Mirror, Mirror

BY : DevilMayCare
Category: -Buffy the Vampire Slayer > General
Dragon prints: 6337
Disclaimer: I don't own BtVS nor any characters. No money is made from this fic.

Prologue

Faith strolled along the pristine street ignoring the fierce glare of the sun beating down on her leather jacket, her head hanging low and her shoulders hunched in bitter defeat. As the anonymous bustle of menopausal women and hungover businessmen hummed all around, despite the busy crowds, Faith felt more alone than ever.

In the past week since the deception of Mrs Post she had been a maelstrom of hatred and self-loathing, a writhing mass of introspection that could find no answers nor any hope in the prison she woefully called her life. Her solitude had been eating away at her even more the last few days having been effectively abandoned by Buffy, her Watcher and the lap-dogs who followed the other slayer around. Her scuffed boots carried her ever onward, no direction or purpose, but as the ripped jeans and stained t-shirt would attest to, she had little to be on time for.

As her knuckles clenched over and over Faith could feel her stomach aching but with no more than seventeen cents in her pocket there was little she could do to relieve the gurgles emanating from her innards. Kicking an empty can along the gutter she sighed the sigh of a hollow teen once she found the empty cigarette packet in her back pocket, but before she could try and wring some sense out of her dismal world Faith glanced up to see Buffy and Willow walking her way, they were too wrapped up in their own conversation to notice the Beantown native and so, taking the sliver of opportunity, backed into a shop entrance and slipped into a shop until they had passed.

Faith’s eyes narrowed and rolled as she looked through the dusty yellow windows to see Buffy and Willow taking an age to pass before she could slip back out unnoticed. The musty smell of the shop barely registered with her as she held her breath hoping she hadn’t been spotted as she really couldn’t deal with all the bullshit of her sister slayer, though Buffy had made a half-assed attempt at talking with her, it was in essence a feeble effort only designed to the blonde feel better about herself. Or that is how Faith saw it anyway, for she knew from bitter experience that altruism was nothing more than fiction.

“Those are nice aren’t they?”, came a voice from behind her making Faith spin round with her bruised fists ready for action, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you”

“Huh….oh….yeah…whatever”, shrugged Faith seeing the warm smile of the shopkeeper who stepped back raising his hands in surrender making her feel awkward enough to drop her scuffed knuckles.

“So what brings you to my humble little antique shop?”, he asked in an annoyingly jovial manner.

“Your what?”, asked Faith only now craning her head round to see the archaic tomes, gilded armor and ornate weapons behind the glass cabinets lining every wall, “Oh right…I-I just thought I’d… you know….check it out….and…”

“Well don’t let me pressure you though my dear, feel free to have a look around and if you see anything you like please let me know”, he said backing away to the counter to finish off his lukewarm coffee which sat by a half-finished sudoku.

“Right…. sure”, Faith replied glancing out the window to see that Buffy and Willow still hadn’t passed thereby leaving her trapped in the confines of this stuffy and boring store, “I’ll just……so you work here then?”

“Oh no, I own it. My name’s Ethan Rayne and this is my antique shop”, he replied motioning his hand around proudly.

“Cool”, the slayer said back nonchalantly as her fingers glided over the oaken chests and fading portraits as she crossed aimlessly down the aisles.

But as she wandered around the shop she bypassed the decorative daggers as something seemed to catch her eye, as if it were calling to her to come hither and see. Faith stared at the long mirror hanging on the wall, its mahogany frame was cracked and weathered and its surface coated in a light film of dust.

Faith reached out and wiped the dirt from the glass, as she stared into it a strange feeling echoed around her system. A prickling of curiosity and unease ran along her skin as she noticed the small plaque affixed on the lower edge of its frame, her thumb wiped away the dust and her eyes scanned the hidden words.

“Hey, what’s this mirror all about?”

“Mirror?”, replied Ethan fighting to keep his duplicitous smirk at bay, “It’s just an old mirror, nothing special”

“But what does this writing mean?”, Faith asked with a crooked brow unable to pull away from the thrall of the looking glass.

“Why? What does it say?”, he said laying the proverbial breadcrumbs.

Mirror, mirror, let me see

Not what I want……but what I need

As the words slipped from Faith’s lips she gasped as her reflection changed in an instant, it was still her staring back from the smooth surface but it was a version of her she never envisioned. Her leather jacket, scars and eyes of hostility were wiped away by a new image which made her mouth hang open in disbelief.

Before any more syllables could ring free she was blinded by a flash of light coming from the mirror.

“One down”, smiled Ethan seeing the new garb of the slayer who stared around in confusion, “Several more to go”

 



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