From Here to There
Disclaimer: Only the plot belongs to me. Not the characters.
A/N: I absolutely love this movie so I figured I'd write a fic about it. This is set right where the movie ends. (Remember, when Helena and 'Valentine' bump into each other?) Wow, there aren't many MirrorMask fics out there!! We'll just have to do something about that, now won't we?
Did you guys know that Stephanie Leonidas, Helena, was born on Valentine's day? Being a hopeless romantic myself I immediately thought, "Isn't it weird that she was born on Valentine's Day and she and Valentine are perfect for each other?" Haha, I know…it's pathetic. Oh well.
In that one instant when she bumped into him, she relived everything that had happened the past few days. Yelling at her mother, finding out her mother was dying, waking up in a strange world, fighting to bring the Queen back to life, but most of all, she remembered him. Remembered his weird little beard and mask. Remembered his strange antics and cute attempts to make her laugh. But, he had betrayed her; if only for a moment. But, he had left her with the Queen. It had been his fault that she was turned into that black-eyed little witch.
But he had not completely abandoned her. It was he who had broken the spell that had settled over her like a heavy blanket. He who had brought her back form the dark clutches of the Queen.
And here he was.
But, he looked different. He looked…normal.
"I'm sorry!" Helena exclaimed after she ran into him. "I wasn't paying attention…" At first she hadn't recognized him, but the second he spoke and looked into her eyes…she knew. "Valentine?" her voice was barely above a whisper.
"Excuse me?" The boy looked at her, confused. Yes, he looked like Valentine, he even sounded like Valentine, but…it wasn't him.
The small glimmer of hope that Helena had felt vanished. She'd only been back for a few days, but she already missed the masked juggler deeply. There was a constant ache in her chest and her stomach kept twisting and untwisting. She hadn't eaten much in the last few days and her skin was unhealthily pale. 'Oh, Valentine…'
The boy looked at Helena. He knew who she was; her parents ran the circus, but she obviously didn't remember him. She had called him Valentine. Who was that? A small sob brought him back to reality. He glanced at the girl and saw her downcast eyes and slumped, slightly shaking shoulders.
"Hey, you okay?" He reached to put a comforting hand on her shoulder, but she moved out of the way.
"I'm sorry." Helena muttered unable to keep the tears at bay. "I thought you were…" Helena stopped. 'Him.' She finished in her head. Searching for something else to say she settled on, "Good luck at the show tonight." And she hurried off.
The boy, Max, was left to stare after her. He shook his head and went to take his place on the grandstand. It was almost show time.
Helena burst into her room and flung herself onto her bed, sobbing. She didn't understand why she was reacting this way. She had been keeping up appearances quite well ever since she had gotten back, but seeing that boy's face brought every emotion back. They crashed down on her like a tidal wave. She couldn't help it. She missed him.
With a gasp she sat up. Sudden realization had hit her. And sudden inspiration. She dug through her closet and pulled out the shiny silver mask. As she held it up to the dying sun it reflected red, gold, and a million other blazing colors making it look like liquid fire. Taking a deep breath she whispered a silent plea and put the mask on.
Nothing happened immediately. She stood praying, waiting for something…for anything. Just as the familiar feeling of despair settled into her heart she felt a light tug. Hope blossomed; it was the strongest feeling she had ever felt. She waited, and this time, she was pulled into the MirrorRealm. The familiar walls of her room ripped and bled into one another, forming a different scene.
Her feet hit the cold cobblestone of the MirrorRealm's streets. The MirrorMask was gone but she wasn't worried. She knew that it would reappear when the time came. Looking around she was relieved to see that the city was just as it should be; balance between light and dark. Good and evil. Hope and despair.
A familiar voice behind her froze her in her tracks. "Come one, come all! Come see the amazing Valentine juggle the elusive light balls!"
Helena turned and her breath caught when she saw him. He looked exactly the same. 'Of course he does, Helena.' She chided herself. 'You've only been gone a few days.'
Though Helena couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. She had hoped that he may have missed her as much as she had missed him. She felt immediately guilty after that thought. Guilty and selfish.
Helena walked up behind the growing crowd. With a start she realized that Valentine was standing on the wall where they had first juggled together. Many people were pointing and giggling at Valentine, who apart from juggling, was also doing a silly little dance. She smiled. He was still her Valentine. She gasped as his eyes locked onto hers.
Valentine stood on the wall throwing the glowing balls in the air. Sometimes he imagined he could still feel the warmth of her hand on them. He did a little two-step dance and heard the crowd laugh appreciatively. He threw the balls higher as more and more people began to show up. He scanned the crowd, doing a slight headcount when he saw…her.
No, it wasn't her. It couldn't be her. She had left. Left without saying goodbye. Sadness filled his being; Oh, how he missed her!
But, his eyes landed on her again, and, this time, she was looking straight at him. He stopped juggling; the balls falling to the floor. His eyes widened beneath his mask and his jaw dropped. The onlookers stopped smiling and looked around; trying to find the source of the juggler's surprise. Their eyes landed on the strange, unmasked girl who had saved the Light Queen. Whispers of "She's back!" and "Is it really her?" filled the square.
Aware that all eyes were on her, Helena blushed. "Valentine?" she asked uncertainly. "Um, can we talk?"
Valentine opened his mouth for a witty reply, but none came. He just stared.
Helena looked around nervously. She knew that everyone in the crowd was waiting for Valentine's answer.
Mustering up the last shred of dignity he had he replied, "Why, of course, Helena! Lead the way!" Jumping down from the wall he held a gracious hand out to her. She took it. Both gasped at the sudden rush of electricity that passed between them on contact.
When Helena didn't move or speak he said, "Uh, well, to my tower, then!" And he ran off pulling Helena with him. He couldn't bear one more second of those people whispering and snickering at the pair's awkwardness.
When they were finally inside Valentine's tower, she relaxed a bit. Valentine, however, looked more nervous than ever. She had never been in his room before and, frankly, he liked seeing her in it. In fact, he wished that she would be there more often. Shaking his head, he quickly cleared those thoughts. He was a Valentine! He was perfect; he wished for nothing.
Helena sat on his bed looking slightly uncomfortable. Feeling the need to break the heavy silence he spoke.
"So, you just couldn't stay away, then? Miss me too much?" he asked expecting a witty answer in return.
"Yes." Helena said, not a trace of sarcasm in her voice. Her eyes seared into Valentine's.
Taken aback, all he could mutter was a lame, "Oh."
Helena smiled. "You know. The last time I was here, all I could think about was getting back home. I couldn't get far enough away from here." She paused searching Valentine's face for some sort of reaction. But, as always, his mask belied no emotion. She continued. "But, when we found the mask and I was pulled back into my world I..." she trailed.
"What? You what?" Valentine's voice broke. God, he was terrified.
"All I wanted was to come back here…to you." Helena wrung her hands together.
"To me?" Valentine felt a shockwave go up his spine. She wasn't saying what he thought she was saying…was she?
In a rush Helena said, "Valentine, I appreciate everything you've done for me. I never could have saved this world without you. I never could have saved my world without you. Thank you. And, I am so sorry about how I left. I didn't even say goodbye. It wasn't right and there is no excuse. I'm sorry, but Valentine, I don't want to say goodbye. I…I can't!" She finished, her voice having risen in volume and pitch. Tears were forming in her eyes and she tried desperately to stop them from falling.
"Helena…" Valentine knelt in front of her. Taking her hands in his he looked into her eyes. "Helena, it's not your fault that we didn't get a proper goodbye. It was the last opening into your world and there was no time left. You had to go." He tried to comfort her.
"But, it wasn't fair! I should've done something…" She stopped, realizing that he was right. Unable to hold them, the tears trickled down her cheeks like wet crystals.
"Hey…" Valentine whispered soothingly reaching up to brush away her tears. "I missed you too." He smiled at her and she gave a tearful smile in return. "But, you're back now, right?"
His hopeful gaze dimmed when she didn't respond right away. "I don't know." She whispered. "Maybe. But, Valentine…my family…" She let the sentence trail.
"Right." Valentine said, not wanting to upset her further. He sighed and sat on the bed next to her. Wrapping his arm around her shoulder he expected her to resist, but was pleasantly surprised when she laid her head on his shoulder. 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' He thought ironically.
"Look, Helena, I…" In truth, he had no idea where he was going with that statement. "I hope you have a happy life."
Stiffening, Helena sat up. Valentine dropped his arm from her shoulders. "What?" she asked in disbelief. "Is that it? Is that all you have to say?"
"Well…I-I…" Valentine stuttered, taken aback. "Aren't you leaving again? For, you know…good?"
"Well, I wasn't planning on it! But if that's what you want…!" she stood up and angrily turned towards the door.
"Whoa, whoa, wait." Valentine stepped in front of her; his hands on her shoulders and eyes boring into hers. "I didn't say that. I don't want to you leave."
Helena looked up at him. He was so tall…and his eyes were so intense. His voice, low with honesty and pleading, sent shivers down her spine. "Valentine…I-I don't have a--,"
But she was cut off when Valentine pulled her to him. One hand going to her waist and one going around her shoulders he held her close and whispered into her hair.
"Helena, say you won't go. Say you won't leave again." He pleaded gently rocking her back and forth.
"I can't!" she wailed quietly into his chest. Suddenly, she stopped crying and tightened her hold on Valentine. "But…I could come back here, I think. Everyday, if I want!"
Valentine held her at arms length. "How?"
"The mask, Valentine! It worked this time, why wouldn't it work again?" Somehow, she knew that it would. Happiness and excitement ran through her as she grabbed Valentine's hands and did a little waltz.
Valentine, however, was not convinced. "But, how can you be sure? I mean, I don't want, you know…false hope."
Helena stopped. "Valentine, it's not false. I couldn't handle that. I just know that the mask will let me come back. I know it!"
"But, how?" he prodded again.
"Because I…!" she stopped suddenly covering her mouth with her hand. It hit her. It felt like someone had punched her in the stomach.
Valentine's eyes widened and he pulled Helena closer. He lowered his face so that it was level with hers. They were mere inches apart. "What, Helena? You what?"
"I—I…" She couldn't say it. What if he didn't feel the same way?
"Helena, say it! I need to hear it!" Valentine cried desperately.
"I love you!" Helena closed her eyes. She did not want to see the disgust that was surely written all over his face. After a moment of silence Helena opened her eyes wondering why he hadn't let go of her and told her to leave.
Her heart stopped when she saw Valentine's eyes. There was an intensity there that she had never seen before. Before she knew what was happening, he had closed the distance between them and pressed his lips onto hers. The kiss was hard and deep, but soft and sweet at the same time. Helena relaxed into the kiss and allowed Valentine to wrap his arms around her waist, closing the distance between their bodies. She let her hands wander over his back, then rested on his shoulders. She had never realized how muscular he was. She had never realized how safe she felt with him.
They broke apart, but rested their foreheads together. If he hadn't been holding her she surely would have collapsed. "Helena?" Valentine asked shyly, uncertainly.
"Hmm?" she replied. She was still unable to speak.
"Are you sure this is what you want?"
"Yes." She said looking into his eyes. "This is definitely what I want."
Valentine smiled and placed a chaste kiss on her lips. He released her waist, grabbed her hand, and reached for their coats.
"Valentine! Where are we going?" Helena asked, laughing as he pulled her onto the street.
"Why, little lady, I'm taking you to dinner!" Came his witty reply.
"Oh, Valentine!" she said pretending to swoon. "You sure know how to sweep a lady off her feet!"
"Of course I do!" And with that he turned and picked her up bridal style. She laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"I love you, Valentine." Helena said earnestly, burying her head in his strong shoulder.
"And I love you." He smiled and, for the first time in his life, he felt happy and whole.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading!! Please review!! If you guys want me to attempt another one let me know!!