This is my burden to bear
This can’t be happening, Jace thought to himself as he rode towards the city as quickly as he could atop his horse Wayfarer. His mind was spinning with the events of the day, he tried to focus on a happy memory in order to stop himself from panicking. He could feel Clary’s blood soaking into the front of his shirt. Jace wrapped his arms around Clary tighter, trying to steady her on the horse and slow the bleeding. He forced himself to focus on the memory of this morning, he couldn’t believe it had happened only a few hours ago, to him it had already been a century.
Jace and Clary were in the barn on Luke’s farm where Luke and Jocelyn’s wedding had taken place. It looked a lot different now that all of the decorations were gone, but it still carried this air as if nothing bad could happen here. Clary had told Jace that she wanted to show him something earlier and since there seemed to be little to no demon activity in the city, they thought it would be a good idea to go today. They walked hand in hand together through the barn, Clary taking the lead while Jace happily followed. He could see her eyes were soaking up every detail of the barn down to the last speck of dust. Jace was more focused on watching her, the way her eyes danced across the room, the way her mouth formed a slight smile every time she found something that she considered beautiful, the way she was so completely engrossed in her surroundings. Just then she looked over at Jace and caught him staring at her, but instead of getting annoyed she just gave him a heartbreaking smile. This girl will be the death of me one day, Jace thought to himself.
“Come on, it’s over here.” Clary told Jace as she nudged his hand in the direction she was heading towards. She lead them up some steps that Jace hadn’t noticed were there during the wedding, when they finally reached the top Jace saw a small room, if you could even call it that. It was actually more of a small space next to a balcony that overlooked the rest of the barn. There was a soft chair, a carpet and a bed all arranged neatly into the small space and christmas lights were wrapped around the wooden panels giving the room a homey feel. “I used to come here all the time when I was smaller, it was my favourite place on the farm. Sometimes I stayed here so long that I’d fall asleep on the floor just staring up at the sky.” Clary looked up as she talked, Jace copied her action and saw that there was a skylight that showed the vast sky with all of it’s beauty. “I’d stare at the stars for so long, getting lost in my thoughts. That’s why Luke put a bed up here for me, he didn’t want me falling asleep on the floor all the time.” Clary moved over to the bed and lay down, she looked so at peace Jace almost didn’t want to disturb her, but the lack of her presence next to him left a hole inside of him that he had to refill. Jace followed her over to the bed and lay next to her with just their hands touching, just the way it had been back in Idris.
They stared up at the sky and Jace understood how she could forget the whole world when she was here. In New York you could never see as many stars as you could here, they shone brightly in the sky, twinkling away. They sat there for a while, silently watching the sky, time passed by but neither of them cared. They were perfectly content just to lie there together and get lost in their thoughts. Jace thought about what his life was like before he met Clary and how much better it had gotten once he finally did. He thought about the pain and suffering that they both had to go through to get to this point and he thought about what his life would have become had he not met Clary. Jace would go through what they already had a million times more if it meant that he got to live the rest of his life with the girl lying besides him. She knew him the way no one else could, she could see straight through Jace, see through his confidence and through his lies, she saw the real Jace. He’d let some people see him for who he really was but that required taking down his wall, brick by brick, then Clary came along and she just smashed the wall away with a single glance.
Jace looked over to her, her saw her emerald green eyes shinning with wonder, he saw her flushed pink cheeks sprinkled with freckles and he saw her soft lips curved into a smile. But that’s not all Jace saw, he saw her bravery, he saw her willingness to do anything to save the people she loves no matter what the cost and he saw her heart. The same heart that was big enough to care for a broken boy, the same heart that made her braver than anyone else Jace knew, he saw the heart that had gone through so much, was damaged beyond repair time and time again but still managed to fix itself. He saw the heart of a warrior. She must have noticed Jace’s staring because she turned her head in his direction but she didn’t say a word. They just looked at each other for a moment, no words passing through the empty space between them. Then she smiled widely, the kind of smile that can only come from pure joy, and Jace just wanted to freeze the moment and live in it forever.
“I remember when I first gave that to you,” Jace started, pointing towards the Morgenstern ring hanging around her neck, “I was too much of a coward to tell you to your face how much you meant to me. I thought you threw the ring into Lake Lynn.”
“You are not a coward, you are one of the bravest people I have ever met.” Clary replied. “I was going to throw it away, but I couldn’t bear the thought of losing it, I mean, it played such a big part in our lives.”
“I get it, I couldn’t get rid of it either despite how much I wanted to. I hated it because it represented everything I couldn’t have because of who I was, but at the same time I had worn it for so long that it became a part of me. That’s why I gave it to you, because I couldn’t wear it anymore, but I still wanted it to be close to my heart and my heart will always be with you.”
After that they had portaled to Alicante so that they could visit the Herondale mansion. Jace had been putting off going for a while, unable to face the mansion where his mother had died and where he had been ‘born’. Together Clary and Jace rode Wayfarer to the infamous Herondale mansion, a place that to Jace held both answers and questions.
But as soon as they crossed the threshold of the house they were ambushed. It happened so quickly that even now Jace couldn’t understand properly what had happened. One minute he was pulling out his seraph blade to defend them, and the next the attackers had disappeared and Jace was turning around to check to see if Clary was okay, only to find her gripping her stomach where her T-shirt was already stained deeply with blood. Jace caught Clary as she fell to the floor unconscious. Unable to heal her with runes, Jace had frantically mounted Wayfarer, carefully placing Clary in from of him so that he could try and take her back into the city where she could be healed.
As they made their way back more and more of Clary’s blood soaked through her T-shirt, spilling everywhere, soaking through Jace’s own shirt and chilling him to the bone. Clary was turning deathly pale and her skin was so cold. At first her breaths were laboured, but now Jace longed for that sound as he had to struggle to hear her breathing now. More than once he thought she had stopped breathing completely and he had almost had a heart attack himself. He had to keep it together, at least until they reached help.
By the time they arrived in the city Wayfarer was about to collapse from exhaustion, Jace doubted the horse had ever run that fast before in his life, but there was no time to dwell on that now. Jace picked Clary up into his arms bridal style and frantically headed into the Basilias where she could be treated. From there it was just a blur, Jace briefly registered someone taking Clary from his arms, he tried to fight them, he didn’t want anyone touching Clary, but he was too overwhelmed to put up much of a fight.
By the time Jace snapped out of his daze he was sitting outside the room where Clary was being treated, Alec was sitting next to him, talking to him, but Jace couldn’t hear anything other than a high ringing sound in his ears droning out the rest of the world. Isabelle was pacing in front of them in her seven inch heels monotonously. Slowly more and more people arrived, time passed but there was still no news. He couldn’t bare to be there any longer. He was going crazy, the same thoughts kept hounding him.
This is all your fault.
You could have saved her.
You should have been better at protecting her.
If she dies it will be because of you.
In a sudden movement Jace stood up and stormed out of the hall. He couldn’t bare to be in there any longer, he couldn’t be that close to Clary while she… he couldn’t even bring himself to think about it.
Jace thought he finally understood how Clary must have felt when Valentine had stabbed Jace through the heart by Lake Lynn. He prayed that he would never fully understand her feelings, he would not be able to be as strong as Clary was that day. Jace didn’t think he would be able to carry on if she wasn’t there with him. If she died, he would die with her. Their souls had become intertwined, without them noticing, they had become one.
Somehow Jace had managed to end up in the Hall of Accords where he had showed Clary what shadowhunters traditionally did after they received their first weapon. So much had happened since then, Jace thought it was more like a hazy dream than reality. He wished more than anything that this were a dream, but he knew that wasn’t possible. Nothing in his life could ever be simple. He was convinced that he must have done something to anger the angels because every time he thought his life was finally taking a turn for the better something had to happen to mess it up.
First his father had died when Jace was only ten, then Clary had turned up and turned his entire world upside down. Just when he thought he could finally be happy again it turned out that his father was Valentine and Clary was his sister, when he finally discovered the truth he had been plagued by murderous dreams, kidnapped and then filled with Heavenly fire. Now, when he thought that the angels had finally put him through everything possibly imaginable they had to go and do this. Jace was doomed to live a life of misery, never being able to enjoy anything because it would always be taken away from him. He couldn’t bare for anyone else he loved to die, he was still haunted by Max’s death every day.
Jace paced the halls, trying to calm his thoughts, but nothing seemed to work. The more he tried to relax, the more frustrated he grew. His hands had begun to shake with anger, his fists were clenched and his knuckles had turned white. If he still had heavenly fire Jace would have already burned a hole in the floor by now. He continued to pace, growing more and more enraged by the second. He turned to the nearest wall and raised his fist. His hand was mere centimetres from the wall when he heard his name being called.
Jace turned around to find Alec standing by the entrance of the hall. He struggled to understand the emotions on Alec’s face, first there was surprise, then anger, then disappointment and finally worry.
“No,” Jace began, “no, no, no!” He turned back to the wall and began to punch furiously at it. His knuckles split and his hands were covered in blood, he vaguely registered Alec calling his name, trying to get him to stop but the pain was the only thing that gave him reprieve from the endless torment of his thoughts. A pair of arms wrapped around Jace retraining him, dragging him away from the wall.
“She’s okay! Jace, listen to me. She’s gonna be okay.” A wave of relief rushed over Jace, for a moment he sank into a state of oblivion, when he snapped himself out of it he turned around and embraced Alec in a bone crushing hug, thanking him over and over again. They both knew that he wasn’t really thanking Alec though, at least not entirely, mostly he was thanking the angel Raziel and he would continue to thank him for the rest of his life.