Chapter VIII

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Kit swore as he hoisted himself up onto a roof, leaning down and extending a hand out to Ty.
Patrols weren't fun, actual missions were even less so.
It was 2am, last Kit had checked. He should be in bed, even watching something on Netflix.
But no. Not tonight.
Instead they were trying to locate a mantid demon nest in a housing development.
Kit didn't ask many questions. He was expecting a pretty small area. Not five streets splitting off from a larger street in the centre.
Everyone had been divided up- teams of two in each street and one pair at the main street.
Ty and Kit were in the first street. Dru and Jaime Rosales in the one beside them. Kit was unsure on where everyone else was investigating- but he knew that Aline and Helen were together, Kieran and Diego Rosales (who was called in to assist from the Scholomance) had been begrudgingly paired up, Cristina and Mark were most likely in the street beside Kieran and Diego, and Cameron Ashdown and Diana Wrayburn were paired up.

Kit was uneasy. Very, very uneasy. They had checked every house in this street, from top to bottom, with no sign of any activity. Ty had decided that the roof of a garage would give them a suitable vantage point, and Kit had agreed as it was fairly easy to jump down from.
So that was were they sat; Ty examining everything he could from where he was perched, absentmindedly twirling the wire of his headphones around his fingers with one hand, and Kit sitting fidgeting with his trademark Herondale daggers, listening carefully for the slightest noise, eyes half shut.

Click. Click. Click.
Kit's eyes shot open, and his brow furrowed.
That wasn't normal, was it?
Ty didn't seem to have noticed.
"Ty?"
"Yeah?" he replied, turning around to look at Kit.
"Do you hear that?"
"Do I hear what?"
"Listen, that clicking noise. Mantids make that."
Ty closed his eyes, clearly trying to block everything from his senses to focus on that one noise.
His eyes shot open.
"I hear it, I can't tell where it's coming from though..."
"If I didn't know any better I'd say it's..." Kit trailed off, as Ty looked directly into his eyes. He suppressed the shudder that came from Ty doing that.
"...I'd say it's coming from all around us," Ty finished, suddenly looking nervous.

Kit stood up, and walked to the middle of the roof- trying to get the best view he could. Ty scrambled up beside him, pulling his phone out and starting a group call. He didn't speak until someone from every pair had answered.
"Has anyone spotted anything yet?" he rushed out.
"No, it seems clear," Helen replied. "Maybe they've moved elsewhere." There was noises of agreement from the others.
Ty looked at Kit nervously, and Kit took the phone from his hands.
"Right, they're still here. If you listen carefully you can hear them clicking."
There was silence for a few seconds, then some sharp inhales followed by Kieran muttering in what Kit assumes was some Faerie dialect he didn't speak and Dru loudly said "Shit."
"Yeah, shit indeed. However I have a plan." Kit said slowly. Ty looked at him curiously.
Diego spoke first. "I believe I'm yet to hear a sensible idea from Kit Herondale."
Cristina responded with "When it comes to missions, Kit comes up with good strategies. It's just any other time he just, well, doesn't."
Ty chimed in, "He has that look on his face so I mean I'm pretty sure this one might not kill us all."
Kit elbowed him and Ty softly went "Ow" which momentarily distracted Kit. He shook himself back.
"Clearly, we're surrounded. Teams of two could result in a casualty. I think we should all move towards the road in the centre, and the Mantids should follow us. It will be easier to fight in a larger group."
Everyone agreed with this.
Helen cleated her throat, "Move quickly, we can't risk wasting time. As you all know, mere minutes or seconds can be the difference between life and death." Kit had forgotten the authority Helen speaks with in situations like these, but of course she is the acting head of the Los Angeles Institute for a reason.
One by one, everyone hung up. Kit and Ty were left on the phone to Helen and Aline, as they were about to end the call- Helen spoke, "Stay safe, and well done Kit. No one else had noticed that."
He felt himself blush. Even after the two years he'd been with the Blackthorns, he still wasn't used to praise from anyone other than Ty.
"Thank you. Be careful, both of you, we'll be there soon," he replied, before ending the call.

Kit felt a hand on his shoulder, as Ty turned him round to face him- clear anxiety written on his face as his hands fluttered by his sides.
Kit brushed the hair back from Ty's face, without fully recognising what he was doing. His eyes widened in realisation, and he quickly pulled Ty into a hug.
He burrowed his face in Ty's shoulder, and felt the taller boy relax and hug him back, his hands stopping their movements.
As Ty relaxed, Kit moved his head and looked up at him- suddenly very aware of the butterflies in his stomach.
He leaned in, slowly, towards Ty's face. Ty did the same. He moved again, to close the distance between the two. Holy shit this can't be happening oh my god- he froze.

Click. Click. Click.

The two boys sprung apart.
The clicking noise was getting louder.
And closer.
They looked at each other.
"Shit," Kit exclaimed.
"Run," Ty replied, grabbing Kit's arm and pulling him down off the roof.

********

They were the last to arrive back at the main street. As they came into view of the others, at this point jogging, Kit noticed Helen's body relax- and Aline put a hand on her arm. He looked at Ty, who looked back with a guilty expression, and they both sped up their pace.

"Where were you? We thought you'd gotten hurt." Helen asked.
"Well, I didn't," Dru clarified, with what appeared to be a knowing look on her face. Kit scowled at her, with Ty narrowing his eyes.
"Well?" Aline asked. "Where were you?"
Ty spoke before Kit got the chance to, and Kit was relieved. He didn't know what he would have said. Oh, sorry Helen- I was going to kiss your little brother and then I realised that we could possibly get torn apart by these massive fucking insects. So I decided, hmmmm maybe not.
"I forgot an agility and stamina rune earlier, before we left the Institute, so I asked Kit to give me them so I wouldn't be trying to fight without them."
Helen's face softened and she nodded at them.

"Hey guys?" Jaime Rosales called out, grabbing the attention at all those who had been looking at Kit and Ty. "I think we have company."

The Mantid demons were approaching them slowly from all sides. There were a lot of them, more than they had expected. Kit wasn't exactly too worried, although. Him, Ty and Dru had managed to take on almost this many demons between the three of them before- sustaining only minor injuries.
He looked to Ty, and then to Dru. They looked at him with expressions that told him they were thinking the same thing. He smirked at them both.

Kit pulled out one of his Seraph blades, as the demons continued to advance. He noticed the others doing the same around him. They had taken on a circular formation, leaving no weak or blind spots. Ty had taken his normal space by Kit's side, with Dru beside him.
Kit gave him a half smile, before calling out "Cassiel," the cool adamas coming to life in his hands. He grinned, eyeing up the closest demon to him, before swinging his blade and cutting the mantid clean in half. He quickly, yet temporarily, forgot the yearning in his heart to attempt to kiss Ty again.

Let the fun begin.

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