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Give me the book

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Clary Fray never thought she was different from the other kids. Well, that was a lie. She knew that she was different. But in the small things.

She didn't have a smart phone, actually her phone might be called stupid. ( „Just because it doesn't have touch screen, a camera, it's in color and it couldn't recognize MMS it doesn't deserve to be called stupid.” Or so she would often say to other people, including her mother.)

She really liked to read books. Real ones made of paper and ink, from reading online she often got headaches.
She didn't have a Facebook, Viber, Messenger, Snapchat, Twitter or any other form of social networks. Clary simply didn't wanted any of it. Plus she was horrendous at writing text messages. She just wasn't fast at coming up with responses adn writing them down faster that the other person ( probably because she had to click multiple times on one button to get the right letter).

She was also an artist. A very good one actually. Clary could draw,sketch or paint anything. That was the only thing her mother approved off. Even though Yocelyn inssisted on posting her artwork on Instagram. Clary endured a month and a half before finnaly giving in to that particular request of her mother.
When you list it like that she does sound pretty weird. No wonder her mother is worried.

And every introverts worst night mare is,of course, high school. The time when you are surounded by your usually hormonaly unbalanced peers in close quarters for extended periods of time. And if Clary was completely frank wiht herself, she was a natural target. So now when she was junior she had a very interesting bunch of nicknames that varied from creative ones:The Martian (red hair), Woormie (that one she didn't understand the origins of), to those less interesting: Red,Bookie etc. Some people were sticking with the classics and called her freak, weirdo and the rest. As far a teasing and bullying went Clary was surprised how unoriginal people were. She honestly thought trapping someone in their bathroom cubicle and stealing their clothes during gym is an urban legen that is only shown in movies. It was not, apparently.

And Clary ignored them as much as she could. Even when they made her life kinda miserable.

Clary did understand why her mother wanted her to have a boyfriend, to go on parties or sleepovers... Her mother wanted her to be a normal teenager like she was in her day. Sure, she met her father at a party and he left her after a month but, surelly the chances of that happening to Clary were next to nothing, right? Her mother sometimes honestly surprised her with her unvavering optimism.
But most important thing about Clary was that she was true to herself, and would she pretend that she's someone else? Pretend to like things she actually loathes? Just to please people and fit in?

Hell no.

A lot of things chaned because of one book. Christhopher Paolini's Inheritence cycle, to be precise. Not the most popular of series. But from time to time Clary felt the need to read it again. Usually around Christmas. And them early Yanuary would be a time for the true master: J.R.R. Tolkien.

And now Clary was standing on a tiny chair that librarians provided for her after ten thousandth time she tried jumping to grab a book from one of the higher shelves ( higher for her). She still needs it, even after all this years they gave it to her. It sure provided a lot of laughs, seein her on her tiptoes tring to reach tomes like „The complete Sherlock Holmes”. Often people thought she was a librarian herself.

But for some reason Eragon didn't want to cooperate. That stupid, awesome for Christmas time book just didn't want to fall into Clary's hands. "Do those shelves have to be so high?" A thought that passed Clary's mind countless times. "C'mon book, you will soon be in my hands and we both know it...What?!"
Suddenly the book disappeared from the shelf. Someone must have took it from the other side of the shelf.

"Hell no, that book is mine!" The redheaded girl's thought's became almost murderous, no one took the book she wanted so much. She won't surrender without fight. Even if it's an old lady, or a little kid she will come home with that precise book! Winter holidays start in two weeks and she has to read through The Inherritance to be in the mood to begin The Hobbit after Christmas.

Clary jumped from the chair and stepped closer to the person who will, easier or harder way, give her that book.
And what a surprise it was to her when she saw the person.

"Interesting, I was right. I will have to fight with a little kid. I didn't even know he knows how to read." She was usualy a nice person, she really was, but when Jace Herondale was in question she let go of her temper a bit. She was her mother's daugther after all.

Chapter Text

Sometimes Jace Herondale didn't understand his father. Well, not exactly. He didn't understand his father ever since his mother left the two of them alone. He also didn't know why she left them. He didn't want to think about it, and he won't. It made him confused and all sappy on the inside, thinking about those days.

Could he and his father spend a day without fighting or arguing? It's like he had an opinion on the way he drank a glass of water, slept and walked.

Seriously, Jace is so tired of all that. Not even in school he can be himself. Cocky-ness and arrogance came to him as a defense system. Those people weren't his friends, sure, they knew how to party, but most of them were downright morons.

It's not like in the books or something, that he's suicidal or that he'll soon meet a girl who will help him, and support him,and be his whole world. Things like that just don't happen. Especially not to Jace. Besides, his life was just fine, he is perfectly content with being alone. He didn't even understand why did he compared his life's problems with books. He never had the concentration to read, he was to hyperactive for that. He preferred audiobooks if he really had to read. And podcasts, because when you think about it, podcasts are the grown-up version of a bedtime story.

"Snap out of it, idiot! You just need to get father that stupid book and you'll get your phone back. Yeah like that ever worked before he'll just find another reason for not to give me the phone. Honestly, his parenting techniques are so old."

Jace's thoughts came back to the latest fight he had with his father. He couldn't remember how it started, just the part when his only parent started insulting him of how he's nonstop on that damned phone, and that he never does anything useful and how his friends were layabouts blah,blah... same old story. Only this time his father didn't stop at threats to take his phone and change the wifi password, he went through with it.

And so here he was. Without phone, banned from the internet and going out for a month. He was 17 for God's sake! "It's a good thing that he didn't ordered me (yet) to go to sleep at 20pm like a kindergartener.” His Daddy dearest also ordered him to go to the library and get him something called Eragon. Whatever that was.

" I just hope it's not an erotic novel. Nah, father is to serious for that, it's probably some self help book, or maybe business leading. Whatever, it 's boring one hundred percent. And aren't erotic novels more a thing for old ladies?"

It was interesting how hard it was for him to find a building that was just across the street from his school. How many times did he passed alongside the library without even knowing that it's here?

Not even finding the book is easy. The librarian was nowhere to be found, so he was on his own.

" Now what was that stupid Eragon's writer's name? Christian? Like that Fifty shades book? No. It was Christohper. But I need a surname... something with a P... this hole library must have some type of layout.

He walked to a random bookshelf and took the only book that was turned pages first instead of the binding, so you couldn't see the title of the book. The whole bookshelf was apparently holding „Fantasy” as the worn out label suggested.

Jace took it, simply out of curiosity. And it turns out he had more luck than brains. The faded golden letters said „ Eragon” and had a blue suspicious creature on it. He turned around and took one step when he suddenly noticed someone in front of him.

" A girl," he thought as he looked up from the book, " she looks familiar. Wait, that red hair, and strange eyes...ah, it's the Martian. Now, how to play this cool? I have a reputation too uphold and being see in the library could ruin it for a day or two. Whatever, nobody's goin' to believe her.”

Just then the redheaded girl spoke. It occurred to him she was not exactly glad to see him.

„Jace.” She took a slow step towards him. Staring straight into his eyes.

„Martian.” He said without thinking. The girl looked kinda furious at mention of the nickname. Her eyes were narrowed. Jace has never seen her like that. She usually never showed emotions at his insults. Not that he was the only one to make nicknames for her. In fact what he did was child's game compared to the people who threw losers like her into dumpsters.

„What's her problem? Why is she staring at me?

„Whatcha staring at, Carly?”

For some reason she looked even more angry now.


 


Chapter Text

Disclaimer:I do not own TMI.
'Deep breaths Clary' She repeated to herself, 'just breathe'. "It's Clary." she told him through gritted teeth. "Clary Fray."
"Oh, yes, I knew that. I'm..." he started.
"Jace Herondale, yeah I know." She cut in, "You're the one who came up whit the nickname The Martian." Honestly, that was the worst of her nicknames and typically the one that stuck the most.
"Really? Um, sorry. It's just...you know, you have red hair and Mars is red, you're tiny and Mars is the second smallest planet in Solar system, and well you have green eyes and Martins are supposed to be green. Plus the movie was really cool." He tried to explain while trying to sustain his laughter at the same time, and not really succeeding.
'What?!' Thought Clary, now utterly confused. 'He knows that Mars is second smallest planet? That's... odd. How does he knows that stuff?' Suddenly a voice in the back of her head reminded, 'Wait, Fray, you came here with a mission, you need that book he's holding and you will walk out of this library whit Eragon in hands, even if that's the last thing you'll do.'
"Okay let's forget about Mars. Um, I need that book. So if you could be nice enough and give it to me?" She decided to ask for it properly constantly ignoring the same voice in her head that said she could just take the book from his hands and run for Tess and her mighty (ancient) librarian computer. 'Let's do this the nice way'
"This one?" The idiot smirked. "Why?"
'Isn't it obvious?.' She thought, "Because I wanna read it, genius. Look, just give it to me, okay? Come back in two days when I read it and you can have it then, deal?" she tried to be polite. Really, of all the days he had to show up right now? When she craved that precise book?
Blondie just gaped at her. "You can read this gigantic book in only two days? Do you even have a life?" he was shocked.
'Why do people always react that way? But really the always ask the same question, no creativity these days.' Clary lost her nerves. "No, I'm a zombie. And if your pea sized brain doesn't know, let me tell you, they are lifeless creatures." She said and took the book out of his hands. She started running. But he soon recovered and managed to catch up with her.
" Look, I need that book too, okay soo..." He didn't finish the sentence, he just grabbed the book from her hands.
It was obvious that he didn't know the library at all. The idiot started to run in the opposite direction of the librarian' desk. Clary mocked him inside her head, "Bad sense of direction, Goldie Locks." and elegantly walked to the desk where Tessa was sitting and whispered something to her. Tessa just smiled and nodded. Clary hid behind on shelf, waited and listened.
"I'm sorry sir, but you cannot borrow this book. Its recognition number is damaged." Clary heard Tessa telling Jace in a professional and slightly bored voice, sounding like an old librarian you see in movies.
"What? Ma'am are you sure? Can't I just..." Jace was starting to sound panicked, the only thinking about his dad and his phone.
Oh, Clary could barely suppress laugh at his disappointed face 'You deserve that for taking my book!' she internally screamed.
"No, we don't have another copy of this book. I'm sorry sir, but I can't let you borrow this." Tessa was persistent. "Come back in a day or two and it should be fixed."
"Okay, I'll be back in two days. Goodbye." Jace gave up. 'Ha, victory!'
After he left, Clary came out of her hiding place grinning from ear to ear. "Tessa, you're a natural actress. Thank you so much for your help. Now, can I borrow the book?" Clary was almost giddy because of her victory, his disappointed expression did woke up the slightest guilt in her, but then she reminded herself that he had deserved it, for the nickname, plus she really wanted to read the book.
"Sure thing Clary. I don't know why I had to lie to that poor boy, but I do owe you for every time I had an emergency and you stayed and watched over the library so I'm glad I could help." Said Tess with a small smile on her own, she did have a bit of a mischief streak in her.
Tessa's little brother Nate, often got into fights in his school so she had to go and pick him up. As Clary was more in the library than in her own home; she volunteered to stay and watch over. She was more than happy doing it. All alone, with only books as company, Clary was in heaven.
"YAY! The victory is mine! There is one thing people should know- Clary Fray does not walk out of a library without a book of her choice in hand. Now let's go home and read you, shall we, Eragon?" She tapped the book that was safely in her bag and with her trusty headphones on she started making her way home.
For the boy she so easily defeated dough, the trip home is much trickier. It's weird how tedious a simple trip home becomes when you have nothing to listen music from, or play games on.
'God I'm so bored. How did people survive before mobile phones and other stuff? No wonder iPods were such a cool thing back then. But hey, they had other things before iPods, right? Like a century ago? Nobody uses those things anymore right? I mean, how old-fashioned you have to be to actually still use a walkman?' But Jace suddenly remembered that he had much more important things to think about. Telling his father that the book has been damaged and that he has to wait for two days is one thing. In fact. That might be the easy part. The hard part will be getting his phone back.
Besides, why can't his dad just buy a Kindle or something, every other person on the planet does that, why must he be an exception?
Okay, him, and weird redhead he confronted today.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own The Mortal Instruments, or Eragon.

He peered around the corner to see what was happening. Two tall men stood in the street. Both were..

Clary suddenly noticed that she was cold, and hungry, and she had to pee. It wasn't unusual for her to forget everything around her when she was reading, and no matter how much time she read Eragon, she always got lost in his world.

Her mother hated when she did that, she would tell her that there is outside world, real world, as she called it. Well, Clary was not interested in that famous 'real world', not a little bit.

Besides, who would give a damn about the world in which you have no one to talk to? Her mother didn't count.

Also, it was really hypocritical of her mother for scolding her daughter of not 'living' when she was the one who spent most of her time on every social network existing in the world!

At least Clary wasn't starring at her phone all day. Or you know, trying to get her mother a new phone,(or a boyfriend ) or constantly trying to take heartbreaking,cute 'mother and daughter bonding' pictures of them. No, that was what her mother is constantly doing (or trying to do).

But her mother wasn't home now. And so Clary had their apartment all to herself.

She enjoyed being alone. Maybe less after she read IT and was now afraid of pipes, and red balloons.

Just as she was about to stand up and make herself some dinner, someone came in through the door, someone who loudly slammed the door shut.

Her mother was home. Early.

That means the date didn't go well.

These days, even if you think of the devil, it appears. With that thought she stood up and still holding her book, greeted her mother in the most innocent way possible.

-Hi, Mom...How...-

But her mother stopped her, with a lecture tone, she started.

-Clary. I have to tell you something.- She looked dead serious. Clary wondered of her mother will tell her something useful for change.

- My date was horrible, guy was a total jerk. You have to find yourself a boyfriend, otherwise, you'll be...-

Looks like her mother's date was really awful, when she wanted to remind Clary of her nonexistent love life.

Jocelyn continued her litany with such fervor that someone might think she's telling this to her daughter for the first time, and not fifty-first.

-...be like me. I know that you are an independent young woman, but I want grandkids. And you know that your father...-

Is she practicing this in front of a mirror, or something? Does she have a written text? Maybe from some book? 'How to become a grandma.' maybe, or 'How to get you and your daughter boyfriends' ? Like, every time it's the same old speech. From word to intonation.

-...someone to talk about with your friends, you know? Not that you have any, but that can change to. And sweetie you should stop biting you nails. If you just let me take you to beautician, maybe she could find a way to deal with those freckles of yours...-

That was a new one. Her mother didn't like her freckles, and she wanted her daughter to get rid of hers. Jocelyn got rid of them as soon as she turned eighteen, Clary's grandmother didn't trust those lasers.

Now it was Clary's turn to say something.

- But, Mom..-

- Do not interrupt me. As I was saying, your phone doesn't even have a camera...-

And here we go again. Suddenly she was full of it. So she started ranting.

- Stop it, mom. I love my face and my phone and what if I have a boyfriend, plus, there was a research about increased rate of young people who have killed themselves because of internet and..-

- You have a boyfriend?! Oh, sweetie! I'm so happy. Why didn't you tell me? I have to tell people...I need to meet him. Invite him for dinner. - Suddenly she stopped, suspicious. -Waiit... he's real isn't he? You aren't lying to me, are you?- Typical for her mother, she didn't herd anything after boyfriend.

Did I say I found a boyfriend? Uhuh, I thought don't have... What should I say to her? I can't lie to my mother..

- Of course I'm not lying to you, mom.- Don't blink. Keep it simple. You know what books thought you, Clary. The art of lying. And you mastered it.

-Really? What's his name?- Jocelyn did look less suspicious, but Clary still wasn't free.

-Christhoper.- Good one, Fray. Now, add a little info, just keep it smooth, and simple. - I meet him in school. Now, excuse me, but I really have to pee.

She made a beeline to her destination, leaving her mother to her own thoughts, hoping she would finally leave her alone.


At the same time in the residence of the Herondale men..

.

Please don't make a sound, please. In his mind Jace was begging the wooden floor for the hundred time. It mostly didn't listen to him, it would always creek in the worst possible moment's.

With hope, he stepped on the floor. Not a sound, good. Walking more carelessly now, he did not noticed a single cornflake that, God knows how, materialised in front of him. Not seeing it, he stepped on it and squished it.

Crack!

You know that moment when everything is quiet, and suddenly even the tiniest sound was piercing through your ears?

That's exactly what Jace felt.

And what his father heard.

-Come in, son. I have something to tell you.-

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own TMI.

„Be cool, Jace.” He tried to calm himself. „Your phone is at stake, don't make this situation worse.”

„Hi dad, listen... about the book...” He was standing near the door frame, not really looking at his father.

„Come on in, son. We have matters to discuss.” Stephen's voice was calm, too calm. He sat in his armchair in his stripped pajamas, elbows on armrests and hands interwiend.

„Oh, great. Did he found out? He always acts like a tv show dad when he's pissed at me.”
Jace reluctantly came in. He sat on the couch next to his father's lay-z boy.

„I just ended an interesting conversation I had ... with your professor Starkweather...” Stephen spoke slowly, but fixated a stern look on his son who now had no reason but to look him in the eyes.

„I'm dead. How did than old fool find out?”

„And what he had said to me was quite shocking. He told me he found out that you cheated on the recent chemistry test. And that you weren't alone, that you had help. Apperently you and Alex Lightwood, whom I told you is not a good company too keep, used some pencils and bugs and whatnot.”
His dad's voice started to change, shoving that he didn't have as much control over himself and his temper as he wanted Jace to believe.

I should probably deny everything.

„What? Me, cheating? That old man is crazy! I didn't do that!” But deep inside him, Jace knew he was fighting an already lost battle.

„Jonathan, that man has thaught me so much when I was your age! He was, and still is, a great profesor and a decent man! Do not speak like that about him!” Judging by Stephen's voice, he was ready for a long discusson about the topic.

„Okay, okay dad. Take it easy, what else did the professor say?” jace was becoming tense, he wasn't sure how much did the professor tell his dad.

„That you and that Lightwood kid cheated on a test, Mr. Starkweather then mentioned some tiny bugs and microphones and whatnot, he became quite technical so I lost him for a moment...”

„Starkweather is a hundred years old, I doubt he suddenly became a thech savy which means he was only repeating what someone told him, which means someone told him. Somebody ratted us out.”

„ ... but since the two of us are friends Mr. Starkweather has decided to give you another chance, he won't tell the headmistress you and the Lightwood kid cheated as a favour to me. But, you need to solve the next test 'with flying colors', his words not mine, or he will inform the headmistress. I do hope you are grateful for this, young mister.”

Jace knew fully that what his dad and his chemistry professor did was against the rules. Logically he knew his father was not setting a good example to him by bending the reules to accomodate him. But hey, that was his problem not Jaces'. Which is why Jace had no problem answering his father.

„Of course dad, I'm so gratefull to you. I promise it's never going to happen again, I have learned my lesson.”

„ I don't think you did, boy. Of course, you need to learn that I won't always be there to cushion your falls, you neeed to learn there are consequences to every action. Therefore, I'm prolonging you detention until Christmas Eve. Maybe that will make you actually go out and talk to real people.”

Here he goes again. Stephen Herondale is constantly drinking his sons' blood on a tiny straw from how much he talks about 'the real world' and 'real people'. „ But I am on thin ice currently. Better to say nothing for now.”

„Now about the book I asked you to bring me. I see you are not holding it so I must assume you were unable to find it.”

„ Dad I'm perfectly capable of finding a book in a library.” He tightly squezeed the plain couch cushion his mother loved to restrain himself from yelling at his father.

„Then where is it?”

„ Well, you see, it's recognition number was damaged or something like that so I couldn't get the book. The librarian said to come back in a couple of days when they repare it.”

„ Okay then. From my personal experience I can tell you all libraryians are terribly slow and lazy creatures. Having that in mind, you will go to the library next Saturday and if they have not yet repared it because of how incompetent they usually are you will go to the nearest book store and buy Eragon for me.”

Jace knew resistance was futile so he nodded and excused himself. He needed a shower.

 

„ Clary dear,” Jocelyn said while making their usual Monday dinner, „ I've been thinking.”

„Uh oh.” was her daughters' response. She was working on her homework at their kitchen table.

„ Very funny, like your mother can't think. Anyway, remember how were I told you your boyfriend should come for a dinner soon?” She turned to look at her a bit before moving back to the counter to chop the batat.

Clary wished she could forget about the said 'boyfriend'. She's been trying to think of an excuse or a lie to tell her mother and get out of the mess she got herself into. But all she got was whit noise. No idea. She can't tell her they've broken up fro all she knows they were together for only three days. Joceln will only be more curious if she does that. Telling her he's out of town this weekend will a) make her ask more questions as to why and b) prolong her misery.

„That sound lovely mom, but you see...”

„No you know what? Have Christopher come to our Sunday lunch, I'll make grandma's crepes for desert.”
In a wave of extreme stupidity Clary answered: „ Yea, sure thing, I'll invite him.”

Chapter Text

Walking to the library in her usual fast paced tempo, Clary is trying to remember the correct lyrics to ABBA's Gimme gimme. She can't decide what goes after: „Won't somebody help me... something, something." and then it goes again „Gimme, gimme..." frustrating, truly.

A strong rush of wind takes the song of her mind for a moment and for some strange reason her mind remembers she has a chemistry test soon. She really has to study for it. She's not particularly good at chemistry. That doesn't mean she finds it boring, in fact it's extremely fascinating for her to find how do things work on a tiny level. But if she also has to get grades on it...then it becomes hard to concentrate on it.

She'll find some books on chem in the library, they had a bunch of old text books than nobody touches but her. Those textbooks explained some things so much better than their current ones. Their chemistry teacher, Mr. Starkweather, sometimes put the problems from the books in their tests. And seemingly no on of her classmates has noticed. Those textbooks were a reason she had a four from chem.

Having that in mind, as soon as she entered the building Clary made a beeline for the old books. After requiring two of them she skipped to the fantasy section to take the second part of the Inheritance cycle.

„ Hi Tessa! How's life treating you?" She greeted the librarian who sported a light green cardigan today.

„Hello Clary. Well so far so good I guess. It's been a slow day. Did you read Eragon already? I think that young man will return to take it soon and I'd hate too have to lie to him again."

„Of course I did, have you got no faith in my reading abilities?" She put the books on Tessa's table. „I'm taking these three and returning Eragon."

„ Ah you have a chem test again?" Tessa said while scanning the books.

„ Yeah, as soon as I get home I have to start studying for it, the end of term test is usually tougher than the rest."

„ Starkweather's like that, he was my professor too." Suddenly her phone started ringing -I'm an Englishman in New York- „ Oh, could you please return Eragon to its place? I have too take this."

„Of course, no problem." Clary took the book in question. She noticed that Tess suddenly seemed quite tense. Her hand was tightly clutching her phone.

„ Thank you, good night Clary." She picked up the call and immediately seemed deep in thought.

„Night Tess." With that Clary turned in the direction of the fantasy bookshelves.


At first Jace didn't notice the signs. He was irritated more easily, he was constantly reaching for something and he slept deeper and woke up earlier.

When he told the symptoms too his father Stephen laughed and said it's just withdrawal sickness.

He was suffering from cellphone withdrawal, like some addict. Hilarious.

And so he suffered an entire week without internet. He told his friends he broke his phone, just so they would stop asking questions. Izzy could be such a pain in the ass.

He had so much him to waste during breaks between classes that he even noticed what the Martian was doing. She spent every break alone, her nose in a book or doodling something on various surfaces. And she wore those huge green headphones all the time! It clashed shockingly with her flame-like hair. Watching her became one of his pastimes during lunch breaks.

He also noticed just how many people were on their phones during class. Of course, he used to do that too, no t so long ago. But now he knew how the teachers always knew. Nobody looked at their crotch in the middle of a lesson and smiled.

But Saturday was finally here and if any deity felt mercyfull tonight, he will have his phone returned to him.

The library was as silent as ever. Jace made his way to the librarians table but she was talking animatedly on her phone. Her only acknowledgment of his existence was her pointing in the direction of the fantasy section. Hoping that it meant he was supposed to go there, Jace walked through the maze of bookshelves until he found the fantasy ones. And to his surprise the corridor wasn't empty.

The Martian looked more relaxed than he has ever seen her. She seemed to be focused on the back description of a huge tome. Her hair was in a messy bun, baby hair falling everywhere, and her bag was slowly slipping of her shoulder.

Suddenly it did, but instead of being startled Martian (was her name Clary, or something? ) swung it behind her, simultaneously sitting down, her bag behind her back. She sat turkish style, seemingly not even noticing that she moved, like randomly sitting on the library floor was completely normal.

It startled Jace a bit. She looked so calm, so unperturbed like she never did in school. Usually there was this stiffness in her shoulders, like she was afraid somebody was watching her, judging her. Realizing that in this situation he was that somebody Jace took a step forward and coughed to make himself known. When she didn't acknowledge him and instead turned the book to its first page to read it Jace decided to say something.

„Did you know Mars has its own flag?"

Where did THAT come from? Well he know where did the information come from but that wasn't the point. What was wrong with him? Yes Mars colors were read, green and blue, but what did that had to do with her?

But at least it worked. Clary looked up from her tome and focused her eyes with laser precision on him. There was something akin to fear in her eyes, like she was caught stealing from the cookie jar.

„ I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Let's think of something less disturbing this time.

„ I said that this must not be the most comfortable floor."

„ What?" She angled her head a bit, looking confused, then she added „ What did you really say?"

Might as well be lame and tell her. „ Well, it's stupid really but I asked if you knew that Mars has a flag."

As he expected, she looked at him as if he fell from the aforementioned planet. Not wanting to hear what she had to say he continued. „ You know what? I'll just take Eragon and go."

He found the book and without glancing her way walked to the librarians table. The lady at the table seemed a bit distracted while he checked out the book.

He turned to the exit but stopped after just a few meters. After a silent battle with himself he decided to go see if the Martian was still there. Just to see how badly weirded out she is.

Turns out, she's a bit weird too. When he approached her she was standing up, her bag on her shoulder and without the tome in her hands. She turned to him.

„ I did know Mars has a flag. But I can never remember what colors are on it."

 

Chapter Text

„They are red, blue and green." Came out of Jaces mouth before he could think about a normal response.

„That's cool." Was all she said. She seemed to ponder on something then asked anyway.

„ Did you study for the chem test? I know you had some problems with it."

Jace was immediately alarmed, not exactly realising that she wasn't mocking him, or accusing him. Nobody was supposed to know about him cheating. Alec and him agreed to not to tell anyone, in case somebody blabbed and snitched on them. And Jace suddenly realized somebody must have noticed the bugs or heard them talking about the plan and that someone told them off.

So Jace reacted a bit badly.

„What? What test? Why do you ask?" After a moment he asked : „ Were you the one who snitched on us?" He didn't even register the fact that she wasn't talking about the last test, but the one they have next Monday.

Clary was shocked, Jace just snapped at her out of the blue. She stared at him for a moment when he asked her again.

„Well? Did you? I knew it was someone from class but I didn't want to believe that someone would really be so lame and rat us out to Starkweather. I mean, have some dignity at least. It's not like you have bad grades from chem and need too..."

„Would you stop already?" Clary had enough, this guy shows up, asks her pub-quiz questions and then insults her and accuses her of being a snitch! The nerve. She took a step closer to him, looking straight into his, surprisingly pretty, eyes. „I wasn't even in school that day, I was sick. And you are dumber than I thought if you think I care about who cheats on tests. I stopped caring first year of high school when I noticed you and Lightwood cheating on English lit test for the fifth time."

„Wait, you knew? Has anyone else noticed?" It was Jaces turn to be shocked. He thought Alec and he were extra sneaky.

„Honey, the whole class knows you and Lightwood are rubbish at chem and Eng Lit. You are a bit better at chem and he at Lit but the both of you are still clueless."

Deciding she said enough Clary walked out of the fantasy section and made her way for the entrance. Jace came along and just as she was about to open the door he asked her: „ Will you help me? The test is next Monday and I have no idea what lections will be in the test anyway."

She turned her head around. „ Help you with chem? And why would I do that?"

„Eh, 'cause you are a good person?" but Jace already knew she would not help him. Something in her face said so. I supposed I've earned that. She has no reason to help me.

Clary chose opening the door and getting out without response was a dramatic enough. But when she pressed the door knob it wouldn't budge. She knew the doors were ancient so she tried again, pressing a little harder, but it still refused to move.

The doors were locked.

„Well, shit. It appears the doors are locked."

„Locked? What the hell? Why would the librarian lock us in?" Jace tried prying the door open himself, much harder than Clary. The said redhead was at the time busy calmly clicking on her phone in search of Tessa's phone number.

„What. Is that thing?" he pointed at the old Samsung in her hands.Last time he saw a brick like that one in her hands was at the Technical museum.

„ My phone." She brought the phones to her ear. „Hi, Tess, it's Clary."

„That's not a phone, that is a brick. Who are you calling anyway?"

„The librarian, I have her number." She hissed at him, covering the mic with her unoccupied hand.

„Yes I'm here Tess, listen, I know you didn't mean to but... you locked us in the library. Yeah, I know. Me and Jace Herondale. No he didn't. I'm sorry to hear that. Sure, we'll wait. Oh it's nothing, it happens really. Thanks, bye Tess, see you soon."

„How does one get the librarians number?"

„This is not my first time." Clary came over to the nearest radiator and sat, it was still warm.

„Okaay. So how long will it take the librarian to get here and free us?"

„ She said about forty-five minutes."

Jace plopped on the floor next to her. „ Well, at least now you don't have an excuse to not hep me with chemistry."

She just looked at him. „ Well I'm supposed to study anyway so might as well." She reached into her bag and took out the textbooks.


„See? It's not that hard. All it takes is knowing how to count and how 'far away' on the scale are the megas, gigas and the rest." They were still sitting with their backs to the radiator that was slowly getting cooler so both of them had their jackets on. They were about half a meter away from each other now, but while Clary was explaining the lection Jace was as close to her as it was socially acceptable. She definitely did not notice that he smelled nice. Nope, nuhuh.

„Yeah, okay, it's clearer now." It honestly was. Clary managed to explain

„see, that only took fifteen minutes. Now all you need to do is solve these fifty something problems and that will be a sure three."

„A three? But you have a strong four from chem. How much do you usually study for these?"

„Oh, well... some of us actually listen in class, you know." she looked up at the ceiling where she could see patches of moisture and mold even dough the only light they had was from a near by lamppost.

„Pf, I listen. From time to time. Usually when Starky is telling us one of his stories."

Starkweather often told them stories from his life when 'all was better'. They ranged from 'I once knew this really nice dame' to 'I swam with sharks'.

„ I must be the only person who hats it when he tells these stores." Clary found them pointless delays from lectures. Who cares if you fell from a tree when you were five, Clary fell too, broke her arm and then she had to endure watching her mother flirting with the handsome paramedics. And you don't hear her complaining about that.

Jace chuckled at that. „ they are the only reason I even show up at chem."

they sat in silence for a moment or two.

A stupid question suddenly popped in Clarys head. Her mind decided to ignore the filters and just jump into the unknown territory.

„Jace?"

„Yeah?" he turned his face at her. Moončight reflected on his shocking hair, reminding her of mithril. For a moment she weather or not to tell him that. Deciding to go with her original question she spoke.

„Why do you know so much about Mars?"

it seemed contradictory to her, his knowledge is not something you could find randomly. At least she didn't find articles on Mars flag in any textbook or magazine. Suddenly she remembered a couple of times when Jace would just know the answer to question or give examples during physics. In fact, physics seemed to be the only subject during which he was actively participating.

To Jace that question was an opening for a tricky topic. He knew why he loved Mars. And physics. And astronomy. But... should he tells her that. Stealing one look at her face he found himself conffesing something he never told anyone, his dream.

„I want to go there."

„ To Mars?" Clary felt this was a though subject for him. He said those five words like he was confessing his sins to a priest.

„Yes. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to get off of Earth. I... didn't like it there at the time and... Mars seemed so far away. So foreign, dangerous."

„ So, you want to be an astronaut?" As most kids did, Clary had a phase when she wanted to become an astronaut, She quickly realized anything involving heights was not her cup of tea.

„ Yeah. Actually I was hoping to study engineering or physics and, after making a name out of myself, contact NASA or SpaceX or something." Jace looked sheepish, like he was embarrassed of his dream.

„ At least you have an idea. I myself am as clueless as I ever was."

Noticing that the conversation has dishearted her Jace started a new topic.

„ Martian, when you said this wasn't your first time stuck in a library, what did you mean by that?"

Knowing what he was doing but deciding too play along Clary answered him.

„ I fell asleep in the fantasy section."

Jace burst into laugh. It was so Clary-like to do something like that.

„Did you spent the night?"

Clary stood up, stretching herself, her back were a bit stiff after sitting on a not so warm floor.

„ Almost, my mom came and broke the knob. They fixed it but is was never the same."

„ Your mother sounds like a badass.." Jace stood up too. Noticing how peacefull the old building was.

„She has her moments. Oh my, Tessa should be here any minute. You should take a picture of those problems so you can practice at home."

„Oh, sure." Jace automatically went for his back pocket, reaching for his phone. „ Wait, crap, I don't have my phone on me right now, could you just sent it to me via Facebook or something?"

Just the conversation I was hoping to avoid. Instead of answering him she took one of the pamphlets from Tessa's table and wrote her address on it.

„ Since I don't have any social media, don't ask why, and I know you don't want to be seen with me at school you should just come to my house and I'll give you the books." She calmly handled him the piece of paper.

Jace on the other had, was mildly shocked at what she just said.

„ You don't have social media? How do you... are you..."

„ I said don't ask." Clary really didn't feel like explaining her beliefs to him right now.

„ But how can you live like a caveman?"

That hit a nerve. Clary was just starting to like the guy and he goes and insults her. He knows nothing about her, he has no right to say she lives like a caveman.

Tessa coming in saved both of them from having a conversation in which would both sides surely end up hurt.

Clary listened to Tessa's explanations and apologies halfheartedly, not having the will to do anything.

Jace was more or less the same. He felt the old self hatred coming back in as he watched yet another person who had the potential to be someone important in his life leave. not that he was going to admit to himself that he actually liked Clary.


Ugodan ostatak dana.

Chapter Text

 

Thursday morning

 

„Sooo... can I expect my future son in law at dinner tomorrow night? He better not be late, I've read that is a sign of a lack of character...or was it poor time management?” Clary's mother asked her that morining over breakfast.

 

Clary almost choked on her cereal. It was Friday and a week has passed since Jace and her were locked in the library. They haven't said a word since. Oh, he tried to corner her in the hall way but she just slapped him. She didn't mean to! She wasn't naturally violent, it's just that as soon as he opened his mouth she had the strangest urge to smack his face. So she did, not really thinking before it. That was on Tuesday, it seemed he got the message because he didn't even look at her on Wednesday. Which was what she wanted. Kind of. Not really. Alright maybe deep down she wanted to talk to him.

You should probably try to say something today. Think of it as an olive branch. Say something witty and smart about Mars, for example.” Said one part of her brain.

 

Yeah cause we are soo good at being witty and cool while talking about something we love. Remember last time?” Said the other part.

 

„Yeah I think it was both lack of character and of poor time management.That was what the magazine said. Well actually it's this nice little blog I'm following. They have cute little knitting tutorials.” continued Jocelyn, not noticing her daughter didn't answer her questions.

 

„Mhmm.” Mumbled Clary.

 

Is that you practicing witty answers Clary?” Her thoughts said.

Shut up brain.” Clary made a face like she was actually responding to a person. She usually manages to restrain from facial response while talking with herself but this time she didn't even realize. But her mother, surprisingly, noticed.

 

„What is it? Are you choking on a cornflake again?” She squinted at her daughter.

 

„No, mom, not this time.”


 

He got a four. Only one point more and he would have had a five. This was awesome. Now if he just keeps this up and doesn't get a one next semester he might just pass chem.

 

And it was all because Clary gave him some pointers.

 

Clary.

 

He tried to talk to her. But she slapped him for no good reason. Not wanting another slap he hasn't spoken to her in two days. She was still upset about something. So until she cools down he is not going to speak to her.

But he wouldn't mind if she sped up the with the deupsetting, if that was even a word. It probably wasn't. Jace found himself thinking about their library conversation quite often in the past week.

 

And it turns out his dad wanted him to get Eragon just so Jace could read it. His dad lite ral ly quizzed him on each chapter. Insane.

 

Maybe he should be the bigger man and just apologize to Clary?

Suddenly that seemed like the best idea in history.

 

Maybe he could even make it up to her somehow? But what to do?

His s elf proclaimed genius m ind gave him the perfect response.

 

He'll take her out on a library date. He'll get her number from the librarian and then he'll take her out. A friendly date. No one else has to know. They could argue over books they had to read for school. He could tell her that he actually didn't find some of them as boring as everyone claimed they were. Not that Jace read them gladly, no that would be too much. But there was a book or two he didn't fall asleep over. Maybe they could even discuss problems of terraforming Mars. But that would be a bit much.


 

Friday night

„Clary dear, which one should I wear?”

 

Jocelyn was in the middle of their living room, wearing only her fluffy lime green bathrobe. She was holding two dresses for Clary too see.

Person in question was sprawled on their couch re a ding. Since the chapter she was currently on was rather uninteresting, she decided too indulge her mother.

I thought you threw out the polka dot one. You said it makes you look too mom-like.”

 

She expected on of her mother's usual outfits. Not the relat ivel y con servati ve and quite covered mom-dresses.

 

„Well then that's the perfect one for tonight.” Jocelyn said and went back to her room.

 

Clary debated whether to ask her mother what she was talking about but she didn't really had the energy to do so. She just let her mother be.

 

„So when did Christopher said he will arrive? Because I have too get the potatoes out right on time so that they are crispy and warm.”

 

Oh no. I forgot to tell her.

 

Listen, mom...” Clary stood up and came closer to her mother who just came out of her room dressed in the polka dot dress and minimal make up.

 

And then the bell rang.


Thursday evening

 

„Why not?”

 

Jace was standing before the librarians table. He came to get Clary's number so he could apologize. But the damn librarian outright refused to give it too him. Somethi ng about p rivacy policy. Like he's going to kill Clary if she gave him her number. He wanted to ask her out! On a simple friendly date of course.

 

I'm sorry young man, but that is personal information of our customer and i cannot give it to you like it's nothing.” Tessa's face was as firm as stone.

 

„ Please miss. I really need it.” Jace was not above using his puppy eyes when the situation called for it.

 

What is so important that it can't wait for Monday morning?” the librarian must have spent some time in UK because she sounded slightly British when she said that.

 

„Well it would be a lousy date if we went on a school night.”

 

She gave him a look. „ If you are her boyfriend how is it that you don't have her phone number?”

 

Jace blinked at that. Him and Clary? The idea was not exactly repulsive. „I'm not her boyfriend. Yet.”

 

At that she seemed to warm up a bit. Just a bit more persuasion and he will have Clary's number.

I planned to take her here in fact. She obviously likes it here and is more relaxed around books.”

 

The woman squinted a bit. „ You do know that the library doesn't work till next Tuesday, right?”

 

„Oh, you're kidding me.” he sighted.

 

She shook her head no. „And don't even think about taking her here tomorrow. Two of my other colleagues are working the evening shift and they demand absolute silence in the library. They are not going to tolerate you two talking and flirting and the like.” She smiled a bit.

 

„Okay, so we'll wait a week and go on a date next Friday. Can you still, please, give me her number?” He didn't want to risk talking to her at school. Over the phone the worst she could do to him was hang up or ignore him.

 

Her mind made up she said: „ I can give you something better. I'm not supposed to do this so please don't kill her or rape her otherwise we are both going to end up in jail. But I'm willing to give you her address. She rarely answers her phone.” She took a post it and scribbled the address down.

 

„Great, wow, thank you so much.” Jace took the post it and turned to the exit.

 

„Jace?” Tessa called after him.

 

„Yeah?” he turned around to face her again.

 

„Don't you dare hurt her. She's a wonderful girl.” She said with a slightly warning tone.

 

He looked her in the eye. „I'll try not too.”


Friday evening

 

„Oh, is that him? Finally!” Jocelyn almost flew to open the doors.

Clary's insides turned to stone. Suddenly she became aware of rubatosis. Even before she saw who was at the door she knew it wasn't going to be good.

 

Good evening ma'am. I Clary here?”

 

Yup, no good at all. What the hell is he doing here?

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

„ Of course she's here dear. I'm Jocelyn, it's so nice to finally meet 's told me nothing about you but I can't wait to find out. Do come on in don't just stand there. Dinner's almost ready. I hope you..." She got into explaining the full contents of their dinner while Jace looked more lost with ever passing minute. Deciding pleasantness was always a good defense while dealing with a parent he said:

„You must be Clary's mother, pleasure to meet you."

„So polite!" She exclaimed and went on, with no obvious intent on stopping anytime soon. „So glad you didn't went for the I-thought-you-were-her-sister scheme. That is such a cliche."

Now that Jace had a moment to really inspect the situation he found himself in he noticed how it was a bit odd. Jocelyn seemed too think that if she stopped talking everything would fall apart and he would escape like a haunted animal. Clary, on the other hand, looked like she was on the verge of passing out. She wore a shirt that was too big on her and these ridiculous fluffy green socks. Above all else her facial expression was a mixture between Earth please swallow me hole and Is this a nightmare? , which would have been funny if that were not Jace's precise thoughts. Things were not progressing the way he wanted them too. Way too many questions and not nearly enough answers. How did Clary knew he was going to her place to see her?

Jocelyn was talking a mile an hour.

Jace was looking at Clary. And Clary wondered how was it possible to fell your heart beating in your chest so hard and not have a heart attack. For what seemed like an eternity she could only hear her heartbeat. Then she noticed Jace looking worriedly at her and she was thrown back to Earth.

Her mother was still talking.

Even Jocelyn noticed the strange energy that filled their tiny hallway. But in her nervousness for meeting her daughter's first ever boyfriend she shrugged it off as them being embarrassed by her enthusiasm. Wanting to be a cool parent she decided now was the perfect time to get the potatoes out and give the two lovebirds some time.

„I'm so glad you finally came for dinner Christopher."

She started turning around when she noticed his confused face. She stopped on her tracks and stared at


Jace's evening just became much worse. Just as he was about to ask the how's and why's Jocelyn dropped a bombshell on him.

Turns out Clary already has a boyfriend.

But wait, she's shaking her head no behind her mother's back. What the hell could she mean with that?

Without thinking Jace took and uncharacteristic leap of faith. Hoping he didn't translate Clary's movements wrongly he said, looking between the mother and her daughter.

„Ma'am, my name is not Christopher, it's Jace. Well it's Johnathan and my middle name is Cristopher but that really isn't important right now." He was just about to say something when Clary found her voice again.

„I lied to you mom, there was never any Cristopher. I made him up so you would leave me alone." She already saw the look of hurt on her mother's face and and when she thought the worst has passed...

„So you're not her boyfriend?" Jocelyn berated herself for getting her hopes up. Maybe she could have been more observant of her daughter.

„No, he's not."

„No, not yet. Unless she wants me too be."

One of those answers made Jocelyn incredibly happy. Looking between both of them she withdrew from the room barely containing her happiness. Her daughter was having boyfriend drama. Maybe now the two of them will finally have something too talk about. She loved her daughter but that kid was always in it's own world, not realizing that the real one was just as magical sometimes. The first thing she was going to ask that complicated daughter of hers was where the hell did she find such a cute boyfriend? You can't find a boy like that by being in the library all day and night.


„What are you doing here?" Clary came closer to Jace and hissed at him. She couldn't believe what was happening. Jace looked her straight in the eye.

„Well I came here to tell you something but your mother made me stop beating around the bushes and actually say what was on my mind."

Clary had to take a step back. „You actually meant that?" What the hell was she doing? every instinct of hers was telling her to just pretend this never happened and turn around. She was actually scared of his answer.

Jace took a step closer, close enough to see each and every one of her freckles. The evening took a turn for the better. Even if it was a totally unexpected one.

„Yes I did."


A year later

Jace suddenly felt somebody put hands on his eyes. He was in the fantasy section of the library, debating between two a classic and a new release.

„ Guess who?"

He turned around and embraced the person. He looked down into the green eyes that he has grown to know and love so much.

„My favorite Martian."

Clary giggled at that. „ My favorite astronaut." Standing on her toes she kissed him.

The heard a groan from Tessa's table. „ Are you two kissing again? Why did I even want you two to be together? Nobody normal wants to have a date in the library."