disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: Sonya and Evie but not Chloe because she's a cunt (a lovable one, albeit). /cheerful
notes: set sometime after City of Ashes and before Clockwork Prince, which I still… haven't… read…

title: candle to the devil
summary: Say hello to the end of the world. Or maybe just the time-space continuum. Same difference. — Will, Jace.

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That One Where Will Falls Through A Wall
(And A Couple Of Centuries, Give Or Take, Not That Anyone Really Notices)

/ / /

"Oh, blooming he—!"

The crash of breaking wood was loud in his ears and Will tried to regain his lost balance. He flailed for a minute, teetering back and forth towards the gaping hole that had suddenly appeared in the Institute's wall (which he was completely going to blame Jem for, because random holes in the walls were obviously always Jem's fault).

And then he fell backwards, and everything went black—

(There was a sickening crunch somewhere behind his eyes.)

—for all of three seconds.

He found himself on the ground, surrounded by rubble and rubbing the back of his head to make the blinding pain recede. There'd been a shout cut off from somewhere far away, and it lingered in the air.

"Tess?" Will managed.

"Who the hell are you?" was the reply. It was low, growly, uneducated, and male. Male, as in Not Jem male. Male, as in Not Henry male.

Male, as in Definitely Not Tessa male.

That was when Will realized that something was A Little Bit Off.

(Probably around the part where the man in front of him was Definitely Not Tessa. That was sort of a warning sign. Will was beginning to think that perhaps he'd made a mistake.)

Will stood up slowly, and dusted himself off. He glanced at the person—male, couldn't have been much older than he himself was, frankly—and very nearly did a double take. He was very… gold.

No person ought to be that colour.

"Will Herondale," he said, and stuck his hand out. "And you are…"

Gold eyes (what sort of person had gold eyes. Really, now) flickered and went cold. Will squinted at him.

"Jace," he said flatly, jaw going tense. "Jace Wayland."

Will continued to squint.

That was a lie.

However, given he was not in a familiar environment—he was not an idiot; this was not his Institute, and this kid was not his Jem or his Tessa or his anyone—Will deemed it prudent to maybe keep his gob shut and not insult the only being who might have been able to give him a clue about where in the Angel's name he bloody well was.

"How did you get in?" Jace asked, jaw still taut.

"Through the wall," Will replied, gracious. "It hurt."

"The wall."

"Bit of a blower, aren't you? The wall. See the hole?" Will gestured at the wall.

Except there was no hole. That was… not so good, Will thought, suddenly grim. As theatric as a shady circus troupe, he was tempted to press the back of his hand to his forehead and sob loudly.

Oh dear.

The boy eyed him. He didn't relax an inch.

Will grinned.

Maybe charm?

But not really.

"C'mon," Jace said gruffly. "We need to figure out where you're from."

And he reached for Will, and Will was not only not impressed, he was not about to be manhandled by someone who clearly did not know what they were doing. Dashed under and down, and they scuffled for ten minutes like children, neither able to properly get the upper hand.

Will did not like this. Will did not like this at all.

They stood back, breathing hard and glaring at each other.

"Where did you say were from?" Jace nearly spat at him.

So unladylike, Will thought (and tried not to smirk). "I didn't."

"So? Where?"

"Not here, clearly."

He had a vague feeling that Jace was not appreciating his lack of directness, but then, Will was a gambler—he'd much prefer thieves cant to polite speech with the gentry. And with shivs in his boots, if this boy tried anything truly dangerous, Will would not allow himself to be hurt.

Will grinned in a sharp way, already reaching down to his boots. "Come on then, love," he said. "Let's dab it up a bit, shall we?"

Jace snarled at him, tense and ready for a fight.

This was likely going to be painful.

Will couldn't wait.

fin.