Authors' Note: We do not own the characters, even Willow. All rights go to Cassandra Clare.
Willow grumbles under her breathe as she jabs her training sword at the training dummy in front of her. She leaves the sword in the dummy's stomach so she put her hair back up in a bun and fix her training trousers. When she grabs the sword once more, someone clears their throat and Willow spins around with the blade pointing at the intruder to see it is Henry with his hands held up in surrender.
"I figured you were up here releasing your frustration on the training dummies," Henry says. She growls before throwing the sword at the dummy propped up against the wall and she goes to pour herself a cup of water. "What is the matter, little bird?"
"It is nothing, just upset that we did not find any evidence during the investigation," Willow grumbles.
"Are you sure it has nothing to do with Jem and Miss Gray?" Henry teases. Willow shouts as she turns to throw the cup at Henry's head, of whom nearly gets hit. The sound of a cane tapping along with feet into the room makes Willow's face become a bright red. Jem stands in the doorway dressed as though he is heading out soon.
"Henry, might I have a word with Willow in private?" Jem asks with his head held high. Henry nods quickly before running out of the room and Willow tries to follow Henry out, but Jem steps into her path.
"Jem, this conversation can wait," Willow grumbles out. Jem pulls her into his arms with a small smile and kisses her lips softly. "What are you doing?"
"Willow, I am confessing my feelings for you here and now. I have loved you for many years and I want to be with you for the rest of my life," Jem says. "Even if my life is going to be a short one."
"Don't say it that way," Willow says with sadness. She reaches up to move some of his hair out of his face with a sad smile. "We are to be parabatai soon because we wanted it."
"No, I do not want it and I only agreed to it because you asked. I cannot go through with it because being with you as more than that is forbidden," Jem says. Willow places her hands on Jem's chest and pushes him back a little.
"We have to finish this mission before we can think about relationships, Jem," Willow manages to say. She looks down at the floor to hide her tears because she wants to tell him her feelings for him, but she does not want to cause any issues that may hurt the mission. She pushes past Jem to exit the room and she runs into Miss Grey.
"I am sorry, I was doing some exploring and looking for Jem," Miss Gray says. Willow stiffens at her calling her Jem not by his given name, but she only points in the direction of the training room before running off once more. Willow slams the door to her room shut, jumps into her bed, and buries her face into her pillow to hide her sobs from everyone. Her heart breaks at having to deny Jem like she did, but she knows that a life with him, no matter the time they have left, would be wonderful and painful at the same time. She does not wish to accept him, only to lose him in battle or against the thing that is trying to kill his body. This mission was meant to be a distraction, but it has only caused her more pain with Miss Gaey butting into their lives. A soft knock echoes into her room and she looks up to see Charlotte stepping into her room with a sad smile.
"Henry said you needed a motherly moment," Charlotte says. Willow rushes to hold Charlotte and she cries once more when Charlotte wraps her arms around Willow. "I know that you have feelings for Jem, but you know that he may not have much time left. You also agreed to proceed with the ceremony."
"I did it in hopes that this would make me lose my feelings for him, but it only made things worse. I want to be with him more than a parabatai," Willow cries.
"I know, darling," Charlotte says softly. "He may not share the same feelings for you, but he cares for you."
"What should I do?" Willow sniffles. She does not wish to tell Charlotte that Jem confessed his feelings for her just moments ago, but she knows that she must protect herself from further pain.
"I am not sure at this moment, but we will come up with something," Charlotte says with a small smile. Willow buries her face into Charlotte to try to stop herself from crying more.
Jem stares out the window of the library, thinking about Willow's words to put the mission first. His heart breaks a little at the memory, but he knows that she is right. Jessamine clears her throat and Jem turns to see Miss Gray standing in the doorway.
"Miss Gray, please come in," Jem says with a smile.
"Please call me Tessa," Miss Gray says with a small smile. She walks over to sit with Jessamine on one of the couches in the library. "Have you found anything in regards to why I was kidnapped?"
"Unfortunately no, but Charlotte and Henry are looking into having someone from the Enclave come to see you and hopefully shine some light on that," Jem says with a smile. He offers Tessa a cup of tea, of which she takes with a smile, and Jem sits in the arm chair just next to her.
"How did you end up here in London if you are from America? Why even bother to travel over here?" Jessamine asks.
"I came to see my brother, but I was not able to find him before I was taken," Tessa says softly. Before they can say another word, there is a loud crash and they all turn to see there is smoke coming from the hallway. The three of them walk to the hallway to see Willow is coughing while Henry tries to find his bearings after being thrown from something that exploded in the hallway. Willow laughs when Henry falls over and she tries to find something to wipe her face.
"What have you two done now?" Jessamine scolds. Willow smiles at her widely, but her smile falters a little when she sees Tessa and Jem there together.
"Henry and I are trying out a new device," Willow says.
"Henry! Willow!" they all hear Charlotte shout. Henry and Willow jump before rushing to gather all of the evidence they can, but Charlotte catches them before they can get far. "I told you too many times about these experiments being down in the Institution! The last time you let one go inside was the time you almost brought the building crashing down on us!"
"Darling, we were not trying to make something explode this time," Henry says with a sheepish smile.
"I will say this once more and only this once," Charlotte growls. "No more experiments outside of the lab. Now, get cleaned up because we are having guests arriving soon."
"Who is coming?" Jem asks.
"Someone from the Enclave and a silent brother," Charlotte says. Everyone, minus Tessa, give a small nod before running off to get ready for their guests.