A/N: Isabelle Lightwood, she's kind of aloof in the books. I mean, her and Clary were quite friendly with one another, but with all the drama, they didn't get a chance to delve too deep. So here's a oneshot on the thoughts of Isabelle. My goal is to change your perspective of her, no matter how small the change.
Random fact: a pet peeve I have about Mortal Instruments fanfiction is how a lot of people name their fics "City of ______". Not only is it unoriginal, it's repetitive.
Disclaimer: Cassandra Clare is the proud owner of the Mortal Instruments. I'm just a bored fan.
Yeah, even though I could behead a Japanese oni demon from an average distance of a dozen paces with my whip of golden electrum wire, I wished that everyone didn't forget that I was a teenage girl that had feelings like everybody else.
Whilst stirring a big pot of broth that was changing a questionable shade of green, Isabelle was absentmindedly adding an array of different ingredients into the soup. She threw in some haphazardly cut shallots with a few bruised whole tomatoes, before decidedly putting in not one, not two, but five sticks of cinnamon into the boiling waters. Cinnamon smelt nice, right? Isabelle was hoping that it would mask the strange fish smell that was wafting from the concoction, strange because she was making a vegetable soup: there wasn't any fish in it. For good measure, she threw in a bunch of crushed mint leaves.
If you asked anyone about Isabelle's cooking skills while she was in the room, they'd stutter some polite words of how her style was more unique than they would handle. If you asked someone who'd sampled Isabelle's meals when they were alone and honest, words like "poison" and "disaster" would float up in the description.
First off, Isabelle was fully aware that she wasn't the best chef in Brooklyn. But she never actually had to learn to cook. It was just a hobby she played around with as she grew older.
Many people who knew Maryse Lightwood but not her children, would immediately assume her kids could cook. That was because Maryse herself was a fabulous chef, her meals more often then not were spectacular works of culinary delights that enthused the taste buds and brought to life the smells and tastes of each individual ingredient in the best light.
Yet as a child, Isabelle was encouraged to stay out of the kitchen, and to go off and study, spar with her brother, or practice honing her skills with the various weapons of a Shadowhunter. "Leave the cooking to the mother of the household," her mother always told Isabelle with an easy grin.
Like any curious child, Isabelle wanted to know how food was made; how exactly did her mom make her favourite tomato soup, how did she create such delightful chocolate cakes, how did she make that spaghetti so flavorful that everyone always asked for seconds?
Time after time, her mother turned down her requests of learning, and for a brief time of her childhood, she felt rejected, unwanted. Channeling her feelings into her training, he excelled in the use of her Seraph blade, but in the end, she always stuck to her whip, something that was a talent that came naturally to her.
Fathers usually gave their daughters dolls for their birthdays, but Isabelle happily unwrapped a nice long coil of golden electrum wire on her tenth birthday, skillfully spun into a thick rope about as thick as her thumb, thinned at the end for a grasp that could cut flesh, a perfect shape for a whip. To the present day she used it regularly, not a week passing by where it hadn't been coiled around her ankle or wrist at least once to slay some monster.
On her eleventh birthday, she asked for some cooking lessons from her mother. Instead, she got some pretty fierce daggers with jagged edges. As awesome as those were, she did want to bond with her mom over cooking. It was like a forbidden thing for her. She could converse easily about weapons with her mother, but when she talked food and spices, Isabelle became lost.
Reaching up to a cupboard to take out a can of champagne mushrooms, Isabelle thanked her abnormal height, a rare occurrence, but she hated the mere thought of asking a man to help her get stuff from places she couldn't reach. Mundane women were weak, at least in movies—she always saw how they needed men to help them. Whether it was to open a jar of pickles, or to carry some heavy load across the road for them, Isabelle thought those acts were unneeded and ridiculous.
As she chopped up the slippery mushrooms with a small blade, her skilled hands making swift work of all the slicing, Isabelle mused how she ironically wanted to be shorter, maybe not as short as Clary Fray, but not so Amazonian high. Heels were rarely an option for her, no matter how short, because she'd usually end up towering over all the guys she wanted to talk to.
Guys wanted someone to protect, someone like Clary who they could tuck under their chin. Someone small in that delicate feminine way. Isabelle would never be that someone. The fire within her usually burned too brightly for most boys to deal with.
Holding the chopping board above the pot, she used the back of her short blade to scrape the mushrooms into the broth, which was now a strange brown. Wiping her hands on her apron, she retied her ponytail, pulling back the straggling bits of wavy ebony hair. Looking over at the bench, she saw a decent looking onion, and decided to add that in too.
It used to make her a bit upset and jealous that her mother never told her the secrets to delicious food—that is until she discovered boys.
Boys made pleasant distractions from the monotone of studies and the life-threatening exhilaration of fighting. What surprised Isabelle though was the finding out that Alec liked boys too. After the initial shock, she took it in her stride. It took her a long time to remember how she wanted to cook.
Nowadays, she regretted never learning to cook as a child; her mother was to busy with the Accords to really teach her, not that Isabelle would bother asking. She could go look for a cookbook, but where was the fun in that? Anyway, she doubted her mother would approve of that. When she was about twelve or thirteen, she learned why her mother was so skittish about Isabelle learning how to cook.
It was when she was studying the history of Shadowhunters, which was a slow and dull process—Isabelle envied those who were capable of losing themselves in a fantasy world of words and pages, but she herself never that fond of books when there was demons out there to be slayed—and she stumbled across the fact that women were not always allowed to fight, at first assumed to be more of a hindrance of the battle fields than a help.
For centuries, women were limited to the herbal experts, the doctors, the cooks, or the mothers. Only the truly exemplary were allowed to don the traditional black suit of stretched and beaten black leather, the uniform of Shadowhunters from across the globe. In fact, it was only in Maryse's generation that women were really freely allowed to be taught and trained to fight, a right that they had to battle for from the Clave.
Her mother never let her cook for fear of society regressing, and becoming a solely male dominated world once more. Isabelle understood, but that didn't stop her from trying her hand at cooking herself when her parents when to Idris for official business. However, she wanted to see if she possessed natural talent, so instead of looking through boring cook books, she tried her hand at what came naturally.
After a year of cooking from what her heart told her to do, it was obvious to Isabelle that she lacked talent, and whatever came naturally to the middle child of the Lightwood's in regards to cooking: sucked.
But that didn't stop her trying, for Isabelle Lightwood was no quitter, and it gave her a sense of satisfaction to see Jace and Alec run when she pulled the pots and pans out of the kitchen. Nine times out of ten, it gave her room to think, because no one wanted to be in the same room where she cooked in the horrifying circumstance that they had to become a taste tester.
Even though she knew she was a terrible chef, it still hurt a little on her ego to hear that she was that bad.
Clacking her blood-red nails on the door of the pantry, she scanned the shelves for the container of brown sugar she would add to the mixture, which she thought tasted too salty—like fish. A slender eyebrow raised in question when her dark eyes landed on a tin of canned sheep eyes. Who bought that? she wondered before her attention was taken as she finally found the brown sugar.
Maybe I should use that can of sheep eyes for the dinner, mused Isabelle. It's not like my cooking could get any worse.
Warrior was a word that Isabelle personified. Housewife was something she wasn't. Although she could clean up her room to a satisfactory level and do basic chores, she wasn't great at cleaning. If probably left to her own devices, she'd probably neglect everything apart from personal hygiene.
At least she was quite beautiful. It made up for her lack of manners, her god-awful domestic skills, and her overall abrasive personality, Isabelle thought to herself with a snort.
Her pale complexion was good as it emphasized her dark eyes, which were the same shade as Ravener ichor; her face was thin with high cheekbones, framed by her long, ink-black hair, and with lips a natural startling red; the effect overall was bold. Boys found her attractive. However, boys called her "hot". For some reason, Isabelle couldn't remember if anyone outside her family had ever called her "beautiful".
The words had similar meanings, yet they were so different.
Her eyes darted up to the clock on the wall, and she swore when she realized that she only had about an hour and a half left to finish cooking and get ready with her date with Raine, a werewolf she met at Taki's. He was charming and gruff, tough in that sexy "bad-boy" way.
Isabelle certainly liked him, enough to accept his offer of meeting up at another place for a date, but she was well aware she couldn't get attached—not in the way Magnus Bane and her brother, Alec, were. Her parents would have a fit if she brought back an Underworlder for dinner. However, fooling around with one without their knowledge wasn't so bad. It wasn't like she was breaking a sacred oath by making out for a while with some hot stud who just happened to be able to morph into a wolf every now and then.
Jace kept saying that she dated tough guys and bad boys for the attention. That wasn't true. Well, maybe a little. If anyone had to look at one of the Lightwood children, Isabelle rather it be her than Alec, who hid constantly from the limelight because of his insecurities. She didn't want her parents focusing on her brother, who needed time to get ready to tell them that he was gay.
She didn't care whether he was gay or not, but there were some in her world that didn't like the idea of a homosexual Shadowhunter, so Isabelle never pressured Alec to tell anyone.
Anyway, the reason she dated Underworlders was because that was really the only option left to her. She rarely saw other Shadowhunters her age, Jace was out of the question for multiple reasons, and there was no way she would date a mundie who was totally clueless to the ways the world really worked.
If her parents paid more attention to her, Isabelle supposed they'd be mad of her choices in guys, but they never really noticed. That or they just didn't care. Isabelle loved her parents, and thought they were great, but sometimes they were too worked up about the hidden world: the world of demons, of fey children, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and warlocks.
Turning the fire off the stove, she took one look at the now black broth, bubbling thick with oily streaks running through it, she decided that her meal wasn't fit for human consumption. It wasn't the first time she'd had to admit that.
Sighing, she threw away her hour of hard work into the bin, wincing at the clumpy noises it made as she scraped the pot clean. Removing her apron and hanging it on the hook by the door, she made her way out of the kitchen to shower and prepare for her night out.
Even though I kill demons, and I carve black Marks into my arms, I deal with the same shit like everyone else: boys, parents, a social life. At least I get to vent some anger by slicing the Hell out of some demons.
Maybe I should go hunting with Alec tomorrow—it had been a while since my whip had wrapped its way around some greasy demon's neck... Hopefully I can find one so I can teach it what "whiplash" really means!
A/N: There concludes this oneshot featuring Isabelle Lightwood. Check out my other story—Hiding In Shadows—for a glimpse into the world of her brother, Alec.
If I had to place this story on a time line with the real books, I'd recommend placing it somewhere in City Of Ashes.
Thanks for reading, have a cookie, but now can you leave me some opinions in a review? :-)