City of the Forsaken
This picks up at the end of City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in the series. This fic isn't intended to be AU, it's just me imagining what might happen in the next story, because I'm impatient and I might as well do something with my time while I'm waiting till book six comes out.
I have a few ideas swimming around in my head, but I'm not sure how many chapters this will turn out to be. I tend to be pretty long-winded, so it'll probably at least be around 10 chapters. I'm the type of writer who likes to go with the flow and see the story unfold on its own.
This is my first Mortal Instruments fan fiction, but not my first fan fic piece. This is not beta'd and is rated M for adult themes.
I do not own The Mortal Instruments, nor any of the characters contained within.
Clary received her first permanent Mark today as part of her Shadowhunter training. The Rune of Angelic Power. It was the most painful Rune she had received. Even after a cool shower, the skin over her left shoulder blade still burned. She now lay curled on her side, sketch book and graphite in hand, tracing the swirling pattern of the Angelic Rune onto paper. The only light in her small room at the Institute was her bedside lamp, giving her just enough illumination to draw.
There was a light knock on the door. She knew who it was before the door opened. Jace came into her room most nights. She wished it was more scandalous than it sounded, but since she ran Michael's sword through Jace's chest, the Holy Fire ran beneath his skin, burning anyone he touched when his emotions intensified. He and Clary hadn't risked more than the occasional chaste kiss or a feather-light touch. It was like their night in Idris, repeated over and over again. Still, Clary was thankful that he was here—that he was alive at all.
Setting her sketch pad aside, Clary scooted over in bed, throwing the covers back to give Jace some room. His hair was damp—he'd probably just showered—and it hung in loose, golden waves down to his jaw. He was dressed in a plain grey shirt and cotton sleep pants. Jammies, he had told her once, not so long ago, though it seemed like a very different time and place.
She looked up at him, searching his face. He wore a cool smirk, the glint of mischief in his eyes. Rather than sliding carefully into bed, he climbed on top of Clary, forming a cage around her.
Clary let out a gasp, a question on her lips.
"I'm cured," was his response.
"No more fire." He held his arm up, flipping it over in the dim light as a demonstration.
"It's gone?" Clary asked, still unsure.
"Gone." With a flash in his eyes, Jace bent to kiss her, but it wasn't the sweet, tender brush of his lips she expected. This was hard, urgent. She moaned against his mouth, her own lips parting.
Jace pulled away quickly, sucking in a long breath. "It was torture not being about to touch you." His hands ghosted up her sides, over her arms and tilted her head back. He kissed her at the base of her jaw, slowly stretching out to his full length on top of her. His legs straddled her hips, his chest flush against hers.
Clary's breathing was ragged, all thought escaped her except for the realization that this was Jace —her Jace—with his hands on her skin, leaving flames in their wake that didn't burn like before. No, this heat was the spark of desire. Her body responded of its own accord. Her hips ground into his, feeling his hard length pressed deliciously between her legs.
"Jace." His name was whispered in reverence on her tongue. "Please, Jace."
His body stilled above her, his eyes opened to stare down at her. Behind his golden gaze, a flame flickered.
"Are you sure?" His voice was deep, wavering, barely controlled.
"Yes," she said between kisses. "God, yes."
His eyes were locked on hers as his hand traveled down her neck, across her shoulder, and to the hem of her shirt. Fingers splayed across the smooth, unmarked skin of her stomach, starting a slow slide up her flesh, bringing her shirt along with it. Light as a feather, his fingers brushed the underside of her breast. Clary arched to meet his touch.
Jace's right arm snaked around her, lifting her off the bed. Clary raised her arms obediently, and her shirt was gone. His gaze drank in her bare flesh, his teeth raking across his bottom lip.
His head dipped down, sucking her bottom lip between his teeth, and then making a lazy path down her neck to the valley between her breasts. His hands ran along her side, his thumb lightly grazing her right nipple.
Clary bucked under him as a jolt of lightning passed through her body. He left her shuddering in the wake of his touch. Her hands knotted in Jace's still-damp hair. Her legs wrapped around him, holding him to her until there wasn't a sliver of space between them.
Again, his mouth crushed hers. Open, yearning.
"I need you, Clary," he whispered on her heated skin. His mouth wandered to her ear, sucking on her earlobe. His breath tickled her, leaving gooseflesh in its wake. "I belong to you."
Somewhere in the back of Clary's mind, alarm bells sounded, though her body didn't miss a beat. Her hands ran along the "V" at the hem of his cotton pants, tracing up around his sides while he continued to nip and bite at the tender flesh at the nape of her neck.
Her hands wound their way up under his shirt along his lower back. She relished the feel of his muscles tensing under her touch. Clary felt the smooth, near-flat scars of the runes that marked his skin, tracing their faint outlines. She reached up further until her hand felt something rough and jagged. Puckered flesh in long, hard lines slashed through Jace's back.
"And you belong to me."
It was no longer Jace's voice. No longer Jace's flesh beneath her hands.
Clary's eyes flew open to find Sebastian's cold, dead eyes staring back at her, his mouth set in a devilish smirk. A scream choked its way up her throat.
"Clary!" The voice was distant. It floated to her as if carried on the wind as she lay drowning in her own horror.
"Clary!" Her eyes flew open to find Jace—her Jace—staring down at her.
His hands reached out to touch her, then recoiled like a whip as if she had burned him. Jace climbed off of her and kneeled at the foot of her bed. His eyes blazed with fear and concern.
"How long have you been here?" Clary somehow managed to find her voice. Sweat plastered her hair to the sides of her face and her hands involuntarily fisted the covers at her sides.
"Twenty minutes, maybe thirty. You were asleep when I came in, your sketchbook and pencil were lying on the floor."
Clary glanced down to the floor, but there was nothing there.
"I put them on your nightstand."
Sure enough, Clary's sketchpad and pencil were on her nightstand, both arranged at perfectly right angles.
"I didn't want to wake you, so I just slid into bed. When you said my name, I thought I woke you, but your eyes were still closed. It took me a moment to realize you were dreaming." Jace ran his fingers through his hair, an anxious motion. It was dry now, though he was dressed in the exact same grey shirt and pants from her dream. "You said my name again, just a whisper this time, and moaned. Your body arched. You gasped and sighed and squirmed beneath the covers, all the while letting out half-moans and pleas. I have to admit, I was jealous of the dream version of me, for the things that he could do to you that I couldn't." I look of pain flashed across his eyes. "Then, this look of horror slid across your face, and you screamed." Jace was watching her, she knew, but she could no longer meet his eyes.
Carefully, Jace placed a single finger under Clary's chin to turn her face to his. "Can you tell me what happened? Did I … stab you again?"
"No. It wasn't you." Her voice was devoid of any emotion. She couldn't help it. Every time she closed her eyes she still saw the imprint of Sebastian's face behind her eyelids. It was like the image was burned into her retinas.
Several emotions flickered across Jace's face in rapid succession. Confusion. Jealously. Fear.
"Lillith." It wasn't a question.
Jace cut her off before she could finish. "Listen to me, Clary. What if she's planting these dreams in your head? Planting something evil there just like she did to me. My dreams, they always started out pleasant—amazing—until I hurt you … or worse. We need to see the Silent Brothers."
"Clary, please, if only as a precaution."
"No, Jace. I don't want them inside my head." Again, he dared to touch her, just a simple caress up and down her arms, meant to comfort her. She wanted nothing more than to give herself over to the need to lean into his touch, for him to wrap his arms around her, but she felt cold inside, raw.
"They won't pass judgement, Clary. Everything's already been decided. They've sifted through every memory from my time with Sebastian." She winced at the sound of his name.
"But not mine." Her voice was small. Weak.
"This nightmare of yours, do you know what sparked it, if not Lillith?"
She only nodded, pulling her legs up to her chest, as if somehow she could hold herself together.
"Please tell me. Whatever it is, I don't care. Seeing you like this, the pain in your eyes, its killing me."
She looked at him then, tears brimming in her eyes. It caused her vision to waver like a single finger dipped in still water, rippling its mirror surface. "It was Sebastian."
"Sebastian? I don't understand. Is he controlling your dreams?"
"No. At least I don't think so." Clary took in a shaky breath. "Do you remember the night of the ritual? When Sebastian sent you ahead with the cup and I told you he and I had a fight?"
"Yes, my lip was busted—"
"No, not busted. Bit. I bit his lip."
There was only a second of confusion before the dawning of realization. The Holy Fire sprang from Jace's chest, licking flames beneath his skin radiated down his arms and legs. Clary had never seen it this bad, even when the other Shadowhunters had tried to provoke it. He cast a halo of red and gold in the small room. The flames seemed to spark through every part of him, from the tips of his fingers to the ends of every curl on his head. "What did he do to you, Clary? By the Angel, I swear I'll kill him."
"I stopped him, Jace—the gashes, that blow to the head that you felt—I nearly forgot about your bond. I'd rather he kill me. I asked him to, but he refused. That's why he wanted me to drink from the cup. He wanted me to be obedient, pliant."
Jace stumbled away from the bed. He turned away from her, his shoulders heaving, his breathing ragged, and his skin still on fire. If it hurt him, he didn't let it show.
Silence fell in the room. Clary held her breath, waiting.
Seconds, maybe minutes, maybe hours passed before the flames beneath Jace's skin died to mere embers. He finally turned to face her, his jaw set and eyes wide. She could tell he was putting forth a lot of effort to control is breathing."I need to know everything he did to you. Don't spare me the details. I will repay him for the pain he's caused you ten-fold, and I won't need the Mark of Cain to do it." A lick of fire passed beneath his skin, but was gone as soon as it had appeared.
Her eyes wide and cautious, barely daring to blink, Clary told Jace what had happened. From the twinned scratch marks she had left on both their backs, to Sebastian recounting Solomon's story from the bible, and how the Egyptians used to marry their siblings to 'strengthen the blood-line'.
"And I was too blind to see it." Of course he would blame himself, Clary thought. He always did. Jace, with the weight of the world crashing down on his shoulders. Whatever the problem was, he bore the brunt of it. Maybe that was why she kept this from him, kept it from everyone. Or maybe she just thought that if she could ignore it; pretend it didn't happen, that the memory of it would fade into oblivion.
"Jace Lightwood, you will not blame yourself for this! You were the one under a spell. I wasn't and I still didn't see it. He's a sick bastard; the vilest creature to walk the earth. Valentine was right. There was no vestige of humanity in him. The demon blood snuffed it all out."
"He's coming for us, Clary—for you—and I intend to use this Holy Fire in my veins to burn him where he stands. Let him face the Holy Fire before he burns in the pits of Hell."
"I hope there's a special place in hell for him."
"Oh, there is. The Seventh Circle. He'll be one below dear old dad."