In the Minds Eye
Sometimes Clary wasn't sure which disturbed her more, the past or the future. Sitting on the bed she had slept in at the farm ever since she was old enough to have a bed of her own, she could feel the past all around her.
The room was still painted the same shade of pink, which when she chose it she had insisted be called "dusty rose" by Luke and her mom. It still had the Stepping Razor poster on the inside of the closet door, which never closed all the way. Even the bed itself was small enough that Clary now had to curl a little to fit into it, and the quilt was faded enough to no longer match the walls.
The low dresser held a mirror and, while it was no longer piled up with dolls and glitter lip gloss, now held a jumbled assortment of colored pencils, sketchbooks of different sizes and stacks of manga almost totally obscuring its polished surface. She should have felt safe here, but the past was not a safe place.
Not anymore. Not now that she knew she couldn't trust her own memories. Clary turned her stele over in her hands, idly stroking the cool metal, wondering how many of her childhood summer evenings here had been courtesy of Magnus Bane.
She got up from the bed and walked to the open window. Outside the dark woods stretched away toward the highway in the foggy distance. The air had the sweetness it sometimes held outside of the city, just after it had rained. Above her the sky was dark enough to see the band of the Milky Way, a lighter smudge against a field of stars.
Somewhere an army was gathering, under these same stars, to destroy everything she loved. The future wasn't any more certain than the past, she recollected. Now that Valentine had the cup and the sword, how could they stop him? And Jace- well, they were just sibs now. What a joke. As if it didn't drive a knife of ice into her heart every time she heard his voice over the phone.
Seeing him was worse.What she wanted, just once, was to know that everything would be all right. Even if it wasn't true, she wanted to believe it; she wanted to see it with her own eyes.
Gently, she pressed the stele to the skin of her forehead, just over the third eye. "See" she thought, focusing the energy, "See the future, a moment of happiness, see the future, see…." The rune took shape, a softly undulating spiral arrow pointing in and out at the same time, and etched itself into her skin. Clary waited. As she paced she repeatedly caught sight of the strange mark in the mirror like a blue burn.
The light in the room began to fade and Clary suddenly felt dizzy. She lay down on the bed, tucking her feet under the blanket. She could barely see, her arms and legs felt made of lead, and it occurred to her, as if it were a casual afterthought, that maybe this wasn't such a good idea, but she was too weak to lift her stele and destroy the mark.
Laying on her side, all she could see was the mirror over the dresser, a square of brightness in a blue room.
There was movement in the mirror, someone walking toward her, and before she could make him out clearly she could tell by his gait that it was Jace, moving with his odd combination of grace and caution like a shark through clear blue water. Clary closed her eyes. When she opened them again he was above her. She was in a different room, in the city, she could tell, and it was late afternoon.
The bed was big, too big for her, with white cotton sheets and down pillows. It had a white cotton comforter too, but it was down at the foot of the bed. She was in the bed, with Jace, and they were both naked.
In the afternoon sunlight she could see him clearly, propped up on both arms with the length of his body pressed against hers.
His hair was longer than the last time she had seen him, falling into his face and brushing the tops of his shoulders, the fine white blond hair of a child. His eyes looked into hers and Clary was surprised to see that they were full of laughter, without a trace of bitterness or irony. Jace lowered himself to her until his head rested on her collarbone, his face so close that she could feel the warmth of his breath.
He raised his face upwards on the pillow, breathing in as he turned towards her and Clary realized that he was inhaling the scent of her hair. "I love you," he whispered. Clary wanted to scream, to push him away, to tell him it was wrong, but future Clary did none of those things.
She turned and kissed the top of his head where it rested against her. Clary could feel her arms moving, see her own hair on the pillow next to his, pale and crimson, sense his breath and the warm weight of his body, but she could not control her own actions. She was trapped inside her future self, unable to move or speak. "I love you," future Clary whispered back.
Clary could feel her future self breathing, but she could not herself draw breath.
She could feel her eyes closed and tears running down her face, but her future self kept her eyes wide open. They saw the room; the way the slanting light hit the crack in the ceiling, the two half-finished cups of coffee in the studio kitchen, her computer and mundane books on a folding table, Jace's armor on a stand by the wall. "Oh, God," she thought as a violent twisting began somewhere in her stomach, "we live here. We live here together. This is not the first time we have done this. We do this all the time."
Future Clary turned to Jace then, and kissed him on the lips. He shifted his weight to meet her, sliding his arms around her, cupping the back of her head with one hand and pulling her hips towards him with the other. Their lips parted and Clary heard herself moan as the kiss deepened.
Her hands were on his back, tracing the outlines of the thin scars left by his marks like a topographic map. Each mark told a story, like intimate Braille, about him. She felt the healing mark, over and over, and thought, "Jace is strong." She felt the true sight mark Valentine had given him when he was only five, and thought, "Jace is brave." She saw the mark for fearlessness, and remembered, "Jace loves me." Jace shivered, and Clary recalled how her own scars always seemed to feel slightly more sensitive than the normal skin.
Under Jace's skin his muscles tensed as her hands moved down from the broad outline of his shoulders along the indentation of his spine to the twin points of his hipbones.
As Clary's hands passed over his shoulder blades she felt two new scars, not like anything made by a stele, longitudinal and jagged, and she wondered what they were from. She didn't have much time to wonder, as Jace broke off the kiss and began to kiss his way down the front of her body.
Clary saw new runes on herself as he moved, sliding his hands over her small breasts, around her ribcage, down over her hips until he was kneeling between her legs. Abruptly, Clary realized what he was about to do and from far away she felt color burn in her cheeks- desire and shame.
"Oh fuck," Clary thought desperately, "fuck. He's going down on me. How do I stop him?" And from the back of her mind, unsummoned, she heard the echo, "How do I make him not stop?" There was no way she could prevent him however, and future Clary arched her back to let him closer, curling her hands into fists in his hair.
Jace's mouth on her, between her legs, was slow and teasing, as if he loved to make her arch and gasp, loved controlling her, and Clary's past and future selves surrendered together to his touch.
One hand moved up to join his mouth and Clary felt his fingertip pressing and circling against her clit. His other hand angled down between his legs to stroke himself and Clary knew he was wanted it as much as she did.
And she did want it. Everything she had been trying to tell herself she didn't want, everything she had struggled so hard not to fantasize about, was here in this bed with her. She wanted it all, not just to kiss him or even to have him go down on her, but to feel him inside her, to have there be no questions.
Her future self seemed perfectly content to have him continue, and he did, alternating slow licks and kisses with the motion of his hand. Clary could feel the need coalescing in her belly, like fire spreading outward through all her limbs.
Her hands were clenched in the sheets, the fine cotton damp with her perspiration. She could feel her legs shaking and dug her heels into the mattress to make them stop, but the shaking did not stop, in fact it seemed to be taking her over. When she came she felt as if the whole world stopped for an instant- no breath, no light, no pulse, only the pleasure shooting through her body like a bolt of lightning.
She lay on the bed, catching her breath and realized that she had not been the only one who was shaking. Jace was shaking too; she could feel it in his hands which were sliding up to her hips. Jace took a deep breath, wrapping his arms around her waist and dragged her to the middle of the bed so that they were both level and her legs crossed behind him.
This time when she felt the weight of his body she felt his hard-on as well, the skin strangely smooth over the intensity of its hardness and totally unmarked, and future Clary took the length of its shaft gently in her hand and guided it until the just the tip was inside her. Jace's breath caught, and Clary looked up into his eyes, saw the silent sincerity of his desire and then her own reflection in his dark pupils, looking up at him, her hair a corona of red against the white sheet.
She pulled her crossed legs towards her, and his hips came with them, moving him deeper inside her. He gasped, a little half breath and began to thrust, shallowly and quickly at first, then deeper and harder as she raised her hips to grind against his. Jace leaned his whole weight into his hips and when the next thrust reached its apex he held it there, all the way inside her, and Clary cried out for pure joy.
Jace's body was tensed tight as a held bowstring, Clary could feel his need to move almost overwhelming him, but he remained where he was, pressing into the deepest part of her and looking down at her body beneath him. She took advantage of his position, pressing back and moving her hips against him. Jace drew breath through his clenched teeth, a soft hissing sound, and began to grind again.
Each time he drew out he would thrust back several times shallowly, making Clary lift her hips against him to get more, then he would thrust once deeply and she would shudder with sudden satisfaction.
Clary looked up into his face, his half-closed eyes still watching her every move, and whispered, "Like that. More." Jace moaned, barely able to nod, but did as she asked and kept the rhythm of his strokes even and deep.
Clary let the feeling overwhelm her, feeling a thrill of anticipation when Jace began to move faster. Each time his pace quickened, so did his strength until he was almost hurting her. A bright flower of pain and pleasure combined inside her and she was coming again, just in time to feel him follow her, the warmth of his release inside her like a secret.
Jace couldn't hold himself up on his arms anymore, and he pulled out gently and sank down next to her in the bed, putting his arms around her and laying his head again on her shoulder.
Clary wanted so badly to stay, to be in his arms forever. Knowing how wonderful all the things she had tried so hard not think about would feel had broken her resolve. She didn't care anymore what anyone would think, or even whether she herself knew it to be wrong. Jace was hers, and she would have held him forever, but the blue darkness was starting to form again at the edges of her vision, like water pulling her down.
It swept in, obscuring the room in shadow. "No," Clary thought, trying to hold on to Jace, to the sheets, to anything, but the blue darkness swept over her as well.
Clary felt, without turning, that she was lying on her side. She opened her eyes and was back in the room at the farm, lying on the faded quilt with her arms wrapped tightly around herself.
Her face was wet and she remembered that at first she had been crying. Was this her future moment of happiness? This- the one thing that would destroy her family? Clary grabbed the pillow and pushed her face into it, stifling the hot tears that were burning the corners of her eyes.
What the hell was she trying to wake her mother up for if she was just going to wake up to this? What would Luke say? And what would she be doing to Jace? She didn't even know what the punishment for incest was in Idris. Judging by the Inquisitor's attitude, it was probably life imprisonment, or death. Clary saw again the look in Jace's eyes just before he told her that he loved her- full of laughter- not like a man about to be condemned for his actions.
Maybe she had gotten the rune wrong. It had not shown her the future, only her own fantasies. Maybe there was no moment of happiness to come. Clary laid her stele on the bedside table and turned out the light, but she could not sleep. Whether she had seen the future or not, one thing was certain. Everything was definitely not going to be all right.