Disclaimer: I am not part of the fandom. I just binge watched the series as a guilty pleasure because I am a sucker for a romance. I also wanted a more satisfying and less devastating ending. As with all fanfiction, I don't own any of the characters, and all mistakes are my own.
When her cool, slim fingertips brushed the skin of his neck to examine the Rune, a small inaudible sigh involuntarily escaped from Jace's mouth. Just a feather's touch from the love his heart could not let go of took his breath away. Was this how Clary felt, that time when he got back the love which Lilith erased from him? Jace prayed so hard in that moment that this isn't just a glitch; or if it was, that the Angel Raziel hadn't noticed.
Clary felt it too. A delicious shiver raced from where her finger connected with Jace's skin, right up to the back of her neck, exploding into a heady rush of warmth through her entire body like an unfurling firework. The magnetic sensation is at once achingly familiar and terrifyingly alien. She felt her control giving way to a sudden urge to touch this man and to be with him, to know him and to need him. She doesn't remember ever feeling anything like this for anyone, ever, yet every cell in her body is screaming at her that these feelings belong to her. And it freaked her out even more that she knew his name, and almost remembering, but not quite exactly how.
Panic raised in the pit of her stomach. It's too much weirdness at once. Her instinct made her shut this down right away. There's just too much here. She needs to think. Clary – the girl who just earlier today was joking that she was born missing the romance gene, that she was lucky that she doesn't know what it's like to need someone – couldn't process these confusing and overwhelmingly new feelings. She thought she wasn't wired for this kind of thing; and she thought that was what made her strong. She snatched her hand back, opened her mouth to say something, but when no words came, she stumbled back a few hesitant steps before turning on her heel to escape, in spite of herself. The last thing she saw was the crumbling look in Jace's eye. She fought against herself for caring more than anything about that, when she couldn't find a reason for it.
The Rune which Clary touched throbbed with a dull glow on Jace's neck.
It was around that time that Alec's parabatai Rune constricted into a sharp, pitiful ache that sent him doubling over before he could catch himself. He was clinking glasses with Magnus at that moment, and sent the undrunk martini flying all over his husband's face and neck.
"What's wrong, cinnamon waffle?"
"It's Jace. Something is wrong with Jace. We have to find him. Now."
Back at her apartment, shook and unsettled, Clary couldn't sleep. Not even the hot shower or that mug of cocoa was able to settle her. As she tossed and turned, all she could see on the back of the blackness of her closed eyelids was that achingly beautiful face that stirred up so much from inside of her. With a frustrated sigh, she kicked off her blanket and threw opened her sketchbook to draw what was in her mind.
As his face came into sharp focus on the paper in front of her, feelings of longing bubbled up to challenge her once more, and she couldn't help but reach out to stroke the picture, causing it to smudge. Is this what it feels like to have a crush on someone? All those times she laughed at her friends for becoming totally infatuated with someone that they just met – is this the same thing?
Clary realised for the first time in a long time, she was drawing something that wasn't abstract. Latching onto that happy thought, she was able to temporarily dissociate herself from the confusion of raw emotions, while allowing her hands to dance over the next few pages with her pens, which filled up, one after the other, with intimate portraits of this stranger Jace, smiling back at her from the page with an array of expressions which only a lover could show.
"Jace!" Shouted two frantic voices that had burst suddenly onto the rooftop, where Jace had been sitting for the past hour with his legs swinging over the edge.
He didn't hear his name being called until he felt the snap of the magical bind pull him back from the ledge. He spun his head around to see Magnus and Alec running towards him.
"Oh, it's not what it looks like. I wasn't going to…" Jump. He didn't finish his sentence. He wasn't going to jump. He was just feeling sorry for himself. He is just so lost, but deep down that little piece of hope, no matter how elusive, had been enough to keep him holding on in this aimless dark time.
"It is what it looks like Jace. You are not ok. Far from not ok. I can feel it too, Jace." Alec's hand brushed over Jace's parabatai Rune as he said that. Normally, that gesture would have been comforting, but already Jace felt devastation instead, that Alec had so soon replaced Clary as the last person to touch him.
He sighed through his heavy sadness, unable to lift his red rimmed puffy eyes to meet his brother's searching gaze. He knows Alec would want an explanation, but he can't even explain to himself what is up and down anymore, or what else but his Clary could make him feel whole again.
"I don't know how to do this anymore. I wish I could just forget how to breath, because it already feels like there isn't any air for me. Raziel should just kill me – this is worse than Edom."
Magnus flinched at the mention of his father's former domain, the one which everyone, including Clary, so self-sacrificingly rushed into in order to save him when they couldn't bear to let Alec live a life without him. Looking at Jace right now, Magnus was once again filled with feelings of guilt and shame for not being able to do for him and Clary, what they had done for him without a second thought. He felt ashamed for not having the guts to jeopardise his own happiness to try harder to find a way.
"I'm sorry." Tears welled up and smudged the glittery navy eyeliner under his kind eyes, as his fidgeting fingers knotted together hopelessly.
"I thought apologising for mistakes you didn't make was just for Mundanes, not Warlocks," joked Jace weakly. Even at his lowest point there is a part of him that still can't help looking out for others.
"That's not exactly true. Maybe I haven't done enough."
"Magnus…" But Alec also feels the guilt, for which is he also guilty of suppressing. Deep down he knows that every day will feel wrong if he hasn't really tried to do for Jace, what he did for them. The husbands shared a knowing look, and knew that they needed to think like Clary and be prepared to sacrifice a piece of their own happiness, if that's what it takes to make it right.
"Come home with us, Jace. I promise, my parabatai, we will try to find a way. This isn't right, and we're wrong to think it will just go away. I'm so sorry that we even entertained that stupid idea in the first place. We have to do something to get her back. There's no other option."
"I wish there was something that Raziel would take from me, from us, to make Jace whole again." Sighed Alec.
"Maybe he would agree to take my magic." Ruminated Magnus. "I would do that for the three of you. And this time I mean it."
"I would take your immortality in your place so that you can keep your magic, while I should be the one to watch everyone I love fade away to history. You've had enough of that for a few lifetimes."
"Don't say that, butterscotch. I would never wish that on you. Me, on the other hand, I can take it. Don't say things like that again."
They both looked at each other sadly, knowing that all of this was just talk. The Angel would never talk to them.
In the Book of Gray, Magnus kept a page bookmarked with a drawing which Clary had gifted to him. It was just a drunken doodle on the back of a napkin, but he loved it so much. It was a picture of him and Alec dancing together. He didn't really need to look at the spell on this page, because he had memorised it in case it would ever come to this. It wasn't so much as a lucky guess, but being immortal means that odds are in your favour when deducing likely scenarios based on knowledge and experience.
As High Warlock of Alicante, his apartment was not so far away from Lake Lynn, where the Angel last appeared. If the Angel were to intervene to right this wrong, then first he needed someone able to talk to the Angel, then he needed to bring them to the exact spot where Raziel last appeared, to carry out the incantation to allow them to temporarily pierce the veil through to their realm. That someone had to be Simon.
It was a risky gamble, as while Simon is the only one with traces of pure Angel blood in him, he was also a vampire. That could be enough for the Angel to choose to burn him on site. Simon knew the risk. He had flat-out said no to this course of action citing the excuse that he didn't think Raziel would talk to him anyway, let alone hear him. But this time, he was going to do it even though he was afraid. He is finally too ashamed of himself for not trying. The selfish, cowardly, petty part of him didn't want to risk his life just for the chance for Jace and Clary to be happy together again. If he was honest, much as he missed Clary, he was willing to pretend she could be happy forgetting them and to continue lying to himself that Jace could just eventually move on. But after seeing how raw Jace looked yesterday, when he admitted with all his heart that there is no one else for him, Simon couldn't go on pretending that he wasn't being a jackass for minimising a love that he could not compete with. He loved Isabelle, but deep down he knew he could never love anyone the way Jace and Clary loved each other. It hurt even Simon to see Jace suffer this hell all alone. No, he will do it, because if he didn't, he's not sure he deserves to live.
With elegant swirls of his hands, Magnus drew a summoning circle in the air, which glittered a faint orange in the dark night air. The leaves around him started to swirl as Simon's eyes rolled up to the back of his head. Before he knew it, he was standing in front of the Angel, who was not at all pleased with him for taking so long.
In the morning, as Clary snapped awake from the uncomfortable sleep she didn't even notice herself slip into, she winced as she strained to free her neck from the painful crick that developed from her sleeping head first into her desk. She groaned through painful sleepy eyes as she cast her eyes around her flat. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw pages and pages of drawings strewn out on her bed. Drawings of Jace, in every soul bared iteration of smiles, pouts and worried frowns. He can't be a stranger. Those five minutes last night could not have been their first.
"Who are you to me, Jace?" She has never felt so vulnerable and so alone. She cried into her cup even before managing to make her first coffee.
Even in his sleep, Alec could feel the weight of the bed change, and he woke up when he realised that Magnus was gone. Even as they avoided the subject over the past year, he knew his husband and how he thought. He knew where he needed to find him.
"Who is this before me?" Boomed the voice of Raziel inside Simon's head.
"It's me. Simon. The Daylighter. Please forgive me, but I did not come to ask anything for me."
"Normally I would only speak with the Angel blooded ones, but you were saved by the Angel blooded ones – both times – so, I am willing to make an exception."
"And I am so grateful and humbled for the chance to speak with your omniscience, divine keeper of secrets."
"Don't be so quick to thank me. I know what you want from me. You want me to undo my decree. But I will only do it if you pay a price."
Terrified of what he was going to hear, Simon had to fight the urge to call it off. Instead, he summoned all his courage and mustered up a good deal of humility, and asked the Angel to tell him what needed to be done.
"Only when you are willing to sacrifice your greatest gift, will the deed be undone. You have until sunrise."
And with that, the Angel disappeared. As Simon's eyes rolled back to the fore, he found himself staring up into Magnus and Alec's faces, who were shaking him awake whilst he lay in the cool dirt on the edge of the lake. Their expression was a kindly mix of relief and knowing concern. "Good. You're awake. What did the Angel ask of you?"
"Well, he wasn't specific, you know how Angels speak in tongues." Simon tried to lighten the situation with sarcasm, but tears were coming down his cheeks from solemn eyes. "But I know what he wants from me. I don't know if I'm ready to never see the sun again. But I'm also sure that I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do this for Clary and Jace; without whom I couldn't even be here."
After explaining himself to Magnus, without a hint of surprise, as if he knew it would come to this all along, Magnus performed the rite on Simon, who slinked away quickly before the sunrise. Alec knew how much this was going to hurt Isabelle, but he hoped she would understand and respect Simon's sacrifice. In Magnus's hand, an unfamiliar Rune materialised onto a piece of paper, which just as quickly burned up to be sent back to Raziel's safekeeping.
Jace woke up suddenly as his body itched and burned, as his Runes became illuminated one after the other.
"Wha... what is happening to me?!" He panicked. Maybe Raziel saw them last night, he thought, and this is the start of the punishment for daring to go against his will. In a way, Jace would prefer to receive a punishment over the unforgiving torture of watching Clary live a half-life without him. Even he could see that she was a fraction of her former self without the shadow world and without the love that they both fought so hard for. It hurt him to see the woman who loved so fiercely, believe that she was incapable of forming any meaningful connections, and therefore, believing that she wasn't missing anything.
If this is a punishment, if Raziel is going to take his Runes away too and turn him into a shell as well, then he doesn't have much time to savour the last moments of real feeling. There's only one face he wants to see, before he too loses the ability to remember even her.
She dried her tears and tried to laugh at herself for being so upset over something that she couldn't put her finger on. It strangely felt so good to feel something. As she pressed down on her closed, tear swollen eyelids with her cool fingertips to try to bring it down a little, she could see a shape beginning to form, like lines of light coming together into something like the tattoo she saw on Jace. It appeared like a migraine with aura, covering her field of vision even when she opened her eyes. So vivid and intricate was this shape, she knew she had to draw it. And then she had a sudden urge to reach into the drawing to grab the Rune. To her surprise, the Rune came alive, sprung out from the page, lit up in the middle of the room, and created a portal that pulled her in and straight into Jace's room.
One moment he was hurriedly pulling on one leg of his trousers, the next moment he was suddenly knocked back onto the bed by Clary, materialising out of thin air directly on top of him. Instinctively he caught her and pulled her into his chest protectively even as she knocked the wind out of him. Lines of light stretched up from Jace's runes and wrapped themselves like vines around Clary's arms, her body, and her legs, cocooning her gently in an angelic embrace. And one by one, Clary's Runes came back to her. This time, when she looked into Jace's eyes, she was right back on that dance floor, the last time she fully felt a sense of belonging. The unmistakable megawatt smile of recognition spread across her face, and in that moment, Jace just knew that everything was going to be OK again.