It was mid-afternoon and the autumn sun shone down on the streets of Brooklyn. Clary quickly walked down the street, rucksack slung on one shoulder and stele in her pocket. She very nearly collided with someone walking in the opposite direction.
"Ow," Clary cried out, rubbing her brow. Simon was grinning at her, dark eyes sparkling mischievously.
"Oh, hi Simon."
The two of them started to walk at pace with each other.
"Off to Idris?" Simon asked, shielding his eyes with his hand to block the relentless sunshine.
"Yep, same as you," Clary agrees slyly. Simon cocked an eyebrow.
"Can't Raphael go? He's the clan leader."
"Ask Magnus," Clary suggested feeling a twinge of sympathy for him. Despite the new alliance between Downworlders and Nephlim, there were still shadowhunters that believed that the old ways are the only way. Clary supposed that thousands of years of hostility would be a hard slate for anyone to wipe clean.
They got to Magnus's place the same time as Jace. He smiled at their direction; Clary felt her heart stutter and then pick up again. Would Jace always have this effect on her?
"Why are you all flustered?" Simon asked, "He could just as easily be smiling at me."
"Hey," Jace greeted and his gold eyes were warm and inviting.
"Hey," Clary replied. They didn't hug or kiss; Clary guessed Simon could only take so much. However, Jace was looking at her the whole time as he revealed a key from his pocket and proceeded to insert it into the lock of the building.
"Where did you get that?" Simon asked with incredulity.
"Alec. I am to guard it with my life, or so I am told."
"Those two are in vomit inducing love." Simon commented as the three of them stepped in to the foyer, "get married already."
At this Jace snorted,
"Do not mention that to them. Unless you want a five hour tirade on the importance for the gay community to be allowed same sex marriages. In conclusion; an awkward dinner conversation between Robert and Magnus. Trust me; I've been there."
"I'll keep that in mind," Simon said heading up the tall staircases that lead to the loft. The door swung open before Clary could knock. There stood a tall man with spiky glittery black hair and a slightly manic expression.
"Come in Shadowhunters, and Simon." Clary, Jace and Simon were herded like sheep into the kitchen. The place was a pigsty. Spell books were flung everywhere and so was an abundant amount of clothes, makeup, pots, pans, vials and even a cauldron or two.
"Magnus," Jace said tersely, taking in the scene with narrowed eyes, "Could you please put away your damn clothes. Or, for God's sake, man, at least invest in a little something called a hamper. Someone could be buried in this mess."
"Funny you mentioned that," Magnus frowned, "Chairman Meow's been MIA for a while now."
At Jace's twitchy-eyed expression of horror, Clary thought it best to move on.
"Gather round," Magnus instructed them. They all crowded around Magnus's fridge.
"Hey, I really don't need to be here." Simon remarked to Magnus quietly, eyeing Clary and Jace as they marked each other with Jace's stele, "Seriously, I just came along to keep Clary Company and say goodbye."
"And why don't you need to be here?" Magnus returned with a bored expression.
"Raphael is clan leader. It's better if he goes." Simon insisted, looking over to Jace and Clary for support.
"Not necessarily." Jace said with a smile at Simon's disappointed face. "If it's between you and Raphael, the clave will chose you. Every time,"
"Because you are you and Raphael is Raphael. Despite this new alliance we are all weary of the vampires; Raphael is as sketchy as a three dollar bill. You, on the other hand," Jace grinned contemptuously, "you don't fit in with the vampires and that scares the clave but it also intrigues them. Perhaps they believe that if you're not willing to join the vampires, you can work for the Clave."
"Well, if that's all cleared up." Magnus interjected. He clapped his hands to get Clary and Jace's attention and to bring Simon out of his sorrowful thoughts.
"Time to go."
Magnus threw open the fridge door open. Bright white light met them. When no one moved, Magnus made an impatient sound,
"Let's go. We don't have all day. Jace, Clary? Do you have your weapons?"
They nodded their affirmation.
"Don't I get a weapon?" Simon complained. Jace's face was sinful.
"You have your teeth."
Simon looked faintly nauseous at the thought.
"Okay, kids, into the portal," Magnus trills before practically shoving them into the fridge. Clary grasped Jace's hand and looked into his eyes, searching for some sort of comfort in their depths.
"This is going to go well, right?"
"I hope so."
Clary supposed that was the best answer she was going to get. Closing her eyes, she leaped into free space, floating for a moment and then felt herself fall.
Mary was gone, she poofed, nearly taking all of the prees with her. The events of the battle were hazy and disjointed at best. Sam wasn't even sure of half of what he saw. Although there were three things he was positive. One; Mary poofed, two; Drake was alive and so was Brittany. And three; Drake and Brittany shared a body given to them by the Gaiphage and they were locked in a basement with their body half burned away, but still alive, or rather, undead. To top everything off; Sam had a cold. Not exactly his favorite week thus far. Right now he was walking along the beach with Quinn and Edilio. They were scattered apart; Edilio in the lead, Quinn back a ten feet and off to the side and Sam lagged behind. All were lost in their thoughts. Twilight had fallen, causing Sam to squint a little to make out his surroundings. Although his sight was limited, Sam could still see four silhouettes of people, unbelievably, falling from the sky and headed straight for the ocean.
Diana wasn't sure what happened. She and Caine were lounging in the millionaire's mansion. Caine was looting through the cupboards looking for food to save and Diana was half asleep on the balcony, soaking up the sun. But the next moment, she wasn't. It was in a blink of an eye; she was out of Todd and Jennifer's ridiculous island getaway home and then she was standing in the kitchen of a very messy apartment. Diana quickly glanced to her side and saw that Caine was with her too. For some reason that fact made her a slight bit less panicked. What the hell just happened?
Cain was surveying the scene with narrowed eyes although Diana knew he was just as amazed as she was. Where were they? Caine motioned her to stake out the area; after rolling her eyes, Diana did as she was told. Besides; she was curious. After fifteen minutes of scrounging the place, they found no body. Although, as Diana took a better look at the objects around her; whoever owned the apartment was either the most interesting person on the planet or a total nut job. Diana delicately picked up a pair of rainbow colored leather trousers. She looked over and saw Caine inspecting an old looking book.
After putting the unusual article of clothing down, Diana brushed away the New York Times to look though the bedside drawer. She paused.
The New York times in Perdido beach?
She picked up the paper with slightly shaky hands. Once she had located the date, her heart picked up to an impressive speed. Impossible. She wanted to deny it, to stop her insane train of thought. Diana looked up; Caine was standing across from her, eyes wide.
"Diana," he said slowly, "I don't think we're in the FAYZ anymore." Caine seemed to be right. One obvious factor was the time. Perdido beach was well into evening while where they were the sun was still high in the sky. Seeming to think as one, both Caine and Diana rushed to the nearby window. The streets were pretty deserted but the landscape was instantly recognizable. Diana clapped her hand over her mouth while Caine merely stared, slack jawed, in shock. Diana wanted to believe it; she truly wanted to, but she was afraid it was all a mirage.
"We're free," Caine whispered. Diana didn't know if he was talking to her, or himself. She locked eyes with him and he smiled; not his ghost smile that the Gaiphage had reduced him to or his usual cocky grin, but a genuine smile of warmth and happiness. In that moment, Diana was sure it was the most beautiful thing she's ever seen. Not really aware of what she was doing, Diana threw her arms around Caine's neck and embraced him. Caine, a little taken back from her act of affection, followed her lead and hugged her back. Diana stiffened, finally realizing what she was doing, and pulled away. She crossed her arms across her chest and awkwardly looked at anywhere but Caine. Slightly hurt by the rebuff, but not wanting to show it, Caine backed away as well.
"We're out of the FAYZ?" Diana announced to no one. Caine just stared at her.
"We're out," he agreed, but he was holding something back. Diana raised an eyebrow, coaxing, and Caine sighed.
"Whose apartment is this?"
"Well, let's figure it out."
"Better idea, there's electricity and running water."
Caine looked mournfully down at his tattered clothes: a bath would be a blessing for both of them.
It didn't take long to find the bathroom. It was small but that hardly mattered. Diana nearly squealed in delight when the hot water hit her body. Finally; she would be clean. She had taken at least half an hour. Washing her hair (although it was short now, just to her chin) and scrubbing every inch of her body until she was raw. Diana rooted around the bathroom and found a very expensive looking silk kimono; it was too long but she put it on anyway. Anything but her destroyed Coates uniform, she thought grudgingly. Looking at it lying on the bathroom floor like a ghost from her past, she decided she would have to burn it at some point or another.
When Diana came out, she found that Caine was sitting on the edge of the unknown owner's bed. He was flipping through the same old book he was examining earlier. His hair was in his eyes, covering a lot of his face. During their short stay at the millionaire's house, they had gained a little bit of weight. Not much; but Diana was pleased to note that looking at her naked body wasn't as hard to witness. Bones still stuck out of her hips, ribs and arms, but her resemblance to a skeleton was now marginally less. Caine looked up when he felt Diana take a seat next to him.
"How was the shower?"
"Foreign," Diana answered honestly, looking over his shoulder to the text lying open on his lap. "What's that?"
Caine shrugged, closing the book. .
"No idea. I think it's Greek, or maybe Latin. No idea really; whatever it is, it's old."
"Who do you think lives here?" Diana asked, looking around the room as if it could offer any clues. Caine shrugged, not looking that bothered.
"A guy who can read ancient languages and has an affliction for sparkly things,"
"Whatever; just as long as he doesn't come back,"
Caine nodded, seeming lost in thought.
"Diana, why are we here. I mean, what brought us here?" Caine gazed at her; for once his face was open and honest. Two things Caine was very unfamiliar with; openness and honesty. Diana shrugged; she wanted to find out why they were here, how they got here. But at the same time; she really couldn't give a crap. They were out; that's what mattered. However; something was suspicious about this whole thing. Like they weren't out of the woods yet. Or maybe, Diana mused, they had been taken out of their woods and been put into someone else's. The thought was not a promising one. But; she reasoned, what could be worse than the FAYZ?
Seeming to think that Diana took his question as rhetorical, Caine kept quiet. Although he didn't stop staring at her. Diana glanced sideways at him, eyebrows raised,
"Take a picture, Caine, it'll last longer."
When he didn't get the hint, Diana turned all the way around so she was facing him dead on.
"What do you want?"
"What makes you think I want something?"
"Give me a break. You're wounded puppy eyed look is a plea for 'give me attention! Give me love!' it's rather pathetic."
"You're petulant, aren't you?"
"No, really? What was your first clue?"
Ignoring this, Caine continued his much not asked for observation.
"Is it because you're scared?"
"We're out of the FAYZ. Away from that psycho Drake, you know the one that wants us dead. Why the hell would I be scared?"
"Of the unknown; you know what to expect in the FAYZ, or as much as anyone does. We're some place totally new."
What was he now? Freud?
"Oh, don't get all psychoanalytic on me, Caine. I'm a pain in the ass because I'm a pain in the ass. End of story."
Caine regarded her coldly,
"Can you not feel anything, Diana? Do you have any heart at all?"
Diana put her head in her hands, trying to block Caine's annoying voice out.
"Oh my God. We've been over this. I'm a bitch! We all know it; my heart is less of a chuck of muscle and more like an icicle sticking out of my chest. I'm the mother ice queen of all ice queens. I. Feel. Nothing. Does that make you happy?"
Diana was holding back tears at this point. Was Caine happy now? Did he want to believe that she felt nothing so he could go on doing what he wanted regardless of how it affected her? Not like her feelings mattered to Caine at all, he still would do what suited him best. Not all that different from Diana at all then. It was a harsh truth to face.
Caine slid over so he was closer to her. She felt his hand touch her thigh through the silk of the kimono.
"Can you feel that?"
Diana kept quiet, watching him stonily. Only when his hand brushed away the silk and slid up higher into a very personal area, Diana gasped.
"Get lost, Caine." Diana snarled, not meaning a word of it.
Caine easily saw past Diana's lie and leaned forward and kissed her. Diana usually pushed away his pitiful want for puppy love and kisses. Although; this was different. This wasn't some kid looking for a peck on the lips; this was a want deeper and rawer than that. Caine felt it, and so did Diana.
"Caine," Diana asked, while he was kissing her collarbone. She was lying flat on the bed and Caine was on top of her, hands exploring her body.
"Uh huh," he mumbled, not really paying attention.
"Do you love me?" Diana knew the answer; he never failed to tell her at every chance. But she needed to hear it now.
Caine pulled away and looked into her eyes. His hand caressed her cheek and pushed a stray piece of hair from her face.
"More than life,"
"Good," Diana grabbed his shoulders, forcing him back on top of her and kissed him. Diana decided right then and there that she would let whatever he wanted happen. She wouldn't stop Caine; she soon found that she didn't want to stop him. Diana laughed out loud when Caine picked her up, her legs wound around his waist and arms around his neck, and took her to the privacy of the bathroom. Diana kissed him again before he shut the door.