"What are you going to do?" Clary asked the demon, and she hated herself for the pain that tinged her voice. She lay on the floor, her own crimson blood mixing with the red in her hair. "Tell me! What are you going to do to him?"
The demon smiled at her, oozing slime onto the floor. It burnt with acrid smell of wilting souls, and Clary couldn't help but shudder in distaste. "I'm doing nothing to Jace," said the demon, its voice twisting and writhing and taunting her, willing her to give up and walk away. It paused. "It's what I'm going to do to you."
Clary moaned softly, inching her fingers round the seraph blade at her belt. "Raphael," she whispered quietly, naming it, giving it life.
The demon laughed, though it sounded more like a balloon letting out air. "I wouldn't bother with that, little shadowhunter," it hissed. "Not when there are more where I came from. Not when, if I decided to give the order, Jace could die. Shadowhunters are so careless. Always dying. You'd think they'd know better by now."
"You're under-estimating Jace," said Clary, though doubt slipped into her tone. "He's strong. He's the best. The best there is."
"Ah," the demon murmured, "but is the best good enough?"
Clary was silent.
"What I am going to do," said the demon, as if he was explaining his plans for the weekend, "is erase you from Jace's life. In fact, I'm going to erase you from everyone's life, just as if you never existed. I'm going to steal your mother's memories of you. I'm going to steal Alec's and Magnus' and Isabelle's memories of you. I'm going to steal everyone's memories of you, like you were never even born, so they don't even realise that they're missing someone. I'm going to take away Jace's memories of you last, though." The demon grinned. It was not a good look for it. "I'm going to rewind time to the moment he met you, and I'm going to make sure that someone else meets him instead and he's going to fall in love with her. With her - not you. He won't know you ever existed."
Clary grimaced, trying to fight through the pain and the blood and her horror at the demon's words. "Not if I kill you first, you -"
The demon flicked out its tongue. "You're not really in any condition for killing, Clary. Do try and be reasonable." It moved in what was probably supposed to be a shrug, strips of slime dripping onto the floor. "Besides, if you tried to stop me, I'd make sure Jace was dead by tomorrow evening."
With difficulty, Clary rolled her eyes. She didn't say anything - because what was there to say? It was Jace's life, or his memories of her life. Everyone's memories of her life. It was a no-brainer, really.
"Do your worst," said Clary dryly, through the blood beginning to congregate and congeal inside her mouth. The demon nodded, triumphantly, and Clary watched as the demon made sure people she'd spent every day of her life with forget everything about her.
She rolled onto her side, to face away from the demon, to disguise the thoughts of her life unravelling. She didn't speak for a long, long time, until the demon most likely thought she'd died, or fallen asleep. "Why are you doing this?" she said then, her voice numb and dry like the dirt she lay strewn across.
The demon tilted its head towards her, pleased with itself. "It's fun," it said matter-of-factly. "It's fun to watch you mortals make mockeries of yourselves for the people you love."
Clary lay silent once more, thinking. Jace would no longer remember her, much less love her.
But she'd always love him. Always. She'd love him till she died.
"Judging by the blood pouring out of you, I reckon you'll die soon," said the demon chirpily. Clary resigned to love Jace more than she ever had before, in each of her last dying moments, sending him her love like love was a postcard and she'd been on holiday for far too long.
She loved him.
She loved him.
She loved him.
She loved -
The demon laughed.