New York looked a little like London, but somehow more cheerful. Even though it was early December, the sun was shining brightly and the brick sidewalks were crowded with people dressed in vivid colors. Some were walking, some behind booths with food, and some just standing or sitting on the steps of the tall brownstones. For Will it was a bit of a culture shock. He was so used to the varying shades of grey in London, not the bright, loud, colorful city of New York.
"Come on!" Tessa urged as she hurried across the bridge connecting the steamer they had come from London on. Charlotte had sent them to meet with shadowhunters from the New York Institute. Apparently this meeting was an annual ordeal, and more of a formality than an assembly with an actual purpose. This year it was the London Institute's turn to make the journey. Charlotte was busy trying to keep her position as head of the Institute, so she sent Jem, Will, and Tessa to go instead. She had wanted to send Gabriel and his brother along with them, but decided not to after the three very forcefully encouraged her not to.
"Really Tessa, why are we in a hurry? I- Tessa?" Will looked where she had previously been standing, but that section of sidewalk was now vacant, except for her abandoned suitcase. Will looked around confused, and a little annoyed. He found her again standing in the middle of a cobblestone square that was surrounded by trees.
"Jack!" Tessa cried with a huge smile. A tall and well-built man with brown hair and a handsome but boyish face returned the smile.
"Tessa!" he yelled back "You're here!" Will watched in shock as Tessa threw herself into the arms of this strange man. With a growl he reached into his coat where he had several lethal weapons concealed. But Jem put a hand on his arm to stop him.
"Now William, don't go murdering innocent mundanes. We've only been here a few minutes, and it's in all our best interests to keep you out of prison for at least a couple hours. And anyway, he's Jack, not a greater demon." Jem picked up his and Tessa's suitcases and started walking over to Tessa and Jack who were done hugging, and were now happily catching up. That left Will standing there in the middle of the sidewalk like an idiot. He decided right then and there that he didn't like Jack. Who is this guy? And why did Tessa tell Jem about him, but not me? Will thought to himself. He was a little disappointed that Tessa had told Jem about her old friends, and not him. But he supposed he shouldn't complain because if Tessa told him everything, she would expect him to tell her everything, and there was no way in Hell that that would ever come close to happening. Will stooped down to pick up his suitcase and follow the happy trio down the street.
"So Tessa how was it in London?" Jack asked. He was still smiling at Tessa. He had a face that looked like it was very used to smiling. Not smirking, not sneering, just grinning and laughing.
"It was wonderful! Nate has a house there and there was a library down the street, so I would borrow books and read them in the park. That's where I met Will and Jem." Tessa explained animatedly. Jem was surprised at the ease at which the lies rolled off Tessa's tongue. He knew it couldn't be easy to lie to one of your closest friends. Not that he had any experience in that field. "So, what have you been up to?" Tessa asked Jack.
"Oh, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Right now I'm a chimney sweeper. I haven't fallen off a roof yet, so it's going pretty good. Last week I was a courier. I have some stories to tell you from that. One time an old lady had me lead a flock of ducks from the park to her house. Ducks are wicked creatures." He visibly grimaced as if he had recalled a horrifying memory of that day.
"Sounds like you've had some adventures. I think Will will agree with you about the ducks though. The ducks in London are positively diabolical."
"Yes, you told me about that in your letters." Jack said with a chuckle. "Where is Will? I thought you said he was coming too."
"He is…" Tessa said, craning her neck to try to see where Will went. "Probably found a pub and decided to stay the night." Tessa muttered under her breath, earning a chuckle from Jem, and a confused look from Jack. Tessa's eyes finally found a mess of black hair on top of a beautiful face with a discontented frown. "Will!" Tessa called "hurry up! I have to introduce you to Jack!" Will grunted in response, but made no move to quicken his pace. Tessa sighed, and went back to talking to Jack. Jem discreetly slowed his stride and fell into step with Will.
"What's with you?" He asked, none too delicately. Will just looked at him, but that one hostile look was enough to get the point across. Jem shrugged and caught up to Tessa again, leaving Will to his brooding. When they arrived at their hotel the sun was high in the sky. The constant heat and brutal light annoyed Will, who was used to the gloomy, overcast weather in London. But Tessa couldn't get enough of it. Will couldn't help but stare as Tessa tipped her head back toward the sun. With her long hair spilling down her back and her mouth curled up in a content smile she looked like an angel. Will then mentally kicked himself for entertaining such a blatant cliché. He finally caught up with Tessa, Jem, and Jack at the entrance to the hotel.
"Now that Will has decided to join us" Tessa said "I can introduce you. Jack, this is William Herondale, Will, this is Jack Connors." Tessa gestured to each of them. Jack extended his hand,
"It's a pleasure to meet you Will. Can I call you Will?" Jack said pleasantly, flashing one of his infectious smiles.
"No." Will said flatly, and looked him straight in the eye with a steely glare, making Jack retract his hand awkwardly. After a minute of very uncomfortable silence Tessa suggested that they check in to their hotel, drop off their luggage then go to lunch somewhere.
They checked into their hotel, and put their luggage in their respective rooms. Will and Jem shared a room simply but tastefully furnished with two beds, a large dresser and a writing desk. Tessa's room was down the hall. After entering his room Will promptly collapsed on his bed and stared at the ceiling.
"Come on Will, Tessa wants to have lunch at a restaurant down the street." Jem said prodding Will with his cane. When Will didn't move, Jem shoved him off the bed with his foot, sending him tumbling to the floor. Will muttered some curses as he picked himself up off the ground. He stood up and said,
"Let's get this over with." Jem smiled and walked out the door, leaving it open for Will who loudly kicked it closed from the hallway. They met up with Tessa and Jack in the lobby. They were talking and laughing so hard that people were looking at them funny. They looked like a couple. At that moment Will's hatred for Jack Collins grew to outright loathing. Stupid mundane, he thought. You'd better back off or I will break your face.
"You okay?" Jem asked, looking at Will sideways.
"Just peachy." Will responded, plastering a fake smile on his face.
"Hi guys!" Tessa said with a grin. "So Jack was telling me about this great place that just opened-"
"It's just down the street-" Jack said,
"And it's called Delmonico's" Tessa finished. Dear God they're finishing each other's sentences! Will thought.
"Sounds good." Jem said cheerfully. They walked down South William Street until they came to a café on the corner of the sidewalk. They were seated outside the café around a small table that had a nice view of the street. Much to Will's annoyance, he got the seat in direct sunlight. Gradually an uncomfortable silence fell upon the group, so Tessa tried to stir up some conversation.
"Will, don't you have some funny story to tell us?"
"No." Will replied, and took a sip of his water. Disappointed, Tessa surrendered to the lack of discussion and started playing with her napkin ring. Will abruptly stood and excused himself to go to the bathroom. He quickly walked back through the restaurant but instead of heading to the bathroom he walked through the kitchen and into the back alleyway. He ignored the horrible smell of the alley and proceeded to give himself a pep talk. Come on Herondale it's time to snap out of it! You're better than this. Nothing has ever bothered you this much before. You need to stop caring. But he knew that was impossible, so he started figuring out his plan B. I've got to get Connors on her bad side... But how? He thought hard for a minute, and then a plan started formulating. If I take him out, and get him really drunk, he'll do all the relationship-ruining himself. It's perfect! Tessa will be happy with me because I'm being friends with her friend, but she'll be really mad at smiley boy! It's foolproof!
(A/N) So there you go. Next chapter will have a fluff scene, because seriously, every story needs some fluffiness. And for those of you who don't' like fluff… Psh. Who am I kidding? EVERYONE LOVES FLUFF! :D But don't worry it's not all fluff, Will sets phase one of his master plan into action. heh heh heh…
PS. I come up with pretty lame-sauce titles, so if you have a different title idea I want to hear it!