Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/The Mortal Instruments
Sequel to: Jace Wayland's Unstealthy Stalking
My version of City of Ashes
This would be the first Fair Folk party Chloe had attended alone, and she was nervous. After tonight she'd inform the Fae Queen that she was planning on leaving soon, and she had a feeling the woman wouldn't be too happy about that at all. Sure, the monarch had told her she was free to come and go as she wanted, but given everything Chloe knew that they were trying to press her into staying. She didn't know whose blood ran through her veins, but it was someone who had had a close bond with the Queen, and that, along with the fact that there was Fae blood or DNA or whatever mixed with Chloe's thanks to Valentine's experiments on her when she was a fetus, meant the Queen obviously felt she had some sort of right to Chloe. She kept subtly trying to lure Chloe more towards the side of the Fae, of forging ties with the Fair Folk. The thing was that Chloe could feel it working, and it was another reason why she had to leave soon. Meliorn had even commented the other day how faelike she was becoming while there. She had a feeling he'd only said that because she'd "creatively truth-told" at the time.
Staring at herself in the mirror though, Chloe admitted that she actually did somehow look faeish. She didn't have the pointed ears, or the other features that betrayed the Fae, but there was just something about seeing herself in one of their gowns, vines holding her plated hair up almost like a crown on top of her hair that made quite the picture. A silver crescent moon had been painted on her forehead by one of the attendants, and it was accented by the silver dress she wore. Her earrings gave the illusion that her ears had silver pointed tips, and just made the whole fae appearance more potent.
All in all, she was a far cry from the first time she'd come to a Fae party. The reminder of her in Isabelle's shirt made her chuckle slightly. Things had been so simpler back then.
The sound of music and merriment reached her and drew her like a fly. She followed the sound out of the room and found the merrymaking underway. Like the first time she'd come she could easily see through the glamor, could see the inhumanities, but it didn't bother her.
When one of the twig-like fae beckoned Chloe to join in a circle dance she didn't hesitate, throwing herself into the dancing. Like before, the magic of the evening lulled her, placed her under a slight trance as she allowed herself to forget about her problems and worries and just have fun.
The hours passed, and Chloe danced one dance after the other before she felt a gaze on her. It was so strong, so clear, that it distracted her. She left the circle and peered around before her gaze connected with a dark one which was mostly hidden under a hood.
Eyes wide, somehow knowing, Chloe made a beeline for the male figure, who straightened immediately. "It's you."
He stared at her before chuckling darkly and nodding. "So, do you have a rune that tells you who I am? You've never seen my face before, but you always seem to know who I am - where I am."
"I still can't see your face well," she informed him instead of answering.
There was a second's hesitation before he yanked off his hood, letting it fall around his shoulders, revealing black eyes and dark hair, as well as an incredibly handsome face.
She scratched the rune on her inner wrist, not understanding the odd feelings racing through her as she stared up into his dark eyes. "Does this mean you'll finally tell me your name?"
He raised his eyebrow. "You make it sound like I'm a tease."
She couldn't stop her grin. "You kind of are."
His lips twitched at that as he held his hand out to her, revealing the runes there. "My name's Sebastian Verlac."
"You're a Shadowhunter!" Her eyes widened in shock. "All this time I thought you were Fae!"
He tilted his head. "Really? That's intriguing."
She moved closer to him. "If you're a Shadowhunter, why haven't you attacked Valentine? If you know where his place in Idris is, why haven't you told the Clave?"
Sebastian stared at her in silence for a second. "You don't actually think the Clave will actually risk an attack against Valentine, especially not on his own turf, do you?"
She was shocked. "What are you talking about?"
He let his hand fall to his side. "The Clave have known for quite some time, they routinely have Shadowhunters keeping an eye from afar, but they're too 'cautious' to actually attack… no matter how much some of those they send want to." It was obvious by his tone that he might've said 'cautious' but truly meant 'scared'. "You've defied Valentine much more than they've ever dared to. You're the talk of the Shadowhunter world, everyone knows your name. Why do you think the Clave are so keen to get you in their hands and under their control?"
She staggered back a step, shock rippling through her. For some reason this made her feel so incredibly betrayed. The Clave knew but they were too much of a bunch of cowards to do anything about it? They deserved for Valentine to beat their cowardly asses!
"Are you less happy to meet me now?" He asked curiously.
She glanced up at him, almost surprised to see him there, she'd been so lost in thought. "What? No! Of course not!" She then realized she'd never actually shaken his hand, and held out her own. "I'm sorry, I was just shocked."
"And disgusted," he noted observantly.
She hesitated. He worked for the Clave, she had to be careful what she said and did around him.
"Hey." He ignored her outstretched hand to instead tap lightly under her chin, causing her gaze to raise and meet his dark one. "You're not the only one, okay?"
He could be lying just to get her to trust him, and yet relief speared through her because his eyes weren't lying. He was disgusted too. She let her hand fall to her side and took in a deep breath. "Every Shadowhunter I've met so far believes in following the Clave, it's a little refreshing to meet someone else who feels the same way I do about them." That was true, because no matter what the Clave put them through, everyone from the Metropolis Institute were on the side of the Clave. Jace was the only one who was on the fence, but that had only happened after he'd discovered Valentine was his father, so it wasn't exactly his true feelings. He just really wanted to be on his father's side, and the only reason why he wasn't was because he didn't trust Valentine when it came to Chloe.
"Not every Shadowhunter out there wants to be a slave, a mindless drone," Sebastian replied with a sharp, unhappy smile. "It's hard to find another Shadowhunter who hasn't been brainwashed by either the Clave or Valentine into feeling that they have to pick a side, that they have to die and fight for one of them."
Chloe's heart raced as she stared up at Sebastian in shock. "Exactly."
He nodded, growing more passionate as he spoke. "Shadowhunters feel that they are so superior because of the angel blood inside of us, and they look down on Downworlders as beneath them…" He sneered. "I could never understand that. I find myself escaping more and more into the Downworlder world. They are not beneath us, they are our equals, and in many cases, our betters. We should make them our partners and if we did there would be no war we couldn't win."
By now Chloe's heart was racing like crazy. Her Shadowhunter friends might be fighting against Valentine, but she'd known that they held that Shadowhunter prejudice. It was always "Downworlders" this or "Mundanes/Mundies" that. Jace had been one of the worse. He'd gotten better, probably due to his overexposure to both Luke and Magnus, but when it came to other Downworlders he slipped back into his old, default attitude. Even Isabelle, who dated Downworlders, had said they were beneath "even Mundanes" since "at least Mundanes" could one day become Shadowhunters, while Downworlders could not.
"You're speechless." Sebastian appeared wary, as if believing he'd said too much.
"In the best of ways," Chloe hurried to assure him. "I just - I feel like I'm hearing you read my thoughts out loud."
Surprise flittered over his dark eyes before he once more held his hand out between them. "Sebastian Verlac," he introduced himself once more.
This time, Chloe reached for his hand. "Chloe Wayland."
The second her hand slipped into his, and he squeezed, a jolt so hard, hot and shocking zinged through Chloe and left her breathless. She closed her eyes as she felt her eyes beginning to bleed demonic black in reaction to the shocking, dizzying pleasure, while the runes all over her body burned in an odd way which made her chest rise and fall with erratic breaths. Her lips parted as she took in a deep, ragged breath, knowing she most look like some sort of idiot standing there, holding his hands, and breathing loudly as she closed her eyes tightly, but it was all she could do to hide their demonic color. Finally, when she felt the black receding back, she opened her eyes and looked up at Sebastian in surprise to find his own eyes closed, his expression completely confused as it twisted up, almost as if he was in pain.
Finally he opened his dark eyes and looked at her, breath heavier, almost matching the pace of her own erratic one.
"Do you feel—?" He finally asked, voice cracking at one point.
"You too?" She asked in surprise.
He did and nodded slowly, obviously not sure what was happening or what to do about it. "My runes…"
"Mine too," she whispered. "They still are."
"Yeah," he agreed as his gaze lowered to their hands, which were still joined. Carefully, almost experimentally, he let go of her, and almost immediately Chloe's runes cooled down.
"I didn't feel that when we danced the last time," Chloe declared after silence.
"Me neither," he confessed, brows furrowed in thought.
"What could it mean?" Chloe wanted to know.
"I haven't the faintest," Sebastian admitted before his dark gaze rose to hers. "But I'm more than willing to figure it out."
Taking in a deep breath, Sebastian held his hand out to her once more. "Want to dance?"
She stared at his hand and hesitated a second as she glanced up at his face and then glanced back down at his hand. Taking in a deep breath, ready to close her eyes once more, Chloe slowly, carefully, placed her hand in his. Her eyes didn't feel like shifting and her runes were fine. She glanced up at him curiously to find he was okay as well.
Sebastian closed his hand around hers and led her onto the dance floor.
"Do you really have to go?" Lois asked as she hugged Lucy.
"I'm surprised it took them this long to summon me back," Lucy admitted as he pulled away and glanced at the Portal, which Magnus had created so she could return to Idris to see the Clave. "I'll keep in contact more now that I don't have time hide everything from you."
"If you don't I'll beat you up," Lois promised softly.
Lucy turned back to face her older sister. "Buck up, Chloe will forgive you."
Lois nodded. "I hope so."
"She will," Lucy predicted, feeling quite sure of this. "It's not like you boinked her boyfriend. Now there'd be no coming back from that."
Lois made up her face in disgust at the mere idea of sleeping with Jace Morgenstern.
"The next time I come to visit, though, you better have humped Luke," Lucy muttered. "It's getting pathetic."
Lois went red and punched Lucy's shoulder. "Just go, will you?"
Laughing at her sister's embarrassment, Lucy winked and, after hugging Magnus and assuring him she'd give his message to Ragnor, she stepped through the Portal into Idris.
"So, I must admit that I am surprised the boyfriend you claimed so fiercely our last time together still is not here, and has allowed you to come alone," Sebastian announced casually sometime during their… tenth?… dance. He must've read something in her expression, because his eyebrows furrowed in a frown. "I see there's problems in paradise."
She wouldn't meet his gaze as he led them in a twirl. "Remember how, last time, you mentioned he might not be as truthful with me as I was with him?"
Sebastian nodded in understanding.
Chloe inhaled deeply. "Also, I'm not sure he is really in love with me."
Sebastian raised an eyebrow. "Whatever he did must have been very serious for you to lose all your faith in him."
"It's not him… it's… it's complicated." Chloe didn't know exactly why she was telling him this, he was as good as a stranger, and yet she couldn't keep her mouth shut and found the words tumbling out of her. "I don't blame him… I…"
"It's complicated," he echoed in understanding.
She nodded. "Do you have a girlfriend?"
Sebastian shook his head. "The idea of a relationship is…" He made a face. "It is a complication I do not need."
Her laughter was barked but genuine. "You're a real romantic, huh?"
"Not really," he responded bluntly.
Her grin brightened. "Probably a good thing you don't want a relationship right now then, girls are kind of into that whole romance thing you know."
Sebastian made a face at that.
Chloe's face hurt from how hard she was smiling in amusement.
"Do you still love your boyfriend?" Sebastian asked curiously.
She didn't have to even think twice. "With all my heart."
"And that is not enough?" He asked, even curiouser than before.
She faltered and nearly tripped, but he kept her on her feet. "It's not that easy." Jace and her might only feel what they did for each other because his father needed them to breed and populate the world with his grandchildren. "What if you realize someone might be forced to feel the feelings they had for you? Forced to be with you? Would you stay with them?"
"Do I really like this person?" Sebastian asked.
She was a little shocked he hadn't immediately said no. "You love this person."
"I don't know, I've never been in love," he finally muttered after a length of silence. "I don't know what it feels like."
"It feels like that person is your oxygen, like just seeing them, being with them, makes your whole day worthwhile." Chloe couldn't stop herself from spouting those cheesy truths. "They make you furious, and yet you still want to be around them. When you don't see them you worry about them, wonder what they're doing, if they're thinking about you. And when you fight with them you want to kill them because no one else can make you as furious as they can, and the only reason you don't actually go through with killing them is because you know you'll make up and it will all be worth it."
Sebastian looked at her intently as he continued to lead them in the dance. It was surprising that they hadn't danced into someone else accidentally given the fact that neither of them were actually paying attention to their surroundings. "What else?"
"There's the physical, obviously, but your feelings go beyond sex, your relationship is beyond sex, better than sex."
"Nothing's better than sex," Sebastian corrected her with a huff.
Such a guy. She bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing. "Yes, there is."
He looked completely disbelieving. "You have obviously never had sex before."
She flushed because, damn it, that had been almost mean. "I suppose we'll have to be at a stalemate, you only know sex, I only know love."
For some reason he looked highly disturbed at that as he dipped her, low.
Chloe squeaked as she tightened her grip on him to keep from slipping to the ground.
Sebastian kept her like that longer than he needed to, his dark eyes searching her green ones, and then he pulled her back up, her chest hitting his as he maneuvered them into another set of complicated spins.
"So why didn't I inherit your ability to play hide and seek with drawings?" Jace wanted to know curiously as he and Jocelyn faced each other, having become each other's sparring partner something during the last week. They both had energy they needed to spend, and neither was going easy on the other. He found it ridiculous that despite Chloe's many attempts to get them together, it was now in her absence that he and Jocelyn were starting to actually interact, and he admitted it was most probably because they both missed Chloe and associated Chloe with each other.
"You obviously inherited your father's ability to play the piano instead," Jocelyn responded as they circled each other in the Institute's training room, seraph blades high and aimed at the other. "I am horrid with musical instruments."
They both moved at the same time, movements quick and fluid, blades clashing loudly, dangerously, before they pulled back.
"You're too cocksure," Jocelyn muttered as she twirled her blade.
"I don't feel comfortable with you using that kind of language around me," he snarked, seeing a second of amusement in her green eyes before she pushed it away and rolled her eyes at him.
They both charged and their blades were merely flashes of light before they once more pulled away, breathing heavier this time at the energy they'd put behind their attacks.
Jace was about to attack when his phone rang. Usually he would ignore it while training, but something told him not to. "I need a sec." Jogging off the mats to the bench, Jace grabbed his phone and saw that the message was from Alec. He almost dismissed it, but instead opened it, and his eyes widened when he saw what was written there:
Chloe is with the Fair Folk.
"ISABELLE!" Jace yelled as he turned and left Jocelyn where she was. "ISABELLE WHERE THE ANGEL ARE YOU?"
TBC - this story is almost over!