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Memories in the Shadows

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The Mortal Instruments practiced in the garage of the Lewis house. Maureen’s voice blended perfectly with Matt’s guitar, Kirk’s piano, Eric’s drums, and Simon’s bass. But if he had to be completely honest, Simon had to put all of his attention to the bass in his hands. If he looked up, he would mess up a chord and ruin the song they’d been practicing for weeks. And it was all the fault of the blonde in front of him.

Usually, a couple of friends would come over to watch them practice. Maureen’s boyfriend and Kirk’s girlfriend often showed up and sometimes brought their friends. But a couple of weeks ago, a gorgeous blonde guy dressed in all black with a neck tattoo randomly walked up Simon’s driveway while they were practicing. Seeing him there the first time had been enough for Simon to forget all the chords to the song and apologize to his bandmates profusely. After practice, the guy disappeared into the night. It had been like that every time since. The band would start practice, the guy would show up, they would wrap up for the night and he’d be gone. And always, whenever Simon would look into the beautiful man’s multicolored eyes, he would get lost in them and ruin the song for the band. But despite it all, Simon could feel the other man’s gaze peering through him. As the song wound down and Simon’s portion was over, he looked up just to catch the blonde turn away.

“Wait,” he shouted at the end of the song. It caught the blonde’s attention, which was wonderful. But his exclamation did not go unnoticed by the rest of the band. Their confusion could wait, however. Simon felt it deep inside his bones; if he could not talk to the blonde stranger he would just burst. He ran over to the end of the driveway where the man was still waiting, looking vaguely unsure.

“I’m Simon,” he blurted out. He was sure that was not what he initially planned to say. It had been more along the lines of: Who are you, what are you doing here, why are you stalking us, Maureen’s taken you know, and so is Kirk. Instead, he just bluntly introduced himself to a random stranger.

“I know,” the other man said with a short chuckle and a devastating smirk. He ducked his head and then looked up to stare into Simon’s eyes. “I’ve seen you practice, remember?” He pointed over to where the rest of the band was congregated and blatantly staring at them to make his point.

How could Simon forget? He’d been in the forefront of Simon’s thoughts and dreams for the better part of two weeks.

“What’s your name?”

“It’s Jace.”

“That’s a beautiful name,” Simon just blurted out. Again. Before Jace could respond, Simon continued to say what was on his mind. “Do I know you? You look familiar? And I’ve seen you around. I mean, here obviously. These last couple of weeks. But also, somewhere else? Maybe?”

Rather than looking put off by Simon’s rant, Jace simply chuckled again. The small smile seemed to brighten Jace’s face. If he had to put a word to it though, Simon would say he looked sad more than anything else. And for some unknown reason, it hurt Simon to see this complete stranger looking sad or unhappy.

“Is everything alright?” Simon couldn’t help but ask. Before he could let the other man respond, he continued speaking. “I’ve met a lot of people lately and they all look sad too. I don’t know why. There was the redhead at Java Jones, and the dark-haired siblings outside of my philosophy course, although the guy looked more annoyed and emotionally constipated than sad. And I met this fabulous looking Asian man that looked like he had cat eyes. Seriously, they can do anything with contacts these days. But everyone seemed sad. I hope you aren’t sad because of The Mortal Instruments.”

Jace’s head snapped up. “The what?”

“The Mortal Instruments. It’s the name of our band,” he said pointing back to where Maureen and the guys were still blatantly staring at the two of them. “It came to me in a dream. The name. It refers to three items of mystical power; not the instruments we play. It’s a little hazy but I dreamt of a cup that can given men and women amazing powers, a sword that compels people to speak the truth, and a mirror that can summon an angel.”

“I’m not sad because of The Mortal Instruments,” Jace responded with a smirk at Simon’s bandmates. “But I would like to learn more about this cup and sword.”

“And the mirror,” Simon added. “Though, sometimes it seems more of a reflection, like a lake.”

“And the mirror. Sounds like an interesting dream. I’d love to hear more about it. Would you be willing to meet me tomorrow? At Java Jones around nine in the morning?”

Simon nodded so hard and so quickly he was surprised his head was still attached to his neck. “Yeah, that sounds great. And if you’re interested in that, I’ve had some wild dreams about vampires and werewolves.”

“That sounds amazing, Simon. See you tomorrow.” With a small nod and a smile on his face, Jace turned away and walked into the darkness of the street. But for the first time in the last couple of weeks, he wasn’t sad to see a stranger walk away. He was excited about the possibilities.

Turning around to face his bandmates, Simon couldn’t help the huge grin on his face. “I think I just made a date!”

--

Java Jones was unusually empty for a weekend in Brooklyn thanks to a spell Magnus put over the place to keep people away. Jace paced back in forth in front of the small coffee truck going over in his mind the same debate he’d had for the last several weeks. He wanted Simon back to his old self and, he thought selfishly, back in his arms where the coltish brunette belonged. But if Jace had learned anything about their recent experiences it was sacrifice. Simon had sacrificed everything to save the world and give Magnus, and by extension Alec, a chance to live and be happy. They wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for Simon.

When Magnus first proposed the possibility of restoring Simon’s memories, Jace’s rational side shut down his hopeful and more selfish sides.

“What if he can’t get them back? Or worse, what if it does and it kills him?” he practically yelled at the warlock. “I won’t let Simon endure unnecessary pain.” The rest of the crew looked over at Jace with varying degrees of pity and sadness. It was hardest to look into Clary’s eyes. Jace had been Simon’s boyfriend and lover but Clary had been his best friend since they were little kids. She knew the pain he felt as well as he did so it was with pure concern and no malice when he asked, “Would you put him through that?”

“You know I wouldn’t put him through that if there was little or no chance of getting back.” Turning to Magnus, she asked, “What are the chances of him getting his memories back?”

“Without knowing what, if anything, he remembers, it’s hard to say. If we could jar his memory a bit and see what he he remembers, he would have a better chance of recovering his memories. But there is a chance they might not all come back.” Jace turned away from the rest of the group to avoid feeling four sets of eyes staring at him in pity. He’d had enough of that once the war ended and they returned to the New York Institute minus his boyfriend.

It was Izzy, who was always a fan of action over planning, who came up with the idea. “So we each approach him,” she announced. “We’ll go individually. Each of us will interact with him in different times and places and we’ll report back what we find out.”

Clary was the first to interact with him. Magnus stated that their long lasting friendship was more likely to stir something in him. When she’d reported back, she said she was optimistic. But when Jace grilled her for specifics, something the others were loathe to do, she admitted that he only said she’d looked familiar but hadn’t really recognized her. It was the same with Alec, Izzy, and Magnus.

Jace wasn’t ready for the pain of encountering Simon and seeing the blank expression in his eyes. Jace wasn’t a stranger that Simon could just look through. They’d had a rocky start but when Simon finally broke down Jace’s walls, it was like he was at home for the first time. Even being a son and brother to the Lightwoods wasn’t as simple as holding Simon or feeling the other man’s lips against his.

So when Jace began to follow Simon, he used an invisibility rune to just observe the brunette in his new life. Perhaps he just wanted a memory. If this didn’t work he could always look back on how happy he was returning to his old, mundane life. He’d taken to patrolling around the Lewis house at night or around campus when Simon was in class to ensure the other man’s safety and would only tear himself away when he was truly needed for a mission.

It took a couple of weeks before Jace took off the invisibility rune in Simon’s presence. And then, it was only when Simon was truly occupied. When Izzy pushed him to approach the former vampire, his typical bravado and courage failed him. The knowledge that it could be the last time, their final goodbye, terrified him more than facing hordes of demons, vampires, werewolves, and faerie knights.

In a twist of fate, it was Simon who approached him. Ready for rejection, Simon took him by surprise when he blurted out every thought in his head. That part was par for the course. Simon often spoke whatever was on his mind and it was one of the more endearing traits that Jace begrudgingly found attractive in him. But when Simon spoke of the three Mortal Instruments – the cup, the sword, and the mirror – hope reignited in Jace’s chest. He’d made plans to meet with Simon at Java Jones and rushed back to the Institute to share the good news.

Rather than ambush Simon the next morning, it was decided that Jace would meet him first and slowly introduce the idea of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Once he could introduce Clary, Alec, Izzy, and Magnus, then they would bring up his life as a vampire and his lost memories.

Jace stopped pacing as Simon walked around the corner towards him. When Simon caught sight of the blonde he grinned. It was the type of grin that always made Jace weak at the knees, though he would never admit it. They were still technically strangers to one another so their greeting was more perfunctory than warm.

“Hi,” Simon said with a wave as he approached Jace. Jace couldn’t help but smile and wave back.

“I ordered you coffee,” Jace said as Simon approached. He held out the coffee cup and felt Simon’s fingers brush his own. “I hope you like it.”

Simon took a sip and exclaimed, “It’s delicious.” As they settled into a nearby table, Simon launched into an explanation of a dream he’d had the night before. Though it had been hard to remember the dream, he detailed how he had been kidnapped by vampires demanding the Mortal Cup.

“I’m sorry if I’m ranting. I guess I’m really surprised that you asked me out. For coffee. Not that this is a date. I mean, I’d be okay with it if it was. But if it’s not, that’s fine too.”

“There is nothing I’d like more than to make this a date,” Jace responded with a smile. “But I actually wanted to talk to you about the Mortal Instruments.”

“My band?”

“Actually, the three items you mentioned; the cup, the sword, and the mirror.”

“Really? What about them?”

Jace rarely felt the fear he did in that moment with so much up in the air and uncertain. But they’d come this far. “These dreams that you’ve been having, they aren’t just dreams. You asked me if we’d met before. We have. You don’t remember me or my friends and family but we remember you.”

Simon laughed as if Jace were telling a joke, until Magnus released the enchantment at the next table and the four of them appeared in Simon’s line of sight.

“Simon,” Jace said, turning the man’s attention back to him. “Magnus is a warlock and Alec, Izzy, Clary, and I are Shadowhunters. We fight demons and anyone that aims to hurt mundanes. A mundane is anyone without special abilities.”

“Someone like me?”

“Yes, Simon. But you weren’t always a mundane. There was a time when you were something much more than that.”

Jace wasn’t sure Simon believed him. Any rational man would’ve gone running from the five of them. Simon looked up at them with a fierce determination on his face and Jace prepared himself to be told off.

“Tell me more,” he said.