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Hunter's Bane

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Hunter’s Bane

A Teen Wolf/Shadowhunters Crossover

By Sif Shadowheart

 

Chapter One: Not So Mundane After All

“Oh, what the fuck?”  Derek Hale, twenty-two-year-old college student in his final year of pre-Law at Columbia and wolf shifter of the Hale Pack of Beacon Hills, groaned as he caught sight of the absolute last thing he wanted to see in the Shadow World club of Pandemonium. 

As a place where everyone and anyone could mix and mingle from mundanes to Downworlders to Shadowhunters to those who dwelt in and between those theoretical – but still very real and present – lines, he could imagine quite a few things going on in the club.  But on a night out to relax after his latest battery of finals before his final final the next week with his best friend and boyfriend, it was safe to say that he wasn’t excited to see his sponsor to the New York Pack – werewolves, not shifters – step-daughter linking arms with a damn demon and waltzing back into a semi-private area of the club.

Not least because she was mundane but also that she was literally only just turned eighteen if he remembered Luke’s rants about Clary Fray growing up and turning into a legal adult.

His boyfriend, a vampire from the Dumort Clan named Raphael who he’d met in this very club last year, both of them keeping their relationship very much a secret except from their closest friends or companions who they could trust not to out them to their various authority figures who weren’t likely to approve of their particular brand of cross-species diplomacy, leaned down in concern at his curse.

Luke was great, his pack…not so much.  But a wolf was a wolf.  Derek needed somewhere to run and someone to run with more often than his quarterly trips home so he had to deal with a flavor of prejudice that hadn’t managed to take hold in little Beacon Hills.

Mainly because the warlock who once claimed protection over the town and the surrounding forestlands was more likely to fry someone for it than look the other way but that was a whole ‘nother subject, even before most of those responsibilities had been turned over to Derek’s older brother Darius several years before when Sheriff Stilinski retired and Stiles wasn’t bound as firmly to keep watch over the town any longer.

“What is it, love?”  Raphael asked, even as Derek leaned over in turn and tapped his best friend Stiles lightly on the arm and pointed out the issue.

Stiles was his best friend for a reason and a lot of them have to do with his kind heart and accepting nature that never looked down on him despite the very real difference in their ages – even if Derek didn’t know about that part until he was old enough to keep the secret about Stiles’s heritage and the burden of years that came along with it.

The rest of it was that he was a mixture of smarts, snark, and sass wrapped in ivory skin and a pretty face that fooled more than one person over the years since they became friends, getting them both in and out of trouble, the pair of them under the teachings of his mentor able to sum up a situation in an instant and that was before Stiles’s own experiences came into play.

And Clary had clearly stumbled face first into some capital-T Trouble as, if the demon wasn’t enough the trio of Shadowhunters easy for anyone with a bit of Sight to spot thanks to their angelic runes they tended to plaster all over themselves, were that extra spice in the stew to make things really fun.

“Oh, what the fuck?”  Stiles complained, deadly pout already forming.  He may have forever – literally – to find time to relax but Derek didn’t.  Enjoying time with the few people he allowed inside his formidable defenses was one of the only upsides to life as an immortal warlock.  Aside from the whole magic thing anyway.  And the wealth that naturally followed with time to build a portfolio.  Watching those he cared for die over and over and over again on the other hand was the rather massive downside.  Noah was the last of his mortal relations and he was not looking forward to that day when it inevitably came as it always did.  And he may have been a bit…manic over the years as a result regarding the former-sheriff’s health and safety, at times to hilarious or heartbreaking results.  “Seriously?  Our one free night in the middle of finals hell and she finds trouble?”

“At least it’s not bullies or muggers this time.”  Derek decided philosophically.  “The Shadowhunters will take care of it.”

The low snarl that Stiles made wasn’t nearly so forgiving, his whiskey-amber-brown eyes flashing gold for a split second certain to be waved off in a mixed club like Pandemonium as the very aura of the place encouraged mundanes to be even more oblivious than they were already to what went bump in the night.

“Go get your car.”  He all-but-ordered, Derek sighing and kissing Raphael goodbye with apologies written all over his face but when Stiles got that tone it was better to go with the flow and save the argument.  It wouldn’t do any good anyway.  “I’ll go rescue Cinderella before the Nephilim turn her into a pumpkin.” 

He grumbled over it, tossing back his last remaining tequila shot before wandering over in his limited-edition Iron Man converse hi-tips to put himself in a strategic position to nab Clary when she inevitably bolted or the Shadowhunters muscled her out of the private “room” hidden behind drapes in the club.

Times like this he wouldn’t mind using a bit of magic or a rune to remain unseen until he wanted to be unseen but keeping a low profile was the name of the game when playing mundane and out of Shadow World politics so he’d abstain – for the moment – as he’d been doing save for in the warded apartment he shared with Derek.

Warlocks and magic had a relationship not unlike human bodies and blood and one just as necessary to survive.  Though in the case of magic, they didn’t have a system for filtering it or preventing too much build up like blood did.  No, Warlocks had to handle all of that themselves, and the most powerful were known to be show-offs often for that reason: they had to use their magic, sometimes on a near-constant basis, if they didn’t want it to overflow and cause massive harm to themselves or others.

And the less said about tainted magics and cleansing rituals the better.

Been there, done that, wished a t-shirt was all he’d gotten.

Maybe classic blood-red with black writing that said: Demonic Shenanigans: Ruining Warlock Lives Since Creation.

Stiles scanned over the crowd, clocking the mundane girl’s friends over at the bar as well as a warlock who he’d do well to avoid. 

Most warlocks weren’t anything so simple to dismiss as bad or evil despite their demonic roots, he knew that better than anyone.  Even so, many of them could be opportunistic or prone to cause chaos if bored and he’d rather not borrow additional trouble.  The warlock community tended to be close-knit, which was a positive.  It also tended to play power games among its own as well as the rest of the Shadow World and it was only where he’d been born and grown and lived out most of his years so far that he’d stayed off the radar until he got good enough at controlling his power to keep his head down away from Beacon Hills, and he had no intention of ruining all of that work because of an idiotic teenager.

Almost on cue Clary came bolting out from the drapes, every inch of her screaming that she’d seen too much and her brain was on the verge of exploding – poor little mundane baby – looked like the Shadowhunters weren’t playing around at the moment, one of them even staring after the copper-haired girl as she ran through the club, blind to her path and shouldering into the warlock Stiles wanted to avoid.

And oh he didn’t like the look on Mr. Too-Handsome’s face at all.  Say what some like about warlocks, that one either had a dab hand with glamors or his parentage was exceptional in the looks department.  Not all of their kind were so lucky, though Stiles hadn’t done poorly on that score himself.

Before the girl could good totally good on her escape, Stiles darted forward while she was discombobulated from running into the warlock – and whatever about him that had freaked her out when nothing should’ve since his warlock’s Mark was hidden even to someone like Stiles who was looking and had power to back up his Sight – swinging his arm around the girl’s thin shoulders and steering her firmly out of the club even as Clary started in surprise and started to babble, leaving the girl’s friends calling out to her behind them.

“Stiles?  What-?  What’s going on?”  Clary babbled, completely freaked out and just done over what had to be a hallucination.

She swore she was losing her mind.

Especially since she’d seen the guy dozens of times since Stiles and Derek had come to New York for school and the latter had been kinda-sorta taken under her stepdad’s wing, and she’d never known that Stiles had tattoos.

Especially not ones that were in that same odd script she’d been seeing all over the place and drawing absently in margins and inside other drawings that glowed silver on his neck.

If he had others, she couldn’t tell as even though Pandemonium was a dance club and Stiles was clearly sweating from the heat of all the bodies, his tight red knit shirt covered him from the base of his neck to his wrists though – she frowned even more confused – she thought there might be another tattoo or two peeking out from inside his sleeves on the back of one or both hands.

“I don’t know.”  Stiles told her firmly even as he picked up the pace as he clocked additional trouble once they cleared the club – and not just from tall-blond-and-built with the Shadowhunters.  “Here’s Derek,” she sighed in relief at the sight of the black Camaro.  “C’mon, let’s get you home.  You might’ve been slipped something if you’re this freaked out and your mom will probably want to take care of you.”

While Stiles was manhandling Clary into the backseat of Derek’s car, he traded a look with the shifter.

They needed to get Clary to Jocelyn.

And if the looks the girl was casting at Stiles’s neck and hands were any sign, that conversation was going to be anything but simple.

Seeing through a glamor was one thing, any mundane with a bit of the Sight could manage that.

Seeing through a glamor like the one on Stiles’s Runes that was supposed to hide them from all sight was a different thing entirely.

One thing Stiles was certain of, however: whatever the reason behind both Clary’s ignorance and sudden appearance of having Shadow World gifts was, he was going to be pissed if it ended up putting him or Derek in danger.

“What just happened?”  Isabella Lightwood, brunette bombshell and daughter of a Shadowhunter legacy stretching back to the first Nephilim charged with hunting demons and protecting the world from their depredations, came to stand beside her brother Alec as they watched their adoptive brother Jace stand and stare at the closed drapes were a moment before the little ginger girl had disappeared.

Alec – an equally brunet and bombshell, if older, version of her own magnificent self in her not at all biased opinion – frowned.

What was supposed to be a simple hunt, catch, interrogate, kill mission was left in ichor and demon dust on the ground and it was all because of that annoying little mundane girl who saw through their Runes for some damn reason and had not a fucking drop of sense to go with it.

“She used a seraph blade,” Jace said, confused down to his bones, turning and meeting their own confused – and irritated in the case of Alec – looks with his own.  “She saw through the Runes outside the club, must’ve followed us trying to figure out why no one else could see us instead of brushing it off.  And she used a seraph blade…guys…”  He shook his head, baffled.  “Then met up with someone else with silver runes on his neck.”

“What runes?”  Alec focused on the pertinent question.  A mundane girl with Nephilim blood wasn’t exactly earth-shattering.  It happened and wielding the blades was the lesser of their powers.  Now if she could bear having Runes applied that might be something as sometimes even members of the oldest Nephilim families couldn’t tolerate having Runes applied for one reason or another.  Hence his question.  “Could you make them out?”

“Not from all the way across the club.”  Jace pursed his lips, trading seraph blades with his brother and parabatai the two of them having tossed and traded more than usual in the last fight due to the issue of having the mundane girl trying to “save” demons before accidently killing one.  Mundanes.  So weird.  “It looked like the same Rune on each side, maybe another behind one of his ears but it might’ve been the lights in the club messing with me.  Both silver and there was something on the back of his neck too but I couldn’t make out what shape or even color.”

“Silver, okay.”  Alec blew out a breath as he shouldered his bow again having had to drop it in the close quarters combat required in the club as the trio started making their way back out of the packed club, all of the mundanes no wiser to the fight that’d just happened and none of the Downworlders wanting to mix with Shadowhunters on the hunt.  “That means mental properties,” his brow furrowed in thought.  “There’s not that many of those, actually.”

Not in common use anyway.  With literally thousands of angelic runes given from their creator Raziel to use in the fight against demons and protect the mortal world, there were always dozens or hundreds of runes with similar properties.  The majority of them worked on the physical body with a relative fraction in comparison geared towards the heart, mind, or soul.  It was how they were used and what they were used for that made the difference between ones in common use for Shadowhunters and ones that were more esoteric used and studied by their scholars in addition to those only granted to use for the Silent Brothers or the Iron Sisters, sects of the Nephilim devoted to monastic lives lived in service to their cause.

“Either way,” Jace shrugged, not all that interested in that.  The details and book-knowledge and ancient history stuff was Alec’s department as the future head of an Institute even if not their Institute depending on Clave politics.  Jace liked the physical: point him at a target and let him go making him an excellent Point and someday, maybe, Head of Security.  “Permission to track them, Acting Institute Head Lightwood?”  He teased lightly over his older brother’s position.

Alec snorted, rolling his eyes.  As if Jace wouldn’t do it anyway even if he said no.  Thankfully in this case since they were back to the drawing board when it came to demons dipping into peddling mundane blood – and not to Night Children which actually would’ve made some sense – he might as well send his best man out to figure out what was going on with the random unrecognized Shadowhunter and his little mundane friend.

“Knock yourself out.”  Alec waved him off.  “But,” he warned as Jace punched the air like his was twelve not twenty-four.  “Keep in contact and try not to do anything that will add to the pile of paperwork I’m going to have to do after all of, that,” he waved vaguely behind him at the club.

“You got it, boss.”  Jace gave him a mock-salute before loping off, using his Runes to hit the rooftops before trying to track the mundie and her friend.  “Izzy, will you see if you can figure out how they left or what direction?  I’ll scout the area, but they might’ve gotten a cab or something.”

“Will do,” Izzy blew her fun brother a kiss.  “Have fun with your cold rooftops, Jace.”

“Haha.  Enjoy your paperwork.”

Alec shared a look with his sister, though granted per their personalities his was darkly sardonic and hers teasingly playful.

“An hour of ichor duty says that he comes back only after creating a whole new problem.”  Izzy offered with a cheeky grin as she tucked her arm through the crook of her big brother’s elbow, free hand already typing away swiftly on her smartphone connected to the Institute’s computer system for that information both of her brothers wanted if for vastly different reasons.

Though she was relatively certain that Jace at least wasn’t after jailbait – the other Shadowhunter with the silver runes on the other hand might be a different story entirely.

Jace played the shallow womanizer better than most people she knew but when it came down to it most shadowhunters – the active, front-line fighters anyway – had an appreciation for beauty wherever they found it.

Life was too fleeting to be otherwise.

Now what the Clave and their families knew about and approved of was a much different – and repressed – story.

“No deal,” Alec said, withholding a put-upon sigh.  There went his easy night of “Mission Complete” reporting followed by cruising for a little stress relief – possibly even at Pandemonium – in favor of cleaning up that little mundane’s mess.  “An hour’s ichor duty that he comes back after making a new problem and causing property damage in the process that the Institute will have to cover up.”

Izzy tossed her head back and laughed.  Alec might still be a hard ass, especially about Covenant Law, but ever since he got over his little teenage crush on Jace he’d become a lot more fun.  The wonders of regular – if mostly anonymous – sex at work.

People liked to gossip about her and Jace.  About how they were always getting into trouble and relying on big brother to bail them out.  What they didn’t realize – not one of those stuck-up Clave bitches who constantly pant after Alec – was that her big brother was a massively subversive asshole.

Izzy broke rules for the fun of it, Jace never paid any attention to them in the first place.

Alec?

Alec knew every last law and rule and guideline.  He knew exactly what both the Covenant and Accords said and what the Clave actually followed regarding them.  And he knew exactly how to toe the line of the actual Law while flipping the bird to the mere “rules,” either spoken or unspoken, in exactly the right way to keep from getting sanctioned or at worst brought before the Council.

Every law to the letter.

As their people liked to say: the law is hard but it is the law.

Everything else?

Might as well not exist as far as Alexander Lightwood was concerned.

Izzy was never quite certain if she should be proud of him for that or deeply concerned.

She wasn’t a fool.

She knew one day that mere compliance to the letter of the law wasn’t going to be enough.  There was going to come a situation where he was expected to follow the spirit of it as well.  To be the good little Lightwood soldier.  And unfortunately, unlike herself or Jace whose rebellions were perfectly predictable, when that day comes she doesn’t think even Alec would be able to foresee what he’ll do – or what the consequences might be.

Mourning the turn the night had taken, albeit for different reasons – Derek might have a cuddly vamp to go home to but Stiles’s life had been empty of that sort of affection since they left Beacon Hills for college (for real this time on Stiles’s part instead of just disappearing to his bolt-hole in San Francisco for a couple of years) – they dropped Clary off at her home not about to stick around for those fireworks between Jocelyn (who was something even if neither of them was sure what) and her daughter who’s Sight seemed to have kicked in with becoming an adult.

Stiles needed answers but he needed not to be in between a pair of protective, pissed off, confused, and otherwise volatile redheads even more.

He’d wait and bother them over Clary’s little lack-of-Sight spell later.

Impressive spellwork from what Stiles knew about that sort of suppression.  Most gifts manifested during childhood whether slowly or with a bang.  Keeping one locked away until whatever passed for adulthood in a given community wasn’t easy – and warlocks being warlocks neither would it have been cheap.

But that, thankfully, was not either Stiles’s monkey to wrangle nor circus to run.

New York wasn’t his territory.  After turning over guardianship of the Nemeton in Beacon Hills to Derek’s brother, a human born to a wolf shifter pack with a knack for the magical arts albeit druidic rather than demonic, he didn’t have territory anymore – technically – though Beacon Hills would always be his home.  It wasn’t his problem.

Still…

Despite the lack of dancing and drinks, the night for Derek at least it appeared could be recovered as they arrived at their loft near campus to the sight of an unbuttoned-but-still-dressed Raphael waiting to welcome Derek home.

Stiles rolled his eyes in amusement and switched out his clubbing outfit with a finger snap and flare of magic for boots, jeans, and the appearance of a hoodie all in varying shades of black to grey then waved goodbye on his way back out the door, another snap of his fingers having his arsenal and a double-down on his glamor in place. 

One could never be too careful after all and demons were roaming a bit too freely lately for Stiles to want to take unnecessary risks. 

Vacating the loft might not be the smart thing to do but it was the thing to do.  With how stressed Derek had been over them finishing their BA’s and Derek getting into law school, he needed some alone time with his fanged honey.  Besides – Stiles’s curiosity had been pricked.

Between the exsanguinations that had New York up in arms – seven or eight now, he’d lost track and tabloids had never been the most reliable – and this drama with Clary, there was something more going on, something he was missing just under the surface.

And if there was something he had definitely inherited from dear-old-dad, it was an utter inability to just let things be.

A quick – and quiet – portal let him out just on the border of the convergence point that Jocelyn Fray had set up her auction house and apartment over.  Which was very clever of her.  Convergence points weren’t common though neither were they particularly rare even if truly powerful ones were perhaps numbered in the high nineties or a hundred across the globe – like the one his own mother had chosen to birth him on, living and dying in the same five square miles ever after in order to conceal his magic from others.

If there was something Other about either Jocelyn or Clary Fray, hiding on a convergence point was the best way to keep it out of sight and mind of any nosy parkers who might come around.

Though as he crouched on a rooftop across the street and saw signs of a break-in, destruction, and a fire all from a dozen yards away, it seemed that whatever they’d been hiding from had either found them or in the case of Clary’s imprudent visit to Pandemonium perhaps followed her home.

Activating his permanent Runes – most of them, he had over two dozen that never faded or turned to scars despite never being reapplied, unlike others he used every now and again that he had to apply each time – and tracing over the Awareness and Deflect rune scars that were on the inside and outside of his right forearm respectively he waited for a long moment to see if his new additions found any problems or lurkers.  Believing himself to be alone, he jumped down to the street and made his way over to the kicked – or maybe blown, hard to say – in door to the auction house.  A pause just inside had him listening intently for heartbeats or breath, but didn’t find anything.

Whoever had done this – and whatever had become of the Frays – it was over and they were all gone.

Less than an hour he’d been gone and the place was ransacked, though it was no ordinary robbery, that was clear even if the assumed-Otherness of the Frays wasn’t in question.

There was a painting in a glass case that was worth six figures if it was real and not much less if it was a forgery completed by the right person.  A first edition of The Maltese Falcon that had his fingers itching and would set him back a good twenty-grand or more.  And those were just a couple of things he saw on first glance.

Whatever the intruders were after, it wasn’t things of monetary value.

Another pause, another search with his senses, and Stiles breathed out a seeking spell in a cloud of his golden magic, the general color of his spells and, well, he hated the word aura now with all the new-agey connotations but yeah, aura worked, when he wasn’t shaping his abilities into magics that had their own distinct properties like healing spells or the darker demonic magics and disciplines like necromancy.

Somehow he wasn’t surprised to see the place light up like a Christmas Tree with protective magics and Rune work on the walls, ceiling, and floor – and that was only the main floor of the shop, he’d be willing to bet the apartment was layered even more heavily – but was drawn to a couple of artefacts in particular even if they didn’t seem like much at first glance.

He never had been one to judge a book by its cover and while he had no real feelings one way or another for the Frays or their shopworker Dot, he at least cared enough not to want magical items of any real power to fall into the wrong hands.

Like the Circle that was rumored to be rising again.

It was as if no one ever read Harry Potter: until you burn the body and bury the ashes yourself, the bad guy could never really be dead and gone and letting their followers run around unchecked was just asking for trouble.

The Clave must be frantic.

It sent wonderful little tingles down his spine at the very thought, bigoted fuckers that they were, they deserved what was coming for them even if he’d rather Downworlders weren’t going to get caught in the crossfire – again.

Moving with the swiftness only those of the Shadow World possessed, Stiles collected the handful of the most powerful artefacts and quickly sealed them into his personal pocket dimension for safe keeping.

If the Frays returned safe and sound and not a threat to those he cared for he’d return them.

If not…well.

Finders keepers.

He repeated his routine in the living quarters upstairs, impressed with Jocelyn – he was assuming – at her attempt to keep knowledge of her daughter secret for whatever reason by torching her room.  A bit overkill for his taste but a bonfire’s a bonfire.  Only a hidden box beneath the floorboards in what he thought was Jocelyn’s room from his previous visits tingled his magical radar and he sent it to join the rest of the cache when the sound of breaking glass from down below drew his attention.

Someone was snooping and sneaking – and not with good intentions either as within literal moments of the hushed sounds, he heard Clary crying out for her mother and Dot.

Idiot girl.

Her mother had clearly done everything she could to hide Clary, the portal traces still lingered and except for the most powerful warlocks that wasn’t an easy spell unless using an established stationary portal, and the girl came wandering in quite literally screaming for someone to snatch her or a demon to eat her.

Kids these days.

Rushing down the stairs, he made it just in time to watch – filing away everything about a Cup as the identity of Jocelyn started to snap together with that of a mother desperately trying to hide her daughter from an unknown-to-Stiles danger – as the Ravener demon, a species of shapeshifter, who’d taken the shape of Dot snapped and attacked the girl.

Out of the corner of his eye he caught a flash of blond hair and Runed skin, almost rolling his eyes, because of course the girl – and well, Stiles and Derek but still – had been tracked not only by whoever had tossed the place, drawn a demon, and whatever else she managed to live through but the Shadowhunter was joining the party.

Runes hidden by his glamor and his weapons tucked away, Stiles made a split-second decision and tossed out a golden-tinged shield that the Ravener bounced off of and onto the downward slash of the glowing white seraph sword Blondie was using, the demon disintegrating into nothing but ash and ichor.

Though apparently either Stiles’s timing was off or Clary’s luck was really just that bad as while the Ravener had lunged into the shield, the girl had tried to leap back out of the way, slamming the back of her head into one of the exposed support posts of the shop and sending Clary crumbling to the floor.

“Great.”  Stiles muttered as Blondie turned to him with a still-bared sword and a cockily-arched brow.  “This night just keeps getting better.”  Hands propped on his hips, every inch of him dripping sass since there was no way out now but through or hoping he could portal faster than the Shadowhunter could stab him – and with portals not being his specialty he wasn’t fond of the odds with all of the other warding and spellwork the shop was drenched in.  “I helped, Shadowhunter.”  He waved a hand at what little remained of the demon as the muscle-bound blond edged between the crumpled form of the girl and Stiles.  “Can’t I even get a lowered weapon if not it put away altogether for the assist?  Or are you so familiar with mundane concussions that you’re confident in your ability to deal with Clary and her headwound solo?”

“You’re a warlock?”  Jace asked, incredulous, blinking at the total lack of Runes on a person who he would’ve sworn had them a little over an hour ago.  “But-“

“But?”  Stiles prompted, smirking, then leaned back and then straightened in an exaggerated motion.  “Ah, you’re the same Shadowhunter from the club little Ms. Thing saw and decided to stalk.”  He clucked his tongue then snapped his fingers banishing the glamor of his shirt and altering the one on his skin then doing a little twirl to show off the “Runes” that he’d traded out for some artistic tattoos glimmering with warlock flair.  He pouted his lips then snapped his fingers again, redressing – at least as far as the Shadowhunter could tell – with a shrug.  “Just a bit of a glamor for dancing and trying my luck at the club.”

Jace scoffed, rolling his eyes at the drama that the warlock’s little glamor had caused though he couldn’t believe that he’d mistaken regular – if magical – tattoos for Runes.  He must’ve been more shaken up by the redhead than he’d thought.  Given that he’d been spotted by her despite his own runes and then watched her use a seraph blade, being rattled was completely allowable in his opinion.

Lowering his blade, he did exactly as the warlock suggested – as he’d clearly seen him fight the Ravener demon, he’d trust him that much if not any further – and tucked the deactivated blade away focusing instead on the girl still slumped at their feet and the destroyed shop around them.

“What happened here?”  He asked as he leaned down over the redhead, the warlock moving along with him and studying them both, seeming to calculate and weigh every word that came out of his mouth now that Jace wasn’t in danger of turning his blade on the young-looking magical being.

Not that that meant a lot.

Between glamor and immortality, warlocks almost never looked like people thought they would – or should – except for some truly old or grumpy ones that didn’t give a damn about maintaining vanity anymore or whose magic wasn't geared towards keeping them in their physical prime.

The warlock with messy dark brown hair and a quick hand with shields could be the young guy in his twenties he looked like or he could be older than the Pyramids.

With his kind it was impossible to say and even harder to confirm.

“Top of my head?”  Stiles offered, gently straightening out Clary into a more comfortable position and feeling the back of her head, thankfully not feeling any open wounds and only a minor bump.  Her unconsciousness was likely just as much from stress and being overwhelmed as it was from the hit then.  “No real clue.  I’ve known the people here,” he twirled a finger to indicate the shop and ravaged apartment above.  “For the better part of four years.  Knew there was something extra about them, Luke, the stepdad, is a werewolf and the shop assistant might’ve been – might be – another warlock.  But something about them leading to this,” he shook his head.  “Not until tonight when I realized she,” he brushed Clary’s bright red locks off of her face.  “Had had a block of some kind put on her affinity for Sight.  I’d planned to talk to her mother about it in the morning, but, well.”  He grinned.  “Sexiled by the roommate so I thought I’d check in, see if any nosy Shadowhunters were lingering and what do you know…”

“I need to take her to the Institute.”  Jace said as he memorized what little information the warlock supplied.  “We can get her medical help there and figure out why a demon was after her and what might’ve gone down.”

Stiles tsked, shaking his head.  “You know I can’t let you do that.”  He warned.  “Her stepdad is a werewolf.  She randomly manifested Sight on turning eighteen.  What guarantee do I have that she’ll be safe in the hands of the Clave, hmm?  Your people’s reputation isn’t the best when it comes to Downworlders.”

“Then come with us.”  Jace snapped, making the offer on the spur of the moment as he picked up the girl, carrying her with the ease of a Shadowhunter in his prime.  “Or fight me and break the Accords.  Either way, we need to go before the Ravener’s friends come looking for it.”

“Fair.”  Stiles decided, already hitting his “Hide” rune, a special concoction just for him and gifted by his daddy-dearest to hide his Shadowhunter heritage, with a pulse of power.  He could walk through the wards of even Idris now and set them off in an instant without the buffer against Nephilim security measure that his heritage allows.  Reaching out he snagged Clary’s satchel, already digging out her cellphone to turn off the GPS chip and keep any nosy parkers from finding her with it.  “I’m calling my roommate.  He’s a wolf shifter with ties to the New York Pack and his boyfriend has connections of his own.  If I’m not released in a timely manner he’ll raise hell.”

“Fair.”  Jace parroted, though with a sassy eye roll added for maximum snark effect.

Great.

Alec was going to murder him.

Just the way he wanted to end the day.

Dead.

“Lead the way, Shadowhunter.”

“Try and keep up, Warlock.”