Cold wind whipped through Simon's hair as he stood amongst his friends on the paving slabs at the bottom of Kia's small garden, a solemn, grave look on each of their faces. He looked to the sky as Alec lowered Isabelle onto the hard concrete ground. It was around sunset, and the sky was streaked with pinks and reds and oranges, not a cloud to be seen. It was the kind of sunset that Izzy would love, Simon thought. He exhaled loudly, and noticed Alec go and stand next to Emma, holding her comfortingly as she sobbed soundlessly into his chest, her nails digging into his shoulders. Simon tried his best not to watch as Kia went into her stepdad's workshop, emerging with a bottle of white spirit, and proceeded to sprinkle it all over Isabelle's body. She looked so peaceful, as though she might only be sleeping, as though she'd wake up any moment.
Soundlessly, Jodie crouched down next to her cousin, running her hands through Izzy's long, dark hair, which was precisely the same colour as Alec's. Simon glared at his shoes as Jodie planted one last kiss on her cousins forehead, then lit the match and dropped it onto Isabelle's body. She ran over to Felix, who wrapped his arms around her waist firmly. "I love you, Isabelle." Jodie choked out, as Felix rubbed her shoulders soothingly.
Simon nearly jumped in surprise when he felt Kia's arms loop around his neck. "It's alright, Simon," She said, reaching up and wiping tears off of Simons cheeks that Simon didn't even realise were there. He let his head drop onto his best friends shoulder as she stroked his hair, whispering comforting words that he barely heard into his ear. He felt so numb and empty without Isabelle, even worse than he had felt when Clary and Jace had been slain in battle a year prior, as though a light in his heart had gone out, as though someone had scooped out his insides and replaced them with bricks. "Come on, let's go inside, I think I have my brothers fully charged iPad upstairs, and he has all of the Transformers and Marvel movies downloaded on it."
He allowed himself to be lead to the back door behind Kia, who almost had a heart attack when she was greeted by her black Labrador. "Stupid dog," she muttered as she closed the door behind them, and Simon stroked the dog absent-mindedly as he looked out at all of their friends still standing and the bottom of the garden, gathering around the blazing fire that was his girlfriend.
"Wait here," she instructed him, as they walked into the living room. He collapsed onto the plush, deep red, velvet sofa, knocking off a golden pillow in the process, but in that moment he didn't care. All he cared about was Isabelle.
He looked down at his black converse, and felt his eyes begin to blur. He wished that Clary were there to comfort him, just like she had when his goldfish had died, when his Mom got mad at him, when he was feeling low - but he didn't even have Clary anymore. Simon had never felt so alone in his whole life.
He knew he had Kia, who had known Clary almost as well as he had, but things weren't the same. She wouldn't understand how he was feeling as well as Clary would have.
"Hey," a voice said quietly, from the doorway. Simons head snapped up, expecting to see Kia, but instead Tara stood there, leaning against the door frame casually. "Mind if I sit?"
Simon shook his head and lounged against the back of the seat, self-consciously wiping hot, salty tears from his eyes. He looked at Tara through his long, thick eyelashes. Her midnight blue hair seemed to glow in the light that radiated from the French-doors at the far end of the room, which was bathing everything in a pinkish red colour. He noticed the flecks of purple and gold in her brown irises, which surrounded the cat-like green slits that were her pupils. They contrasted with her olive-toned skin in a strange yet pleasant way, like how it tasted when you dipped french-fries in milkshake.
"Tara," He said, after a moment. His voice sounded low and rasping. "Do you know Magnus Bane?"
Tara looked taken aback by his question, and narrowed her eyes slightly before answering. "Yes, I do..."
"Do you have any means of contacting him?" Simon said. Although Simon was never Alec's number one fan, and Magnus and Alec had broken up when Jace had died, Simon felt as though he owed it to Isabelle to try and make her twin brother happy again.
"Yes, but I don't particularly want to. Why do you ask?"
"I just... need to speak with him." Simon said slowly. "It's important." he added, as Tara narrowed her eyes even more.
"Fine, I'll do it later," Tara muttered, as Kia re-entered the room, carrying what Simon assumed to be Joseph's iPad.
"Here, I have "revenge of the fallen" set up and ready to watch - oh, hey Tara," Kia said, giving a Tara a sad, grief-laden smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. "I also brought down a blanket," She added, throwing a fluffy pink duvet at Simon.
"Thank you," Simon said softly, giving Kia a grateful look. Tara looked at her shoes.
"I'm going outside, to check on the others." She said after an awkward, dithering pause, and Simon watched through the glass doors as Kia hurried down the garden path towards their friends. The fire was dying out now, and the sky had darkened almost completely. It was a clear night, and Simon could see thousands of star's surrounded a bright, glowing full moon. He thought idly about Luke and the werewolf pack back in New York.
"Would you mind if I watched with you?" Tara said, with a shiver. "Revenge of the Fallen is my favourite Transformers movie."
"I would've thought of you as more of an Age of Extinction girl." Simon teased.
"Oh my god," Tara groaned, "Don't even get me started on that movie!"
"It's literally only about Optimus and Bumblebee!" Simon said, rolling his eyes behind his glasses. "What happened to the rest of the originals?"
"I know right!" Tara nodded enthusiastically. "It's a disgrace to the Transformers franchise."
"Oh, I know," Simon laughed, despite himself. "Try telling that to Isabelle though, she loves that -" Simon stopped mid-sentence, his smile sliding from his face like an avalanche. There was no Izzy around to love anything anymore.
"Let's just watch the movie," Tara said, looking at Simon cautiously. He nodded in response, and Tara shuffled slightly closer to him, as they emerged themselves in to the fictional world of Sam, Optimus, Bumblebee and Mud-flap.
* * *
Felix couldn't sleep.
He surveyed the room with his tired green eyes, letting out a silent yawn. Beside him, he saw Jodie fast asleep, her mouth hanging slightly open. She looked almost angelic, her halo of golden-blonde hair glistening in the pale moonlight as she snored the night away. Even Hannah, he noticed, seemed to be sleeping without a single stir.
The room was awash with blankets, sleeping bags and blow up mattresses that Kia had dug out of her attic once they had all returned to the house after burning Isabelle. The air was coated in the ugly aroma of dust mingled with smoke, and as Felix breathed it in he found himself never wanting to draw another breath again.
In the middle of the room, next to Simon, lay Kia. Her copper-bronze, wavy hair fanned out around her on the pillow in a more wild, unruly way than Jodie's did, and a pool of drool had began to gather besides her mouth, with was agape. He found it oddly endearing.
He'd always loved her, since the moment he'd first saw her. He was in 11th grade, her in 9th, and they had Spanish together. He sat at the front of the classroom next to a girl named Elizabeth, and she sat a seat behind him, with Clary Morgenstern, one of the Shadowhunter's in his grade with brilliant red hair who was dating another Nephilim who went by the name of Jace.
"Dammit, I forgot my pen," she had said. "Clary, do you have a spare?"
Clary rummaged in her pockets, but finally concluded that she didn't have another pen in there. "Nope, I'm sorry."
Kia had sighed, before turning to Felix with curious eyes. He'd often caught her staring at him around school, but she'd always looked away so quickly that he'd convinced himself that he was dreaming it. The way she'd looked at him then was another story, one that made Felix begin to doubt that he had dreamed anything at all.
"Excuse me," she said, tapping Felix on the shoulder. He turned around, avoiding eye contact. "Hi, I'm Kia, um, do you have a spare pen?" she'd said awkwardly.
Clary had laughed. "Yeah, here," He'd said, handing her the pen as his cheeks blushed a more intense red than they naturally had before. Kia had smiled and thanked him, before turning to Clary and launching into some conversation about a band.
He missed that carefree, happy Kia, the one that had existed before Clary's death, but of course she had been gone for a long time. She'd seemed even more distant with him since him and Jodie had become an item, although admittedly, that had been an accident on his part. When she had kissed him, he hadn't the heart to tell her he wasn't interested - and it wasn't as though she was the worst person in the world, even if she wasn't Kia.
"Felix?" He heard Jodie stir, "What are you doing?" she squinted at him through sleepy eyes.
"Nothing," He replied, shortly. "Go back to sleep."
"Okay. Love you..." she trailed off, her head dropping back onto her pillow. Felix didn't reply.