Paper and Pencils
"Do I look as ridiculous as I feel?" Clary Fray asked, standing in front of Isabelle Lightwood's body-length mirror, scorning herself for caving in and allowing her friend to dress her up. Isabelle had run around her room excitedly, deciphering Clary's best color, appropriate heel-height, and makeup to wear this evening. She was spending the night with Jace, hoping that after everything they'd gone through, they could have a semi-normal night.
Just a few weeks ago, Clary had battled emotional confliction along with physical horror; for Jace had spent weeks being possessed by Sebastian, Clary's brother to whom Clary could agree needed to seriously revise the definition of "brother." Nightmares still haunted her unconciousness, reliving and rewinding the most horrid part when she had been forced to stab Jace in order to bring him back to himself. Presently, as if that hadn't complicated the whole "couple" matter to its maximum, Jace now had Heavenly Fire burning inside him, shocking someone who he came too close in contact with. Now they were finally going out after months spent apart, -since Jace hadn't been the Jace during those horror-filled days.
Isabelle shrieked with delight. "You look beautiful! Jace is gonna-for once-be speechless, and as you very well know, that is an extremely hard thing to accomplish." She said, as she continued to smather Clary's face in various varieties of "stuff," most of the labels unfamiliar to her since she was beyond uneducated in the art of beautification appliances. Clary held up one. "Laugh-wrinkle cream?" she asked, horrified. "I do not have wrinkles!"
Isabelle rolled her eyes. "laugh wrinkles. Only appear when you laugh. which you just happen to do a lot. That and scowling."
Clary automatically helped to prove her point, bringing a smile to her friend's lips. "Relax. Jace apparently finds it attractive."
"I think Simon does, too," Clary said nochalantly. Isabelle cut her a look.
Simon was Clary's best friend who also just so happened to be a vampire. A Daylighter. As much as Isabelle tried to hide it, Clary knew she had a thing for him, just like Simon did for her. Si was like a brother to Clary, so while she found this kind of endearing, she also found it kind of gross.
"Fine," Isabelle said, tossing the cream in a nearby trash. "That's because I don't need it and you won't use it."
"Maybe it's a sign you need to smile more," said Clary, "or use the cream less."
Isabelle turned offensive, glaring at Clary through the mirror. "Maybe you need to tell better jokes that don't competely suck," she snapped, making Clary roll her eyes. Leave it to Isabelle to pull out the "excuse" card. Clary's jokes weren't exactly great, she agreed, but they didn't earn the title of "suck."
"Am I decent yet?" She asked, not even bothering to shield the longing to escape from her voice. All she wanted now was to be with Jace. All this time wasted on appearance when Jace never really cared. They'd kissed in blood-dried, dank clothes before. She highly doubted that Jace would judge her on her appearance by this point. And if he did she'd just smack him.
"Decent? yes. Ready? Almost. Let me just fix this one part of your hair . . . "
"Jace likes it down, though," Clary muttured, watching as Isabelle mussed with her tendrils of red hair.
"Yeah, yeah I know. The whole wind-dancing, hair-blown effect. Gotcha. But I like it up."
Clary supressed the urge to smack her face in exasperation. "But I'm going out with Jace."
"Stop whining!" Isabelle demanded. "You're almost done. Besides, if you guys get attacked or whatever, then the hair will be out of your eyes and you'll be able to see."
Clary shot her a glare. "Thanks for that vote of confidence. I feel so much better now," she said sacarstically.
A few seconds passed before Izzy abruptly groaned in annoyance, making Clary jump. "Your hair is pissing me off," she hissed, "why won't it just stay?"
"Because it's hair, not a puppy," Clary grumbled.
Isabelle gave her her famous shut-up or die kind of glance and Clary immediately pursed her lips from mouthing off again.
"I think it would just be easier if you shaved your head and then bought a puppy."
Clary groaned internally. Someone get me out of here, she thought.
Then a knock snapped her out of her annoyance just as Jace's voice appeared from the other side. "Are you guys almost done? It's like six and our reservation was for six-fifteen-"
Isabelle sent a glare that could have turned the wood ablaze in a scorching fire. "Shut-up, Jace. You're gonna have to wait! Stop being so impatient!" she yelled, irritable.
"Clary?" Jace asked, concern highlighting his tone. "Clary, are you still alive?"
"Barely," she returned, rubbing her temples with her fingers. Ugh, she felt like a caged bird who just wanted to be released. If you loved someone, let it go, right? Clary wondered just how far Isabelle's care went. Either it just skimmed the surface or Isabelle had stopped liking her.
Just then, the girl grumbled something incoherently. "You guys have no respect. Jace, don't you want her to look somewhat civilized and normal? Don't you want her to look gorgeous?"
Clary heard Jace sigh, no doubt scolding his adopted sister behind the door. Jace had joined the Lightwoods when he was ten after watching the death of his "father" who turned out not to be his, but Clary's father. And he hadn't really died until recently when the Angel had struck him down after killing Jace.
The details still made Clary's head spin like the tasmanian devil.
"No," Jace said, "I want her to look like Clary."
That brought a scowl to her eyebrows. "What?"
She heard a light chuckle. "You know what I mean. You're always beautiful. I just don't want Isabelle to turn you into a freaking Prom Queen."
Clary whimpered, looking at herself in the mirror. She wore a long red dress with an oh-so-not-modest V-neckline that was just before "plunging," along with two-inch-high heel pumps. Her face was dalloped with different types of makeup, eyes shadowed and stensiled to perfection. "You might want to rethink your leniency," she said, "I'm getting awful close."
"Yeah," Isabelle then puckered. "All that's left is that tiara. You know, the one mom got after I killed my first Downworlder?"
Clary supressed the urge to laugh, attempting to imagine Isabelle with a tiara. She even wanted to mentally include a wand and a tu-tu,but no matter how hard she tried, the image just wouldn't take form inside her head.
"Isabelle, come on!" Jace said, the irritation evident in his voice. "Haven't you ever heard the line, 'not to keep a guy waiting?'"
His sister mulled that over for a half a second before replying, "I think it's never to keep a girl waiting, Jace. Why don't you go find a dummy to practice target on?"
"Because I have already reached my full potential," he said, "and I look nice. Don't want to mess up my hair."
Isabelle raised her eyebrows. "Wow, Clary," she said, raising her voice to insure that Jace would overhear, "he definitely is not a guy you want to keep waiting."
"Okay," Clary murmured, "time's up, Izzy," she said, trying to stand.
"We are going to lose our reservation," Jace repeated.
Isabelle shot the door another wooden-sparking glare. "You better not be hopping on one foot like a total wus. And you should be concerned that I can actually enviosion that."
Clary didn't even want to look at herself again in the mirror as she eagerly approached the door.
"Wait," Isabelle said, "could I just fix that-?"
"Nope. One hair out of place is not going to kill me, Izzy. Thanks for your help," Clary said, the last part a bit forced.
She opened the door to see Jace's bright golden eyes looking down at hers. He wore a black shirt with a tie, along with dark jeans that-for Jace-was equivalent to a tuxedo. His pale blonde hair fell long and curled over his eyebrows that were raised very high as he stared at her, mouth agape.
"I look like a complete Barbie wannabe, don't I?" she asked, her hopes falling.
Jace slowly shook his head. "Uh . . . wow," he said, eyes probing the heels and the makeup and the neckline, all of which brought a flush to Clary's cheeks. "Ready?" she inquired, hoping to change the topic.
He nodded. "Yeah, let's hit it."
Clary smiled, squelching the forboding feeling that had suddenly crawled into her stomach, murmuring dark secrets of deception, stating that at some point tonight, something was going to go horribly wrong.