An: This is a continuation of Rock Steady, my short little 3 chapter story set around Clary's 18th birthday. If you haven't read it, please do. But it isn't necessary pre-reading.

Also, this was originally written in 2009, long before Cassie decided to extend the series to 6 books. So the facts in this story are based off the ending of City of Glass and, thus, making this an alternate universe. Please enjoy, if you decide to read on, since it is a finished story!

Oh yes, Disclaimer: I don't own anything Mortal Instruments.

Clary could smell it before she could see anything distinctive. It was the smell of rotting flesh, strong and bitter in her nose. She held up her witchlight, trying to see exactly where the demon was. There was a flicker of something white moving through the trees, and if Clary hadn't seen its kind before, she would have been startled by its appearance. The toad-like eyes and pale, burnt looking skin was enough for Clary to indentify the creature—a Raum Demon.

She heard Jace curse loudly beside her as a second, then third demon began to wither its way towards the two of them. Clary was the first to pull out her seraph blade and name it "Israfiel," quietly. Jace followed suit, calling his Nakir. They were ready, more prepared than usual, but the memory of her last encounter with a Raum demon was enough to send a wave of shivers down her spine.

Its tentacle arms bothered her the most. Clary moved her left hand instinctively to her neck, the ghost of a memory when another's red-tipped tentacles had wrapped themselves around her throat, the needle sharp teeth trying to tear at her soft skin. But she dropped her hand quickly, reassuring herself that she was well prepared for this, and she was with Jace. Fighting to him was like sex to other people, she remembered thinking. Her cheeks flushed momentarily, thinking about what sex actually was like with him.

She shot a quick glance over at Jace, taking in his steady appearance. He didn't look like he was ready for sex; he looked ready for a fight. His runes stuck out in bright contract to his caramel skin, and his arms were tensed, showing off his adult muscles. Clary was momentarily awed by the slow transformation his body had taken over the last two years. He no longer looked like a teenager, as he shouldn't, he really did look like a man. There was even a slight five o'clock shadow on his face, something that had taken the last two years for Clary to notice. She didn't mind.

The demons started advancing faster, removing the thoughts from her mind. She would not let herself think about Jace in any way other than her fighting partner right now. Their circular opening, their mouth, was making an odd sort of sucking noise, like they were breathing heavily. Clary raised her blade, much the same way Jace had already raised his. Instinctively, they stood back to back, making the most of their eye sight, so they could see all three Raum demons.

Clary's grip on Israfiel tightened as she prepared to strike, and she could feel the strength of her marks burning on her fair skin. She was still fairly new to fighting demons, with only two full years of training, but the training she had was sufficient. Clary knew the best way to kill the majority of the common demons, having had enough pre-training experience to know what to do.

So when the first demon lunged, tentacles first, it was almost too easy for Clary to side step, drawing one graceful arch into the air before swiping off both of its arms. It screeched, oozing black ichor from its wounds, but made another move at Clary just as the other two Raum demons began their offensive strike at Jace. She made quick work of the first one, without its tentacle arms it was basically useless, and watched as it quickly shrank into itself, disappearing into nothing.

Jace had moved from her side, though, leaving her back exposed, and didn't react fast enough before the familiar feeling of being strangled by those horrible red suckers reached her skin. Clary fell backwards, and could feel herself being dragged along the rock infested ground. Without her Shadowhunter clothes, her clothing would have been frayed to bits, leaving her skin exposed, easily shredded. Instead, the leathery fabric held, allowing Clary to focus on freeing herself. Her seraph blade was still gripped tightly in her fingers, her only life line. Using her free hand, while still being dragged along the ground, Clary used her blade to quickly cut off the tentacle. The demon screamed much like the first, but lashed out at Clary a second time, it's tiny, needle-like teeth slicing a long cut down the side of her face. Blood partially blocked her vision, but Clary swiped it away with her left hand, bringing her right one up with her blade.

The Raum demon was hurting more now, its black blood pouring out fast, draining its energy. Clary only had to make a stab at the demons heart, and it would be gone, back to its own dimension. She feinted left, drawing it forward, before lunging right, and with one deliberate jab, she met the heart of the demon, and it was gone.

Her hand was shaking from the effort she put out, taking on two of the demons. The adrenaline rush she had experienced was wearing off immediately, leaving her face sore and bruised. Clary turned to find Jace, running over to her, with nothing but a slight bruise on his forearm. Just the sight of Jace in his Shadowhunter gear was enough to send her heart pounding and she met his embrace with open arms. They stood there for a long moment, just holding each other, letting their moment stretch on longer than necessary.

Jace broke off first, holding onto Clary's shoulders, taking a good long look at her appearance. His eyes narrowed when he took in her bloodied face, and he brought out his seraph blade, intent on healing her wounds. He took her chin gently in his hand and turned her face away from him, applying the iratze to her neck. Clary stood impossibly still, not letting herself wince at the burning sensation that made her want to pull away. She hoped that the pain of the marks would get easier, as the others seemed to hardly notice the searing pain of the stele.

He held her face in his hands as her wound quickly healed, then kissed her once quickly on the cheek where part of the gash had been. Clary wanted to reach out and pull his lips onto hers, but Jace was stalking away much too quick already. She tripped over her boots several times—the effect of her balancing rune already gone—before she could catch up and match Jace's quick pace.

Clary entered her room—her still newish room—flinging off her boots in frustration. She had been there two months already and her room had taken on her own style. She was somewhere in between Jace and Isabelle in organization. There were clothes strewn across the floor in front of the closet and her dresser, but her bed was made and tidy. She had yet to hang up picture frames, instead using thumb tacks to place some of her favourite sketches on the wall by the door.

She lay down heavily on her bed, not bothering to take off her filthy gear, covered in mud from being dragged along the ground. Maryse would not be happy with her, dirtying up clean bedspread. Clary could picture her folding her arms over her chest, clicking her tongue, narrowing her eyes. Not wanting that, Clary sat up, peeled off her jacket and pants, and threw them into a pile already started by her door.

Closing her eyes, she tried to let sleep wash over her. But her brain was too overactive, replaying the night over and over in her head. The worst of it was after the demon fight, when Jace wouldn't talk to her. Clary had tried to start up a conversation, but Jace wasn't taking any of the bait. Shoulders stiff, hands in his pockets, Jace was acting like a complete stranger. What was the worst was that he had been like this ever since she had moved in.

She supposed it was partially her fault. The day after she moved in, Clary had gone out to get coffee on her own for herself and Jace. Just turning the corner she caught the end of her mother's conversation with Jace, and to her utter horror it had been a sex talk.

"I know what you two were up to," she had spoken loudly, no embarrassment in her voice, "and I gave you the chance to act like adults and not act upon your impulses, but you obviously did."

Clary had watched from behind a bush, peering out over the top. Jace had a stern look upon his face, not showing any emotion. "And what do you want now? To bring your daughter home?"

"No," Jocelyn replied quickly, "I just wanted to give you these." Clary was horrified as she saw her mother reach into her purse and pull out a small box, obviously trying to be as casual as possible, and hand it over to Jace.

He took it and put it in his jacket pocket swiftly. "Condoms? You think I'm not prepared." He had made it a statement, not a question. He frowned slightly, and Clary could see a quick flash of panic spread over his features. It was fast enough that Jocelyn had not noticed.

"She may be an adult, but I don't think either of you are prepared for any kind of adult situation." Clary didn't like the way her mother spoke the word adult, as if Jace didn't know the word.

There was a ringing sound in her ear, and Clary had blocked out the rest of the conversation, not coming out from her hiding spot until her mother had left in the other direction and Jace had gone back inside. When she had brought in the coffee, Jace was acting weird, not kissing her in his usual fashion.

From then on he rarely touched her. This last hunt they had gone on was the first time he had kissed her. Clary had been the one over the last two months to initiate anything, and it had never amounted to anything. If she tried to deepen a chaste kiss he would pull away and make up an excuse that he needed to clean his immaculate room, or that they needed to train more.

Clary balled her hands into fists on her bed, and got up suddenly, too angry to sleep. She tore off the top two sheets from her bed, flung them on the floor and tossed all her dirty clothes on top. Pulling everything into a ball, Clary flung her door open violently and made to walk out the door, not making it a foot out before walking right into something.

Her ball of clothes fell to the floor, her bright pink panties she had worn the night before falling onto the top of the pile. Horrified, Clary looked up to see the towering figure of Magnus Bane. He was looking at her clothes all over their feet, smirking. "Busy cleaning, I see." He bent down, just as Clary did, helping her pick up her clothes. Clary was suspicious, Magnus was never overly nice to her, and even after all the years he had known her.

"What are you doing here?" she demanded a bit too rude.

If he was offended, he didn't show it. "Alec, my dear."

Clary felt stupid. Of course he was there for Alec—his boyfriend. She nodded dumbly. "I'm sorry I ran into you."

"You're doing laundry?" he sidetracked swiftly.

"Yes, it's expected of us to keep our own things clean."

"It's almost midnight," Magnus pointed out.

Clary shrugged her shoulders. "I couldn't sleep," she offered.

"So laundry was your next thing to do." Magnus had a point. Laundry at this hour was oddly suspicious. "It's quite a good cover up; even Alec wouldn't be able to come up with that one."

Clary was confused for a moment. A cover up? She had to think of that one. What would she and Alec both need cover ups for? She looked at Magnus's face, smiling innocently down at her. Then it dawned on her.

Clary let out a quick, loud laugh. "You think I'm sneaking off to see Jace," she trilled. Magnus just smiled wider. "That was the last thing on my mind, actually. I really am doing laundry. I have mud on my sheets."

The smile faded from Magnus's face. "Oh, honey," he soothed, "is what I think is happening, happening?"

Clary blushed, and then nodded her head. There was no way getting around this one. "I guess you could call it a minor pause."

It was Magnus's turn to laugh. "A minor pause? I would use that for a week. This seems to be a dry spell. How long?"

Clary blushed deeper at his abrupt question. "Two months."

The fact that Jace wouldn't put a hand on Clary seemed so absurd to Magnus that Clary had to explain what had happened. When she got to the part about the condoms her mother had given Jace, Magnus shook his head and muttered under his breath, "Cock-blocker."

Clary hadn't thought about her mother's intentions all that much, but when Magnus had said those two words, it had finally dawned on her. Jace had thought that Clary could have gotten pregnant! Pregnant! She was angry now, knowing full well that she had been well prepared, before she and Jace had become intimate.

"I'm on the pill," she said aloud, when Magnus had nothing to say.

"Does Jace know that?"

"No, but my mother does. Who does she think she is?"

"Your mother," Magnus replied.

Clary fought back a rude reply. "So, what now?" she asked.

"Obviously you need to let him know he's not going to have to worry about parenthood, at least not yet. Maybe he just needs a little... coaxing."

"Coaxing?" Clary tasted the word on her tongue.

Magnus smirked devilishly, his cat-eyes flashing. "Games, my dear. You need to play games with him. Make him want you so much that all his reasons for resisting are overruled."

Clary was going to ask him exactly how, but at that moment Jace walked up to them. Clary was still holding her laundry, Magnus leaning against the far wall.

"Had I not known you were dating my best friend, I may have been worried," Jace spoke to the two of them in his usual form of greeting. "What are you doing?" he asked Clary specifically.


"In the hallway? Or was Magnus going to snap his finger and clean them instantly. Somehow I don't see him stooping that low, even for you."

Clary had to roll her eyes. "I was on my way to the laundry room, but I bumped into Magnus."

Jace eyed her sceptically. He looked like he was going to argue her answer, but instead said "I'll help you then." He grabbed her large bundle from her hands and started walking down the hall from where he came. He stopped just before reaching the next hallway. "Coming?"

Clary shot Magnus a fleeting look before she ran off after Jace. Magnus just smiled and laughed again.

Jace was already walking at a fast pace when Clary neared him, taking a left down to the laundry room. He said nothing to her, only stopping beside the door to let her open it for him. Opening up the washer, Jace threw in everything, sheets included. Clary was going to complain, but thought better of it. The last thing she wanted was an argument, but she did want his attention.

She waited until Jace had started the water, poured in the soap, and was going to close the lid when she made her move, suddenly inspired. Placing her hand over his, Clary made him stop. "I think you missed some clothes," she told him.

Jace looked around the room. It was immaculate. He raised one of his perfect eyebrows. Clary took his look of doubt as her signal. Tugging on the bottom of her shirt, Clary pulled it up and over her head in the most graceful way she could—which was pretty lame, considering it got caught on her hair, pulling it up into a big ball of electric frizz. Not to be discouraged, she swiftly tossed it into the washer, and following suit was her bra. By the time she had her pants down to her feet, kicking them off, Jace had his hands on her waist.

Clary had avoided his gaze until then, and when she looked into his eyes they were a blazing gold. She was shocked to see so much emotion in them; it had been so long since he really looked at her. "You are a force to be reckoned with, Clarissa Fray," he spoke huskily, sending a surge of warmth south of her belly.

"You don't say," she replied quickly, snaking one of her hands into the top of his pyjama bottoms, lightly brushing the smooth skin there. She could feel Jace shudder in excitement. It didn't take long before his lips were crashing down on hers with such force that she gasped in shock. He took advantage of her open mouth, plunging his tongue into her, deepening the kiss instantly. Jace was rarely forceful with her and Clary could feel herself becoming more turned on already.

Seemingly unpleased with their position, Jace broke away from her, slammed the washer lid down, and pulled Clary up by the waist, placing her heavily on top. She opened her legs so he could fit himself closer to her and he pulled his shirt off before bringing their bare chests together. Clary could hear his quiet sigh as her nipples brushed his chest. She kissed him slowly the second time their lips met, savouring his taste.

Jace was tall enough, even with Clary on the washer, to have his growing erection pushing into her centre. Clary moved involuntarily, wrapping her legs around with back to buck her hips into him, causing a guttural sound to come up Jace's throat. He sounded almost feral in the moment.

Caught up in the heat of the moment, Clary almost forgot what Magnus had suggested. She was going to write it off completely, when she remembered how angry she was with Jace for keeping his distance for so long. Out of nowhere he was touching her again—though she had instigated it, it wasn't the first time she had tried, just the most obvious method—and making her want him so badly that she thought it would be best to get her release finally. But she had other plans. Using all her might, Clary pulled away, pushing Jace apart from her with two hands on his chest.

He stepped back in confusion, possibly thinking Clary wanted a new position. She let him think that for a moment, while bending over and letting him take in her partially covered ass, and stood up once she had her jeans in her hand. Moving back over to the washing machine, Clary stoped the cleaning for a brief second to put in her pants, and pulled the lid back down, with much less force than Jace had used. Grabbing a towel off the rack, Clary wrapped it around herself and walked over to the door.

Finally coming to his senses, Jace moved so swiftly that he was blocking her way before her hand could reach the door handle. "What," he breathed quickly, "are you doing?"

Clary raised her eyebrows, mockingly. "Laundry."

"Laundry," Jace repeated as if the word was foreign. Clary watched as the light bulb went off in his head and recognition filled his expression. "This is a very dangerous game you're playing Clarissa," Jace whispered in her ear, sending a shiver down her spine. As much as she hated it when he used her full name, it excited her nonetheless.

Clary decided to play along. "It's only dangerous if you're losing and," Clary glanced down at his crotch, his jeans tenting in a way that could not have been comfortable, "I'm in the lead."

Jace had followed her gaze downwards, but he took his time bringing his eyes back up to hers. They were still smouldering, but now there was excitement in them. Clary wanted to have him take her there, but she also wanted to make her point. If he was so intent on not touching her before, she'd make sure he wouldn't get anything, even if he was begging.

"What am I supposed to do now?" he whined a little.

"You've got two hands," she shot back quickly.

Jace laughed at her bold words. "Touché, my love."

Clary had to take a shower once she got back to her room. She locked her bedroom door, then once in the bathroom, locked that door as well, for safe measures. Being unbelievably turned on still, it was hard for her to calm her nerves. Figuring the best way to relieve the pressure was to do it herself. She fidgeted, not really wanting her own fingers. There was nothing wrong with it, she knew, but even thinking the word made her feel a little bit dirtier. Masturbation, she thought, forcing the word into her thoughts. There, it wasn't so bad to think it.

She sighed quietly as she first reached her swollen nub, not realising how turned on she had been back in the laundry room. Experimentally, she flicked her clitoris, moaning at the sensation it brought her. But she didn't have long to experiment more, as two cold hands grabbed her waist.

Clary shrieked in surprise, but didn't have to turn around to know it was Jace, laughing manically behind her. She turned anyway, the loud crack of her hand on his face echoing in the bathroom, despite the pounding water. That wiped the grin off his face.

A welt was quickly growing on his cheekbone and Clary felt a wave of remorse fill her as soon as she saw her hand print perfectly marked on his face. "Oh, Jace, I'm so sorry..." Clary trailed off as she met his gaze again that night. There was no anger behind his eyes.

"I suppose I did deserve that, sneaking up on you."

"How did you get in here? I locked both doors," she pointed out.

Jace reached into his pocket—Clary noted that he hadn't bothered to take off his clothes with a bit of disappointment—and pulled out his stele. "You may or may not have some runes burned into both doors," he said innocently.

"I wanted privacy!" she yelled. "And possibly a little release—"

"Which you obviously didn't want from me," he cut her off.

"Because you haven't touched me in months Jace," she countered.

"Then what was that back in the laundry room?"

"What was it?" she questioned his own question.

"I think it was quite clear that I was 'touching' you Clary," he told her, anger lining his voice.

"Only because I was practically naked!" she yelled at him again. "Do not act like the innocent victim here, Jace." She was getting fed up with him. Not wanting to fight anymore, she turned away from him, stepping back under the water.

Thinking Jace would get the point and leave, Clary was thoroughly disappointed when he reached over her shoulder and plucked the soap off the ledge before she could grab it. He soaped up his hands generously before moving them purposely over her body, focusing on her most sensitive areas. Her nipples were hard as soon as his fingers lathered them, and she could feel the heat pooling once again in her nether region as his fingers made a deliberate trail downwards.

Jace moved to stand directly behind her, his bare chest pressing on her back and soaked jeans rubbing her legs. Her anger completely fizzled away when he reached her very tender folds, slick with the mixture of soap and her own juices. He moved deliberately, flicking her clitoris every now and then, brining loud moans from deep within Clary's throat.

Then, just before her release, Jace let go of her and stepped out of the shower.

Clary let out a loud groan of frustration. "What," she panted, shutting off the shower and pulling back the curtain, "was that?"

"You know the quote; all is fair when love is war—"

"All's fair in love and war," Clary corrected him.

"Not this time," he replied and left the room.