AN: Here is the (hopefully) awaited second chapter of this story! A slight warning, I am really uncomfortable with the platonic shower gesture towards the end, because though it is not remotely sexual, I just feel weird writing it… Some of you might find that borderline M, I don't know. Just giving you all a heads up, I guess. Anyway, I'm not totally happy with this chapter, but I hope you all enjoy it. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I do not own The Mortal Instruments, all rights go to Cassie Clare and her people.
SUPER SPECIAL THANKS to: 247Ice-creamLover, who was the first to review my story, "Whispering Silhouettes", and that meant a lot to me. So thank you to her. This chapter is dedicated to you. :) Also, I have noticed that I have accumulated a tiny little group of followers, who I would also like to thank for reading all of my stuff.
Darkness was all I could see, though I was almost positive my eyes were still open. There was little pain left to feel, though the odd sensation of cold and dripping liquid was tangible. My breaths were shallow, and resembled gasps of a breathless child. I supposed in a way I was a breathless child, as my lungs felt as unmovable as stone.
There was a hand on my back, one that seemed to be guiding me. Where, I was not sure, though the generic feeling that I was being carried overwhelmed my senses. "Clary…" I voice said, frantic in my ears.
I tried to speak, though my tongue allowed no words. My mind was beginning to fail me, though I could still remember that the voice was Jace's. "Help," was all I could manage to whisper at that point.
"Shhh." Jace cooed. "I'm getting you help. I promise. You'll be okay."
A warm drop of water fell onto my face, which I figured was a tear. In all of the time that I had known Jace, he had never cried. The story he had told, about himself and the falcon, and his being not having cried since that unfortunate event, suddenly came to mind. If Jace was crying, surely there was good reason, and at this point, that reason seemed to be that I was dying.
Weeks, or even months ago, I wouldn't have minded being wrapped in a blanket of death. Things with my brother had almost driven me to the edge numerous times, and the only thing that had kept myself from killing myself was the hope that I would see Jace again. Now that the time had come, I wished with all my might that it would not end so gruesomely. I had only been reunited with the golden-haired, blonde-eyed boy for a few minutes; had felt his touch for even less. Surely, if there was a higher power, I would not die now. I could not die now. I needed Jace, and the sting grasp on my back told me that he needed me too.
My consciousness began to ebb away yet again, but Jace's voice urged me to stay with him. "Clary, please, we're almost there… Don't leave me."
Even in the confusing haze I could hear the vulnerability that was in his voice, and if I had been able, I would have winced, knowing that his pain was all my fault. If I had only found some way to escape Jonathan and his wrath… I could have found my way back to him; saving both of us from this terrible situation. Jace did not deserve this pain, and I would like to think that I don't either. No one does, except possibly Jonathan himself. After all, this was mostly his fault.
I heard a new voice enter my ears, and I struggled to recognize it as Alec's. "Magnus is almost here. He said he needed to go get some supplies with Izzy… Oh my Angel! Is she going to be okay?"
I felt my body shake, so I assumed Jace was shaking his head. "I don't know, Alec. That's why I wanted Magnus here as soon as possible!"
"Oh, yeah." Alec said, sounding resigned. "Sorry, Jace."
Jace sighed, and action that send vibrations along my body. "No, I'm sorry for snapping at you Alec. I just really want her to be okay…"
"I understand, if it were Magnus,"
"I'm here. Set her down on that table." Magnus ordered, cutting off Alec's statement.
My body was placed on a hard surface that was absolutely freezing. "Jace…" I managed.
Instead of Jace I got Magnus. "Shh. Don't talk. I'm going to knock you out, okay, Clary?"
I tried to disagree, but my body longed to be put out of its misery, and refused to speak or even move. I felt a needle imbed itself in my arm, which happened to be almost painless due to the torchure my own brother had put me though.
My world seemed to become darker than it already was, if that was even possible. The frantic voices around me began to subside, eventually turning into silence. The grasp of hands along my body faded as I entered a seemingly dreamless land of sleep.
"When do you think she's going to wake up?" A voice asked.
There was a short pause before someone answered. "I don't know, Jace. She's been out for a few days, but Magnus said she's going to be okay."
A hand grasped my own, and someone else's breath fanned across my face. "Please wake up, Clary." The voice pleaded.
I struggled to open my eyes, which seemed to be cemented shut. They fluttered open, and I blinked away the excess light. Jace's lean form came into picture, and I saw that he was leaning over me protectively. From what he was guarding me from I didn't know, but I still found the gesture sweet.
"Clary!" He greeted happily, wrapping his arms around my torso gently in attempt to avoid causing me any harm.
"Hey, Jace." I said, smiling for the first time in a while.
I peeked around his head and spotted Alec, who was smiling as well. "Hello, Clary."
"I missed you guys." I stated, and Jace wiped a tear that had fallen from my eye. "Don't cry, we're here now. You're okay."
A few sobs wracked my body as I whispered, "I thought you guys stopped looking for me. I didn't think I was going to see you again…"
A slender finger was placed to my lips. "Shh. We never would have stopped looking for you."
I nodded as Magnus walked into the room. "Oh, Clary. So happy to see that you're awake. Sorry that lover-boy can't seem to keep his hands to himself for a few minutes, but how do you feel?"
Physically, I felt terrible. My body was sore everywhere, and I felt fairly dirty and disgusting. It was if I could still feel my brother's filthy hands along my flesh; his drunken and drugged breath in my lungs. My hair was still matted and filled with sweat that pasted it to my scalp, though I could tell that someone had tried their best to wash the blood out of it. I wanted so badly to take a shower, and scrub my skin clean of the filth brought upon it by Jonathan Morgenstern.
Emotionally, I felt a lot better than I had days ago, especially with Jace by my side. My looming depression had faded significantly, and for once, I didn't want to harm myself. I didn't need to. My brother wasn't in sight, and though I knew he was still alive, I couldn't bring myself to worry about it. I felt as though the sun was finally shining into my soul, after the darkness had been my only inhabitant for so long. As cliché as it sounds, it was as though my life was restarting. I could hear and see the good things, and the bad was no longer swallowing me whole. I was with my family after too long of separation, and I felt as though I would never leave home again. Safety and soundness was all I could feel in this moment, engulfed in Jace's arms.
I answered Magnus honestly. "Every part of my body hurts, and I want to take a shower, but I feel a lot better. Thanks, Mags."
The man smiled. "We didn't dare to give you a shower because that would be well… odd, and we didn't want to risk hurting you any more. But you could probably take one now if you wanted to, if you had help."
Great. Help taking a shower. "Is Izzy here?" I asked.
Jace shook his head. "She had to go out with Robert and Maryse."
I knew there were two gay people in the room that could help me without using or violating me, but I really didn't want their help. I would have settled for Iz, because we are both females and she is kind of like a sister to me, but she wasn't there at the moment, so that left me with Jace.
Jace. We had been so in love before all of this mess, and I would say that we still are dating, even though I don't believe that I deserve him in the slightest. His golden hair and his perfection, along with his sarcastic shield from the world and his kind, soft, loving side; they all seem too good for me. I am simply Clary Fray, a strawberry-haired shadow hunter who is incredibly inexperienced and plain. There is nothing special about me, and I am only five foot two, while Jace is seemingly perfect. It made little sense that he saw anything in me, but I was grateful that he did, as I don't know what I would have done without him.
"Jace?" I asked, trying to feign nonchalance.
I could have sworn I saw a blush creep up his cheeks, but he responded daily calmly. "Yeah?"
"Do you want to help me?"
Alec was blushing profusely at this point, and Magnus was rolling his eyes. "Keep it in your pants, Wayland. Clary, are you sure you want boy wonder to shower with you? I wouldn't put it past him…"
"Hey!" Jace said indignantly. "I wouldn't pull anything! She's my girlfriend, and I love her!"
I smiled at his revelation, pulling him off the bed. I gave him a kiss on his lips, and lead him out of the room and into the hallway, where he proceeded to pick me up bridal style and carry me towards his room. "I love you, Jace." I said happily, smiling once again.
"I love you too, Clary. More than you'll ever know." He stated, opening up the door to his bedroom with his foot, carrying my inside and tapping the door closed behind us.
There was nothing really romantic about how he brought my frail form into his bathroom, as all of his gestures were strictly platonic and not the slightest bit awkward. He set me down gently on the cool tiling of my back as he turned on the water. Turning back to me he asked, "Bath or shower?"
I knew a shower would be significantly more difficult, and possibly more painful, but at the moment I felt as though it was the only way to even remotely cleanse myself. Bathing in my own filth just wasn't going to cut it at this moment in time, and my answer reflected that. "Shower."
He nodded, kneeling down beside me. "Lift your arms."
I did as he asked, allowing him to strip off my shirt and discard it in the hamper. Jace paused, mentally asking if it was okay for him to remove it. I nodded, wincing as he pulled the garment off my torso, along with the rest of my clothes. His eyes did not linger longer than necessary, and he himself stripped off his tee and jeans as he helped me into the hot water.
The dozens of cuts along my broken body screamed in agony as the water cleansed them, washing away the blood. Jace must have seen my pain, as he quickly asked, "Are you okay?"
I nodded. "It just stings a little."
He grasped at the shampoo bottle that was in the shower, and I noticed that it was his, and I couldn't bring myself to care. He moved me around, gently placing my hair in the back as he squeezed some of the liquid into his palm.
His fingers massaged the suds into my scalp, and he was careful to avoid the larger cuts. Jace tried his best to detangle the knots in my hair with as little pain possible, even shoving in a ton of conditioner to help, though inevitably, it hurt quite a bit.
"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be hurting you." He apologized, grabbing a bar of soap.
I rested my head on his bare chest, beginning to sob. "I missed you so much, Jace."
"I know, I know." He cooed softly. "I missed you too, more than you could ever imagine."
The memories of the time I spent with my brother suddenly came back to me, like an unwelcome tidal wave of hellish memories. "He kept saying that you weren't coming back; that I wouldn't ever see you again. Jonathan even said that you never cared about me, never loved me, and wasn't wasting your time looking for me."
He pulled my face off of him, forcing me to look him in the eyes. "Clary, trust me when I say I would never abandon you, especially in the hands of your sadistic bastard of a brother."
"I know," I choked, resting a hand on the back of his neck, drawing his face closer to my own. "But when you're gone for so long, and endure such hells, without seeing anyone you love or even trust, you begin to loose faith. I was loosing faith, Jace… I was so fearful of what would happen to me; if I would ever be found. If I would be fixable when I was rediscovered. But most of all, I feared loosing you, and the rest of my family."
Jace pressed a kiss to the crown of my head, sighing, which left a cool breeze against my dampened forehead. "If I could make it up to you, go back in time, find some way to have saved you from him, I would have. I swear on the Angel, Clary. No one should have gone through what you had to got through, especially someone like you. I'm so sorry."
"It wasn't your fault." I stated. "There was nothing you could have done. No one, even me, saw it coming. Jonathan outsmarted us all temporarily, Jace, not just you."
"In my opinion, we're still being outsmarted. His getting out alive was his way of proving that, and I would bet that he is laughing his ass off at us this very moment."
"That may be true." I said honestly. "But he won't win. He can't, and I won't let it happen. You won't let it happen. There is literally no way that he is going to get away with this."
I brought my lips to his, kissing him softly. I could tell that the past months had been such a burden to not only me, but Jace as well. The purple bags under his eyes along with his swollen veins only accented that fact. While my toil had been both physical and emotional, mostly physical dealing with my brother's constant onslaught of abuse, while Jace's had been centered around his feelings. I could only imagine how he felt, never knowing where I was or if I was okay. I knew that only we truly understood each other's pain, as we were the only two close enough to suffer the same symptoms. I also knew that the only way we were ever going to get through this was with each other, and we would never make it through on our own.
"We'll get though this." I said softly. "It will be hard, but we'll get though it. I promise."
He only nodded, shutting off the water which had run cold minutes ago. Jace reached for a towel, wrapping it around my shoulders before grabbing himself one, which he quickly wrapped around his waist. His soaked underwear hit the tile floor, making me blush at the thought that he was completely naked underneath that towel.
"Like what you see?" Jace joked, picking me up and carrying me into the bedroom.
Setting me down on the bed, he walked to the closet, tossing me an oversized tee and some shorts. "They're gonna be huge." He explained. "But they're better than nothing."
"Wanna get some sleep?" Jace asked.
I yawned, nodding."Yeah."
"I'll leave you alone then?" He said, walking towards the door.
"No!" I said impulsively. "Stay, please."
He nodded, laying himself down over the covers. "I'll never leave you again if that's what you want, Clary."
"Read to me?" I asked.
Jace smiled, leaning over to the nightstand and grabbing a copy of "Witch and Wizard" by James Patterson. Flipping to the first page, he began to read it in a melodious tone.
Within minutes I felt myself begin to drift off, my eyelids closing and my breathing evening out. "Good night." Jace whispered, kissing my forehead. "I'll see you when you wake up."
I didn't respond to him as I fell into the peaceful land of sleep, dreaming of peaceful things for the first time in a while. I wasn't plagued by the same nightmares that I had been with my brother, and I actually managed to sleep through the entire night, feeling safe and content in the arms of Jace Wayland.
AN: There it was, and I apologize. Even I didn't like that. Not to mention, I think I crossed the "T" boundary, which I had not bee willing to cross whatsoever. But, if you did like it, please tell me, I could do an epilogue, I guess. Maybe… Please check out "Whispering Silhouettes", as it is 500 times better than this, and I am attempting to do a super-special "Twelve one-shots before Christmas" thing, which I already have two stories posted for. Thanks for reading, please review!