A pair of blue-violet eyes open to light for the first time in a long time.
He doesn't move, staring into the light, but curiosity overwhelms him, and he goes to stand at the window.
It's not a familiar skyline, he realizes, panic and confusion growing. He's not in London anymore.
Brick and glass and steel rise up around him, buildings taller than he could have imagined.
The door opens, and he turns abruptly.
"Tessa," he whispers, and his panic turns to dust in face of the hope he suddenly feels.
"Will," she replies, smiling, beautiful as always, and he rushes towards her, arms wrapped tightly around her, clutching at her, and he feels her grip him tightly in return.
Footsteps echo down the hall, and he breaks away only to see Jem, not Jem as he remembered, but Jem nonetheless, and like a flood, hope and love and hurt crash together in Will's mind, and he's hugging Jem and he's hugging Tessa and they're on the floor, arms around each other, crying tears of joy, and WIll thinks he wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
They've been like that for a while when they are interrupted.
"Well, I see Mr. Herondale is awake," Magnus remarks drily.
Will gapes up at him, his arm entwined with another man's, dark-haired, blue-eyed, and arms covered in runes, with the kind of confidence that seems natural and easy.
Tessa stands first, brushing herself off. Will can't help but stare, her shirt cut with short sleeves and a v-neck, and pants of all things. She offers a hand to Will, who takes it, then to Jem, who takes it as well, giving Will the chance to look at his parabatai, face and poise still the same, though with different coloring, colors untouched by yin fen, Will realizes, and his heart aches.
The man with Magnus reaches a hand out. "Alec Lightwood."
"My husband," Magnus says, smiling.
Alec smiles in return, and Will can see that he loves Magnus with his whole heart, and vice versa.
However, Will has other things on his mind.
"A Lightworm? Really?" Will says incredulously.
Jem laughs, surprised. Tessa looks down, failing to suppress a smile. Magnus closes his eyes, sighing. Alec looks confused.
"After Benedict?" Will continues.
"Well, Benedict was almost 125 years ago now," Jem says.
Will stares, smile fading. "A hundred and twenty-five?" He whispers.
Tessa sighs. "I think we need to get Will up to speed. Magnus, Alec," she gestures at the door.
"Of course," Magnus says, taking Alec's hand. "I'll let Jace and Clary know he's awake."
Will stares blankly after them.
Tessa gestures, summoning a couple of chairs. "Shall we?"
Will lets Jem guide him, and he sits.
"I think it's best," Tessa says, "if you tell us what happens in your history, and we'll tell you what differs after."
Will's mouth feels dry, but he takes a deep breath. "My history? Well, it goes a little like this:
"We rescued Tessa from the Dark Sisters in September 1878. It was a cold fall and a colder winter. We were trying to protect you from the Magister, Tessa, but Mortmain tricked us into thinking it was DeQuincy, with help from your brother, Nate. Of course, he had already made Jessamine fall in love with him, so she was spying on us as we tried to hunt Mortmain down. We tried to get help from Starkweather, but that went absolutely poorly. Nate and Jessamine betray us, as well as Benedict, and Mortmain began to buy up all the yin fen. We were scared. Jem, you proposed to Tessa, who said yes. Then, Cecily showed up, and I was even more scared. Benedict finally succumbed to demon pox, and we had to kill him, and Tatiana was so very angry with us, but at least Gabriel and Gideon weren't. But things went downhill, fast after that. Mortmain kidnapped Tessa, and I went to look for her. While I was gone, Jem, you used the last of the yin fen and almost died. But you didn't. Somehow, you became a Silent Brother instead. Against the Clave's orders, we all went to Cadair Idris.
"But we were late, far too late. There were so many of them, we couldn't do anything about it. And Tessa, you used your ability to turn into an angel, the one around your neck in the necklace. But no matter how much he tried to protect you, it just- it just-, you burned up, it was too much for you, but it didn't take out nearly enough demons, and it didn't take out Mortmain.
"We kept fighting, of course. Four long years. And we just kept falling until there was nothing left."
Will tries to ignore that his hands are shaking, that he's almost in tears as they fall silent.
Will watches Jem and Tessa exchange a look. They nod and return their stares to Will.
He sighs, eyes falling shut. "It was the very end, and somehow, I ended up one of the last few standing. I was desperate, and I wanted an escape. I figured an angel could help, or I would die trying.
"Our records had been all but destroyed, of course, but I had found something, and I was hoping it would work. I just wasn't expecting to see Ithuriel again."
"Ithuriel?" Tessa asks, eyes widening as she puts a hand to the angel necklace she still wore.
Will nods. "The very same. I asked him to send me somewhere I'd be happy." He laughs, but it's empty, and he knows both Jem and Tessa know it. "I figured he'd kill me. But next thing I know, I'm here."
Tessa sighs, covering her face, and Jem reaches out for Will's hand. Will can't help but reach back.
He lets the story sit in the silence for a moment before pressing on. "I assume things went better here, considering it's been 125 years."
Tessa nods. "Our Mortmain was less prepared than yours, and Ithuriel didn't kill me," she replies.
"And Jem?" Will asks, confused.
"I still became a Silent Brother," Jem replies.
Will sighs, leaning back in his chair. "Then how?"
"A story of Herondales, Fairchilds, Lightwoods, Carstairs, and Blackthorns," Jem replies, smiling at Tessa. She smiles back.
"We survive, then we live," Tessa says. She looks at Will, love in her eyes, and Will can't help but feel surprised. "We get married, have kids, and we live a... mostly peaceful life."
Will stares in shock. A future? With Tessa? He would've never thought it was possible he'd be that lucky.
"James and Lucie," Tessa continues, smiling. "The trouble they get into..." She shakes her head. "Though we brave it all, Princes of Hell, my father, Lucie commanding the dead, James disappearing into demon realms and turning into shadows. Their parabatai stay with them until the end, and their friends. Kit, Thomas, Matthew, Alastair, Cordelia, Grace." She smiles faintly. She sighs after that. "We grow older, then they grow older. They have children, grandchildren, and the Herondales continue."
"I die," Will says, frowning.
"Yes," Tessa says. "Unlike me, you are not immortal. But you die surrounded by friends and family."
"And after?" Will asks.
She shrugs. "I spend a lot of time with Magnus, then the Spiral Labyrinth. And there I stay. Our story grows quiet until the 1980s."
Jem frowns, angry. "The Circle."
"The Circle?" Will asks.
Tessa nods, looking just as furious. "A group of Shadowhunters against the Accords, lead by Valentine Morgenstern. A charismatic young man, but also a dangerous one. He leads his group to attack the Clave during the signing of the Accords."
Will turns pale. "Does he succeed?"
"No, because of the actions of his wife and his former parabatai, Jocelyn Fairchild and Luke Graymark."
"What happened to Luke?" Will asks, suspicious of the word 'former'.
"He's still alive," Tessa says, smiling. "He was turned into a werewolf."
"Oh," Will says.
"Yes, well, after their attack failed, Valentine faked his own death, along with that of his wife and child by burning down Fairchild manor."
"Child?" Will asks in surprise.
Jem nods. "There are two, one that the Clave thought died, and one the Clave never thought existed. One who carried the blood of a demon, and one who has a little more of angel blood than the rest of us."
"Which takes us to 2007," Tessa says. "Clary Fairchild meets Jace Wayland, Isabelle Lightwood. and Alec Lightwood. She has her memories of Downworld blocked, so they go to find who put the block there, which turns out to be Magnus Bane. They take Clary's mundane friend, Simon. And thus, the six of them have their lives entangled forevermore."
Will scoffs. "This isn't a romance novel, Tessa."
"No, it's not," she replies smiling. "Though a series of complicated events follow, including Clary and Jace thinking they're siblings; Simon becoming a vampire, then a Daylighter; Alec and Magnus dating; Simon and Isabelle dating; Simon gaining the Mark of Cain; Jace and Clary learning they aren't siblings; Jace realizing he also has extra angel blood and that he's a Herondale; Clary killing her father; Sebastian revealing himself to be alive, then dying; Lilith bringing Sebastian back to life; Sebastian controlling Jace for about two months; Simon summoning Raziel and losing the Mark of Cain in order to get a sword that would not kill Jace while he was connected to Sebastian; Jace getting heavenly fire in his veins; Sebastian corrupting Shadowhunters using Lilith's blood and then becoming super powerful; the Seelie Queen supporting Sebastian; Sebastian kidnapping Magnus, Jocelyn, and Luke, among others; Sebastian attacking Alicante; Clary, Jace, Simon, Alec, and Isabelle going to a demon realm to attack Sebastian and save the hostages; Simon becoming mortal and losing his memories; Clary killing Sebastian; the fair folk becoming enemy number one; Malcolm Fade attempting to bring back his long lost love by killing a Blackthorn; and Emma and Julian taking down a bunch of fascists by turning into flaming giants because there is no actual curse for loving your parabatai, the Clave just didn't want more people turning into flaming giants when it wasn't necessary."
"I... what?" Will asks.
"You'll meet people and get a better understanding soon," Jem promises.
"When was all of that?" Will asks.
"Mm," Tessa shrugs. "Most of it was 2007, but some of the later events were up until last year, including Emma and Julian turning into the mythological Nephilim."
Will stares blankly at them.
"It's okay if you're lost, I would have been, too if I hadn't lived through it."
"Wait, but how did you become not a Silent Brother?"
"Jace, and heavenly fire. It burnt out the last remains of the yin fen, but also undid many of the Silent Brother rituals."
Will stares in shock.
"A Herondale saved my life once more," Jem says.
Will shakes his head.
"Things that are probably particularly relevant to you," Tessa says, teasingly. "Alec Lightwood, Magnus's husband? He's the consul, and also your sister's great-great-great-great-grandson because she married Gabriel. Alec is also Jace's parabatai, who is related to you."
"Yes, I do believe those things are true," Alec says, walking in. "I just wanted to say Clary and Jace wanted to meet you, Will."
"Where's Magnus?" Tessa asks.
"Taking care of the children," Alec says.
Will stares in horror. "So not only does my sister marry a Lightworm, but so does Magnus, my great-great-great-great-grandson is parabatai with one, and one is the Consul?"
Alec smirks. "Actually, I'm an outlier, and I did three of those things, so I'm not sure I should be counted." He lets the smirk fall. "Plus I'm technically the Consul-in-Exile."
Will stares in confusion.
"Which is total nonsense," Jem adds, "And only because the Cohort threatened mass suicide."
"What?" Will asks, staring in horror.
Tessa pats his shoulder. "I'll explain that better another time."
Will closes his eyes. "God, I am so tired."
Jem looks alarmed. "We should be letting you rest."
"I'm not glass, Jem," Will replies, then yawns. "Though I do guess sleep sounds nice."
"Then we'll leave you," Tessa says. "Sleep well, cariad," she says, and Will's present company leaves.