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   Chapter 3 Discussions Over the Fireplace

An Uncertain Present By Grace Estellar Characters: 19267

Updated: 2019-12-23 17:44

****Magnus's POV****

Magnus's magic was useful in a lot of ways. One of such was that he could change the very structure of their home with the snap of his glowing blue fingers. They had received an unexpected downfall of heavy rain right after flying around a few glass towers, soaking them thoroughly. Magnus would've magicked up some sort of umbrella (or force field for that matter) but seeing as he was unsure how Alec's heavenly wings would react to such close proximity to demonic energy mid flight, he decided it best not to.

This led to now. Magnus had made it so that a cozy fireplace appeared right where the bookshelf at the back of the room had previously been. After moving the sofa to face said fireplace and a rather steamy shower they took together, the two men settled down in their pajamas to relax for awhile.

"Hot chocolate dear?" Magnus raised the preferred mug of steaming liquid in Alec's direction. Five marshmallows floated at the top of the sweet concoction, just the way his husband liked it.

"Don't mind if I do Magnus." Alec accepts the cup with an easy smile.

Alexander's wings are slick with water as they hang over the back of the couch. No amount of towels could seem to fully absorb the mix of rain and shower water in them, much to Magnus's own annoyance. And so several towels had been placed right on the floor underneath the feathery appendages, soaking up the puddle of water that had been dripping from them for the past few minutes now.

Knowing there's nothing else to be done about the puddle for now, Magnus slides down into the seat next to his husband, cuddling up against his side. Alec curls an arm around him with the hand that isn't clutching his "A" mug of piping hot liquid. It had to be an angelic thing: the fact that Alec could drink such a hot beverage without cooling it off. Magnus had to blow on his own cup for a minute before taking a sip of it, otherwise scathing liquid would've burned his tongue.

"Thanks for taking me out tonight. Flying with you was just as splendid as I imagined it would be." Magnus murmured in between gulps of the sweet drink.

Considering that Magnus had been around back when hot air balloons and planes were first invented (along with cars, trains, motorcycles, etc.) it was high praise coming from him that flying with Alexander was his favorite form of travel now. This was of course right next to portaling, which he himself had invented with his dear friend Henry back in the day.

Alec presses a soft kiss to his cheek, his hot breath ghosting down Magnus's throat. The Angel was blinking rather sleepily. He would hardly be surprised if Alexander would want to call an early night for once. Flying with a passenger must have taken a lot out of him.

"I'm glad you had fun. I just wish our flight wasn't interrupted." Hazel eyes stare tiredly at the blazing fireplace in front of them. As it had been created by Magnus's magic, the flames were extra bright, hints of fierce blueish green embers making themselves known amidst the attention seeking sparks.

Magnus frowns a little at that. He hadn't put much thought to it as of yet, but Acriux demons were not exactly common. Especially not so close to Alicante. The demon towers may have been damaged after Jonathan's attack on the Glass City, but Magnus himself had helped to make sure the towers would be fully erect once more. Yes, Downworlders would be granted safe passage into the city, but there was no way demons were counted among that list. And while the demon had not actually made it into the city it was still way too close to the perimeter to have been capable of spawning into the Mortal world regardless of whatever power it may have held.

"Yes. It does make me wonder how that was even possible? Acriux demons are extremely powerful and dangerous, but there's no way it should've been capable of appearing in Idris, let alone so close to Alicante." Magnus voices his concerns aloud.

"Do you think the servers might've picked anything up?" Alec asks, rummaging for his phone.

The small, rectangular device had been left on the side table next to the couch. It was a lucky break on the angel's part, as if he had kept it in his pocket it would have been soaked through completely. It lights up when he snatches it up, letting him examine the notifications on the screen.

"I'm not sure. The demon shouldn't have even been here in the first place." He stresses his point again, hoping Alec understands the severity of the situation.

Alec does, the frown that he wears tells that much. The Angel fiddles with the hem of his shirt, pressing the fabric tightly in between his fingers. Both of them were decked out in the satin pajamas Magnus had made specifically for them. They even came with their initials embroidered in gold. Alec had agreed to them, with the exception that Isabelle did not see them. Apparently her teasing would've been too much to bare, much to Magnus's amusement.

"Well, it was. Are you able to see if the servers picked up anything?" Magnus would try to peer over his husband's shoulder, but with those expansive wings always trailing him that was a Herculean task if he ever saw one. He feared he would find the same amount of difficulty trying to scale a momentous mountain. Magnus gazed at Alec's tall form.

Then again, I suppose I have plenty of experience scaling tall things~

Magnus conceals the snicker he lets out at that, just in time for Alec to turn around to face him once more. Alec's eyebrows are furrowed thoughtfully, one finger hovering over the lit screen of the phone.

"The local servers haven't picked up anything, but Wrangel Island might have. I think Jia was doing her scheduled yearly visit there with Aline and Helen for the next few days. I can call them tomorrow, see if they've heard anything." Alec murmurs, setting his phone back on the table. The lit rectangular device flickers off a few seconds later, the blue-white light it always kindles dying out like a blown out flame.

"Hmm, " Magnus swirls the hot chocolate in glass contemplatively. "I suppose that'll have to do for tonight. There's nothing more to be done now."

"Are you sure? I could try-"

"No no Alexander. I think we've done all we can tonight. Luckily, there aren't anymore of those things. Otherwise there'd be even more trouble." He said. Magnus had seen a great deal of demons in his lifetime. There were very few demons that he had only heard of or seen in books but never seen in real life. So it was equal parts curious and concerning that an Acriux demon of all things had appeared.

A demon meant to signify a foreboding darkness in waiting for anyone who encountered it. So there was that. Magnus didn't want to worry Alexander more than he already was, so he kept quiet about it for now.

After all, it could very well mean nothing. In their world, encountering foreboding darkness was a regular on their crazy agenda of life.

"Well, if that's the case, I think we should enjoy the rest of the evening together." Alexander offers him a soft smile, his eyes filled with love as he gazes at Magnus.

Magnus accepts the invitation for what it was. "Alexander, you read my mind."

****Clary's POV****

She was feeling rather tired by the time herself and Jace had slipped back into the Institute. Just as it was in Alicante, the New York City sky had released a torrent of rain, thoroughly soaking Jace and herself to the bone. Clary had felt like her limbs dragged behind her as she pulled herself into the shower.

Jace, ever the gentleman, had insisted she went first. Meanwhile he would scrounge up their bed time clothes. It had been half a year now since she had started to share a room with him. Clary had no regrets, except for the fact that Jace's bedroom was notably draftier then her own form room.

Maybe Magnus could do something about that.

Clary finds herself letting out a yawn as she steps out of the shower sleepily. The warm water had done its job heating her up. Drying off and brushing her teeth was done in what felt like a blink of an eye, and soon enough she was stepping out the door to be greeted by Jace who was offering her one of his charming smiles.

"Here you go." He passed her the bundle of pajamas.

"Why thank you kind sir." Clary says with a giggling laugh.

Jace gives a mock bow, shivering from his drenched gear. "My pleasure my fine lady." He presses a kiss to her cheek before going into the bathroom with a pair of sweatpants in tow. The door closes with a quiet click.

**Slight Time Skip**

"I hope you weren't waiting for me too long." Jace sounds amused as he sidles up to her.

Clary keeps her eyes on the dancing flames in front of her. The cool draft of the bedroom had been all the more apparent with Jace in the shower, even when she had cuddled underneath the duvet with several blankets piled on. And so she found herself making the short walk to the Institute Head's office, to the blazing fireplace that awaited her. And as luck would have it, Isabelle had retired early that night, allowing Clary to have the room all to herself. That is, until Jace showed up.

"No. I wasn't sure you'd know where to go." Clary admits. Jace sits down next to her. The two were a mere two feet away from the flames. The heat of them was like a pungent ooze, sapping into her skin to further warm her once cold limbs.

"Well, this is a big Institute. But as Izzy and Si aren't here, " he presses a kiss to her right cheek, "and we're off duty so that's a no to the OPS Center, " a kiss to her other cheek, "and

your not in our comfy bed, " a kiss to her forehead, "I figured you had to be here." Jace finishes with a kiss to her lips, which Clary gladly returns. Jace tastes like something wild, a hint of honey and dew with something she couldn't quite pick out.

"I suppose that made it easy then." Clary says.

"Easy enough." Jace agrees, that casual smirk on his face again. His hair was dripping from the shower, a few of the droplets reflecting the light of the fire burning away.

"Hmmm." Clary leans into her boyfriend's shoulder. After showering, both of them were now nice and warm, unlike the raging thunderstorm that continues to send rain sloshing down. It was so much so that Clary could hear it pounding in the roof overhead.

"It's raining cats and dogs out tonight." Jace murmurs. One of his hands had begun to run through her auburn locks with gentle care.

"Yea, I'm glad we got out of it before it started storming. That wouldn't have been pleasant to walk home in." Clary admits.

Sitting on the floor with her boyfriend probably would not rank high on the most intimate positions they had been in, but Clary found the closeness they shared in this moment to be just right. The flames in front of them made up for the slight discomfort she felt sitting on the cold floor, though in hind sight a blanket to cover them both would not have been an unwelcome addition. Still, Jace radiated heat, making her press up against him even closer. Ever the dutiful boyfriend, Jace wraps an arm around her, wrapping her up in him.

"Clary, there's something I've been wanting to ask you about." Jace begins.

"Hnnn, and what would that be?" Clary asks.

"Well, how would you feel about us...per say..." Jace seems to be struggling to get his words out now, his mismatched eyes blinking.

"Go on then, spit it out." She said amused. "I didn't think the Jace Herondale struggled with his words. It's not something terrible you want to ask me, is it?"

"No, no, no. Nothing terrible at all." Jace concedes.

"Then what is it?" She asks again.



Clary felt her phone buzzing away in her pocket. She pulls it out quickly to see Izzy's name flashing up on the screen. What in the world has her calling so late at night?

"It's Izzy." She shows Jace the screen. "Is it okay if I answer it?"

"Yea, of course. Best not to keep my sister waiting." Jace murmured.

"Are you sure? You do have something important to tell me. Izzy can wait until later. I'm sure she'd understand." Clary said.

"No, you go right ahead and talk to her. I'll...I'll go wait for you in the bedroom." Jace got up on unsteady legs and walked away before Clary could get in another word.

"Izzy, this better be good." She mutters to herself before clicking the answer button.

"Clary! About time you picked up." Izzy says.

"Hey Iz, what's going on with you? You usually don't make calls this late." Clary murmurs. She presses the phone up against her ear with her shoulder, keeping both of her hands free.

"I know I know. But this isn't a social call." Her parabatai explains.

"Oh, then what is it then?" Clary asks.

"Apparently the sensors over on Wrangel Island picked up some really strange activity in New York City and Alicante. Jia was already visiting there and she wants me and a representative of my choice to come meet her there to discuss."

"And I'm guessing you already have someone in mind for this representative. That being me?" Clary asks.

"Yep." Izzy chirps out in affirmative. "We're set to go there tomorrow. You don't have anything planned do you?"

Clary thinks back to her boyfriend. Jace did have something important to tell her, but she doubts it's something that will make her have to stay in town for an entire day. Plus, he had been more than happy to put off his plans for Clary to answer the phone, so....

"Yea, I should be free. What time do we leave tomorrow?"

For the next hour or so, the two parabatai talk on and on about the plans for the next day. By the time the call finally ends, Clary gets to bed to find Jace already fast asleep. Clary slips under the covers next to him and lets the sweet nothingness of sleep claim her, forgetting about anymore discussions for the time being.

****Alec's POV****

Dream Sequence...

Alec was walking through the shrouded forest, his eyes narrowing in confusion as he realizes he has not the slightest clue as to where he is. The fauna around him was unfamiliar, or at least, not something he had seen in a very long time.

"Hello? Is anybody out there?" He calls out.

The fog was so thick here that he could hardly see his own hands, let alone a person that might be crouching in the shadows. He crouches down instinctively at the sound of a twig snapping. With lightning fast reflexes he whirls to face the source of the noise, only to come face to face with someone he had seen before, back when his wings had yet to surface.

"Oh." Alec lets out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. "It's just you."

A little girl stood in front of him now. The girl in the sunflower dress. Her eyes were a soft hazel, much like his own. Her skin was much more tan compared to his own (not like that was much of a challenge). She was a small, delicate thing, a pretty little girl just like Alec remembers his own sister had been back in the day.

Come to think of it, she does look a lot like Isabelle...

Alec didn't know why he thought this, or why the little girl seemed to stir something inside him. Something that lay just out of his reach. A puzzle piece on a higher shelf. And no matter how many boxes he stacked to stand on, he couldn't get to it.

Why exactly does that frustrate me so much?

"Hi there! It's nice to see you again. I was getting quite lonely." The little girl tells him. The soft cotton material of her dress sways with her small movements, like a flower in the summer breeze.

His eyebrows furrow at that. "Lonely? You're not here all by yourself, are you?"

The girl sways some more, her hands clasped behind her back in a childish mimicry of a soldier's stance. Alec notes that the girl is wearing a necklace today, the silver chain connected to a small vial that glows a soft blue. He can't recall where he's seen that before, only that he has.

"No. My Daddy's here with me." She tells him with a smile that Alec finds to be absolutely precious. The happiness this child exudes makes him want to go forward and hug her. Alec stays back however, not sure if the gesture would be welcome.

"Well, that's good to hear. Where is he?" Alec asks.

The Angel feels like he would've sensed another person's presence if they were nearby. And if he did not, surely the large wings folded up on his back would. Jace had been right about the fact that they sensed things even he did not. It was almost like having 360 degree vision, if that made any sense.

The girl does giggle this time. "You're so silly." The girl shakes her head in amusement, and for a brief second Alec almost feels as though he is the child in the situation and the girl is the adult. The moment passes quickly though, returning him to the concern of a child left unsupervised.

"Maybe you can show me where he is? I'm sure he's awfully worried about you. you know exactly where we are?" Alec inquires. He hates to ask such a big question of the child, but as she is the only person he can seemingly find in this strange place, he'll just have to make due.

"Nope, I can't. I'm sure he is worried though." She stares at him carefully. Her hazel eyes are big in her small face, giving off an air of innocence. "As for where we might not believe me if I told you."

"Try me." Alec challenges. He lives in the Shadow World. Whatever this girl might say, it likely would not be able to blow his mind too much.

"You asked for it then. We're in your memory." She tells him.

"My memory." Alec repeats the words, sounding each one out carefully.

"Yea. More specifically, the memory of you're long forgotten past." She tells him, a serious look on her face.

"Huh." Alec looks around the shrouded forest with mild intrigue. "I suppose that makes sense. The real questions should be: How did I get here? And if this is my memory, who are you? Or, were you?"

He feels bad for tacking on that last question, but some part of him just really needed to know the state of this girl in the real world. Was she still alive? Or had she passed on? Alec felt as though this was a question that other people would be asking too, if they were in his shoes.

Something compels Alec to look down at his feet. He is equal parts surprised and annoyed to find that he is barefoot, and that the ground is making his naked feet wet with what looks to be mud. Sighing, he shakes off some of the grime.

"Hehe, so many questions! Let's play together!" The girl tells him with glee.

Being ever so trustful, the small child reaches out one hand to grab his own. Alec accepts the grabbing hold and allows her to tug him into the forest. Unfortunately, doing so makes the fog envelope them completely. Alec is briefly bewildered before he realizes the girl is no longer in sight.

"Hey! Where did you go?" He calls out into the fog.

It is not her voice that answers him, instead it is one he has never heard before.

"That girl. She has changed....All will be revealed in due time...." The voice intones.

"What, what are you talking about?" Alec calls out.

But he gets to say no more, as everything fades to black.

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