“Christopher.” Kit caught sight of a flash of grey as Ty glanced in his direction, his brow visibly furrowed even from several feet away; he stood by the hatch leading back into the house, and the distance between them felt both impossibly short and far too long all at once. His heart clenched at the reminder of those eyes, of the time they had stared at him in blank disbelief and then shone with tears in the face of Kit’s confession.
For years, Kit had avoided the sight of that shade of metallic grey; he’d refused to use the usual silvery swords and throwing knives, instead using a set of curved gold daggers he’d found in a forgotten corner of Cirenworth- Jem had said they were Persian in origin, called khanjars. He’d had that faraway look in his eye as he’d said it; it was the look he got when he was trapped in a hundred-year-old memory of an era lost to changing times. It was a look mirrored in Tessa’s eyes whenever they spoke of her first husband- and Jem’s beloved parabatai- Will Herondale.
It was at times like those that Kit most felt like an outsider to the family: Jem and Tessa were linked by a history spanning over a hundred years, and little Wilhelmina was a part of that, too. Kit had no blood relation to any of them, and no memories of the people or time they often spoke of.
Those feelings, tied with the general sense of panic and danger that had situated itself in the house- and the visiting Shadowhunters inhabiting it- following the news of the Cohort’s plans had done nothing to soothe his frayed nerves. He couldn’t help but think that danger lurked around every corner; it felt as though he was waiting for yet another crisis, and he’d fled the Edwardian-style training room at the first opportunity in his desperation to escape the inevitable fallout from the news.
It was these thoughts that he found himself alone with as he perched on the roof of Cirenworth Hall, his back pressed against the cool stone of a large chimney. His hoodie would be permanently stained with dust and soot, but at the moment he felt far too alone and far too panicked to truly care.
“Christopher,” Ty repeated, settling down beside him, close enough that their shoulders brushed.
He’d changed so much in the three years since they’d last spoken, Kit realized: he’d grown almost a foot taller, his voice had deepened and his shoulders had broadened, to name a few. Nothing is permanent, Jem always reminded his family, and as much as Kit wished it wasn’t true, he had to admit he was correct. He’d always hated change- during the earlier parts of his life, it had always translated to pain and sadness and guilt.
But at the same time, some things about Ty had remained the same, and Kit tried to focus on those, if only to quieten his racing pulse and slow his slightly-ragged breath. Ty’s eyes remained the same: that shade of silver Kit had worked so hard to avoid, that shade of sorrow that he had painstaking worked to stop flinching away from whenever he looked at Tessa. Those eyes were just as restless as ever, darting to and fro across the view of the horizon like a hummingbird, absorbing the world in that unique way that only Ty seemed capable of. His restless hands were constants, as well: they fluttered by his sides as he turned toward Kit, and Kit zeroed in on them, tried to time his breaths with every other turn and twist of them.
Ty’s voice was a low thrum amongst the chaos of Kit’s panic, and for a few moments Kit dazedly wondered what tune he was humming, until he realized that Ty was repeating the same sequence of words, over and over. Kit’s mind latched onto the words, too, letting the sound of Ty’s voice surround and engulf him.
“Cloud, secret, highway, hurricane, mirror, castle, thorns. Cloud, secret, highway, hurricane, mirror, castle, thorns. Cloud, secret, highway, hurricane, mirror, castle, thorns.” He paused, his grey eyes darting away from the horizon to focus on Kit for a second. They truly were a remarkable colour- solidly silver all the way through, with no hints of blue or brown. His voice was solid and steady, too, a reassuring anchor amid Kit’s rapidly-fading panic. “You’re calmer now?”
“Why did you help me?” Kit’s voice was slightly hoarse, still tinged with panicked unease. “You- you… we haven’t spoken in years. When you and your siblings turned up, you didn’t say a word to me.” Ty’s hands twisted together in a brief, pained movement. Kit carried on speaking, desperate for an explanation. “Why did you help me?"
Because I love you! Was what all the love interests in those romance novels that Tessa was so fond of would have said. Kit often dreamed of Ty saying those words to him. But Ty wasn’t one to state things like that outright- show, don’t tell, had always been Ty’s method of conveying his emotions.
"You helped me, before. In London, you held me when I started having a meltdown. Only three people have ever done that for me: Julian, Livvy and you.” Ty’s long fingers twirled the end of his shoelace, his lips quirking upwards into a smile. “That helped me a lot. I thought you might want some help, too. Hearing my favourite words sometimes calms my mind; I thought, if you heard yours, it might help you, too.”
Kit blinked at him dazedly. “You remembered? My favourite words, I mean. After all this time, you still remember?”
Ty’s eyes darted away again, taking in the orange and pink hues of the Devon sunset. His angular features were bathed in the warm light, his face tilted skywards like he wanted the colours to consume him. He closed his eyes for a moment, his dark eyelashes fanning out against the sharp curve of his cheekbones, and all Kit could think was, how beautiful.
Ty opened his eyes, though he kept his face tilted upwards. Kit wished he’d brought his cellphone up with him; he never wanted to forget the sight of Ty like this. “I remember any information that interests me. Especially if it’s on a subject I really like- in that situation, I never seem to forget it. Especially when they’re all things that relate to you.”