January 4th 2039 - Location : Unspecificied
A fine filmy drizzle streamed steadily down as the last days of winter fizzled out to begin ushering in an anticipated spring, the shimmery sun about to make its way down to its abode over the far horizon.
Somewhere in the distance, the faint chirping of birds drifted through, dancing on wisps of a light breeze, still fairly cool, even refreshing. A gurgling brook shone in its lonely path down in between sporadic sets of fir trees and other accompanying foliage.
From seemingly thin air, out lunged a snarling drooling Werewolf, completely turned, its feral eyes gleaming ethereally emerald, claws unsheathed. The male grey Downworlder then stood swaying unsteadily, alone - unusual for Werewolves who were always with a Pack member of their own.
A few steps behind him came a young Shadowhunter, rushing over then coming to an abrupt halt; brandishing a glittering Seraph blade, with an uncommon insignia on its hilt, an apparent combination of both the Warlocks' and Shadowhunters' ones. An intricately carved bow and quiver of runed arrows was securely strapped across his broad back. He stood slightly hunched over in a defensive crouch, his form surprisingly tall, aura authoritative and presence one of dominance.
His eyes were an astounding gleaming pair of feline gold orbs, framed by curly dark lashes; his brows thick and dark like his hair, which curled rather charmingly behind his ears. A complexion of tanned peaches and cream peeked through in between segments covered with various runes - all drawn by his siblings and parents themselves. Lips pressed together beneath an aristocratic nose, chin tucked in as he gazed unerringly at his target.
They both stood there, simply breathing quite harshly, neither moving a muscle otherwise.
"Mika!" The sudden call shattered the enforced hush of their surroundings.
Startled out of his reverie, the feral Werewolf's wild eyes jerked towards the origins of the voice, just as another Shadowhunter dashed up to the first.
In the split second it took for both young men to nod at each other, the Werewolf reached out both of his arms towards the newly-arrived Shadowhunter, his dangerous claws approaching his target's vulnerable neck menacingly.
"Down, Ray!" 'Mika' yelled out urgently as he drew an arrow from his quiver and aimed it high up - straight into the semi-cloudy afternoon sky - his movements lightning quick, evident of years of practice.
'Ray' had reflexively obeyed even as his companion had first grasped the arrow, and curled his lithe frame into a self-protective crouch, hunkering down into a squat - his own set of bow and arrows which he'd held in both hands pulled in close to his torso. He ducked his dark head into his own chest - just in time to avoid being slashed by the attacking Werewolf's long curved claws.
"Mika, Ray! What -" a young female Shadowhunter had appeared some distance behind 'Ray', her Seraph blade drawn out at the ready.
"Sophie, get down!" A second young woman cried out, both of her arms thrown out to drape over the first, pulling her down into a defensive posture closer to the ground - both heads of beautifully done up dark braids pressed together.
With a low whistle and a loud whooshing sound, Mika's arrow split neatly into four separate parts, each dispersing into various directions, lobbing high up into the air then curving downwards to stab themselves into the soft earth below - forming a magical glimmering shield around the four young Shadowhunters.
Slashing wildly - unsuccessfully - at the new impenetrable barrier, his claws bouncing off it and driving him even wilder, the Werewolf then attempted to break it down by throwing himself against it - only to bounce comically off its side and get thrown off with his body's own momentum, crashing haphazardly into a nearby hedge of bushes, emitting a series of enraged whines. He tried getting up but his fur appeared to be caught within the bushes' brambles, and so he gave up and sat there gnashing his fangs, howling intermittently in frustration.
"Whoa there, Jason, look at that! An actual feral Wolf!"
"What in Raziel's name - Jonas, stay away from him! Don't move a muscle."
"Rayan, you cheated, you can't use that on me, I'm your Parabatai, I need to protect you, man!"
Three new male Shadowhunters appeared on the scene - all with Parabatai runes etched out on their inner forearms - all coming to a startled stop when they spotted the struggling Werewolf partially entangled in the bushes nearby.
A cacophony of raucous laughter floated from within the shield - a Warlock's inborn skill - the merry sounds muffled from the barrier's effect. All four young warriors within were laughing their heads off; both ladies clutching each other's hands, Mika with one large hand patting Ray's upper back rather proprietarily, while Ray hung onto his strong arm with one hand, his other pressed to muffle his own gleeful chuckles.
With dapper snaps of fingers of both hands, Mika disintegrated his shield - and his arrow reshaped itself onto the ground in front of him. Ray reached down and retrieved it as he stood straight up, coming shoulder to shoulder with Mika, relinquishing the arrow to its owner, then turning towards his Parabatai, joining him with swift strides.
"Sorry, Ethan, didn't mean to upset you," Rayan spoke up contritely even as he was enveloped into a familiar bear hug from his partner.
"Nope, partly my fault for not being quick enough to follow your lead," Ethan replied with a self-deprecating shake of his dark blond head, both young men trading knowing smirks, linking their Parabatai-runed forearms and briefly pressing their foreheads together - clear cornflower blue eyes locking with intriguing hazel feline ones - their movements seasoned and fluid.
"Well excuse yourselves in front of your Parabatai-less leader, why don't you?!" Mika huffed quite indignantly, his golden cat eyes betraying the fond gleam within, his lips curving into a gorgeous grin at the display right before him.
"Oh come off it, big bro, we know you know how much hero worship you 'suffer', eh Nads?" Sophie scoffed smartly, nudging 'Nads' at the elbow, earning herself a cheerful wink in return.
"Nothing wrong with a little taste of Parabatai PDA, huh Parabatai?" Jonas lobbied cheekily at Jason, who responded with a fuzzily fond chuckle, shooting Mika apologetic glances.
Mika was leveling all six of his companions with his trademark death glare - eerily similar to his Dad's - then waved his right hand in a nonchalant manner - an exact replica of his Papa's - gesturing commandingly at the still struggling Werewolf.
"Do your thing, Ray-ray," he uttered triumphantly, resulting in yet another round of mirth erupting from five of his brethren - the sixth sputtering in indignant disbelief, arms already in motion to carry out Mika's command.
With a whistling whoosh, Rayan's arrow surged through the air and embedded itself into the wriggling Werewolf's right calf - howls of enraged agony rose from him, even as he began the painful process of turning back into his human form - tendrils of a Warlock's magic spell unleashing from the enchanted arrow, weaving up his leg to spread throughout his body.
A young tanned naked man now lay exhausted amongst the bushes, his lower body covered in clumps of foliage, brown eyes clear for the first time in hours, gazing at the group of gathered Shadowhunters in gratitude.
"Thank you, Chosen Ones," he gushed, then brushed away his stream of tears. "I'm so sorry, Sir Daniel, I didn't mean to - Sir Rayan, you're not hurt, are you?! I didn't -"
"No, Anton, you didn't, I'm fine, thank you," Rayan swiftly reassured the trembling young man, smiling kindly as he approached him to remove the arrow, gesturing at Sophie to follow him with one crooked forefinger and a familiar wink.
Sophie rushed over at his bidding, her own pretty hazel cat eyes glowing fondly within her creamy peach countenance. Using her left thumb, she pressed onto the gorgeous green opal encrusted on the intricately carved adamas ring adorning her right middle forefinger - revealing a fine golden powder stored within the opal's resting perch, the opal supported by tiny springs made from amazingly adaptable adamas. She then hovered her ring above the Werewolf's sluggishly bleeding leg, nodding at Rayan to carry out his task.
"Deep breath now, this will hurt," Rayan warned a split second before pulling his arrow free with one swift strong tug, his left hand applying necessary pressure above the deep gash. The Werewolf was distracted by how his rescuer's runed golden skin seemed to glow ethereally as viewed through his blurry vision.
Howls of pain shot through the darkening skies, as Sophie quickly pinched a tiny amount of the golden powder and sprinkled it liberally over the Werewolf's wound, her rosy lips uttering a Warlock's incantation, and the torn flesh and skin repaired itself in mere seconds.
"My turn now, Anton, we're sorry for having to subject you to all this, and for laughing at your fall into these bushes earlier," 'Nads' gushed quite endearingly, her glittering golden feline eyes fixed onto Anton's pain-glazed ones. He shook his head vehemently and returned her sweet smile, a new film of tears welling up at the kindness given him.
Her deft hands had already pulled out her peridot pendant from where it perched on its adamas chain, hanging prettily from her slender golden-skinned nape. Once again Anton was struck by how otherwordly these four Shadowhunters appeared to be. They were all runed, yes, yet all had mesmerizing feline eyes - traits of born Warlocks.
As she gently and carefully tilted his head back and angled her pendant so that a few drops of clear liquid dripped into the back of his throat, Anton thought that all the glossy pictures depicting the famed Lightwood-Bane children did them little justice indeed.
They were much more iridiscent and charming in person, each one as attractive and gorgeous as their siblings, bearing some resemblance to one another in various ways. Anton gulped down the sweet nectar, and relished the warming sensation as it took its effect.
"That neutralizes the Seelie's potion you were given last night," explained 'Nads' or Naomi Nadia Lightwood-Bane as he knew her to be.
"Thank you, Lady Naomi, Lady Sophia," he called out in a tremulous tone, head bowed in respect.
With a friendly pat on his arm, Naomi rose and walked back to where her siblings stood with their friends in a semi-circle.
Daniel Mikael Lightwood-Bane stepped forward and offered Anton his own trench coat - an expensive looking leather one - grinning slightly mischievously. Anton stared briefly at it, his mouth half open to form a polite refusal, only to pause at the twinkle in Daniel's golden cat eyes - rendering Anton quite speechless, pinned by Daniel's focused gaze - friendly yet firm.
"Cover yourself up huh Anton; I really don't like it when my little sisters are exposed to other men's 'assets' - not that I expose them to mine, mind you - Papa would most likely smite me with a snap of his fingers, before Dad gets to unleash one of his killer death glares on me, Ray-Ray would never -"
He never finished his rambling sentence, as Naomi's menacing staff whacked him smartly across his shoulders - not quite as sharply or strongly as usual - just enough to stop his tittering tirade, causing him to throw his head back in delighted laughter.
Anton hastened to pluck the proffered trench coat from Daniel's jerky hands and hurriedly threw it over himself as he struggled to a shaky stand, tying the belt tight around his waist, the coat's length trailing on the sandy ground, being a bit too long for his 5 foot 5 inched frame.
"Again with that childish nickname! I'm already 20, Mikael, I'd appreciate it if you kindly used my birth given name, Dad chose it for me -"
"Okay, alright, I'm sorry, Rayan Damon, dearest baby brother of mine -" mumbled dutifully as Daniel engulfed the object of his current affections in an obnoxiously tight pacifying hug, exchanging knowing grins with Ethan.
Ethan Benedict Herondale shook his dark blond head, dusky blue eyes glittering with mirth. Authoritative captain of their team he may be, yet Daniel never passed up a chance to tease his siblings mercilessly - it was his way of sharing his deepseated familial love - and they all adored him endlessly for it.
Standing to Ethan's right, Jonas Manuel Hawkeye-Silverstream exchanged gleeful looks of his own with his Parabatai of 3 years, having exchanged their vows at the age of 15. Both he and partner Jason Miguel Whitecrane-Goldstone had been best friends since they were still in diapers; their parents having been longtime close comrades.
Running his hand through his honey-brown loose curls, Jason's attractive amber eyes twinkled as he returned his Parabatai's happy gaze. He was struck by the sudden surge of increased endorphins within his inner being, when Jonas stared deep into his eyes, their shared feelings apparently mutual, though neither young man ever dared to voice any of it out in the open.
Now Jason's golden complexion was gradually darkening into a becoming blush, which he tried desperately to cover by fiddling with his adamas-framed glasses with both hands, fingers trembling slightly in his anxiety.
Cerulean eyes brilliantly crinkling within his tanned peachy cream complexion, Jonas shook his head of dark wavy hair ruefully, one strong hand reaching up to grasp his dear Parabatai's nearest one, only to slowly yet surely bring it to his own rapidly beating heart. They both stared at each other for several heartbeats, a sudden hush befelling their surroundings.
"Ahem, do excuse yourselves, you pair of lovebirds; hm, Jonas, see I made a pun there, since your name means Dove doesn't it; we really need to get back to the Institute 'cause it's getting dark, before Dad sends out a search party or Papa gets Grandpa Luke to head one of his own -"
"For Raziel's sake, Mika, please don't turn your incessant teasing on J2M huh, it's bad enough -" Ethan began with his cornflower eyes scrunched up comically - much like his Dad's - even as he flung both arms dramatically into the air - like his Mom was wont to do in times of exasperation.
"Do excuse all this drama, Anton, it's pretty normal stuff and goings-on, you know; it's how we relieve ourselves from all that stress," Naomi was explaining helpfully to a bewildered blinking Anton, who tilted his dark head to one side in apparent acquiscence, huge eyes fixed upon the 5 now socially squabbling young men in the middle of seemingly nowhere.
From her position next to Naomi, Sophia Serena's slender frame fairly vibrated in her miserable attempts to contain herself - only to end up squealing in sheer delight, skipping in place and gripping onto her big sister's - only 2 months older - shoulders and shaking them quite vigorously.
"I knew it, all along! They love each other, Nads, like, love-love you know -"
"Benedict, a little help, if you could, please, thank you! I can't get to my stele when I'm being shaken like this!"
"Ah ha, shaken not stirred, my darling Nadia?!" An errant Daniel sprouted with a gleaming golden-eyed twinkle - Rayan covered his eyes with one hand in his secondhand embarrassment.
"20th century literary classics are not meant to be wilfully quoted like that, Mikael, and you so know it, so stop -" Jonas was working himself up into a frenzy, cerulean eyes wide in his self-righteous tirade, only refraining from launching himself at their fearless leader by virtue of his beloved Jason's warm hand still pressed onto his chest - though now in a placating manner above all else.
"Now, now, Jon, you're a sweet guy, hm, don't let Mika ruffle your feathers -" Jason began, only to pause thoughtfully, then wince ruefully, as -
"Oh ho, I ruffled his feathers, did I really - not such a symbol of peace now are you, mi amigo Jonas, dove that you are hm -" Daniel Mikael was on a veritable roll - even Anton snorted at that one, then hastily covered his mouth with both hands at Rayan's indignant glance.
"Daniel Mikael, that's quite enough out of you-"
"Now, Ben, thanks ever so -" Naomi threw out, her arms struggling to contain the force of nature that was a shrilly squealing Sophia Serena.
"Anton, hold on to someone - not either of the girls, mind, Uncle Magnus will turn you into some hideous life form rarely seen in all the Realms, if either of his princessas were touched without their explicit consent - " With a flurry of quick sure moves, Ethan Benedict drew out a gleaming golden Portal rune and activated it with a push of his free hand, opening up a golden gate - beyond was the foyer of the New York Shadowhunters' Institute.
"Don't think this is the end of things here, Mikael, Papa will get a full detailed report from me, I'll be sure to include all that you've said while Anton was still trapped in those bushes -" Rayan Damon declared decisively, offering an arm for said Werewolf to grasp on to in an almost absentminded gesture.
"You need to hold on to one of us to be able to use our Portals properly - Lord Raziel only knows where you might end up if not, being an unauthorized user," Jason explained to a puzzled Anton in kind polite tones, earning a happy nod of understanding in return.
With a bevy of footfalls they all trudged through the Portal, stepping out onto the tastefully furnished foyer of the acclaimed New York Institute.
Right in front of a handsome pair of all too familiar beings - a tall strapping domineering Head Shadowhunter and his dazzling gorgeous (grand) High Warlock husband.
Struck dumb, quite literally, by the appearance of the pair of parents before them, all four Lightwood-Bane siblings instantly changed their demeanours - morphing into their parents' children before Anton's bewildered starstruck eyes.
"Papa -" both Daniel and Naomi looked at a deceptively serene Magnus pleadingly, seeking to confide in their Sire father, pausing at the raising of his right forefinger, wedding bangle swinging slightly ominously, even if his penetrating golden gaze held a little twinkle within. He had already detected no injuries or harm of any sort having come to his precious children or their faithful companions.
"Dad -" Rayan and Sophia both aimed their beseeching doe-eyed gazes up at their strict Sire parent, whose wide hazel eyes were sweeping all over the seven Chosen Ones and their rescued Werewolf - who now stood straight upright at attention, in deference to the presence of Alexander Gideon Lightwood-Bane, Head of the New York Institute and Advisor of Alicante, and his husband Magnus, the Grand High Warlock of New York himself, as well as Advisor of the Alliance of Chosen Ones.
"One at a time, please, starting with Captain Daniel Mikael, then down the line, as usual," Alec instructed in a clear, no-nonsense tone - glancing briefly at his husband, who caught the glimmer of a twinkle in those gorgeous hazel orbs; Alec was the beloved Bearer of their charmingly cheerful Daniel, after all -
"Begin and end in brief, concise reports, please - you're all nearly 2 hours late in your return; Magnus had to fend off Luke's pack when they all appeared here at our very doorstep, demanding to go to your rescue, while I've had to deal with waterborne messages from the Seelie Queen, asking about Jason's well-being - I've never been comfortable speaking casually to any body of water, much less that pond full of ducks in our backyard -"
"Now now, Alexander dear -"
"Ducks, Magnus! 11 of them now, there were only 7 at first - you know how Jace feels about them - and it's been eating at me for over 20 years now!"
"It's a side effect of being Parabatai, darling, you know that -"
As the esteemed couple conversed in hushed tones in deference to their youthful audience, a smiling Jonas turned to Anton - who looked as if stars had fallen out of the now night sky and embedded themselves in his eyes; such was his awe of the spectacle before him.
"Well Anton, don't you worry, you're all sorted out now - Great Uncle Magnus will conjure up some food and clothes for you - soon as he's calmed Great Uncle Alec down. Just another day for us here at the New York Institute!"