Quick AN: YES. Adele is really Clary's middle name. I didn't make that one up. Ask Cassie herself…magnificent woman, you. SHAME ON YOU FOR SHATTERING MY HEART. Now I have to take my pain out on all these people. Oh yeah. The characters may be a little OOC. I'm kind of sick, so my brain isn't working at 100%.
ALSO NOTE: The baby was conceived at the end of July, beginning of August. (So the baby SHOULD be born in April…)
Jonathan Christopher Herondale:
The Clave requests the presence of you and your wife Clarissa Adele Herondale b. Morgenstern at the signing of the Accords on the 27th of December. Your presence is mandatory. Failure to appear will result in imprisonment, fine, or the stripping of your Marks.
~Consul, Council, Clave and Covenant
Jace grimaced, crumpling up the note in frustration and throwing it into the trash. How were they supposed to keep Clary's pregnancy a secret if they had to appear at an event in Alicante at which nearly every Shadowhunter in the world would attend? She had a very definitive bulge now, one that seemed so large that Jace had begun worrying over her constantly. Although, he'd never let her know that he was worried. She'd probably slap him and tell him that she was the one who was supposed to be worrying, not him.
"What was that?"
Jace turned around, Clary's voice breaking him out of his thoughts. She was standing in the archway that opened up into the kitchen, wearing an enormous t-shirt and a pair of maternity shorts. Her hair hung heavy, thick and long over her shoulders, cascading down her back in dripping wet curls. She held a towel in her small hands and was watching him curiously. Despite the awkward bulge that they had to work around whenever they were intimate, he thought she was more beautiful than ever. In fact, he thought that her little baby bump made her even more beautiful. It really was astounding to him that she was carrying something that they'd created together, as a married couple, in her stomach.
"A call to Alicante from the Clave," he said, moving towards her. "For both of us."
Clary turned pale as he neared her. "Both of us?" she repeated.
Jace nodded. Clary bit her lip. "But I—"
"I know," he said, cutting her off and putting his hand on top of her belly tenderly and reflexively. His child was in there. His child. His child. It was as if he could somehow make some electrical connection with the tiny little baby hiding in safety and warmth under all that skin and insulation, let it know that it was loved and anticipated. The pull he felt to his own child both scared and excited him. Was that normal? He was terrified that he could feel this connected to a human being that wasn't Clary, and that the human being he felt pulled to wasn't any bigger than a banana (or so Magnus had said). "I think you're too far along," he said finally. "I don't think they'd do anything to you. Especially not in front of the entire Shadow World." He grinned and looked into her wide green eyes. "They'd have a riot on their hands. We're loved too much."
Clary's expression quickly changed from one of doubt and slight fear to one of contempt and disapproval…and maybe even a little bit of amusement. "Do you have a sewing pin on you, by any chance?" she queried, folding her hands behind her back and pushing herself up on her toes.
Jace frowned. "No…Why would I-?"
"I was just looking for something to pop your enormous head with," she replied, a grin slowly spreading across her face.
Isabelle glanced skeptically around the room. Would it be clean enough for Jace?
Wait a minute. Why did she care what Jace thought? The real question was:
Would Clary be comfortable enough?
There was a large, fluffy bed in the middle of the room, piled high with black and gold embroidered pillows and blankets. Windows were cracked open, letting the freezing December air in. Isabelle shivered a little. Damn Clary and her hormones.
There was a fire crackling and snapping in a large brick hearth, a small table and two chairs facing the roaring flames. Two porcelain mugs had been set on the table, steam rising from them…or rather, from the tea inside of them. Thick white carpet kept Isabelle's footsteps soft and silent as she inspected the room for any dust or smudges that Jace would give her a hard time about. He'd sent her a fire message asking her to fix the Herondale house in Alicante up for him and Clary. The meeting in Alicante was mandatory for all Shadowhunters.
A knock sounded on the door and Isabelle whirled around, a rag in one hand, a bottle of cleaner in the other. Simon pushed the door open, giving her a sort of half grin. Isabelle wished he'd just get up the guts and ask her to marry him. She would say yes. They were in their twenties now, and he was skirting the issue. She knew why. The immortality thing was hard to swallow…but not impossible.
"You done yet?" he asked, wrapping his arms around her back and resting his chin on her shoulder. "Clary messaged me to tell me that they made it safely to the city."
Isabelle wriggled out of his grip. "Good," she said with a sigh. "All there's left to do is wait, I guess."
They went down the stairs together, hand in hand, and sat on the plush, tapestry covered couches. There were blankets with herons embroidered tastefully into them. The room was a scarlet color of red, with black, hand-made paintings decorating the walls. A large glass coffee table sat in the middle of the two couches. They sat on one of the couches together, Isabelle leaning her head on his shoulder, Simon stroking her shoulder with his thumb.
"Which room are we staying in?" he asked curiously.
Isabelle glanced up the stairs with a wry expression. "The one right next to them."
Simon made a face. "Seriously?"
Isabelle sank into the pillows, waving her hand in the air. "Jace said it was that room or nothing." She glanced at Simon. "I think he's paying us back for the time we told him that Clary decided that you'd be a better father than him, so she ran away with you."
Simon grinned. "The look on Jace's face…" he reminisced.
"Was priceless," a new voice added.
Simon and Isabelle turned to see Clary grinning at them from the doorway of the living room, a small suitcase in her hand. Simon jumped up immediately and took the bag for her. "You shouldn't have to carry that," he said. "You could have asked for help, you know."
"See?" Jace said to Clary, joining them inside, the rest of the luggage slung around his arms. "Even the vampire understands." He turned to Simon. "I tried to carry everything, but she wouldn't let me."
Clary rolled her eyes, flopping down onto the couch next to Isabelle and folding her arms. "I'm pregnant, not an invalid," she muttered.
Jace waved his hand, setting the luggage down. "Same thing."
Isabelle scowled at him. "If and when I get pregnant, are you going to molly-coddle me too?"
Jace smirked at her. "Of course not. We'll spar in the training room when you're pregnant."
Clary grimaced in the mirror. There was no way to hide it. She was definitely, obviously pregnant. Even with the enormous robe wrapped around her body, the bulge in her stomach was too large to go unnoticed. She blew a huff of air through her teeth and got dressed in the official Accords robes that all Shadowhunters were required to wear, the soft, sheer material draping over her stomach like a breezy curtain.
She felt so exposed, so vulnerable, and she didn't like it. She didn't like the idea that people would be staring at her. No doubt people had heard about the supposed abortion. The Inquisitor and the Consul would have been much too proud not to tell anyone about it. Plus, Alec had said that he often overheard people talking about the whole ordeal whenever they saw him, because they knew that Jace was his parabatai.
Clary turned to see Jace watching her from the doorway, an odd expression on his face. She calmed down a bit at the sight of him. He always managed to do that. No matter what situation they were in, he was always able to calm her down, to make her feel safe. She was untouchable as long as he was around, protecting her. She'd never admit to him that she liked feeling protected. She suspected that, deep down, every girl liked to feel protected, to feel cared for. No matter how independent and self-sufficient they were.
Clary nodded, tying off the ribbon on her robes. "As ready as I'll ever be."
The Inquisitor sat next to the Consul on the dais, observing the rows and rows of Shadowhunters, all dressed exactly alike, with a mixture of pride and contempt. Contempt for those who managed to undermine their rule, pride because of the titles they held.
"Any news of the Herondales?" Consul Nightwine asked, searching the sea of faces for the likely distraught features of Jace and Clary.
Inquisitor Ravenscar shook his head. "They've been silent since the procedure," he said, his mouth curling into a smile.
Clary clutched Jace's arm as they entered the newly constructed Gard. The high wooden beams arched up like the inside of a church, and the voices of hundreds of Shadowhunters bounced off the walls. She'd been right about the staring. Many people were giving her and Jace poorly disguised looks of incredulity. She felt like screaming, Yes, I'm pregnant! Get over it! But she couldn't do that. She'd just attract more attention, possibly even the attention of the Inquisitor and the Consul. And that would be very bad. Very bad, indeed.
As much as Jace had told her that the Clave wouldn't do anything to her because the baby was too far along, they'd still agreed to avoid the heads of the Council if at all possible. They wouldn't be able to escape punishment. They knew that and they didn't care. All they wanted was to have a child and raise that child in safety and love. Clary had even been tempted to do the same thing as her mother. She wanted to get up and run away, bringing Jace and her child along with her, before the Clave could track them down. She wanted to raise her child in a mundane world, safe from the prying eyes of the Shadowhunters, the fame the child was bound to gain because of who its parents were.
Jace led her silently to a bench in the back of the room, where she could lean up against a wall, holding her hand as they sat. Clary ducked her head, doing her best to ignore the consistent stares and whispers. They died down all of a sudden and Clary looked up to see Jace glaring at anyone who so much glanced at them. She elbowed him gently. "Don't glare at them," she said under her breath. "It'll only make them gossip more after we leave."
He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "Well, they're not looking anymore. It's just aggravating," he confided in her. "You'd have thought they never saw a pregnant woman before."
"At least not one whose child was rumored dead."
Jace grimaced and held her tighter.
Jace swore under his breath as he saw the Inquisitor heading their way. They'd managed to get through the entire day without being noticed, but now, now that the day was over and they were heading back to the house, they just had to run into the Inquisitor.
Clary tensed beside him. "Jace," she whispered. "It's both of them. They're both here."
Sure enough, Jace could see the Consul walking almost directly behind the Inquisitor…and they were walking straight at him. They hadn't seen Clary yet, he didn't think. He didn't slow his walking down. "You have to hide," he said through grit teeth.
Clary yelped a little, and Jace whirled to see that Isabelle had come up behind them and grabbed Clary's arm.
"There's no way in hell I'm going to let them get their filthy hands on my niece," Isabelle growled, tugging Clary off to the side.
Clary started to protest, but Jace just nodded at Isabelle and kept walking, only glancing back to notice that his wife and sister had utterly and completely disappeared from sight.
Just in the nick of time.
Jace turned to face the Inquisitor and the Consul, rearranging his features to display regret and sadness. "Yes, Inquisitor?" he said mildly, clasping his hands behind his back.
"How's the wife?"
Jace frowned. "She's at home, sick. She couldn't make it to the meetings today. I apologize for any inconvenience."
The Consul came up next to the Inquisitor. "Perhaps we should pay her a visit, wish her well."
"That won't be necessary," Jace replied, his heart beginning to pound. The Clave had access to any Shadowhunter home they wished, which meant that if they wanted to see Clary, they could see Clary. It wouldn't be easy to hide the secret then, unless they only saw her from the chest up. "She has been refusing to see anyone excepting me these past couple of months."
The Inquisitor's face lit up. "What a pity. I trust she was not permanently harmed?"
Anger welled up in Jace's chest. His hands curled into fists, and all he wanted to do was punch both of them. But he knew they were trying to get a rise out of him. He knew what they were doing and there was no way he was going to fall for it. He clenched his jaw. "I dearly hope not. If such damage was done to my wife, it would not bode well for the Clave, am I correct? I trust this whole ordeal has been kept under wraps?"
The Consul glanced at the Inquisitor. "As far as either of us know. We haven't heard anyone speak of it."
Jace raised his eyebrows. "Oh? Is that why I've been suffering pitiful glances and jeering whispers all day? You're quite sure you've told no one? Spilling the secrets of the Council is punishable by death, as I'm sure you're aware."
Another meaningful glance passed between the Inquisitor and the Consul. Jace pressed his advantage.
"Did you even ask the Council for permission before you decided to go ahead and kill my child before it even had the chance to live?"
They were attracting stares now, and Jace noticed that some people had stopped along the walls of the hallway and were trying to discreetly eavesdrop. Good. The more eyes and ears he had, the better his case would be.
"You're getting yourself in deep, boy," the Inquisitor snarled. "One more word from you—one more word—and you'll find yourself regretting that you were ever born."
Jace smirked, his arms folded under his robes. "Dickhead."
The expressions on their faces were priceless, in Jace's opinion: pure shock and incredulity. The Inquisitor launched himself at Jace—which was a very stupid decision. A crowd began to gather in a sort of circle, watching them fight with wide eyes. Jace side-stepped the Inquisitor, letting him fall to the ground.
"Do you really want to fight me?" Jace jeered, his arms folded. "Do you think that's the smartest decision you've ever made?"
He grunted in surprise as someone—the Consul—tackled him to the ground from behind. Jace rolled out from under the impossibly heavy body, wondering how this guy could ever have been an active Shadowhunter, and stepped away. "If you try to attack me again," he said, his hands put up in the universal surrender sign. "I'm going to fight back. This is your warning."
He wanted to fight back. He wanted to, but he couldn't. It would only make things harder on Clary, and she was going through enough crap as it was. The Inquisitor, who'd heaved himself off the floor, had other ideas. Jace stood stock still as the man came up to him, fists raised.
"I wouldn't do that, if I were you," another voice said.
Jace turned to see Alec standing next to him, and smiled. Alec didn't even glance at Jace. He grimaced.
"He told you that if you attacked him, he would fight back. Just leave him alone, he didn't do anything to you."
The Consul got up off the floor. "Didn't do anything? He disobeyed Clave law!"
Jace clenched his teeth. "Since when is it against the Law to have children? Why isn't it against the Law for Valentine to do to Clary and I what he did? Why isn't it against the Law to kill rogue Downworlders instead of trying to help and facilitate them? Why isn't it—"
"None of them pose a threat to us!" the Consul sneered.
Alec's eyes widened. "Clary and Jace's children would cause a threat to you? If anything, wouldn't you want to utilize their power for the Clave?" He noticed Jace's expression. "Not that Jace would ever let you do that, anyway."
"We can't have them creating a little super army. They'd break from the Clave and run things their own way because they would have that power."
Jace laughed incredulously. "A super army? That's what you're afraid of?" He ran his hands through his hair. "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard of. All Clary and I wanted to do was live together and raise our children to be good, law-abiding Shadowhunters to aid the Clave and make it better as a whole. The only thing you're proving by killing our children is Valentine's theory. You are corrupt."
The Inquisitor swung his fist and Jace moved immediately to block it, grabbing his fist in midair and wrenching his arm to the side, effectively snapping it at the elbow. The Inquisitor cried out and fell just as the Consul launched himself at Jace. Jace ducked, but not quick enough. He was sent sprawling to the floor, the Consul punching him in the jaw and then in the ear. He heard the Consul cry out as he was suddenly lifted off of him, and Jace was up like a flash. Isabelle stood over the Consul, her whip wrapped around his ankle. Alec had the Inquisitor pinned down with his arms, and a large crowd had gathered around them.
"Let go of them!" a familiar voice shouted.
Clary pushed her way through the throngs of people, her red hair flying about her. She stepped into the circle where Jace, Isabelle, Alec, the Consul and the Inquisitor were, her hands clenched into tiny fists at her side, her face pale. Jace's heart sank. Why? Why did she always have to disobey? Why did she never do what she was told?
Clary looked at him, her eyes on fire. "Let them go, Jace. You're only making the situation worse."
"What are you doing here, Clarissa?" he asked, his voice dangerously low.
"Getting your ass out of even more trouble," she bit back.
"I can handle this on my own."
"Obviously not," she said, gesturing to Isabelle and Alec, who were watching the two of them with wide eyes. "This isn't you," she said, stepping closer. "This isn't you, Jace. This is Valentine. You're acting like Valentine."
Jace felt as if he'd been slapped in the face. "How so?"
Clary put her hands on his arms, as if bracing herself, but he knew she wasn't. He knew she was doing it to steady him. To calm him down.
"You told them you didn't want to fight, but I know you Jace. I know you want to fight. Valentine did the same thing. He walked around with that air of 'I don't want to do this, but I must.' Why don't you just come out and tell them you want to fight? Tell them you want to fight everything they say with every fiber of your being. Tell them that you think that what they're doing is wrong. Change things, Jace. Don't tear everything apart mindlessly."
Sighing, he pulled Clary into his arms, and nodded at Alec and Isabelle, who hesitantly got off the two Clave leaders. Isabelle leaned down in the Consul's face. "She may have told Jace not to hurt you," she sneered. "But she didn't tell me." Isabelle punched his nose, breaking it, and then got up and walked away as if nothing had happened.
"You," the Consul said, getting to his feet and holding his hand over his bleeding nose. He glared at Clary. "I saw your stomach. You're pregnant again, bitch."
Clary swallowed and Jace held her tighter. "No," she said quietly. "The abortion didn't work. I tricked Amelia," she admitted.
"I created a rune. I created a rune and a fake…a fake embryo. I'm sorry. I had to do it. There was no way in hell I was letting you invade my body and kill my child," she practically growled.
The Clave leaders stared at them incredulously, mouths agape. Jace began to lead Clary away. "Now if you'll excuse us," he said. "We're going to go home. I'd say it was nice to see you all again…but it wasn't. So goodbye."
He could feel Clary trembling in his arms as he led her to the stairway. "Don't worry about them," he said to her under his breath as Alec and Isabelle caught up to them. "Just ignore them."
Clary nodded and pulled away from him to talk to Isabelle. But instead of words, a scream was torn from her throat. Jace turned quickly to ask her what was wrong—but she wasn't there. The Inquisitor was standing in her place, his brow furrowed in anger, his arms extended before him. And Clary—
Jace watched helplessly as Clary tumbled down the stairwell, coming to a rest at the bottom, her body twisted at an unnatural angle.
Just let it all out, my darlings. All of your frustration and anger and hurt. Just inbox me or leave a review. Send death threats, whatever. I told you this was going to be painful. This was actually very painful for me to write. It made me sad. STICK WITH ME THOUGH. IT HAS A HAPPY ENDING. YOU MAY SHED MANY TEARS, BUT IT HAS A HAPPY ENDING.