Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/The Mortal Instruments


"I should be out there..." Jace stalked the floor. "...not trapped like some animal!"

He resembled a caged lion.

"I'm sorry."

"This isn't your fault." He continued to pace. "It's that damned Inquisitor." He clenched his fists. "Valentine was right about the Clave, about the way they handle things, about their incompetency."

Whenever they were alone he trusted her enough to speak his innermost thoughts, and sometimes those thoughts worried her. Like now. He sounded like someone being swayed to Valentine's side more and more with each passing day.

"If he hadn't kissed you-!" Jace growled and punched the wall.

"If he hadn't kissed me, what?" There was a knot in her stomach the size of Manhattan. "Would you've gone with him?"

Jace looked up, conflicted. "Maybe. But not alone. With you."

He trusted her to be truthful, and she loved that, but sometimes the gazes into his psyche scared her. "He's a psychotic murderer."

"So is Jocelyn, and Luke, and your mother, but you've seemed to forgive them of their past sins!"

She flinched because he was right. No matter what side they were on now, Jocelyn, Luke and her mother had all believed in Valentine's message once, fervently enough to start a war over it. Who knew how things would've ended up if Luke hadn't been turned into a werewolf? Luke had been faithful to Valentine up until that time, had even sided with him over Jocelyn. If Luke hadn't been ambushed, hadn't turned, hadn't proved an ally for Jocelyn - the war could've ended differently.

"I'm not saying that I approve of all of his methods." Jace ran his hand down his face. "But what he does, he does for what he believes in, and his beliefs have some weight." He looked up at Chloe, nearly imploringly. "You've seen what the Clave are like, how they do what they want with whoever they want, no matter what is truly best for that person." He pushed away from the wall and came towards her, his hand on her shoulder. "If it had been up to them I'd still be in that dungeon and you'd be locked away in some tower in Idris." His grip on her hurt slightly. "I would've never seen you ever again." His grip on her shook. "Even if they'd had the Sword and could prove me innocent, they would've seen my blood ties to Valentine as enough of a threat to keep me from being with you, from corrupting you." His hands slid up to cup her face as he breath stuttered. "At the thought of never being able to see you, to touch you, to kiss you and hold you..." He pulled her roughly into his arms, wrapping her in his embrace. "It's the most terrifying thing..."

She could feel the rapid beat of his heart against her cheek. It was so fast it seemed as if he'd just run a marathon. That was how affected he was by this.

A sigh escaped her lips as she wrapped her arms around him and pressed a kiss to his heart, willing it to slow down, willing him to relax. His body was tense, nearly shaking as he held onto her as if to dear life. "Jace, no one can keep us apart. We love each other too much, no matter what happened, no matter the obstacle, we'd find a way." She rubbed her cheek against his heartbeat, finding it slower than before and yet not completely calm, his body still horrible tense around her. "I love you, Jace. No one and nothing will ever change that."

He backed her against the wall, his hands on either side of her as his golden gaze lowered onto her almost desperately. Jace had once confided to her that there was very little in this world he could considering truly his: his seraph blade, stele, and family ring used to be the only things on that list. Now, though, she was at the very top. And Jace not only took care of the little that belonged to him, cherished them, but he held onto them possessively.

"I love you," he whispered. "I love you unlike I've ever loved anyone or anything, or ever will."

Whenever Jace looked at her like that something shifted in her stomach, something that left her breathless and a little scared – but she liked the fear. She liked the alert way Jace made her feel, the life he brought to her. She almost couldn't remember what she'd been like before loving him.

Suddenly Jace was kissing her as he pressed her into the wall with his body. His hands were in her hair and his lips claiming as he stole her very breath.

Chloe whimpered and gripped his shirt, pulling him closer to feel every inch of him.

Suddenly a series of rapid, urgent knocks sounded on the door.

Chloe pushed Jace slightly away, breathless as she turned to look at the door.

"Let them knock," Jace whispered against her lips before he claimed them once more.

A shiver of desire tickled down her spine as she groaned into his mouth, a sound he hungrily consumed.

"Chloe!" Clark's voice broke into the mood. "Chloe you need to open up! Now!"

She pushed Jace away rapidly. Clark could see through walls. If he knew she was with Jace, and was still this insistent, then something was wrong. She failed to notice Jace's dark expression as she hurried to the door and unlocked it, allowing Clark and Lucy to fall through. They were both bruised and scratched.

"What happened?" Chloe hurriedly closed the door behind them, only for it to be blown open two seconds later, narrowly missing her.

She turned in the doorway, eyes wide as hideous creatures stood there. They were chest-height and looked a mixture between a frog and a scorpion. They oozed a black slime that stunk of sulfur, its fumes made her eyes water. She brought her hand up to protect herself when a tongue burst out from one of their lips and curled around her arm. The tongue visibly darkened, being burnt, and with a shriek the monster yanked her out just as its tongue began to disintegrate. Chloe cried as she tumbled down the steps and into the street.

Thanks to the confusion spell Magnus had placed around his block, no mundane heard or saw anything as a demon (because this hideous thing could only be a demon) pounced on her.

We have heeeer! We have heeeeer! Master will be proud! Master will be proud!

"Stay away from her!" Jace snarled and raced to help – only to hit the wall and stumble backwards. Horror colored his face as he remembered the shield on the house. "No." Yanking out his seraph blade Jace began to attack the invisible barrier on the door which kept him from leaving the premises. "No!"

As Lucy stumbled to her feet, Clark barreled out and slammed his shoulder into the demon on top of Chloe, sending it flying away with strength that surprised even himself. While Clark was an alien (which only she knew of) he had powers he was only slowly growing into, and didn't know the extent of. He reached for Chloe and pulled her to her feet. "Get back into the-." Demons descended all around them, blocking their way into the house.

"Don't you dare insult me by giving me your back!" Lucy snarled as she brought down her seraph blade into the back of one of the demons and summersaulted over it, yanking out her blade and landing gracefully on her feet. She was bruised and cut but ready for a fight as her position turned from defensive to offensive. "Don't look now, but more and more of them are coming."

She was right. Those things started to swarm from every corner, like cockroaches.

"What are they?" Clark looked around him, eyes narrowed.

Lucy never got a chance to answer because they attacked in unison. Lucy fought with savagery that was breathtaking, the girl somersaulting and slashing with ease.

With no weapon of his own, Clark was forced to punch and kick his way. He didn't have technique, but he had strength and surprising speed, both which helped him greatly.

In the back of her mind she could hear Jace yelling, cursing, sounding very un-Shadowhuntery in his language. But Chloe couldn't concentrate on Jace. Not now. She tried her best but Isabelle was right, she wasn't much of a warrior. Her true power lay in her knowledge, but knowledge wasn't going to get her out of this.

Take heeeer! Take heeeer! Master wants heeeer! Master needs heeeer!

The words of the demons curled around her like smoke while the creatures themselves encircled her and slowly but surely separated her from the others.

"Don't touch her!" Jace snarled. He'd dropped his seraph blade and now had both hands on the barrier, as if physically trying to push it away.

A tongue sprung out and wrapped around her wrist, while another wrapped around her other. Two more tongues sprung out, like frogs catching an overly large fly, both curling around her ankles, and with a tug from them she screamed as her legs gave way and she was falling-only to stop inches off the ground as the creatures held her up. "No!" She struggled in vain as they began to move with her, rapidly. "Let me go!"

Suddenly a white light flashed brightly all around them, encompassing them as it exploded with a force that knocked them all to their feet. With her hands bound, Chloe was unable to shield herself and hit the ground hard. The world around her dimmed and distorted as warm liquid splashed on her face. There was odd sound in her ears; she couldn't understand what it was or what it meant.

A figure flashed before her eyes too quickly before she could make out his features. She could feel disappointment and disgust though, and both emotions were aimed at her. She didn't want them, pushed them back to the figure with a side-order of screw you. Even in her woozy, half-conscious state, she grabbed a stinger (which had been sliced off of one of the creatures) and without even really knowing what she was doing, Chloe slammed the point into the ground and began to carve a rune. When the rune was complete, she threw the stinger away and looked up, her world tilting dangerously.

Clark and Lucy were fighting back to back, both surrounded by a large mob of creatures.

Jace – somehow Jace was outside. His seraph blade was in his hand and he was fighting off a multitude of demons on his own on his way towards her. He yelled something to her, but she couldn't hear it over the loud buzzing in her ear.

But she did know one thing though. The creatures mightn't be as strong as their competitors, but they outnumbered them greatly. They'd win in the end, even if it was only after the three had collapsed from exhaustion.

Green eyes meeting Jace's gold, Chloe slammed her palm down on the rune.

At first there was nothing… and then the vibrations from her actions shot out across the ground, which cracked like thin ice. Those spiderweb cracks shot outwards, spreading under the creatures as they encircled everyone. Something inside Chloe burned as with a scream, suddenly the cracks exploded, sending the creatures all flying back violently. All under the demons the floor exploded or gave way, sending so cascading down into a black pit, while others flew through the air and landed in awkward, broken heaps.

The ground under Jace, Lucy, Clark and Chloe was untouched, unharmed. It was as if they'd been inside of protective bubbles.

The last thing Chloe saw before she suddenly fainted was Jace racing towards her while the demons which remained, retreated.

The last thing she felt, however, was approval.


"The attack on Luke's pack member was designed to get us away from here." Magnus tended to the sleeping girl and tried to get Jace to realize that she was just extremely exhausted, and that otherwise she was fine, but the boy paced and worried like some mother hen. "They wanted us gone so that it would just be the two of you. They wanted little resistance."

"They knew she was here. How?" Lois was just as bad as Jace as she paced back and forth. "I thought her and Jace being with us was supposed to be a secret."

That was what Magnus had thought as well.

"It's not as well kept as you think, nothing is." From where she sat in the corner, Lucy looked up at them solemnly. "There are a lot of eyes on everyone here, and nothing that happens anymore happens in secret." She frowned and turned to Clark. "What I didn't know was that you were a Downworlder." She raised an eyebrow. "What sort are you? A warlock?"

Clark paled and looked down. "I'm not-I'm not a Downworlder."

"Why do you think Clark's a Downworlder?" Lois looked between them in surprise.

"Because his strength was not that of a mundane." Jace's eyes were narrowed on Clark. "Does Chloe know that you are a metahuman?"

Clark's eyes widened for a second, before he cleared his throat and nodded. "Yeah. She knows about me. I asked her not to tell anyone."

Lois' eyes widened. "I can't believe it.

"What's a metahuman?" Lucy wanted to know.

"A new kind of Downworlder that Chloe has found and categorized." Jace narrowed his eyes. "The Clave are keeping their existence a secret as metahumans haven't sworn alliance with us, and knowledge of their existence might tip the scale into war once more."

Magnus eyed Clark Kent curiously. The cute guy had always had this odd vibe about him, but he'd never considered that he could be a brand new kind of Downworlder. This brought up all sorts of questions – like how had this new species come about – and how would the Clave handle them? Those from Idris were not known to show a modicum of respect for most Downworlders, and merely tolerated them for peace's sake.

To be honest, Magnus didn't get why Ragnor would want to live in Idris with those lot. Once, when they'd been first negotiating the treaty (more like the Shadowhunters telling the Downworlders they were scum and should be grateful that they weren't being killed at that very moment) after the meeting the Shadowhunters had thrown out the plates the Downworlders had used. They treated Downworlders with that much contempt. It was why the Circle's existence had never surprised Magnus – and he was sure that if the Circle hadn't meant to overthrow the Clave, the Clave would've secretly backed them up.

"This isn't important." Clark blushed under their gaze. "What matters is that Jace's dad obviously knows more than he should, and that he's still after Chloe."

That wasn't the only thing that mattered. Magnus would've liked to ask more detail on how exactly Jace had broken through his containment. It should be impossible for a Shadowhunter to do so, and yet it was the backlash of the shield breaking which had alerted Magnus to the fact that something was happening and they needed to get back to his apartment.

"I've never seen the rune she drew out there." Lucy hugged herself tightly. "Where did she get it from?"

"Nowhere," a tired voice declared. "I just thought it up."

In seconds Jace was there (beating Lois by two seconds). "How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine. A little tired though." Chloe yawned and rubbed her eyes. "Is everyone here okay?"

"Of course they are." Lois sat next to her.

"What do you mean you just thought it up?" Lucy stood to her feet, eyes narrowed. "You can't just think up runes. They were created by angels."

"Isabelle told me the same thing when I asked her about runes some time back." Lois whispered.

Jace and Chloe exchanged an odd look.

The Warlock eyed the young lovers curiously.

Lucy must've noticed it as well, because something odd passed over her expression. "Do one."

"Excuse me?" Chloe blinked up at her.

"If you can really do what you say you can – then create a rune, now." Lucy rolled up her sleeve. "I'll be your guinea pig."

Lois' eyes widened. "Now wait a minute!"

Lucy yanked out her stele and held it out to Chloe. "Do it."

There was strange intensity in Lois' younger sister, and Magnus watched her carefully.

"I don't know how I do it; I might hurt you." Chloe hesitated.

"I'm willing to take that risk." The glint in Lucy's eyes was almost desperate. "Do it."

Carefully, worriedly, Chloe took the stele and looked at her.

Magnus shifted his gaze to the blonde. "What were you thinking when you created the rune outside?"

Chloe eyed him in confusion. "That my friends were outnumbered and would die. I thought…" she paused, her eyes wide. "A part of me wished the creatures would get swallowed up by the earth."

Magnus nodded. It'd looked like an earthquake had hit outside his apartment (which was what the mundanes thought had happened) and he could see how her wishes could've been translated in that happening. "So think of an intention."

Chloe stared at her cousin's forearm and took in a deep breath as she raised the stele.

"What has occurred here?"

They turned to see the Inquisitor enter the house (made easy by the fact that there wasn't a door any longer) with Shadowhunters behind her.

"Valentine attacked." Magnus stood. "This is going to cost you extra."

She huffed and eyed Jace with disdain. "I see he didn't get you."

"He didn't come for me." Jace glared. "He came for Chloe. And he nearly got her too!"

"I'm sure you'll have more opportunity to help him in the future," the Inquisitor sneered.

"He didn't help Valentine, he protected me and fought to make sure that I wasn't taken." Chloe tightened her grip on Lucy's stele. "If it wasn't for him, Lucy and Clark, I wouldn't be here right now. It definitely wasn't thanks to you, again. So if you want to be snide about people failing at something, I'd look in a mirror."

The Inquisitor's eyes narrowed but otherwise she didn't respond to the obvious insult.

Magnus loved the way Chloe stood up to the Inquisitor. Sure, the girl had her moments where she was a little too cheeky for her own good (which he highly enjoyed) but just as the Inquisitor had a way of handing out backhanded compliments or barbed remarks, Chloe returned them with ease and poison. He didn't exactly know why she hadn't been charged with something for her mutinous attitude, and Magnus had a feeling that the only reason was because the Clave really wanted her.

Feeling a familiar gaze on him, Magnus shifted his own from Chloe and the Inquisitor to Alec. He stood behind the Inquisitor, behind his parents and Isabelle. Unlike them though, Alec's gaze wasn't on Chloe or Jace. It was on Magnus, and his expression was completely conflicted. This must be hard for him, being around his Downworlder not-exactly-boyfriend while with his Downworlder-hating, closed-minded parents.

He was about to smile at Alec and let him know in his own way that he was okay, when he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned in surprise to see Lucy standing next to him. Her voice was respectful when she spoke, but anyone could see the way her eyes sparked. "Mistress Inquisitor, I may merely be newly graduated from the Academy, but even I can see that it isn't wise to alienate one of our strongest allies." She raised her chin. "Magnus Bane helped stop Valentine Morgenstern's rebellion the first time, as did Lucian Greyback, Jocelyn Fairchild, and Moira Laneara. Valentine is back and stronger than ever, and while I know it isn't my place to comment on these things… Chloe is my cousin. I worry about her safety; I worry about the fact that Valentine obviously has a plan for her, one that no one in this room wants her to fulfill." She bowed her head. "I beg you to allow Jocelyn Fairchild and Lucian Greyback to return. It is in our separation – our bickering over things like race – that we are weak." She paused. "Valentine is rallying together with people who support him, who would die for his cause. Shouldn't we at least do the same?"

Magnus stared at the young Shadowhunter, who had yet to remove her hand from his shoulder or straighten from her bow. There were very few Shadowhunters that he could stand, let alone like, but he admired this girl. There was just something about her, he wasn't sure what, but it fascinated him.

"You have no right to speak of such matters, which are over your head in both importance and understanding." The Inquisitor narrowed her eyes. "But I will concede a point in your favor concerning Lucian Greyback. He is a strong alpha, and has proven himself to the Clave in the past. Also, unlike Jocelyn Fairchild or the others accused, he does not have a reason to ever join Valentine's fight."

Magnus could see the weight of the Inquisitor's words on the shadowhunters around him. The Lightwoods flinched spectacularly at the slap in the face, further proof that they weren't trusted in their own Institute.

"I will call for a meeting with the Downworlder," the Inquisitor decided as she eyed every single person in the room. "I will assign him guardianship over Chloe Wayland. It is best if she and Jonathan Morgenstern are not together anymore."

"Now wait a minute!" Chloe looked horrified.

Jace looked murderous. "You can't just fling her around from here to there because you don't-!"

"I can do what I want when I want." The Inquisitor hissed at him as she reached out and grabbed his shirt. "I will see to it that you and yours do not corrupt this girl any further than you have – and that she finally sees you for who you are." With that she turned to the others. "We leave to speak to the werewolf. Now." She marched out, and the shadowhunters with her.

Isabelle mouthed: I'm glad you're all okay, before she hurried out after them.

Alec stood there, pale and visibly conflicted. He wanted to stay. It was obvious to anyone who saw him. He desperately wanted to stay.

Then again, the man he loved had been in a battle today, and while Magnus was still somewhat sore over the fact that his not-boyfriend was in love with Jace, he understood it and knew he had to learn to live with it.

"Go on," Magnus whispered as he stood. "They will be safe here with me tonight."

An unreadable expression crossed Alec's face before he turned and walked away.


TBC