So, I'm rereading Clockwork Angel (I know, I know, why do I do this to myself?), and I just have to have one of my rare Jem-Appreciation Moments right now.
Jem grinned. "Where have you been? The Blue Dragon? The Mermaid?""The Devil Tavern, if you must know." Will sighed and leaned against one of the posts of the bed. "I had such plans for this evening. The pursuit of blind drunkenness and wayward women was my goal. But alas, it was not to be. No sooner had I consumed my third drink in the Devil than I was accosted by a delightful small flower-selling child who asked me for twopence for a daisy. The price seemed steep, so I refused. When I told the girl as much, she proceeded to rob me.""A little girl robbed you?" Tessa said."Actually, she wasn't a little girl at all, as it turns out, but a midget in a dress with a penchant for violence, who goes by the name of Six-Fingered Nigel.""Easy mistake to make," Jem said."I caught him in the act of slipping his hands into my pocket," Will said, gesturing animatedly with his scarred, slender hands. "I couldn't let that stand, of course. A fight broke out almost immediately. I had the upper hand until Nigel leaped onto the bar and struck me from behind with a pitcher of gin.""Ah," said Jem. "That does explain why your hair's wet.""It was a fair fight," Will said. "But the proprietor of the Devil didn't see it that way. Threw me out. I can't go back for a fortnight.""Best thing for you," Jem said unsympathetically. "Glad to hear it's business as usual, then. I was worried for a moment there that you'd come home early to see if I was feeling better."
So, I'm sure the first time I read this, I assumed Jem was simply uninterested in what Will was saying, and that's why he was so patronizing about it. I probably had the same perspective as Tessa, who, while Will's story didn't really seem realistic, had no reason to really believe he was lying. But now I know that he was lying, that he lies about all of it, and I know that Jem knows he's lying too. And yet he says nothing. He goes along with it, because he knows that-- for whatever reason-- Will needs to think that they believe him. Jem doesn't point out how outlandish the story is, or show any indication that he knows it's not true. He does exactly what Will needs him to do, which is pretend the story is just as real as Will pretends it is. He doesn't even know why it's so crucial that he pretend, and yet he does it for his best friend. Bravo, James Carstairs.
Oh, and here's a little Will piece that ripped out my soul and did the merengue on it:
"It was the violin," Jem explained. "She heard me practicing.""Ghastly wailing noise, isn't it?" Will asked Tessa. "I don't know how all the cats in the neighborhood don't come running every time he plays.""I thought it was pretty.""That's because it was," Jem agreed.Will pointed a finger accusingly in their direction. "You're ganging up on me. Is this how it's going to be from now on? I'll be odd man out? Dear God, I'll have to befriend Jessamine."
I'LL BE ODD MAN OUT. *wails*
Also, I'm pretty sure he only dissed Jem's violin-playing to make Tessa despise him. *wails more*