What if Jonathan Morgenstern had lived: Why play games when you can slay demons for real?

If you read City of Heavenly Fire, you can probably still remember how you felt when Jonathan died. Angry, sad, disappointed, unfair he died before he got a chance to live. I felt it all. So did my brain. My mind started playing with the concept What If Jonathan Had Lived? That’s why I’ve decided to write this series of short scenes. They all take place after the ending of COHF (apart from the first one) and all include Jonathan Morgenstern. I do not own these characters and these events never happened, it’s all from my imagination.This scene takes place at Clary’s house, where Simon and Jonathan are playing videogames.

“I don’t get the point of this game.” Jonathan dropped the controller in his lap and leaned back on the couch. “What are you doing?! You can’t just drop out, you have to help kill that- never mind.” The two avatars fell down and ‘Game Over’ dripped on the screen. Simon sighed irritated. “You can’t just quit in the middle of the game, man.” He looked at Clary’s brother, his brow furrowed. They were at Clary’s house. Simon lived at the Institute now too, but they didn’t have a TV or videogames there, so he spent most of his time on Clary’s couch. As did Jonathan, since he was getting used to seeing Jocelyn as not just his mother, but as his mom too. “I don’t understand this! What’s fun about shooting people with buttons on a screen?” Jonathan held up the controller questioning and Simon gasped in shock, which made Jonathan raise his eyebrows amused. “This is the most epic game ever! It has a great story behind it-“ Jonathan cut him off. “Why would you even enjoy playing this? It’s not even real. You’re a shadowhunter now, you kill demons for a living. Which is, if you hadn’t noticed, very real.” Simon fidgeted with the controller. “I don’t know. I guess because it reminds me of being an ordinary human?” He laughed a little. “No one gets why I love playing games, not even Clary and she’s been my best friend for years. But I don’t want to give it up, just because  I’m a shadowhunter now.” He glanced at Jonathan. “I don’t know, it might seem weird to you..” Jonathan shook his head. “No I think I get what you mean.”  Simon’s eyes lit up and Jonathan shot him a grin. “Tell me more about this game.” He didn’t have to tell him twice, Simon bursted into a story about characters and lives and levels and Jonathan had trouble keeping up. “.. so you can choose your character, and you have to shoot everyone, John-“ “Jonathan.” “- right, if you do that, you’ll find the villain..” and so on. He only stopped talking for a minute when Jocelyn walked in. “Hi boys.” Simon held up his finger in greeting. “Hi mrs. F.” Jonathan just smiled at his mother, still not sure how to greet her properly. ‘Hi mom,” didn’t seem right, but he also couldn’t call her by her name, since that seemed weird too. He envied Clary, who didn’t even blink an eye when she rushed out of the house, calling out: “Bye mom, I’m going out with Jace!” He wished it was as easy as that. “Jonah, are you paying attention?” Simon’s voice pulled him back out of his thoughts. “It’s Jonathan. “ Simon groaned. “But that’s too long.” Jonathan shrugged and pulled himself off the couch. Simon followed him with his eyes.“Where are you going?”
“Getting a drink.” He replied. “Want some?” Simon’s attention was back on the screen, pushing the buttons on his controller. “A coke is fine.” He said absently and Jonathan made his way to the kitchen. Jocelyn was sitting on a chair at the table, flipping through a magazine. He opened the fridge and grabbed two cans of coke. “You’re not having fun with Simon?” His mother suddenly asked and he turned around, giving her an apologetic smile. “It’s not really my thing.” He confessed and she smiled, motioning for him to sit down. He sat across from her, noticing for not the first time, how much she and Clary looked alike. “Can I ask you something?” He asked her and Jocelyn nodded, closing the magazine. “Why did you call me Jonathan? The others keep nagging me that the name is too long.” A soft laugh escaped his mother’s mouth, it sounded like bells tinkling in the wind. “I loved the name Jonathan, still do. And I found the idea fascinating that a piece of Jonathan the Shadowhunter would live on in you.” She shook her head smiling. “Nonsense, of course, you are your own person. But I was young at the time, you’re going to have to forgive me for that.” Jonathan nodded, and fumbled with his hands. “I’m sorry.” Jocelyn suddenly said, her smile completely gone. She didn’t have to elaborate on what she was sorry for. He knew. “Don’t be. It’s not your fault.” He replied, not quite looking her in the eyes. “I feel like it is. I should have gone back for you.” He shook his head. “You would’ve gone back for Sebastian, not me.”
“No, it had to happen like this.” They were silent, both trying to make words of the chaos in their minds. “I forgive you though.” He murmured, and finally looked up. Tears pooled in his mother’s eyes. They both stood and Jocelyn embraced him. The movement shocked him, even Clary hadn’t hugged him yet. But it felt nice, and safe, and he buried his face in her shoulder. “My boy,” he heard her whisper. “I always knew that deep inside, there was no evil in you.”


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