Clary woke up on a grassy field, full of wildflowers and weeds just the same. She glanced around, panic rushing through her. She had seen this place before, a memory so far and distant she had almost forgotten; Almost.
She looked up, where a large tree was in full bloom, it's leaves spreading like the wings of a bird. Almost as if a breeze could rush by and pull the tree up along with it, as if it were light as a feather.
Clary closed her eyes, feeling the tears that had already began to gather. Being in this place brought only pain and anger, and a sadness mixed with a little bit of hostility. Being here made Clary want to jump into the nearest lake and stay there until the memories faded away. Run and hide in a place where nothing, not even dreams could plague her.
"Clary? You alright." A voice, soft and sweet called out to her. The voice of a young girl, eight years old with flaming red hair just like her.
"Yeah, Val, I'm fine." The words came from her mouth, though they didn't register in her brain. Clary opened her eyes, staring at the green ones right in front of her.
"You sure? Jonathan said Jace was being a jerk... Only he didn't use the word Jerk..." Clary turned her head so she couldn't look in her sister's eyes. She didn't understand what the young girl was insinuating.
Insinuating Nothing. Jace was keeping his distance from you and spending less and less time with you, so you fled to your family manor for the weekend. You claimed that Jonathan , your older brother, had called you into town to help him with something... And Jonathan was more that happy to help you out for the weekend.
Clary felt the thoughts rush through her, and tears prick at her eyes again. These emotions weren't pleasant, and they made her want to cry... Or punch a wall... Or both at the same time.
Of course these emotions could be because of your Pregnancy, and Jace keeping his distance could be his way of not trying to screw the child up... But that couldn't make any sense... could it?
"Val, are you bothering Clary again?" The White haired devil himself walked up, Pulling Val up by her arms and putting her on his shoulders. When Clary flicked her eyes up to meet his, she actually felt safe-secure. Staring into those green eyes that so easily resembled her own, Clary felt at home.
"Hey Val, can you run inside and make Clary some lemonade, She looks a bit parched." Jonathan's voice protruded into her thoughts. Val eagerly agreed, running back to the manor as fast as her little legs would carry her. Jonathan then sat next to her, back to the tree, and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Clary, I know you haven't told me much, but I can tell something's wrong. Come on Clare Bear, talk to me."
Clary really started to sob then. She had always longed for a brother who would be there as a shoulder for her to cry on, one that would be there for the first time her heart got broken. A brother that would be there to watch her grow up and help her through it. But she never imagined her brother would call her Clare-Bear. It was a name Simon had called her once when she was obsessed with that Care-Bear show on T.V.
"Jace... He-I'm-" The words in her mind wouldn't come out of her mouth, and the more she fell into tears, the more soothing it felt to have a brother there by her side, his arm around her trying to make her stop crying. Trying to remind her the world wasn't ending.
"Let it out, Clary. It'll be fine. What happened with Jace?"
"I-Um- I found out I was pregnant like three weeks ago..." Clary's voice was uneven, and the feeling -in a dream world or not- was one she had experienced recently.
"Whoa-Clary!" Jonathan 's voice was ecstatic, "That's great! I'm so happy for you."
Clary scoffed, sadness mixing with anger, "As soon as I told Jace, he started acting different. Spending less time with me, making excuses when I asked to go out and do things. I-I don't think he wants me to have his child, Jonathan . I don't think he wants to be with me anymore."
Jonathan 's hand tightened on her shoulder, "Clary, I don't think Jace is is upset your having his child, or a child in general. I think he's afraid of him having that child."
"He doesn't have to carry the baby around for nine and a half months!" Clary felt the tears evaporate from her face, as the heat rushed to her cheeks.
"No, but afterwards. I mean, he didn't have the best childhood. Both his mother and father taken from him, several shadowhunters passed him from one institute to another... Maybe he's afraid of screwing this child up.. Maybe he doesn't want the kid to end up like him."
Clary looked at him, his smile seemed so genuine. His eyes held a happiness that she was still amazed (and taken back) to see. He was no longer a menace, no longer the tyrant that haunted her dreams. Tonight, he was the brother she had always longed for. It only made her sadder. She nodded to Jonathan , and he sat by her side until she was composed.
Before he left, he made a joke that couldn't fail to make her laugh, "If it doesn't work out and you need me to smuggle you over the border into Spain or something, I know a guy." He then winked and walked back to the house with a chuckle.
She then curled in a ball, allowing herself to cry over him. The Jonathan that stood by her, the Jonathan that laughed with her and acted so lighthearted . The Jonathan that loved her for real. The Jonathan that only existed in her dreams.
As Clary blinked, she found herself opening her eyes to the institute ceiling. It crisscrossed in several different patterns, making it great to stare at late at night when sleep evaded her. She felt the tears on her face, and let out a soft strangled sob. Of course, Jace wasn't next to her when she turned, so she allowed herself the breathing room to cry. Her tears fell on the bedsheets and pillowcases, small and spread out but still there.
Clary heard the voices in the hallway when she finally stopped crying.
"Alec, I just-What if I screw up-" Jace's voice.
"Screw up what, the relationship with a kid you haven't even met yet? Jace, I know-God I know that you had horrible Parental influence, but use that to guide you. Don't do to your kid what your father did to you." Alec's voice was persistent, but soft-Probably not wanting to wake half the institute during the quarrel with Jace.
"But Alec, I don't think I can handle having a kid-"
"Clary's really doing all the hard work." Alec said. From in the bedroom Clary could feel the smirk on his lips, "And I have never seen you back down from anything. I know your afraid of screwing up this child, but cutting corners and spending less time with your wife isn't going to fix that."
She heard Jace sigh and then Alec's voice rung out, clearer.
"Go make it up to her, tell her your scared-"
"I'm not scared-"
"Oh yes you are Jace, you are so scared. I'm your Parabatai, I know what you feel. So don't lie to me and give me some bullshit excuse as to why you're acting the way your acting. You. Are. Scared."
Clary propped herself up on one elbow, listening intently.
"So, as I was saying. Tell her you're scared, tell her you have mixed feelings. You are excited, that I can tell, but you are nervous too. You need to go to her because she needs you, Jace. She needs reassurance, she needs to know she isn't doing this alone; Because doing it alone, That is way scarier."
The rest of the words they said were meaningless, a simple goodnight and thanks for the talk kind of thing. She turned the other way before the door creaked open, and felt Jace crawl in next to her. His hand hit the spot next to her, where her tears had previously hit and his arms were instantly around her.
"Clary-Clary are you awake."
She turned over, staring at the golden eyes before her.
"Yeah. Where've you been?" Her voice was thick with emotion, threatening to break any second and send her spiraling down sobbing lane.
"You were crying." Jace said, his calloused fingers brushing away a tear she didn't even know was there.
"I've done that a lot lately, not that you would've noticed." Jace winced at this, and Clary felt guilt wash over her.
He looked at her, puzzlement in his gold eyes. "Why are you sorry?"
"For snapping at you just now. It was wrong."
"But you were right-" Jace's words were rushed, almost as if he was trying to make up for his time spent without her in that minute. "I've barely been here for the past three weeks, making excuses, cutting corners.. I've been avoiding not you specifically but the thin-The baby inside you."
"Clary, let me finish." Jace ran his fingers through his hair, "Because if I don't say it now, I never will."
Clary nodded, intertwining their fingers. Jace stared at them for a moment and then said,
"I'm scared to death, Clary. I'm afraid-I'm afraid I am going to screw this kid up like Valentine did with me."
"Jace," Clary put her free hand on his face, cupping his cheek. "Why didn't you just say something."
He stayed silent, his head fell and he mumbled the words, "I don't like anyone thinking I'm weak."
"Jace, do you want to know what weak is?" Clary said, pulling chin up, so his eyes met hers.
"It's someone who can't come to someone to say that their scared. You may not confide in me with everything, but you have Alec, Izzy, Hell even Simon if you needed. As long as you talk to someone, that makes you strong. Because if you talk about it, you can find a way to make it better, whatever the problem."
"How-God, can I kiss you." Jace's voice was rough, and it sent a shiver down Clary's spine. Clary nodded slightly, pulling his face forward. Their lips met and she felt Jace relax, his hand now cupping her cheek was holding her delicately.
"Clary, I'm so sorry." Jace said, when they finally pulled apart. "Can you maybe tell me why you were crying now?"
Clary's face fell, she could almost feel Jonathan 's arm around her shoulder.
"I-I dreamt of the Morgenstern manor again. I-I seen Jonathan ... And Val."
Jace looked at her with concern, she had dreamt of the manor three times before, and seen it once when entering Edom. Maybe it was all in her head, but Jonathan and Val seemed so real, It couldn't just be part of her crazed mind.
"He-He talked to me. I told him about you, he laughed and joked with me and told me everything would be okay... I never really knew that side of him... But then again, that side of him never existed here." Clary had sat up, drawing her knees to her chest.
"Clary." Jace put his fingers over her, "Clary, Look at me."
She did so, staring at him. His voice was clear and steady as he spoke, "Maybe you see him every time something happens that-That you can't handle without a brother."
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"He appeared in your dreams for the first time when your mom was pregnant." Jace began. "Remember how nervous you were to have a little sister? How scared you were that the little girl would remind you of Val? That weekend, you seen them. You were there with Jonathan and you talked to him about it. He made you feel secure and safe."
"Then there was before we got married, you had the same dream that you had in Edom. You talked to him and told him how nervous you were about it-Something you couldn't talk to me about."
"He appeared again when I was in the god-damn infirmary because of that Demon attack on the upper east side. I was unconscious for days, remember? He visited you in your dreams, trying to tell you I would be all right, that we would both make it through it." Both of Jace's hands were intertwined with her's now, "Clary don't you see. This side of him is here for you when you need it. It's almost like his spirit is making up for everything he did in his life."
Clary had a small smile on her face; it was true, her brother was there whenever she needed him. Clary took a breath, squeezing Jace's hand, "Thanks." He kissed her cheek, and she snuggled up next to him.
As she closed her eyes, she thought of the Morgenstern manor. Even though she had only ever seen it in dreams, the environment comforted her and the people there-Jonathan and Val, they kept her a fraction of a bit sane. Even if she'd never see to two of them in real life the way they were in her dreams, they'd always be there for her. Maybe it was a place she would only ever see in dreams, but it would always be more than that to her-Always more than a dream.