Summary: Jace is the arrogant, spotlight-hogging lead guitarist in the band Mallard Massacre, and Jonathan Morgenstern's best friend. The trouble is, Jon's sister - Clary - can't stand him, and the feeling's mutual. But when the boys enter in for the Battle of the Bands contest and all but move in with the Morgensterns, the two of them are forced to see a lot more of each other than they would have hoped.
Hey! I've had this idea going around in my head for months so, since it's summer, I thought I'd finally do something productive and here it is! I'm making sure I'm always a couple of chapters ahead of posting so updates should be fairly frequent. Hope you like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own TMI or its characters. I just drive them crazy ;)
Chapter 1: Trying not to kill Jonathan
"Shit!" I curse, eyeing the thick black line that dissects my artwork. The young girl's cheek now sports a rather gruesome looking scar. "JONATHAN!"
It had all been going so perfectly. All I had was this one last drawing to finish and then my summer work portfolio would be complete. School starts up again in two days and yes, I realise I may have left it to the last minute, but I'm not all that studious. I leave that to my best friend Simon. So as the fates would have it, now would be the exact moment that my idiot of an older brother decides it would be a great idea for his so-called metal band Mallard Massacre –which is god-awful in my opinion, but they think they're the shit- to begin practice in the room conveniently below mine. Pshh. They call it practice, I prefer instrumental torture. The desk I'm working on shakes violently, scattering my colouring pencils all over the place. I can just about hear Jordan Kyle's vocals over the deafening cacophony. The thing is, he's actually not that bad. In truth, none of them are; separately, they're all pretty decent musicians.
My brother's been playing the drums since he was seven and, considering the amount of money that means my parents had to fork out for his lessons, it's hardly surprising that he can own the kit. Though if you repeat any of this to him, I will personally hunt you down and kill you. Similarly, Jace and Sebastian are great guitarists. Don't get me wrong, they're also some of the most annoying, self-important pricks I've ever had the misfortune to meet, but they can't half shred. Especially Jace – he's the lead guitarist. Alec is probably the quietest member of the band, which in my book means he's the one I like the most, and he's a solid bassist. And then there's Jordan. Like I said, he's actually rather good, and that face of his definitely doesn't hurt to look at. He's got frontman written all over him.
So what's the problem, I hear you ask? With all that talent – and yes, I am woman enough to admit, the looks – you should have the perfect band. Well, that would indeed be the case if you didn't factor in the small problem of each member, Alec possibly excluded, having an ego so large I'm surprised matter isn't gravitating around it. You see, to make a band function, you need to work together as a team. So with Jace trying to steal the spotlight with another solo every five seconds, Sebastian jumping around like a maniac to draw attention to his less complex rhythm guitar, Jordan belting out screams where they're really not needed and Jonathan trying to drown everyone else out...well, you can kind of see where I'm coming from, right?
I look again at my ruined sketch. I could try to rub out the line, but I have a feeling that would probably do more damage. Starting over would require too much effort, so I decide to just leave it. If anything, the girl kind of pulls it off. It makes her look enigmatic, dangerous even. Of course, this isn't going to stop me from giving Jonathan a piece of my mind. I snatch the pad off of the table and storm down the stairs, working myself up into a fury. I don't even pause to knock before I throw open the practice room door for added theatrical effect.
"JONATHAN, YOU ARE SO DE-" I freeze, taking in the scene before me. The boys haven't even noticed. Damn, so much for my dramatic entrance. Jonathan continues to bash away at the drums, while Jace is precariously balanced on the windowsill –yep, you guessed it- tapping out a solo. On the other side of the room, Sebastian is jumping up and down, hair all over the place, with poor Alec backed into the corner with his bass, trying not to get hit by him. I rip the microphone out of a startled Jordan's hand while he is mid-scream.
"JONATHAN CHRISTOPHER MORGENSTERN, STOP THAT INFERNAL RACKET RIGHT NOW!" I yell, nodding in satisfaction as the music – surely it must be some kind of blasphemy to call it that? – begins to die down. Of course, they'd never make it that easy for me, and now the rest of us are forced to watch as Jace and Jonathan fight to have the last note or cymbal crash, respectively.
"Are you quite finished?" I deadpan into the microphone, placing my free hand on my hip.
"Clarissa, you just ruined the song!" Jonathan whines, finally acknowledging my presence. I dodge out of the way as he lobs his drumsticks at me. Jace takes advantage of Jonathan's lack of weaponry to strum one final chord, winking at my brother.
"Wait, that was a song?" I ask, faking incredulity. "I thought you were just trying to wake up the residents of the cemetery two miles away? I mean, come on, it's the weekend. You should really just let them rest."
"This is art, Midge," Jace proclaims, hopping down from the windowsill. "I wouldn't expect you to understand."
Even without the ledge to stand on, my brother's best friend of over a decade still towers over me. Though, at my grand height of five foot nothing, that isn't too hard to do. His abundance of nicknames relating to my height, or lack thereof, barely has an effect on me anymore - Midge seeming to be a personal favourite. Apparently midget is too much of a mouthful, not to mention politically incorrect, as he always likes to point out.
"No, Herondale. This is art," I say, thrusting my sketchbook in his face. "And it happens to count for a third of my grade. But now, thanks to your butchering of those poor instruments, it's ruined."
"Butchering?!" Jace splutters. "That hurts Midge…" He smacks his hand to his chest melodramatically. "Right here."
"Well, I will make sure it hurts everywhere if you guys don't keep the bloody noise down! Or, even better, just do the eardrums of the population a favour and stop. Apart from you, Jordan." I turn to the dark-haired boy and flash him a smile. "Have you considered joining another band? You're actually really good."
"Wow, thanks Clary." Jordan shrugs, blushing just a little.
"Anytime, Kyle." I add, just because I know it will piss Jace off. The idea of someone else getting praise is alien to him. I turn my attention back to the predictably fuming blonde in front of me, satisfied that I still know how to get under his skin.
"You're boring me now, Clarissa. Can't you just go round that geek Lewis' house or something?" Jonathan huffs, blowing his black hair out of his eyes.
"No I can't just-" Wait, did I just say black hair? I shove Jace out of the way to get a better look at my brother. "Jon, what did you do to your hair!?"
"You're only just noticing this now?" Jonathan raises his eyebrows while flicking his chin-length dyed black locks. "It's been like this for at least a couple of days."
"It's probably my fault," Jace smirks. "I tend to draw the eye."
"No, it has not!" I insist, ignoring Jace's comment. "I'm an artist, how unobservant do you think I am?"
"Do you really want me to answer that?" Jace pipes in. Again, no one pays him any attention.
"Okay, so maybe I did it this morning. Whatever. Just don't tell our parents." Jon pulls up his hoodie. "There's a chance they might not notice."
"Jonathan, you've gone from white-blonde to black. I'm pretty sure they're going to notice and when they do, they will kill you. What was wrong with your natural colour anyway?"
"I didn't like it, duh. Black is more metal." He leans back against the wall. "Now pass me my drumsticks so we can carry on."
"Oh no," I swipe the drumsticks off of the floor before Sebastian has a chance to grab at them. "Not so fast, Verlac. First, we are going to discuss what is to be done about our little conflict of interests.
"What conflict of interests?" Jonathan asks disinterestedly. Seriously, I sometimes wonder whether the boy has a brain; unless the little of it that he does have is just too small to focus on anything other than himself, the band, himself again, and girls.
"The matter of me wanting to complete my artwork, without having to worry about my ears bleeding or the walls falling down."
"It is not wise for you to insult my skills while I am in such close proximity, Midge." Jace glares at me.
"Guys," Sebastian cuts in. "Can you please save this flirting business for when we're not around to be nauseated by it? This is cutting into practice and my aunt wants me back in time for dinner. She's French." Jace and I both stare at him, too shocked at his ridiculous implications for words.
I've known Jace almost my entire life and he has never been anything more to me than my brother's irritating best friend. We tolerate each other. That is all. Anything else is…frankly, absurd. I mean, sure, he's not too hard on the eyes. With his wild mess of blonde hair, golden eyes, and lean physique, he is one of the most sought after boys in our school. Plus the words, 'I'm in a band,' do wonders, regardless of whether people have even heard the music. I'd probably like him too if it wasn't for that one small obstacle I refer to as his personality. Being in the same room as him for a certain amount of time is a big ask from me. I sometimes wonder why my brother ever became friends with him in the first place, before realising that Jonathan is pretty much the same. Either that, or it's because they both have the same name. Five-year olds get a kick out of that kind of thing.
"Mate, we know she's French." Jonathan sighs, thankfully ignoring the rest of Sebastian's words. "Must you always point that out, Seb?"
"There's no harm in reminding you. I feel like you guys overlook that fact too much."
"And this is detrimental to our lives, how?"
"You don't realise quite how much of a travesty tardiness is in my household."
"Then I apologise," Jonathan says, rather sincerely. "I will never undermine the importance of her French-ness again."
"I appreciate that, man." Sebastian nods, satisfied.
"Okay, stop." I snap, finally coming back to my senses. "Stop changing the subject."
"I already told you, go to Lewis' house." Jonathan rolls his eyes, as if my existence is nothing but a burden to him. Yes, and I love you so much too.
"And I already told you, I can't. He's at his cousin's Bar Mitzvah."
"Hey, Clary?" Alec says, alerting us to his presence. The band all turn to face him as if they'd forgotten he was even there. Seriously, that's how quiet he is. I really like him. With that dazzling black-hair-and-blue-eyes combination, Alec Lightwood is a dream. I may actually have shed a few tears when Jonathan finally told me that he was gay. He's also the only one who always calls me Clary. Did I mention how much I like him? "You can go round my house if you like. My parents are at the same party your folks have gone to, so it's just Isabelle at home."
"Oh, alright then. I guess I can do that." I shrug, slightly annoyed that I have no more reason to moan at Jonathan. Aside from drawing, that's probably my favourite hobby.
"You might want to stay the night while you're at it," Jonathan adds. "The guys are sleeping over." Deep breaths, Clary.
"Apart from me," Sebastian sighs.
"Brilliant," I groan. "Anything else you want to tell me while you're at it?"
"Yeah, actually." Jon sits up. "We're entering the Battle of the Bands contest this year so we're having practice every night after school. You'll have to be quick if you want to get a lift home with us."
"Every night!?" My eyes bug wide. Just keep breathing.
Inhale and exhale.
Inhale and exhale.
I said exhale dammit!
"Have Mum and Dad actually agreed to this?"
"Dad was half-asleep when I asked him, so he said as long as we're done before he gets home from work, it's all good. And Mum was actually pretty excited. She said it's great that I want to 'pursue my artistic development' and all that crap. So yeah, it's happening, Sis. Deal with it."
"So whom exactly am I getting a lift home with?" My attempts to calm myself down are seriously failing. You do not want to kill Jonathan, I repeat in my head. You do not want to kill Jonathan. You'd get into serious trouble if you killed Jonathan. Well, actually, if I walk around in his oversized hoodies for a while and grunt every so often, the parents might not notice.
"Me, of course. Unless you have another brother I don't know about."
"But there's five of you. And there's one of me. So that makes six of us in total."
"Oh my god!" Jace slaps his hand on my shoulder, a look of astonishment on his face. "Midge, why on earth are you planning to do art at university when you quite clearly should be doing maths!? Seriously Jon, why didn't you tell me your sister was such a genius? They'll want to study this one."
"Get lost, Herondale." I push him off, shooting him such a dark look that he chokes off mid-laugh. "What I was going to say, before this dimwit interrupted me, is that your car is a five-seater. How would we all fit?"
"Sebastian's not riding with us," Jordan explains.
"My aunt's making me cycle everywhere this year," Sebastian moans, slumping down against one of the amps. "Apparently she's all into the environment now or something. She's-"
"FRENCH," We all finish in unison.
"Is that all, Clarissa?" Jonathan cocks his head to the side. "Or is there something else you'd like me to clarify?"
"Battle of the Bands. When is it?" I say, brandishing one of the drumsticks at him.
"End of the Christmas term."
"So I only have to put up with you guys in my house for, what, four months?"
"Give or take a week," Jonathan shrugs. A long silence follows as I try to collect my thoughts. If I attack Jonathan now, his band may or may not try to save him. Though it would pain me to do it, I could probably take Alec. The other boys however, are a whole other kettle of fish. My heart sinks as I realise my chances of succeeding are very slim. But no, this is by no means the end. I lift up my chin resolutely. I will bide my time, put up with this nuisance for a little while, and then I will make Jonathan Morgenstern pay. I square my shoulders and look my brother straight in the eye.
"Four months. Brilliant. I can't wait." I chuck both of the drumsticks at his over-sized head, smiling to myself as one of them hits their target. Then I spin on my heel and stalk out of the room, rueing the day he was conceived. Couldn't my parents just have watched a movie that night instead?
Huzzah! Things are about to get pretty interesting around the Morgenstern household...
Thank you so much to anyone reading this! I haven't written fanfiction for about four years (hence why my account seems pretty new - I can't have anyone reading my embarrassing old stuff!) so I'm a bit rusty. Unfortunately, none of my friends have read TMI so I don't have a beta and don't know if I'll get one, but it would be nice to have someone to bounce some ideas around with, so if you're interested let me know or hmu on tumblr! Again, thanks for taking the time to check out my story, I really appreciate it. Feedback would be awesome :D Till the next time...