Yomi never really knew what to think of the other one after the debacle back in june. Considering what happened she shouldn't have, but she couldn't help herself. What had happened had simply been one great bit too strange. After she got lost in the other place, after she did... things to her best friend she never would have done to her worst enemy, after she, her heart, her body, got turned inside-out and back again by forces she didn't even know existed-

...well, it was a lot to take in at once, made even worse since she had nothing to orient herself with. There were no precedent cases, no general idea on what to do now the nightmare was over. If she had been kidnapped, well, that could have been worse, but at least she'd have known how to deal with it. This was terra nova, so to speak. She never thought being a pioneer could be so frightening.

Yomi wasn't a hateful person. The other one was, as far as she could tell. She didn't know how to answer to that; should she give her another chance? Her heart and upbringing told her to do so since it was the Right Thing To Do, but her instincts, those little leftover stubs that hadn't been weeded out by her parents and teachers yet told her to lock down all the gates and prepare for war.

In short, she was at a loss of what to do.

This didn't change that the other one terrified her. She was so different from Yomi in every single way that she just couldn't get her head around how you could be that way and still stay sane. Maybe she wasn't.

She still was friends with Mato after that occurence of course. They were best friends before it happened and they had only grown closer after. Every day she spent together with her was a good day and one she wouldn't want to miss. In a lot of ways they were also more than just friends; whatever happened in the other place had changed very many things between them, mostly in good ways. Yomi reminded herself of the old saying that bad things always brought about good things.

But of course, the real world never was this easy. This wasn't one of the cute children's books Mato liked to read, with their colorful birds and neatly wrapped up happy ends. Here, once the dice were cast the results would affect them all for years to come. It would leave it's imprint on their lives.

So it came to be that on one ordinary evening of an ordinary day Yomi had spent together with Mato at the mall she was sitting at her table with the mirror and was idly brushing her hair. Her thoughts wandered, returning to Mato again and again, that laugh, that grin, her happy-go-lucky attitude. An airy smile made it's way across her face. So lost in thought she was that she only noticed the brush dropping from her fingers when it clattered on the parquett. Jarred, she reached down, picked it up, sat back again-

-and looked straight into the green eyes of the other one.

Yomi was in shock. A woman- no, girl- no, monster from her actual nightmares-turned-reality had appeared out of nowhere, after she had expected her, it to be gone. Faded. Vanished. Yomi wasn't so good with the k-word. She barely managed to push herself away from her, to try to melt into the seat cushions, but then was frozen stiff. It was as if some primal part of her brain had taken over and kept telling her 'when you don't move the dangerous thing might not notice you' which was a flawed premise because the thing she would have tried to hide from might as well have been herself. She wasn't sure, but right now she wasn't doing much thinking anyway.

While Yomi was trying to make herself as small and uninteresting as possible the other one was unfazed. If Yomi hadn't been so terrified, she probably would have wondered why the other one was looking at her so weirdly. She looked pensive, thoughtful almost. On a face usually twisted into a mask of sadistic glee it did look very out of place. Not enough to pacify Yomi though.

The squirming and frantic looks she was recieving didn't disturb the one with the horns in the slightest; she simply kept staring at Yomi as if she was some mathematical problem and the other one simply couldn't figure it out at all. Slowly, over more than five long minutes which felt like the longest of her entire life, during which the luminently green eyes of the other bored into her, Yomi relaxed.

She didn't trust this thing; this creature (she was still unwilling to think of the other one as a human being, for so many reasons). They had too much of a history just to forget. But right now it didn't seem like there was any aggression in there. As the other one stared at Yomi, Yomi began examining her.

She was, it struck Yomi, her caricature. The other one had her face, her shape. Yomi felt like she was looking at an image of herself with the contrast turned all the way up. Some things were out of focus or driven to extremes. Chalk white skin, jet black hair, a royal face and superior, haughty demeanor. If Yomi had been nicknamed 'Little Princess' on the playground when she was little, this one would have been the 'Ice Queen', especially with her vertebrae-like horns framing her face like some sort of visceral halo.

The other moved a hand up to cup her chin and rested her elbow on the table, leaning forward. Yomi backed away again. Not due to the closeness, but because of the hand. At first, she thought it was encased in some sort of black gauntlet with claws; closer examination showed the plain holes where the other's palm was supposed to be and Yomi realized that these actually /were/ the other's hands. Dark claws; hand bones seemingly taken from a man about twice her size and blackened to make a threatening discouragement to handshakes for everyone in sight. The way her 'finger''tips' (both terms unfitting in certain ways) pushed into the other's face reminded Yomi of railway spikes pressed against skin, ready to be forced inside. The horned one of course trusted her own fingers more than that.

The horned one was almost as concerned as Yomi was, though she didn't show it. She was used to being in her element. She was used to having some sort of advantage over someone else, she was used to having them frightened. She was used to... well, winning, at least that's what every cell in her body told her. It was what made her, what she consisted of. A complete, absolute feeling of superiority.

And yet this little girl there, that frightened little bird had somehow thrown her off. Not alone, but it's the intent that matters. The dark image of course clearly remembered what happened back in summer, how Yomi had opened her heart to jealousy upon seeing Mato spend time with anyone but her, how it had consumed her and at the same time how she consumed it to create... her. Yes, the horned one was much more well-informed on the emotions of her host, creator, parasite, whatever their relationship was. It was easy to her of course, being composed entirely of thoughts and emotions.

And now, a little while after those happenings, she had come back. It had been inevitable, in a sense. Yomi lived, Yomi breathed and well, the horned one was a part of her, in some weird, spiritual sense that the mirage did not grasp entirely and which Yomi was only beginning to understand right now, looking into the mirror. The dark one did not care much. She was confused, and that was her problem. She hated being confused. She needed to rule, to be in command, to dominate her surroundings, it was in her blood, in her very essence. She was a Master.

But right now... she wasn't. And it irked her to no end.

Due to this, the current arrangement had come around in the first place. A mirror image does not simply change out of a mood. In the mirage's case it was mroe than that, it was an almost physical need to do- something, anything to change her situation. She needed to act, right now.

So she knocked.

As the dark claws of her mirror image first rose Yomi was confused. As they then balled up into a fist she was feeling a bit threatened. As they then softly rapped against the mirror (well, soft for bone claws anyway, it still sounded like pennies falling onto a glass table) Yomi was right back to confused. Then rapped again. Then rapped another time. What was she doing?

The contemplative look on the mirror image's face warped into her trademark sadistic grin and she drew her fist back all the way.

Knock knock. IT'S ME!

While being showered in glass fragments, pitching backwards in her chair and screaming like the little girl she was Yomi seriously contemplated getting a psychologist or therapist to talk about all of this. Then she dumped the idea, she would need a person with at least as crazy a background as she had to talk about any of this without being considered for a closed institution, and how high were the chances for that?

A cold wind blew into her face, dusty, ancient and utterly alien and yet pulling too many strings in her heart to ignore. She knew this. This was how where she had gone had smelled, back in the bad old days. Any further thought on the matter was interrupted with a crunch of glass being ground under a heel. Yomi looked up.

Her image. She was standing above her, one foot still in the dream world, the other crushing glass splinters into Yomi's expensive mahogany desk. Mom will be so irate, thought Yomi in a fleeting moment. Her caricature took a look around her room and apparently found everything inside terribly amusing, the way her toxic-green gaze zeroed right back onto Yomi and a grin tore her face in half like some extraordinarily toothy wound, followed by the most girlish giggles the little princess had ever heard.

The mirage took another step forward, slipped her short heel on a glass shard lying flat on the table, tumbled forward, then planted her head face-first into the floor of Yomi's room. Some cosmic mercy made sure there were no glass shards at that exact place as her body followed and she came to rest in a knocked out pile of tangled limbs.

"Huh" said Yomi. Then she passed out.