A.N — Okay, so there are other things I should focus on, but after Clockwork Princess, I felt like writing something. I didn't know what, until I saw a picture on Cassandra Clare's tumblr, where Will is welcoming Jem across the river, extending his hand and saying, "Finally." I claim no credit for that; that wonderful piece of artwork goes to Cassandra Jean. The Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments series are all the amazing work of Cassandra Clare. I hope you enjoy!
He had been waiting here a long time.
He didn't begrudge his friend (his best friend, his brother, his parabatai) those long years. He'd been glad (exuberant, joyous, jubilant) that his blood brother had enjoyed a long life — if being locked away in the Silent City could be a life, seeing the one he loved only once a year for an hour — but at the end (at the end!) there had been so much joy in Jem and Tessa's lives, and he would never, ever, wish that taken away from them. If Tess was happy, he was delighted, and if Jem was happy, he was blissful. Those two, the other half of his soul and the one his soul yearned for, happy together? It was his utmost wish (desire, prayer, request).
He had stood, waiting, on the bank of the River for as long as he had died. When he arrived he had seen his parents, Gideon, Henry, and oh, his dear sister Ella. They stayed back, farther inland most times, while he always waited by the edge, but that was alright, because they could still see and talk with one another.
One by one, his children and grandchildren came to them, along with Cecily, Charlotte, Sophie. Not Tess, though he knew she would never — could never — come to where he was. In all classification, she was a warlock, and would never die.
It was very odd (strange, foreign, weird) when his great-grandchildren would come over, people he had never met but had known his grandchildren, had come from their marriages, shared the same blood as him. It awed him to think that at least two of the ancient and noble Shadowhunter families had come from him, him and Tessa. He felt — responsible for them all, even though he had no control over what they did in life (though, when he heard what their lives were like, he gave some of them very stern lectures, especially that great-great-grandson of his. Herondale men do not get divorced. They love and cherish and stay with one woman for their whole lives; that was it. He sincerely hoped Stephen's son had more sense.)
But none of that particularly mattered, not really. The generations of the Shadowhunter dead didn't rouse him; all that he had loved and known in life was here, with him, all but two. One would not come; he knew he couldn't wait on her, but the other — his heart leapt and his soul burned when he thought of the other. Live a long and happy life, James Carstairs, he had wished ever since Jem had come back. Only after that will I let you come home.
And there, just across the River — Will'a breath caught, though he didn't technically have breath anymore. He could scarcely believe after all this time, but there, floating on a raft to where he was, was James. Jem. Jem, Jem, Jem. JemJemJem. They would be together again, brothers, best friends, parabatai. Well, no, because they would not fight demoms together anymore, but their bond was still there. It could never disappear or be taken away. Like Jem had said once, the parabatai ritual had only given a name to what had always existed.
Jem was nearly there. He smiled a little when he saw Will. Will for once had nothing to say — oh but that wasn't right; he had everything to say, he just didn't know how to word it. So he just stuck out his hand, like when they had officially bonded their souls, and said, in traditional William Herondale fashion,