Agh, this took me a good while to come up with but I have a pretty good feeling about it! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER!: I do NOT own the TMI series! That is Cassandra Clare's! I only own whatever I made up ( i.e. places, characters, events) just as the plot line is mine!

Music that inspired this Chapter: This Love (Will Be Your Downfall) by Ellie Goulding; I'll Take You There by Sleeping With Sirens; Heads Or Tails? Real Or Not? by Emarosa


The walk down the hall was nothing spontaneous, there was no giant distraction or even a minor one, and at that moment a distraction was all Jace wanted. The memories of his father flooded his senses, taking claim over him and reducing him to a vessel of pain and suffering; it was unbearable. His vision blurred so that he was no longer walking towards the main entrance of the Institute but towards the entrance of his manor house, the house he spent his entire life in, save the past month.

Voices rose into his ears and for a moment Jace wasn't sure whether they were the voices of the men in his memory or someone calling him; not that he cared either way. Somehow Jace found himself in the middle of the street before more images took over his sight. How could he move past this when the simple word "father" made him choke.

Pathetic.

Jace angrily rubbed the base of his palms against his eyes and blinked several times, forcing his eyes to focus on the scenery before him at any costs. Once his senses returned, Jace's golden eyes landed on the snow covered grass of Central Park. Above him, the sun danced between the clouds teasingly shining its sunlight among the population before succumbing them into the frost. To his side there were a few pixies frolicking along with the snow flakes that fell towards the ground while to his left was a young girl walking quickly, her hands shoved into the front pockets of her jeans and visibly curdle up into fists. Her head was ducked and covered with a black hood. She wasn't fairly tall, actually, she might've barely been five feet tall, maybe a few inches taller than that and her body seemed fragile but by the way she held herself that didn't seem likely.

Hm.

Curiosity spiked within Jace, pushing him to follow the girl, at a distance, of course. The girl expertly swerved around the enormous mass of people headed in the opposite direction of her unknown destination that, had he not been Nephilim, he'd have lost her by now. As they walked, Jace observed the girl, noting the way she looked around quickly, but not in a way where he could actually see her face, and the way her shoulders would tense whenever got too close meaning she was defensive and seclusive.

They made it to a cross light and the red hand flashed as an indicator that it was not safe to walk forward; Jace paused. The girl, however, leapt down the sidewalk and ran across the street. Jace stared, stunned, before pushing against the people in front of him to move forward, his eyes never once leaving the girl as she continued running. He was almost free to run after her, just a few more people who stubbornly pushed back when her hood fell.

It might've been for a split second, but in that second, Jace saw enough. Her skin was as pale as the snow that surrounded them, her lips a dark shade of purple due to the cold while her cheeks were pinched with red. Above her sharp, high-set cheekbones were silvery eye-.

"Jace!" A voice shouted to his left; he mentally curse.

The girl turned around quickly, her eyebrows knitting together while her hands brought her hood up and over her head, covering her black hair, "Jace!" A hand landed on his forearm and, just like that, the girl was swallowed by the sea of people leaving a stunned Jace behind.

"Hello! Jace?! Anyone in there!" Cold spread through Jace the second he felt a cold finger touch his temple; Jace growled.

"Isabelle, what do you want?"

"I-" she paused, "I saw you and came to ask if you wanted to head home together."

Jace's eyes slid towards Isabelle and noted the bangs in her hands; he rolled his eyes and took the bags, "Yeah." He muttered, turning around without another word.

"Aren't you going to wait for Alec?" She thabbed her backward and Jace's golden eyes followed the direction it pointed to, his gaze landing on a struggling Alec caught in a croud of people; he inaudibly chuckled.

Jace faked a groan, "I suppose I have no other choice now, do I?"

Isabelle scowled and hugged her hot pink sweater to herself in an attempt to keep warm. Jace shrugged his own jacket off - not recalling how he even put one on - and threw it to her, not in a romantic I-don't-want-you-to-be-cold-way but in a why-were-you-stupid-enough-to-wear-a-thin-sweater- and-leave-me-in-the-cold way. Isabelle blinked and glared at Jace but slipped the black leather jacket over her arms and visibly relaxed.

Well, at least she wasn't cold. Jace thought. He had to admit, though, he wasn't particularly cold even if the goosebumps over his tanned skin stated otherwaise. It was probably better to say that he didn't feel the cold, but obviously he was cold.

Finally, Alec caught up with them and brushes the show that landed on the arm of his jacket with a scowl, "Can we hurry back to the Institute?"

"Yes, princess." Jace smirked and walked forward, Isabelle and Alec on either side of him.

"I'm not a princess," Alec muttered, "I just don't want to be in the snow."

"Says the one that took forever reaching us." Isabelle laughed lightly.

"That I entirely not my fault." A scowl deepened the line of Alec's lips while his eyes glared holes into the sidewalk's pavement.

Jace smirked, shook his head, and patted Alec on the back once, "Of course it isn't your fault," he used a tone one would normally associate with dealing with a pouty child, "Its obviously everyone else's fault for not knowing how to properly walk and let the princess through the crowd."

Alec's scowl deepened and he grumbled unintelligently; Isabelle snickered.

The rest of the way back to the Institute was filled with mindless chatter between Isabelle and Alec with occasional inserted taunts from the most part, though, Jace simply observed the two interact, smiling slightly when either of them would make the other angry because he knew they would let it go in the next minute. And for a moment, Jace wished he had a sibling to banter with and pick at because then he wouldn't be so alone. True, Isabelle and Alec pulled him into their conversations, clearly showing they weren't trying to leave him out but Jace decided to sit out many of their conversations for the plain and simple fact that he didn't entirely knew what they were talking about. Surprisingly enough, he didn't mind.

Somehow, the trio ended up at the mouth of their street, Isabelle and Alec staring at the Institute with conflicted eyes while Jace looked at it with a sort of comforting stare. From what Jace gathered, Alec and Isabelle didn't leave the Institute by themselves often, only when Marsye and Robert were away seeing as Hodge couldn't physically stop them the way their parents could so, in a way, Jace understood how they must've felt because he had felt the same way about his previous home; ironic.

"Aleeccc!" Isabelle whined loudly, "Let's go to Takis!"

"Izzy..." Alec sighed and shook his head, "You know Hodge said we had to be back in an hour and a half..."

"SO! I don't want to be confined to the Institute walls for HOURS! I'm hungry!"

"I get it, I do. But-"

"Why don't you make food?" Jace raised a brow, interrupting Alec mid-sentence.

"Uh...Jace..." Jace looked over at Alec, his golden eyes questioning the tone of his voice and noted the way he paled. Was he that cold?

"Yes, princess?"

"That's a GREAT idea Jace!" Isabelle ignored Alec and gripped Jace's arm, nearly yanking his arm from his shoulder in her attempt - successful attempt - to drag him into the Institute.

"I officially hate you, Jace." Alec walked behind them, grinning like an idiot at the Jace. Naturally, that didn't spike the best feeling inside of him.

The entire way into the kitchen, Isabelle blathered on about what she would be cooking: Lasagna and steamed veggies, apparently. Just the same, Alec laughed but covered it up with a cough, shaking his head at the confused look on Jace's face. With every cough covered laugh and new food idea Isabelle and Alec got the more Jace began to regret his outburst of an idea. Once inside the kitchen, though, Jace's bad feeling escalated. Isabelle ran around pulling pans out of the pantries and pasta out of boxes. She boiled water then loudly cursed when she boiled it for too long.

Giving up on a way to escape, Jace looked around the kitchen. The walls were a beige color with runes painted along the top half of the walls. Down the middle was a black boarder that separated the tile against the wall and the painted wall. It wasn't a massive kitchen, but it wasn't mall, either. All of the appliances were new and even had their new-ish shine. The two-door, stainless steel refrigerator was to the right of the entrance, across from the door were the mahogany cabinets and burgundy pantries. Atop the cabinets were the microwave, blender, sink, fruit holder, knife rack, and toaster while in the middle of the area was long, narrow like table with eight stools all around it, two occupied by Alec and Jace at the moment.

Half an hour later, with the oxygen in the kitchen thicker than a summer in the desert, Isabelle finally concluded her 'cooking' and placed three plates on the table; Alec quickly pushed his away, earning him a glare from Isabelle. Isabelle turned towards Jace with a smile and dumped a rectangularly looking piece of gunk, to say in the kindest way possible. The aroma wafted into Jace's nostrils and he almost gagged.

"What is this?" Jace spluttered, covering his nose. Alec howled in laughter; Isabelle smacked him with a spatula.

"Shut up," she glared at Alec, "Its lasagna! Taste it."

Jace shook his head.

"Taste it or so Help me I'll throw your favorite blade into the fire and bend it out of shape." Jace glared and looked down at the food, picking up his fork and stabbing the sorry excuse for lasagna.

"If I die, you're not allowed at my funeral." he muttered.

Alec and Isabelle stared at Jace, both with different expressions. One was of horror and the other delight but both didn't make the situation any better.

With a deep breath and a doubtful look at the piece of lasagna on his fork, Jace popped the item into his mouth.