A/N: For Thene. FF Kiss Battle 2012.

Prompt: The other girl in the mirror, tempting her.


It struck her that she couldn't remember the last time she truly studied herself in the looking glass. She'd been a long ways from home, traveling, learning, growing slowly as a person with Zidane and the others at her side. The last time she'd really looked was in Alexandria, before – before all this began. And here she was again, home, after all that transpired, once again treading the familiar corridors of the castle.

The girl in the mirror was nothing like the girl in the long, flowing, delicately embroidered white dress and the gleaming diadem in her hair that she remembered.

Gone was the dark length of hair trailing down her back, kept away neatly in its blue clip. In its stead was hair delightfully kept above her shoulders, free of all that weight.

Gone were the dejected, slumped shoulders carrying the sadness of a newly made queen and her kingdom.

The girl in the mirror held herself confidently, burning with fierce independence, heartbreak, with the desire to set things right. She was strong and beautiful and clever and resourceful, and she would do anything, anything for the benefit of her kingdom.

Garnet raised her right hand, met palm to palm with her reflection - Dagger, the warrior- summoner princess. She raised her other hand, met palm to palm with her reflection, and solemnly kissed the glass.

How it, her reflection, tempted her to run away and live forever as the wandering traveler she'd become, meeting new people all the time, gaining new experiences beyond that of the heavy, leather-bound books in the castle library. It spoke of freedom and adventure and the joys of nature around her. It spoke of love and everything she'd be forced to leave behind when all this was over.

They were due to leave later that morning. There was so much still to be done before they could confront Kuja.

And when she returned, gods willing, she'd lay down her racket and serve her country from the throne where she belonged.

When she returned, gods willing, she'd be forced to bid the girl in the mirror goodbye forever. All in the name of duty.