Okay, so there is no excuse. *shrugs* I have the motivation now. Chapter 7 is already halfway typed up, so please expect it within the next week. :] Thank you, my lovelies.
All characters except for Holm, his mother, and his father belong to Cassandra Clare, as well as any settings (Alicante, Idris, ect.). Idea/Plot belongs to me.
Holm huffed and moved to stand where Francie had indicated, struggling to control his contempt at her commanding tone. He stood in the center of the Institutes gym, his arms crossed. His eyes followed her as she set the book and the stele on a table pushed up against the wall by the door and then pull off her baggy sweat shirt. She tossed that on the table as well and walked towards him, barefoot, wearing only her shorts and a plain grey sports bra. He kept his expression fairly blank, except for a raised eyebrow, as she stood before him, her arms crossed, a contemplative look on her face. "Take off your shirt and shoes." Her voice snapped out suddenly.
Holm blinked and his blank expression collapsed. He uncrossed his arms as his eyes brows furrowed and he looked at her with shock. "What?"
"You heard me. Ditch the shoes and shirt."
"Uh, no?" He said and mentally kicked himself when it came out as a question.
Francie rolled her eyes. "Don't be such a puss. I know you're wearing an undershirt beneath that and you can't fight on the mats with shoes on."
"Fight?" Holm repeated with shock. "I am not going to fight you."
"And why not?" She demanded with indignation.
"You're a girl. There's no way." Holm snapped, his hands on his hips.
She sighed with irritation and uncrossed her arms. "Spare me the chivalry. It really doesn't suit you. And don't worry; I'm sure you'll be able to handle it. I'll go easy on you."
Holm shook his head and snorted, "Right, youll go easy on me." But he relented and bent over to pull off his shirt. He tossed it at her and kicked off his shoes while she turned and threw the shirt at the table.
"Ok, just stand there for a second." She commanded and strode towards him.
Holm smirked. "If you wanted to see me naked, you could have asked." He commented as she stood about half a foot in front of him, looking him up and down.
He sucked in a quick breath of pain when her hand shot out and jabbed him surprisingly hard in the abs. He tried to conceal it, but unable to help himself, he coughed and groaned, putting a hand to his throbbing stomach.
"Ha ha, very funny. " She retorted in a fabulously sarcastic tone. "Why did you try to hide it?"
He coughed again and straightened with some difficulty, scowling furiously. "Hide what?" He growled, unable to conceal his anger.
Her hand came out and slapped him hard on the arm, and then upside the head. He hissed and his hand flew up to his head where she had hit him. He glared at her, struggling to control his temper. "Ow." He said slowly.
"Watch the tone." She warned evenly, but then she answered. "Your pain; when I hit you in the stomach. Why did you try to hide it?"
"I…" He began harshly before his voice trailed off. "I didn't." He finally said, shaking his head.
"You did." She said firmly and tilted her head, an eye brow raised. "You don't have a parabatai, do you? Have you ever hunted with a partner or in a group?"
"Nope." He answered swiftly. "I didn't go demon hunting often because of the Academy, and when I did it was always by myself or, when I was younger, with my father."
"A Shadowhunter must always have a partner. It dangerous to hunt on your own, you idiot." She scolded, slapping him on his arm again. He hissed, sucking in a breath.
"Every time you hunt here, you will go with me. Understood?" She commanded, placing her hands on her hips. "There are far worse things than Raveners roaming around Brooklyn. And you will not hide pain anymore. If you're hurt, you will say something. Otherwise you endanger your life and the life of your partner."
"Fine. Whatever." He replied exasperatedly, rubbing the back of his head.
"Who taught you hand-to-hand at the Academy?" Francie demanded, jumping to the next subject.
Holm blinked. "Old man Hollen."
Francie put a hand to her mouth and she slowly circled him, her eyes examining him up and down. Holms eyes followed for as much as he could without moving. Eventually she was standing in front of him again and she appraised him carefully, starting at his feet and moving up to his face.
Holm shrugged. "Well?" He asked, spreading his arms wide.
"What was the last thing you trained on with Professor Hollen?" She asked, her eyes flickering back up to his face.
"I finished my training with Hollen." He replied smugly.
Her hand whipped out and caught his head in another blow. He flinched and shouted this time. "Hey!"
"Good. That's the way you express pain. That's Professor Hollen." She scolded. "And we'll see."
Holm sighed in irritation as Francie lowered arms to hang at her sides. "See what?"
Suddenly, in a flash of movement, Francie ducked and swung her leg in a sweeping ark across the floor of the gym, striking out towards Holm's legs. Taken by complete surprise, he found himself thudding heavily on his back to the floor of the gym, his legs having been swept out from under him. He gasped and coughed as all the wind was knocked out of him and laid there for a few moments, gulping in air. Francie walked over and stood leaning over him, her hands on her hips. "Whether or not I think you've really completed your physical training."
"Oof!" Holm grunted as he was thrown onto his back yet again on the floor of the Institutes gym. He growled after gaining back some of the air that had been knocked out of him and sat up, glaring angrily at Francie. She stood over him, an eyebrow raised, looking down at him before she held out her hand. Holm ignored it. He threw his body back and his legs into the air, launching himself up and landing neatly on his feet. Francie had withdrawn her hand and only stood smirking, not put off in the least by Holm's attitude, while he glared angrily. Here he was getting beat up by a little girl who was as thin as a rail, and she wasn't even tired.
"Now don't look at me like that." She warned in that voice that she usually used right before she was about to hit him across the head. She walked over to the table pushed up against the wall, which held several bottles of water and a towel. She grabbed a bottle of water and paused, looking down at it for a moment. Then all of a sudden she spun and hurled it at Holm's head. Holm's eyes widened and his hand darted out to snatch the bottle from the air. He smirked and shot Francie a smug look, who had the decency to look a little impressed, and took a sip. "The good news," She began, grabbing two towels. "is that we're pretty much done for the day." She tossed him a towel, which he caught, and used her own to wipe her face.
"Pretty much?" Holm growled, gulping down another large portion of the water. The rest he poured over the towel and ran it over his face, pushing back his fine blonde hair from his eyes.
"Do you want to hear the bad news?" Francie continued, ignoring Holm.
"No." Holm said simply.
"Well here it is anyway." She continued, a wide grin on her face, her hands on her hips. Abruptly, however, she was serious. "I don't think your hand-to-hand is up to my standards." She announced sternly.
"Your standards?" Holm asked, indignant. "What qualifies as your standards?"
"Look pretty boy, you just got beat up by a one hundred and twenty pound girl. I doubt you're up to anyone's standards."
Holm would have hurled a water bottle at her head if he wasn't sure she would catch it and then hurl it right back. But most probably aiming way lower than his head.
"The fact is that you must not have paid enough attention to Professor Hollen. You need more training." She said, running a hand over cropped red locks. "This will set us back at least a month." She mumbled into her hand.
"You have got to be kidding me." Holm nearly shouted for what must have been the tenth time that day. "You don't even want to train me! Why would you purposely drag it on longer when my skills are perfectly fine."
"Your right, Lightwood, I don't want to train you." She said, striding up to him and thumping him hard on the chest. Holm hand trouble keeping his hand from going up and massaging the area in pain. "But the fact of the matter is that I am the daughter of Trif and Corin Cromwell, two of the best Professor to ever teach at the academy, and if I'm going to do my job, I'm going to do it right." She shrugged, tossing her towel over her shoulder. "Besides, remember, this is a favor to Magnus. And I don't skimp out on favors, even if they are for moody warlocks who you haven't seen in almost two years." She said, striding out of the room. Holm grabbed his shirt and shoes from where she had tossed them earlier and followed.
"So that's it?" Holm grumbled, not bothering to pull on his shirt. He hated to admit it, but Francie did put up a fight. Trying to ignore the fact that he had been knocked on his back several times by a girl two times smaller than him, he ran a hand through his hair. There he had been, sweating and panting with effort, while the only sign of wear she had displayed were the beads of sweat that ran down her forehead and neck. Her cropped red hair was frizzy and feathery from the sweat and her face flushed, but she seemed otherwise composed.
"Were completely done for the day?" Holm asked, almost hesitantly in case she decided to spring something else on him.
Francie paused and looked up thoughtfully before turning halfway to face him. Holm, who had still been walking, had to take care to stop quick enough so as to not run into her. "Actually, there's one more thing. And then there's somewhere I want to take you. Go take a shower and meet me in the sick room."
"The sickroom?" Holm questioned, pausing to rub his stiff shoulder.
"Yeah, the sickroom." Francie repeated testily.
"Why the sickroom?"
"Because. Don't question your teacher." Francie said, and Holm thought her face flushed a little bit redder. But maybe he was just imagining it.
She turned without another word and strode down the hall, disappearing around a corner. Holm watched after her for a moment before shaking his head. With a rough sigh and a frustrated expression, he made his way down another hall and into his room. Among the hundreds of rooms at the Institute, there were a few with their own bathrooms. Since it was just him and Francie staying there for the next several months, he had been given one of these few rooms, while Francie supposedly had another. He actually had no clue where her room was, and she had clearly made no effort to tell him.
He stood in front of the mirror to the dresser, examining his reflection. His face had a pained, slightly angry expression to it. His muscles and bones ached from the admittedly impressive sparring session with Francie. His neck hurt a bit from some whiplash. His right shoulder and much of his back suffered particularly from the multiple falls (or more like throws) he had endured. Already he could see a purplish bruise spreading over much of his shoulder. When he turned, much of his back seemed fine, but the skin around his shoulder blades was purpling.
Sighing, he went to take a shower. The bathroom was nice enough, not as impressive as the lavish bath Holm had access to in his own home, but the water was hot and felt good on his sore shoulder , back, and neck. He stepped out when he was finished and got dressed, mulling on whether or not he should obey Francie's order and meet her in the sickroom. He almost just retreated to the library to read more of the Diary. But then he remembered that he and Francie were here alone and she could easily find him if she wanted to. And she would if he didn't show up. He knew that much.
With a sigh, he strode down the hall, rubbing his shoulder. He had left his stele in the gym, he thought with a grumble, and would have done an iratze if he wasn't so lazy at that moment to go get it.
When Holm arrived at the sick room, Francie was standing at the counter where all the herbs and medicines were kept in drawers with her back turned to him. He strode in, rubbing his sore shoulder, and groaned as he sat down on a bed. "Hey, lend me your steele. I need to do an iratze."
"No." She chirped without turning around.
Holms head jerked up painfully and he glared at her back. "What do you mean no?"
She appeared to be crushing herbs and to her right something was boiling, steaming in a small cauldron like thing. Her hair was damp and there was water droplets on the back of her hoodie from where she had clearly also gotten out of the shower only recently. He marveled slightly at the speed she got things done. "No iratzes."
"Ever?" Holm gulped, his eyes widening angrily.
"During your training." Francie's clipped voice answered. She reached over to stir whatever was boiling in the pot, and peered carefully inside, her eyes squinting against the steam.
"What?! Why?" Holm demanded, outraged. His back ached ferociously and his neck suffered from the repeated whiplash he had received. He was mildly disgusted at himself for being beaten so easily. There was no way he could try and redeem himself tomorrow with himself barely able to move. And now she refused to give him an iratze. He growled angrily. It was just one thing after another.
"Most shadow hunters," She began as she poured the boiling mixture carefully into a small mug, "rely far too much on iratzes. They don't take their own safety into as much consideration in battle, because they think they can always count on an iratze."
"That's what an iratze is for." Holm snapped angrily.
"Maybe. It's true that an iratze is a useful rune in a tight spot. But to rely on it to much means you put yourself in harms way more easily." She said, leaning down to pull something from a cabinet on the counter. She pulled out a mysterious blank bottle and grabbed the steaming mug as she continued. "When you don't take your safety into as much consideration because of the easy access of an iratze, you take the risk of receiving more fatal injuries and poisons, things that can't be healed so easily with an iratze." She held the bottle and mug in both hands and turned, walking towards him.
"So?" Holm grumbled angrily, watching as she set the bottle and mug on the nightstand next to the bed he sat on.
"So, when you take your own safety into less consideration, you put not only yourself into more danger, but the safety of your partners." Francie explained, standing in front of him with her hands on her hips. "Against certain demons and in certain situations, every shadow hunter counts. You cannot risk your own safety so recklessly because you also endanger the lives of others." Holm said nothing and fumed silently. She was right, of course. But Holm didn't want to admit that. Besides, he never hunted or fought with the help of partners. Francie looked down at him sternly, and then sighed. She picked up the mug, handing it to him. Holm took it wordlessly, looking at it cautiously. "Drink." She commanded.
Holm bent and sniffed the contents of the mug. It smelled sweet, buttery. It honestly smelled like it would be delicious. But he made no move to drink. "What is it?"
"A tisane." France answered. "This one will help ease the stiffness after training. You'll drink one every day, and starting tomorrow, you'll learn to make them."
"Tisanes aren't in the curriculum for shadow hunter training." Holm pointed out, but took a sip. It was warm and comforting and tasted incredible, like a mix between butterscotch and honeyed milk, but not as sweet.
"They are in my curriculum. You'll learn to make them. Tisanes are useful and there are recipes for practically every need. And they're good for you. My parents insisted I learn while I was training, so so will you."
Holm grumbled wordlessly, but continued drinking. Francie waited patiently while he drank, not commenting when Holm took his sweet time. When he finally finished, she took the mug from him, set it back on the nightstand, and picked up the bottle, nudging him lightly in the shoulder. "Turn sideways and take off your shirt."
"Uhg." Holm grumbled. "Again? What now?" He muttered bitterly, but slid his shirt off. His muscles still ached, but the pain in his neck and the soreness in his shoulder blades had gone. The tisane had worked, he admitted somewhat reluctantly, and then became slightly startled when Francie sat down on the bed behind him, holding the bottle and tucking her legs under her. "What are you doing?"
"Shut up and just sit there." She barked almost angrily. "This is a formula used in Institutes and hospitals in Alicante to relieve muscle pains and bruises after training and battle." She explained, pouring the contents of the bottle onto his shoulders. The scent immediately assailed his nose. The mixture of herbs and potions had a very medicinal smell.
"What the hell? It smells horrible!" He exclaimed, jerking away from her abruptly.
"Don't be a baby!" She scolded, popping him soundly on the head. "You won't be able to train tomorrow if you can barley move." She snapped, gripping him by the shoulder and jerking him back towards her.
"Jeeze!" He complained angrily, gingerly rubbing his head as he settled back into his previous seat. He fumed silently as he allowed her to spread the formula over his back, concentrating on the clear outlines of muscles. She asked where he felt pain most, and felt along for any knots in the muscle. Her slim fingers applied light pressure wherever he felt pain and despite himself he found himself relaxing, his eyes closing lazily. "How did you learn to do all this?" He asked suddenly, piercing the silence, referring to the Tisanes and her healing methods.
Her fingers froze for a brief moment on his back and Holm realized with a start that is was the first personal question he had asked her. After a moment she unfroze and answered. "This is how I was trained. I've only recently started using Iratzes since I was born. Over the course of my training I've broken an arm and leg in various places, six fingers, four toes, both wrists, my left ankle, several ribs, and my nose. And all of them my father made to heal naturally while still continuing my training." She explained and Holm felt his eyes widening as her list continued on. He had of course broken bones and been injured before, but they had all been healed immediately with an Iratze. "My mother did these things for me, to help ease the pain." She furthered. "She taught me to do them for whenever she wasn't here."
"God." He commented, shaking his head.
"Yeah." She said with a smirk. "Just be glad you're not being trained by my father. I guarantee that you would already have a few broken bones by now." Her hands slid off his back and she picked up a towel from the floor where she had apparently tossed it, rubbing her hands free of the excess formula. She patted him once hard on the shoulder, "Okay, were done for today." She stood and Holm sat up and arched his back, stretching. The knots in his back had gone and though his muscles were still someone sore, the overall pain was gone.
"Wow." He muttered to himself, rubbing his shoulder. He looked up as Francie was walking out the door. "Hey wait, what am I supposed to do now?"
"I'm going to sleep!" She answered, pulling the door open. "You can go do whatever you want. Just don't leave the institute. I don't feel comfortable with you wandering around Brooklyn on your own."
"What the hell?" Holm shouted back but she was gone. He sat back, his temper flaring, and fumed. "You're not my mother!" He shouted childishly through the door and faintly heard Francie's faraway chuckle. Holm growled, clenching his teeth. He had never been so frustrated in one day. At the academy, even the teachers respected him. Only his parents ever yelled at him or made a fool out of him. Before Francie, only his father had been able to beat him in a duel. It wasn't that he had a problem not being able to go out. He hadn't planned on it anyway. In his opinion, Brooklyn was just as filthy as his mother had said. It was that he didn't have the option to that bugged him. Francie was beginning to distinctly remind him of his mother.
Huffing angrily, he got up off the bed and went to get Clary's diary.
Holm sat in the library of the institute, flipping through Clary's diary. The smell of the formula had required him to take a second shower, and tendrils of still wet hair dripped drops of water onto his shirt. He flipped through the first section of Clary's diary, going out of his rhythm of reading each entry as it came. The latest ones had been nothing but brief descriptions of Clary's day and he was eager to read about a bigger even in her life. His eyes caught a specific word and he stopped, peering curiously down at the date of the entry.
"October 19, 2012"
Almost six years later, Holm mused. His eyes lazed down towards the entry as he began to read.
It hardly seems as though it's been six years. I know I neglected to keep up with you for a while, and I can say I'm sorry for that. I've probably missed out on looking back at a lot of memories.
My training has come near its end. After the wedding, I'll be finishing up the rest of my training in Idris. For now I'm taking a break as Jace and I try to get the wedding going and find out where we will be staying once we get to Alicante. Jace has been looking up different houses close to Angels Hall where we will both be working. I still have the money from Valentine that I saved six years ago and Mom is giving me some access to the third portion of the money she had put away just in case. Some of it will go to a down payment on a house and the rest is going towards our wedding. Speaking of our wedding, the small affair we had envisioned has been completely put aside. Magnus and Isabelle have been illustrating exactly how many people who would expect an invite once we actually announce our engagement and we seem to have no choice but to give in. Many of the council members, the Penhallows, a good number of the werewolves, Amatis, her new husband Damon, all the Lightwoods, a few of the vampires, Magnus, the Warlocks, the Fair Folk (not good to insult them by not sending invites, which they will be expecting, Jace says), and countless other people. So, to the delight of Magnus and Isabelle, who have taken reign of the wedding preparations, it should be a fairly huge event. Yikes. Alec will be Jace's best man. And of course, Luke has already agreed to walk me down the aisle. Little Sandy will be the flower girl. Isabelle has agreed to be my maid of honor. Everything seems to be going so fast, I can't help but get a little dizzy when I think of it all.
The wedding is planned for sometime in the summer. In the meantime, were looking for our house and just taking things slow for once. Since Jace and I are starting work in the Council right away, however, we will be moving into a temporary apartment in the city. As of now, we are busy packing up everything and spending out last few days trolling through Brooklyn. Leaving the Institute for Alicante is a bittersweet experience. This place is where Jace and I met, where I had my training, where we first kissed, where we fought, where I was brought into the world of Shadowhunters. It's the place Jace brought me after he saved my life that day, the place I met Magnus for the first time, and Isabelle and Alec. The place where Simon became a vampire and the place where we met Maia, where I found out the truth about Luke, the place I lived for mostly my entire life. But it's time to move on, and Jace has been missing Idris. I know he has. And truthfully, so have I. Alec and Magnus are staying in Brooklyn, and Isabelle is now living with Simon while he is in college. So it will just be me and Jace.
Right now Jace is asleep on the bed in our room, and I'm sitting out in the hallway by the door. We were packing up and when I looked over, he was asleep. I'm glad, he works so hard these days. Sometimes I have to come close to forcing him to come to bed. It's a bit of a relief to see him sleeping without my having to tell him to. There's more work to come. The days ahead will be long and complicated. For now, it's okay to just rest.
Holm blinked and went back, reading the entry over again. So by now, they were already sharing and room and engaged, about to move to Alicante. He huffed, glancing at the clock on the desk. It was nearly twelve o' clock at night and Francie would probably have him up early tomorrow. Sighing, he gathered the diary and headed to his room.
Tadaaa! :] Please, leave reviews. They are better than getting texts from the guy I like (NOT REALLY) *cough*. Im sure, if your paying attention, your wondering who Sandy is? :] She is Luke and Jocelyns daughter. So, Clary's sister. I dont know if werewolves are capable of safely reproducing, but I like to think so. And its ten times more fun that way! :D Chapter seven is halfway finished, and some exciting stuff happens. Please look forward to it within the next week!