AN: This will be a small story. Only a couple of short chapters. Updates will swing from fast, to slow. Crazy's my baby, so don't be surprised if I don't update every day.

Rated T: Mentions of child abuse.

Pairing: Clary/Jace. Clace, Jary, call it what ya want. *eye roll*

All Human. OOC. AU.

Disclaimer: I don't own Mortal Instruments. I do, however, own the box of tissues on my lap. Damn allergies. :(


Jace

...

...

My parents divorced when I was four. My mother told me it was because Father was too much of a liar, but Father told me it was because Mother was too cold and distant. Unaffectionate. I could vouch for that. Neither of them ever hugged me, hardly.

But of course, the day my mother packed the last box she was taking to Florida-Other than me-I wondered into my father's office, and found a pair of underwear-the stringy kind-that wasn't my mom's. And I only knew that because I went through her underwear drawer numerous times to get my Nintendo DS. My mother was horrible at hiding my toys. A little sticky note was laying on the hot pink string:

Thanks for the hot night, handsome!

xoxoxo

And there was a lipstick smear on it.

Which is how I ended up in a town too hot, and Mother complaining to me about the too-nice people, the heat, the melted ice cream and how she forgot her favorite blouse back home at Queens.

If it was up to me, I would've stayed with Father.

She eventually cheered up. As much as Mother could. She was never a very cheerful person. Father always called her cynical.

"On the bright side," she was saying. "We live down the street from the park. Hopefully there'll be some cute single dads hanging around there..." I don't even think she realized who she was talking to.

Our new house was small. Four rooms. A bathroom. Kitchen. My room. My mother's room, which also counted as the living room because it had a TV and computer.

I could see the park from my window. Kids my age running around, playing tag. A boy who looked about three years older than me, maybe seven, kissing a girl behind the swings.

"Mother!" She walked in, looking especially tired.

"What is it, Jonathon?"

I pointed out my window. "Can I go to the park?"

She shook her head. "Not right now. I'm unpacking."

Wasn't she the one who said she wanted to go, in the first place?

She walked out of the room briskly, high heels clicking loudly on the floor.

I sat on my bed, and pulled out my CD player and grabbing a pair of headphones. Mother hated music, and she didn't like me listening to it, saying it corrupted four-year-olds minds.

Father snuck me CDs into my room and under my mattress, so that Mother would never find out. I plugged in the headphones, and stuck one of the discs.

Grabbing a comic book from my suitcase, I laid on my stomach and just stared at the drawings, since I still didn't know how to read very well.

Mother walked in after three songs had played, and I didn't have time to hide the player. But she didn't look mad. Her eyes, yellow like mine, were sad. She sat down next to me, and ran her fingers through my hair, something she used to do whenever I would get nightmares. I still do, but I don't scream for her in the middle of the night anymore. Father told me boys didn't need their mothers to comfort them, after they were two.

So I never got comforted like this, anymore.

I rested my head on her lap, careful not to press the plastic of the headphones into her skin.

I think she missed Father. But Mother rarely showed what she was feeling, so I couldn't be for sure.


Mother made some macaroni and cheese for dinner, and let me eat in my room, saying I'd be in the way while she began unpacking the dishes and silverware.

It was dark out, already, and the playground was bare. No more kids.

Except...I squinted. There was a girl out there. On the swings.

My eyes widened. Her parents weren't with her. I wondered if they knew she was even at the park. I ran up to the window, pressing my nose against the glass.

From what I could tell, since it was nighttime and she was far away, her hair was a bright red color. She was short, shorter than me. Actually, she looked about two. And she was thin. Not chubby like most girls that were that age.

She was swinging...Or trying to. Her legs were small and short, not touching the ground. They were moving back-and-forth, but she was hardly moving.

I found myself watching, fascinated, as she finally hopped off the swing, and ran up the stairs to the slides.

She went down on her stomach, and fell to the ground on her face. That must've hurt...

But she was smiling. She stood up, dusted herself off, and ran back up, sliding down again and again.

She went to the monkey bars, next.

She reached for the first one, and then the second, and dropped.

My hand clapped over my mouth, and watched as she sat up, her arms wrapped around her legs. Her face was scrunched up.

"Jonathon?"

I turned around. Mother was standing in the doorway, looking incredibly tired. "Jonathon, sweetheart, it's ten. It's past your bedtime. Go to sleep."

I changed into my pajamas, and brushed my teeth. My bed wasn't really a bed; the mattress was still on the floor, no sheets on it. Shrugging, I grabbed my pillow and Batman blanket, dropping it on the mattress.

Ducking my head out in the hallway, checking to make sure Mother wasn't coming back-she wasn't, she never hugged me good night-and ran on my tip-toes back over to my window.

She was no longer sitting on the ground.

Maybe she went back home to get a band-aid?

I saw a flash of red, and frowned. The little tunnel that was on the top of the playset, the one with little holes...She was in there. Barefeet stuck out of one end. And didn't move.

Was she sleeping in there? That's so cool!

I smiled. I'd always wanted to spend the night at the park. Play on the swings and slides all day. Climbing and hanging upside down from the monkey bars...

Lucky.

I climbed into my "bed" and fell asleep, dreaming about girls with red hair who would spend all night at playgrounds.


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