A/N: Lindsay on her own doesn't seem to be getting much love from tptb, particularly regarding the upcoming 5.09 storyline, so I wrote this in response. I'd really like to know what you think of it!
Thanks to lily moonlight for the read-through. This story is also dedicated to her for all the 'encouragements' to post things! :)
The face in the mirror stared back at her. A woman familiar and unfamiliar, with pale skin, and dark smudges beneath brown eyes. The face looked too tired, uncertain. Afraid. Afraid of what she knew she needed to say.
Words fell leadenly to the floor, in synchrony with the silent movement of the reflection's lips. She had practiced them over and over. No good just speaking them to herself, but saying them to anyone else would make them far too real. She tried to form her features into a mask, waiting for the reflection to mirror her, as it should do, but it refused. She tried to look confident and determined, and got as far as defiant. But it would do, if she could only hold onto it…
She looked at herself again in the curved window of her car door, and knew that her resolve had already failed.
There was broken glass on the pavement. Grey sky reflected in the shards. And the remains of the window, splintered teeth framing a gaping mouth, reflected the street, distorting, darkening. She straightened up with one hand on her back, and caught a glimpse of herself, a fractured image, just for a second before she turned quickly away and dropped her gaze.
No one had noticed her turn away. Or noticed anything. But it would only be a matter of time, she knew, and she saw the knowledge lacquered inside her eyes whenever a surface caught them and threw them back to her.
Mirrors. Everywhere, mirrors. Faint shadows trapped in the separating walls between the separate rooms. Her face suddenly, in the curved silver steel of a tap. Wide eyes snagged on scalpel blades. A pixelated spectre at the edge of a monitor.
Every morning, the woman in the glass was paler. She turned away from her, dressing in a dark room with the curtains drawn.
She felt as if she was fading, falling into a limbo. The words which she carried in her head unspoken were feeding on her energy, becoming the only label by which she could define herself, and growing, engorging, so that she felt that if she let them outside herself they would become more than she was, and that herself, the person behind, would dissolve unnoticed.
Spaces seemed always to open up around her, and the mirrors were always there, containing only herself, reminding her constantly that she was alone, alone, alone.
Glass divided her. She watched him through the walls, intent on his work, and a wraith of herself ghosted back, her reflection standing beside him where she could not. Her mouth moved, formed words she knew she needed to say to him, but there was no sound on either side of the wall. She turned away, and her mirrored body turned towards him, as he looked up.
She examined her reflection with critical eyes. It looked more solid than she felt. But at the same time, there was no clear difference from the image she was used to seeing.
She put her hand to the glass and pressed the palm flat, staring into the eyes of her ghost, wishing to swap places. Wishing she could fall through the looking-glass, fall into some other place where nothing was quite the same, and yet where everything was unchanging. She pushed, but nothing moved. Just the glass with its silver trapped behind, and her pale cold hands not quite meeting.
Her fingerprints remained as she pulled her hand away. Rigid whorls and lines, perfectly paired.
She closed her eyes. Imagined that she felt warm breath stirring against her neck. But the room was still cold and empty, and her reflection seemed more lonely than before when she looked again, the emptiness of the space around her more pronounced than ever.
In her bedroom, the mirror now faced the blank wall. She kicked her shoes off and lay curled in a foetal position on the bedcovers, her hands clasped over her stomach. She looked out into the dark sky beyond the window, where the stars were masked by the glow of streetlamps reflected from low clouds, and imagined that she could feel another heart beating, mirroring her own.