Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/The Mortal Instruments
Sequel to: Jace Wayland's Unstealthy Stalking
My version of City of Ashes
"What are you going to do, son, kill me?"
Jace flinched at the mere thought, but Chloe's scream spurred him on and rightened his seraph blade. "I don't want to, but if you don't put a stop to what's happening - don't pretend you can't."
His father glanced back at where Clark was pounding against the barrier, trying to get through, only to turn when Lois arrived as well. Clark only just managed to grab Lois and pull her back before she ran straight into the now invisible barrier.
"Are you okay?" Clark asked her.
She nodded. "We have reinforcements, the other Shadowhunters have arrived."
Valentine turned back to face Jace. "Why are you telling me to stop this? I have told you, I am not the one who made her go into the pentagram and place that rune on her skin. In fact I've never seen that rune before, which is odd considering that I have researched runes and know them all."
Jace faltered at that, and hated it. If his father was telling the truth that meant that that was one of Chloe's own runes. And if Chloe had created that rune, it meant that even if he wanted to, his father mightn't even be able to stop the effects. This meant the one Jace needed to be threatening wasn't his father, but his girlfriend. "Chloe, our friends are fighting above us, they're going to die if they stay here much longer."
She looked up at that, pain twisted on her face. "I can't let him…" She looked at the Angel Sword. "I can't leave until..."
Jace's eyes widened as he suddenly realized what she was doing. She'd hijacked the Infernal Conversion! "You stupid girl!" He slammed his fist against the barrier harder now, terrified. His knuckles slammed harder and harder against the barrier, he didn't care about the pain, almost didn't even feel it at all, even though the blood appearing on the barrier and dripping downwards proved he was actually doing himself great injury. "It's not worth it!"
"LISTEN TO HIM CHLOE!" Lois yelled desperately.
"YOU DON'T GET TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" Chloe snapped as she, surprisingly enough, pushed up to her knees. "I DON'T LISTEN TO LIARS!"
He faltered once more. "What—?"
Chloe looked between Jace and Lois, anger brimming in her green eyes. "You two have been sneaking behind my back for months, you've been lying to my face. You've both treated me like an idiot! You knew that I have been lied to all my life, you knew I couldn't take more of it, but you did it anyway! Me and my feelings meant nothing."
Lois froze by the barrier, eyes wide in horror.
Clark frowned. "What's she talking about?"
Chloe pushed to her feet as the last bits of the shadows from the two remaining containers of blood lifted from their containers and moved through the air, disappearing deep inside of her. A muscle jumped in her cheek as she narrowed her eyes on Jace, her greens a darker shade than he'd ever seen them. "I trusted you, Jace Morgenstern, and you betrayed that trust."
Jace shook his head, golden eyes wide, heart racing so hard it hurt. This was his greatest fear, Agramon had to be here, that was what this was! It was all this could be!
"And you." Her greens shifted onto Lois. "You're my family. How could you?"
Lois stared at her in shame, tears filling her eyes. "We never meant to hurt you. I swear, we didn't tell you at first because if you knew what we were doing you'd be worried, or you might get your hopes up… If it didn't work out…!"
"My heroes," Chloe sneered in disgust.
Lois gulped. "Chloe…"
"The only one who hasn't ever lied to me is that guy over there." She pointed to Clark, whose eyes widened in shock. "In the whole wide world, Clark Kent is the only one I can trust." She took a step back. "I should've seen through the lies - Lois studying all the time? You guys didn't even make it believable but I fell anyway because I was a trusting fool."
Jace found his body trembling as his seraph blade clattered to the ground. This wasn't real. This couldn't be real.
"Chloe, I don't know what they did, but you've got to listen to me." Clark banged on the shield once more, catching her attention. "This is what Valentine wants. I overheard him telling your mother that he needed to cut your ties with your friends, your families. This is what he meant! You're playing into his hands!"
Valentine turned to Clark immediately, eyes narrowed, obviously shocked.
Jace could see the truth on his father's face. He had said that, and he was shocked that Clark had overheard. Golden eyes widened as sudden realization hit. He glanced towards Chloe, who stood in the middle of a pentagram that was way too big if it'd been constructed with merely a Sword in mind. And then there was Chloe's ceremonial gown, one which had obviously been tailor-made for her for tonight. Saffron lit the victory march, while bronze was used to summon wicked powers, and red was used to call enchantment down. "The Infernal Conversion was never for the Sword, was it?" He turned towards his father. "It was for her."
"Don't be preposterous Jonathan," and yet his father couldn't keep the light from twinkling in his black eyes. "How could I have known what she would do? I am many things, but I cannot see the future."
"But you know people, you have always known how to manipulate those around you, to make them see what you want them to, feel like you want them to, do what you want them to." It hurt Jace to say this, to finally admit it. "Chloe went to meet you despite the danger when you had that mundane she thought was her father beaten, she tried to trade herself for me when Hodge summoned you, and she also went to Idris when you held Lois hostage - you knew that she throws herself in danger for those she cares about. You knew that if you brought her here, if you showed her the ritual that could kill all those she loved, that she'd throw herself into danger once more to save them."
Valentine opened his mouth, closed it, and then cleared his throat before he sighed and smiled. "What can I say?"
Jace closed his eyes and took in a deep breath before he turned to Chloe. "You have every right to be angry at us, and when we're out of here safe and sound I'll take whatever punishment you have for me, but damn it, do not let him use you. You are stronger than this, you are too stubborn and bullheaded to just go along with his damned plan."
Chloe slammed her hand against the barrier between them, eyes narrowed. "Don't tell me what the hell to do!"
He slammed his bleeding knuckles into the barrier in response. "Don't be such a weakling!"
"Excuse me?" Chloe hissed, the blacks of her pupil enlarging for a second before retracting to a normal size as she slammed her fist into the barrier once more.
"Are you deaf now?" Jace provoked on purpose.
She grit her teeth at him and slammed her fist once more.
"You want to be mad at me? At Lois? Fine." Jace slammed his knuckles continuously into the barrier, leaving more blood behind. "But what about Jocelyn? Or Alec? Or Lucy? Or Isabelle? They'll die if we don't do something. They're up there fighting for you." He could see the way she froze at that, could see he was getting through to her through the dark haze the Infernal Energy had put her under. "Are you going to let them die because your feelings were hurt?"
Chloe flinched and pulled back, confusion and conflict visible on her features as she shook her head, almost as if trying to rearrange her thoughts.
"Jocelyn is here?" Valentine stepped forwards at that.
Jace ignored him, eyes on Chloe. "What if one of them accidentally kills your mother in self defense?"
Chloe reeled backwards at that and hit the back of the pentagram. Her gaze went to Valentine, conflicted, her chest heaving with her heavy breaths. Her gaze went to Lois and Clark, before it finally returned to Jace, her eyes a lighter green than they'd been seconds before. "This doesn't change the fact that I'm pissed off at you."
He couldn't help the relieved smile that curved his lips as he nodded. "I wouldn't expect it any other way." He tilted his head to the side and gave her a sheepish grin. "I'll even let you spank me if you fell like it."
She sent him a cutting glare and yet shook her head as she circled the pentagram's barrier, obviously searching for a weakness.
"You don't have to go with them," Valentine told Chloe. "They've deceived you in the past, betrayed you. You can't trust them."
Suddenly Clark and Lois yelled out, and Jace glanced over to find that demons had cornered both against the barrier, forcing both to fight to save their lives, and distracting them from what was happening on the other side of the barrier.
Chloe moved towards the barrier, gaze on Valentine's. "And you're better than them?"
Jace used this distraction to pick up his fallen seraph blade.
"I know what you are, I know how to help you." Valentine moved closer to her as well. "You don't know what has happened to you."
She shifted so Jace could only see her back, her voice low as she spoke to Valentine. "Oh, I have a good idea of what just happened to me."
Valentine's eyes widened and then he grinned, obviously pleased. "Then you know that you need me."
"And you know that I make stupid choices when people I care about are in danger, like they are right now just by being on this damned ship." Chloe reached into her bosom and yanked out her stele, and with one fluid action, she slammed its burning tip against the barrier, burning a rune into it Jace had only seen once before on the day the demons had attacked them at Magnus'. Chloe stared Valentine in his eyes and the corner of her lips pulled up in a crooked smile. "I hope you can swim."
Jace's eyes widened as the rune burned brightly seconds before the whole ship began to shake violently, as if caught up in a vicious, uncontrollable earthquake. The metal whined loudly before cracks appeared everywhere, far too fast for Valentine to notice seconds before the metal burst everywhere, allowing huge waves of water to flow in.
The last thing Jace saw before he got caught up in the water, was the ship apparently falling apart all around him… and his father smiling.
When the ship broke apart with the vicious vibrations, letting in waves and waves of dark water, Chloe was unable to do anything but take in a deep breath and close her eyes seconds before the water took her away. The waves crashing into her were strong like a punch to the gut, and it caused her to unwillingly release the oxygen she'd gulped in desperately.
She was flung all around, the water too dark to make anything out. She couldn't figure out what direction was the surface and which was further down. Her lungs burned her as she gulped in water desperately in need of air. Trying to swim against the currents taking her was impossible. It hit her then that she'd released an earthquake so large it'd created almost tsunami-type waves, and there was no way that she'd be able to swim against that sort of current.
Around her black spots began to appear. Her vision was starting to go from lack of oxygen.
Maybe… maybe this was for the best. After what Valentine had done she could already feel the difference in her and was scared of it. She'd always known Jace and her had Downworlder in them, and after Jocelyn had mentioned Jace's eyes going demon black Chloe had prepared herself mentally for the thought of her boyfriend having demon blood in him. She just hadn't expected to have it herself, or that after years of it no doubt being suppressed by the energy of the Mortal Cup - that she'd be tricked into participating in an Infernal Conversion to activate the dormant demon inside of her.
She wanted to hurl, and probably would've if every time she opened her mouth water didn't rush inside.
How could she have ben so stupid? People kept lying to her - kept using her! The only ones who'd been upfront about that fact had been the Fair Folk!
But no betrayal had hurt quite like Jace and Lois'. Chloe didn't care about any reason they might've had for what they'd done. They knew better than anyone how lies and deceit had surrounded her, how it'd scarred her, how she was terrified about not knowing who she could trust anymore. She'd thought she could trust them, and now she was left with no one but Clark, who'd shown his trustworthiness by telling her his deepest darkest secret.
The world gradually darkened around her, the pain in her lungs dimming to a numb that coursed throughout her body. She was drowning.
Seconds before everything finally went black, she felt arms go around her. She wondered if it was an angel or demon taking her to whichever afterlife she deserved now that the demon blood was alive in her - but she didn't have time to wonder for long because she blacked out.
Alec was tired and leaned his head against Magnus' shoulder as the boat Magnus had gotten them rested on the water. He figured he shouldn't be so close to the Warlock given the fact that the boats around them were slowly being filled with the Shadowhunters who'd come in them, but he figured the Shadowhunters were too busy gulping in air and being glad that they hadn't drowned to truly care about what he was doing.
Plus, at one point Magnus had nearly dropped unconscious from his over-use of magic, so Alec had offered Alec to siphon energy from him. He'd heard it possible, and wanted to protect Magnus, help him, and that was the only way he could. Now both of them were tired, but Magnus wasn't unconscious like he'd warned Alec he'd become soon. Still, Alec kept a watchful eye on the Warlock.
"Where is she?" Jace yelled at one of the Nix from one of the other boats.
The water fae, the only reason the Shadowhunters had not drowned along with the demons, shook her head and dove under once more.
Jace went to follow but the Inquisitor pulled him back. He shrugged the woman off with enough force to cause her to backpeddle. "This is all your fault! If you hadn't—Valentine wouldn't have been able to—!"
"Jonathan," the Inquisitor whispered, an odd look on her face. "How did you get that scar?"
During the battle, or maybe afterwards when the ship had basically vibrated to pieces, Jace had lost half of his shirt. Alec could tell that the Inquisitor was talking about the starlike scar Jace had always had ever since Alec had known him.
"I've always had this." Jace turned his back on her, gaze on the dark waters seconds before he jumped in, presumably to search for Chloe himself.
Alec watched the Inquisitor.
She looked horrified, like someone had just punched her in the gut.
What was that about?
Chloe awoke gasping for air. She glanced around her in worry, wondering if this was heaven or hell, only to realize it was neither. This was the Fae Realm, she could tell because of the Will O Wisp lights lighting up the room. What am I doing here?
"You are awake." Movement in the darkness proved that Chloe was not alone. The Fae Queen emerged from the darkness tand sat on the bed's edge. "We were worried that we hadn't made it on time." She reached for a glass filled with thick, peach-colored liquid, which she brought to Chloe's lips.
Considering how dry her throat was it actually hurt to turn away the drink.
"Come now," the Queen raised an eyebrow. "Surely by now you realize the reason why my Court has always been able to find you - why you can see through our glamour without a rune, why you are able to resist the lure." She reached over and ran her fingers over Chloe's ring. "Sure you must know by now why I would give you such a token."
Chloe peered up at her in silence before she finally asked: "The last owner of this ring was captured and experimented on by Valentine, wasn't he?"
The Queen nodded.
"When you said you wanted me to live here so you could observe the results of the experimentations, you did so because of that." Chloe frowned. "But how could you possibly know that this fae's blood was in me? Valentine could've put it in Jace, or used the blood for some other experiment."
"Do you know how we were able to find you so easily no matter how much your mother tried to hide you from us?" The Queen wanted to know. "Why she had to use a block?"
To hide the Mortal Cup. Of course, Chloe didn't actually say that.
"Because the second you were born I felt the connection I had thought long lost, return." The Queen glanced up from the ring to Chloe's eyes. "Eating and drinking in my realm will not bind you to it, will not force you to stay forever like it would any creature other than a Fae." She raised the goblet to Chloe's lips once more. "And the reason is because you already belong to this realm, because the blood running through your veins is Fae, is his."
Chloe stared at the Queen in shock, and drank from the goblet almost instinctively. Fae could not lie. That meant… it suddenly made sense.
"Your Downworlder friend is safe," the Queen assured her as she put the now empty goblet on the bedside table. "We brought him as well since he was good enough to warn us of the danger."
Who was she talking about?"
"Clark," the redhead replied, as if she could read the question on Chloe's face. "The shadowhunter friend of Meliorn's must've taught Clark some things about our kind, like ways of passing messages, because he sent us one from Valentine's ship."
Chloe's eyes widened. "Why did he do that?"
"Why indeed?" She rose from the bed. "I will inform the Shadowhunters that you live and can be collected."
Her hand moved without her even realizing she was doing it until Chloe found herself gripping the Queen's hand, stopping her from leaving. "Can you hold off for a little?" She took in a deep breath. "I need some time to myself to think, and I won't get that if they come for me."
The Queen nodded. "You can stay as long as you wish. This is your home."
"Thank you." Chloe let go of the redhead's hand and instead hugged her knees to her chest.
"I will have something brought to you to eat," and with that, the Queen left.
Chloe waited until she was sure the Queen was gone, and then yanked off the necklace that tied her to Lois. She placed it inside the drawer before she reached for the goblet on the side table. She breathed in and out before she allowed herself to feel the hurt and anger she'd been bottling up deep inside of her. Immediately her pupils began to bleed black until her eyes were two endless pools of obsidian.
Closing her eyes, Chloe's grip tightened enough to cause the goblet to crack.
She let the goblet fall on the bed and ignored it with a deep breath.
She hadn't imagined the feeling in her eyes or what it meant back on the ship.
I can't go home.
Jocelyn had never made a secret how she felt about demonic black eyes - they were the only reason she couldn't love her own son. Jocelyn wasn't Chloe's mother, but during their time together Chloe had grown very close to the older woman. She couldn't stand to see the look of revulsion and horror in Jocelyn's eyes whenever Chloe finally lost control of her negative emotions and the dark eyes emerged.
Embarrassment, shame, and anger filled her. Valentine had tricked her. She'd fallen into his trap hook, line, and sinker. How could she have been so naive? So stupid?
She curled up in bed and didn't know how long she was there before Clark arrived. She held onto him, hiccuping as she told him everything. He stayed with her, listened to what she had to say, and then held her even closer than before.
It was what she'd needed, and she'd completely broken.
They hadn't found Chloe or Clark.
Isabelle had never seen Jace this way. They'd had to force him out of the water before he drowned himself in his desperate attempts to find his girlfriend. The Nixies had told them they couldn't find either of the missing, but that that didn't mean that another one of them who wasn't present mightn't have just taken them to shore. Jace hadn't listened to any of it, had fought everyone until Alec, father, and two other Shadowhunters ganged up on him and forced a sedation rune on him.
Now, back at the Institute, Isabelle watched from Jace's room door as he sat on his bed, staring quietly ahead of him in silence. Alec sat next to him, talking softly, but Jace wasn't responding, mightn't even be listening.
He wasn't the only one doing poorly.
Lois had returned to Lucian Greymark's side looking pale and broken. Lucy kept texting Isabelle updates, each one proving she was growing more and more concerned for her sister, who couldn't make any sort of contact with Chloe via their connected bracelet/necklace.
Hearing the ding of an arriving text, Isabelle glanced down, expecting something from Lucy. Instead it was from a number she didn't recognize, but the way her name was spelt had her pushing away from the doorway in shock. She knew who was texting her. Only one person spelt her name that stupid way!
Opening the text with shaky hands, Isabelle read the message.
Izb3ll3, we're alive.
She smiled brightly and then bit down on her bottom lip.
Chloe wants space, she needs to think. She's really hurt, Izzy, and doesn't want to see J or L. Just let every1 know we rnt dead. - C|rK
Relief spearing through Isabelle as she raced into the room. "Jace! They're alive!"
Jocelyn stared at her and Moira's matching Parabatai chests, as well as the picture between them, which showcased Chloe smiling up at Jace as he draped himself over her back and pressed a kiss to her cheek. Worry clenched in Jocelyn's gut. They hadn't found Chloe or Clark's bodies, but they hadn't found Valentine's either and she didn't doubt he was still alive.
At the knock at the door she opened it to find Jace on her doorstep, looking extremely uncomfortable.
"May I come in?" He asked uneasily.
"Of course." Jocelyn stepped out of the way and closed the door when he entered. A part of her wanted to ask whey he was here, but a much larger part was relieved he was there with her, and that surprised her. "Do you want something to drink?"
Jace turned to face her. "Chloe and Clark are alive, he made contact with Izzy." He rubbed his hands over the material of his pants. "I thought you should know."
Jocelyn collapsed on the sofa in relief. "Thank the Angel!"
Jace remained standing. "Clark said… Chloe isn't coming back for a while. She doesn't trust the Clave… or us." He tightened his hands into fists. "Lois and I have been meeting on the sly with Moira. We thought that we could somehow reach her, get through to her, without putting Chloe in danger. We kept it from Chloe because we knew she wouldn't approve - she'd be worried we were putting her mother in danger - which we were, but it was in an effort to try and free her. We let Valentine think we were reconsidering joining him just so we could have opportunities to see Moira, to try and break through to her."
Jocelyn stared at him in silent shock.
"She'd slashed her Loyal To rune in Idris to talk, even if only for a couple of minutes, with Chloe as herself. We thought it meant that somehow a part of her was accessible. We were wrong."
"No, you weren't," Jocelyn whispered, highly ashamed that Jace and Lois had been doing something like this while she'd merely contented herself playing mother to Moira's daughter.
"What do you mean?" He turned to face her, expression urgent.
"On the ship I got through to Moira long enough for her to throw me off-board in an attempt to save me from, what she said, would be a massacre. She was sure everyone on board would be killed by the demons, and by throwing me off she was doing her best to protect me, both from the demons, and from Valentine." She rubbed her Parabatai rune. "I could feel her fighting. She's not lost. You just need someone whose connection with her can rival that which Valentine has foced upon her."
"Her daughter, and her Parabatai," Jace whispered as he finally sat down.
"Your plan needs some alterations, and I doubt Valentine will allow Moira to meet you two anymore, but it can still work." Jocelyn turned in the sofa to face him. "We're going to come up against them again soon, and when we do, we could get her back." She took in a deep breath. "But only if we work together."
Jace stared at her in silence, obviously conflicted, before he took in a deep breath and held his hand out towards her. "Welcome to the team."
Smiling, Jocelyn shook her son's hand for the very first time.