Disclaimer: Not mine.
AN: Anonymous asked: Can you do some clizzy cuddling fic?
That was the prompt. The answer to the prompt though? Well... I kinda exploded a bunch of feelings on this fic. You'll see what I mean in a minute.
*demons in the water and water in your lungs*
When Clary wakes up the first thing she feels is cold and wet, probably because she's laying in water and the water is cold. When she forces open her eyes about a minute later she adds 'Really freaking dark.' to the mental list of problems she currently seems to be facing.
Groaning from sharp pulsing pain in her ribs she forces herself to move and slowly gets on her knees, one arm around her middle. Hopefully the ribs are just bruised and not broken. She swallows back the sick feeling rising up her throat and starts splashing through the knee high puddle of water she's found herself in, scrambling to find her Seraph blade and to get at least some kind of illumination for wherever the hell she is.
Finally Clary's hand meets the familiar edge of her blade and she carefully slides her hand along it until she can grip the hilt, with a mental command there's finally a slight blue glow by which to see. It's not a lot but it's enough to get a look at her immediate surroundings and the first thing she sees is another body lying in the water a few feet in front of her.
"No!" She gasps when she sees the light catch the electrum bracelet winding around the wrist of the other body, the body that is face-down in the water. "Izzy!"
This time she ignores the protests of her ribs and scrambles forward until she's by Izzy's side, grabbing her shoulders Clary heaves her around and onto her lap to keep her above water. She turns Izzy's face to the side, a little of the water dripping out of her mouth but not enough - not nearly enough, - and places a hand over her chest trying to see if she's breathing. She's not, Clary's hands shake as she grabs for her neck, looking for a pulse.
How long had Clary been unconscious? How long was Clary dead to the world and steps away from Izzy as her friend drowned?
"Please, please." Clary chokes out between gasping breaths, trying to fight back her tears. She doesn't have time for tears, she needs to find an Angels-damned pulse.
There! It's fluttering like the wings of a hummingbird, fast and fragile.
So she doesn't need to restart her heart but she still needs to get Izzy breathing again. She needs to get the water out of her lungs.
"Okay. Okay. I know this. Summer camp in high school with Simon." She whispers to herself as she pulls Izzy's head back to face her. Chin up to clear the airway, nose pinched to make sure the air actually reaches her lungs and four powerful exhales as Clary's lips fall over Izzy's. Check for breathing. Repeat.
She's on the third rotation of the steps, salty tears slipping down her cheeks and joining the salt water surrounding them even as she's still holding back the oncoming sobs, when Izzy finally starts coughing.
It's the best sound she's ever heard in her life. She helps Izzy get on her side, hands going for Izzy's wet hair to pull them away from her face.
"It's okay, you're okay." She sobs, now that she can afford to, now that she can't hold it back anymore. "Breathe, Izzy. You're okay."
"Clary?" Izzy asks, her voice is weak and scratchy and such a relief to hear that Clary can't help but pull her into a hug and clutch her as close to herself as she's physically able to. "What happened?"
"I don't know." Clary says automatically and only then realizes it's true. Her recent memory is a hazy blur, she doesn't remember how they got there or why they would have come here or where here was. She doesn't remember them going out on a mission but neither does she remember getting kidnapped, not that that would make sense anyway, not considering the Seraph blade she'd found in the water beside her. "I don't remember."
"Neither can I. So that's short term memory loss for both of us." Izzy says and tries to get up. Clary pulls Izzy's arm over her shoulder to help but then hisses as Izzy's side presses against her own, the pain against the right side of her ribs screams at the contact, and then does so even more when Izzy stumbles and falls back on her knees, with her free arm now clutching her thigh.
Heart in her throat Clary looks on as Izzy uses a tear in her leather pants to rip it open wider and exposes the injury on her leg. There's an ugly puncture wound the size of a pencil and a spread of dark veins around it. She hopes the sickly green glow around them is making it look worse than it is but Clary's unsure if that's not just wishful thinking on her part.
Then she blinks and her mind switches back to the green glow and the fact she's seeing Izzy at all. Because her blade has been abandoned in the water since the moment she reached Izzy's side, extinguished as soon as she dropped it. And yet it's no longer darkness that surround them. Instead the water is glowing. Or at least something floating on top of the water in oily clots all around them is.
Her eyes follow the floating puddles of light and land on a grotesque version of a giant sea-horse lying dead behind them. The glow is coming from the blood seeping out of the creature and dripping into the water.
"Izzy?" She nudges.
Izzy's eyes follow Clary's and she lets out a string of Spanish that Clary doesn't need to understand to know for a curse. "Me cago en todo lo que se menea!"
"So I take it you know our friend?"
"Hippokappanus. A subspecies of Kappa. They like to pull mundanes off ships and drown them… and their spiked heads contain venom that causes short term memory loss."
"Oh," Clary says and finds her hand going to her pulsing side, to the spot where she had up to now assumed she'd bruised her ribs. She pulls up her soaking wet shirt and looks down to the seeping wound that's a twin to the one on Izzy's leg, the same dark veins stark across her skin. Then she furrows her brows. "But it looks like we killed it before it took us down, so why did you-"
"They hunt in packs."
"Shit." Clary says with feeling.
"Yeah." Izzy echoes her sentiment. "We need to get out of the water."
With the urgency ramped up they get to their feet as fast as they can, helping each other up and trying not to slip on the water covered stone.
"Wait, Clary." Izzy says and shrugs out of her wet jacket. "We're going to need light."
Clary watches her drop it in the water and soak up the luminescent blood in the silk lining of her ghastly expensive red leather jacket.
"Do you think that's a good idea? They might smell it and follow us."
"Salt water Kappas don't hunt by scent, they feel the ripples in water, they hunt by sensing movement and sound." Izzy explains and then starts coughing again like she's about to lose her lung.
Clary swallows beside her, arm around Izzy's waist and able only to help her stay on her feet.
Eventually after Izzy's breathing evens out they stumble toward the back of the cave. Now that the water demon's blood is giving them light Clary can see that that is exactly where they are, some kind of underwater cavern.
After a few minutes of searching they come across an opening in the cave wall, it turns out to be a tunnel ending in a dead-end, which isn't great information as far as finding a way out is concerned but at least they're no longer in the water and the opening looks like it's slightly too small to give access to any potential relatives of the dead demon.
"We should preserve as much body heat as we can, it's cold here and we can't afford to stay in soaking wet clothes until we figure out what to do." Izzy says once they've stopped, the green blood-lantern dropped on the ground in a spot where they can see the way they came in, in case something is able to follow them after all.
"What do you suggest? We also can't strip naked, that's going to kill us even faster." Clary says and forcefully pushes away the mental images that come with the words.
"We should at least squeeze all the water we can out of them. Putting them back after isn't ideal but you're right, it's the only option we have." Izzy says.
"Good point, though we should probably first deal with those." Clary says and gestures at Izzy's leg and her own side.
"Not a bad plan." Izzy admits and pulls out her stele.
Then she pulls off her soaked shirt to expose her chest. Healing runes work better when placed close to the heart but somehow Clary still wasn't prepared for Izzy to suddenly be in front of her in just her bra. Heat creeps up her skin and then down before Clary catches herself and flings her eyes up and to the left to give Izzy some privacy.
She doesn't understand the sudden energy consuming all the air in the room until Clary can only breathe in little bursts of breath. She's seen Izzy like this before, every time Izzy has pulled her into her room to boss her way into getting Clary to try on some of Izzy's clothes for a mission and then finds something to wear herself she's seen Izzy like this. She's always let Clary change behind the privacy screen because it makes her more comfortable but Izzy herself has never been self conscious.
So it's not a new sight, it shouldn't be exposing any kind of new feelings.
Except of course it's entirely different. Izzy had never almost died in front of her before, not like that anyway. Clary hadn't ever almost lost her before.
"Your turn?" Izzy says, closer than she was before. Clary has to blink before she's able to talk herself into looking at Izzy again.
"Well?" Izzy says and gestures at Clary to remove her shirt. Clary follows Izzy's unvoiced prompt and does so but before Clary can move to take the stele from her, Izzy is already inside her space and slowly sliding it across her skin in the careful elegant loops of the rune 'mendelin'. The rune burns into her skin but Clary barely feels it over the painful beating of her heart.
"Thanks." Clary utters in a stilted sort of way, grateful beyond all reason that the light around them is not anywhere bright enough to reveal the blush Clary is absolutely certain covers almost the entirety of her exposed body.
"No problem querida." Izzy says and affectionately pulls a wet strand of hair out of Clary's face and tucks it behind her ear. Then she smiles at her and Clary feels absolutely helpless under it.
She wants to say this is something new except it doesn't feel new. It feels like it's been building without Clary having paid attention and now is when it has decided to wave its arms and draw her attention and hit her like a blow to the chest.
'Oh.' Clary whispers somewhere in the deepest recesses of her mind as something crystallizes in her heart, something that's been there the entire time except now it has a shape and a face and a name.
Then Clary swallows, builds herself back from the ground up and smiles back at Izzy before she turns back toward the situation at hand. They are cold, alone, facing an uncertain amount of time for a rescue and in not insignificant danger of being found by other water demons.
They are also soaked to the bone, so they both proceed to squeeze as much water out of their clothing as they can before they get back to dressing. Clary's revelation will hold.
Once they are dressed back in their now damp and somehow even more cold feeling clothing, they share a look and carefully lay on the ground, slipping their arms back around each other. Except now instead of doing it for the support each of them provided the other because of their injuries they do it because they're both shivering and the only source of heat they have is each other.
And maybe because it's giving them the other kind of support, the kind you only get when someone you care about and who cares about you is there sharing whatever the trouble in front of them. Clary at least really needs the contact, it reminds her that Izzy's right there and alive and not lying drowned in the water beside the demon that almost killed them.
She snuggles as close to Izzy as she can, close enough that she can feel the rise and fall of Izzy's chest, hear the still not quite healthy sounding wheeze of her breathing. But as long as she's breathing at all Clary knows it'll be okay, that once they're back at the Institute the healers will fix whatever the runes can't deal with.
"Hey, Izzy?" Clary whispers a long while later.
For a moment Clary wonders if Izzy's asleep but then she hears the whispered answer and relaxes."Yeah?"
"Don't ever do that to me again, okay?" Clary says and doesn't shiver even though she wants to. Not from the cold, with their arms around each other, her head tucked in the hollow of Izzy's neck and their legs twined together, it's almost enough to be warm. It would be if the stone below them wasn't so cold.
"What do you mean?" Izzy asks and starts playing with Clary's hair, it's almost dry now, just gross from its date with sea water.
"You weren't breathing, I had to breathe for you for almost half a minute before you finally started coughing up the water." Clary says, and this time doesn't manage to halt the full body shudder that fights its way out.
Izzy's hand in her hair stops for an extended second and then resumes its soothing course through the strands.
"Well that's just not fair at all." Izzy says, lightly with a rueful edge of humor that confuses her.
"Huh?" She asks.
"I finally get Clary Fray's lips on mine and I'm not even conscious to enjoy it." Izzy says and then lightly flicks Clary's earlobe as if in admonition.
Clary's lips twitch up in a smile. She chuckles. "Leave it to Isabelle Lightwood to be able to flirt as a joke after almost dying."
Clary doesn't even know why she says it, it just slips out before she can think better. But it's out and Izzy freezes in place and Clary, who only moments ago was a few heartbeats away from slipping into sleep, finds she's wide awake and absolutely terrified.
"It's never been a joke, mi hermosa." Izzy says. her voice tight with suppressed emotion. Except for once Clary can't tell if it's anger or a deep seeded sadness hiding behind the words. Either way though it feels like she's just hurt Izzy more badly than she's ever hurt her before and that's saying something because despite her best attempts she can't honestly say she's never hurt Izzy before.
She knows she has, it was always unintentional and she never ever wanted to but she does know that there have been moments that left a mark. Except suddenly she realizes she might have hurt Izzy in ways she'd never realized before.
Because if that's true. If Izzy's flirting has never been a joke, if it's never been the friendly harmless fun Clary had taken it for then… then Clary might have hurt Izzy in countless little ways since the very beginning. Because Izzy has flirted with her since the moment they met.
And with that realization Clary feels the strange sensation of her heart simultaneously breaking for Izzy and filling up to the brim with light and happiness and hope and it's almost unbearable.
"Look at me." Clary chokes out as she picks up her head, pushes up with her hands and stares down at the silhouette of Izzy's face. "Please, Isabelle."
She sees Izzy clench her jaw and for a moment Clary's afraid that she won't, that this moment, whatever it's about to become is going to slip through Clary's fingers like sand and Izzy will lock whatever is in her eyes right now into the deepest recesses of her heart, smother it until it blows away like so much smoke and never ever let it reach the light of day again.
But Izzy has always been far braver than Clary, she turns her face and lets Clary see the things she's been hiding there for so long. There's resentment on Izzy's face, and hurt, there's anger and longing and so much want Clary almost melts in it.
And then she does.
Their lips crash together like gravity. Like lightning inside a storm. Everything within Clary exploding until she doesn't know where she starts and these feelings end.
And between every clash of lips something else slips out of Izzy's mouth. 'You never saw me.', 'You're beautiful.', 'Why was it only ever him.','I wanted you too.', 'Sometimes I wanted to hate you so badly it hurt to breathe.', 'You're my best friend, I don't want to lose you.' and always always 'Te quiero.' 'Te quiero.' 'Te quiero.'.
And Clary can do nothing but respond, gasping back every single thing she's ever caught herself thinking and dismissed as nothing. 'I saw you, i saw you.', 'You were like starlight.' , 'I missed you most of all.' , ' I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.', 'I can't lose you.' and most of all 'I love you too.'
It's like a moment stuck in amber and she knows that when it ends things will become complicated again, because Clary won't be able to fix this with a few words or kisses. It seems she hasn't just hurt Izzy, she's broken her heart, maybe more than once and even if Clary knows she couldn't have known, even if Izzy knows that, even though she couldn't have avoided breaking something she hadn't known was hers, it doesn't mean she can mend Izzy's heart just by wishing it.
It will take time. It will take Clary proving that this isn't something that is happening just because she almost lost Izzy and it hurt. That she didn't kiss her because she's afraid that their friends and family won't be able to find them and she's grabbing this moment out of that fear. That it's not happening out of misplaced guilt or pity or some sense of apology.
She's going to need to prove to Izzy that she loves her even though she hadn't known until almost losing her just how much, no matter how cliche it sounds even to Clary herself.
And because she knows the moment will end she wants to extend it as long as possible. Wants to imprint it into her very skin because she knows she's going to have to fight for this. And she's going to need to remember how it felt to touch Isabelle's heart with her own to be strong enough to never break her heart again.
So she keeps kissing her. Tasting Izzy's every tear, on her lips, on her cheeks and then moves to catch her own as they drop on Izzy's face and slide down her neck.
And Izzy's hands haven't left Clary's hair, like she's afraid that if they do Clary will pull back and evaporate like water in summer sunlight.
But no beautiful moment lasts as long as you want it to so eventually Clary can't keep ignoring the other voices. The voices coming from the cavern they left behind hours ago, the voices calling their names.
Reluctantly she pulls back and locks eyes with Izzy again.
They stare at each other as the voices of Alec and Magnus, Simon and Jace call out for Clary and Izzy.
"We're here!' Izzy calls back through her scratchy throat and Clary sees the walls being pulled back in place, brick by painful brick until Izzy is the Izzy she'd known before they woke up here. The Izzy who loved Clary but only as much as anyone expected her to love Clary.
And Clary wants to flinch but doesn't dare. She stares back and hides nothing. She's made a promise to herself, to Izzy, and she has no intention of breaking it the first time it hurts to keep it. She knows it would hurt far more to give up.
AN2: See? This was supposed to be like a 500 word fic with cuddling. And what did I do? I decided to make it angsty cuddling, and then Izzy almost drowned, and then it escalated, and then this happened.
I can't figure out if I should say you're welcome or I'm sorry. Let me know which one applies.
Also I think this is the best kiss I've ever written so you better appreciate it.