Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville/the Mortal Instruments.
Sequel to: Jace Morgenstern's Unlucky Streak
Chloe gasped softly, a soft whimper escaping her parted lips.
Sebastian groaned low in his throat.
Jace snapped and pushed away from the wall. Everyone's attention were on those two, and he took advantage of that, pulling out the stele from his pocket and retracing the rune Chloe had placed on him, the one that opened up a connection between him and Sebastian Verlac. The second he finished retracing that rune he reached Verlac's side and slammed the tip of his stele against the old, fading rune, finishing the outline seconds before the stele could be removed from his hand by Brother Zachariah.
Pain erupted in Jace's head and he gripped at his golden locks before his eyes closed and his knees hit the ground.
"Jace are you okay?"
He opened his eyes…
…and found himself once more inside of the Institute. This time, however, he and the other Shadowhunters were all gathered in the meeting room, and there, standing tall, was his father. Horror filled him, instinctively he tried to scream out for everyone to run, to defend themselves, but like before he was trapped in his own body, unable to do anything this other version of him would've have done. And, apparently, this version of him was a faithful supporter of his father.
Valentine Morgenstern took in a deep breath as he eyed the crowd in front of him. "Four mundanes were found today, killed in the same manner as the previous ones."
"That makes twenty mundane deaths in two months," a man Jace didn't recognize announced as he stepped forwards with a tablet in his hands. He cast its contents onto a holographic screen, displaying mutilated mundane remains. "So far we've been able to keep the ritualistic aspects of these murders from the mundane policemen, but it is only a matter of time before someone begins to connect the dots and realize that they are being committed by the same killers."
"Stephen is right. We don't want anther Zodiac Killer or Jack the Ripper again, Shadow World issues should remain in the Shadow World." Valentine stepped forwards. "We know that the Warlock is behind these murders, but we do not know why." His gaze went to someone in the crowd, and when Jace followed it, his golden eyes landed on Chloe. She fidgeted where she stood between Clary and Sebastian. "But we will find out," Valentine continued. "And once we do, we will stop what is happening and bring peace back to the mundane world, as well as the Shadow World."
The Shadowhunters murmured their agreement, it was obvious that this was personal by now. They'd been unable to stop mundane killings for two months, had twenty should whose blood called out for vengeance. And they would be vindicated.
As the group dispersed, Jace felt himself trying to turn and leave as well but he forced himself to stay still. He wasn't sure exactly how he did it, and it wasn't control exactly because he couldn't move - only stop himself from moving - but it was a small victory. Maybe - just maybe - he could work his way up to actuating doing something.
"Is everything alright?" Stephen, the guy who'd been Valentine's right hand man, asked as he came to stand next to Jace. "You look in pain almost."
"I'm fine," he answered, although he could hear the strain in his own voice.
Stephen sighed and placed his hand on Jace's shoulder. "Son, I get it. You're just like me. This is killing me too." He motioned for Jace to follow him, and Jace found himself falling in line in utter confusion. "No matter what your grandfather and grandmother want to say, Herondales are warriors, just look at us. Two generations don't lie. And the feeling that that Warlock might be winning - that we're not keeping the mundanes or the Shadow World safe - I know you just want to get out there and fight."
Herondale? Stephen Herondale? The Inquisitor's son? Was that who this was? And if so - why the Angel was he acting as if Jace was his son? Because Jace wasn't his son! He was Valentine's son! Unless…
Jace's gaze shifted over to Chloe, and found her talking to Valentine.
Why would whoever had cursed Chloe make Jace not be Valentine's son? What could he or she possibly get from doing something like that?
Stephen followed his gaze and smirked as he squeezed Jace's shoulder. "Don't worry, some day she will see what a catch you are."
Jace turned to look at his 'father' in surprise. Could he tell? Could he see the way the inner Jace stared at Chloe? If so, why couldn't Chloe?
"Sooner or later the poor girl will realize that Jonathan Wayland will never have any interest in her, and when she does, she'll realize that you are here." Stephen nodded. "It was a good move of yours - trying to get close to the friend. You know Clary would never like someone who was not on good terms with her best friend." He waved at someone before continuing. "Plus, despite being of mixed blood, Chloe Wayland has proven herself to be not only a strong Shadowhunter, but a very important part of the Circle." He frowned, genuine concern on his face. "After what she went through for our cause—."
Clary? The redhead?
Why was it that both of the people that Jace had conversed with in this dream insinuated that he had a thing for the redhead? Sure, she was very pretty, and he might've been attracted had he never met Chloe, but he had met Chloe. They'd been created for each other. There couldn't be anyone else.
Ragnor's words from before came back hauntingly:
"I'm saying that I know what this spell is doing to Chloe. It's not only targeting memories, but it's targeting bonds." The Warlock frowned as a couple of linked chains began to quiver, visibly starting to dissolve right before their very eyes. "Someone is breaking Chloe's bond with people closest to her." He reached out and gripped Jace's chain. "And they're targeting your bond the hardest."
Jace clenched his fists tightly. "Someone wants her to stop loving me."
Ragnor shook his head. "Someone wants her to stop loving everyone."
Jace stumbled as he realized that this was it.
He glanced around, trying to find one recognizable face, one from their actual Institute, but other than Chloe, Valentine and Sebastian (and himself, of course) there wasn't any. The Lightwoods were nowhere in sight. They were the ones who ran the Institute so why weren't they there? Also, there were others missing - all the background people who made the Institute function, people Jace himself wasn't close to but whom he knew were important. No one was there. Not even Church.
Anyone currently important to Chloe was gone, completely vanished, and in some instances replaced. But Jace, his bond was strong with her, it was why they wouldn't just remove him from the picture. No. This was why he was here, as a Herondale in love with Chloe's best friend: he was here to break her heart, and in doing so, break their bond.
He'd already done enough damage in the real world by lying to her and planning things with Lois behind her back. The blonde had already shown that she'd lost a lot of trust in her, hadn't Sebastian even warned him about things Chloe had told him when they'd last hung out? These feelings could've only been strengthened by the dark magics of the Infernal Conversion. By trying to protect Chloe, Jace had unintentionally weakened their bond, and if he didn't do something fast, the son of a bitch who'd put this spell on her was going to take advantage of the rift to sever their connection all together.
"Elias!" Clary called out, catching Jace's attention.
He turned to see a young warlock with a pair of webbed hands and wings. His wings were the color of an oil slick - black threaded with a rainbow of colors - that protruded from his back. There were splits which had been cut into his denim jacket, but these visibly did not help much with his wings' uncomfortable compression. He appeared to be young, sixteen to eighteen years old, and his face lit up when he noticed Clary's group.
Valentine stepped in, cutting off Elias' path to Clary. "What news do you bring?"
Elias cleared his throat. "I, uh, sir—."
"Father, really," Clary muttered as she interjected herself, smiling at the Warlock before throwing her arms around his neck. "I'm so happy you're okay! We've been so worried."
So did Jace.
Had Clary just called Valentine 'father'?
His gaze shifted to Chloe only to catch her watching him. Something inside of him rejoiced, it somersaulted. If she was casting furtive glances at him, and so visibly embarrassed/mortified at having been caught, it meant that whatever spell or curse she was under, a part of her was still fighting it - at least when it came to him. And that was all he needed to smile. At least on the inside. He couldn't make his actual lips smile.
Chloe's gaze lowered and she turned her attention immediately to Elias and the others, but while she outwardly paid them all her attention, it was obvious to Jace that she was, in fact, lost in her own thoughts. And they were annoyed ones. She kept closing her eyes or giving barely there/blink-and-miss-it shakes of her head. She was telling herself off for something. About what? About looking at Jace?
'…they're targeting your bond the hardest.'
"ABIGAIL WAYLAND!" Someone yelled.
Jace blinked in surprise. Were there other Waylands in this fantasy?
He turned his attention back at Chloe in time to see her flinch and turn towards the man storming towards her.
Chloe held her hands up in submission immediately. "Whatever it was, I didn't do it."
Confusion filled Jace immediately. What was she talking about? He'd yelled for some "Abigail" girl.
The guy, who was around Jace's age, with golden hair and green eyes, just grabbed Chloe and threw her over his shoulder before turning and storming away.
Chloe's face was visibly shocked before she burst out laughing. "I'm not five years old anymore, Jonny! Put me down!"
Who the hell was this Jonny guy? A part of Jace really wanted to know, but most of him was too busy planning the guy's murder to really care about the specifics.
"I never thought I'd be happy to see them fighting again," Valentine admitted to someone in a playful tone as Clary sneaked Elias away from the distracted Shadowhunter.
A hearty laugh could be heard as another man appeared. He eyed Chloe and Jonny in amusement. "It's good for them to have some sibling rivalry, it's unnerving how close those two are. Brothers and sisters should have some arguments."
"Michael." Valentine narrowed his eyes in amused suspicion. "You've set that poor girl up, haven't you?"
Michael merely laughed, mischief in his blue eyes.
Jonny was Jonathan Wayland?
Jace hadn't realized he could be this angry, not until this very second as he realized that Jonathan and Michael Wayland were a part of this fantasy.
How dare they?
How fucking dare the person behind this?
Chloe had never been able to meet her father and brother, and while she'd never really come out and said anything in great detail, Jace knew that a huge part of her mourned never having met them. And now the person doing this to her had not only used their images to do his or her nefarious work - but would consequently always mar their memory for her.
He was livid.
How dare they do this?
Later on, when he'd look back and wonder how he'd forced his body to move, Jace would figure it was his almighty rage which gave him the strength to take momentary control and go after Chloe.
"You've got to be joking!" Alec slammed his hands against the bars as he watched the guards walking away. "I have done nothing! I have no reason to be here!" They continued to walk, ignoring him. "HEY! WHO ORDERED ME HERE? I WASN'T SENTENCED YET! THIS IS AGAINST MY RIGHTS!"
They slammed the door behind them.
"Just get comfortable," a voice declared from the cell next to his. "They aren't much in the way of conversation. You won't get any answers from them."
Alec ignored the advice and slammed his hands into the prison once more. This was completely ridiculous! This wasn't procedure! Especially since there were no real reason for them to keep him under locks! His parents? Maybe, considering their past connection with Valentine, but him? No. Something wasn't right here.
What the Angel was going on?
Nana Carstairs peered around the corner as she watched the soldiers emerge from the highly guarded door. She knew where it led - the dungeons - and considering what she'd just seen, intrigue welled up inside of her. Had there been an official hearing and judgment? She didn't think so, it would've been huge news. But if there hadn't been a verdict handed down, then why in the world had Clave guards ushered Alexander Lightwood to the dungeons and apparently left him there? Was there something that the Clave knew which they weren't telling others? Was there a reason why Alec Lightwood was being treated like such a threat?
"I told you that there was something off with that whole family," Sera muttered from where she leaned against the wall. Like Nana, she'd caught sight of the guards leading Alexander Lightwood to the dungeons, and had waited around to make sure that they'd returned without him. "Once traitors, always traitors." She sighed. "Aunt Jocelyn's probably going to be the next one put in irons. She's Valentine's wife, obviously she can't be trusted."
"She helped steal the Cup from him during the first war," Nana reminded as she leaned against the wall as well. "Why would she suddenly change sides?"
"Uh, because she's married to him? Plus, they have a son together. AND she's changed sides in the past, clearly she doesn't know what she really wants." Sera made a face. "There's no way she didn't know who Jace really was or that he was living with the Lightwoods. I'm telling you, they have this all planned. They're working with Valentine, them and the Lightwoods."
"I don't know…" Nana rubbed her arm. "I don't think Valentine would allow anyone like Isabelle in the Uprising… they say she has a thing for Downworlders, and that is definitely not something he'd approve of."
"That's the beauty of it, no one's going to suspect the Downworld Whore!" Sera exclaimed in utter conviction. "It's genius!" She reached out and grabbed Nana's arm. "Come on, we've got to tell papa." And with that she yanked her cousin behind her as she hurried down the hallway.
Nana sent a look behind her before she concentrated on following after the redhead and not tripping.
"Clearly I've been set up," Chloe announced as she stared around the infirmary, where all sorts of anti-Jonathan things had been temporarily runed into the walls, floors, ceilings and curtains. There was nothing mean spirited in these anti-Jonathan things, but they were definitely aimed to cause some sort of trouble. One even mentioned that Jonathan had peed his bed until he was ten - which, sure, it was true - but no one would believe that. Jonathan was one of the strongest, fiercest warriors about. No one would ever dream that could be true.
"Is that the best excuse you've got?" Jonathan wanted to know, hands on his hips.
"Oh, come on Jonny!" Chloe threw her hands up in the air, unable to keep the laughter from her lips. "I haven't dotted my 'i's and 'j's with hearts since I was five. AND over there it clearly says: THIS IS THE WORK OF ABIGAIL WAYLAND. Since when do I ever use my first name? I'm also not foolish enough to name myself the culprit." She chuckled when she noticed another section. "Does that say COME AT ME BRO? Does that even remotely sound like me?"
"That could all be to throw me off," Jonny announced, having obviously wondered that too.
"Or I could be set up… rather poorly." Intrigued as to who was trying to create issues between her and her brother, Chloe turned to the evidence at hand. "That's a really good forgery of my scribbly handwriting though - hearts aside. Although, I don't do 'f's like that."
"That's true," he muttered with a hand to his chin. "You do that weird reversed thing."
"It's not weird," she defended.
"It's very weird," he replied.
She opened her mouth to tell him he knew nothing of weirdness, when she paused and chuckled at a memory. "Do you remember The Great Tinsel War?"
Jonny chuckled and nodded. He was visibly much better, having healed remarkably fast given the fact that he'd been on the verge of death. It's amazing what runes and good genes could do! Despite that he was still a little pale, and she'd noticed him limp slightly when he'd backed her back here earlier on. All in all though, Jonny was back on the way to a full recovery.
"You blamed me then too," she reminded him pointedly.
"You're the only one who knew about, uh, you know." He then paused and turned to look at her, eyes wide. "You remember The Great Tinsel War?"
Of course she remembered! It'd been one of the very few times she and her brother had disagreed to the point of not talking to each other! It was one her only memories in which she'd actually—.
Chloe suddenly frowned as she stared ahead of her.
That—that hadn't actually happened, had it? She hadn't grown up with Jonathan Wayland. He'd been dead by the time she'd been born. It had only been her mother and her - only her mother and her… Dad was dead too, wasn't he? Her father and brother were dead.
Swallowing back the sudden pain, Chloe felt as if she'd been told the news for the very first time. The grief was so overwhelming she didn't realize her knees had give way under her until they hit the cold floor. Her head hurt, but not as much as her heart as she gripped her hair and closed her eyes.
Valentine was to blame! For everything!
If he hadn't been such a monster her father would be alive! Her brother would be alive! Her mother wouldn't have had to go through so many years of suffering! Chloe could've grown up knowing what she was, being a part of something, instead of never truly feeling like a part of anything!
Magnus! She screamed in her mind, because her lips wouldn't move. MAGNUS! Her eyes were hurting her but she didn't know why. Magnus, if you're really real - if I'm not crazy - Magnus - MAGNUS! HELP ME!
MAGNUS! HELP ME!
Magnus Bane froze.
He'd been sending yet another request for entry into Idris, as well as following up on some other enquiries he'd made to certain individuals, but that voice had stopped him cold. His eyes found his reflection in the mirror and he could see the cold sweat as it dripped down the side of his face and messed up his kohl eyeliner. He was pale, his shock clearly visible on his face. But in the reflection he could see Chairman Meow, and the small cat was standing on his tiptoes, fur raised.
The cat had heard it too, and was just as freaked out.
"Biscuit?" He whispered, unable to understand how he could be hearing Chloe right now, but he did. Chairman Meow wasn't the only evidence that he hadn't imagined it either, a part of Magnus Bane - the part which had given and fed the barrier in her mind for years - burned. There was a bit of his magic still inside of her, locked deep down inside, it had no doubt been what had made his name appear in the clouds and in her coffee and such when she'd needed to find him, and it was that piece of him which was reacting once more. "Chloe, if you can hear me - I'm here."
There was silence.
But Chairman Meow began to yowl.
It hit Magnus like a punch to the gut. It was so physical that he slid back against the floor and hit the wall. As oxygen escaped his lips, his cat eyes opened wide, and he saw it:
Chloe sat on the filthy ground of a cell. Her body was covered in dirt and bruises, her hair matted, her eyes wide and filled with tears. She rocked back and forth, back and forth, sobbing loudly, whispering softly. Signs of torture were obvious, not only on her body, but in her eyes. Gone was the vivacious blonde with deep rich emerald eyes, instead, seated there, was a broken girl with vacant eyes. There were Warlock sigils all over her prison, sigils which kept all within silent, sigils which drained the own unfortunate to be within, sigils meant to never allow the one trapped a moment's peace.
The door opened, and Magnus Bane stood in the doorway in all his regal glory. He tutted as he entered the room, allowing the door to fall closed behind him. "I hate seeing you like this, Chloe. If only you would give in I wouldn't have to break you, mind body and soul."
Chloe continued to rock back and forth, she didn't seem to realize he was in there with her, talking.
He flicked his wrist, and her body flew backwards, hitting the wall as she levitated up so high her feet were inches off of the ground. Magnus moved closer and grabbed her chin. "You will tell us where the Mortal Mirror is. You're only hurting yourself by fighting us. You're only prolonging your own suffering."
She grabbed her hair and screamed.
Magnus sighed, clearly bored. "I don't have the patience or desire to keep coming down to this place." His left hand moved, magic curling in his fingers before he suddenly brought his glowing hand to her forehead, shoving magic deep inside of her. He watched as her body went still, completely lax as magic played in her eyes. "That's a good girl," he cooed as he picked her up and held her in his arms. "We've done things his way, now we'll do them mine." He smiled down at her as magic continued to play visibly behind her vacant eyes. "We're going to be good friends you and I, you'll trust me. You'll be my biscuit." He slowly made his way towards the door, carrying her out of her prison. "You'll come to love this new world I've given you, I'll give you friends, family, and a love so passionate and intoxicating you'll do anything for it. I'll give you a purpose, importance. Once you've come too, once you've lost it, you'll beg to tell me everything I want if it means going back."
And with that promise, Magnus Bane took the unconscious girl out of the prison.
The door flung closed behind him.
Magnus collapsed to his knees on the floor. His eyes widened and his hand went to his chest, where he could feel his heart racing horribly fast. What had that been? What had Chloe shown him? Why had she shown him that? What was it?
Stumbling to his feet, Magnus sent another message to the Clave, only for it to once more go ignored.
Frustration grew inside as he sent a fire message to Alec.
When that one went ignored as well, his eyes widened.
Something was wrong.
Something was horribly wrong.
Chloe gasped as the memory faded. She stared up into her brother's pale, terrified face, his voice a demonic distortion until suddenly all sound came back to her at once and she found herself lying on the floor. Her brother pulled her off of the floor and hurriedly put her in the bed, asking her a millions questions a minute. He didn't wait for her to answer, instead asking more and more, worried she was hurt.
There, in the doorway, stood Jace. He stared down at them, clearly having been drawn by the sound of chaos, but he didn't step in to help. He didn't ask if she was okay. He just stayed there and looked at her with absolute blankness.
'I'll give you a love so passionate and intoxicating you'll do anything for it.' Magnus' words from that horrible memory came back hauntingly. She wanted to forget them, wanted to leave them buried deep inside, but the more she stared at Jace, the more she wanted to sob.
What if this was reality?
What made more sense?
A universe in which she was an important figure in a war? One in which she actually mattered? One in which she had the unconditional love of the only man she'd ever truly loved? A man who'd taught her what it felt like to be loved in return? To be cherished? Desired? Needed? A man made just for her? One who would always want her?
'You'll come to love this new world I've given you.'
Tears filled her eyes as she stared deep into Jace's golden gaze, begging him for just one spark - for something. Please Jace. Please! I need you Jace! Please! I don't—I don't know what's—what's real anymore, Jace? Please tell me! What's real? Is that real?
Or is this real?
The more she thought of her life, the more holes she found in it. A life in which she was an important, powerful being with true love. A life in which she mattered, in which her life was fulfilling. A perfect life.
How could that be true?
Panic caught in her throat as she gripped her hair. She tried to breathe but found it almost impossible.
What if this was the real world?
'Once you've come too, you'll beg to tell me everything I want if it means going back.'
It made sense. A world in which she was just another Shadowhunter - not even a full-bred - one in which Jace not only didn't love her but instead loved her best friend… That could be the real world.
Why create a world that would be less than desirable? Why make that the fantasy? It didn't make sense.
Real life hurt.
Fantasy was beautiful. Fantasy had true love. Fantasy… Fantasy…
She looked up at Jace once more. He hadn't moved. Not to come in or go out.
Please, she begged him. Please.
Please, Jace begged from inside of this body, which had gone stiff, completely frozen, useless. Please see me. No matter how hard he tried to push this vessel into the room he merely stayed there and stared at Chloe as she sobbed and bawled, looking lost and terrified and brokenhearted. Her eyes caught his, and in them he could see such vulnerability, such pleading, such fear. All he wanted to do was reach for her, to wrap her in his arms and tell her he was there, that she wasn't alone, that they'd figure this out. But no matter how hard he tried it was impossible to move.
"Stay with her," Jonathan Wayland ordered as he hurried out, obviously looking for help.
Jace ignored him and merely stared at Chloe.
She sat up on her knees in the bed, her eyes filled with tears, her lips trembling, her hands gathered at her chest, almost as if she was trying to keep her heart from falling to pieces all around her. "Jace."
Chloe. He tried to speak, to let her know he was here, that he cared, that all he wanted was to be there, to touch her, to kiss her, but none of that came out. Instead, his voice was disgustingly calm when it announced: "People are dying because of you."
She reeled back as if she'd been hit. "What?"
Jace's body moved forwards, it finally moved towards Chloe, only to stop just out of reach. "You know why the Warlock is killing mundanes, it's why you were taken. Clary was hurt because of you, both back then when you were taken, and now when you went right back to that Warlock and took her to him! And now, even more people are dying because you won't do what needs to be done." No. NO! Jace tried to force his own words out, to swallow these angry words. Chloe, see me. I'm here. I don't mean this. "I know Mundanes don't mean anything to Downworlders, but I'd hoped that at least the Shadowhunter half of you would care." SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
Chloe stared at him with a look he'd never seen before. Her eyes were wide, filled with tears, her lips parted, and rapid breaths escaped her. She looked like her world was beginning to crumble all around her. He could almost hear it.
Confused, Jace tried to figure out where the sound of cracking was coming from. It almost sounded as if glass was cracking, being broken slowly. But where was that sound coming from?
When he turned his gaze back on Chloe, his eyes widened in horror.
She sat on the bed, with her back now against the backrest, her arms around her knees. Her gaze downcast, her eyes vacant. She dug her nails deep into her arms, deeper and deeper, deeper and deeper, until suddenly blood flowed to the surface.
His body finally reacted like he wanted it to, and he rushed towards her. Jace grabbed her hands and forced them down hard on the mattress. This not only pinned her against the mattress, but left him half loomed over her, bringing their faces close together.
Chloe stared up at him, her eyes finally showing emotion, life, in them.
Surely she could see it? This close? She must see him deep within!
"You kissed Clary," she whispered.
He frowned down at her.
"I can't accept that." And then she yanked free of his hold, reached up, and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him down into a kiss.
He hadn't expected it, not him nor his vessel, and they both tumbled on top of her on the bed.
Chloe took advantage of his shock and flipped them over so that she straddled his lap, her hands on his wrists. This time she was the one who pinned his hands down. There was something dark in her eyes, something dangerous in her countenance as she stared down at him. There was no warning whatsoever as she swooped down and kissed him harder, punishingly. Her weight kept his hands against the bed as her mouth invaded his.
Even his vessel was shocked stiff, but the Jace within groaned in pleasure, in need. And then, when she rocked against him, he felt a shiver of intense need flair within him. That's my girl, he whimpered as she moved over him, dominating him completely. Show me who I belong to.
"I don't want you," Jace's mouth hissed the second her lips left his.
Chloe froze as she stared down at him. "Yeah?"
"Yeah." Jace nodded. "I only want Clary." I'm lying! Don't listen to me!
Chloe tilted her head to the side as she stared at him. Her eyes were weird. They looked darker than he'd ever seen them. Her voice sounded odd too. "Then why are you hard?"
Jace didn't understand what reacted so strongly inside of him, but when she bucked against him he broke free. He flipped them over to now straddled her, gripped her wrists, and stared down at her. "That's my body reacting to stimulus. That's all."
"I don't believe you," she whispered.
Jace sighed and lowered his head. "I'm really sorry for what the Warlock did to you."
She shook her head wordlessly, almost begging without words.
"I'm sorry – for what happened to you – for them using me – for blaming you for what happened to Clary – or what's happening to the mundanes." He sighed, his voice filled with pain. "It wasn't fair – none of that. It isn't your fault. You're the victim here, and I'm just taking out all of my frustrations on you. And I'm sorry." He stared down at her. "But I need you to understand that no matter what the Warlock made you think, made you believe, it wasn't real."
She'd frozen, her eyes once more filled with tears as she stared up at him.
"I don't love you," Jace's vessel whispered while on the inside Jace screamed and fought, he clawed for some sort of control but was unable to do anything but watch. "I never have."
"Don't," she begged.
Jace had never hated himself as much as he did now looking down at her. I love you. Don't listen to what this body is saying. Look at me. Find me. I'm here. "I never will."
"We were m-made for each other," Chloe whispered in a choked voice, visibly clinging on to her last shreds of hope. "Literally. We were created with the sole purpose of being together."
Yes. And I'm here. I don't mean what I'm saying. This isn't me. "Abigail." Jace stared down at her, his voice thick with pity. "Listen to yourself. That doesn't happen in real life."
Something shattered so loudly he actually looked up, confused. What was that sound he kept hearing? The one that kept getting louder and louder and louder?
Another sound drew his attention down, it was a soft sob.
Chloe stared up at him, her face twisted in pain, tears streaming down.
Panic filled Jace's being as he stared down into her emerald greens. No. No! NO! Chloe! Don't listen! Please don't listen to me!
"It was real to me," she whispered, voice breaking. When she pulled her hands free he let her as she covered her face with her hands. "It was so real."
Nausea and fear churned dangerously in his stomach as he watched her breaking right in front of him. No.
"I love you," she whispered to him, looking like a porcelain doll about to shatter. "I miss you." A loud sob escaped her lips. "I want to go back!"
Jace gripped her face in his hands. "Don't say that. It wasn't real!"
She sobbed louder.
He shook her shoulders. "It wasn't real. Abigail, it wasn't real." He shook her harder. "Clary got hurt for you. Your brother nearly died getting you back!" He shook her even harder. "Don't spit on their sacrifices! Don't be ungrateful! Don't be weak!"
Chloe stared up at him, wide-eyed.
No no no no no. The Jace within shook his head desperately. Don't listen. Please. PLEASE!
That shattering sound continued to grow louder and louder.
"I'm sorry, Ab-Chloe." Jace sighed deeply. "I'm sorry. It wasn't real. And I'm sorry. So sorry. But it wasn't. This is real life, and there are people here who are counting on you, who need you, and who are barely keeping themselves together trying to be strong for you." He tightened his grip on her shoulder. "But you have to try. Chloe. Please. Try. TRY for the people who love you. For your family. Please. If you really loved me, then please, please try."
Please, Jace whispered inside. Please don't listen-.
"Okay," she whispered as she leaned up on her elbows. "Okay."
No! Jace screamed as he fought with all of his might, tried to get her to see how hard he was battling in this prison. "You need to help us. You know why the Warlock is killing mundanes. It's why you were taken." He didn't move from where he was as he stared down at her. "Please. Help us. Help the mundanes. You're a Shadowhunter. Act it."
Her eyes were impossibly wide, and she was visibly fighting the urge to continue crying as she nodded rapidly, shortly. She took in a deep breath. Chloe closed her eyes, and two errant tears slid down the sides of her face when she did. Her expression twisted as she brought her hands to her head, an expression of pain slowly dawning on her face.
Stop it. "You can do it."
"It hurts," she whispered.
STOP IT! "You have to do it. Lives depend on you."
"What are you doing?" A voice asked from the doorway.
They turned to see Clary standing there, distrust and discomfort on her face.
"I can't remember," Chloe whispered.
"You're trying to force her to remember?" Clary's voice was harsh and unforgiving as she stormed to the bed and shoved Jace off of it (and Chloe) sharply. "What is wrong with you, Herondale? What part of she was tortured and her mind invaded for months don't you get!? You can't just come in here and force her to try and figure things out!"
"People are dying, Clarissa!" Jace yelled as he hurried to his feet. "People we are charged to protect!"
"Do you know who I'm charged to protect? Her!" Clary jumped onto the bed to gain height on him, her petite form pulsating with fury. "I will not let you hurt my best friend!"
"Look, I get it, okay? I don't have a Parabatai, but I understand the bond." He tried. Wait! Parabatai? This fake Morgenstern was Chloe's Parabatai?
"No, you don't. You can't possibly understand!" Clary snapped at him. "Otherwise you'd know that I'm about to-."
"Parabatai?" Chloe whispered in confusion, proving this was news to her.
Clary turned towards her immediately, eyes wide. "I forgot you didn't—." She gulped and slowly lowered herself onto her knees on the bed. She lifted her shirt to reveal the rune in the curve of her waist. "Yours is on your back." She licked her lips. "I teased you that I was going to put it on your lower back like a tramp stamp, but instead I put it high up…" The redhead played nervously with her hair. "I wanted my rune to have your back, like I do."
Jace tried to speak, tried to do anything, but he couldn't.
Chloe looked just as affected, her eyes wide. "I—in my—before…" She was obviously finding it hard to find the right words. "I always thought that once the time came Lois and I would—." She looked over to Jace and flinched immediately before looking away, clearly remembering his vessel's earlier words. "But I—if this world was real…" She turned her gaze so that her green eyes met Clary's. "I can't think of anyone else I'd want as my Parabatai."
Tears gathered in Clary's eyes as she flung herself into Chloe and began to sob as she hugged her tightly.
Chloe's arms remained at her side for a second before she wrapped them around the redhead.
Jace's lips curled in a tender, happy smile, while deep inside, the real him screamed and fought and clawed in desperation. Chloe was slowly losing herself to the delusion, and his doppelgänger was to blame.