HELLO THERE! I know I said the last chapter was the final chapter, but I felt inspired to write another outtake in Jace's POV and I figured you guys wouldn't mind reading it so…
Thank you to telekinesis1728 for suggesting it. It's the scene at the party where Clary tries to apologize, where Jace spills his heart to Clary, where Clary learns that she cost him his shot at Cornell.
Also I figured I'd post something this week because school's starting next week, so I probably won't update anything for a while.
A Kissing Dilemma Outtake: Pyrrhic Victory
Background: Chapter 22, after the final performance, at the after party.
Pyrrhic Victory: a victory that is won by incurring terrible losses.
Taking a deep breath – and immediately gagging from cigarette smoke – I cross the threshold into the house.
Cups of alcohol, beer, and juice lie haphazardly around the room. Most of my classmates are milling around, laughing and goofing around like total fools, high off success, adrenaline…and weed.
My eyes roam around the room, searching for Jace.
"You. You're not supposed to be here."
I've been drinking.
And it's not a matter of how many bottles I've had, or for how long, but more of how much longer I can hold off the tears behind my eyes.
How much longer I can pretend to be okay. Pretend that my life isn't ruined. Pretend that I'm still whole when every fiber screams in pain, betrayal, and heartbreak.
How much longer I can hold on before I break down crying like a fucking pussy.
You did this to me. Made me weak. Made me believe in love, believe in trust, believe in constants.
My parents were flukes. They left me when I was a kid, on the steps of someone's house. Who does that to a little child whose only wish is to be loved?
In a year, people will be leaving me again. Alec's already half gone, lost in the dreams of college. Isabelle and I will break apart and leave for different schools, away from our parents, away from St. Xavier.
You'll be gone too. Gone from my life, gone from my thoughts. I guess it's better to end it sooner than later. But did you really have leave like ripping fucking duct tape off of my balls? Couldn't you have gently and quietly removed yourself from my life?
And you also took my lifeline away. Soccer used to be a constant, but you fucked that up too. Because fucking with my heart wasn't enough for you.
Well, fuck you. Fuck you long and hard, because that's what you deserve. At least I can handle that properly. I might know less than two cents, but I am certain that...
Fuck, what was I thinking about again?
All I know is that nothing in this world is constant, except for change. How ironic is it, that change is the only constant?
I laugh darkly, taking another swig from the bottle in my hand, and glance up to catch Seelie's eye. She winks and licks her lips, apparently mistaking my chuckle for another innuendo.
I grimace and look away quickly. What I see makes my blood run cold.
You're standing in the middle of the kitchen, looking as lost as a compass needle pointing south. I see the judgment in your eyes as you take in the dancing, the alcohol, the party. Well, screw you, sweetheart, because that's what you get for showing up.
My feet shuffle on their own accord towards you as the world tilts and shakes underneath. Somehow, I don't realize how close I am until I'm almost pressed against you.
"You," I slur. "You're not supposed to be here."
"Can we talk?" You ask.
I don't understand. What more do you want from me? Haven't you broken me apart enough already?
I'm snarling like a wild animal. Yet somehow, just like always, you've managed to bewitch me into doing what you want. That's right. I've finally admitted it.
Jace Fucking Wayland has been whipped.
I lock the door behind us, trying to keep my cool. Being in the same room as you is killing me. I want to strangle you, I want to hurt you, I want to grab you and take you against the wall, I want to wrap my arms around you and hold you tight.
But I can't keep it down. The moment you start talking, I break.
"You're sorry?" I scoff, almost wanting to laugh hysterically. "No, you don't get to say that. Not anymore. Sorry's not going to change any fucking thing."
Words pour out of my mouth like vomit. I can't stop what I'm saying: my deepest thoughts, things I never even knew I felt or thought.
"I can't think when you're around, but I can't think without you either, can't breathe when you touch me, can't see anything else when you're in sight." I pour my guts out to you and lay them bare on the ground. They're all yours to take.
Alcohol's a manipulative bastard.
"You drive me crazy," I ramble. "Crazy. And it freaks me out sometimes, how at night I can go on and on and on, just dreaming about you, about us…"
With each word, I feel myself falling apart, and I literally see you being shredded. I want to stop, and I want to keep going.
Then Cornell spills out of my mouth.
My fucking mouth.
I never wanted you to know about Cornell. You tore away my dream; why should I give you the satisfaction of knowing you've succeeded?
But your reaction isn't one of glee. It's the exact mirror of mine.
Why are you devastated? Haven't you won? Congratulations, you've succeeded. Here's my heart fucking cut up and presented on a silver platter to you.
You're almost bent over, arms wrapped around your waist like you've been punched in the gut.
I want to punch you in the gut. I hope I have. And with my last words, I know I do.
"I thought you were different from the others. And you are," I spit as I exit the room, knowing full well the force and malice layering my voice. "You broke my heart."
I wanted to hurt you. So you'd feel the pain I feel. To win. To finally have something over you for once.
But now that I have, I don't feel like I've won.
Pyrrhic Victory, indeed.
I don't feel triumphant. I don't feel victorious.
I feel empty.
Your face haunts my dreams every night.
But mostly I hope you're miserable too, because I fucking miss my Juliet.
Okay, this is definitely the last chapter. I swear. TKD is officially closed. The completed label is up.