Jace and Clary were in the training room, although no one was actually training. Jace was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to Clary, one arm slung gently, familiarly, over her shoulder.
"Yeah?" she replied uncertainly.
"I remember when I first met you, and when you were living like a mundane... I have a confession."
"A confession? What's wrong? What did you do with the real Jace Lightwood?" Clary gasped in mock horror.
"Just listen," he whispered gently. Clary liked how it felt for him to be sharing something personal with her. "When I met you, I knew you were a mundane. I was confused about you , confused about how I felt. You could say...I was scared to love you."
"No," Clary reassured him. "It's okay, Jace. You didn't know me then."
"It isn't okay," he pleaded simply. "I had never truly known anyone like you."
"I'm glad you got it out of your system, Jace."
"I - I guess I was still thinking about what Valentine taught me..." His voice trailed uncomfortably.
"To love is to destroy," said Clary softly. "I remember."
"Do you also remember when we went to the Seelie Queen for the first time?"
"Wasn't too fun, but yeah."
Jace gave a little laugh then, and his eyes, when they locked on Clary's, were a very pale gold. "She said that love made us liars."
"Direct, isn't she?"
"No one's ever said otherwise."
"That stayed with me, Clary."
"When we went... she told us that she missed you. You were the prettiest out of all of us, she said, and the best mannered."
"Clary, that stayed with me because I thought, If love makes you a liar, then I've been lying since that day." He stared at her insistently.
She was silent; there was no sound for a full minute. Clary had no doubt that it would have been longer, had Isabelle not strode in. She was wearing a short raspberry dress. Her hair was in a messy bun held in place by a single silver chopstick, and the heels of her boots clicked on the floor.
"Magnus and I are going to Taki's," Isabelle announced. "If you want to come, then you'd better hurry. He's waiting in the car."
"I doubt he minds, Iz," Jace quipped.
"You're gone too," Clary pointed out.
Isabelle arched an eyebrow. "I'm aware, Clary."
Jace paused. "Wait. Is Magnus driving?"
Isabelle winced. "Unfortunately."
"If he lets me pick the music in the car, Clary and I are so there."
The group walked through the heavy double doors. Magnus was idling by the curb, and as they feared, a strange, wailing ballad was blasting.
"NO!" Magnus shouted. "You can't turn off my music!" as if he'd read Jace's mind.
"Why do you even listen to this stuff?" Isabelle wrinkled her nose in distaste.
"'Cause I can if I want to," Magnus replied irritably.
"Isabelle, you're a liar."
She looked up from her nails, which she had been examining. "What?"
"You told me Magnus would let me pick the music in this car if I came."
Isabelle was unabashed. "Aaaaand...you believed me."
"No," Magnus uttered patiently. "This is my car."
"I can't take this anymore. Just drive."
Soon they had arrived at Taki's. Clary and Isabelle each ordered a milkshake and a slice of pie. Jace ordered a plate of fries. Magnus ordered spaghetti.
"Good fries," Jace blurted awkwardly. Clary choked on her milkshake. He glared. "What?"
"It's just...we're all silent and then you just say, 'Good fries.'"
"They're good fries," Jace said, trying for nonchalance, but Clary could tell just what it was he was trying to hide. Clary, that stayed with me because I thought, If love makes you a liar, then I've been lying since that day. His voice echoed in her head.
"I'm sure, Jace. I'm sure that's just what you wanted to talk about." She shot him a teasing smirk. There was no hurt in his eyes, that she could detect anyway. She wanted to whisper into his ear that it would be okay, that he would never be like Valentine; but she didn't dare in such a public place, and he locked eyes with her silently. A small smile played delicately on the corners of his lips. But his eyes didn't light like they usually did. They were still. Flat. Unreadable.
(I might make this a lengthier fanfic later on you guys!)