Burning Black Interlude

Cosmo

Part of Me - Figure .09 by Linkin Park


He glared at the mirror in the bathroom again. He did it every time he saw it. A hateful glare matched his own, his reflection. His image. For now, for the moment.

He loathed it, and would have said as much had he known what the word meant, even that the word existed. But he couldn't; he was stupid and he knew it. Everyone knew it. And that included the part of him that he hated.

He hated it because of what it could do with him, to him, for him, in him. He hated it because of what it could do to the ones around him, the ones who loved him, the ones who trusted him, believed in him, fought for him, fought over him. He hated it because it was always there, pressing in on him, the guilt, the bitterness, the resentment, the hatred. He hated it because it hated back. Stupid, but then stupidity was all he knew.

He wanted it gone. Any how, any way, just gone, out of his body, out of his mind, out of his life, out of existence. He'd take a knife and gouge it out if he could but he'd tried that already and wound up regretting it when the others panicked. But he didn't regret taking that stand. He wanted his life and he was willing to do anything to regain it, as long as it didn't hurt anyone else.

He'd already hurt so many, just by being alive, just by being who he was, what he was. Everything that was happening, all the misery, the darkness, the fighting, the bloodshed. All of it. His fault. Because of who he was. Because of who he is.

He sighed and bowed his head shamefully. All of it. If he had just allowed himself to die, everything would have been perfect. His family would be in peace, hidden away safely from the grips of those who desired him. The city would have its Heart and Soul. The others would have their leader. Fairy World would remain in its stalemate, a solitary power with only a ghost of a weapon.

It was all stupid and painful and unbearable and he would have liked nothing more than to just end it all. And he tried, oh, he tried. Again and again, the blade would come close, touch his skin, draw a line of blood... and then stop.

Because it refused to let him do it. He was under protection, by someone who had been ordered to protect him at all costs. To keep him alive. To keep him healthy. To ensure his legacy. Orders that he himself had given without realizing it.

And so there were a dozen scars collected, hundreds, but never seen. Each one was magically dealt with. No evidence. He was perfect; they were perfect.

He glared at the mirror again. How he hated it. He would rather be dead than continue facing his protector, his guardian, his Keeper. Dancer, Keeper; Sleeper, Reaper. One day, the reflection may stop being his. He wouldn't want that for anyone. If the protector won, then the people who hurt him would take penalty. And the people who hurt him were not evil.

So did the wanting to hurt not-evil people make him evil?

Confusion.

He held his head, brain pounding painfully under the Dancer's influence, the tones of elevator music scattering his thoughts. But he kept his gaze on the mirror, glaring, staring, daring.

And then he appeared at last, looking into the mirror as well. Into. Out of. Confusion.

He wanted his protector gone; his protector wanted only the best for him. Darkness for the light, to guide and contain. They functioned together to keep things in check. He needed his Keeper, but he hated him all the same.

Because he was losing. He knew it. Since the Day of Sorrows, he'd begun losing the battle. A fight he had not known he was fighting until he began losing. And then it was too late. He was free, just a bit, but enough to make life hell. Because he was growing in strength, every day.

So he tried harder. The blade dug deeper and with it the morbidly happy thought that at least it was his own hand, his own will, that guided the silver metal. But then he would come and grab his hand and pull it away, lecturing, scolding, berating, ordering. The wound would heal and he would leave and the misery would continue another day.

"Hate you." he finally whispered to the reflection in the mirror.

"I know." the other one said.

"Die."

"Negative. That would mean failure of the objectives. I do not tolerate failure."

"Let me die!"

"Negative. That would mean failure of the...."

He spun and slammed the sole of his shoe into the mirror, shattering it in a fury as his Keeper halted his words and left him to his thoughts. Thoughts that were never private; damn that Dancer, damn that Keeper, damn the ones who did this to him!

He looked down at the shards, myriad reflections, twisted, broken, staring back up at him. No anti. They sensed the mood, wanted no part of the darkness surrounding him, it was too deep, too much, for them to bear. He stood there, watching the shards a moment more. Then, closing his eyes, he tilted his head back, opened his mouth and uttered a shriek of pain, anguish, revulsion and anger. Why?! Why couldn't it all just end and be done with him already?! Why extend the torture like this?! All he ever wanted was what everyone else had! A family! People who cared for him despite what he was!

But then... they didn't know what he was. Because he had made sure not to let them discover it. But, they were learning, because he was showing them. And when they understood him, understood what he was, the love would turn and he would be alone, and only his Keeper would remain at his side, eternally. It would never leave him. The Keeper existed for him alone; he existed only for the Keeper to watch over.

And he hated himself as much as he hated his protector.

A knock came at the door, quick and annoyed.

"Cosmo! Aren't you done?! C'mon, we have to go and wake up Timmy for school!" Wanda yelled through the door. Everything had been magically tampered with when he entered; he had made sure to keep sound only within the walls of the room, so no one could hear what was going on. He gazed blankly down at the shards as his Keeper returned and lifted his hand, waving his wand for him to restore the bathroom mirror.

"You have your duty. I have mine. Let us complete our objectives." the other murmured before disappearing again. He frowned, glaring at the perfect mirror again.

"I'll do my job. And I will find a way to kill you before you do yours." he hissed in return, "I swear this on all those who depend on me. The one true me. The me that can love them and not be afraid of you. I will kill you or I will kill me so you can't use me." There was no answer so maybe the point got across. He could only hope.

He sighed, turned and waved the wand to fix the walls again, then opened the door and smiled brightly, stupidly, at his wife.

"Can we use the super-mega-ultra-loud music thingy again, Wanda?! Pretty please?!" Cosmo chirped happily and bounced away after Wanda as she flew off with a laugh and a nod.

In the room, his reflection stood in the mirror, looking out at the world, at the scene that played before it.

"Target acquired." it whispered and green eyes glowed menacingly at the pink-haired fairy.

The End