Title: Jace Morgenstern's Unlucky Streak
Sequel to: Jace Wayland's Unstealthy Stalking
Characters: Chloe/Jace, Lois, Clark, Magnus/Alec, Jocelyn, Luke, Isabelle, others...
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe is settling into life as the last Wayland. Lois is training. Jace is highly annoyed with Lois and Jocelyn, who tend to interrupt him and Chloe when he least wants them to. But with Valentine still loose, the Inquisitor breathing down their necks, and an unexpected arrival, they all have more important things to worry about.
My version of City of Ashes.
Jocelyn frowned as she leaned forwards. "Are you sure about this?"
Luke nodded. "Ever since they became involved with the Shadow World I've been keeping an ear open."
The woman took in a deep breath.
The door opened and Isabelle and Chloe appeared, both girls heading towards the door as the blonde called over her shoulder: "I'm going out with Isabelle!"
Jocelyn blinked, surprised. "Where?"
"Just to a party." Chloe turned to face her.
Jocelyn frowned. "Who is throwing this party? Magnus?"
"Yeah." Isabelle nodded.
Jocelyn sighed, a hand to her temple. "Well, he'll keep an eye on you." Her eyes widened as she remembered something. "Just don't drink anything! You might end up a rat."
Chloe eyes widened. "Sure thing."
"And don't stay out too late." Jocelyn was fretting already and she hated it. "It's not safe. Especially with Valentine still on the loose."
Chloe nodded dutifully. "Yes ma'am."
Jocelyn worried her bottom lip as she gazed at her parabatai's young daughter. "And don't talk to anyone you don't know -especially if they're vampires."
"I'll second that one," Luke spoke up.
"I'll be aware of Stranger Danger." Chloe looked far too amused and not as wary as she should be, which only served to make Jocelyn more worried.
"We're being serious, Chloe." Jocelyn stood, hands on her hips. "It's dangerous, and Magnus' parties are known to be rowdy. I'm not too sure you should even be going." She cleared her throat and folded her arms over her chest. "It is a school night as well, and you have to get up earlier than most because of the commute to Smallville."
That damned amusement just kept growing on Chloe's face. "I won't talk to anyone I don't know at Magnus' and I'll be home at a reasonable hour."
Jocelyn sighed, wanting very much to tell the girl that she couldn't go, and yet knowing that actions like that led to teens sneaking out of the house (how many times had she done that as a kid?) and she preferred for Chloe to tell her where and when she was going out.
Chloe grinned and came over to hug Jocelyn, surprising the redhead. "I'll be fine." She pulled away and clasped her hands behind her arms. "And Isabelle will keep an eye on me."
Jocelyn looked at the other girl, who nodded. She sighed, defeated. "Just be careful and don't stay out too long."
"Yes mom." Chloe rolled her eyes, smile larger.
Something tightened in Jocelyn's chest at the word, even though she knew that Chloe was merely teasing her. That feeling remained coiled within her long after the girls had left.
"Faeries are the offspring of demons and angels, with the beauty of angels and the viciousness of demons." Isabelle was getting Chloe up to date with all things fey as they made their way to the party. "A faerie can make you dance until you die with your legs ground down into stumps, trick you into a midnight swim and drag you screaming underwater until your lungs burst, fill your eyes with faerie dust until you gouge them out at the roots-."
"I'm seeing why you would date one," Chloe mumbled sarcastically as she tugged at the hem of what she was wearing. "And why do people always give me their damned shirts to wear? I'm starting to develop a complex."
"It's because you're a midget." Isabelle gave her a vicious little smile before continuing. "Back to what's important: faeries live for hundreds of years and are as cunning as snakes. Despite that they can't lie, but they've learnt to get around that by engaging in creative truth-telling."
"Creative truth-telling." Chloe blinked at that one.
"Yeah." Isabelle nodded. "They'll find out whatever it is you want most in the world and give it to you-with a sting in the tail of the gift that will make you regret you ever wanted it in the first place." She tapped her lip. "They're also not really into helping people, so when they do, it's usually more about harm disguised as help."
"Again, I feel the need to point out that this fey guy you're dating sounds like a total catch." Chloe hesitated when they reached Turtle Pond. "I don't see a door." She turned to Isabelle. "You said there was a door."
"Just hold onto your underwear, it's about to open."
The sun had set completely and the moon was up, casting its reflection onto the pond. The moon wasn't quite full yet and was shadowed at one edge. Night wind rattled the tree branches of the park surrounding Turtle Pond, knocking said branches against each other making a sound like hollow bones.
"So I'm guessing it's not an actual door," Chloe declared randomly as she hugged herself, cold in the breeze. "And let me take this moment to complain about the fact that you have on a long flowing dress while I'm wearing your shirt, which only comes to my upper thighs." She narrowed her greens on the girl. "I think you're playing some sort of horrible prank on me and because of that the Fair Folk will think I'm monumentally slutty."
Isabelle barked out laughter as she turned to her. "Just follow me." She moved down to the edge of the water, her boots leaving deep impressions on the mud.
Chloe made a face and took off her shoes because they would definitely get stuck. She wadded in after Isabelle, giving a hiss since the water was freezing.
"Oh, and before I forget," Isabelle called over her shoulder, "for the love of the Angel, don't eat or drink anything while we're there." She sent Chloe a wide grin. "Come on, we only have until the moon moves."
"Until the-where would it go?" Chloe was confused as she reached Isabelle at the center of the pool, the water around their rib cages.
Isabelle held her hand out to Chloe. "Stop."
The blonde did as told and watched as in front of her the reflection of the moon glimmered on the surface of the water. A part of her knew that the moon was supposed to move away from you when you approached, but it wasn't doing that, instead hovering on the surface as if it was anchored in place. "And I thought life in Smallville was weird."
"I'm going to go first and then you follow. Do exactly as I do." Isabelle then stepped backward into the reflection of the moon and vanished.
"This seems more like stepping through a mirror than a door to me." Chloe worried her bottom lip before she let out a sigh. "Jocelyn would not approve." With that she turned and walked backwards into the moon's reflection. It felt as if she'd stepped off of a ladder and forgotten a step, the girl crying out as she fell backwards into darkness as the moon swallowed her up, and then she hit packed earth and stumbled before righting herself and looking around. She was soaked and cold, drops of water making their way down her face and neck as she hugged herself tightly and shivered slightly. "Jocelyn would definitely not approve."
She looked around and realized they were in a hollowed-out dirt corridor which was illuminated by faintly glowing moss. A tangle of dangling vines formed a curtain at one end of the corridor and long, hairy tendrils hung like dead snakes from the ceiling. It took her a while to realize they were actually tree roots. They were underground. How creepily awesome was that?
Isabelle wrung out her long hair. "Now we wait and Meliorn will come for us."
"So, he has a name." Chloe wrung out her, uh, shirt, as best as she could while wearing it.
"Of course he has a name."
"How is he going to know that we're here?" Chloe looked up curiously. "Does our entering trigger a doorbell or something?"
"I guess you could say that." Isabelle made a face. "The Court knows all that happens in their lands."
Chloe eyed the other girl. "How many times have you come here?"
"Why?" Isabelle sent her a look.
"Curiosity." Chloe tilted her head. "I didn't know that Shadowhunters were allowed to date Downworlders."
"It's frowned upon, but allowed." Isabelle admitted. "We aren't allowed to marry them though, unless we break all ties with the Shadowhunter world, even our family who are still a part of that world, and go to live as a mundane."
Chloe raised an eyebrow at that.
Suddenly the curtain of vines was drawn aside and a faerie stepped through it. He was coldly beautiful and yet possessed some sort of wild unearthliness. He was tall, and his hair so black it had a blue sheen to it. His face was sharp, lovely, and his eyes were green like the vines. There was the shape of a leaf on one of his cheekbones and Chloe couldn't tell if it was a tattoo or a fey birthmark. He wore an armor of silvery brown like the bark of trees in winter and when he moved the armor flashed a multitude of colors: peat black, moss green, ash gray and sky blue.
Chloe hugged herself tightly. "I seriously feel underdressed now."
Isabelle ignored Chloe's mumblings and jumped into the faerie's arms with a happy cry. "Meliorn!"
He looked down at her gravely and then detached her and set her aside gently, his gaze on Chloe. "Chloe Wayland."
The blonde flinched at that, not having ever been called that and not sure how to react. "Meliorn no-last-name-that-I-know-of."
He wasn't amused. "The Queen of the Seelie Court will see you."
Chloe blinked. "Is she not supposed to?"
He narrowed his eyes in slight confusion, which was the first emotion he'd shown since he'd arrived. "You came here believing you had an audience with the Queen?"
"Uh, no…" Chloe turned to Isabelle in question before she returned her glance to Meliorn. "I thought you'd meant that she would know I was here, since the fey know all that happens in their land."
"She will know," he confirmed. "And she will grant you an audience."
Now Chloe was genuinely confused and worried she was going to seriously offend a whole Court. "Uhm, I think you've got things confused. I came here to enjoy the party… Not because I was seeking an audience with the Queen."
Meliorn stared at her stonily. "The Queen will grant you an audience." And with that he turned and began to lead the way.
Isabelle hurried after him.
Chloe stared at their backs. "Uh, okay then?" She shook her head and put on her shoes before following after them.
Up ahead Isabelle's laughter bounced off of the walls as she smiled up at Meliorn, who only had that emotionless expression on his face.
Chloe made up her face. Just what exactly did Isabelle see in the dude? "So, where did you guys meet?"
"At this pixie nightclub downtown called Hot Wings." Isabelle sent her a smile over her shoulder. "You wouldn't know it by just looking at him, but Meliorn is a great dancer."
There were a lot of things Chloe couldn't tell by just looking at him.
Suddenly the corridor opened out into a wide room whose floor was packed dirt and whose walls were lined with high stone pillars twined all over with vines and bright flowers bursting with color. Thin cloths hung between the pillars and were dyed the same blue as the sky. Despite not one torch being in sight the room was filled with light, and strangely sweet music played.
The room was filled with people, a circle of faeries dancing to the music, their feet barely seeming to skim the floor. The faces of the fey dancing were beautiful and yet behind them lurked something almost feral. A girl dancing beckoned to Chloe, her fingers made of twigs and budded with closed leaves, her eyes black without iris or pupil. Likewise the others dancing in that particular circle had some sort of inhumanity about that that was startling, such as poison green skin or curling horns.
Chloe tilted her head and watched the dancers, intrigued, until she realized she was being left behind and hurried to catch up with Isabelle and Meliorn, skirting around the circle of dancers as she did so. She caught up with the two by a curtain of blue silk, and when they slipped in she paused, wondering if they were going to have some privacy. If so she had no desire to follow them through. The girl turned her back on the curtain and gazed upon the dancers once more, most of whom wore masks that covered half or all of their faces. Despite the fact that some of the fey weren't wearing masks, she kinda wished she was wearing one as well and felt left out.
"We seem to meet in the most interesting places," a vaguely familiar voice said to her right. "Hmmm. I don't see the Voyance rune on you and yet you seem to not only not be swayed by the luring magic, but you're also able to see passed the glamours."
Chloe turned to see a tall male eyeing her, the top of his face hidden by a mask, the male wearing a black hood pulled up over his hair and leaving most of his face in shadow. A tingle, a shock, raced through her body as she stared at him, her eyes narrowed. "You."
The corner of his lips curled. "I didn't think you would recognize me."
"It is you." She stepped closer. "You're the guy I met in Idris."
He gave a little bow, almost mockingly, before he straightened. "I applaud you for not even having to take a second to try and remember where you'd met me."
"I haven't 'met' you," she reminded him. "I don't even know your name."
"Anonymity is a useful practice." He smirked once more. "It leaves the women guessing and intrigued."
She smirked right back at him. "Is that so?" She then stared at him with wide eyes. "Wait, you know where that mansion is." She stepped forwards and placed her hand on his arm. A gasp escaped her lips at the shock that raced down her body at the touch. She tilted her head upwards to stare into his masked face to see it tilted down towards her. She felt breathless and wasn't sure why. "I, uh…"
"Chloe? Where are you?" Isabelle could be heard calling.
Chloe pulled away and turned to look at the curtain in time for Isabelle to stick her head out.
"Why are you still out here?" Isabelle wanted to know.
"I was talking to-." But when Chloe turned the guy was gone. She narrowed her eyes before she turned back to Isabelle sheepishly. "Was I supposed to follow you? I wasn't sure. You two could've been going to get hot and heavy."
Isabelle smirked at that one. "No, that won't be-." She cleared her throat. "Come on, the Queen is waiting."
Chloe frowned as she came forwards. "Why?"
Isabelle's answer was a shrug of her shoulders. "She's never granted me an audience." She leaned in close and spoke softly to Chloe so only she could hear. "Be careful and don't offend her."
So no pressure, huh?
Chloe entered the room behind the curtain and stepped into another corridor, this one carved from a glossy brown material like the outside of a nut. Meliorn was walking ahead of them, obviously not about to wait on them. Seriously, what did Isabelle see in this dude? But Chloe didn't ask that. "I remembered what you said about the gory dancing, but I've only now stopped to wonder how we're going to party if we can't join in their dances."
"Humans can join the revelry if a faerie gives you a token - like a leaf or flower - to hold on to and you keep it through the night, I'm going to make Meliorn give you one." Isabelle explained in a soft tone. "Another way a human will be fine is if they go with a faerie for a companion, like I am."
Meliorn stopped ahead of them, having reached a leafy screen set into the wall.
The room on the other side of the screen was plain, with earthen walls hung with pale fabric. Will-o-wisps glowed in plain glass jars. But the woman there was far from plain. Reclined on a low couch surrounded by what must have been her courtiers, the Queen of the Seelie Court was beautiful. She had long scarlet hair that seemed to float around her like autumn leaves in a breeze, and her eyes were clear blue.
"My Queen." Meliorn bowed low, a hand to his chest. "I have brought Chloe Wayland to you."
The Queen sat up straight. "Come closer, Chloe Wayland."
Chloe could feel the weight of those light blues on her, like a touch. She felt wary, somehow knowing instinctively that despite all of her loveliness the Queen wasn't fragile like her beauty and slender body might lead one to believe. No. She was as bright and hard to look at as a burning star and with an inner intensity to match.
Isabelle gave Chloe a little nudge, breaking her from her near trance-like observation of the Queen.
Chloe stumbled forwards before she moved on her own, sending a backwards glance when she heard Isabelle asking Meliorn what he was doing, seeing the faerie take the girl away. "What-?"
"Do not let others distract you from me," the Queen ordered.
Chloe swung her gaze to the Queen, eyes wide. "I'm sorry."
The Queen's lips twitched as she stared at Chloe. "Come closer."
Chloe gulped and did as told.