In the rules of the Clave, travel years served as an opportunity for young shadowhunters to study, train and patrol abroad. It was put in place so that shadowhunters could learn and become better warriors. For Emma and Julian, this was not quite the case. Their travel year served as a romantic getaway, consisting of romantic dates and cheesy postcards, with the occasional demon killing.
So far they had traveled to half their scheduled destinations. New York had been wild. Emma had trained with Jace and had sleepovers with Clary as if Clary herself were a teenager like Emma. Julian was more himself than he had been in years, and Clary had even made a comment to Emma about it. Emma had just grinned. She was happy that Julian was more at ease. She was happy that everyone else could see it too.
He was happy, and that was the best part of all.
Of course he wasn’t all carefree. He still had five years of parenting drilled into him and seemed to have a hard time escaping big brother mode. There would always be times when Emma had to remind him that no, he didn’t need to call helen for the sixth time that day and that his siblings could survive without him.
After New York, they visited Mexico. Cristina had been visiting her mother with Kieran and Mark at the time, and Emma couldn’t have been more delighted to see that Mrs Rosales was approving of her daughters love life. After Mexico came England, a short weekend trip that had been a blur of Emma chatting with Jem, cooing over Mina and miraculously getting along with Kit. They hadn’t talked much when they’d lived in the institute at the same time, but it turned out that there was actually a person alive that could match Emma’s sarcasm.
Next on the list had been Paris, the place that had been on Emma and Julian's place purely because they wanted to go to the one place all couples went to be in love. After what had felt like an eternity of hiding their love, they could be an obnoxious couple that was far too big on pda, and oh boy were they going to be big on pda.
"You know what I was thinking?" Julian said one night after the two had payed for their hot chocolates from the hot chocolate cart and were walking down a street that was lit up so vibrantly with light and colour that there could have been some sort of party going on. There wasn't; Emma and Julian had just spontaneously decided to take a walk at eleven o clock at night.
"What?" Emma asked, craning to look up at her boyfriend. Boyfriend. The word still made her feel fuzzy inside. His arm was around her shoulders, warming her up just as much as the hot chocolate she was sipping.
"Well, remember in Thule-,"
"Oh, you mean the super weird alternative universe we accidentally travelled to where Sebastian Morgernstern had an army of endarkened that we were apart of?" Emma interupted. Her tone was light, which surprised her considering she hated talking about Thule. "Vaguely,"
"Quiet, Carstairs," Julian said, but he only pulled her closer to him. "Well, remember when we saw the endarkened us and we were disgusted at their pda? I think we might be borderline... them,"
Emma laughed, and feigned horror. He had a point. "If this is your way of telling me I need to stop making out with you in front of major tourist attractions..,"
"Don't you dare," Julian grinned, and Emma could have burst with joy right then and there. It seemed too good to be true, but it was. It was just Julian and Emma, taking on the world and being in love.
They stopped at the side of a bridge that overlooked a river. The sky was pitch black, but the streetlights reflected onto the water making the water seem like a canvas that had been painted. Being mid december, the air was cold. Both Emma and Julian were wearing coats. They held hands and Emma wondered if any of this was real. It felt like a really good dream and Emma was almsot afraid she might wake up.
"Are you warm enough?" Emma asked Julian when he shivered a little. He mock groaned.
"Isn't that supposed to be my line? Aren't I supposed to sacrifice my coat for your warmth?" He asked, a smile playing in his lips. Emma threw her arms up in surrender.
"I never said anything about giving up my coat," she argued. "I was just gonna do this,"
She got on her tippy toes and kissed him, looping her arms around his neck and holding him as if she could use her body to shield his from the cold. He seemed to appreciate it, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her back.
There was nothing fierce about the kiss; nothing desperate or hungry as their kisses had been once before. It was gentle and sweet and gave Emma butterflies in the way that amazed her everytime. It seemed so familiar yet so foreign but also wonderful and Emma couldn’t imagine wanting for anything else other than to simply be there in the moment with him in her arms.
Maybe it was a dream, but it didn’t look like she was waking up anytime soon.