After a lifetime’s worth of darkness and silence, Jem struggled with adjusting back to a life of sound and noise. His sleep would oftentimes be troubled, and it broke Tessa’s heart to hear Jem call for his parabatai like he used to years ago, back when his hair was silver-white and their relationships were still new. Tessa did some research and talked to some people (mostly Magnus) and finally came up with the best solution she had.

Which was how she found herself lying on an old patchwork quilt in the late afternoon sun, dozing and struggling not to allow the drowsiness to drag her under.

Jem was focused on his book, but he was still acutely aware of Tessa’s warmth to his side as his eyes scanned the pages. 

Tessa yawned and finally laid her book on her chest, looking to the side to watch Jem. It was strange for her still, to be able to openly show affection to him after all these years. Part of her heart still felt guilt at the gestures she offered him, like she was disrespecting her William’s memory through this. 

But the rest of her knew that this would have been what he’d wanted for her and for him, and that if he was still able to see them he’d be yelling at her for not being with him. So even though her mind reminded her that he was mortal and she was simply running headfirst toward heartbreak, she dove in with her eyes closed and her heart open.

She’d deal with the repercussions one day. But that was a problem for tomorrow’s Tessa. Today’s Tessa would enjoy the sun and the birds and the breeze and her Jem at her side. Tomorrow would wait.

Will and Jem for anonymous


Will had taken to wandering the green countrysides in the evenings. It was cooler, for one, and quieter. The children were in bed by this hour, and Tessa would be in the library for another two or three hours at least. So Will walked and allowed his thoughts to fly over green hills and tiny villages to the city below ground where his brother lived now.

Jem. The brother that had gotten him through the worst things in his existence, now sequestered in a dark city of death and silence, forbidden to speak or play music or be the boy that had shown Will so much of what it was to love. It had been ten years, both too short and too long at the same time. He and Tessa had wed, she’d borne him beautiful children, and they had a beautiful home in the Welsh countryside where he’d grown up. It should be perfect. But without the music he’d grown to rely on without even knowing, it seemed incomplete.

Dark blue eyes focused on the moon’s reflection in the pond as he settled on the shore. Its silvery white image reminded him of pale face under lighter hair, the color seeped from his body by the drug that was both survival and poison.

“I don’t know why I keep doing this,” Will confided to the heavenly body. “It’s not like you can hear me.” He took a deep breath to calm himself.

“Tess is doing wonderfully. I know you’d want to know about her first. Out of fairness, she is the better of us.” Will gave a soft chuckle, laying back to stare up at the moon.

“James is growing to be just like I was. Obstinate and rude.” He sighed now. “I wish you were here. Maybe you could calm him, the way you always managed to calm my temper.” Will stopped to rub his eyes. “Angel above, but I wish you were here.”

He stared morosely up at the unchanging silver face. 

“It was never supposed to be like this, James. I was supposed to cure you. We were supposed to grow old together, with my being rude and you playing music at infernal hours until I had to threaten to tie you o your bed to force you to rest. We were… you were never supposed to leave me like this.”

Will touched the scar on his inner arm, the parabatai rune he’d never had the heart to Mark over. The scar stood, pale and vibrant against tanned skin.

“I just… I miss you James. I miss you so much it hurts.”

With that, Will stood from his spot and returned to his home and his wife’s arms, where he would be until tomorrow night when he would return to speak to the moon like it could bring his brother back.

Hundreds of miles away, in a staircase leading far below London, a solitary Brother stands and watches the moon in silence.