A/N at bottom

"Valentine's on the loose, wreaking havoc, Downworlders are dying by the bucketful... and you want us to do group therapy?" Alec's voice rang through the Institute's main hall

"Yes," replied Maryse calmly. Clary couldn't fully comprehend the older woman's calm behavior. Her statement that they'd be taking group therapy had ignited several reactions - and most of them explosive.

"I'm not going," Alec said, his voice like flat soda; not as liable to fizz, yet containing crackles of energy under the surface.

"Oh yes you are. It seems all this family has been about lately is slaying demons and tracking down Valentine." Maryse's voice faltered slightly on the name 'Valentine' but she quickly covered the slip up with a broad smile. Too broad. It was the sort of expression one gave when a dentist instructed you to smile, in order for your teeth to receive a proper assessment.

"I've already set the appointment up. It's with a Doctor Folchart."

"A mundie?" Isabelle's jaw dropped.

"A highly qualified one," added her mother, opening the door. The city air blew in, bringing with it the smells that were as much apart of New York as the Statue of Liberty and traffic.

"We're going to be thrown into the crazy house," moaned Clary, anticipating the therapist's reaction to their familial problems.

"I believe the correct term is funny farm," Jace said darkly. The collar of his jacket was flicked up to defend him against the cold air.

"Aren't the Clave summoning us to Idris? We have no time for a shrink," Isabelle persisted. Her mother started striding down the street, and as if by some invisible leash, the small cluster of teenagers followed.

"The whole family's going. That's final." Maryse's voice was like steel under a cover of silk. "The whole family's going. I have you four put in for everyday this week, and the rest of us -"

"I'm not technically apart of the family," interrupted Clary, straining to keep pace with Maryse's long strides. The Mrs. Lightwood wore high heels that looked capable of serious injury. Like mother, like daughter, Clary thought. "So I don't have to come-"

"If I have to suffer, you will with me," Jace warned, grabbing his sister's arm. She weaseled out from under his touch. "Siblings stick by each other. But me on the other hand, " he continued, turning back to Maryse. "I don't need a shrink telling me how messed up I am. I already know I'm messed up. Chick's dig that."

"Sometimes I wonder whether I raised you right, Jonathan."

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~--~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-"Doctor Folchart will see you now." The secretary's voice was far too quiet after the shouted words of earlier in the afternoon.

Jace, Isabelle, Alec, and Clary shuffled into the conference room. The latter three settled onto a cream-colored sofa, from which the therapist's chair was placed kitty corner, while Jace bounded around the room, inspecting the plaques placed on the wall.

Alec was fidgeting. "I'm supposed to meet Magnus in an hour," he murmured softly to Isabelle, careful for Jace not to hear.

"We'll get you out of here in time. Just -"

"God, I bet you he got this one of the Internet," said Jace, holding up a certificate he'd snatched off the wall. " 'Degree in Phy-"

"I can assure you it's real." The door clicked behind the therapist as she walked into the room. She wore nondescript clothing that matched her office perfectly, a string of pearls hanging from her neck. Her hair was a sandy blonde.

"Please, sit down." She gestured toward the couch where the others were sitting. "You must be Jonathan Christopher. I'm Doctor Nicole Folc-"

"Listen, Doc. Tell us how long my adoptive mother told us this session had to last, and then we'll be gone. Better yet, tell us what's the quickest way out of here?"

"I'm afraid I can't let you go. Clarissa Fray, Isabelle Lightwood, Alec Lightwood," Folchart nodded in turn as they all indicated who they were. Jace remained untamed, peering down the window to the streets below.

"I'd chance the window," he said.

"Please, Mr. Jonathan-"

"Jace-"

"Sit down."

"No."

"Well, then, feel free to jump out the window." Folchart gazed down at him through her glasses.

"We don't want that, do we Jace," Isabelle frantically intervened, yanking on his elbow, bringing him over to the group.

"Speak for yourself," Clary mumbled. The therapist eyed her warily for a moment, then jotted something down on her pad of paper.

"What did you write?" drawled Jace.

"If you please, we can begin with the -"

" 'Tension between one another, probably due to newfound relation. Possible sexual tension? ' What the hell?!?" Jace had snatched the paper from the therapist's hands.

"Told you it was obvious," Isabelle muttered in Clary's ear.

"Your mother is paying me to help you all deal with your problems. As teenagers, it is to be expected for you to be experiencing aggression, mood swings -"

"This is going to be a long hour," groaned Jace.

"Not as long as you think." The Doctor grinned, a predatory expression. Leaning forward, she pressed a button on her desk that linked her to her secretary. "Please send in Mr. Bane, Miss Maia, and Mr. Lewis. "

Ah, yes, the dread cliff-hanger. Due to the reviews for Church's Playmate that made me feel all warm and tingly - wow... my limited vocabulary amazes even myself at times - I have decided to start a sizable fan fic. This'll be about 10 chaps, but the updates will be all over the place. My own novel is practically sucking the life of me. I am currently experiencing the biggest chunk of writer's block concerning 'The Novel' so I decided to start this. I know it's riddled with errors, and the like, but I had fun doing it. More to come when I can and..... Is anyone else envisioning Jace being carried away in a strait jacket? ; )

Review = chapter