A/N: I love this pairing! Anybody with me?! Anyway, read and review my friends. Emphasis on the review part.
Black and White
Will sat with his back to the wall listening to Henry prattle on about some mechanical piece he needed to finally finish an invention. It would never work right, so he didn't particularly bother listening to what the man was actually saying. It was a droning noise in his ear as he played with a sharp seraph blade in its sheath. He found it comforting and methodical to slide it a few cm out of the leather then slip it back in. Henry made an uncharacteristic shriek and Will jumped to his feet on instinct, immediately alert. Henry had startled himself while fiddling with his piece of certain crap and a spark had jumped up and landed on his shirt. He was quickly brushing it away, to prevent his shirt going up in flames.
"By the Angel, Henry. How many times is it now that you've just about set yourself on fire?" Will drawled in an annoyed tone. He saw Henry's hurt look and quickly amended, "How about I go get us something to eat from the kitchens? Surely you're hungry?"
He almost asked it in a wheedling tone, anything to get away from this madness. He was only here because Charlotte had asked him to keep an eye on the man. Apparently last time, Henry had blown up half of the attic in a hare-brained experiment. To his delight, Henry smiled and said, "Why yes! Please do, and see if they have any cayenne pepper. I need some for this."
Will didn't ask why he needed the hot powder because he didn't want the older man knowing he hadn't been attending to his prattling. He bowed out swiftly, and sighed when he was alone in the corridor. That man was frustrating, but Will was still fond of him. The ginger-haired man had always treated him with respect and never spoke ill towards him. He felt bad at times for his attitude; for he knew Henry was sensitive. He pulled at the seraph blade strapped to his thigh again as he made his way leisurely down the hall towards the kitchens. He would take all the time he could. When he passed by Jem's room he paused to listen, there was no noise so he turned the handle and peeked in silently. The shorter boy was sprawled out on the black duvet, his silver hair mussed and covering part of his face. Will knew that the silver-haired boy had been feeling particularly ill that morning, and though it was only one in the afternoon, he had appeared to have fallen asleep. He felt a slight chill on his bare arms and looked to see the window overlooking the small garden inside the institute, was ajar. He frowned and moved in to close it. Jem was always going from feverish to freezing and he knew that the boy was probably freezing at this time. He shut the window and glanced back at his friend. Sure enough, there were goose-bumps on his pale skin. Will didn't want to wake him by tugging on the blankets underneath him, so he quickly went to his room a little ways down the hall and grabbed his own blankets off of his bed. He draped them over the boy's form, and watched as Jem immediately latched onto the warmth and mumbled unintelligibly. He smiled lopsidedly and began to turn around but was stopped by a slight touch on his hand which was still placed on Jem's now covered shoulder. Jem had laid his hand over Will's and the unconscious boy was muttering something again.
Will looked at their hands, his larger calloused one under Jem's thinner and softer one. He smiled slightly and gently tugged it free. Will turned to leave with only one glance back at the slight form of his friend.
Will eventually sauntered into the kitchen where he encountered no-one, so he quickly stole a cooling loaf of bread from the tables and some milk from the cooler. Hurriedly, he made his way back to Henry, hoping nothing had gone horribly wrong while he had been gone. As he went past Jem's room, he heard the soft strains of a violin emanating from behind the closed door.
Will stopped rushing and stood close to the door listening for a moment before deciding to knock. He listened as the music stopped and footsteps sounded dully on the thick floor. Jem's tired face appeared in front of him in a few moments.
Will cocked his head to the side and took a large bite of the bread in his hand. Jem also cocked his head to one side, but it didn't look comical. Jem looked too exhausted for that.
Will just looked at him for a moment, taking in his shorter companion, his silver hair, silver eyes, and the dark shadows under them. He only spoke when he saw Jem raise his eyebrow in question.
"Jem, I thought you were sleeping?" Will asked moving closer so that Jem was forced to step backwards into the room, allowing him inside.
"I fell asleep, yes. I recognize your duvet," Jem said quietly gesturing towards the now folded blankets on his bed.
Will blushed slightly, for a reason unknown to him and looked away.
"You shouldn't leave your window open like that, you'll catch cold."
Jem gave a short almost strangled laugh and was about to reply when a muted thud sounded, followed by the sound of shattering glass.
The two looked at each other and then took off running towards Henry.
As they burst into the room and saw the tall man slowly getting off of the floor and dusting his trousers off.
"Henry! What was that?" Will demanded, setting the bread and milk down and approaching the red-faced man, trying to ascertain if he was hurt or not. Henry pointed sheepishly towards the broken window and Jem made his way over to look. As soon as figured that the tinker was alright, he went to Jem to look over his shoulder. Unconsciously, the taller boy put his hand on the shorter one's back and leaned out to see what had crashed into the glass panes. Will felt Jem shiver under his fingers and immediately pulled his hand back as if he had been burned. Worried, Will then gently pulled his shorter friend away from the window.
"So how did your, uh, thing get outside?" Will asked. He had recognized the chunk of metal that Henry had been fiddling with, but he hadn't listened to the explanation of it.
Henry rubbed the back of his neck and said ruefully, "It worked."
Jem began laughing, genuinely, his head tossed back and his shoulders shaking. Will forgot his frustration with Henry and he stared at his friend in surprise. He hadn't heard Jem laugh like that in such a long time. Will completely forgot the broken window and his promise to Charlotte and began to chuckle as well. Henry beamed at them, delighted that he had managed to amuse them. When Jem had control of himself again, Henry took a step towards them and half-whispered, "Don't tell Charl-"
"Don't tell me what?" a high female voice came from the doorway,
Will and Jem immediately drew up next to each other in front of the window trying to hold in smiles. Henry spluttered, but Will, thinking quickly, pointed at the bread and milk on the table, "That we were spoiling our dinner with a little snack!"
Charlotte peered suspiciously at the two standing so close together. She turned her gaze back to Henry and asked, "Where is your, er, thing?"
Will almost laughed again. So he wasn't the only one who had tuned the tinkering man out.
Will felt Jem shiver next to him again. He glanced concernedly sidelong at the silver-haired boy, before looking back at Charlotte and Henry.
"It worked!" Henry said like he had before, looking enthusiastically at the two boys, who nodded emphatically.
Charlotte sniffed, "It feels a bit drafty in here, don't you think?"
Jem pointed to the unlit fire place, "We have yet to light a fire!"
Charlotte looked at him closely before giving a small shrug and turning back to Henry, "Your sister has arrived to visit for a while. Won't you come with me to greet her?"
"Dear me, I didn't even know she was coming…"
The couple's voices disappeared as they moved further away.
Will and Jem looked at each other, and grinned. Deciding that the best way to deal with the broken widow was to shut the door and feign ignorance for now. Will grabbed the bread and milk and followed Jem down the corridor to their rooms. The dark-haired boy figured that it was nearly 3 now. He was just about to take another big bite out of the loaf in his hand when Jem, whose back was to him said, "You really will spoil your dinner."
Will smirked and took the wolfish bite. Jem turned his head back to look at him but was unable to admonish the taller boy, for he tripped over a wrinkle in the long carpet that covered the stone. Will quickly reached out and grabbed him, the milk and bread forgotten and his arms closed around Jem and he pulled him back upright. For a moment, Will just held the shorter boy; His hands on Jem's arms, and very aware of the feeling of lean muscle beneath his fingers. Jem flushed the color stark against his pale face.
"Are you alright?" Will asked, not letting go.
Jem blew a breath out and leaned towards Will slightly. Will realized that he needed help and supported most of his weight for him.
"Jem?" Will anxiously asked, leaning down to see into the boy's face. Jem's eyes were half closed and his breathing seemed heavy. Will swiftly put an arm behind the silver-haired boy's knees and pulled him up to his chest. Jem groaned.
Quickly, the dark-haired shadowhunter made his way towards Jem's rooms, trying his hardest not to jostle him. He watched in horror as a thin line of blood appeared at the corner of his mouth. Will skillfully turned the knob of Jem's door with his hip and pushed his way into the room. He gently laid his Pārbati on the duvet and began to loosen his shirt collar.
"Jem, can you hear me? Jem?" Will asked softly, then deciding that he should be sitting up he pulled the other boy up towards the pillows. He pulled off Jem's shoes and he saw his eyes flutter.
"Jem? By the Angel, Jem…" Then Will came and sat by the head of the bed, his legs hanging off. He gently maneuvered his sick friend so that his head and shoulders lay in his lap. He began to massage the other boy's temples, neck, and shoulders trying to get blood flowing.
"Will…" he heard Jem whisper. Will took his sleeve and wiped the blood from Jem's lip.
"Jem, are you alright?"
"W-will… I", he shuddered then and fell silent. His breathing sped up and Will finally realized that the boy couldn't breathe. He quickly pushed his shirt up and hit his back with an open palm. Jem spluttered and a horrible choking sound came out of him. Blood spurted in a clot from his mouth onto his clothes. Jem took a huge stuttering breath and fell back onto Will's lap. Will held his head up so his face wouldn't get pushed into the blood on his chest and realized that he was breathing easy now.
"Jem, do you need some of it?" Will asked. The silver-haired boy drew a shaky breath and with an effort, opened his eyes. His pale gaze meeting the blue ice of Will's. He looked both old and young right then. The blood on his chin was a huge contrast to the white of his skin. Jem just nodded and Will reached over to the box by the bed and brought it to him. He held it while Jem slowly got the amount that he needed. Will wanted to the throw the box suddenly. His grip tightened on it and Jem looked up at him sadly. Will glared at the box, then at Jem, but his gaze softened at the latter. He replaced the box back onto the table and blew out a breath he didn't know he was holding. He slumped onto the pillows, his arms loosely around the boy's neck and shoulders. Jem shifted into a more comfortable position in his taller friend's lap and gave a rough sigh.
"Are you alright now, Jem", Will asked, reaching a hand up to wipe at the blood already drying on the boy's pale chin.
Jem pulled Will's hand away and pressed to his chest. Will could feel where his heart thundered heavily against his ribcage, but also felt as it slowed down.
"I'm going to be ok, for now."
Will tightened his hold and grimaced. He hated to think of the next time Jem had an episode. He would have to watch him more closely. He began to feel a little awkward, his arms embracing his Pārbati. He was about the start easing away when Jem rolled off of him. He watched quizzically as Jem pulled his shirt off and threw it to the ground. Sighing, the boy closed his eyes. Will got up from the bed and went around it to grab the shirt. He would have to wash it if they were to continue hiding Jem's illness. He realized that there was a large amount of blood on Jem's pants as well.
"Jem, can I have your pants?" he said without thinking. Jem cracked an eye and raised an eyebrow. Will flushed almost scarlet, and he muttered, "The blood?"
Jem nodded and still with his eyes closed, he unbuttoned his trousers and then slowly arched his back up from the bed to push them past his hips. Will's eyes widened, and seemed glued to the pale hipbones that appeared from beneath the fabric. Then the moment passed and Jem was throwing the pants in Will's direction. Will bundled them up with the shirt and turned to leave, at the door he glanced back at his pale friend. Jem's skin seemed snow white compared to the gray duvet beneath him. His chest was covered in lean muscles and his stomach was flat with some slight definition. His legs were slender, but muscular as well. Will stared at the curve of his calf for a moment, then thought of how weird he was being. He quickly drew the door open and made his way towards the servants' quarters. Luckily, Sophie was nowhere to be seen, and he was able to scrub the blood from Jem's clothes for the most part with lye and water. He left the garments to dry by the large fire near the laundry and then made his way back to check on Jem. When he peeked in, he didn't see the boy at first. Concerned he silently strode into the room. Then he saw Jem lying on the floor to the side of the bed. His back lay against the cold stone. Worried, Will rushed over to see what was wrong. He realized that Jem was asleep though; as he bent down to touch his forehead. His entire body was freezing to the touch. Will slowly picked the nearly naked boy off the ground and pulled back the blankets to lay him under them. He covered Jem completely and went to retrieve his blankets from the chair against the wall. He left, taking them to his room, and then returned, to sit in the chair he had just cleaned off. Will wasn't about to leave when Jem was this sick. He settled himself as comfortably as one can get in a chair and prepared himself for a long night.