Am I just about dying as I wait for my fix in the form of Clockwork Prince to come out? Yes.

Do I love with the imaginary lovechild of Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs? Yeah.

Do I wish I was a warlock/Nephilim so I could be uber kickass? Fuck yeah.

Do I own The Infernal Devices or any of the characters? No.

How does this make me feel? Very sad. Like this = ):

Or sometimes maybe even like this = ToT

We share the pain, don't worry.








These were all qualities that Will Herondale had been branded with, and they were qualities that he could not dispute, even if he'd had mind to.

Nosy, he supposed, could also be tacked onto that list. At least it could after today, as it was that quality in particular that found him crouched in the hall, ear pressed to Jem's bedroom door, with his mouth and eyes wide at what he was hearing from the other side.

It had to be a misunderstanding, he told himself. There was no way it could be what he thought it was. Jem had always said Will's mind spent the majority of its time in the gutter, and this was just prize proof of that.

Besides, it was Jem and Tessa, for Gods sake! They were two of the most innocent people he knew (but then, he reflected, it wasn't as though he knew too many innocent people at all), and there was just no way it could actually be- that they could actually be- there had to be- they couldn't-

They weren't. There was a perfectly rational explanation for this, and he had nothing to worry about or feel scandalized over.

So why couldn't he seem to pry his face from the door?

If anything, he was pressing himself closer, and it was becoming a serious issue that he may go the distance and physically merge and become one with the wood, much like one of those Tibetan monks he'd read about that were connected with the planet. Only he'd be connected to seven by four feet of solid oak, which just didn't have the same ring to it. He supposed he could give it a fresh lick of paint, black maybe, that would give the affair a slightly more-

Will's flitting thoughts snicked back like a taut elastic band as the voices started up again, and he listened to things he didn't really want to hear with bated breath.

"Oh, Jem," Tessa's voice sighed and his chest constricted, "I'm truly sorry, I just can't seem to get the hang of it. You must think me terribly silly."

Jem chuckled quietly, and for the first time in his life, Will wanted to hurt him. "Not at all, Tessa. It should be I who is apologizing; this must come as a terrible disappointment for you."

"No! Truly, it's been a very insightful experience! I mean, I've learned so much… I just wish I could figure this out!" she huffed in frustration.

"Here, let me. See, you're holding on too tight. Loosen your grip a little. The important thing to remember is that your hands are unique, you need to find the technique that suits them best."

It was silent for a few beats. "…Like this?"

The same soft chuckle floated through the wood, "No, your fingers are getting in their own way. Position them like this-" silence again, besides the quiet rustle of fabric as someone moved, "and it should come to you much easier."

Tessa let out a sharp, determined sigh.

"… Steady on, Tess, you're still squeezing too hard." Jem's voice sounded somewhat strained, "I have an awful foreshadowing of something snapping if you carry on like this."

The girl made a sound of pure frustration, entirely unladylike but somehow still adorable. "It's no use! I'll never get it anywhere near my mouth."

"Practice and patience, you'll get it eventually,"

"Can you not just stab at things instead? It must work just as well."

"No, it's a more delicate process than that. It's almost an art-form, if you think about it. Watch again…"

She sighed once more, "…Oh, it looks so simple when you do it, Jem. If I can't manage it now, I dread to imagine how difficult it must have been for you to learn from such an early age."

"It's nothing, really. Just something you pick up if it's expected of you, and I have been around them all my life."

"I suppose that would help, but still it's just so- so- so fiddly, you know?"

"I know. Not the most practical of devices, now that I think about it," he replied, a smile in his voice, "Would you like to try again?"

"I thi-" and then the door slammed inwards violently.

Will couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't listen to – this, anymore.

He stood in the doorway, eyes blazing the white-hot blue of the base of a wild fire and chest rising and falling in rapid, shuddering breaths as though he'd run a marathon. Staring down at the wide-eyed figures in the room like some kind of archangel prepped and ready for battle, he ground out, "What the Hell is going on in here?"

He didn't know what he was expecting their response to be, but it wasn't what was said. Tessa, having gotten over her shock slightly quicker than the still stalled Jem, answered with "Aaaaah, we were just…" then she frowned slightly, realizing just who was in the wrong here, "Well, if you must know, Jem was teaching me how to use chopsticks."

"I can't believe the two of you! This is utterly- Wait. Y-you were what?"

"Chopsticks," Jem clarified, speaking as one would to a small, particularly dim child.

"Jem's been teaching me all about Asia. It's truly fascinating," She smiled at him fondly, "but I'm rather stuck as to why anyone would want to eat with sticks, of all things."

"It's tradition," Jem said with amused patience, "Nobody remembers the reason behind tradition. Rather like why it's the norm to blow out candles on one's birthday."

"It came from the ancient Greeks," Tessa said matter-of-factly, sharing the odd knowledge purely by reflex, "You see, on the sixth day of every month, the birthday of Goddess of the hunt, Artemis, was celebrated. In her honour, the Greeks made a honey cake topped with burning candles, her twin was the God of the sun after all, and as they blew out each candle, the people made a wish for a present to her. Over time it developed into…" she looked around at the blank faces and clamped a hand to her mouth, "I am sorry, I'm babbling again."

"Why? Just – why would you know that?" Will asked bluntly, rubbing the back of his head.

She shrugged, "It's just one of these things I know."

"I can't help but think we're getting a little off track here…" Jem muttered.

"Oh, yes. Chopsticks." Will repeated numbly.

"Chopsticks." The two chimed together.

Jem canted his head to one side quizzically, "I never know you had such an aversion for Chinese cutlery, Will. You'd have thought that would have come up by now."

"I… ah…" For the first time, Will let his gaze slide from the tell-tale unflushed faces. They were both placed comfortably on the floor hard wood floor without complaint, Jem lotus-style and Tessa positioned with her legs tucked underneath her. Between them lay a platter that was scattered with a variety that ranged from chopped vegetables and fruit, sweet bread, sliced cheese and other easily pick-up-able food.

Each of them were holding a pair of chopsticks.

Will recognized the set as one of the only things Jem had brought of his meagre belongings from China. They were quite exquisite, with their fine engravings of detailed intertwining dragons and meticulously carved Chinese characters that blended together in a pattern of rich reds and golds. That explained why he'd be so worried about 'something snapping', Will mused absentmindedly.

Well now, didn't he feel silly?

"Why do you seem so shocked? Unless – what did you think was going on in here?"

Silence that held a distinct flavour of guilt.

Now, Jem's mind was as pure a colour as his hair or eyes and spent next to no time in the gutter, but since he knew Will so unfortunately well and his friend's quiet spoke volumes…

"Oh. Oh. Ugh, Will! I don't believe you sometimes!" he shook his head as if to clear it of unpleasant mental pictures, silver hair glinting like mercury.

"What?" Tessa asked, all bright eyes and innocence. "I don't understand."

"You shouldn't," Jem told her adamantly, "I do, and I wish I didn't. And now I'm telling you, you shouldn't."

Tessa frowned deeper, pouting infuriatingly, but let the subject drop.

Will sighed theatrically, relief he had no reason to feel washing over him and making him dizzy from the force. "Dear me, must I always be deprived of my scandal? There's never any good gossip to be heard nor rumours to be spread around here, more's the pity."

Jem gaped, mouth moving without sound, before giving up on speech and opting instead to fling a cushion in his Parabatai's direction with a lightning quick flick of his wrist. Tessa yelped slightly and ducked her head even as Will sidestepped the feathery missile with a chuckle of his own.

Tessa removed her hands from her head, brow furrowed. "Um, okay, I think I may be getting an inkling of what I'm failing to understand, and I've decided not to think any deeper into the matter," she gulped, a pink flush coming over her cheeks. "In fact, I'd rather appreciate a distraction about now."

"Ooooh, I'll just leave that to Jem here, he seemed to be doing a dandy job all by himself." Will said with a smarmy wink in their direction. He was rewarded with a bombardment of flying objects much like the cushion whipping towards him in much the same manner.

"Now, now, don't be touchy, I was merely pointing out-"

"Get out of my room!" Jem demanded, but there was a barely suppressed smile in his voice.

Will laughed and ducked an oncoming futon, swerving into the hallway and darting out of range. At the end of the corridor, he slowed to a walk, smiling a small, relieved smile.

"Distraction?" he heard Tessa request meekly.

"Oh here, you useless thing," Jem sighed fondly, "You put this finger here, and your thumb here…"

Will's smile faded as he slipped his hands into his pockets. He'd seen the spark in Jem's eyes, noticed his far away expression even if the boy himself hadn't yet, and he knew that the innocence couldn't last forever. He was determined to enjoy this precarious lull of calm in their dysfunctional little clique for as long as it would last.

Though it shrank slightly at the inevitable direction his thoughts were taking, the new smile did not slip from his face. Because Will knew, for the moment at least, that he didn't have to worry about them eloping to Paraguay or anything equally foolish just yet. Didn't have to worry about them doing anything he would do, for example.

Not that he'd ever been worried in the first place, or anything.

Gah, nothing ever turns out the way I want it to! This wasn't funny, was it? It dragged on too long, didn't it? You just yawned, didn't you? Your face was like this =.= the whole way through, wasn't it?


Well, there's not that much lol to be found in chopsticks, I suppose… Why are you looking at me like that?

Wait, what did YOU think it was about?

There's something very wrong with you, I just thought you should know.