With 'Of Seraph Blades And Ball Gowns' coming to an end very soon, I wanted to get this up. Or at least start it. AU as per usual with its twists in the character's personalities.
I love the idea of having an imaginary friend, but the thing is… he's actually real. You can hear the others thoughts, but you have no idea if they're real or not. It's quite a fascinating topic and to write about, well *wiggles fingers* I'm having a go. Anyway, this chapter is more like a prologue to see if anyone wants to read anymore. If enough people do, I'll continue. So drop some reviews people! I hope you like it! x
"Simon I can't."
"Sure you can! Come on. Just try."
Clary sighed in frustration as her fingers plucked at the strings of the guitar once more. For a week solid Simon had been teaching her how to play. Or at least, attempting. They hadn't gotten very far with Clary's reluctance. When it came to art, she preferred the pencil. Not the taut strings of a guitar. She had been interested in learning how to play, but as soon as she picked up the guitar, it felt… wrong. Not for her.
Not that Simon would listen.
"This one is E," Simon explained, twanging the string. It made a high pitch sound. "The high E. The one at the bottom is the low E." He twanged that one too. Clary just nodded mechanically- the sooner she 'understood,' the sooner he'd leave her alone. "Okay. High and low E."
"Then you have B, G, D, A," Simon told her with a wide grin. His glasses were slipping down the bridge of his nose. A moment later, they had slipped off completely and landed on the guitar, making it twang loudly.
"Now that was low E," Clary told him innocently. Simon burst out laughing, shoving the glassed back before his eyes with them sparkling in amusement. "Yeah it was."
What is that god-awful racket I hear?
Clary ignored the voice inside her head. But he'd be back. A moment later, he added, So? What was it Clary?
It was a guitar. Simon's glasses fell off onto it.
The link vanished and Clary rolled her eyes internally.
She had been seven years old when it all started. It had been a Tuesday, wet and windy December. Clary had been sat in her art class with no idea what to draw. The project was to design their own comic. No ideas at all came to mind until a voice appeared out of nowhere, saying hello there?
Clary had been startled. So startled that she'd looked around, bright green eyes wide. Where are you? She asked the voice. It was a boy.
I'm in my room.
What room? Is your teacher Miss. Kenderson then? Are you in calculus?
I don't know who that is? Who are you? Are you here in the mansion?
Mansion? No I'm in art class. I don't know what to draw.
Are you a Shadowhunter?
What is a Shadowhunter?
Oh. I thought you must be one if I could hear you. I have never talked to someone my age before. And never a girl. The boys voice had taken an excited tone. What is your name?
Clary. Clary Fray. You?
My name is Jonathan Wayland. Where do you live?
Clary had frozen up at that. Mom told me not to talk to strangers…
But no one else can hear us? How can I hear you?
I don't know. But… I don't want to tell you where I live.
Well I live in Idris. Outside Alicante with my father.
Where is that?
I can't tell mundies.
That sounds rude.
Clary huffed out loud at that, catching the attention of her teacher who tutted out, "why have you drawn nothing yet Clarissa?"
She blinked before saying Sorry, picking up her pencil and staring at the blank piece of paper.
Jonathan? She thought hesitantly, wondering if it had all been imagined up. But no, he replied again. Yes?
Oh. I just… you're still there.
And so are you.
Clary felt afraid now. Simon next to her saw the flash of fear in her eyes, his own widening as he asked in concern, glasses hanging precariously at the end of his nose. "Fray are you okay? What's wrong? Why are you scared?"
"Can you hear him?" Clary asked him quietly, shaking her head a little as if that would dispel the voice inside her head. He'd shut up now, but she was still scared. A few other students were staring. Simon glared at them and they looked away, getting back on with their work. There was nothing but the sound of pencils scribbling away on paper.
"Hear who?" Simon asked with a concerned frown. Clary realized the boy inside her head was right; no one else could hear them.
Are you my imaginary friend? Clary asked the boy. A pause, and- Are you mine? Or am I insane?
Clary had been thinking that about herself too. Maybe she was insane.
There was silence, then what are you drawing for your comic?
I have no idea.
I can help.
I have a story for you and you can draw it. It's about Shadowhunters. What I am. We kill demons and monsters. He sounded so excited. Clary giggled quietly at that. Now that is mad and crazy and not real.
It is! The boy assured her. We are real.
Clary didn't believe him. But she liked the voice inside her head. He was funny and imaginative.
What is this story? She asked him now, readying her pencil. The rain had slowed its hammering against the window at last.
There was a man called Jonathan Shadowhunter. He summoned an angel and begged him to help fight the demons. His name was Raziel. The boy sounded excited again. Raziel gave Jonathan Shadowhunter a cup called the Mortal Cup and put his blood in there. When people drank from it, they became half angel half human. Nephilim! Raziel also gave him a Sword and Mirror. The three together are the Mortal Instruments.
And you are one? Nephilim?
Yes. I am. I want my first Marks. He sounded whiny now. Clary had no idea what they were, so he added. Marks are runes. They give us our power. I'm studying the clairvoyance one now. It's the first one I'll get. He was excited again. And Father is showing me how to use daggers tomorrow. We did bows and arrows last week. Crossbows are so heavy Clary. Father won't let me touch one again until I'm older he told me. Whiny again.
Clary was smiling, looking down at her piece of paper. It was such a cool story. Her pencil moved across the page, tongue between her teeth as Jonathan Wayland told her as much as he could. The way the Angel rose from the lake apparently. That no one knew what the Mirror was. That the Sword stayed with creepy sounding men called Silent Brothers.
I should not have told you all that, he whispered afterwards, sounding horrified at himself. I am not allowed. You are a mundane. We are not allowed to tell mundanes about the Shadow World!
I won't say anything, Clary promised, eyes wide. I swear. I really won't. I- I won't tell anyone. They… wouldn't believe me anyway.
Jonathan never replied to that, and Clary got a sense of annoyance from him. Not aimed at her, but himself. It felt strange.
Clary drew Jonathan Shadowhunter meeting an Angel. On one page, there was a sword with angel wings. Then golden cup. On the last page of her comic, she drew symbols onto her little Jonathan Shadowhunter's arms and one on his neck. The designs made her smile. So black and pretty.
When she got a gold star for the best comic in the class, Clary squealed at the boy, Thank you! Miss. Twickenham loved it!
Yes! I got a gold star! One more and I can get a bronze certificate!
That is… good?
Oh. Okay. That is… strange. Mundies give out gold stickers and if you get enough you get a certificate? Why? What is the point of it? I'm confused.
You must go to school?
No. Father teaches me. He's teaching me piano now.
So what do you get if you're good?
He bought me a horse.
Clary just fell silent at that, eyes widening as she walked down the corridor to her next lesson with Simon at her side. He was talking about something but she was ignoring him in favor of talking to Jonathan. He got you a horse?
Yes. I know how to ride now. Do you know how to ride a horse?
I wish I did, but no. Umm Jonathan I have another class now. Are you good at calculus?
A little. Want me to help you?
From that moment on, Clary had talked to her 'imaginary friend.' When she was upset, he comforted her. When his father got murdered when he was ten, she comforted him. On the surface, she knew he wouldn't look sad. But underneath, he really was. He missed his father.
And then he moved. To where she didn't ask, not wanting to intrude. It was there at an Institute that he started calling himself Jace. Clary liked it, calling him it from that moment on.
He wasn't just the voice inside Clary's head. He was her best friend. And she was his.
Clary loved the nights where they both lay in bed and Jace told her about his day. Of killing demons and monsters like he'd told her when they'd first 'met.' She'd been there when he'd gotten his first Mark. First time he'd been hurt from a demon attack. There when he killed his first demon. She'd even been there to scold him when he'd kissed this girl for the fun of it, and then broken her heart on purpose. He'd never done it again after Clary stopped talking to him for a week. They'd both learnt how to tune the other out, block them from their mind if they had to. It was awkward when you were thinking about things, and the other could hear them.
Clary had demanded Jace perfect the art of blocking her out when he'd first slept with someone. She had no desire to wake up with such dirty thoughts inside her head ever again. The images of a naked girl that she didn't know made her feel sick. She'd screamed at him, pretty loud for a mental voice too. Jace had soon blocked her out as soon as he realized.
The next day, they just agreed to never mention it again.
They both knew each others life. But had never met. Sometimes, they had talked about maybe meeting up. But something stopped them. It would be too much fuss and bother.
Plus, what if they met and everything fell apart?
And Clary still wasn't convinced Jace was real.
Jace wasn't convinced Clary was real either.
Jace? Clary just thought, directing it at him. A moment later, he replied. Yes?
What are you doing?
Oh. We're about to go to Taki's. But I don't feel hungry.
Okay. I'll carry on attempting to learn guitar.
Have fun. He sniggered and Clary ended the link, trying not to roll her eyes. Simon saw and frowned lightly. "Are you talking to him again?"
He knew, of course, about the boy inside Clary's head. She'd spoken to Jace so many times out loud by accident that she was forced to tell him. Her mother found it unnatural and demanded she stop talking about this other world, even taking her to therapy once. She just wanted her daughter to stop talking to the person inside her head. He wasn't real. He couldn't be. She was banned from talking about this Shadow World.
But Simon believed her. He knew Clary wasn't insane.
"Mmhmm," Clary replied. She didn't elaborate, reluctant to talk about Jace to anyone. Even Simon. They may have been best friends, but she knew Simon was judging her. Who knew what he really thought about it all.
Probably that she was crazy. Everyone else had called her that.
Clary cleared her throat. "Right. Guitar."
As she twanged on a string, getting it completely wrong, she heard Jace snigger quietly at the back of her mind.
This was normal life to her.