Guilty

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Jace knocked on Echo's door and entered the room. Without a word, the twins walked towards each other and Echo held out the picture. Jace took it in his hand but held it away from his body as if Valentine would jump out of the picture. There was a moment of silence before Jace said anything.

"Do you remember taking this picture?"

Echo shook her head, "I didn't before, but when I was unconscious from," Echo swallowed clearly uneasy, "I had memory flashes."

"What kind of memory flashes?"

Echo sat down on her made bed, "From Idris. I saw Jocelyn and us when we were newborns. Then when we were one. I even saw my mom hold a positive pregnancy test. Then the last memory was taking that picture." Echo gestured to the picture, "We had just turned three, maybe a month or two after."

Jace looked at the picture, "So Jocelyn was pregnant with Clary in this picture."

Echo nodded, "Yeah, Oh, and I also saw the Morgenstern manor burning."

Jace was suddenly interested, "You saw the manor burn?"

Echo nodded, "Yeah, Jocelyn had me in her grasp, but I didn't see a boy's face, like I had thought."

Jace, the picture aside, sat next to Echo, "What did you see in that memory? What did you feel?"

Echo was confused as to why Jace was so concerned about this particular memory, "I saw the manor in flames and I could feel Jocelyn's hand on my wrist, the three year old me, and I could feel regret and guilt and love. It was very confusing."

"What was Jocelyn like?" Echo could feel the embarrassment in the question.
"She was, tired and nervous. The majority of the memories she had dried tears on her cheeks. She wasn't happy."

Jace, suddenly furious, stood up throwing the picture on the bed, "Why would she take you and not both of us?"

Echo was shocked at the sudden anger radiating off of Jace, "I don't know Jace. Maybe something happened. Something that made her think she could only save one of us."

Jace suddenly melted to his knees, "This doesn't make sense. Any of this."

Echo slowly stood up and walked toward her new brother, "It's not supposed to make sense. Valentine manipulated all of us. He ruined most of our lives." Echo was now kneeling in front of Jace putting a hand on his shoulder, "Jace, we will figure this out. Okay? Hey, look at me."

Echo had never seen Jace in this way, or any Shadowhunter in this way before. Vulnerable and fragile. Jace slowly looked up with glossy eyes.
"I know how you feel, Jace. I do, but the way that you feel shouldn't make you weak, it should make you strong. This emotion will ignite your will to kill that son of a bitch. But until then, we have to stay calm and just get through each day. Like today," Echo tried to lighten the mood.

"It's a wedding day, for God's sake. Aren't wedding days supposed to be full of tears of joy and celebrations?"

Jace cracked a small smile and let out a breath.

"We can get back to finding Valentine tomorrow, Okay? Until then, I think we all deserve a day off."

Jace finally let out a breathy laugh and shook his head.

"One day. That's all we get."

Echo nodded, "One day."

**

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