Hello Infernal Devices Fandom!
I read a text message last night and got inspired to write this.
This is my first ID fanfic.
Reviews are welcome!
Hope you enjoy!
Cannot Love Me
The dark skies of London seemed to have seeped in the walls of the Institute, making the dismal day even gloomier.
It's getting colder, Charlotte Branwell observed as she walked on the dark hallways with no particular destination in mind. In the distance, she could hear the faint shrieks of Jessamine and wondered if Will was teasing her again. Her head ached so she decided to leave them alone.
As she ascended the stairwell, she heard Jem playing his violin. She would have enjoyed the music, only, Jem's songs always sounded melancholic and sad. At this moment, her heart was already too heavy that she didn't care for his music.
She wandered again and found herself going to the library. She opened the door and saw Tessa sitting on one of the chairs, her head bent on one of her Charles Dickens' books. This image somehow reminded her of Will when he first came in the Institute. The boy rarely talked to anyone and preferred the company of books before he met Jem.
Tessa is so deep in her reading, Charlotte thought, that she didn't even hear me. So she just turned around and left Tessa. She decided to go to their den. Upon entering, she wasn't surprised to find it empty. No one but her ever went there unless called for. Will was always disappearing somewhere. Jessamine believes it is not a room for gentlewomen. Tessa, in the short time that she lived here, has already claimed the library. Jem preferred his room. And Henry…
Of course Henry was in his Laboratory, she thought. That is where he spends most of his time anyway. Once again her heart ached. He hadn't slept beside her last night and the night before. Truthfully, he hasn't slept in their room for quite a while now. He preferred the company of cogs and gears rather than hers.
She remembered the first time she met him. Her father was the head of the institute that time and granted Henry Branwell residence. He was peculiar, always thinking in terms of machinery and clockworks. Others had laughed at his failed inventions- laughed at him- and yet he still did not give up inventing devices that would benefit the Shadowhunters. Perhaps it was his perseverance and determination that attracted her to him.
He was also handsome underneath all the grease that seems to stick on his face whenever he is working on a project. His innocence always stunned her. He was also kind and gentle, although sometimes too preoccupied. He was the one who held her hand when her parents died. He was also the one who fought with her to keep the Institute in her care. And then he offered to marry her to satisfy the conditions of Consul Wayland.
Yes, it was just a condition. She had to be married so she could keep the Institute. So you have someone who can help you manage the Institute, the Consul said. Other Shadowhunters from prominent families proposed to her. But she said "Yes" to Henry. Some had wondered why him? He was just a quirky failed inventor. But they didn't know Henry.
She said yes to Henry for she loved him. She still does.
And then they were married. He let her run the Institute in her own way. He did not control her like other husbands would have done. He listened to her whenever he wasn't busy. He was still the good friend that she knew.
But he was not a husband to her. He rarely spends the night with her and he hardly shows affection. Her aunt told her not to force affection on Henry. Give him some time. He will come around eventually. He will learn to love her too. But has he already? Loved her?
Not once has Charlotte wondered if he loved her. But she was too afraid of the answer to even ask him. She knew Jessamine believes that Henry married her just so he can stay at the Institute and continue his work. She was too afraid to confront Henry about this matter.
If he said yes, would she throw him out? Can she? Knowing that she had deep affection for her husband?
A loud crash woke Charlotte out of her reverie. She went outside and saw everyone gathered in the living room.
"What happened? Are we under attack again?" Tessa asked.
"No. I believe the explosion came from Henry's laboratory." Jem said.
"Sophie? Can you please call Henry? Make certain he is unharmed." Charlotte said, worriedly.
"Yes, Mrs. Branwell." Sophie murmured and left the room hurriedly.
"What has that twit done now?" Will muttered. Charlotte cast him a glare and he shut up.
After a few minutes, Sophie emerged in the room carrying a limping Henry covered in soot and grease.
"By the Angel! What happened to you?" Charlotte cried, hurrying to Henry's side and helping him on one of the chairs.
"Nothing to worry. I was simply trying to improve the Phosphor when it exploded." Henry shrugged.
"You have burned your arm and broke your ankle, dear." Charlotte said, taking her stele out of her boot where she always keeps it. "Can anyone bring me a bag of ice, please?"
"Yes, madam." Sophie said and went out. Charlotte drew and iratze on Henry's burns.
"Please be careful, dear. The rune can heal you but you would have to rest that foot for a while."
"Yes, thank you, darling." Henry replied, smiling. Sophie came back with the bag of ice which Charlotte placed on Henry's ankle.
"Stay here for a while. Do you need anything?" Charlotte asked.
"No. I'm fine. Although a book about the Mechanics of an Artificial Human would be a delightful reading material." Henry said.
"I'll get it. I know where it is." Tessa volunteered, sounding pleased that she could help.
"Much obliged." Henry smiled. Charlotte made sure Henry was fine as the others went out of the living room. Tessa returned with the book and Henry started reading.
"Is there anything else I could help you with, dear?" Charlotte asked.
"I'm alright. You can return to whatever you were doing before I caused this fiasco."
"If you say so. Just call for me when you need anything." Charlotte said before leaving the room. She only heard his murmured assent.
Once again she wondered if Henry could ever love her too. Even at his times of injury, he chose to be with mechanics and machines rather than her care.
Time, perhaps, would help her gain Henry's love.
And with that thought, she left with a sigh.
Henry's POV will be coming next…
Hope you read it too.
So, what can you say? Love it? hate it? do you want to send an army of automatons at me?