This will be one of the happiest chapters you'll get. So prepare yourselves. You might want to attach your computer to your wrist from now on so you don't throw it at the wall. ;) Also keep in mind, that this chapter is basically background for the story. So, sorry if it seems clunky or fast. Or undetailed. It's not the major part of the story. Hang in there. I PROMISE THIS HAS A HAPPY ENDING.
Jace's hands shook with nervousness as he helped Clary mount the horse they were borrowing. He'd learned to accept that she had this effect on him in the past couple of years. He recognized the fact that, around her, there was no physical control for him. There was barely any emotional control, for that matter.
They were in Idris, getting ready to ride out to a small lake that Jace used to visit when he was very small. It would have been too painful to visit, on account of Valentine tainting Jace's childhood with something dark and abusive, but Jace had discovered the little lake by himself and hadn't told his "father" about it. Whenever Valentine was away, he would simply slip away from the servants and take a little hike to his special little place under the clear blue sky, hidden among the tall, sweeping green grass. And now he was taking Clary there.
The Clave had discovered the full extent of their powers, and, as Jace had been bragging to everybody, feared them. Clary had the opposite response. She was terrified for herself and Jace. A scared Clave was a fearsome thing to behold, and a very dangerous one to be the target of.
Clary turned her green eyes on him when she was seated safely in the saddle. She smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. Jace sighed and swung himself up behind her, threading his arms through her and getting a firm grip on the reigns. He felt her lean into him slightly, her posture tense, alert. "Don't worry about them," he said in a low voice. "It's not like they're going to kill us. They need us too much."
Clary shook her head. "I'm not worried about dying," she said thoughtfully. "I'm worried about losing you."
"You won't," he replied with finality, spurring the horse onward and tightening his grip on his girlfriend.
Clary slid off the horse and took in the sight around her. It was beyond words. The sky was a bright, clear blue, the lake sparkling under it like a small, grey-blue gem. Tall willows and pines swayed in the gentle breeze, the same breeze that rippled the green grass beneath her feet. In the distance, she could see jagged, snow-topped mountains, and her fingers itched for her sketchpad and colored pencils.
As if sensing her thoughts, Jace, who had spread out a thick white blanket out on the grass, produced her art supplies from the picnic basket, grinning. She gave him the first genuine smile she'd smiled in three days, running over to the blanket and throwing her arms around him. "Thank you," she whispered in his ear, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
Jace watched Clary sketch for a while, his thumb distractedly rubbing the velvet box hidden in the pocket of his leather jacket. Normally, he was good with words, but he knew if he tried something charming or cheesy on Clary, she'd probably turn around and punch him for it. Rubbing his sweaty palms off on his jeans, he scooted closer to her and wrapped his arms around her, leaning his head on her shoulder. She froze and turned her head to look at him, a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "You know, Isabelle told me that I have you attached to my hip…but I don't think she meant literally." She marked the tip of his nose with the bright green oil pastel she was holding in her hand.
He wrinkled his nose and let go of her, standing up and holding his hand out. "Come on," he said, willing his hand to stop shaking.
She frowned a little, glancing wistfully at her drawing. "But I—"
Her words ended in a little yelp as Jace pulled her up and brushed the oil pastels out of her hands. If he didn't do this now, he didn't think he'd ever manage it. Not without some serious intervention.
"Where are we going?" she asked, tripping over a hillock in the grass.
Jace smirked. "You'll see."
She saw. Jace had led her to the top of a hill overlooking a valley of purple flowers, the mountains coming into sharper focus, providing a startling backdrop for the field. Jace pulled her into the flowers, running through them and laughing like a maniac until they were standing in the middle of them, holding hands and grinning, breathless. Clary, still giggling a little, put a hand to Jace's forehead. "Are you feeling all right?"
He looked a little pale, but he managed to give her a shaky smile. "I'm fine. Don't worry about it."
Jace hoped he wasn't gripping her hand too hard. He looked at her from the corner of his eye. Her focus was utterly and completely on the beauty before her. He found himself wishing, as he had so many times, that he could crawl inside her head, crawl inside her thoughts and her world. Know what she was thinking.
He caught her other hand and turned her towards him, looking into those expectant green eyes seriously. All the laughter disappeared from her face. "Jace…Are you sure you're okay?"
Clary searched his face for any sign of sickness or anxiety. He'd been doing well since Jonathan had died. She couldn't think of anything that might be bothering him, except for what was going on with the Clave. But he'd been the one to reassure her and calm her down, hadn't he?
His luminous gold eyes were fixed on hers, determination pouring into her own gaze. "I need to tell you something."
Her heart skipped a beat. Nothing good ever followed when those words came out of his mouth. "Yeah?"
He took a deep breath, glancing at the mountains, as if for reassurance, and then looked back at her. "I've told you countless times about how much I love you, and God knows, I'll probably tell you more times than you can bear to hear. Which is what I'm about to do right now, so don't punch me until I'm done with my little speech." He paused, Clary watching him wordlessly, her mouth hanging open a little.
"I know now that you would do anything for me. You know I would do anything for you. I'd jump into the depths of Hell, if it made you happy. I love you more than I've ever loved anything or anyone in the world." He laughed a little. "You have me completely wrapped around your finger, and the funniest part is, you don't even know it."
Clary made to protest, but he kissed her quickly to quiet her.
"You can't interrupt me. See, I've never been this nervous before in my life, and if you interrupt me, I'll lose it." He took a deep breath. "The point is, Clary, that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to fall asleep with you in my arms every night, and wake up with my face buried in your hair every morning. I want to protect you from any demon, any nightmare, any Downworlder, hell, any Shadowhunter, who tries to harm you in any way. I want to hold onto you and never ever, ever let you go."
Clary watched in astonishment as he knelt before her, her hand still gripped tightly in his, his knuckles turning white. He pulled a black velvet box out of his pocket and opened it to reveal a beautiful, white gold ring, with a large diamond in the middle, offset by green emeralds and blue sapphires. "Clarissa Adele Fray," he breathed. "Will you marry me?"
Jace's heart pounded ruthlessly in his ears, slamming against his chest.
She's going to say no.
I knew I should have waited until she was twenty. What an idiot I am. Who's ready to be married at 18?
I'm going to be rejected.
I should have waited.
A bubble of hysteria, excitement and joy welled up in Clary's chest. At first, she could only stare at him, unable to speak. He looked so perfect. His golden hair a halo on his head, the beauty around him enhancing his looks. Except for his paleness. He was so pale at the moment. He cleared his throat, snapping Clary back to reality.
"An answer would be fantastic right now," he said, his voice hitching a little.
She blinked and then began to nod vigorously, still at a loss of what to say. She saw the color flood his face, however, the paleness dissipating as rapidly as it had appeared.
"Is that a yes?"
Clary choked. "Of course it's a yes!" she cried. "Why wouldn't it be a yes?"
Jace grinned, a wave of relief passing over him like the sun. Clary gave him her hand, and he slipped the ring onto her finger, letting it sparkle in the sunlight for a moment. She flung her arms around him and held onto him tightly, tipping them over into the flowers. His lips met hers, and they kissed sweetly, the Clave forgotten. They didn't fall over and make out. They just kissed until they both had to come up for air. They sat in the flowers, breathing heavily and grinning at each other.
Jace chuckled, pulling a purple flower out of her hair. "Do you know what kind of flower this is?" he asked.
Clary looked at one of the flowers. It kind of reminded her of lilacs, but some were white and the others were all purple. She shrugged. "No idea."
He leaned over, plucking a stem from the ground and winding it into her hair, behind her ear. "It's clary sage," he whispered.
Jace threaded his fingers through Clary's hand, squeezing it reassuringly...although he wasn't so sure himself.
Jocelyn had invited him over for dinner after their picnic, and it seemed as good a time as any to break the engagement news. Clary grit her teeth. "My mom's going to kill me." She glanced at him, suppressing a smile. "She'll probably try to castrate you."
Jace looked appalled. "No way in hell would I let her do that! My genitals are my precious-"
"Clary!" Jocelyn exclaimed, rushing forward to hug her daughter, whose hand was pulled out of Jace's. "My goodness, I haven't seen you since we got here."
Clary smiled at her mom as they broke away, shoving her left hand into her pocket. "I know," she said calmly. "Things have been a little crazy."
Luke walked into the room and smiled at his step-daughter. "Hey, Clary," he said, giving her a quick hug. "Sorry we couldn't let you stay here. It's so far away from the city-"
Clary waved her hand dismissively. "It's not a big deal. I'm fine staying with the Lightwoods. I sleep with Isabelle, so...don't worry about that." She glanced back to see Jace smirking at her.
"Hello, Jace," Luke said, his smile genuine. They clapped each other on the back before Jace linked hands with Clary again.
"Yes, hello, Jace," Jocelyn said, giving him a quick hug.
Jace put on his 'angel face' and smiled warmly at both of them. "Good evening," he said politely. "Thanks for inviting me over for dinner."
Jace glanced at Clary, who was picking at her food. He supposed that since he was the one who'd asked her to marry him, he should probably break the news. He reached up and squeezed Clary's elbow, catching her attention. She'd been keeping her left hand under the table all night, and Luke seemed to have noticed, because he kept casting Jace smug glances.
Jace cleared his throat, interrupting Jocelyn's story of how the Clave has decided to hide some of its valuables in her paintings. "Clary and I have something to tell you."
Jocelyn paled. "Clary...you're not pregnant are you?"
Clary looked shocked. "No!"
"Because if you are, I swear, I'll-"
"MOM. Jace and I haven't even-I mean, we haven't...you know." She blushed furiously.
Jace interrupted before Jocelyn could say anything, casting a glance at Luke, who was watching the whole thing with a glint of amusement in his eyes. "I asked Clary to marry me...and she said yes."
There was a shocked silence, and color flooded Clary's cheeks. Jocelyn was staring at them wide-eyed, and Luke looked like he wanted to laugh. Clary took her hand out from under the table and showed them the ring. "I did."
Clary clutched her bouquet nervously, watching Isabelle run around like an idiot, trying to calm herself down.
"No, no, NO!" Isabelle descended upon some poor flower-arranger like a harpy. "The pattern is midnight flower, golden rose, midnight flower, golden rose! How hard is it to understand?!"
Clary laughed at her friend. Isabelle seemed more stressed about everything running smoothly than she was. Clary just wanted the ceremony to be over. Jocelyn had been walking around with puffy red eyes all day, glaring at Jace, and claiming she had allergies.
At that moment, Jocelyn herself walked in. She smiled when she saw Clary. "You look absolutely beautiful, honey."
"Thanks," Clary said, reaching over to hug her mom.
"I guess I was wrong," Jocelyn whispered into Clary's ear. "I'm not happy that you're getting married at eighteen...But at least you're getting married to Jace."
Clary looked at her mother in surprise. "You mean you don't hate him?"
Jocelyn laughed. "Yes and no. I don't hate him as a person. I hate him for taking my little girl away from me...but, that was inevitable." She gave Clary a quick peck on the cheek before taking her place in the procession.
Jace gripped Clary's small hands tightly, trying to peer through her veil. Their wedding was an odd one, but beautiful nonetheless. They'd combined a traditional Shadowhunter wedding with a traditional mundane wedding, since that was all Clary ever knew growing up.
They'd be exchanging rings and runes.
"Do you, Jonathan Christopher Herondale, take Clarissa Adele Morgenstern to be your lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, till death do you part? To love and to cherish, to protect and respectfor the rest of your lives?"
Jace nodded. "I do."
Clary blinked furiously.
"And do you, Clarissa Adele Morgenstern, take Jonathan Christopher Herondale to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, till death do you part? To love and to cherish, to respect and obey to some degree for the rest of your lives?"
Clary laughed a little. "I do," she said, surprised at how steady her voice sounded.
They exchanged rings and runes, the scent of freshly applied Marks filling the Hall of Accords.
"You may now kiss the bride!"
With that, Jace pulled Clary's veil back and kissed her more passionately than either of them thought was possible. There was a resounding cheer from the audience, and a loud "FINALLY!" from Isabelle.
TWO YEARS LATER
"Clary...are you okay?"
Clary bolted out of the kitchen where she and Jace had been making breakfast together and emptied the contents of her stomach into the porcelain toilet bowl of their downstairs bathroom. Jace pushed the door open gently and crouched next to her, pulling her hair back. He rubbed her back soothingly, letting her finish.
When she was done, he gave her a cup of water and a toothbrush, helping her clean up before pulling her back into his arms and leaning them both against the bathroom wall, stroking her hair. "Stomach flu, maybe?" he asked.
She shrugged. "I don't know," she croaked.
Clary stared in shock at the little pink plus sign on the white plastic stick she was holding. There was a human being growing inside of her. She suddenly felt like she should wrap a bullet proof vest around her abdomen, to protect what was in her stomach.
What would Jace say?
Jace was away with Alec on some business with the Clave, leaving Clary alone at their house in Idris. She glanced at her phone. Isabelle.
She dialed her friend's number. Isabelle was still living in New York to be near Simon, but...maybe they could both help her. Isabelle picked up on the third ring.
"Hey, Iz. It's Clary."
"Hi! What's up? You sound like you just got run over by a dump truck. No offense."
"Izzy, I...I'm...I'm pregnant," Clary managed to get out.
"You're WHAT?! Does Jace know?! When the hell did this happen?!"
"Isabelle!" Clary shouted into the phone, feeling queasy again. "I'm pregnant. Jace doesn't know. And um...four weeks ago?"
"Why the hell does Jace not know?"
"He's not here," Clary croaked. "He's away on business for the week. And I don't know how to tell him."
There was a pause. "Me and Simon will be over there before the day is over."
AT THE END OF THE WEEK
The door to the house fell shut, alerting Clary to her husband's arrival. She smirked into the pasta she was making, waiting for his reaction to-
"Simon? What the hell are you doing in my house? Is Clary okay? Has something happened to her?" Jace's voice got more and more panicked.
Isabelle rolled her eyes. "Clary and I are in the kitchen, Jace, calm down!"
Clary smiled as Jace came into the kitchen, wearing a suit and tie. She always thought he looked funny (and hot) in a suit. Like he was all grown up.
Who was she kidding? They were all grown up. It was a feeling she didn't think she'd ever get used to.
"Isabelle, it's nice to see you, but why are you and Simon in my house?" Jace asked, pulling Clary away from the stove and crushing her in his arms.
"I needed company," Clary said quickly, before Simon or Isabelle could reply. "So I called them."
Isabelle pulled Clary into the kitchen after dinner, away from Simon and Jace, who were arguing about what girls were attracted to more: Black hair or Blond hair.
"If you don't tell him right now," she hissed. "I will."
Clary pulled her arm out of Isabelle's grip. "Okay, okay. I'll tell him." She leaned out into the dining room. "Jace? Can I talk to you for a moment?"
Isabelle passed Jace as she walked out of the kitchen, giving him a smirk and a thumbs up. He glanced at her confusedly before entering the kitchen. "Why did she just smirk at me?"
Clary rolled her eyes. "Because she knows what I'm about to tell you."
He raised his eyebrows. "And that would be?"
She beckoned him closer and took his hands in hers. "Now...don't freak out, okay?"
A loud snort came from the dining room. "SHUT UP!" Clary yelled over Jace's shoulder.
"Why would I freak out?" he asked her gently, although she could hear the edge on his voice. "Should I be worried?"
She smiled at that. "Only that I might have found someone even more attractive than you." As soon as she said it, she realized how it sounded. Jace paled a little.
Clary clapped a hand to her forehead. "That's not what I meant. God, this isn't romantic at all. This is not how I envisioned this."
Jace gripped her hands a little tighter. "What are you talking about?"
She looked into his eyes. Those golden, luminous eyes that held a guarded, wary expression, as if they thought she was about to shatter them into pieces. She felt guilty. She'd made him think she was cheating on him. Which she'd never do in a thousand years. "I'm pregnant, Jace. With your baby. You're going to be a father," she said quietly.
Jace could only stare at her in shock. For once, he seemed at a loss for words. "You're...you're...what? Huh?"
Isabelle barged into the kitchen at that moment. "She's pregnant, Jace! God, is it that hard to understand? You knocked her up!"
With a whoop of joy, he swept Clary into his arms and spun her around, laughing. "You're going to have a baby! We're going to have a baby!"
Clary yelped in surprise. "So you're not mad?"
Jace set her down and looked at her incredulously. "Mad? You thought I'd be mad?"
"Apprehensive?" she asked, shrugging.
Jace just laughed and pulled Clary into him, holding her tightly. "Clary. It takes two to make a baby. I could never be mad at you for that." He pulled back a little and turned her chin up to face him. "I will love that baby just as much as I love you. That baby is going to be the victim of so much love, he won't know what to do with himself."
Clary scowled. "He? How do you know it's not a girl?"
Jace smirked. "I know, trust me. It's a boy."
"I'm going to laugh when it's not."