Half Hazard

Author: Kytten

Pairing: Not sure.

Plot: Rather rambling.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Summary: Wherein Valentine muses about his rather unfortunate loss of self and something expected happens.

Right. So maybe another man would have been a little grateful at least. After all, bits of everything were returning, being redrawn and rescribbled, pasted back to the walls of her room. New little nooks and crannies were popping up all over the place. He even had a bigger tower, seeing as how he was just that much more important, having helped to save the world after all.

But all things considered, Valentine was not a grateful person. He held grudges, he didn't apologize. Mostly only because that would be admitting he was un-perfect. And Valentines, as a rule, were very… well… not un-perfect.

There is a point to this little tirade, it being that he was flawed, and he bloody well enjoyed being flawed, thanks so very much, Miss-far-too-romantic-Helena. He'd been perfect before she started muddling around in the midst of her doodles. And now, because of her ill-timed muddling, he wasn't.

See, he'd been perfect before. And when you prod at something perfect long enough to leave a dent, it's no longer perfect. Which meant, in turn, he probably wasn't Valentine anymore. Rather more like that Jason fellow Helena was attempting to merge him with.

But he would not be merged, damnit. He was a Valentine. Valentines are perfect!

… were perfect.

Valentine slid down to sit on the floor, head in his hands, back to the wall.

He wanted to be perfect again. He wanted to juggle, to go on with the show, to have an audience at his feet. Once, he was amazing. He used to be a brilliant con-man. He could've make alady smile even as he took her purse.

And now? Now what the hell was he?

Just this morning he'd seen a cat and stopped. Actually stopped, you realize. Now this wasn't a sort of meandering, gawker's crawl. It wasn't a pause.

It was a full out bloody stop. And why?

He'd been afraid the cat was hungry.

He'd actually wanted to feed it. And not out of any fear or sense of self preservation. Because he'd cared.

Something was so very wrong with him. He was becoming Helena's white knight, turning into some idealistic form of a random juggler. And it wasn't fair, either. Because his tower had a tendency to look out into Helena's bedroom at random times throughout the night. And he'd seen this Jason boy.

Now that Jason, he was a perfect Valentine. The more Helena tried to impose imperfection on him, the more Valentine Jason got.

He could juggle bloody brilliant, and he certainly wasn't in it with Helena for anything more than sex and a shot at the big top.

There was a time when Valentine would have laughed, when such a thing would have been a grand old joke and he would have sort of calmly sauntered over to congratulated his soon-to-be partner in crime.

And this was why he knew without doubt that something was horribly, horribly wrong.

He wasn't laughing anymore.

In fact, he was damaged to the point where he could barely fathom why he may once have found it funny. The sight of the other man filled him with equal parts loathing and utter envy.

But there was something no one had ever counted on. Not even dear Helena, doodling him in her spare time on walls and windows.

He was a thief.

Way down in the very core of his being, there was a crooked, hunched little man filching things from his other bits.

Mostly from the new white-knight bloke. But then, he deserved a good filching.

There was a point to all this. The point being that the hunched, wretched little man and the knight (damn his irritable friendly-making-ness) had come to an agreement.

Helena needed saved. And that saving would take a rather grand filching.

Valentine had stolen the mirror mask.

Not that he was at all sure he wanted to use it. Because you see, right there next to the twisted thief was a short, squat little coward.

A coward that had a particular detestation for waiters.

Valentine did not want to become a waiter.

But then, he wasn't exactly sure how the mirror mask was going to work. After all, for all he knew, he was this Jason fellow. Because the man currently leaning against Helena's windowsill was so bloody perfect, so bloody Valentine.

Standing up, Valentine faced his window, looking out at Helena's room, empty save for the not-Valentine. And hoping this all worked out rather nicely, he put on the mask.

Helena frowned, standing just before the door to her room. Inside she could hear a frantic mantra.

"I don't want to be a waiter. I don't want to be a waiter. I don't want to be a waiter!"

Her father had said Jason was waiting up here for her. But there was no reason Jason would be chanting about waiters.

Helena felt a funny sort of tugging in the pit of her stomach as she opened up the door.


The mask man stopped dead in the middle of his chanting. He looked down, and seeing he'd actually managed to come out whole…

…started shouting.

"Now look here, missy! Do you have any idea what it is you've been doing to me, trying to make me over into that Jason fellow of yours?" He glared, hands on his hips. "You know, just this morning I stopped to feed a bloody cat! A cat for godssake. You've turned me into a romantic!"

Helena laughed and launched into his arms. And feeling that warm, lithe body pressed up against his, his argument faded into nothingness.

He felt like he'd come home.

On that note, he found he was rather contemplating picking her pocket.

Valentine grinned.

Jason blinked hard, stepping away from the window of the tower. Inside it, he could see Helena draped over some strange mask-wearing man type thing. Rubbing a hand over his eyes, he turned and surveyed the tower around him, even going so far as to open the front door.

Slowly, a smile twitched at the corners of his lips. And donning the billowing white coat he found beside the door, he stepped out into a street shadowed by fish.

"My sort of place." He announced, and winking at the tower, set off to find a bit of company.

Posted because one of the Mirrormask authors just left, and took her fic with her. I'd hate to see the numbers dwindle. So I wrote this bit. Someone leaving, and someone coming in. That's always fun, eh?