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The Mirror

There is someone for everyone … even those that are always within …


The Mirror
By TeraS


Except in a few times of dire trouble, there is but one way that Tera has ever been able to speak with her Tail: a mirror that her mother gave her so very long ago. To be clear, it is the only way that she remembers actually speaking with her other self. Her tailself sends the occasional message by holding up a sign on a stick, usually at a moment where a comment, even a rather odd one, can defuse things. Sometimes, Tera sees her in a dream, where the two are talking or doing other things, but when she awakes, there’s nothing to remember—for it was a dream, after, all wasn’t it?

But to actually see her other self, to speak with her, to see the look in her eyes, that smile that Tera knows and yet which isn’t quite her own, she needs the mirror. Looking into the mirror, Tera knows that she will see a redhead with black horns and tail that otherwise looks exactly like her.

But she isn’t Tera … not exactly.

Her name is Tail—at least, that is the name that she allows others to know. Her real name is known to only three people in all the universes. One is Tera’s mother; the second, Tera herself; and the third … a man named Baker.

None of them would ever speak her name out loud, not because they fear who Tail is, but rather because they respect that she made a choice. The choice was that who she was is not as important as who she is now and how things came to be.

It is said that those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Tail hasn’t forgotten. She knows, remembers, is aware of every single thing she has ever done, both the bad and the good, the moments of ecstasy and of despair, all of the moments that made of the life she once led.

The mirror stands in Tera’s bedroom, as it always has, always will. Tera can see into it, when she passes by, when she is in bed with her Eternal, and from a few other places in the room. The mirror reflects only what Tera sees around herself as well, but slightly different. There are reversed colours: red is black, black is red. There are also some differences that tell of Tail herself, where her thoughts are, what her needs are. Tail is, after all, so much more dominant in her personality than Tera, both because her life’s experience was so fiercely dominant in the past and because of what her goals in the here and now are. The mirror reflects that, sometimes, in the oddest ways when Tera isn’t there to see.

Sometimes, when Tera is not there to see, or hear, there are moments which only the mirror witnesses. Perhaps it is Tail, riding crop in hand, using it to raise the eyes of a particularly naughty pet to look at her and beg for forgiveness. Sometimes she is looking out through the mirror, out of the bedroom window that into Tera’s Realm, the one that can be seen from her own showing the same, if different; for, while Tera is the Queen of the Realm, Tail is the Queen of her own domain in the same way.

Perhaps, in that moment when Tail is looking into the Realm. she wonders what it would be like to be Tera, to not only know of her life, loves, passions, and gifts, but to experience them herself. Perhaps she smiles at the thought, brushing it to the side, sure that such things aren’t meant for someone like her.

But then—and this the mirror cannot really show—she sniffs the air and there is the scent of something. An aroma intrigues her, and she closes her eyes and enjoys the moment. A smile, unlike the one that normally she shows to the world, or even to Tera herself, appears.

She wonders what the fragrance might be, what it could be, but she knows who is responsible for capturing her senses … and more. For there is a secret, a very important one that only one soul in the universe knows: the mirror, isn’t just a mirror, not for the one that somehow found his way into her soul.

For all that the universes knows of Tail—her legend, the things she has been told of doing, the fears that she puts into others by just raising one eyebrow and smirking are legendary, after all—they expect her to be the opposite of Tera: to be aggressively dominant, controlling, demanding. They expect her to never to care about another, for that surely isn’t possible.

They are, of course, wrong.

What cannot be seen from the mirror, is a portal, off to the side, well out of view, that leads to a hallway in a home, quite like and unlike Tera’s own, in the human Realm. It isn’t exactly as quaint as Tera’s own, but then it is another reflection of Tail herself. The scent draws her further, the smirk giving way, ever so slightly, to a smile of expectation.

Turning a corner she sees her Baker in the midst of one of his own passions … other than her, of course. Or perhaps that is misleading. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that Baker’s passion is in helping her to learn there is more to life than she ever really knew.

For her Baker, this was completely normal. Teaching lessons to Tail was a bit of an issue, at first, as they never were quite the sort of thing that was covered in the recipe books … and, of course, Tail had never quite asked to be taught anything. Over time, the lessons were those that the two of them shared. The breaking of bread starts with the baking, of course, and it is in the baking that things are said, often without any words. Their relationship is different from any other in the worlds, and with it comes an understanding that the two of them share, and have shared for a long time now.

Tail finds Baker at work on his dough, and doesn’t say anything for a time, content to just look at him with that slight smirk, slowly turning into a smile. Then she quietly moves towards the counter, something between a nonchalant stroll and a hunter’s prowl, patting the rising dough with one hand and Baker’s hindquarters with the other. He turns and, as always, suggests that she could be of help instead, she replying with another pat—whether of dough or man varies with her mood—simply smiling at the fearlessness he has with her. In a flash, as he has in every lesson since the first (where she definitely did not smile), he pulls her between himself and the counter, standing behind her, wrapping around her, his hands guiding hers in kneading the loaf before them. Both of them end up somewhat flour-covered on the floor after extensive pushing, pulling, and twisting that isn’t limited to food preparation.

She thinks about how it is that they, two beings from two different worlds, different views … just … different … could find themselves in a relationship like this. She thinks, and her smile grows wider, and she licks her lips a bit: her Baker is working on sticky buns this morning. Sticky buns sound like an excellent idea …

The mirror is a mirror, in that the worlds on either side are different, polarized, not quite the same.

The mirror however, is just a portal. Nobody says it is impossible for one soul to find another. In fact, it is all about possible …