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Less Than Gods

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Anna had come back from patrolling with Thomas when she heard the news: Christopher was attacked by a demon and is now lying sick in the Silent City. Anna had been laughing mere minutes before she entered her parent’s house. Laughing, while Kit was dying. Anna closed her eyes.

When she and Thomas had opened the door to her parent’s house, Anna felt a chill go through her. Cecily sitting was on the floor. Both of her hands were clutching on the telephone she was holding close to her chest. There were tears streaming down her eyes. Her father had been pacing; he was grabbing fistfuls of his hair. Alex was staring at them from behind a door with his eyes wide open. When Gabriel looked up, he walked over to Anna and Thomas and embraced them tightly. Anna knew that something terrible had happened.

Cecily had desperately tried to get permission to enter the Silent City so that she could see her oldest son, possibly for the last time. Gabriel was trying to look composed for the sake of Anna’s younger brother Alex, but he wasn’t able to manage it. Thomas was standing, though Anna could see him slightly swaying. Thomas has lost so much already in the hands of this stupid disease.

Anna still couldn’t believe it. Her brother, her sweet innocent brother, was in agony and dying in the Silent City and there was nothing she could do. The thought of him made her eyes sting and her breath come shallow. She tried to swallow the bile coming up her throat. Anna didn’t want this. They had already lost someone dear not so long ago, she couldn’t bare lose her sweet brother too.

Anna walked into her old room. It felt strange going in there after so long. The walls were still that pastel color Anna had dreaded when she was living there. Perhaps it was because Anna had more important things to worry about, but the color didn’t seem to bother her anymore. Not that she would ever chose that color to paint anything hers, but it felt nostalgic. It reminded her of a time when she would sneak into her brother’s room and wear his terrible clothes. Anna smiled to herself as she sat down in the bed.


She looked up and saw Alex, her younger brother, staring back at her. When he was born, he had very dark blue eyes, like her’s, her mother’s and Will’s. But as time progressed, Anna noticed the color changing to a more greenish blue; a mix between her father and mother’s.

“Alex, bach, are you alright?”

“I’m scared.”

“Come here, cariad.”

Alex walked up to her and she hoisted him up, setting him down on her lap. He wrapped his arms around her.

“What frightened you, Alex?” she said softly.

“Mam got a phone call and begun screaming and crying. I thought she was dying.” Alex told her. Anna could see the fear in his eyes. He had never seen his parents in such despair. Anna planted a kiss on his head.

“Alex, do you know what happened to Christopher?”

Alex nodded, “He’s sick.”

“Yes. Mam and Papa are frightened because they don’t want to lose him.” Anna heard her voice crack slightly.

“Will Kit die?” Alex asked. The tears in his eyes made Anna’s heart break. She held him closer.

“I do not know, bach. Hopefully, a cure is found.”

“I don’t want Kit to die. He always makes me laugh.”

Alex was clinging on to Anna, his face was pressed to her shirt. Anna stroked his soft hair.

“Kit is silly, isn’t he?”

Alex wiped his eyes and nodded.

“Do you remember when he blew up his closet?”

Alex laughed softly.

Anna’s throat began to hurt. She was not ready to lose Kit. She would never be ready.

All of a sudden, the phone rang. Anna set Alex down, and held his hand as they walked down the hall to where Cecily was answering the phone. Gabriel bent down to pick up Alex and put a hand around Anna, holding her close. Cecily’s eyes opened wide as she dropped the phone. Gabriel let go of Anna.

“Cec?” Her father sounded as though he was dreading the news.

“That was Will.” Cecily looked surprised, “Christopher made a cure before he got sick and Thomas has manufactured it. They’re taking it to the Silent City right now.”

It seemed as though the entire house sighed in relief.

“Wait,” Anna said as her parents were embracing, “Who’s ‘they’?”

“Oh, Alastair Carstairs, Cordelia’s brother.”

Interesting, thought Anna.

“Are we going to see Kit now?” Alex asked.

“Oh no, honey. You are going to stay with Uncle Gideon and Aunt Sophie for a while.” Cecily said, planting a kiss on his head. Alex frowned.

“You can see him tomorrow, bach.” Gabriel said softly.

Alex nodded. Anna felt bad for Alex, but she knew it would be better he didn’t see Kit in the state he was. She did not know what the injuries looked like, but she could only assume they were not pretty.

Anna kissed Alex’s head before he walked through the portal. Gideon and Henry were waiting on the other side. Her father’s brother looked older after the untimely death of his oldest daughter, Barbara. Nonetheless, he was smiling sadly as he watched Alex walk through, and took he hand.


Cecily was kissing Christopher forehead over and over while holding his face in her hands, repeating loving words in Welsh. She had practically flung herself at him, and didn’t seem to be letting go anytime soon. Christopher (who was dazed from the antidote) was confused when he saw his Mam with tears in her eyes, caressing his face (which was burning up) with her cold hands. Gabriel appeared behind her and put his hand on Kit’s head, stroking his hair softly. Christopher had suffered greatly when the poison was in his body. All he wanted was to have his father hold him close in his arms, like he used to do when he was younger. He wanted Mam to kiss him on the forehead like she does whenever he leaves the house. He wanted Anna to ruffle his hair and to tell him to stop ruining his clothes. He wanted to see Alex smile and Thomas’ company Uncle Henry’s lab. These happy memories ran through his head, as though to show how lonely he was.

He had not wanted to die alone.

“Kit,” Thomas had said, his voice hoarse as he gave him the antibody, “Kit, you did it, your antidote worked. Some Shadowhunters are already recovering.” Behind him Alastair stood there, watching. Kit did not understand why he was there, but he was not here anymore. Maybe hallucinations were a side effect; he had to write that down.

Now, his Mam had moved to embrace Thomas and then Matthew, who was taken by surprise. His Papa had moved to the side to make space for Anna, who was smiling widely at him.

“What happened, Kit?” She asked. 

“Oh,” Christopher was confused. He turned to his father. “Did you not inform Anna that I was attacked by a demon?”

Gabriel and Anna laughed. Christopher was even more confused.

“Only you could find a cure for a disease, be on your deathbed while it’s being made and not understand something as simple as sarcasm.” Anna said.

Sarcasm. “I don’t like that word. It always confuses me.”

Anna and Gabriel laughed again. Cecily scolded them for confusing Christopher while he had been so close to death, not even an hour ago. Anna took his hand and laughed through her apology, which got Gabriel smiling. Christopher blinked. He was very confused.

Uncle Will and Aunt Tessa later came with Lucie. Though he enjoyed their company, Christopher didn’t exactly know why they were here. It felt like a reunion. Maybe he had died and this was heaven. Or hell. He couldn’t really tell, without his glasses on.

“Am I dead?” he asked.

“Yes.” Anna said

Gabriel and Will both burst out laughing. Cecily elbowed Gabriel as he covered his mouth. Will looked at the ceiling, a wide smile across his face, trying to contain a laugh. Cecily had a murderous look on her face, before turning to Kit sweetly.

“No, bach. Thankfully,” She turned and shot a look at Gabriel, “You are alive. Unfortunately, both your father and your Uncle Will act like children.”

“What about Anna? She was the reason we began laughing.” said Will.

“I thought you were the Cool Uncle, Will.” Anna said

“I would rather be Mean Uncle Will than have Cecily beat me up.”

“More like the Cowardly Uncle.” Tessa said.

Although everybody laughed, Will looked betrayed. Christopher patted Will's hand, which was resting on the bed frame, with his own.


Anna watched as Gabriel helped Kit walk up the stairs back to ground level. When they got there, James was still propped up against the tree, talking with Matthew. James Herondale looked as if he had fallen off of a tree, face-first onto pavement, and slid three blocks. And that was an understatement.

“Time to get up, Jamie bach.” Will said cheerfully as Jamie groaned.

“We probably should have gotten a carriage instead of coming by foot.” said Will.

James, who had his eyes closed until then, opened them wide. “Is that a joke?”

“Unfortunately, no.”

James looked over at Tessa.

“Sorry, Jamie.”

James winced as Will tried to get him on his feet.

“Don’t hurt him.” Tessa said.

Will threw a fake punch at James’ face causing Tessa to shake her head. Anna couldn’t help but notice how every time James winced, Will did as well, as though it caused him physical pain to watch his son struggle. Anna thought back at how Cecily had acted when Kit was dying. She couldn’t imagine how broken Sophie and Gideon were. To know that they will never see Barbara again. The thought felt like a dagger piercing Anna’s heart.

They all departed at the same time. Towards the back, Will was making terrible jokes, which induced several groans from James, Lucie and Tessa. Each step James took was labored and heavy, almost painfully to watch.

Christopher walked along side Anna as they headed towards the house. The antidote worked perfectly, and her brother was soon walking without difficulty, though his chest must still be in pain.

“You scared us, Kit.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize,” Anna’s heart broke, “It was not your fault.”


They were silent for a while. From a distance they could hear Will.

“You know Jamie, when you were a baby, I used to be afraid to drop you because you looked like me and was therefore so beautiful. But since your face is ugly and messed up, now I can drop you all I want! It won’t make a difference!” he said, swaying James slightly.

“Will, if you drop Jamie, I will divorce you.” said Tessa.

“I will approve of that divorce.” James said, wincing through each step.

Anna turned her attention back to Kit. “Alex really wanted to see you.”

Christopher looked around. “Where is he?”

“He’s with Uncle Gideon.”


Anna looked around. Gabriel had an arm over Cecily and was holding her close to him as they walked. Thomas was talking with Lucie. Matthew was beside Will and James, there to help if they needed it, but as always, he seemed a bit distant. Tessa was looking worriedly as Will helped James walk. Despite all of his joking around, Will was supporting James with all of the care in the world.

“I’m glad you are here, Kit.”

“Me too. I was afraid I was going to die alone in the dark.”

Anna wrapped her arms around her brother.

“As long as I live, you will never die alone, Kit.”