Hey, everybody! I saw this sort of thing done in a Producers fanfic, and I thought it seemed interesting. Now, I realize that rainbows have indigo and violet, but I couldn't find any quotes about indigo, so I condensed them into purple. Sorry if that offends anyone. Please review!
Disclaimer: I do not own the ID characters, much as I wish I did!
"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow." -Gilbert K. Chesterton
"Red brought out more of my personality." -Bob Edwards
Will Herondale did not have good experiences with the color red. Red was the color of the sky the night Cecily left him. Red was color of the dress Tessa had been wearing the night he realized he had fallen in love with her– the night he realized he could never be with her. And, of course, red was the color of the blood that stained Jem's shirt with every tortured cough.
"Where is it, James?" he asked in a carefully controlled voice.
"Don't– need–" was all Jem could choke out before a fresh wave of coughs hit him. In between his hacking, Will could hear the fluid syllables of Jem's native Chinese. He himself didn't speak the language, but he knew enough to understand Jem's words. He was praying– for relief of pain, for death, Will didn't know. He didn't want to know. When Jem pointed weakly to his dresser, Will hastened to retrieve the small box filled with a thick layer of powder the same shade of silver as Jem's hair. It was ironic; the powder was what would stop the coughing, but it was also what had caused it.
Will made Jem swallow a small spoonful of the drug, trying to keep his hands from shaking. He helped his nearly unconscious friend to bed, where Jem fell into a deep sleep. "Sleep, James," Will said quietly, brushing a damp strand of silver hair off Jem's forehead.
So, no, Will did not like the color red.
But that didn't change a thing.
"Reds, yellows and oranges conjure up sunlight and fire." - Anonymous
The first food Tessa ever ate at the Institute was an orange. Just the smell of one now brought back memories of that time, that trying period of her life that was also one of her fondest memories. Oh, what she wouldn't give to be back in 1878 London, with the Branwells, with Will, with Jem… Even with Jessamine. It was hard some days, the mornings she woke up and thought she heard the soft haunting notes of Jem's violin, the lazy tone of Will's voice. I'm home again, she would think, before reality set in. They were gone, all of them were gone. She could never see them again.
Here she was, over a hundred years later, in Idris. She was speaking to Magnus Bane, fellow warlock, watching the unusual pair of Jace Herondale and Alec Lightwood. "This Jace… he descended from Will? He looks more like Jem, with his fair hair…" Tessa was lost in memories when Magnus nodded.
"I know you miss them, Tessa, but you have to move on," Magnus insisted.
Tessa was about to reply when she caught a whiff of something familiar– oranges. She didn't know where the smell came from, whether it was just a heat-induced hallucination or Magnus wearing orange-scented body spray (hey, it's been known to happen). She found her throat had closed, and she couldn't say anything. She turned and fled into the woods, sobs escaping her throat.
"How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun." -Vincent Van Gogh
I stepped forward so as to be less than a foot from Tessa. My heart was beating too fast, I knew it was, but I tried not to let it show. It was quiet for a minute until Jessamine walked by, giving Tessa a sarcastic sneer. "Oh, Tessa, that dress looks quite lovely on you. I can't wear yellow, but it's ever so suitable for a girl with such dull brown hair as yours."
When Jessie was gone, Tessa cast her eyes downward, blushing. I put a hand on her shoulder. "Don't listen to her, Tessa. She's jealous is all. I– that dress does look pretty on you, though."
She looked up at me, and I smiled to show my sincerity. She gave a weak grin back, saying, "thank you, Jem. It means a lot to hear you say that." What does she mean by that? Why does it mean more coming from me than, say, Will? By the Angel, does she care for me? I swallowed, hard, trying to clear the lump from my throat. Tessa gave me a small, encouraging smile, tilting her head to the side slightly. I took a deep breath and leaned in.
Tessa met me halfway, and our lips touched softly. We stayed like that for– well, I don't know how long. It could have been minutes, hours, possibly several sunlit days. With a yell from below us, probably Will yelling for me, we jumped apart. Tessa's beautiful grey eyes met my own silver ones and the top of her cheekbones flared red. At that moment, as though by divine intervention, the last ray of sunlight spilled in through a window on our left. It made Tessa's hair shine like molten gold. I stood still for several moments after Tessa retreated to her room.
Grey was my favorite color.
But yellow was now a close second.
"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises." -Pedro Calderon de la Barca
"Will, where are you taking me?" Tessa asked, unable to keep the irritation out of her voice. It was most unusual for Will to be so kind as this, and Tessa felt rather suspicious. "Where are we going?" she asked again after a moment, when Will did not respond.
"Tess, stop being so suspicious. We're going to Hyde Park," Will said finally. "I rather thought you would enjoy seeing something green."
"Of course I would enjoy it. What I meant was, why are you taking me? Why can't Jem take me?" Tessa asked, seeing Will's face jerk uncontrollably.
"Because Jem is busy."
"But what is he–"
"Stop asking questions about Jem. Do you want to come or not?"
Tessa nodded reluctantly. She followed Will out of the Institute, down the street and into Hyde Park. The sun was barely shining through the hazy layer of grey clouds, but the soft wind was ruffling the trees lazily and the grass was a brilliant emerald green. The unusual pair reclined by a small pond where a few ducks were floating. It was a long while before Tessa spoke.
"Jem told me you once convinced him to feed a poultry pie to the ducks here in hopes of breeding a race of cannibal ducks? Is this true?"
Will laughed; Tessa thought he looked even lovelier when he smiled. It made him look younger and more innocent. "Indeed I did. They ate it too, the bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck."
Tessa had to crack a grudging smile; in fact, for the rest of the afternoon, Will kept her sufficiently entertained. By the time the two were forced to return to the Institute, chased out of the park by the setting sun, Tessa rather felt this was one of the better days she had had since coming to this horrible city.
She lay on her bed that evening and replayed the afternoon in her head. It was a day she would never forget– the softness of the breeze, the clear ringing of Will's laugh, the green of the grass they had relaxed on.
Green is the color of new beginnings, Tessa mused in her head. She was just starting to realize that plants were not the only things that could begin anew.
"Blue eyes say, Love me or I die." –Spanish Proverb
I made the worst mistake I could make at that possible moment– I looked up into his eyes. They were the clearest blue I had ever seen, the color of the sky at twilight, framed by long black lashes that cast soft shadows onto his cheekbones. How unfortunate… the most beautiful boy I had ever seen, and he was such a– a– I can't think of a word horrid enough to describe Will Herondale. Perhaps he realized I was distracted, for that lovely soft mouth quirked up in the corner, taunting me. I became instantly furious.
"Will Herondale, don't you dare give me that look! After what you did last night–"
"What I did? Why, Miss Gray, you kissed me back, remember. Surely you can't pin all the blame on me."
"I can, and I will!" It was hard to look at him. His eyes held traces of that peculiar sadness he always carried with him, as well as carefully controlled anger and, worst of all, that amused glint. How dare he be amused! "Don't ever think I will let it happen again! In fact, I'd prefer it if you didn't speak to me for some time. I need to think."
"Ah, but who else can I speak to in such a manner?" His eyes were glittering dangerously.
"Go bother Jem. Actually, don't, for I intend to be spending some time with him, and I'd rather you were not present," I said, mustering as much coldness as I could.
Will was still smirking, but something in his eyes had changed.
"Go on then, leave me be. It won't kill you," I mocked.
Those beautiful blue eyes begged to differ; for a moment it seemed, if I turned my back on him, it might just kill him.
"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." –Alice Walker
"Do you see it, Tessa?" Jem asked softly, shooting Tessa a shy glance from under his silver hair.
Tessa cocked her head to the side. "See what?"
"Well, the beauty of it. Do you understand why I love it so?"
She looked around and smiled, nodding. "I don't understand why anyone wouldn't think it's beautiful. It's lovely, even if that horrible railway bridge is there," she concluded. The pair was at Blackfriars Bridge, where Jem had just taken Tessa.
Jem nodded gravely. "The railway bridge just means that few people come to enjoy the view." He plucked a small flower from the ground and tucked it behind Tessa's ear; the violet color was set off beautifully in the low evening light. He stood and offered his hand to Tessa. She took it, and the pair set off back to the Institute.
"Jem?" Tessa asked quietly after a few minutes of walking in silence.
"Thank you– I mean, for showing me the bridge. It was lovely."
Jem smiled inwardly; he had never told Tessa what he felt for her, though he hoped she would feel similarly. "You're perfectly welcome."
He deposited her outside her bedroom with a final smile. Without a sound, and in a surprising fit of bravery, Jem swooped down and planted a kiss on Tessa's soft cheek. With only a slight pink tinge to his face, Jem walked back to his own room, heart pounding.
He didn't know how long Tessa stood outside, one hand touching her cheek. He didn't know she slipped into her room and kept the small purple flower he gave her by her bed. And Jem didn't know that Tessa declared to herself that it was, in fact, purple, not red, that was the color of love.