It starts like any normal day. Well, what counts as normal in the crazy hurricane of events that seems to be Simon’s life now, anyway.
They get a lead that Valentine might have hidden the Mortal Cup in another dimension, and Clary drags him with her to the Institute to follow up on it. Just to find Jace already in the library when they get there, because of course he is; it’s not like anything in Simon’s life can just be easy, these days.
Things have been… weird between him and Jace since the attack on the Institute. Well. Weirder. It was sort of all weird enough, what with him and Clary dating, and then her and Jace not being related after all, but that whole thing’s sort of been even more complicated by the whole blood… sucking… thing.
I would have killed you.
I would have let you.
Matching confessions that Simon really doesn’t know how to even start dealing with. Like, what the hell does that mean? What is he supposed to do with any of that? Is he supposed to sit Jace down and have a talk to him about his suicidal tendencies? Find him a supernatural support group? Or maybe a shrink for himself—some kind of vampire twelve step program where he’ll learn to accept the fact that the bloodlust just never stops . He’s been told that it gets easier—and it has—but there’s still that bone deep urge to attack , to sink his fangs into another person’s neck or wrist and just drink.
Raphael warned him about drinking from people. Has told him time and time again that it makes the bloodlust ten times harder to control. There’s a venom inside him that gets released when he drinks from a living person, apparently—something called yin fen, that sounds a lot like a vampire version of heroin to Simon. According to Raphael, even one taste can be enough to get someone hooked, so maybe that’s why Jace’s eyes seem to be following him around as they search the library for books on dimension travel. And why Simon can feel exactly where Jace is, even when they’re on opposite sides of the room with several book cases between them.
“Hey, guys, I think I found something!” Clary calls out, effectively making Simon snap out of… whatever weird mood he had himself caught in. He hurries over and sees her bent over a large, ancient-looking book at one of the reading tables. It’s written in a language Simon can’t understand a word of, and there’s a red-skinned demon with a long chin and two pointy horns depicted in the margin.
“Who’s that? Is that a demon that can help us find the Cup? Does he have a name?”
“He’s got a hundred,” Jace says, coming up behind them out of nowhere and making Simon jump. So much for the weird point-to-Jace compass power.
“I don’t care what his name is, as long as we can find him,” Clary says to Jace. “What language is this, even? Do you know how to read it?”
“It’s ancient Greek, and yes, I do,” Jace replies, scoffing when both Clary and Simon look back at him in surprise. “Shadowhunters are trained in all things demon from the age of six. Languages included. I might not be as fluent as Alec or Izzy, but I know enough to read a single page in a book.”
“Oh. Well, then, Mr Scholar, why don’t you tell us what this says?” Simon asks. “Is it guarding the Cup? Do we need to kill it? Solve a riddle? Blow up a Death Star? Lay it on me, man.”
“It’s a trickster, and he has the power to create dimensions that are mirrors of existing ones,” Jace replies, rolling his eyes. “Valentine probably got this demon to make him one where he’s hidden the cup, and while it technically could be a desert planet filled with Jawa, I highly doubt it.”
Simon feels a smile spread on his face. “Hey, you finally watched the original trilogy!”
“Who says I hadn’t already seen it?” Jace replies with a smirk. “Now, are we going to hunt down this demon or what? If we’re going to be heading into alternate dimensions, we need to find someone who can make us a portal there, and—”
“Wait, the rune that’s drawn down here, I’ve seen it before,” Clary interrupts. “Jace, what does that one mean?”
Jace leans closer and follows her pointed finger to the corner of the page. He frowns. “I’ve never seen that one before.”
“I’m sure I’ve seen it,” Clary insists. “If I could just remember where…”
“In another book?” Simon asks. “On Valentine’s creepy ship thing? On a person? Any of this ring a bell?”
“Definitely not on a person,” Jace says, rolling his eyes. “There’s a set number of runes approved for personal—no, Clary, wait!”
“Only one way to find out,” Clary says, deftly leaning out of the way of Jace’s grasping arm and putting a finishing flourish to the rune she’s just drawn in mid-air. There’s a flash of light followed by a whooshing sound, and next thing Simon knows, a portal opens up in front of them.
“That’s so cool!”
“That’s— impossible ,” Jace says, sounding downright awed. “You need warlock magic to create a portal. Runes can’t—”
“You’ve obviously never seen Clary enter a pie-eating contest,” Simon replies. “Believe me when I say that ‘impossible’ is not a word that’s able to stop her.” He turns and winks at Clary, who sends him a radiant smile right back. “Come on, are we getting this Cup back or not?”
“We totally are,” Clary tells him. “Jace, are you joining us?”
“This is insane,” Jace mutters, but he pulls up his blade and steps in front of the two of them anyway. “Everybody ready?”
Simon grabs Clary’s hand as they walk through the portal, feeling a familiar thrill to his stomach when she squeezes his hand back. Seconds later, everything is spinning around them, and Simon closes his eyes, hoping for the best.