What's tomorrow? SAT-urday Thank you collegeboard for ruining my weekend!
Just a heads up: this chapter is one of the longest I've ever written.
Disclaimer: Character names belong to Cassandra Clare. All characterizations, plot lines, and backgrounds belong to me. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without written authorization.
"Hey, Goldilocks," a snarky voice greeted him as he walked into Herondale Divorce Firm.
"Carrottop," Jace nodded stiffly, knowing full well he was fueling the fire.
Together they walked into Stephen Herondale's office, keeping their distance, until they confronted the chairs in the office.
Jace made a face. "Seriously, Herondale, why can't you just get regular chairs?"
The lawyer smiled mysteriously. "Patience, Jace. You'll see. But please, have a seat." Once they settled in comfortably, or as comfortably as they could get being so close to each other, Herondale spoke again. "Where did we leave off?"
"High school," Clary said. "Or – "
"Actually, we'd just finished elementary school," Jace said. "If I remember correctly, we were getting to middle school."
"I was just going to say that," his wife snarled through gritted teeth, "until, like always, you rudely interrupted."
"Nothing happened in junior high?" Herondale asked, ignoring their little spat. "No sparks? Nothing? Because that's when most kids begin dating."
Clary began smirking. "Well, in middle school, Jace became a real whore."
"I did not," he glowered. "I only dated more than the average guy, that's all. It wasn't even my fault. Girls threw themselves at me. And in my defense, you started dating Simon then, so of course what was I to do but retaliate?"
"For the love of God and everything that's holy – "
"Like me? I do remember you calling me god two weeks ago."
" – I did not date Simon!" Clary huffed. "I told you a billion times, we were just good friends. And besides, he's not happily dating Isabelle."
Jace ignored this. "Meanwhile, I continued my pining from afar, still continuing to mend my scarred and broken heart that Clary had mangled in elementary school."
That almost, almost brought a smile to her face. "Oh, quit being melodramatic." She turned back to the lawyer. "But otherwise, nothing really happened. We had a few classes together, and we kept on getting detentions for always fighting and getting in trouble. That, of course, made me hate him even more. I was a perfect student, and nobody really noticed me. Then suddenly, since Jace became this huge hotshot, I became known as the number one card holder for the We Hate Jace club."
"Which had only one member, obviously." Jace grinned. He couldn't stop himself from provoking her; it was too much to watch her getting all hot and bothered. "I liked detention. It meant more time with you. And also I had to carry on the whole hatred façade or else people would have discovered that I liked her. Not that I bothered to hide it, exactly. I played my affections so sarcastically that everyone assumed I was just mocking her."
Clary groaned. "Oh, my God. You were so mortifying. Ugh, I can't even."
"What happened?" Herondale prompted, a smile curling over his lip. This was about to get interesting, he thought.
Clary shot Jace a sharp but amused look from the corner of her eye, before sighing dramatically. "He basically ruined my childhood Halloween experience."
Jace burst out laughing, and Clary smiled apologetically at Herondale's confused, questioning glance.
"Here," she said. "Let me explain what happened."
As a kid, my favorite holidays had always been Christmas and my birthday, because really, what kid doesn't count their birthday as a holiday? Thanksgiving was great, with the surplus of food and whatnot, but along with it came suffocating family reunions and awkward relative encounters. Therefore, Halloween always came as a close second. It was an excuse to dress up and eat free candy.
In seventh grade, Isabelle and I decided to coordinate our costumes for the school Halloween carnival. Rebellious and headstrong, she wanted to be a doctor, since we had just learned in history class how doctors were often stereotyped as male. So, always following in her wake, I dressed up as a nurse.
I loved my costume. Mom helped me design a cute little white dress, complete with a Red Cross hat, a first aid kit, and even a stethoscope. She even allowed me to use some of her makeup, and I painted dabs of blood along my arms and fingertips. When Isabelle arrived to pick me up for school (without her brother, who was riding to school with his friend Sebastian, thank god), we squealed with excitement at how great we looked.
Isabelle was the perfect doctor. She rocked those blue scrubs better than any guy could have.
Of course, who else would kill our buzz besides the infamous bully, Jace Wayland?
I guess I should have expected it, because Halloween is a holiday for blood and gore and frights. Among the myriad of events the carnival boasted were a creepy haunted house, tall, dropping rides, and, as always, little kid games for small children.
Against my screeching protests, Isabelle dragged me into the haunted house.
Within the first three minutes, a total of ten things had either
Jumped out in front of me
Grabbed some part of my body (inappropriately too once, where the object/person immediately stumbled back)
Screamed or hissed in my ear.
Needless to say, I was quite traumatized and ready to pee in my skirt. While I was still recovering from the near boob grope, frantically readjusting my shirt, Isabelle miraculously disappeared. Now I was lost in a dark corridor with horrifying things ready to pop out and possibly molest me from every corner.
Suddenly, I heard something hiss, "Clary!"
I froze, clutching my first aid kit to my chest in dear life, and spun slowly, examining the surroundings.
I whirled towards the noise, and saw a faint gold flashing around a corner. Jace, my mortal enemy, but at least that was better than being alone in a haunted house.
I walked as quickly as possible towards him, shrieking as spiders dropped from the ceiling. The asshole grinned. As I got closer, I could make out in the darkness a mask that covered most of his forehead and eyes.
"Batman?" I scoffed. "Yeah, right. You are so not Bruce Wayne."
"It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me," he growled deeply, a poor attempt to quote Batman. "Say, Isabelle told me you guys were matching?" His eyes scan over me and something evil twinkles in his eyes. "You look nice, Nurse Fray."
My cheeks flamed red and I silently thanked the gods or whoever was up there for the darkness in the haunted house. I hated how he made me blush with his sarcastic comments. He'd been doing it more often lately with over exaggerated compliments, like "You look so beautiful that my eyes hurt to behold your radiant smile."
Funny because I never smiled at him, not funny because everyone chuckled at the sarcasm dripping from every word.
I opened my mouth, about to retort, when he bent low and murmured into my ear, "Can you give me a full body exam?"
I choked on my own spit at the suggestive tone of his voice. We were only in seventh grade for hell's sake! Jace started laughing, his teeth reflecting in the darkness, when suddenly, his hands flew to his chest and he collapsed on the floor. Right in the middle of the haunted house.
I stood there, shocked, waiting for him to get up and go back to taunting me, but he just lay there, spasming, hands clutching at his chest and his throat, gasping for air.
"Clary, help!" He gasped out, eyes roaming wildly before they locked on my face.
"Jace?" I whispered.
"I can't breathe! I need CPR! Kiss me, sweetheart!"
I'm pretty sure my mouth fell open right then and there. CPR? Mouth to mouth? Sweetheart? I'd be kissing him. And furthermore, this was only a costume. I didn't actually know how to perform CPR.
Jace was still squirming on the ground.
Now, take a second to remember that I had just been scared to pieces in the haunted house, Isabelle had just ditched me, and I'd received my first groping. On top of everything, Jace had just sexually, verbally violated me. So, needless to say, I was at the end of my rope.
And now that Jace was dying, I almost lost my mind. I closed my eyes, fisted my hands by my sides, and screamed my lungs out.
"HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!"
Instantly, everything shut down. All lights turned on, and footsteps pounded from every direction, all of them headed towards us. Hearing the adults shouting that they were coming, I opened my eyes, breathing out a sigh of relief, and glanced down to where Jace was sprawled on the ground.
Only he wasn't.
He was standing upright, a hand cupped behind his neck, staring at me like I was crazy. His face was flushed red, like he was embarrassed.
"Clary…" He bit his lip.
"What the hell?" I shouted. "Did you just - ?"
"What happened, sweetheart?" Some random adult careened around a corner, followed by several more adults and students eager to see what had happened. Their eyes scanned the room, seeing nothing out of the ordinary.
Sweetheart? Was the world hell-bent on mocking me?
By then, my face was probably redder than the fake blood on my arms and hands. I had just fallen for Jace Asshole Wayland's stupid little prank and had stopped the entire haunted house.
Could my life get any more mortifying?
"Nothing, Ms. Blackthorn," Jace apologized. "Clary couldn't handle the haunted house and she freaked out."
Ms. Blackthorn's eyebrows disappeared behind her hairline and her lips thinned a little. "I'm sorry, but I think I'm going to have to escort both of you out of the haunted house. This was a disruption to everyone enjoying their time. You guys are forbidden from entering again. Do you understand?"
And as the kids snickered, I had an urge to use the f-word for the first time in my life.
Jace's snickers had morphed from muffled chuckles into outright laughter as he clutched his stomach. Clary knew the story was unarguably hilarious, so she, for the first time in a long time, she didn't bother sending him a withering glare and instead allowed herself a small smile as well.
"Oh, don't get so smug," she half-snarked, half-teased. "I distinctly remember your Valentine's Day being ruined, not only once, but twice."
Hearing this, he groaned. "Did you really have to remind me?"
"Well, since we've brought up that topic – "
"Since you brought it up."
" – why don't you tell Mr. Herondale about it?"
Jace rolled his eyes, making it seem like a huge favor he was doing for her. "Alright, sweetheart, just for you."
The obligatory day where men spend fortunes on women. Pink balloons, huge teddy bears, heart shaped chocolate…worthless, superficial objects, you name it. I mean, sure, a teddy bear that says, "I love you" might be cute for an hour, but what the hell was it useful for after a day or two? It was the real emotion that mattered. Valentine's Day was overrated. I didn't need a special day to remind myself of who I loved.
Thank god I'd broken up with Aline three weeks ago. No need to buy her anything. I knew Clary loved flowers, so maybe I'd get her roses (I know, I know. I said those were pointless, but if she loved them…) but there only thing that'd result would be me with thousands of thorns sticking out from my body.
Don't ask me why, but our eighth grade teacher, who had recently gotten engaged, attempted to "spread the love" by forcing us to make a special something for every single student in the class. Every. Single. Student.
Naturally, I went to the nearest drugstore and bought the cheesiest Valentine's Day cards we distributed for elementary school. Disney princesses? My favorite.
Only they weren't the innocent little princess messages. My friends and I spent hours altering the messages into perverted innuendos.
Cinderella, "Wanna see if it fits?"
Snow White: "I'd like to take a bite out of you."
Pocahontas: "Let's roll in the riches all around us."
We were brilliant. I spent probably ten minutes choosing the perfect card for Clary, finally deciding on Sleeping Beauty, who had a devilish smile on her face. On it, I scribbled, "Wanna sleep with this beauty?"
Oh, I couldn't wait to see the look on her face.
On the day of the party, I managed to snatch her away from the crowd, where the rest of the kids were crowded around the chocolate fountain in the back of the classroom. Grabbing her card from the back of my jean pocket – I'd placed it there to seem nonchalant and totally uncaring about this whole thing – and handed it to her.
She didn't immediately open the card though, instead tucking it away in her pocket. And when she pulled out a small sack of chocolates, identical to those she gave to everyone else, I took it from her somewhat suspiciously. I'd expected her to, I don't know, give me rocks or something.
"Are these stale?" I asked her, shaking the chocolate hearts in her face.
She rolled her eyes but didn't deny anything. "Stale chocolate won't kill you, Jace."
"And are these hearts representing the love you feel for me? These lip-shaped chocolates your wish to kiss me?"
"Don't be so full of yourself," she said. And just like that, she turned around and walked away, tossing a nasty smirk over her shoulder.
She was so hot brushing me off I nearly pissed in my pants.
Still slightly stunned, I shook my head to clear the air and opened her gift. Inside, she'd left a note with a poem, which I eagerly grabbed.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Your hair looks like pee
And you stink like poo
(And even though it's Valentine's Day
I still hate you)
Laughing my ass off, I glanced up, catching Clary's eye and grinned, my hand wrapping around the bag of chocolates tightly. It didn't matter if the chocolate was stale or not. I was keeping that shit forever.
The teacher began playing a movie in class, and, when I saw Clary stand up from her seat to head towards the chocolate fountain, I followed.
"So, you want to sleep with me?" She dipped a strawberry in the pooling chocolate and lifted it to her mouth.
Suddenly, my mouth was so, so dry.
"Uh…" My eyes were pinned on her lips, wrapped around that strawberry. "W-what?"
She smirked, licking the chocolate off her fingers. She freaking smirked, like she knew exactly what she was doing to me. I should have known she was still that wicked little girl who dumped clay down my shirt.
"Your card?" She prompted.
Fantastic. I sounded like an unintelligible oaf.
"Well, I'm not going to sleep with you, but I thought…" her eyes darted around the dark classroom. Everyone's eyes were trained on the screen at the front. "…since it is Valentine's Day…"
As quick as a flash, she flashed me. No pun intended.
My eyes flew wide, my heart jumped to my mouth, and I promptly stumbled into the chocolate fountain.
By the time I had gotten a hold of my surroundings, I was sitting butt down on the floor, covered from head to toe in chocolate. The fountain laid broken by my side.
Seeing everyone's shocked faces, I should have been mortified. I should have been angry. But all I could think of were Clary's boobs.
"And the funniest thing was that I didn't actually flash him," Clary said, once Jace finished speaking.
"Oh?" Herondale cocked an eyebrow.
"She was wearing a nude colored tank top," Jace grumbled. "When I found that out, I got pissed."
The red-head rolled her eyes. "Did you really think I'd do something like that? Really? Miss Prude-Who-Refused-to-Kiss-You-Even-As-You-Were-Dyi ng?"
"I was a fourteen year old boy," Jace snapped. "Give me a break. And it's not like you remained a prude, especially since I was there to corrupt you."
"You say that as if corrupting people is a talent," she retorted, throwing him a look coated with disgust. "Why don't you just admit your stupidity instead of blaming everything on me?"
"Why would I do that when you're obviously at fault?"
"Ugh! You're so – so – "
A loud knock resounded throughout the room, saving Clary from the embarrassment of losing to Jace in a battle of wits. Herondale's head tilted to glance at his watch, then up to shrug apologetically at the couple.
"Time's up," he informed them, almost dolefully. "Until next time, my friends."
"We're not friends," Clary grumbled. "At least, not everyone in this room is."
"I couldn't agree more," her husband snapped back as they stalked towards the door.
"Don't agree with me!"
"What? So you dictate what I can and cannot think now too?"
"Oh my God. You're doing this on purpose, aren't you."
"This! Provoking me!"
"I'm sorry, why would I want to seem provocative to you? Last time I checked, you wanted to castrate – "
The door slammed shut behind them as the next clients ushered in, eyes wide and looking a bit bewildered. Herondale chuckled awkwardly.
"They obviously still have a long way to go," he said.
Link for the Valentine's Day cards:
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There's more I didn't include in the story; theyre all hilarious. Not mine btw
Next chapter: Freshmen year. High school years will begin to span multiple chapters.