Disclaimer: Not mine.
AN: Instead of finishing a prompt I should have finished long long ago I wrote this thing. Basically its a stream of consciousness that leads Clary to realize two very important things. One, that she's gay. And two, that she's in love with Izzy.
* a confused heart in search of answers *
Clary has always liked girls.
She's always liked girls in a pretty standard sort of way. She thinks girls are awesome and are fun to hang out with and making a new friend in one always makes something bright and colorful bloom in Clary's chest.
But isn't that always the case when you make a new friend? She barely remembers a time when there wasn't a Simon in her life but she's always been sure the same must have been true when she made friends with him. She does remember this to have been the case when they both started hanging out with Maureen, with Clary feeling like she was flying two feet above ground for like a month following.
And when her entire life fell from under her feet and dropped her into a world she could only have imagined in her wildest dreams - or in some of the nightmares that came calling after one of their horror movie marathons, - and she became friends with Izzy so quickly and seamlessly it almost felt unreal, the same was true then as well.
Isabelle Lightwood was made of fire. At least that was the way it felt to Clary any time they spent time together, Izzy laughed loudly and grinned easily and fought fiercely with her entire heart for everything she believed in no matter if it was against demons, rogue Shadowhunters or the bigotry of her own culture and family.
Clary could have so easily come to hate The Shadow World, after all this was where she lost her mother, this was where she learned that both her father and the brother she never knew she had were monsters. Here was where her best friend was laid out dead before her feet, his life stolen by an evil which shouldn't have even been real. She'd shed more blood and more tears in this world than she had in the one she'd spent 18 whole years before combined.
But through Izzy's eyes she came to love it. Through her she fell in love with being a Shadowhunter.
Oh, there were other elements of course. This new world might have taken Simon from her but it gave him back to her too. And no matter how much she loved Luke as a father before, it was only after she learned of his and her mom's pasts that she truly found herself knowing him. And there was Jace and Alec and Magnus and lately even Maia. The family she would do anything to protect.
But Isabelle was the one who showed her this world. The one who grabbed her hand with a smirk on her lips and with stars dancing in her eyes and told her everything she needed to know to maneuver it.
When she says that she's always liked girls she knows it's true but never finds herself reaching the end of the strand of that thought.
And neither does she realize the ways in which she's never liked boys in quite the same way. Not until she finally starts dating Jace and something that's always been barely a whisper in the back of her head starts irritatingly buzzing inside her chest. Like a fly trapped inside an electric lantern, uselessly trying to break out.
She should be happy. She should be over the moon right now. Dating Jace was something she's wanted since the moment she met him, he's cute and good and she likes him. She does, she likes spending time with him and talking with him and it should be perfect. She should feel like everything was finally slotting into place and fixing everything that felt just that little bit off before.
Seeing him dead had torn a hole inside her heart. Seeing him dead made her use a wish not meant for her to get him back.
He's alive. She shouldn't feel like her skin is itching every time she lays in his arms. So why does her heart squeezes unpleasantly when he leans in to kiss her? It didn't used to.
Or she doesn't think it did. Though she's suddenly not even sure if that's true or if she simply hadn't noticed until now.
Was this undefinable off-ness there during her brief time with Simon too? It had been awkward sure, and a kind of absurdity would swell inside her sometimes. But she'd been dating her best friend, the one she's known since kindergarten. Wasn't a certain level of awkwardness natural?
And yet the longer she remains with Jace the more she feels like every moment is followed by the sound of another pebble being dropped into an empty well, hollow echoes shadowing her every step.
And then there's the distance that's grown between her and Izzy. A distance she doesn't understand at all. They still hang out, they still train for hours together until they both shine with sweat and Clary feels like dropping to the mats, gulping down deep breaths of oxygen until her heart stops beating out of her chest and she can feel her muscles again.
On the surface nothing has changed at all, Izzy hasn't been avoiding her, hasn't been acting like she's angry or like something's wrong and yet...
And yet something is different and Clary finds herself hating it. Izzy is one of the most tactile people Clary's ever met, she'd grab Clary by the elbow to lead her down the hallway. She'd put her chin on her shoulder to see what Clary was reading. She'd play with Clary's hair like it was the most fascinating thing she'd ever seen.
Or she used to at least. Lately Clary's noticed how that's changed to Isabelle reaching over to touch her arm when she wants to grab Clary's attention but then pulling hers back behind her once she has it.
Or the way she's started to hesitate when Clary hands over her Stele so that Izzy can draw a rune on her skin when she can't reach the empty spot herself.
Or a hundred other little things that mean nothing on their own but seem to scrape at Clary as they start compiling into a pattern.
And then finally, after what feels like weeks of agonizing - all encompassing, - confusion, a picture starts forming and Clary's left frozen as the fog on her mind slowly, ever so gradually starts to unravel.
Because all those years ago when Maureen became her and Simon's best friend, that floaty bubbly feeling hadn't lessened until Clary realized that Maureen had a crush on Simon.
And when Clary first met Izzy and got told that she and Jace were absolutely not a thing, the embarrassed sort of relief she thought had been about Jace had lasted only until she saw Izzy kissing Meliorn.
And then some morbid part of Clary's soul conjures up an alternate scenario where Izzy takes Jace's place at Lake Lyn, where Izzy is the one dead on the ground with Valentine standing over them, Izzy's and not Jace's blood on his hands. And the Angel Raziel waiting to grant that priceless single wish. And Clary's chest burns at the mere idea.
She would have used that wish for Isabelle too. The entire Clave could have stood there watching and she would still have used that wish.
Everything is so clear at once she doesn't know how she could possibly have missed it.
She loves Jace, she does. Like she loves Simon. But it's not the way she loves Isabelle. And the clarity of it is like an avalanche, like gravity that's until now been lying about which way was up and at once drops Clary into a free fall.
She's never felt as much when she's kissed Jace as when Izzy's interlocked their fingers. Or when Izzy's dark silky hair has tickled her neck while Izzy was reading over her shoulder. Or when Izzy's smiled at her like they were sharing a secret and Clary found her own lips pulling up into a helpless grin.
Clary has always liked girls. So how did she not notice until now the ways in which she likes them?
And how can she fix the mess she's made of her life by not coming to this pretty important self revelation sooner? Why didn't she notice she was in love with Isabelle before she started dating her brother?
Everything feels so much more complicated than it was and yet she already feels herself starting to agonize over whether or not Izzy could ever like her back. Whether or not she maybe already did? Was this why she'd been feeling that distance between them? Was Izzy taking a step back to protect herself from being hurt by Clary?
To find out she needs to fix this, no matter how terrifying the thought of it is. And it is.
But if she let fear stop her from being who she is, now that she's realized it, she wouldn't really deserve to find out the answers to those questions. And not knowing would be far more awful than whatever consequences come from owning up to her self realizations.