reach over and place her lips to his and end this entire thing that was eating her alive. She wanted him to know, but the mere thought of spelling her feelings out to him made her want to open up a hole in the earth and let it swallow her entire existence.

"Um," Clary spoke up over the music. Simon looked at her through the rear view mirror and Jace turned to face her. She looked at Isabelle, who tilted her head, wondering what she had to say. "Do you have any more of that?"

"More of what?" Jace asked. He was smirking.

"You know," Clary said, leaning forward. "The weed," she whispered.

Simon's eyes got wide from the driver's seat, Isabelle laughed, and Jace grinned.

Clary opened her door and stepped out of the car, looking towards the ground as smoke seeped out. She gasped, putting a hand over her mouth, and slammed the door shut. She could hear Isabelle scream her name. She looked at Simon, who looked back into the car to make sure his girlfriend was okay.

Isabelle appeared at the other side of the car, scowling. Her eyes were red as well and the sour mood left her almost immediately.

Jace walked around the front of the car with Isabelle as Simon and Clary met up with them in the middle of the street. The group walked forward towards the front door. Clary looked at the path leading up to the huge white mansion with, in her opinion, too many windows. Isabelle reached out and rang the doorbell.

Magnus opened it with outstretched arms. Isabelle and Clary smiled at his elaborate outfit. He was wearing a black deep V-neck with black jeans while the Magnus part about him was found in his purple velvet blazer and purple glitter in his hair. Alec materialized beside him, wearing a simple black shirt and jeans.

The four bellowed in unison, "Happy birthday!"

Magnus opened his mouth to say something but he stopped to lean forward and squint at them. "You are high. You are all high."

Alec leaned forward to look at his sister's face. "Isabelle!"

"It was him," she said, pointing at Jace. "He brought the weed."

"Oh my God," Alec told him, shaking his head. "You are corrupting the youth."

Jace shook his head and held up his arms in surrender. "Clary asked for the weed."

"Clary!" Alec sounded more disappointed. His voice was impossibly high. "You're the youngest."

She shrugged. "What's a party without weed, am I right?"

He shook his head. "You're all impossible. And corrupt. And a bad influence."

"We love you too," Isabelle said, ruffling her brother's hair as she made her way past him, kissed Magnus's cheek, and entered the party.

Once the group stepped into the living room, they were met with music so loud, it beat within their chest. They were greeted by their usual group of friends while random girls and guys either glanced at them or couldn't keep their eyes off of them.

"Jace!" Jordan called out, grabbing his attention. "Beer pong?" He held up a piece of cardboard with names written.

Jace glanced at Clary to his left. He smiled and looked up at Jordan. "Yeah, sign me and Clary up," Jace said and Clary's head snapped up in his direction.

"What?" she asked him.

"Clary? Are you trying not to win tonight?" Jordan asked, genuinely concerned. Clary directed her middle finger towards him. Jordan put his hands up and laughed.

"Seriously though," Clary said as Jace turned to her. "Are you trying not to? I suck so hard at beer pong."

Jace shrugged. "Maybe being high will help you."

It didn't. After Jace and Clary waited their turn to play, they played horribly. Well, Clary played horribly, and Jace couldn't carry the team enough for both of them. The two laughed as they chugged down the cups of warm beer.

"Okay, maybe I won't play with you anymore," Jace told her as they walked away towards the living room.

"Wait!" Isabelle yelled and the two turned around. "Shot," she said, holding up a shot glass.

Clary frowned. "But we just chugged disgusting beer."

Without looking, Jace grabbed Clary's arm and led her to the kitchen. She held back a gasp from the contact. After a few seconds of waiting, the rest of their best friends showed up. Magnus, Simon, Alec, Isabelle, Jordan, and Maia walked into the spacious, modern kitchen in Magnus's mansion.

Taking the liberty of doing so, Jordan poured the mixed drinks into shot glasses. Isabelle took them and handed them out. Clary brought it to her nose and sniffed it. She could smell the vodka; it made her want to gag.

"Okay," Isabelle said, taking her own. She held it in the air and rest followed suit. "To Magnus!"

"To Magnus!" they said in unison, and then lifted her heads back, the shot glasses on their lips.

"Poison," Clary muttered. "This tastes like poison."

"One more," Isabelle said, taking all the glasses from their fingertips before they could complain.

"Izzy," Maia said, eyes wide. "Just because you guys are catching up doesn't mean that we aren't trashed."

"What's the harm?" Isabelle asked.

Jace turned to Simon. "Aren't you our DD? You're being awful at it."

Simon shrugged. "It'll wear off by the time we leave."

"Oh, God," Clary muttered as Isabelle handed shot glasses back out, filled to the brim.

"Okay," Isabelle announced again. "To Magnus and his velvet blazer!"

"To Magnus and his velvet blazer!" they said, trying to say it in unison but failing miserably.

"No more," Clary warned her friend after the burning in her throat had faded enough so she could speak. "I swear to God, if you try to give me one more shot, I'm moving out."

Isabelle pouted, but sighed. "Fine." She turned to Simon, her eyes lighting up. "Can you sign us up for beer pong?"

"Sure," he said, giving her a quick kiss, which elicited a groan from Clary and Jace. It was something they did whenever the two showed even the slightest hint of affection, because, it turned out, it was the only way they could train them to not make out in places that didn't have a door they could shut. Clary and Jace had, sadly, walked in on their friends. Many, many times. Too many times. Simon shot a glare at his two friends before exiting the kitchen.

"I kinda wanna go play beer pong, too," Maia announced to Jordan. "Do you wanna go sign up?"

Somehow, the group made their own plans to follow Jordan and Maia into the living room, where people were playing beer pong. Clary, Jace, and Alec just wanted to watch, while Magnus was following his boyfriend and enjoying himself as he saw people having fun.

Jordan and Maia trailed behind, her arms wrapped around him as she walked backward and Jordan kept his eyes on her, ignoring anything in their way. Clary watched as Simon walked towards them, his head turned as he talked to someone.

Her eyebrows furrowed as she saw the inevitable start to happen.

Maia and Jordan were talking about something, their faces close to one another while Clary mentally yelled Simon's name, telling him to pay attention his surroundings. The two laughed, then pulled away as Jordan lifted his fist in the air while screaming, "Yes!" and, as if it happened in slow motion, Clary watched as Jordan's excited fist met with Simon's jaw.

She gasped as Simon fell backward into a stranger's arms. The confused stranger handed him over to Jace, who pushed through to get to Simon. Isabelle panicked as she ran towards them, and Clary watched as Maia began screaming at Jordan and Jordan, with wide eyes, kept repeating that he "didn't mean it" and that he "didn't know Simon was there."

"Ice!" Isabelle screamed at her brother, who ran back into the kitchen with Magnus. Clary moved past Jordan and Maia, who were now arguing about the incident, to catch up with Isabelle and Jace, who carried Simon into the living room.

Jace laughed a little. "Oh my God, he's completely knocked out."

"I should knock you out for laughing at him," Isabelle said, setting Simon onto the couch.

Jace looked at Clary behind him as he continued to chuckle, hiding his amusement from Isabelle. Jace turned back around to find Isabelle straddling Simon.

"Isabelle! Is this really the time for this?" Jace asked, voice booming in the empty living room.

"Will you shut up?" Isabelle snapped. "I'm trying to slap him awake."

"Ice!" Alec declared as he ran into the room. He dropped the bag at the sight of his sister and her immobile boyfriend. "Isabelle!"

Clary sighed, exasperated, as she walked over to grab the Ziplock bag full of ice. She looked up to see Alec, still in shock, and Magnus, who was giggling. Clary walked back over and sat beside Simon, putting the ice on his jaw.

As if it awakened him, Simon opened his eyes and began screaming while Isabelle and Clary screamed back in his face.

"Cold, cold!" he complained, swatting Clary's hands away. "What is happening?" He looked up at Isabelle. "Why are you straddling me in public?" He turned his head to Clary. "Did I agree to something?"

"Gross," Clary whispered, then stood up. The group looked up when they heard Jordan and Maia screaming. They watched as Maia yelled profanities at Jordan while he huffed in anger and walked towards the back door. He threw it open and didn't bother to close it.

After a few seconds of silence, Magnus spoke up. "Someone should go find him," he said. "The back leads to woods, and he's wasted."

"I'll go," Clary volunteered.

"Me too," Jace replied quickly. "As backup."

"Be careful," Isabelle said.

"I have my phone's flashlight," Clary replied. "It's gonna be fine."

When Jace wasn't looking, Isabelle wiggled her eyebrows at her. "Have fuuuuun."

Clary dragged Jace out of the living room and into the back of the house, closing the door.

He frowned. "What was that all about?"

She shrugged. "I don't know. Isabelle being Isabelle?"

"Good enough."

The two of them inspected their surroundings. Aside from a pool and some bushes, there wasn't much to the actual backyard, but there was an extension that led to some shady-looking woods. Clary knew, of course, that it was where Jordan had headed.

"Do we have to go into the creepy woods?" Jace sighed as if he knew the answer.

"You know it."

"We're gonna get murdered."


"Why are you so happy about that?"

"Because this whole thing is pretty hilarious," she admitted. "I mean, I'm a little worried for Jordan and Simon, but still."

"I'm pretty sure Isabelle wants to kill me because I laughed when her precious boy toy was injured."

"You've been spending way too much time with me and Isabelle if you're using the term 'boy toy'," Clary pointed out. "I'm so proud."

He gave her a light shove as he pulled out his phone and turned on the flashlight. "Joooooordan, where aaaaaare you?"

"Seriously, dude, you sound like a ghost from a bad movie."

"I don't hear you saying anything," Jace replied.

She cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled out, "Jordan!" a number of times before giving up. He clearly didn't want to be found.

"What do we do?" She raked a hand through her hair, frustration coursing through her. "We need to find him."

"Let's just walk around," Jace suggested. "He can't have gone far, right?"

"Oh my God, this is such a mess." She let out a laugh despite herself. "And I'm so high. And those shots killed me."

"You're holding up reasonably well for someone whose cause of death was the shots we did."

She punched his shoulder. "You're impossible."

"You loooove me."

Clary bit back her tongue to keep from saying something she might regret. Her cheeks were burning in the way that tequila shots burned a person's throat, and she couldn't look at him. She knew that, if she so much as glanced his way, he would know everything she had ever felt.

Isabelle held the ice against Simon's face as he squirmed. She held onto his arm with a death grip and he ceased to stop fighting her.

"Alec," Isabelle mumbled, glancing at her brother. "I was not doing anything dirty—" Alec put a hand up. "Okay, there was nothing going on when you walked in. Simon was knocked out cold. I mean, cold. He was done for. It was like he was in a boxing match and he lost in the first second. My goodness, he would be obliterated in a real match." Isabelle's eyes found Simon's unamused ones. "Where was I going with this?"

"Oh, stomping on my pride wasn't your original intent?" Simon asked, eyebrows raised.

"Alexander, there was nothing of the erotic persuasion going on here," Magnus said, putting a hand on his boyfriend's left shoulder. "Don't be so upset. Maybe we should be upset that three of our friends might be eaten by a bear."

"There are bears here?" Simon asked, alarmed as he moved to sit at the edge of the couch. Isabelle pushed him back with slight force. He sighed. He wasn't liking the whole "nursed back to health" thing very much.

"No. I don't know," Magnus said, with a shrug. "It could be Maleficent."

Alec rolled his eyes. "Oh, goodness."

"It doesn't matter to me," Isabelle said proudly. "Jace and Clary are searching for Jordan out there in the dark woods, and many things can happen in that situation. Yes, I do mean of the erotic persuasion," she explained, looking at her brother as she emphasized the last two words. He shivered in disgust of his sister speaking those words.

"Are you trying to get these to two to be together or trying to get them to just hook up? I'm confused," Simon asked, pushing up his glasses as he looked to his right at Isabelle.

"Either. Both. First off, there is too much sexual tension going on in our apartment, and I don't mean from us. I mean, there is some from us, but—"

"Isabelle!" Alec stomped his foot.

Isabelle rolled her eyes.

"Let the children live, Alexander," Magnus said soothingly, putting a hand on Alec's shoulder again.

"I just know that, either way, those two are going to be together. Whether it starts with a hook-up or not, I know they are endgame," Isabelle said, looking at the boys surrounding her. "Just wait and see. This is a night that will be changing the lives of Clace."

"Clace?" Alec asked.

"Clary and Jace," Isabelle said with a shrug. "Obviously."

Clary yelped as she tripped on a twig. As usual, whether she falling or tripping, Jace was there to catch her. He had saved her a year and a half's worth of bumps and bruises.

"Why are we out here? Why didn't Maia come out here?"

"She's probably passed out drunk," Jace said, sounding like he didn't mind the little night hike they were taking. He was mellow, and Clary knew he was still as high as a kite. Baked like a cake.

It had the opposite effect on her. Being in the woods, as high as she was, only made her paranoid. She was turning at every sound, convinced that something was out to get them. It was taking all of her will not to jump on Jace in fear.

"Nonetheless," Clary waved a hand, "why is it us out here?"

"I thought you volunteered," Jace whispered.

"Shush!" She turned to face him. Or what she could see of him, anyway, which was only his golden hair. "Why did you volunteer?" She poked at his chest. She could see him smile at her measly attempt to hurt him.

"I couldn't have you go out here alone," Jace explained. "Clary, in the span of two minutes, you have tripped five times. I should just carry you through the woods."

"That's why you joined me? That's really why you volunteered?"

Jace was silent for a moment. It was uncharacteristic of him to not retort right away. "Maybe."

"Maybe?" She raised her eyebrows questioningly. "What are your other reasons?"

He shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant. "Just, you know, reasons."

She smacked his shoulder lightly. "Jace Wayland, you cannot keep secrets from me. That's not how we work." She was being slightly hypocritical, but she didn't care.

Jace rolled his eyes. "It's nothing, Clary."

"Well, you definitely didn't come out here to enjoy mosquito bites and the cold weather, so why are you here?"

He let out a sigh. There was something in their air—anticipation, most likely—that made her heart beat loudly in her chest, way too fast for her liking. She felt his gaze on her, felt the way it lingered as if he could speak with it. She felt like she was being scrutinized. She wanted to say something—anything—but she couldn't make herself say the words when she was being looked at that way.

He placed a hand on her shoulder, trying to stop her from going any further. She could see his face, illuminated by the moonlight, and his golden hair, which had gotten a bit too long. He hadn't cut it since the summer; she remembered because she was the one who took him to get it cut. The way he was looking at her made her nervous, self-conscious, awkward. She wasn't sure how he could make her feel this way, but he could. Way too easily.

Jace cleared his throat. "Clary," he said, looking unsure of himself. He let go of her arm; even through the layers of clothing, she felt the absence of his touch. "I need to tell you something."

"Yeah?" Her voice trembled slightly, partly because of the biting cold and because of the way he looked at her and the way he made her feel like her insides were made of jelly and her legs were about to give out.

"I—you know I love you, right?"

She squinted. "Have you been smoking more?"

He shook his head, getting closer to her. "No, Clary—well, yeah, I mean, I love you, but I also love you." He gave her a meaningful look. "You know."

"Oh." She stared at him, trying to figure out what to say. Months upon months of feelings and things left unsaid were stuck in her throat, and she couldn't figure out which train of thought to let out first.

But she didn't get to, because the sound of grunting and cursing and something else they couldn't quite describe broke through the air.

Isabelle sighed as her brother brought yet another bag of ice. The swelling in Simon's jaw was going down, but not significantly so. He had, she thought, the worst luck. Of all time. In the history of the world. Ever.

Just as she began wrapping a towel around it so as to diminish the harshness of the ice, Maia walked into the room. She looked pissed and drunk and confused; Isabelle could feel her frustration as she walked in and settled on the couch beside Simon.

"Are you okay?" she asked him, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

He shrugged. "I'll live." He winced when the bag of ice made contact with his jaw, but regained his composure impossibly fast for someone with a reputation like his.

"I'm so, so, so, so sorry. Oh my God." She looked worried, her brows furrowed. "Do you need anything? Oh, God, he fucked up. We both fucked up."

"Maia." The mention of her name stopped her from continuing her rant. "I'm fine. Really. I know he didn't do it on purpose."

"He's just, like, so drunk. And high. And he didn't see you coming. Dude, I'm so sorry." She looked like she was about to cry when Isabelle removed the ice bag to reveal the purple bruise that had already begun forming on his jaw. "Oh God, Simon."

She was very clearly drunk. Isabelle shook her head. "He's alright. His ego's a bit bruised, and this didn't help his reputation in the slightest, but he's okay."

He glared at his girlfriend. "Thanks, Iz."

She planted a soft kiss on his cheek. "Anytime. So," she said, directing her attention to Maia once more, "as you can see, he's okay. I can't say the same thing for Jordan, though. The dude looked like he wanted to die."

Maia cringed. "I may have said some really terrible things to him. But, really, he should have been paying attention. It could've been so much worse, and—"

"Maia." The intensity of Isabelle's tone shut her up. "Simon is fine."

"Yep," he said, nodding. It was true, too. Aside from the pain, looking a wee-bit drunk and being a little high, he was fine. "Listen, Maia, I think you need to go find Jordan. I think he needs you."

She buried her head in her hands. "I'm an idiot." The words were muffled, but they were there. She groaned, shaking her head. "Will he even wanna see me?"

"Of course," Isabelle assured her, although, frankly, she had no idea. "Come on. I'll help you look."

They found Jordan a few feet away.

Hitting a tree.

He was punching and kicking with all of his strength, grunting every time he hurt himself, but never stopping. It was like he didn't register pain or pretty much anything. The movements were full of heart, but the mindset was almost mechanical. It was like he couldn't bring himself to stop.

"Oh my God," Clary murmured, low enough so only Jace could hear. She forgot everything that had happened a few moments before and looked at him with wide eyes and a slightly open mouth. "Oh my God, Jace. Look at him."

Jace's eyes were wide, too, but he was quick to react. He sprinted towards Jordan and began yelling his name. "Jordan! Hey, hey, hey! J!" Jace stopped a couple steps away from Jordan. He wasn't willing to be punched by those bloody fists. He grimaced. "Jordan!" Jace tried again. He groaned in annoyance. "Maia!"

Finally, Jordan looked up, and it was if he snapped out of a rage blackout. "Maia?"

Jace took the couple steps toward him, his hands in the air.

"Um." He realized how this could backfire and could just make Jordan even angrier at the fact that Maia wasn't actually there with them. "She's actually not here," Jace said slowly, closing the distance between them as he wrapped his arms around Jordan in a hug. Clary put a hand over her mouth to hide her quiet laughing. "She's not out here, but if you come inside with us, we can go talk with her." Jace let go of the hug and grinned as he saw that Jordan actually looked a little relaxed from his embrace. "You want that? Wanna head inside?"

Jordan nodded like an entranced child.

"That was … something," Clary whispered to Jace as they walked back, amusement clearly in her voice.

"Shhh, don't ruin it," Jace said, keeping the soft tone in his voice. Struggling with an almost dead weight Jordan, Jace swayed, and Clary looked worried in response.

"He's about to fall over," she pointed out. "Pick him up."

"Clarissa," Jace said, his voice giving away that he was struggling. "The rank of people who are strongest or biggest is the following: Bat, Jordan, Me, Alec, Isabelle, You, and Simon. I cannot pick up Jordan. It's impossible. Unless you've got a super strength type of power, this is how he's going to get back to the house."

"I mean, I can try."

"No!" Jace yelled with a squeak in his voice. "Clary, I know you don't have a super power, just get—get out of the way."

She did as she was told and stepped aside; her forehead crinkled in concern. After a few minutes of slow walking, Clary watched as Jace stopped as Jordan basically slept against him.

"Okay," Jace said, making a move to put Jordan down. "Goodnight, Jordan, the house is right there. Call us in the morning."

"Jace," Clary hissed.

"I can't, Clary. I can't," Jace said, breathing hard.

"Clarissa!" The sound of a different voice made her get on her tip toes to look around. "Jace!" She knew that voice. She knew that tone laced with violence.

"Isabelle!" she yelled back. "We're here."

She turned around as she heard Jordan fall down with a thud. She put a hand on her hip and stared at Jace, who simply shrugged.

"Jordan!" Maia said with a shriek. She ran to him, hovering over him.

Isabelle followed, looking at Jordan and then over to Clary. "How did you find him on the ground?"

"We didn't." Clary looked at Maia, who was trying to wake Jordan up. "We found him punching trees, and then Jace dropped him."

"I can't," Jace repeated, still panting.

"How manly of you," Isabelle muttered, and then pulled out her phone to ask for reinforcements via text.

A couple of minutes later, Magnus and Alec made their way over to their friends. Jace had recovered from carrying Jordan, who was still passed out on the floor despite Maia's attempts at bringing him to consciousness.

"We have to clean up his hands and disinfect them and bandage them—"

"Maia," Clary said to her, taking a deep breath, "he's gonna be fine. Jace and I will take care of it."

Jace's head snapped up at that. "What?"

She shrugged. "We did lifeguarding the summer before college, remember? We're the only ones with proper training and no injuries," she added, remembering that Simon, too, had first aid training. However, he was, according to Alec, unable to open his mouth without it hurting "like a bitch," so they were going to try not to bother him.

Jace's sigh was dramatic, but he was smiling. "Fine."

"We'll take him up to one of the guest bedrooms," Magnus said. He and Alec carried Jordan the rest of the way while Isabelle, Maia, Clary, and Jace trailed behind them.

"Are you okay?" Clary asked Jace, brows furrowed. After the initial shock of finding Jordan in such a...worrying state faded, she remembered that Jace had actually carried him halfway to the house. And that he was high. And drunk.

He waved off her concern. "I'm fine," he replied, giving her a reassuring smile. She smiled back, but didn't quite buy it.

There was also the fact that he had told her he loved her. She was really trying not to overthink his emphasis on the word love, but she had been dreaming for months of hearing those exact words stumble out of his mouth. And now they had, and she was still trying to wrap her head around it. She wanted to bring it up, but she wanted them to be alone.

Hence the volunteering herself and Jace for taking care of Jordan. The first aid training was merely a coincidence.

As they walked back to the mansion, she snuck glances at him, still unable to believe that she was about to have this particular conversation with him. She had spent so much time wondering how it would play out that she should have seen a similar scenario coming, but she didn't. And she wasn't prepared. She was freaking out. She was nervous, her hands were sweaty, and she felt like she couldn't breathe.

She definitely needed a drink.

"I'll be right up there," Clary told Jace as they made their way back into the house. After she made sure that he was well on his way to one of the guest rooms, she headed to the kitchen. She hated alcohol, but she needed the courage it gave her.

"Clary!" Isabelle jogged to catch up to her. She hadn't notice how fast she'd been walking until her friend was by her side, slightly out of breath. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," she said to Isabelle. "Do you wanna do a shot?"

"Always, but I'm surprised you do. And don't you have, like, nursing stuff to do right now?"

"Oh my God," Clary replied, "just give me the shot."

After hesitating for only a split second, Isabelle took out two shot glasses and, after filling it with one of the drinks lying around the kitchen, handed it to Clary. They counted down and took the shot; as expected, it burned Clary's throat. She let out a breath as her throat felt like it was on fire.

"Bad idea," she said to Isabelle. "I have to go."

"Come look for me when you're done, okay?"

Clary nodded and made her way past the crowd of people near the kitchen and up the stairs, trying to find her way around the house. It was huge, nearly impossible to navigate, but she ran into Magnus and Alec soon after she made her way to the first floor, and they told her where to find Jace and Jordan.

"Thanks," she muttered to them, trying to find the room. The door was slightly ajar; it was the only way she knew it was the right room.

"Hey," Jace said. "You're just in time."

She closed the door and got on her knees next to him. Magnus and Jace had sat him up in a reclining chair, placing his hands carefully on the leather, a small (and dark) towel on either side.

"This is ridiculous," Clary told him, shaking her head. "I can't believe he was punching trees."

"He was really going at it," Jace agreed, taking out the antiseptic wipes and the bandages. "I feel kind of bad for the way Maia just exploded on him."

She nodded. "But she's worried now, so that's something."

"Yeah, after she saw him passed out and bleeding on the ground."

Clary rolled her eyes. "You make it all sound way more dramatic than it was."

He tossed her two of the packets. "Work with the right hand." After she nodded and opened one of the packets, he continued. "I wanna talk to you about what I said today."

"What?" she asked, feigning innocence.

"Don't—" Something in his voice made her turn to face him. "Don't do that."

She sighed. "How do you do that?"

"You're a terrible liar, and I know for a fact that you have an amazing memory."

She couldn't look at him, so she began to work on Jordan's hand, dabbing gently at it. God. It was in terrible shape; there was blood everywhere, and his skin had been peeled off, and God. "My memory is pretty amazing." When Jace let out a noise of frustration, she nodded. "Okay, okay, fine. Yeah. Let's talk about it."

"Clary, if it's awkward for you, or if—if you don't feel the same way—"

She turned to face him. "You," she said to him, "are so completely clueless."

His head snapped up. "What?"

"Do you seriously not know?" she asked him, incredulous.

Jace shook his head. "I have no idea what you're talking about."


Before she could speak, Jordan cleared his throat. He looked slightly disoriented, but definitely awake.

"Goddamn it, Jordan," Jace swore, and Clary giggled.

"Where am I?"

After they explained everything that'd happened to him, he looked a little pale, but agreed to let the two of them bandage him up. He looked happy at the fact that Maia had been worried about him, so that was something. Clary took her sweet time bandaging his hand, partly because she was avoiding her conversation with Jace, and partly because, frankly, she was drunk and still slightly high and she hadn't bandaged anyone up in nearly three years.

"You're good," she said, patting his shoulder. "Go find your girlfriend, dude. You two have a lot of crap to talk about."

He gave both of them a quick thanks and a pat in the shoulder before heading out to, supposedly, talk to Maia. They were left alone; the only sound in the room was the door clicking shut after Jordan walked away.


"Clary," he spoke up, "I've been wanting to tell you this for a long time, but I've always wanted to get it right. I'm sorry," he added, "for interrupting you, but every time I almost start this, I never continue it. And it's killing me. And, quite frankly, it's killing Simon, too."

Her eyebrows rose. "Simon?"

He waved her off. "Long story." Jace cleared his throat. "Anyway, I've been in love with you for a long time. I only realized it about a year ago, but, ever since I could remember—since before we took the lifeguarding jobs at the community pool, since before we got our first acceptances—I've loved you. I've loved you every time you've done something amazing, and I've loved you every time you've made a mistake. I love it when we go out, and when we stay in, and that you do things with me."

"Like the haircut," she added.

"Like the haircut." He was smiling. "And I've been scared as shit to tell you, because I always figured you'd freak out or something, but Simon is acting crankier than Isabelle did when we accidentally threw away her DVD of the fourth season of Gossip Girl."

Despite the fact that it was the moment she had been waiting for, Clary burst out laughing—out of nerves, and because she remembered the Gossip Girl incident clearly. "Oh God."

"So I figured I would tell you," Jace concluded.

"I can't believe you thought I'd freak out."

"Because you're totally the most chill person I know, obviously."

"I am now that you gave me drugs."

"I'm a terrible influence."

Without thinking, she started playing with the hem of his shirt. They were sitting on the floor, side-by-side at the foot of the bed. "You're a pretty terrible influence," she replied, but she was smiling. "A really terrible influence. But I love you."

"Love love, or—?"

"Oh my God," she said, shaking her head. "What do you think?"

She looked at him smile. "I think I should kiss you right about now."

"That sounds like a solid idea."

And then it was like something inside of them snapped. He kissed her, softly, and the second she kissed back, he pulled her onto his lap. They couldn't get enough of each other. His hands were in her hair, on her thighs, on her waist—they were everywhere she wanted them to be. Her hands stayed on either side of his face as she struggled to not freak out, because she was kissing him. She was kissing him like she had been waiting her entire life for this moment. She knew that her lips were going to bruise, but she didn't care. She barely registered that she was on his lap, but, when she did, her eyes widened, and she broke the kiss. It was a lot. A lot. She was sitting on his lap. This was basically the best night of her life.

"Um," she said, "that was nice."

"Wanna keep doing that?"

"Let's never stop doing that."

"Why didn't we do this earlier?" he asked, shaking his head.

"Because we're idiots."

"Oh, yeah," he said, and then he kissed her again.

"Okay," Clary said, looking up at Jace. She patted her hair down and smoothed down her clothes. "Do I look like I've been made out with?"

Jace gave a laugh. "Um. No. Do I?" he asked, and Clary examined him. His shirt was wrinkled, and his hair was in a disarray.

"Yes," she said honestly.

He ran fingers through his hair and she reached up to do it for him. He closed his eyes. "Don't." He put her hand down and away from him. "Or else we will never leave this room."

Clary pinned her arms down at her sides as she resisted the urge to laugh. Jace dragged his hands through his hair one more time.

"Okay. Good?"

"Oh, yeah." Clary winked.

"Clary," he said in a warning tone.

She nodded.

"I hope you know Isabelle or Simon will realize that this happened even if our hair is fixed and clothes are perfect," Jace said, and Clary nodded again in understanding. "Okay, good. As long as you're aware."

The two left the bedroom, Jace closing the door behind him. They descended down the stairs to find their friends sitting on couches. Isabelle was inspecting Simon's face. Magnus was leaning back into the couch, his legs on top of Alec's. Maia and Jordan were cuddling with one another, already asleep. The house seemed quiet, and Clary looked around to find it was only them and the club music playing in the house.

Magnus threw his arms up.

"Finally!" he said, standing up. "We've been waiting for you two so I can light up my birthday fireworks."

"Fireworks?" Jace asked.

Clary watched as Isabelle looked away from Simon, her eyes growing wide. She opened her mouth to speak, and Clary put her index finger over her lips. Isabelle snapped her mouth shut and put a hand over Simon's as his eyes widened after hers. He yelped from the impact of her hitting his face a little too hard—which really was just a light tap.

"Yes, fireworks," Magnus said, with attitude. "Of course I have fireworks. Obviously." He walked towards his coat closet and pulled out boxes. After Clary woke up Jordan and Maia, they all followed Magnus out to the back yard.

"Oh, look, Jordan, this was going to be your home for a night," Jace said, his arm going from left to right as he displayed the view before him.

Jordan grunted.

Jace turned to Clary. "Too soon?" Clary shrugged in response.

"Here you go," Alec said, passing around the sparklers. "And draw something in the air with it. We're going to be taking pictures."

"Can I draw a gigantic peni—" Isabelle started.

"Isabelle!" Alec scolded.

"What?!" she asked, defensive. "This is Magnus's birthday, and he would appreciate that." Isabelle leaned to look at the grinning birthday boy. "Right, Mags?"

Magnus shrugged as Alec kept his gaze on him. "Do what you want, Izzy." Once Alec turned away, Magnus nodded at Isabelle and she grinned, excited.

At the end of the line, Jordan lit up his sparkler and passed down his lighter. Running back from the camera, the group drew their own different things—some dirtier than others. They all put the sticks on a table while Alec set up Magnus's fireworks.

"I'm so grateful for your lack of neighbors right now," Alec mumbled.

"Please be careful," Isabelle called out. "I'm not trying to think of third time's a charm for injuries."

"The sisterly concern is sweet," Simon told her, and she threatened to smack his jaw.

"Yeah, she's real sweet," Clary said as Jace smiled, looking forward and not at her.

They all held their breath as Alec ran away and then sighed in relief when he was unscathed. They waited patiently, looking around at each other when they didn't immediately go off.

Jace's shoulders jumped when the sound went off and he said, out loud, "Fuck me."

Then they all looked up and watched the colors explode into the sky. An array of green, blue, purple, and red flashed before their eyes, trickling down in the night sky.

"Now this is a birthday," Magnus said with a grin.

After they all said their goodbyes, Simon, Isabelle, Clary, and Jace walked towards their car. Since she was sober by then, Isabelle took the keys from Simon and unlocked the car. They all climbed in, and Clary scrunched her nose.

"It still smells like weed in here," Isabelle said, as if she read her best friend's thoughts.

"Open the windows, everyone," Jace said, and they did as told after the car revved into life. Isabelle adjusted the mirror as she took Clary's iPod from her and put it on shuffle.

Because they were all so tired from the party, the car was silent while the familiar strumming of guitars played as "Bloom" by The Paper Kites filled their ears.

It was freezing outside, and Clary could feel the wind hit her face like needles of ice, but she loved it. She closed her eyes as the first verse started.

In the morning when I wake
And the sun is coming through,
Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness,
And you fill my head with you.

Clary felt like she had fallen into a peaceful sleep, but she knew she was awake. She searched her mind to describe to herself how she was feeling. She smiled a little, realizing that this was being content. She felt that her conversation with Jace had finally lifted weight off her shoulders. Knowing that he felt the same and kissing him only intensified what she somewhat always knew was between them.

Shall I write it in a letter?
Shall I try to get it down?
Oh, you fill my head with pieces
Of a song I can't get out.

She sighed. It was nice to feel happy and like everything was falling into place. She wouldn't trade her friends or her life or anything she had going on at the moment for anything. Not a thing. She froze the moment she felt hands meet in her own in the middle of the seat.

Can I be close to you?
Ooh-oo-oo-ooh, ooh
Can I be close to you?
Ooh, ooh.

When the fingers tightened their grip on hers, she opened her eyes and looked to her right at Jace. His eyes were closed and she stared at him for a moment before his eyes opened, meeting her own. He smiled sleepily at her and, instinctively, they pushed themselves to sit beside each other, shoulder to shoulder, legs against one another.

Can I take it to a morning
Where the fields are painted gold
And the trees are filled with memories
Of the feelings never told?
When the evening pulls the sun down,
And the day is almost through,
Oh, the whole world it is sleeping,
But my world is you.

The two sat beside each other, eyes closed as Jace's played with her fingers while Clary was convinced that shuffle had played this song on purpose. She opened her eyes and looked forward as they drove down familiar roads. She smirked to herself when she saw Isabelle and Simon holding hands in the front seat. As the song faded out, Clary finally gave in and leaned her head on Jace's shoulder, while he, in return, rested his head on top of hers.

Let us know what you think! xo