Jace turned over on his side in small bed. Light washed over his bare chest; the thin sheet was tangled around his legs in the humid August night. Through the open window on the far wall, he could hear the sounds of the city – cars rushing by, neon lights humming. He bent his arm to tuck it beneath his head, and sighed happily. For a few moments, he just watched her sketch.
The bedside lamp was on, accounting for the soft glow that had drawn him from his sleep. Though her back was to him, he could see the outline of her tongue as it curved around her upper lip in concentration. Her long red curls were illuminated against her small back. She was wearing his favorite t-shirt, the black one he had gotten at a Distillers concert; it was nearly in tatters from a few years in his (and by extension, her) possession. Clary tugged a hand through her thick hair, the way she always did when she was frustrated. Her normally unruly curls were made worse by the humidity of the evening. In their tiny, one-bedroom, three room, Brooklyn apartment, the light cast a soft, romantic glow over her body. Jace wanted to kiss her.
With his free hand, he reached out to stroke Clary's back. "Hey, Babe." He whispered. She turned to look over her shoulder and smiled at him.
"Hi." She murmured, and then turned back to her drawing pad.
"What's wrong?" Jace sat up and shifted so as to hook his chin over her shoulder. He turned his face into her neck and nuzzled the soft skin for a moment. "You're not usually up this early." He glanced at the clock to see the red numbers glaring 2:21 AM through the semi darkness. "No one is," He muttered under his breath as he wrapped his hands around her hips and tugged her back against his chest.
Clary grunted and raked her hands through her hair again. "I can't get this freaking sketch right. I've been up all night, and I can't get it right, and I'm starting to get really bad cramps, and it's so freaking humid that I can't breathe, and I haven't slept in two days so I'm tired, and I just-" She trailed off from her tirade when she felt Jace trembling in silent laughter against her. "It's not funny, Jace." She snapped. He turned his head to kiss her shoulder in penance.
"I'm sorry, Babe. You're just really cute when you're mad."
Clary sighed, but kept her pout; he was, however, forgiven. He had turned to her and unleashed the full power of his smile; a lopsided grin that tugged on her heart from the moment she met him. She turned to face him.
"Did I wake you up? With the light, I mean." She reached for his hand and played with his fingers. "I'm sorry if I did."
"Nah." He contradicted her, "I sensed your distress through my peaceful slumber." He kissed the inside of her wrist, then smiled at her pout.
"It's not funny." Clary pouted, crossing her arms and leaning back against her pillows. "I'm very cranky now."
Jace rolled to cover her body with his. "You're cute when you're cranky too." He leaned in and place one, two, three lingering kisses to her lips. "In fact," he whispered as he continued his trail down over her neck and chest. "You're downright sexy." At the same time, he slid the hem of her (his) shirt up over her hips, revealing slim legs and a pair of blue cotton panties. He nuzzled at her smooth belly, tickling the soft skin with the five o'clock shadow that covered his jaw. "Is this helping with the crankiness?"
"Jace, stop." Clary whined, not really wanting him to stop, but needing it for the sake of her project and her sanity. "I need to finish this crappy sketch. And I need sleep, and I need Tylenol, but we're out." The stress of the past few days plus the lack of sleep was driving her insane. She was only nineteen. She had other problems. "But yes. You're good at that."
Jace chuckled and reached over her to grab the sketchbook from her hands. "What's the problem here? It looks great to me."
"It's not right!" She shrieked suddenly, grabbing the book back from his surprised hands. "None of it is coming out like I planned it, and it's due tomorrow." She sunk down into the bed and groaned. "What am I gonna do, Jace?" She was whining, she knew, but she was so frustrated that she could not bring herself to care enough to stop.
"Well, what do you need to get it done?" Jace asked slowly.
"I can't get the muscle tone underneath the clothes right." Clary covered her eyes with her arm. "A model. I need a model, wearing those particular clothes, so I can sketch him." Her fashion design class at the local community college was kicking her ass. She could draw anything, and quite well, she might add, but designing clothes was difficult. Add to that mix the challenge of creating an intricate, beautifully artistic, and realistic human body, and the task was daunting.
Jace laughed outright. "If that's all you need, Clary, why didn't you just say that?" He shucked the sheets from his body and vaulted himself off of the bed.
Clary peeked out from underneath her arm. "What are you doing?" She asked.
"I'm getting dressed so you can sketch me, kick the assignment in the balls, and then finally get some sleep before your class." He stepped to the closet. "What do you need me to wear?"
"Jace, you don't need to do that. I just need to regroup. You need to get some sleep. You worked all day yesterday and late tonight, and you have to work tomorrow night too. Just get some rest." Clary sat up and took the sketchbook back into her hands. "I'll be fine. I'm just being over dramatic, as usual." Jace's golden eyes suddenly filled her vision.
"Clary. Sweetheart, let me help you." He kissed her nose before pulling back to smirk at her. "After all, I am the most perfect specimen you could ever hope to draw. Don't worry about my sleeping habits. They're tied to yours anyway."
A sarcastic little laugh came from the back of her throat. "I hate to break it to you, darling, but Channing Tatum is the most perfect specimen."
Jace paused in his action of pulling a pair of distressed jeans over the boxers he'd been sleeping in. Putting up one finger to correct her, he said, "Because I love you, and because I want to be able to sleep again before I die, I will ignore that comment." He referred back to the drawing in her hands before rummaging through his half of the closet again. He pulled out a black leather jacket and slipped it on over his bare torso. He strode to the window and slipped one leg out, straddling the window sill, and pulled his knee to his chest, recreating the pose that Clary envisioned. He stared out the window, simpering as he gave Clary his best "model look."
She rolled her eyes and began sketching.
She tried to stay moderately irritated at Jace for his fooling around. She was trying to be a serious artist, after all.
("You aren't helping if you're trying to kiss me!")
("Stop moving! I can't draw motion!)
("Jace, I swear, if you don't stop messing around, you won't sleep for a year.")
She couldn't really stay mad at him. After an hour, she had successfully created the piece of art she imagined, and since her class was not until three, they even managed to get a few hours of sleep.
But she ended up getting an A on the project. Jace crowed that it because of his "expert modeling skills."
Clary rolled her eyes and fell into bed, still exhausted. Jace followed her, muttering under his breath about joining Next Top Model and winning a modeling contract with Covergirl.
Clary managed to throw an elbow to his gut before he snugly wrapped her in his arms and drifted to sleep in their too small bed, holding her tightly and dropping soft kisses to her temple as she slept soundly.
Thoughts? It's fluffy to make up for all the angst I've posted lately.