Oneshot / CoB

I don't own.

"Are you threatening to kidnap me?" Clary asked.

"If you want to look at it that way, then yes." Jace said.

Clary opened her mouth angrily to protest but was interrupted by a strident buzzing noise. Her phone was ringing again.

"Go ahead and answer that if you like," Jace said generously.

The phone stopped ringing, and then started up again, loud and insistent.

Clary frowned. Her mom must really be freaking out. She half-turned away from Jace and began digging in her bad. By the time she unearthed the phone, it was on its third set of rings. She raised it to her ear.

"Mom?"

"Oh, Clary, oh, thank God."

A sharp prickle of panic ran up Clary's spine; her mom sounded really panicked.

"Listen to me. It's alright, Mom. I'm on my way home."

"No!" Terror scraped Jocelyn's voice raw."Don't come home, Clary. Don't you dare come home! Go to Simon's. Go straight to Simon's and stay there until I can-"

A noise in the background interrupted her; the sound of something falling, shattering, something heavy striking the floor.

"Mom!" Clary shouted into the phone, "Mom, are you alright?"

"Has something happened?" Jace hauled her to her feet and looked in her eyes.

"Yes!" Clary shrieked. "Give me your phone!" She grabbed the smooth black object from Jace's pocket and took off running in the direction of her house.

"It's not a phone!" She heard from behind her. She didn't care. The only thought was her mother. Frantically, she looked down and tried to turn the phone on. Jace had been right. This was no phone.

Clary had no idea what it was.

But still she pounded on, racing against the clock to get to her apartment. Fifteen long minutes later, she arrived outside the small apartment she and Jocelyn shared, and without thinking, she bounded up the steps and flung her slightly door open.

The apartment was trashed. Everything had been destroyed or misplaced. Cushions from the couch were strewn across the floor. Broken tables and chairs littered the floor, and the stench of something dead was overwhelming. Tears came to her eyes, but Clary charged through the apartment, screaming for her mother. Clary's body was starting to shut down. Her knees turn to jelly and she nearly collapsed. Suddenly, her hand started to burn. Clary looked down and saw the black object she had plucked from Jace's pocket was glowing and buzzing. It was so hot against her skin that she dropped it to the floor. But then she froze when she heard and eerily familiar noise. She turned slowly on her heel.

There was a dragging noise, and Clary's eyes were led to the corner by the doorway. She saw a long scaled creature with a cluster of flat black eyes that sat dead center in its domed skull. Something like a cross between an alligator and a centipede, it had a thick flat snout and a barbed tail that whipped menacingly from side to side and multiple legs that bunched underneath it, as it readied itself to spring.

It was hissing words at her. Unintelligible, terrible, frightening words. She knew not what it was saying, but it scared her.

Clary shrieked and stumbled backwards, and as it launched itself toward her, it gurgled and hissed. The last thing that she was conscious of was that she forced Jace's thing-a-ma-bob into its gaping maw. The creature landed on top of her, and Clary's long scream of terror was quickly ended by the monster's jaws.

Jace had been following that redheaded girl for several blocks now, more out of curiosity than anything else. She certainly was a fast little thing. Whether her speed was out of terror or from the caffeine buzz from the coffee she'd just had, Jace didn't know. He didn't particularly care, either.

The redhead, what was her name again? Barry? Sage? Clary, that's what it was. Like clary sage, the herb. She dashed into what Jace assumed to be her apartment, and he waited outside. He casually noticed the fairy that flew by, and nodded a greeting to it.

"Tell Kaelie I said hi." He murmured. The fairy nodded at him and was gone.

When he heard a horrified scream from inside the apartment, he jerked forward and ran towards the noise, drawing his seraph blades in the stairwell.

He burst the door like Sir Galahad, his blades at the ready, but he was sorely disappointed. The demon was already dead, lying in a broken heap by the kitchen table. Though he almost missed it, a small spark of red was just barely visible behind the demon's body.

Damn.

He reached around the stinking pile of demon flesh to where the girl was lying dead. Her face was frozen in a mask of panic and fear, blood pooling around her small body. He cautiously lifted her head up and saw the problem. In addition to a gaping wound on her throat that jumped out at him; the demon had managed to get its stinger into her shoulder.

Poor girl never stood a chance.

But maybe she had. After all, she had killed it, hadn't she?

Maybe she was strong and wise, but lack of training was what did her in. Jace reached down and closed her unseeing eyes, brushing some blood stiffened hair back from her pretty, elfin face.

She really was quite beautiful, Jace mused. I do like red hair.

And her eyes were green.

Jace loved green eyes.

A light dusting of freckles were scattered across her face, lending to the idea that she looked much younger than she actually was.

Jace sat back on his heels with a heavy sigh. He should have just followed her into the apartment, not waited around outside. He'd been following her since that night at the club, so what was the difference? He felt indescribably connected Clary. It shook him to the core. He was confused, and Jace Wayland is never confused. What's going on?

Jace shook his head arrogantly. Why was he thinking like this? She was just a girl. A mundie, nothing special. Jace never attached himself to anyone, never felt guilty about anything. He felt no remorse when he left other girls purring in their beds after having spent the night with him. He felt no emotion when he denied a call from a nameless one night stand. He felt no grief when a Shadowhunter was killed in battle.

So why did he feel like this now? He could feel emotion curling behind his navel, pulling at his heartstrings and making him sick. He'd seen a thousand murders, been to a thousand "crime" scenes, so why was this bothering him?

Was it because she looked so young? Was it because her death was his fault? Jace sighed again and rose to his feet, pulling his phone from his pocket and dialing Alec's number.

He should have been there.

In those last critical moments, he could have saved this poor, mundane girl.

She could have had so much potential; after all, she'd just killed a Ravener demon with her bare hands, and she could see them at Pandemonium.

Jace could feel it; this girl is – was – special.

Somehow, he knew that this pretty face would haunt him for the rest of his life.

He should have been there.

Any block of writing that is in italics was directly from City of Bones.

This idea came to me when I was reading CoFA and Jace is all worried cuz he thought Clary was going to die, and then I wondered what would happen if Clary died before Jace got to know her. So, this story was born.

Story recommendation: Enchanted to Meet You by bookninja15. It's a two-shot songfic that is absolutely adorable! Go read it now!

Peace and Love,

SpeakNow1118