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Mirror Mirror
by on October 16, 2021
It was early morning when Mirror crept back into the cottage, but Faith was still awake. She sat at the table. Mirror plastered a bright smile on her face and lifted her head as if she hadn't been trying to sneak in. "Hello."
"Welcome home, my dear. You were out so late. Is everything alright?"
"I was caught in the storm. I do apologize, I wanted to come home to you, but I could not make it in those winds."
Faith rose, and came to the door where Mirror still stood. She lovingly draped a warm wing across Mirror's back, ushering her towards the pair of seats by the fire, and settled beside Mirror so that they were pressed together.
"You poor thing, and without the cloak. It must have been so cold. I'd better come with you next time you go out."
"No!...thing would make me happier." The unicorn answered, and tucked her head under Faith's, careful to keep her horn angled safely. She had covered her mistake well enough, and although Faith noticed, she decided it was best not to point it out for now. If she played her cards right, she would not need to resort to such a tactic.
"Good, then it's settled. I was so worried when you didn't come home, but I just- I didn't know where to start looking... You never told me you were leaving. I stayed up all night, just hoping you'd come back safe." Faith placed a kiss on the top of Mirror's head. She felt Mirror tense, then slowly calm down again, and once she had relaxed against her, Faith began running her hoof gently through Mirror's silky mane. The weather had failed to tangle it, as always. It was smooth as glass.
Neither spoke again. By the time the fire had begun to bring colour back into her face, Mirror had even fallen asleep, still tucked against the pegasus. In all honesty, this wasn't what Faith had planned. It was better. She didn't have to say another word as long as she stayed here beside the unicorn until she awoke again. And... it had been a long night. Although she had stayed awake planning and not worrying, she really was tired. With a small yawn, Faith wrapped her wing more tightly around Mirror, and let herself fall asleep as well.
At least for a little while, they could pretend to be happy.
Naturally, this would not last after they awoke.
Mirror was the first to open her eyes again. She was warm, calm, and for now, content. Upon realizing that Faith had fallen asleep, too, she smiled and shut her eyes to wait. Maybe she had been wrong to be so worried. Faith hadn't brought up the question that had driven them apart even once since their argument - and she had been so sweet otherwise. Maybe she really had been over-reacting.
It was a long while before the pair finally separated. The morning light had faded into a golden evening that streamed through the canopy in patches, and so they set off on a walk through the forest, side by side. Eventually they found themselves standing in the clearing that had been Faith's home for so long. Leaves drifted in a lazy breeze. Mirror watched one flutter from side to side, and Faith watched Mirror, who was the first to speak.
"Autumn. Last time we walked here together, it was spring, was it not? We made flower chains to hang on the trees, and then... And then..." Her voice trailed off, and she looked to the trees. She gasped and put a hoof to her mouth, for there, strung all about the clearing, were flower chains. Though it was fall, not all flowers had stopped blooming. Dandelions were spotted with daisies, all around, and in a few places red roses had been carefully added.
"Did you think I had forgotten?" Faith grinned, almost wolfishly, "Whenever I was alone here, I remembered that day, and I knew that when we got through all of that, we'd have another one. One where neither of us has to be turned to stone."
"Oh... Faith, it's wonderful. It's perfect."
"I just have one question."
Mirror turned a sharp glance on Faith, worried, but Faith shook her head and held out one hoof. "Not that, my dear. My question is.. May I have this dance?"
She couldn't help but smile right back at Faith. Though they had no music, she took Faith's hoof, and they danced. It had been a long time since Mirror had danced. Well, it had been a long time since she had done most things. With Faith to lead, she could remember the steps well enough.
"Faith... do you really love me?"
"Of course I do. The day we ran away together was the best of my life."
Mirror fell silent again, but could not bring herself to look Faith in the eye. Faith sighed.
"What's wrong, my dear?"
"Nothing at all. I only wondered..."
"Why did you never say anything about the spell I cast?"
Faith lifted Mirror's chin with a hoof so that she had to meet her gaze. "I wanted our time together to be as perfect as can be. You chose to cast that spell. I cannot stop what has already happened, can I? I love you, my Mirror, but I can only save you if you will trust me enough to do as I asked."
"I trust you, Faith, but I cannot do that. I am not strong enough." Her voice fell to a whisper. Admitting her own weakness had never been a strength of hers, and Faith knew that meant Mirror really did still trust her. With trust and cunning, she would get her way, however long it took.
"I understand, my Mirror. You have my support no matter what, you know that, and I will do my best to give you strength until you can find it within yourself."
Mirror finally looked her in the eye, and she smiled. "Okay. Thank you, Faith."
A certain uneasiness stayed rooted deep in the witch's stomach. When Faith leaned forward and kissed her forehead, she startled, and stepped away. She had to look away again, where she could not see the look on Faith's face. This time when she spoke, it was around a lump in her throat, leaving her voice with a nervous quaver.
"I... I don't feel well. I think it would be best to go back home."
"Oh. Alright. I'll... make you some tea, then."
"Thank you, but that is not necessary. I only want to lay down for a while."
The air hung stiff and static between them, and neither said another word on the journey or after they had returned to their cottage. Mirror shut the door of her room behind her, but she did not go to her bed. She went to the window and looked out on the forest.
Her left lung felt as though a cube had been lodged in it with each corner pressed into the tender flesh around it. The first crimson bud had emerged from her fur at long last, the first of many that indicated how far the curse had already progressed.
"I must have had a mother, once. A father. Maybe I even had friends, once upon a time... I cannot remember you, but you must have been there. Someone gave me that bracelet for a reason. I used to think that once I had Faith back, we could... We could go look for you. Or your graves, at least. And then I would know that I really did belong somewhere." Mirror held up her hoof so she could look at the brown braided bracelet she always wore. "I know that was a silly thing to want. She might have loved me, once, but now... now, she is only using me. And I am letting her."
Slumping against the cool glass of the window, she cast her eyes to the edge of the forest, where grass was parted only by the occasional trail. Miles and miles of nothing.
"What else can I possibly do? I love her."
Post in: Lore
Topics: lore gang
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