Tokyo Babylon Fan Fiction / X/1999 Fan Fiction ❯ Mirror Image ❯ Chapter 1

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Mirror Image

I looked in the mirror, and I saw her face. There I saw the same hair, the same eyes, the same pixy-like features. And--this was the only way I would ever see her again.

With one motion I pulled back my hand and let my fist fly, smashing the mirror to bits.

I am an idiot.

I am weak, and let that weakness rob me of everything.

"I'll kill him."

How many times had I whispered that in the last few days? Every time it was done, I felt the tears flow anew, hopeless and pain filled. Bitter tears that could never wash away this pain. Everything was lost to me now.

I should have died.

"Nee-san, why?"

I was shaking again. I couldn't pull myself together. My hands were trembling hard as I raised them to wipe away tears. My bare, pale, scarred and tainted hands. With those hands--those useless, damnable things--I picked up a glimmering shard of glass. Would it be sharp enough to cut away my hair? If I did that, I wouldn't look like her. Never again.

I threw the offending shard across the room where it fractured further and glittered in the wan light. I could never do that. I couldn't let her go any further than she already was. But I couldn't look in the mirror. It told me that I was the one who should be dead.

If I'd been strong enough to face him--to fight him--what then? She'd be here.

"I'll never be weak again."


"Nee-san. Today you should turn 18." Never mind that this was my birthday, and I was holed up in a hotel room alone. I wished hopelessly that somehow she would be the one whose birthday we could celebrate.

I brought the cigarette to my lips, and watched as the hint of illusion was destroyed. My hair was shorter now. Hokuto would never smoke. My eyes were dull and lifeless in a ways hers could never be.

I couldn't look anymore. I don't know what I was hoping as I looked in that mirror and tried to talk to her, but she wasn't there. Nothing of her was. And though I knew that spirits trapped in this world were lost souls and in great pain, still I hoped to see her again somehow. To know she was not trapped in that nightmare of a tree.

"Nee-san, I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I'll do everything I can to make him pay."

Cold comfort when she was already dead.


I barely glanced at the calendar on the wall; only realizing it was February, not really thinking. It froze me in my tracks though, when I made the connection. What had I done with all this time? How could I not realize--?

This was my twenty-fifth birthday. I looked around for a mirror, for the birthday ritual to be complete. When had it become a ritual? I frowned as I walked into the bathroom, realizing only now that this was the only mirror I kept in my apartment. How had I not noticed before? But, I don't like mirrors. In a way it only makes sense.

I didn't see much of her this time. Not in the sallow skin and dark shadows. Not in the haunted and faded eyes. I lifted a cigarette to my lips and watched my empty reflection stare back, not even imagining accusation or condemnation.

I had a job to do. I lit the cigarette and held it up in salute. "Happy birthday. May there be no more."

At some point this year, I would face him once more. There may very well not be any more.


"Hokuto-chan, today we turn thirty." I smiled placidly at the mirror and saw her face. "Nee-san, we somehow made it through. Humanity dances on toward destruction at its own pace, and we are but petty observers."

When I look in the mirror now, there is not much left to remind me of her. One eye a washed out blue that only tries to remember the verdant green it had once been. It is the color of the sky on a cloudy winter day, barely blue at all. The other is a cold amber--how can such a warm shade be so cold? It had been mine for four would be five years before long.

In that mirror there is only me. But in that mirror there is all three. We're all dead, but only I am walking.

Unblinking, I gazed into the mirror until I could look no more. With one motion I pulled back my hand and let my fist fly, smashing the mirror to bits.

This time I laughed, a bitter and weary sound. Still, it was a laugh that covered the harsh crack of the mirror. It was broken, just like me.