Hi guys! So this is the result of me binge watching Shadowhunters when I was supposed to be doing actual work. Kinda-newish to posting my stories so please be nice? Please?
Leave a comment if you like what you read!
And yes, this is an OC story done in first person… I know, I know… what have I done right?
Also… could someone please help me out here? There's going to be swearing but I'm not quite sure if that fits into the T or M section? I've seen some authors put it in M but others in T? Please help?
Blanket disclaimer! Because I know I will forget if I post more chapters!
I own nothing and all rights go to the Shadowhunters team and Cassandra Clare!
She had grown from a terrified little girl to a warrior woman who spoke the language of heaven. She grew from a civilian to the hero that saved the world. She is not me. That hero of a woman is not me. She is my baby twin sister who I wouldn't change for the world. Me? It takes all I've got just to keep my head above water.
Creator and Destroyer
Chapter 1: The Sisters Fray
"Think she'll make it?" Simon asked waiting with bated breath and I took a long gulp of my latte.
"She'll be fine. It's Cary. She draws better than she walks."
"Considering the fact that she tripped over flat ground yesterday, that is not a very reassuring statement."
"Oh yeah. Okay, bad example. Scratch that. She draws better than she breathes. Happy?" I say and Simon gives me the most unimpressed stare he could muster. I put my latte down to flip him off and crunch on a cookie.
Clary, my younger sister by half an hour, was currently trying to get into the Brooklyn Arts Institute. More power to her since the number of poor artists struggling to make it through the week on nothing but instant noodles and ice cubes were through the roof. I on the other hand was hoping for a much more stable career. I'd put in my application to the Police Academy in Queens. A bit of a trek since we didn't exactly have a car but New York had decent public transport.
"Ohhh, look, there she is." Simon said standing up from our little table and I spun in my seat to see Cary walking through the door with a frown on her face. Very disappointed-kicked-puppy. Uh-oh.
"Give me the professor's names and I will end them," Simon promised and I snorted. Simon was a sweet guy who couldn't threaten my fuzzy panda slippers. Seeing my disbelief Simon rolled his eyes but tacked on, "with a scathing email to the dean."
"Don't bother." Cary huffed and smacked the letter in her hand onto the table. I bent over to take a look and Simon quickly flipped it over.
Then our jaws dropped.
Stamped on the top of the paper in bright red was the word CONGRATULATIONS.
My little liar of a sister had gotten in.
And she'd tricked us.
"What?!" Simon whined and then gave Clary a glower that was completely and utterly ruined by the grin that spread across his mouth. "The sad face. Well played."
"I ought to punch you!" I complain and Clary gave me a look of mock fright and held her art folder up as a shield.
"No! Please have mercy oh great Goddess of Destruction!" She wailed and I groaned.
"Shut up! That was once!" I say and smack the folder as Simon and Clary laugh.
"Tell that to my chair." He snickered and I flushed.
"And our coffee table." Clary tacked on and I just knew those two would never stop.
"And that school desk."
"Ohhh and what about that locker door?"
"Okay, I hate you both. And that locker door was already broken so it wasn't my fault!" I say in my own defence. It wasn't that I broke everything I touched but just that some things were overly fragile. Like that rusted locker door.
"Dude, you say it like the door fell off." Simon snickered and I huffed.
"Yeah, after you put a dent the size of your fist in it!" Cary snickered.
"The jackass from the football team was trying to pick on Simon, it seemed like a good idea at the time okay?!" I say in a rather valiant attempt at defending myself.
"My knight in shining armor." Simon teased. I threw my napkin at him.
"Lou, did you eat my biscotti?" Cary suddenly asked with a frown and I looked over.
"No?" I asked because I hadn't even ordered a biscotti.
"Maybe you ate it really fast and didn't even notice." Simon teased "Happens to me all the time, but you know what, I will replace your mythical biscotti with a real one."
He hands over his biscotti and I offer Clary half a cookie. Clary takes the biscotti as well as the cookie. Triple chocolate fudge. Who wouldn't right?
We toast our lattes and try to tell Simon to change the name of his band. Champagne Enema was just… bad. Unfortunately, we didn't have any luck and the conversation soon got directed to Maureen's crush on Simon. Clary didn't notice the irony of teasing Simon about being dense. Especially since she never picked up on the fact that Simon had been head over heels for her since fifth grade. It was just sad at this point.
And guess who was the idiot stuck in the middle? Yup. This girl.
My phone pings just as Simon's half-way through telling us about his plans for Clary's celebration tonight for the third time and I fish it out of my back pocket.
"Mom wants us home. Let's pack this up boys and girls." I say with a grin and down the last of my now-cold latte and shove the last bits of my cookie into my mouth. Clary and Simon both down what's rest of their drinks and packs up. Clary takes the longest what with her two bags, art file and acceptance letter to juggle around.
We get there eventually though and we take the bus back home. Cabs in New York were expensive let me tell you that and I wasn't made out of money.
Since Simon literally lived next door, he got on the same bus and we don't split until we get to his door.
Simon lived on the very end of a row of brownstones that was tucked slightly away from the main street. If you kept going past Simon's place though, you'd come across a little ally. That little ally had an arch and a gate that was hardly ever closed. It would almost look like a dodgy ally where drug deals went down if it weren't for the potted plants that you could just see as you walked past. That and the fact that there was a large if slightly faded metal sign on the wall outside that advertised Greenpoint Antiquities.
Growing up in an antiques store was… interesting. And very amusing. Especially when your mother, the owner of said store, let you play with the axes and the mace and even let you try out that miniature guillotine on some carrots.
"Hey Dot, how's the future looking?" Clary asked greeting Dorothea 'Dot' Rollins who smiled, flipped over another tarot card and greeted us back. Dot was my mother's assistant when the antiques shop had gotten large enough to warrant an assistant. I helped out sometimes too but it was less of the buying and selling and more of carefully putting fragile old stuff in display cases.
"Hello you two." She said and I waved and went to peer at the double-headed axe that was half-way unpacked from a large crate. "The tarot cards tell me you got in the advanced program Clary."
"And by the tarot cards, you mean Simon's twitter account?" Clary asked with a smirk and Dot looked slightly guilty.
"Okay. I follow him. Turns out, predicting the future with tarot cards is very complicated." Dot said and turned over the next card. An ace of cups.
"I'll say. Is this new?" I said pointing to the axe and Dot looked over.
"And at least half a century old. Don't break it." Dot said amused and I huffed but backed off. Break one morning star mace and they'll never let you live it down. It hadn't even been worth that much. "And on that note… presents!"
Both Clary and I lit up because who didn't like presents? Good presents anyway. And Dot always gave the best presents.
"Here, open them." Dot said eagerly handing over the bags and Clary immediately dug in. I did too and ended up pulling out a handful of crumpled rice-paper that had been used to hide the contents.
Clary pulled out a shirt and whistled.
"Yeah, you might want to keep that on the DL because your mom's my boss and I don't want her to flip out." Dot admitted and Clary beamed. A cool present and something that a parent would disapprove of? That was like a double-gift.
"And that's how I know it's cool. You are way better at gift giving than magically predicting the future." Clary said and Dot giggled. I finally got to the end of my bag and laughed.
"You're kidding." I said and slipped the silver ring on. It was a large thing, heavy and thick that went across three fingers spelling out LOUELLA in connected cursive. "You got me knuckle dusters?!"
"Well, since you tend to break so many things with just your bare hands I figured this way, you might not break so much stuff." Dot teased and I laughed and admire the ring. It was gorgeous. No way was I going to risk breaking it by punching someone with it.
"Happy birthday." Dot said and gave us each a hug. "I love you both."
It was something that fit in the moment but didn't really fit. Dot was like an aunt or another sister to us so of course we loved her but… there was something in the way she said it. Like it was something you say when you were afraid you wouldn't get the time to say it.
Clary picked up on it too and looked at Dot slightly confused.
"Yeah, we love you too Dot… are you okay?" She asked and Dot nodded and smiled.
"Yeah, yeah. Happy birthday girls. Now go up and see your mother." She said and whatever had happened the moment before vanished into nothing. Satisfied, Clary headed up the stairs but I lingered a little longer. I was an older sister. I was the older sister. It was my job to look after Clary. So I did the big sister thing and lingered.
"Dot, is there anything going on?" I ask because I'd found out a long time ago that asking 'are you okay' usually didn't get an honest answer. Hell, even I almost always lied when someone asked me if I was okay. Usually, when someone had to ask that, it meant that you weren't okay and doing a crap job at hiding it.
"No, not at all. Just a couple of bad customers today." Dot said quickly with a smile and gave me a quick one-armed hug. "You're a good girl Lou."
"If you ever need to talk…" I persisted and Dot smiled.
"I'll find you first." She promised and I left after that. I didn't think that Dot would talk to me. She was an adult and despite the fact that technically, I was eighteen and thus legally an adult, I wasn't adult-adult. When I was sixteen, I thought that being eighteen would make me all worldly and grown-up. So far, nothing had changed. In all honesty, I wasn't too surprised. Simon was older than Clary and I by a good six months and we'd heard all of his complaints already. The magic of turning eighteen had been well and truly shattered. Whoever said that eighteen made you an adult was a big fat liar. Eighteen didn't make you an adult. It just made you a teen with a boatload of new responsibilities without the instruction manuals for them. Something that Simon's voting fiasco could attest to.
I reached the top of the steps just in time to see Clary break out of a hug from mom and put her bags down with a smile.
"Hashtag stalker mom." She teased and I quickly headed over dumping my own much smaller bag on the floor also. Clary was the arts student with a thousand and one things in her tote bags. I was the sporty one that shoved three things into a small cheap plastic drawstring gymsack and proclaimed myself set.
"Simon's twitter again?" I asked and both my mother and my sister nodded.
"Here. Happy birthday." Mom said handing Clary a small rectangular box. Clary smiled and sat down immediately to open it. Experience had taught her that sometimes opening boxes while standing up wasn't that good of an idea. She'd broken a set of glass veils that way once because the box holding them had a particularly heavy lid.
Clary lifted the lid and I peered over her shoulder at what was inside. It was a silver thing. Long like a pen but the tip was a clear crystal. It was slightly awkward looking to hold. Triangular in shape but with a very gentle twist and decorated with strange symbols.
"It's called a stele." Mom said and Clary stared at it confused.
"What is it? Like a paperweight?" Clary asked and I had to laugh a little. Paperweight. Maybe more like a decorative pen?
"No, it's much more than that." Mom said amused "It's very ancient and I want you to have it. It's a family heirloom."
"We Frays have heirlooms?" Clary asked incredulous and mom smiled.
"A few. Speaking of. This one's for you." She said and patted the larger box on the coffee table.
"Is it another heirloom?" I ask eagerly and bend over to open the box.
"Yes." Mom said with a fond smile and I choke when I lift the lid.
It was covered with black leather upon which was worked a thousand and one symbols. The leather blended with the black metal, dulled with age but not dulled enough that I could not see more symbols crawling up the metal.
"Shut the front door." I said in amazement and gently lifted it out of the box. It took two hands so long it was. And remarkably light. But that was the thing about swords. They were heavier than you thought but also lighter. The guard was slightly curved giving way to the grip that was thick but smooth. The pommel was circular but below the circle decorated with a single symbol, there was the guard inverted in miniature making the hilt of the sword look something like a man with extraordinary long legs.
It was a Celtic-style sword. Definitely made after Roman conquest going by the design of the hilt. Consequences of living in an antique shop. You became a history buff despite not really caring all that much about it. Another fun fact, Celtic swords had names.
"Do be careful with that." Mom begged and I groaned.
"Let me guess. Fragile?" I ask and made to set it back into its box. Mom chuckled.
"No, I think even you won't be able to break that sword. It's sharp." She told me and I stared at her and then back at the sword.
"You're not pulling my leg? You're going to give me a sword? A real honest to god sharp sword?" I ask to double check because coolest gift ever.
"Its name is Wallace. And yes, it's another heirloom." Mom said with a proud smile.
"Wallace." I stated the mood thoroughly broken because who named a sword Wallace? I mean. Really.
"It grows on you." Mom said with a laugh and I shook my head very much doubting it. Wallace. Someone had terrible naming sense. Still, despite the silly name, I quickly stepped away so I could draw it because I mean, come on. Who wouldn't want to?
It slid out of the sheath smooth as if I was drawing it from water without a hint of catch. There was no rasp, no 'schwing' sound, no bright gleam upon the long blade. The blade that flowed from the leather was silent and surprisingly dulled. But it was still beautiful. The symbols that stretched from the hilt dipped down the sword in the blood groove joining the blade and hilt as one. The term 'blood groove' was a little misleading. In fact, the groove that ran down the length of the blade had nothing to do with blood. It was what allowed the blade to be so light and still maintain its strength. Without it, it would either double in weight or break upon its first impact.
I ran a careful finger down the groove feeling the indents of the symbols. They seemed to mean something. Something that wasn't just 'oh it looks pretty'. But what that 'something' was I did not know.
It was still the coolest thing ever.
Suddenly Clary's phone rang and both mom and I looked over. Clary pulled out her phone and took a quick glance.
"Simon. He's on his way over." Clary said standing up immediately.
"But we need to talk." Mom said sounding a little troubled.
"I can't, I need to change. I'm going to see Champagne Enema tonight." Clary said and I winced at the name. Mon stared.
"Yeah, I know, it's the new band name. But Simon and Maureen are taking us out after." Clary promised and I quickly started to put my sword away.
"But its-" Mom said with something close to desperation in her voice before she cut herself off with a strained smile. Then, she started again, gentler this time. "But it's your eighteenth birthday and… everything's going to change now."
"Mom. We've had the talk." Clary said amused and I shuddered.
"And I don't need a repeat of that talk thanks." I said because damn that had been horrifying.
"We need to have a much different and more important talk." Mom said and there was a seriousness in her voice and a warning in her eyes that made me stop.
"And we will, but it can be over breakfast, alright? I love you." Clary said and after a quick kiss, trotted off with her gifts to change. "Thank you for the heirloom!"
"Is there something that I should know?" I asked because although mom was slightly overprotective at times, it wasn't usually like this.
"It's… I'll tell you later. Go on, get changed." Mom said and gently pushed me towards the stairs. I hesitated but nodded and gave her a hug.
"Thanks for the sword. Best present ever." I say earnestly and mom smiles.
"I knew you'd like it, now go on."
I didn't need to be told a third time and trotted up to my room.
Clary's room was like the room of an art's student. Bright, colourful, and with a mural painted by her own hand. It was filled and cluttered with all the little bits and pieces that Clary had 'needed' over the years.
My room was… remarkably different. A set of shelves, put up by Luke again and again, held my trophies and pictures. Boxes displaying my various belts from white to second-degree black. I was actually on my third-degree black belt but that one wasn't put up to display since I wore it at least three times a week. I was proud of that belt and that's why I wore it. It'd taken me a good decade to get it after all. My trophy collection wasn't a thing of pride however, it was honestly pitiful for someone who'd competed in a sport for ten years but Krav Maga just didn't have that big of a crowd in the good old US of A. It was growing though and thus more competitions were being organized and my trophy collection would hopefully grow in future.
A jumbled bookcase sat against one wall filled with every textbook I've ever owned as well as some martial arts guides and the knick-knack fiction that I'd collected over the years.
A desk sat against the window, much smaller than Clary's because I didn't try to do massive A-2 drawings on it and a chair with a shaky wheel was pushed up against it.
The only overtly colourful things in my room were an assortment of stuffed toys that lived on my bed and the string of paper lanterns that hung from the walls thanks to blue-tack. They were a present from Clary, sort of like an overly-large charm bracelet, each decorated with a notable event in our lives. I spotted the most recent addition immediately and smiled. A very large lantern smack bang over my bed. It was a brilliant red with streamer-tassels and painted with a large gold 18.
In the next room, Clary squealed and then burst into mine. She promptly threw her arms around me and attempted to crush me to death as I laughed.
"Thank you thank you thank you!" She said letting go and nearly bouncing up and down in her excitement. "Best twin ever!"
"You better believe it." I say with a laugh "You know how much those paints cost me?"
"I promise to put them to good use." Clary said drawing a cross over her heart and I shook my head.
"Uh-huh. And thank you for the lantern. My room has never looked so majestic." I say and Clary beamed before she skipped off to finish curling her hair.
By the time both Clary and I were done, Luke had already arrived presents at the ready.
"Hey Luke." Clary said beaming. We weren't allowed to call him Uncle Luke anymore. Apparently, it made him feel old. So naturally, neither Clary nor I called him Uncle Luke.
"Grandpa!" I say with a grin on my face and Luke groans. Hey, it wasn't Uncle Luke.
"You keep calling me that and you won't get no presents from me." He threatened and I immediately held up my hands in surrender.
"I'll be good."
Luke snickered and lifted out a collection of spray paints and presented them to Clary.
"Happy birthday, I see any of that on city walls and I will arrest you." He threatened as Clary beamed over the paints.
"The paint is for Simon's van." Clary informed but then winced "But I'm insisting that they rename the band."
"Oh yes please." Mom said with a groan and I nod.
"Yeah. It's bad. Nothing could be worse." I agree and Luke chuckles but sees something sticking out of Clary's pocket.
"Has your mom talked to you about that?" He asked and Clary looked down and nodded.
"The heirloom, yeah. It's beautiful." Clary said but going by the slightly guilty looks mom was shooting at no one in particular, I had a feeling that there was a whole lot more to this whole thing.
"Look, you girls are eighteen now and-" Luke tried but Clary cut him off confused.
"What is with you guys today? We're turning eighteen, not heading off on some epic journey."
"But you are!" Simon said just straight up walking into the house and no one said anything. We sometimes barged into Simon's house for no other reason than boredom. And whenever Grandma Lewis made her famous chocolate babka which was like a bread-chocolate-cake-thing that was absolutely delicious. "See, we are going to Lombardi's to celebrate after the gig."
"You should come back here after. The city's not that safe right now." Mom tried and it was quite the valiant attempt.
"Ah, thanks mom, but we're all set." Clary said awkwardly and edging away to make a quick escape.
"Wait, do I smell chicken caatchatorri?" Simon asked because it was always one of his favourite things and mom nodded.
"Simon, your gig?" Clary reminded with a smirk.
"You're singing?" Luke asked amused and Simon nodded.
"Yes. Big gig. And by big, I mean not so." Simon said looking immensely proud of himself and everyone at least chuckled.
"Well, before that, you think you got a few minutes to spare so that I can give Lou her present?" Luke asked amused and I nodded.
"Oh yeah. I always got time for presents. Bring it." I say eagerly and Luke chuckles. He then hands me a very large and bulky package and I took it in excitement. The package squishes letting me know that whatever was inside was very, very soft. I stare at the package and judge it's weight and relative size. It was huge. I look to Luke eyes wide. "No."
"Yes." Luke said amused and I rip the bland brown wrapping paper off immediately and then promptly crushed it to my chest in a death squeeze because it was so adorable.
"So cute! Thank you Luke!" I all but squealed and Luke laughed as I inspected the newest addition to my stuffed-toy family. Pure fluffy marshmallow white the cat was a bundle of crouched fluff without legs and with the most adorably satisfied expression.
I was shooed upstairs to house my newest fluff-baby but not before promising mom that we would talk over breakfast tomorrow morning. It was a promise that Clary and I made readily.
Anything to get out that door.
But of course, being teenagers with the glimpse of adulthood, we complained to anyone that would listen. In this case, Simon and Maureen.
"I swear my mom is so overprotective lately." Clary groaned with all the petulant grumpiness that a teenager could muster and I snicker. She elbows me in the ribs and I dramatically fall over causing a round of laughter. We were all seated on the roof of Simon's van although Maureen needed a little hand up. The van itself was a tagged yellow monstrosity that was supposed to bring publicity to the band but was honestly just an eyesore in dire need of a better paint job.
"You know, she reminds me of that scene where Ripley is facing off against the alien queen guarding her eggs." Simon said excitedly fiddling with his guitar going through the last of his pre-gig jitters. He'd already thrown up so at least that was out of the way. Now he was trying to distract himself.
"In this scenario, is my mom Ripley or the alien queen?" Clary asked arching an eyebrow.
"Both." Was Simons immediate answer and I poked him in the ribs.
"You realize that makes no sense right?"
"A mother defending her young!" Simon teased and Clary huffed.
"Defending me from what? I spend all my days in an arts studio, my life can't be more… mundane. Now if it's Lou, then mom is right to be worried." Clary said and I frown.
"Clary's right on this one." Simon said as if he were an old sage "Dangerous business, police-work."
"I'll be fine." I grumble shaking my head "I mean, they'll probably go and make me issue parking fines the first few years anyway."
"Way to take the glamor away from being a cop." Maureen says with a smile and I shrug.
"Eh, Luke's been preparing me. Said that I should know what I'm going to get myself into. And apparently, it's shiploads of paperwork." I say grim. Clary laughs at me and I jostle her a little in retaliation. "So mom has nothing to worry about. I'll be chained to a cubical."
"You know, mom never really talks about what she was like when she was young." Clary said and I shrug.
"Does any parent?" I point out.
"Well, just do what I do and get all the dirt from your relatives." Maureen said amused but both Clary and I shake our heads.
"We would if we could, but we don't have any other relatives." Clary said "And, and my dad died before we were born."
There was always a discomfort about talking about our father because we'd never known him. Luke on the other hand had always been there whenever we needed 'Dad things' but since he wasn't married to mom, it was inappropriate to call him dad. I'd always thought that Luke had known my soldier father before he had passed. He had the whole 'no hooking up with my brother-in-arms' widow' thing going on. I never asked though and neither did Clary. There was just something about the topic of fathers that seemed wrong in our house.
"So you have no one. No uncles, no aunts, no third cousins twice removed?" Maureen asked shocked and Clary shook her head.
"No, just Lou, mom and me." Clary said with a shrug. It was the only life we knew.
"And that's why the Lewis clan has added four chairs to every seder since pre-school." Simon said with a grin "One for Clary, one for Lou, one for Jocelyn and one for Elijah."
"Of course." Clary said with a nod.
"Can't forget Elijah." I say with a smile and Simon nods with pride. Grow up next door neighbours with the loveliest Jewish family you'll ever meet and you find yourself looking for that 'kosher' label on everything you buy from the supermarket. Elijah's cup was always filled during the Seder dinner at the Jewish Passovers and a seat was always placed out for him. The belief was that one day, an unknown guest would arrive, take that empty seat, and herald the coming of the messiah. Pretty cool if you asked me.
"You guys don't think that's at least a little suspicious not knowing anything about your family?" Maureen asked weirded out "Your mom could be hiding some deep dark secret."
Clary and I snorted from the ridiculousness of that statement. It was like saying mom was secretly a spy for the KGB. As if.
"Maureen, it's not possible." Clary laughed.
"No, but think about it-" Maureen insisted and I shook my head.
"Okay conspiracy theorist, cool those engines." I laugh and Maureen huffs.
"Seriously, our mother is incapable of concealing anything from us." Clary dismissed and I nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, remember all those 'surprise parties' she tried to do?" I put forward and Clary winced.
"Oh yeah, those were bad."
"Real bad." Simon agreed and we all shared a laugh.
"Alright rock-stars, get yourselves ready." I say checking my watch and suddenly Simon looks green. Clary rolls her eyes and we barely save Simon from toppling off the roof of the van. Of course.
The gig itself wasn't all that bad. Tiny crowd, most there because of morbid fascination with the name and because they were friends of either Simon or Maureen.
The music wasn't half bad either, Simon had really improved and Maureen was really hitting the high parts.
The only cringy part was the weird love-line that was going on. I'd call it a triangle but… well, Maureen was crushing on Simon who didn't have a clue since Simon himself was crushing on Clary who also didn't have a clue. I will admit to crushing on Simon for a couple of years through high school but thankfully, it was just a phase and it was well and truly out of my system now. Thank God. That had been an awkward two years. But it was over and after liberal amounts of crying on mom's shoulder, swearing Luke to secrecy and way too many tubs of ice-cream, I was friends with Simon and liked it that way. I counted myself lucky since I was able to get out and maintain a friendship. Most people weren't that lucky. All the high school drama man.
The gig wrapped with thunderous applause and quite a few whistles. A successful night if I might say so myself.
"Thanks for being our roadies." Maureen said smiling as we helped pack up after the show loading everything into the back of Simon's van.
"Yeah, and thank you for being our artist in residence." Simon said with a beaming smile and then promptly stripped off his shirt. If I'd still been crushing on him, I would have stared like Maureen and Clary. As it was, I just loaded another speaker into the van. I'd clawed my way out of that pit and there wasn't any way in all of tarnation that I was going to jump right back in.
"Of course." Clary said quickly and then smiled gathering her wits about herself again "So, you went on stage tonight as Champagne Enema."
"Please don't do it again." I said immediately and everyone laughs.
"What were we thinking, right?" Maureen agreed and Simon grinned.
"But now, we're Rock Solid Panda." He declared and everyone was happy with that choice.
"Yeah we are." Maureen said enthusiastically and not just because she had a crush on Simon. Really, the poor girl had to go on stage with a name like Champagne Enema. Simon owed her at least a date for that.
"Rock Solid Panda, coming right up. I'm feeling inspired." Clary said shaking the can and nearly skipped off to go paint the van.
Clary was done in under half an hour and we all stepped back to admire her work.
"What's that tag?" Simon asked as we all stared at the tag above the 'rock solid panda' logo. It was done in blue and made to look 3D all crystal like. It was almost like a dagger but not quite. I tipped my head to the side and squinted. Looked… disturbingly familiar. Déjà vu.
"Weird, I didn't even mean to do that." Clary said staring at it as well thoroughly creeped out.
"Well… it adds to the look?" I try as Simon goes to put the spray paint away.
"You know they have confirmed cases of people waking up in the morning speaking French? And they've never studied the language before." Maureen said and I had a feeling that her true colors were showing.
"You think that's some kind of language?" Clary asked arching an eyebrow and Maureen shrugged.
"Sanskrit maybe." She said and walked off to try her luck with Simon again.
"Well, either way, looks pretty cool. Brings together all those other names on there." I say and pat Clary's back in an offer of comfort "I for one, like it."
"You're my twin sister. You have to like everything I draw." Clary jokes and I roll my eyes.
"Hey, I told you that your dog painting looked like lumpy chicken nuggets with faces didn't I?" I point out in my own defence.
"I thought that was a compliment!"
"How sister dear, how." I say with a sigh and shake my head.
"Hey Lou! Where'd you put my spare strings?!" Simon called and I sighed.
"Here we go." I grumble and Clary laughs and pats my back.
"Good luck." She teases and I make my way over as Simon throws out everything that I'd loaded into the truck looking for new guitar strings.
"Have you tried your guitar bag?" I asked dryly riffling through the bag even as I talked knowing that he hadn't looked through all the nooks and crannies.
"Yes!" Simon calls and nearly kicks a speaker onto the floor. It was narrowly saved my Maureen and I give her a thumbs-up for the good save.
I lift the guitar from it's place in the case and pull open the little compartment that was where the neck of the guitar would rest. Sure enough, spools of guitar string.
"Found them!" I call and Simon nearly falls out of the van to get at them. He immediately begins to de-string and then re-string his guitar and I shake my head. "Why do you even do that? Don't most people only re-string guitars when one string breaks or something?"
"Yeah, most people, but I am an artist." Simon says fully focused on his guitar and I shake my head and leave him to it.
I turn to see Clary facing off against a tall blond guy dressed all in black leather and sporting quite the large black tattoo on his neck and did the older sibling thing.
"Hey! You! Jackass! Get the hell away from my sister!" I call striding over and the guy looks at me mouth working open and closed.
"Jace!" Someone calls in the distance and blondie turns back to look. Then he turned his back and ran into the Pandemonium Club that was just opening it's doors for business. Pandemonium had no line because technically it was an all-ages club. You just had to show ID at the bar. We'd been. Once. For Simon's eighteenth. Our mother hadn't been the least bit happy. She needn't have been so upset. It was an experience I wasn't all that willing to repeat. Loud music, epilepsy-inducing lights, suffocating air, oh and way too many people in too small a space. What's to like? Social butterfly I was not.
"Can you believe that blond dude?" Clary asked in disgust as we walked back over except both Simon and Maureen were staring at us like we were crazy.
"You mean the imaginary dude you two were talking to?" Simon asked weirded out and I blinked.
"You didn't see him? Tall, blond, leather everywhere, giant tattoo on his neck?" I listed and both Simon and Maureen shook their heads. I looked to Clary alarmed.
"You guys seriously don't see him?" Clary asked and again, Simon and Maureen shook their heads.
"Okay, could you guys seriously stop making me feel crazy?" Clary asked and I shrugged.
"Hey, unless we hallucinated the same thing, you're not crazy. Maybe they just missed him." I try and Simon looks to Maureen confused.
"Yeah…" Simon said slowly like he didn't believe it at all.
"You know what." Clary said suddenly and took off her jacket striding towards the club.
"Where're you going?" Simon asked alarmed only to get Clary's jacket chucked at him.
"To get some answers." Clary said firmly and I spluttered.
"From in there?!" I ask because damn it I didn't wanna.
"Yup." Clary said firmly and spun on her heel to keep walking.
"Remember! Your fake ID sucks!" Simon called and I rolled my eyes.
"You don't need an ID to get in idiot." I say even as I chase after my little sister. Honestly, the trouble that this girl got into sometimes…
As it turns out, I really should have just stayed in Simon's van.
And so it begins!
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