A/N: Hey guys! Okay, so it took me three months to write this chapter. Wow. I'm so sorry guys. I'm gonna try to be better with updating. I've just been drowning in schoolwork lately. Anyways, special thanks to my sisters, Tuesday and Starlight, for helping me finish the chapter.
This chap is more of a filler, really sorry about that.
Read, review recommend!
"Demons. In London." Disbelief leaked through Clary's voice. At first, she was exasperated. Now she was just plain annoyed. She didn't understand why her romantic afternoon with Jace had to be interrupted because of a few stray demons in London. Weren't there Nephilim overseas that could handle the issue?
She had met Simon outside of the Institute just fifteen minutes after he called. Isabelle had been waiting outside with Simon; Clary thought she saw them holding hands, but when she looked again, they were apart. Isabelle led them inside the Institute and Simon tagged along, as always. Clary and Jace had followed Isabelle into a small bedroom, where Alec and Magnus were waiting.
Magnus had told them about a few demon attacks in London, and it was quite the crisis. Clary still didn't understand why she needed to be here; it wasn't fair.
Clary knew she was probably being childish, but at the moment she was too busy directing poisonous glares at Magnus.
She could sense Jace's anger, too. He kept rolling his eyes and sighing when anybody spoke. Clary couldn't help but notice how attractive he looked when he was sulking.
"...but why," he'd been saying.
"Jace," Magnus reprimanded. "Just... Just listen."
Alec took a step closer to Magnus, and Clary could sense the tension between them. Alec and Magnus had, all of a sudden, started to cover up their relationship; but they certainly had a relationship.
"These aren't normal demons." Alec said.
"Yes, Alexander." As if sensing something in the warlock's tone, Alec fell silent.
Magnus continued, "There are other beings in England. Shadowhunters and Downworlders have a... A sort of treaty with them. And these beings, they are much more powerful-"
"Well, what are they?" Jace challenged. "If they're so powerful and important, tell us what they are."
Isabelle stepped forward. "Yeah, Mr. I'm-such-an-almighty-warlock. Don't be so vague."
"Look, it isn't important. If everything goes as planned, we won't have to worry about anybody else. What I've been trying to say," he added, "is that there have been a string of demon attacks near downtown London. And they aren't normal demons, as Alexander said. They're old and powerful fear demons."
"Fear demons?" Clary said. "But Jace killed Abbadon on Valentine's ship-"
"Yes, but Abbadon had...children, if you will. They shape-shift into whatever you fear, and like to live in dark spaces like cupboards or wardrobes. These demons have not been seen for quite some time, but they are now active again. And they've been attacking people, but not just mundanes. The demons have also killed several beings-"
"Oh, I get it," Isabelle moaned. "These demons are attacking these special, powerful things and you want us to sweep in and save the day. Well, what if I say no?"
"Oh shut up, Izzy." Jace spat. "You're a Shadowhunter; you live for the hunt. Even if they're on the other side of the world, you're still going to go. Killing demons is who you are; without it, you're nothing."
Clary's head whipped. "Jace!"
Isabelle's eyes shined, and Clary could tell she was fighting back tears. "No, Clary, it's fine," she said, barely audible. "He's right. I'm nothing."
Isabelle turned to leave, and Simon looked enraged.
"You're not nothing!" He shouted. He grabbed Izzy's cheeks and planted his lips on hers, hard. "You're not nothing," he whispered as she pulled away from the kiss.
The entire room, including Isabelle, stood open mouthed, gaping. Clary felt something deep in the pit of her stomach, looking at them kiss. Part of her was happy for her friend. Another part, a part that Clary was ashamed of, was hurt; there was a time when she was the only one Simon wanted to kiss. But she pushed those feelings down and laced her fingers through Jace's.
He pulled away from her.
"Anyways," Magnus whistled, clasping his hands. "Enough of that... canoodling." Alec snickered.
Simon's face flushed, and Clary wasn't sure if she should comfort Simon, as if he was an injured puppy, or allow Isabelle to snog him again. She didn't do either, however, as Isabelle stood far away from Simon looking equally embarrassed. Simon fiddled awkwardly, "Well, I guess I should be going. No need for me to be involved in Shadowhunter business." He turned to leave, the entire atmosphere incredibly awkward.
"Wait!" Clary ran after him, abandoning Jace, who scoffed behind her. "Stay." She said, lightly touching his arm. She flashed a smile at him, and he returned the smile, his features relaxing.
Clary turned her head as she heard knuckles rasping on the door. Her bedroom door opened a crack, and Simon Lewis poked his head through. He greeted Clary with his familiar, dorky grin. "Come in," she said. She turned back to her bed, littered with clothes. She sighed. "What does one bring to England?"
Simon shrugged. "I'd imagine lots of Beatles merchandise. Oh, and a rain coat."
Clary rolled her eyes. "Actually, I hear London is beautiful this time of year. I just... I shouldn't be packing, you know? This is the first time since I met Jace that things could be normal. Or, at least, as normal as they can ever get." Simon wrapped his arm around her, and she set her head down in the crook of his neck. Clary was grateful, that, through all of this, she still had Simon. Her best friend.
"I should be going to the beach with Jace, and doing cute little couple things. I should be drawing, or watching anime with you, or just drinking coffee. Instead, I have to fly overseas to hunt down freaking demons."
Simon nodded. "I know. I know... Hey, have I ever told you how much I'd prefer a root beer over blood? But I can't have anything but blood. I'm a sixteen year old boy and I can't drink root bear. Do you know how sad that is?"
Clary inhaled deeply, and went back to her suitcase. She folded up a few of her favorite t-shirts and placed them in her suitcase. One that read, I'm Not Short, I'm Bite Sized (which she tried not to wear around werewolves), another that said, Frank's Hot Dog Cart: Serving Artificial Dog Since 1987 (again, risky around the werewolves) and another that said, I Live In Brooklyn, I Can Survive Anything (which proved to be true after the battle in Idris).
"I just don't understand why I have to go. I mean, can't the British Nephilim handle it? We don't have Austrailian shadowhunters flying in here every time a demon attacks Manhattan!"
"Maybe they need you," Simon said, folding up more of her clothes. "You know Magnus; he wouldn't waste time on us if it wasn't absolutely nessecary. There's got to be a reason for you going."
"Then what is it?"
He shook his head. "I don't know. You heard what Alec said; these demons aren't normal. Maybe, I don't know, maybe the English shadowhunters can't fight them off."
Clary nodded. She walked over to her closet and pulled out her army-green, three-quarter length jacket. It was her favorite coat, and it was ideal in the New York autumns. She grabbed a matching beanie and through the ensemble in her bag. "What are you bringing?"
Simon tensed. "I'm not...I'm not coming."
Clary whipped around to face him. "What? What do you mean? You have to come!"
He shrugged, a little sadly. "I'm sorry, Fray. But I'm not needed. You, your boyfriend, and Izzy and Alec are just going to run in and take care of a little pest problem. And I can't help with that. I'm a vampire, not a Shadowhunter. I'd just get in the way, or get people killed. Or both. Probably both."
"Don't deny it," he mumbled, walking to her bookshelf and pulling out a manga, "Because you know it's true."
"Well, come anyway, then." She said, flipping through the comic. After a few moments, she came to a decision and threw the manga in her suitcase. "Please, Simon. I just..." Clary stopped herself. The thought of putting Simon in danger, of thrusting him into a scenario in which he was powerless... She was being selfish. She couldn't endanger Simon; if she lost him, Clary didn't think she'd be able to go on. He deserved to be normal, to be free of this life that SHE had forced him into. She wouldn't put him at risk...she couldn't.
"Never mind," she added. "Maybe...maybe it's better if you stayed here. Someone's gotta watch the Institute while we're gone."
Clary cleared her throat. "So... You and Isabelle, eh?"
Simon blushed. "I guess. It's... Well, it's nothing, really."
"Well, it didn't look like nothing," Clary teased.
"I don't know what came over me-"
She hung her head back and laughed. "Oh my god, Simon. 'What came over me?' That's so cliche!"
"Oh, shut up," he giggled (can boys giggle?) and threw one of her balled-up shirts at her. She screamed and wacked him in the arm with a shoe.
Clary missed this; just the two of them, together, not a care in the world. Monsters, demons, and nightmares disappeared when she was with him, and she could almost believe that things were back to normal. But they weren't. He wasn't helping her pack for her high school's annual field trip to Washington DC; they were preparing to go to London. To kill fear demons.
"You can't escape this," Simon soothed, as if reading her mind.
"I know," she sighed, plopping on to the edge of the bed, "Believe me, I know."
Simon sat next to her and pulled her close to him. It was like there was a weight lifted off of her shoulders; now that Clary knew that Simon liked Isabelle, she didn't have to worry about any awkwardness between them. For the moment, she forgot everything and just held him, and she felt comforted and familiar.
Clary hadn't realized she had fallen asleep.
She was awoken by Simon nudging-no, more like shoving-her with his elbow. She groaned and groggily sat up, only to see her boyfriend standing at the door. He looked very frazzled. "Clary!" He shouted, sounding…no, not impatient, something more…like anger, confusion, and annoyance. "Where have you been? I've been searching everywhere for you!"
"I've been here! I told you I was going to pack!"
"Yeah, three hours ago! I'm worried out of my mind, and I walk in here to find this…"
Simon gulped and scurried out of the room, muttering something about needing to turn into a bat.
The rage was clear on Jace's face. Clary couldn't believe that he thought… well she knew what he thought, but still… she shuddered. "Look, it's nothing—"
"Didn't look like nothing!" Jace bellowed. Clary had never seen him like this. It scared her, just a little, to see him capable of such fire.
"Jace, just forget it! You know that Simon is like a brother to me!"
"Yeah, well, judging from your dating history, you don't see brothers as a big obstacle, do you?" Jace snorted.
Clary was hurt. They had agreed to never speak of that again…she couldn't believe he'd insulted her like that. And he looked like he didn't even care.
"Excuse me?" she tried to sound indignant, but it sounded more like a squeal.
"Sometimes, Clary, I just don't know about you," he whispered, tears forming in his eyes.
"Just go, then!" she screamed, fighting back tears of her own, "Go! Leave me alone!"
And he did.
"You ready?" Isabelle, asked, throwing weapons at Clary.
"Yeah, I guess." Clary said. She was still torn up about her fight with Jace. After he had left, she had thrown herself on her bed. She tried to hold it in; he was just a boy, after all. She was being stupid when she needed to be strong. There was a war going on around her; not the war with Valentine, no, but the constant battle between Shadowhunters and demons. People died everyday and she was crying over a fight with her boyfriend. That's when she had realized that she was crying. That's when she let it all out; all of the stress of the past few months, her sadness caused by Jace, and every negative emotion just came flying out. Clary didn't know how long she sobbed, but she was able to compose herself enough to meet her friends in the weapons room. They were leaving in a couple hours.
Now, Clary was in the weapons room with the three Lightwoods. She felt numb, but tried her best to act like she was okay. Jace was there, after all, and Clary knew him; if you show him how much he's hurt you, he'll either go insane with guilt or go mad from the power. Clary didn't want to dabble with either option.
"Clary, hello? Anybody home?"
Clary snapped out of her reverie. "Sorry?"
Isabelle rolled her eyes. "I was trying to explain to you how to name a seraph blade." Clary looked down at her belt. Four of the blades hung from her belt, along with a pocketknife in her, well, back pocket, and what was called a rune pistol. A rune pistol was a Shadowhunting instrument that fired a bullet incased with the same material at the tip of a stele. Basically, the bullet injects your target with a bunch of fatal runes. Clary thought it was a rather gory tool, but if it was the difference between life and death for one of her friends, she'd use it gladly.
Isabelle handed Clary a crumpled up piece of paper. "I put together this list of angel names a while ago. I'd suggest memorizing a few before we go into battle," she explained. Clary nodded.
A few moments later, Magnus opened up the door to the weapon's room. He was outfitted in a velvet tunic and sequined black leggings. His nails were painted the same purple colour as his shirt, except with sparkles. A single silver earring dangled from his left ear. His ensemble was rather toned down for Magnus Bane. His skin looked… almost tired. Clary saw wrinkles on his face for the first time. The bags under his eyes were obvious; he was exhausted. "Alright, we better go. I can't keep the portal open for much longer." Alec threw another dagger at Isabelle, and soon the five of them were out of the weapons room.
As the door of the Institute swung open, a blast of chill air greeted Clary. Alec rushed ahead to talk to Magnus, while Isabelle looked around. "Where is that little twerp?" As if seeing the look of confusion on Clary's face, Isabelle said, "Simon." Clary nodded.
Just as she was about to join the warlock, Clary felt fingers entwine in hers. She looked up to see Jace, half-smiling at her. She gave his hand a squeeze before letting go and walking over to the portal. She didn't want to make up all of a sudden just because Jace wanted to.
Clary stood in front of the portal, trying not to interrupt Alec and Magnus's affectionate goodbye. Jace followed soon after, and screamed, "Izzy! Come on!" Causing the two boys to break apart.
Isabelle looked around, confused, for a moment. Her eyes betrayed her; it was like she was looking for someone, and was pretty upset that she couldn't find him.
Finally, she abandoned her search and reluctantly joined her brothers and Clary. Clary raised her eyebrows as if to ask what was going on. "Simon," Isabelle replied. "I thought… He said he'd be here."
Clary stiffened. She was a bit bothered that Isabelle was so concerned about Simon. She never was before.
"Alright, I can't sustain the portal for much longer. You four go on through, and I'll stay here and close the portal. In exactly three days, I will open it again. The portal will open in London in the same spot it spit you out. Got that? Three days. If the demons aren't disposed of by then, then you retreat."
"Alright, Jace, you go first, and then—"
A harsh shriek interrupted the warlock. Clary's head whipped around, her ears on alert. The victim screamed again. "Look, over there!" Alec gestured toward the Institute, and, sure enough, soon two figures were in Clary's line of vision. At first they looked like people…two teenage boys, perhaps. It looked as if one was chasing the other. But as Clary looked closer, and studied the creature bringing up the rear she saw what appeared to be tentacles instead of arms, sharp teeth protruding from each one…
And the monster was chasing none other than Simon Lewis.
Simon screamed again, and Clary was snapped out of her horror. Reaching for her belt, she ran towards the demon. "Clary, no!" She heard Jace shout. But she kept running. Simon was in danger. She forced her legs to move faster. As she approached the demon, Clary racked her brain, trying to recall something off Isabelle's stupid cheat sheet. "Nephele," she hissed, activating a seraph blade.
The demon was just a few inches away from her. She was able to get a better look; it resembled a Rottweiler standing on its hind legs, except its skin was a putrid green. Tentacles sprouted from the creature's torso, six to be exact, and each tentacle was lined with sharp, dagger-like teeth. Two giant pincers hung from the demon's jaw. Clary's stomach lurched; her mind told her to stop, that this was crazy, but her legs pushed her forward. She brought back her arm and swung the blade…
Everything happened in a matter of seconds.
One of the beast's giant tentacles was severed. Black blood spurted from the huge hole in the demon's side. Clary tried not to look down at the detached limb, as she was almost certain it was still squirming about. The demon cried out in agony, and turned to face Clary. She managed to duck just as the monster swung its remaining five arms at her. Now that she could see them closer, she realized the daggers were lined with poison. Clary ducked again and twirled her blade, but it didn't do any damage. She could see the demon approaching her, and she stumbled as she moved backwards.
For the first time, she noticed Simon, crouching beneath the beast. He held a rock in his hand, poised to throw, and the last thing Clary wanted was to loose the demon's attention. "Simon, run!" She yelled. And he did. Clary was relieved.
The demon growled and advanced on Clary. She turned and ran, only to trip over a rock. She went rolling; over sticks and over stones as she fell. Clary could hear the demon thundering down the hill, and she tried to lift herself up. She winced as she tried to put weight on her wrist; it felt like there was flame running up her arm whenever she moved it. Gritting her teeth and trying to ignore the scorching pain, Clary managed to stand up. She had lost her seraph blade sometime during the fight, and she fumbled in her belt. The big thundering beast was getting closer, and Clary was running out of time. Her fingers clasped around a sword hilt, but then her brain froze, and she couldn't bring a name to her lips. The demon was so close now that Clary could feel his hot breath, and so she screamed and hoped she could still do something with the blade. She closed her eyes, waiting…. Then there was a splash, and Clary felt a strange tingling on her arms and chest, almost like acid—acid—and there were arms around her, pushing her forward. She opened her eyes to see Simon running, guiding her along. Shouts sounded from behind her; she turned. Jace had chopped off the demon's pincers, and venom sprayed from the wound. Isabelle brought her whip to the beast with a swift motion, and it roared in pain. Demon blood was all over the grass. Clary predicted the thing would be dead in minutes.
"C'mon, we gotta go!" Simon said. But Clary's eyes were focused on something different, a shadow in the distance.
"Oh, my god," she mumbled, grabbing Simon's arm. "Run. Run, go now!" She screamed, breaking into a run. She turned towards Jace and Izzy to yell, "RUN!" Jace's head whipped around. He must have seen the terror in Clary's face, because he turned away from Clary and toward the horizon. Clary watched as three, four, five figures appeared…
More demons were on their way.
Jace ran, shouting after Isabelle. Clary pulled on Simon and they ran, together, down the steep hill. Her ankle throbbed, but Clary kept on moving. She heard heavy footfalls behind her, and she couldn't tell if they were the stomps of her friends or the demons, but she didn't stop to look back. Clary begged her legs to move faster, and her chest felt as if it was on fire. The hairs on her arms still stung from the demonic acid. Her legs slipped behind her, and Clary feared she would tumble down the hill again; but Simon held on to her, and he was her only support. They held each other up, Clary and Simon. Best friends.
Panting, Clary reached the bottom of the hill. Magnus gritted his teeth, and she could tell that the warlock was trying to perform offensive spells on the demons, but holding up the portal was exhausting. Clary understood; he couldn't keep the portal open and fight the battle at hand. He was already weak. "Where's Alec?" Clary said.
"Just go on through!" Magnus shouted. Clary nodded. Of course; the warlock had made sure that Alec was safe first. Clary knew that they loved each other.
Clary pushed Simon through the portal. She watched Jace and Isabelle sprint down the hill, but she could tell they weren't going to make it. She wanted to yell at them to hurry, and was about to, when Isabelle was dragged down. Jace screamed and went after her. Clary broke into a run, rushing to help them. Magnus shouted after her, but she blocked him out.
The demons were coming closer, crawling towards Jace and Isabelle. Each time Isabelle managed to pry a demon off her leg, another one would latch on. Blood flowed from a gash on Isabelle's leg, caused by the claws. Eventually, two many of them had caught up with her; Isabelle coiled her whip around the neck of a demon and snapped it before collapsing.
Desperately trying to fend off demons of his own, Jace ran over to his sister. He was in the midst of pulling Isabelle up by her arms, when a demon jumped up on his back, snapping his head backward. Clary screamed and slashed as best she could at the demon without cutting Jace.
"Come on," Clary screamed, pulling at the dead looking Isabelle. Her pants were torn and her flesh was caked in think red and black blood. Once she regained consciousness, Isabelle managed to struggle up the hill, with the help of Jace's arm to guide her.
"Go now," Magnus croaked, beads of sweat pouring down his face.
Isabelle stumbled through the portal, barley able to hold herself up. Clary was pretty sure she collapsed in Simon's arms the moment Isabelle got through the portal.
Jace took Clary's hand with out hesitation and jumped through. The world spun at a thousand miles an hour as they travelled. A million images flashed by and everything was moving so fast, Clary thought she would explode. Finally, she felt cool, hard ground beneath her and landed with a thud.
The sound of water rushing filled Clary's ears. Every inch of her body ached. Immediately, her head whipped around. They were lying on a cold, cobbled road, a small stream rushing through the gutters. Old shops lined the street, almost all of them battered or worn down. "Is everyone all right?" she called out, moving over to an unconscious Isabelle.
Suddenly, Clary was on her back again, a huge demon towering over her. Terror escaped from her lips and she screamed. She chastised herself for being so stupid. In her haste to save her friends, she hadn't noticed that the demons had come through, too. She screamed again, kicking the monster in the gut. Clumsily, Clary yanked one of her remaining three seraph blades out of her belt and named it. "Iridesk," she shouted, and stabbed the demon. As the beast fell, Clary scurried over to Isabelle, pulling the girl to her feet. With one of Isabelle's arms draped around Clary and the other around Simon, the three ran to the best of their ability.
"Jace, come on!" Clary shouted behind her. He helped in pain, and she didn't dare look back. She heard slashing sounds as Jace fought off more of the beasts. "Take her in there," Clary told Simon, pointing at a small pub. Isabelle tried to stand upright, leaning on Simon for support. Together, the two stumbled
Clary turned. Alec was on the ground, cradling an unconscious Magnus in his arms. Jace stood in front of them, holding off the demons. "Hurry!" Clary shouted after him. She ran over to Alec, and—Clary had no idea how they did it—the four of them ran into the pub. Jace ran ahead and slammed the doors behind them.
An old man behind the bar gave them a wave. "Oh, look, Americans! Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron."