It was a mistake to leave the Institute that night.

Isabelle had insisted that he stay- it was late, the city would be crawling with Downworlders and demons, and he so rarely was able to come inside the Institute (Jace had somehow found a way to manipulate the former church). "We could have a slumber party," she had insisted. "It would be fun, Simon."

"Izzy," he'd laughed, "I'm pretty sure that what we call a slumber party is more commonly referred to, at our age, as 'living in sin.'"

"Oh," she'd scoffed. "It's not like we were going to do anything."

"Sure," Jace had whispered to a laughing Clary in the corner of the room, to which Isabelle had pelted him with the couch pillow beside her.

"Well, bye, Izzy," Simon had said some time later, kissing her quickly on the lips and straightening up. "Clary, you coming?"

"Hm…" she had contemplated. "Luke made dinner for Mom, I think they'll probably want some privacy."

"We've got spare rooms here," Isabelle had suggested.

"Yeah, I guess I'll sleep here tonight," Clary had finalized after a few moments of thinking. "I should text Mom, though. Does anybody have a phone?"

Magnus had then sprung up and offered her his bedazzled iPhone. "Awesome!" Clary had exclaimed. "I didn't know you had an iPhone."

"Well that's because it's hard to see past the sequins and jewels," Jace had explained. Amidst the laughing (and the half-hearted inventing of a comeback, in Alec's case), Simon had slipped out onto the streets of New York.

It was only a few blocks to his home, but the streets were nearly empty, a somehow ominous sign. "It's fine," he mumbled, shaking himself. What did a vampire have to fear from human muggers? Even so, he hurried home, skirting around the corners of buildings without hesitating, each time wondering if he would crash into somebody. He felt foolish for not having taken his car, but he'd felt like there was just no point if everyone else was taking the subway.

He was so close. He could even see his house in the distance. Perhaps, if he hadn't stopped, he would have made it.

As it was, a familiar figure had stepped out of the shadows in an alley to his left. "Maia?" he gasped in surprise. Why wasn't she at the old police station with Luke and the wolves? At the sound of his voice, she turned in shock and horror. He shivered when he saw her terrified expression, and suddenly, he saw her that night in Luke's house, a couple of years ago, staring at him with a nearly identical expression when she felt his cold, vampire skin.

He immediately recognized the difference between the two images, though. Back then, Maia had been afraid of him. Tonight, she was afraid for him. "Simon!" she yelled. "Simon, run! It's not safe!"

"What?" he replied, coming forward. Something was thundering through his blood, something stronger than adrenaline. He felt the urge to protect Maia, because clearly anything that put him at risk put her in the firing line, too.

"Simon, GO!" she screamed, but he didn't listen, running forward at inhuman speed.

"What's wrong?" he whispered, standing in front of her. She pushed him away, but fear made her weak, and he was no ordinary human. He tried to drag her away from the alley, but she was pushing against him, trying to get him out of the alley.

Something flashed through the air and ripped through the trembling werewolf girl, and there was blood everywhere, and then suddenly Simon could feel it, and then it was too late. The blood of the Children of the Moon and the blood of the Children of the Night mixed there on the sidewalk in a cruel imitation of Downworlder unity. Two pairs of eyes stared blankly up at the stars, faint and few through the filter of New York's light pollution. Two bodies lay crumpled on the ground as something disappeared into the black of the night.

It was a mistake to leave the Institute that night.