Everyone was frozen for a moment, and then Luke snapped into action, always the reliable one. He ran forward and lifted Jace's head off the pavement. His eyes were open, and I shuddered violently, thinking that they were blank and dead, staring up at nothing. After the shaking stopped I could see that his eyes were very clearly alive, focused on Luke's face. He coughed wetly and dribbled blood onto his already bloodied Shadowhunter jacket.
"Huh," he said, his voice sounding weaker than I think he meant it, "So that's why our clothes is all black." I would have laughed if he hadn't immediately after lost consciousness.
"Clary." Luke was calm, systematic. "Can you Portal him to my house?" She was standing next to Jace, not moving. Her eyes, wide and terrified, blinked at him, spilling a few of the tears that had been rimming her eyes down her cheeks to join the others.
"Yes," she said. It sounded like a question. She extricated her stele and held it against the brick side of the building. It ignited as she began tracing it in a wide arc. Her hand was shaking uncontrollably, though, and her stele rattled across the wall and singed a small hole in it.
"Let me do it," suggested Magnus, gently moving her aside and creating a glowing doorway with just a twist of his azure-tinged fingers. Luke nodded his approval.
"Alec…" he began.
"Yes?" He was stoic, but I could make out the pain in his eyes. Next to him stood Isabelle, who was sobbing hysterically. Luke was firing out orders.
"You and Clary take Jace to my house. Get him to the couch, okay?" They nodded and began to shift Jace's limp body into their arms. "Magnus, I need you to heal him as well as you can."
"Sure, but it'll cost you." It wouldn't. Every favor he granted us was supposedly his last.
"Okay, you three go first. Clary, you know where I keep the medicine supplies. Get it out when you get there." She nodded mutely. "Magnus, are you able to close the Portal after I get there?"
"No!" Isabelle shrieked suddenly. "No, I'm going with him."
"Fine," exhaled Luke. "Go with Clary and Alec." They lifted Jace's limp form and disappeared through the Portal, quickly followed by Isabelle and Magnus. "Maia." I looked up, shocked. For the past frantic minutes I'd felt separate, isolated, as if I were floating above the scene. Luke's beckon brought me crashing down to earth, to reality, and Oh my God, I can't believe Jace might be dead.
"Yeah?" I gasped.
"Can you drive my truck back to my house?" He still seemed in control, but I was beginning to pick out the worry in his eyes and the beginnings of panic edging his voice. I nodded, and he tossed me the keys. "Alright, everybody else back to the police station!" Luke yelled to the rest of the pack. With murmurs of dissent and gloom, the wolves phased and ran away, their pounding paws echoing across the silent street. "I'll see you soon, Maia," Luke said, swinging into the Portal. A moment later, it shrunk away to nothing. Shivering, I ran out of the alley and toward Luke's truck.
When I twisted the keys and the truck roared awake, the Black Eyed Peas' "Rock That Body" came crackling through the static-drenched speakers. It was weird how unfitting the song was, weird thinking that at this moment some people were bopping along to this song instead of fretting that one of their friends was dying. I turned the volume all the way down and drove towards Brooklyn.
I texted Simon, ignoring both my hatred of texting while driving and my petty wish to not see him. He had a blood debt to Jace, and it was only right that he be there during this crucial moment. Some things were more important than whether or not I'd fallen for Simon Lewis.
Since the moment I'd met him, Jace had reminded me of Daniel. He was arrogant, twisted, good-looking, and sarcastic. He'd never hurt me, as my brother had, but there were times when I feared he would. When Daniel had died, I'd been relieved rather than upset. However, I was worried now that Jace might die. It was more than "Clary would be sad," though. I was truly terrified that I could lose him. The notion scared me more than the fact that he was at this moment unconscious and badly wounded. Somehow, over the years, I had grown fond of Jace.
I reached Luke's house before Simon. It seemed strangely quiet. Magnus and Luke were working over Jace, who was stretched out on the couch. I winced, painful memories sparking across my eyesight. This was too similar to make me comfortable. Same demon, same couch. His angelic blood was now pooling over the bloodstains that I'd once created.
Clary and Isabelle were sitting on the loveseat, both weeping silently. Alec was sitting, stone-like, on the piano bench. "Simon's coming," I said. Luke was yanking out the demon's spines while Magnus tried to slow the bleeding. Unlike my encounter with the Drevaks, most of the damage to Jace seemed to have been inflicted by the monster's talons and fangs. I didn't know if that was better or worse.
"Alright," said Luke. "He'll be okay around the blood?"
"He's been a vampire for seven years," I replied.
"Magnus, you fixed his lung, right?" Luke said suddenly.
"First thing I did. He's breathing, isn't he?" I walked around the couch, slumping into the loveseat next to Clary.
"It'll be okay," I whispered.
"I need to get a ring," she said.
"Oh, Clary, he's a Shadowhunter. This kind of stuff happens all the time."
"That is not the kind of thing you say to someone you're trying to comfort," she griped. "How do you know he's going to be okay?"
I sighed. "Because he's Jace."
I was waiting outside on the porch when Simon drove up and sprinted out of the car. I couldn't help but realize, as he came up in his black gear and matching dark hair, how hot he was. I bit my lip, drawing blood. He hopped up the steps and put his hand on the doorknob, turning to look at me. He sniffed.
"Are you bleeding?" Mortified, I bunched my bottom lip up under my teeth.
"Sorry." The way my mouth was, the apology sounded exactly like Gilly from SNL. "Just go in." He did.
As soon as we went in, I could tell that something was wrong. Magnus was swearing, and Clary was standing behind Jace, lifting his head. From where I was standing, I could see a growing puddle of poison-tainted blood blanketing Jace. "What happened?" I yelped.
"Nicked artery," Simon said. "The poison's flowing into his bloodstream." I glanced at him sideways.
"How do you-"
"Simon!" called Luke. "Can you get the poison out?"
"I- yes. Yes I can." He ran forward, swinging himself around the couch and kneeling next to Jace. The oily-looking blood was spouting out of a spot just below his neck. With utter concentration, he leaned down and pressed his mouth to the wound. Feeling faintly nauseous, I turned around and stared at the fresh paint. The few times I'd been to Luke's house before Jocelyn moved in, it had been in complete disrepair. She'd brightened the place, painted it and hung paintings along the hall. She was at the Institute, staying late to train Penny Edgebrooke.
"Um. Poison's out," said Simon, standing and spitting the last of it into a small bowl.
"Good," said Magnus, sliding in front of Simon, "now I have to repair his veins." Clary was still standing behind Jace, crying openly but continuing to hold his head up.
"You look like your mom," said Simon, going to stand next to her.
"You look like… a vampire."
"Kind of," he apologized. "So… I guess I don't owe him anymore?"
"You owe me for life," Jace coughed, sitting up.
"Jace!" cried Clary, wrapping her arms around him.
"Whoa, watch it, Clary," he hissed, wincing in pain.
"Could you lie back down?" said Magnus. "I'm trying to seal up your blood vessel."
"Or trying to find an excuse to look at my chest?" Magnus glared at him, and a cloud of blue sparks wrapped around his head and pulled it back down to the armrest. "Unconsciousness is boring, did you know that?" said Jace. "It's like staring at a wall."
"It wasn't so boring for us," mumbled Clary.
"Hey," he said, all traces of his joking mannerisms put away, "it's okay. I'm fine. Trust me."
"Sealed," grumbled Magnus, backing up and sitting next to Alec.
"Jace," said Luke, "can you do your own iratzes?" He was waving around Jace's stele.
"Totally," he shrugged. "Gimme."
While Jace fixed himself up, I went to Clary and told her that I was heading home. "Okay, I'm staying here," she said. "But, um, what are you going to do about…" She bobbed her head towards Simon.
"I have no idea."
"Well, here's a good way to… gauge how you feel," she suggested. "What do you think of Isabelle?"
"She's okay," I said. "I have nothing against that… ho."
"See?" said Clary, rolling her eyes. "You really like him. You know what that means, right?"
"Yeah," I sighed. "I guess I have to tell him."
"Or spread rumors about Isabelle on her wedding day."
"You mean like in that "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" song?"
"Exactly," she laughed.
"Hey, what are you two talking about?" asked Jace.
"Squirrels," yelped Clary. Before he could ask us why we were talking about squirrels, and without asking Clary why that was the first thing to pop into her head, I left, completely lost and having no idea what to tell Simon. I had to talk to him tomorrow, before he proposed. I screamed under my breath, wondering when my life had fallen apart so thoroughly.