All characters belong to Cassandra Clare. ©
Not much happens in this, just wonderings and fancy words.
Tessa sits with quiet curiosity and a small smile. With folded arms and serene thoughts as she watches her friend, her best friend, her only true friend as he readies himself for the performance. He's promised so many times to play for her audience and today is the day.
He's strong today, she notices it in the way he stands so slight, tall and slender without a cane to aid him. His posture is improved by years of playing the instrument he currently caresses the same way someone might a small child. For just a moment, she wonders why he hasn't any sheets with strange markings and squiggles to read the music from, but realises he knows whatever piece he was going to play by heart.
Smiling at her quickly, bashfully, not meeting her eyes for fear of his pale skin reaching darker hues, he brings the tip of his bow to the string and wonders just for a moment who'd discovered that such a strange, beautiful instrument whose very shape gives off the essence of legato would bring joy to so many people's ears.
But he remembers his audience and smiles once more. With a smooth arm and steady grasp, he plays the first note with a burst of dust from the string. It occurs to him that if he were more intoxicated with yin fen, it would've made the dust explode like a shower of stars that sparkle and glisten, yet he'd be unable to perform with so much in his system.
He pushes it out of his mind, refusing to think of the disease and the addiction because the very idea makes his hands sweaty with lust for the drug. During the short pause between bars, he has to readjust his hold on the bow to stop it from slipping.
Jem steals a glance of his beautiful girl watching him with wide eyes and pushes that idea just as far from his mind because a thought like that was dangerous. She was neither his girl nor anyone's girl. He could see quite clearly she wasn't the prettiest girl he'd seen, but something about her screamed beauty.
He imagined another life where he was healthy to live out live to the full with the unsuspecting warlock girl. Where he was able to approach her as a possible lover and court her rather than just a sickly man in a house she used as sanctuary. If that world were true, would she accept his love? Would he be treated as a fair competitor for her hand?
Without even noticing, he's pressing harder into the string and the noise he creates is no longer music but drunken wails of pain. Easing up on the bow, he keeps his eyes closed as a smile plays around on his lips at the preposterous idea of his ever having an equal running with such a woman. Where she was wonderful and thoughtful and open-minded he considered himself unworthy of such things. Though he wasn't as negative to believe he couldn't accept another life (because really, who would fall in love with a warlock if you weren't a little open minded?), there was something better about her in his eyes.
Tessa saw how her friend's entire body pulsated with energy as the song he played smoothly moved into a graceful tune so sweet that it could've been a lullaby if not for the racket she'd heard before. Knowing nothing at all about the world of music, she could only assume that the composer had written the piece in such a contrasting way.
There was such a serene expression on his face compared to the one before. Along with his silvery hair and shining eyes, Jem was a moonlight sky. They were closed now, but his eyes always told the truth. For her at least, they were always full of hope. Hope for what, she wasn't quite sure.
The lullaby slowed until it ended on a long sweep of his arm that caused the note to hang in the air. The vibration of the string faded into stillness and there was a beat of silence before Tessa clapped with small hands and quick beats. Lowering the bow and the violin, Jem smiled, listening only to the round of applause from his most important audience. She laughed at his over dramatic bow and, to ignore the dizziness of the blood rushing to his brain, marvelled at the laughter.
Watching her face carefully, his heart contracted. She'd stopped smiling and instead was observing something just to the left of him. For just a moment, he cursed himself for not being interesting enough to hold the lady's attention for more than a few minutes. Glancing over his left shoulder, he saw his competition and decided it wasn't all that bad. He was no match for the instrument held slightly behind his back.
Still with no words, he held the violin out to her. From this angle, he could see the slight dent in the wood from where he'd become frustrated at the instrument for his inability to stop shaking and thrown it to the ground. It was only by chance he could still use the poor thing. Although, no one but him would notice the indentation.
Tessa held the violin, mimicking the way her friend had, as if it were a small child made of glass. It was probably a little more durable than she knew, but something that created music as sweet as it did could only be treated as such. She traced the smooth lines and curves, wondering what created the sound, what was just for show. There must be a book that explained the acoustics of a violin, she thought.
Could she make herself read it, only to help her understand the instrument? She would do it for her friend, she knew that much. She imagined the expression on Jem's face when she told him that she'd learnt about his instrument. How would he react?
Jem continued to watch the warlock with obvious curiosity. He'd done so many times before, especially when she read. Her expression whilst read were the most interesting parts of her. She frowned and laughed and at one point, he'd seen her cry because of how the words on a page spoke to her. Though he'd never picked up the book that made her cry, because such a thing felt like a strange invasion of privacy.
When she glanced up at the shadowhunter, he looked away quickly with pink tinged cheeks. She returned to her studying of the instrument with a knowing smile. Because their friendship was only shared smiles and bashful glances.