Title: Jace Morgenstern's Unlucky StreakSequel to: Jace Wayland's Unstealthy StalkingCharacters: Chloe/Jace, Lois, Clark, Magnus/Alec, Jocelyn, Luke, Isabelle, others...Rating: T+Disclaimer: Don't ownSummary: 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.
He handed her the mask wordlessly.
She took it and placed the mask onto her face, feeling it cling to her skin as if by magic (which it probably was). She smiled and looked up at him. "How does it look?"
He didn't answer, merely motioned to their side.
Chloe turned and noticed a silver bowl filled with water. Her eyes widened and she smiled as she hurried to the bowl and gazed within at her reflection, her grin growing. "I wouldn't recognize myself."
"That is the purpose of a mask." His reflection appeared looming behind her in the water.
She stared at his reflection behind her before she moved away and swung around to face him. "Thank you, for the mask. I've always wanted to attend a masquerade ball." She blushed and felt annoyed with how embarrassed she was right now. "Thanks to you I can check this off of my bucket list."
"Bucket list?" He tilted his head to the side, not seeming to get the term.
She was seriously beginning to consider opening up a school to teach Downworlders and Shadowhunters more about the mundanes and their world and customs. "It's a list you have of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket", which is a mundane expression for dying."
"Ah." He nodded before he tilted his head and observed her. "I see." His gaze lowered to her, uh, shirt. "Interesting choice."
She flushed hotly. "I was only invited at the last minute and my friend loaned me this to wear since she said it was more appropriate than anything I had in my closet, but I think she was playing a prank on me because no one is dressed like this. I mean, everyone has their long flowing dresses, her included, and I'm in this thing-which is way too short for my comfort-level. I mean, I didn't have long flowing dresses but I think anything else would be better than me standing here trying to pull the hems down longer because I feel slutty in this and I'm not slutty. I normally wouldn't wear things like this, but somehow all the tall and statuesque girls I know want to play dress-up with me and put me in their shirts!"
He eyed her, his amusement visible in the curve of his lips. "I had meant the color was an interesting choice."
She brought her hands to her burning face. "Kill me now."
He chuckled. "No. You are far too entertaining to do so."
She whimpered, hands still on her face. She then realized what he'd said and yanked her hands from her face. "Wait. What's so interesting with the color of this shirt? Don't tell me it's some taboo color for the Fair Folks!" If so she was going to kill Isabelle.
"You're a Shadowhunter, surely you know the significance of colors to them." He seemed surprised.
She let out a sigh, knowing she was a failure as a Shadowhunter. "I wasn't raised as a Shadowhunter, there is still a lot about them that I don't know." She hugged herself. "I was basically raised as a mundane and it was only a couple of months ago that I found out the truth." She made a face. "So colors mean something to Shadowhunters?" She thought of something. "Is that why they're always wearing black?"
He gazed down upon her in silence for a moment and then nodded. "There is actually a childhood rhyme concerning it to help children remember the significance of colors."
"There's a rhyme." She blinked. "Sure. Why not?" She pulled at the hem of her shirt. "I'll have to ask Isabelle about it after I beat her up for this." Not that she thought she could actually take Isabelle on in a fight or anything, she was pure embarrassment and bravado at the moment.
He cleared his throat before beginning to recite:
"Black for hunting through the night. For death and mourning, the color's white. Gold for a bride in her wedding gown, And red to call enchantment down. White silk when our bodies burn, Blue banners when the lost return. Flame for the birth of a Nephilim, And to wash away our sins. Gray for knowledge best untold, Bone for those who don't grow old. Saffron lights the victory march, Green will mend our broken hearts. Silver for the demon towers, And bronze to summon wicked powers."
Chloe stared up at him in shock. "I don't need mending of a broken heart. My heart's just fine. I have a boyfriend and he and I are doing great." She blushed harder, realizing that this was the first time she'd ever referred to Jace out loud as her boyfriend. It sounded nice. "Is me wearing this signaling I'm on the rebound or something?"
"Rebound?" He questioned.
"Uh, that I was left by someone and am eager to get with someone else to help me forget my previous partner." She definitely needed to make that school a reality because she needed to get paid for this!
"Ah," he nodded. "To some, I suppose. But it truly means that you are in the process of mending your heart."
"Oh." Chloe nodded, and figured that she kinda was, though not about Jace. There were her mother's and Gabe's situations that she was trying to get over. "I see."
He held his hand out to her. "Shall we dance? You can tell me more about this boyfriend you fiercely claim."
She flushed hotly. "You're teasing me."
"I am serious."
She stared at him, looking for a token, and couldn't see any. He had to be a faerie, and how could she say no to a dance with a faerie? "Be warned that I don't know how to do this sort of dance." She placed her hand in his and ignored the jolt as he closed his fingers over hers and led her onto the dance floor.
"It is easy, just follow my lead." And with that he clasped her hand, placed his around her back and pulled her closer before beginning to lead her in the dance.
At first Chloe was horribly nervous, terrified she was going to step on the faerie's feet, but he was light on his feet and expert in his leading, somehow getting her to relax enough to laugh and enjoy herself. She even managed to look up from their feet and smile up into his face in glee as he led her in a twirl. "Okay, this is fun!"
He didn't answer, merely continued to dance.
Chloe tightening her grip on him, finding it easier to follow his lead the closer she was to him, and she didn't need to talk. The faerie music and the dancing around her was magical, the girl losing herself to it all as they became one with the other dancers. The only sound she'd let out once in a while was laughter when she just couldn't keep quiet on just how much fun it was to become one with fey festivities. She could see how people could end up not being able to stop dancing, it was just too fun, too amazing.
Instead of arguing with Isobel about her clothes, Chloe was going to have to thank her for inviting her. Things had been so tense for Chloe lately and this was exactly what she'd needed, to be able to get away from her issues and just let lose. She could get why her dance partner preferred the anonymity because she did as well. It was as if with the mask she became a different person, or maybe no one at all, and she could do whatever she wanted without the constraints Chloe Sullivan... Chloe Wayland... Whoever she was, had.
Her dance partner led her a very complicated dance move and her legs didn't keep up with her as she tripped, but he saved her from falling on her butt by catching her in an almost a dip. She grabbed onto his cloak to try and righten herself - laughing when she stayed dipped. She had a feeling the faerie magic was working on her because usually she'd be embarrassed as hell but at this moment she was just having too much fun. She smiled up into his masked face as he stared down at her before tightening his grip on her and righting the girl on her feet.
"Sorry," she was still laughing softly as they flowed into the throng of dancers. "I warned you I was a horrible dancer."
"Yes you did," his voice was darkly amused.
Instead of being insulted she merely laughed more and slapped his chest.
"So why has your boyfriend allowed you to come to Court without him being present?" He wanted to know as they started dancing once more. "I would've thought that he would not feel secure knowing you are here without him."
"He doesn't actually know. But I'm here with his adoptive sister so that's all good." She felt a little guilty though because with everything Isabelle had told her about the Fair Folk she had a feeling Jace wouldn't want her here and would've argued with her had he known she was coming. "He's busy tonight, patrolling. And I would've invited my cousin too because she'd love it here, but she's also busy tonight, studying of all things. She's not much for studying so I know she's serious about whatever it is and I'm not going to give her a distraction like this one."
"Will your boyfriend not be angry when he finds out that you came here?"
She sighed and nodded, a little of her enjoyment leaving her. "Probably."
"And yet you still came?"
"I'm a bad girlfriend," she mumbled to herself. "Though to be fair, I have never been close to his sister and she invited me, so I figured this could be a good way to bond." She cast a glance towards the dancers around them. "But to be honest we really haven't spent time together tonight to do any bonding."
"I will take some of the blame for that."
"No, don't! If you hadn't been here I'd probably still be standing by myself watching everyone else dance and have fun, everyone else including her." Chloe rolled her eyes before she smiled up at him. "I'm relieved you were here, grateful, actually. I'm having much more fun than I would've if you hadn't come to talk to me. I'm really glad you're here."
He stared down at her silently, drawing her closer as they began a series of twirls.
Chloe got dizzy and grabbed at him tighter as she stared down at their feet to try and keep up with the movements and make sure her legs didn't get caught up in each other like last time. Finally they ended the twirling and returned to the normal dancing and she looked up at him with a barked "Ha!" in pride at having actually been able to execute that dance move without bumbling around and looking like a fool.
He continued to stare down at her silently.
She gulped as she stared up at him before she looked away. "But you're right though, my boyfriend will probably be very angry with me when I tell him I was here, especially without him."
"You will tell him?" He sounded surprised. "Even when you know that it will get you in trouble?"
"Of course!" Chloe's eyes widened as she turned to look at him once more. "I love him." She then blushed darkly, unable to believe she was telling this stranger things like this, especially when she really hadn't said them otherwise. "He and I might fight all the time but we trust each other and I would never give him a reason to doubt me. He's won my confidence, he's proven himself to me, and I won't keep any secret between us and damage that trust. He's far too important to me." She smiled softly at the thought of Jace. "He's my partner in crime and my closest confident. I could keep secrets from others but never him. I wouldn't do that."
The stranger eyed her pensively before speaking. "That is admirable, especially for a teenaged girl." He tilted his head. "How sure are you that he's the same with you though? That he isn't repaying your implicit trust with lies and deception?"
"Jace would never do something like that." She thought about how he'd told her about his deepest darkest secret when they hadn't really known each other so that she would trust him. "He'd never keep secrets from me. He knows that I've had too many secrets kept from me and that I wouldn't be able to tolerate more of them, especially if they came from him of all people."
The stranger nodded slowly. "I see."
"Chloe!" Isabelle suddenly appeared, face red from having danced so much. "We have to go! It's later than I thought, Jocelyn is going to kill us."
Chloe's eyes widened. "It can't be that late! We haven't been here too long!"
"Time is different down here than it is aboveground," her masked companion explained.
"Oh god, I'm going to get grounded!" Chloe turned to go with Isabelle before she turned back to him. "Thanks so much for showing me a wonderful time." She grinned and hurried with Isabelle to where Meliorn was waiting on them. It was only then that she caught sight of her ring and remembered it. "I can't go yet, I have to give this back to Her Majesty!"
Isabelle eyed her. "Meliorn told me that it had been arranged for another fey to give you your token, but I didn't realize the other fey was the Queen!"
"Her Highness said that you are to return it to her when you come to visit once more." Meliorn's eyes were one Chloe. "Consider it an invitation to return."
Chloe gulped, eyes wide. "But I can't take this with me! What if I lost it?"
"Don't," was his only answer as he moved away and began to lead them back towards the door.
Chloe stared down at her ring in shock before she licked her lips, nervous at the thought of losing this ring and angering the Queen. She was going to have to come back soon, and she wondered if that hadn't been the whole reason the Queen had given her the ring as a token. That made her somewhat uneasy as she followed after Isabelle and Meliorn. She thanked Meliorn for letting her come, even though she'd known he'd had nothing to do with it, and tried once more to give him the ring to take to the Queen but he refused and left.
Isabelle and Chloe returned to the surface, the girls wet once more as they wadded to the shore, and made their way up the muddy bank before getting to the grass.
The Shadowhunter warrioress collapsed on it and grinned as she looked up at the moon. "Tonight was nice."
Chloe sat down next to her and gazed at her ring. "It was."
Isabelle sent her a sideways glance. "Who was that you were dancing with? Every time I looked for you to make sure you were fine you were with him."
"I never asked his name," and she'd forgotten to ask him about the mansion as well, now that she thought about it. Maybe she'd see him when she came back to the Seelie Court and could ask him then. "But he was nice enough."
"Let's not tell Jace you danced the whole night with one guy, he'll be angry enough as it is." And yet Isabelle was grinning mischievously.
"I don't have any secrets from Jace." Chloe lifted her gaze from the ring to Isabelle's face. "He mightn't like it, but I'll tell him."
Isabelle eyed her before she gave the girl a crooked smile. "I'll be sure to let him know the guy was handsome as well, though he'll probably already know that considering that faeries are known for being beautiful."
Chloe grinned back at Isabelle. "You really want him riled up, don't you?"
"I'm his sister, it's my duty to make his life hell." With that Isabelle stood and offered Chloe her hand. "Let's go back? Jocelyn's going to throw a fit."
Chloe frowned. "She is." And with that she placed her hand in Isabelle's and accepted the help to her feet.