Myth and Mirrors.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.

The handle of the brush is smooth and cool in Shion's hands, and is carved from a fine pearl ivory that shimmers silver in the candlelight. There is a myth attached to the brush, one that bestows upon its owner hair that is touched by the gods themselves, so straight and sleek that it slips through ones fingers like liquid silk.

Shion's hair curls and kinks and twirls, so unlike the deep, rich hair of the orients and far more like what his father's must have been like. Sometimes, when he catches his reflection unconsciously in the mirror instead of deliberately seeking it out as he so often does, Shion wonders if he sees just a glimpse of his father out of the corner of his eye before his reflection morphs into something more familiar but just as foreign.

The man who is caught in the mirror in that moment is taller, broader, with eyes that blaze through with fire instead of ice. There is a smile on the corner of his mouth that speaks of cynicism and a staunchness in his shoulders that screams of something else, something rigid and well trained and - above all - threatening. Shion is none of these and all of them at once, which is why this man is surely not him but the original prototype, now watered down.

The hair, at least, is the same, the sun-cursed, beautiful hair that marks Shion out as an outsider even more than the paleness of his skin of the green hue of his eyes. When the image of his father fades from the mirror and all that is left is his after print, those eyes and that hair remain.

And so does Shion.

The mirror comes from myth, as well. Yakumo has always liked his possessions steeped in the mysterious, be it ivory hair brushes or graveyard mirrors or golden hair spun from lies and betrayal and hurt-

For Yakumo's world is comprised only of the fair, their shadows locked away and held as collateral. At least, Shion thinks as he slowly smooths the brush through his hair, his shadow is kept in a pretty box. Best there than exposed to the harsh sun and the world that feeds on such delicate things.

Better there than trapped in a mirror-

The hairbrush slides from his fingers as Shion's gaze narrow in thought. With a elegance that has been groomed into him instead of bred, Shion reaches towards the mirror in front of him, pale fingers pressing experimentally against the glass. He traces the contours of his reflection's face with his fingertips, taking in eyes that hold a curiosity Shion doesn't feel and a mouth drawn oddly tight.

"My brush slipped," Shion says lightly when Yakumo appears moments later. He twirls a lock of hair around his fingers as Yakumo's one visible eye flickers emotionlessly between Shion and the shattered mirror. A pocket of air catches briefly at the back of Shion throat as he waits.

"That's the third one you've managed to break," Yakumo says calmly, instead of the hundred of other things he could have possibly chosen. Shion breathes again, then shrugs lazily and leans back against the vanity, at ease.

"It was poorly crafted," Shion scoffs, shooting a disinterested look back at what remains of the frame of the mirror while carefully avoiding any of the shards. "You deserve much better."

A smile twists at Yakumo's lips, but he doesn't comment on the matter further. "Breakfast is ready."

The invitation surprises Shion, and he pushes away from the vanity with a delighted smile. Because the smile is unplanned it's perhaps not as brilliant or perfect as the one in the mirror might sometimes wear (which mirror, which man?), but it will have to do. Breakfast with Yakumo is such an unexpected treat that Shion hardly even cares, and he's bounced eagerly past Yakumo and towards the door before Yakumo has a chance to finish what he is saying. Not that it matters. Shion will figure it out later, after breakfast.

The hair brush lays forgotten, shoved beneath layers of fine cloth and towards the back of the vanity's draw. Shion plans to never use it again.

If he is to be cursed, he will at least also be the fairest.

He banishes his father's ghost back to the world of myth (if only until someone looks at Shion and sees him), and falls into step behind Yakumo.