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Title: The Lie in the Mirror
Author: Tania
Summary: Eventually we all face the truth.
Rating: G

The face in the mirror is a lie. It isn't the knowledge gleamed from hard wires and electric volts that distorts him, it is the lie of neatly groomed hair and clean shaven face. There is the reflection of a two thousand-dollar suit and shoes that would slip off during a game of hoops. The brief case at his side is filled with acquiescence and resignation. Acceptance of a world less than perfect, that part of the lie is what pulls his soul a little further from him. The face in the mirror mocks his past. It looks on dead parents and a sister and smiles. The firm-set mouth in the mirror silently asks him when enough people will have died.

He wonders why we didn't see the price before he paid it. Just over his shoulder Gunn can almost make out a clapboard-covered window leading to a basement fortress guarded by teenage boys. There are comic books piled in the corner, they are heroes minus the cape and tights. Every now and then, one of them will sneak out to the library's computers and come back with tales of vigilantes guarding the streets of Los Angeles. They all smile, knowing that to the denizens of late night chat rooms at least, their contributions are noticed.

The face in the mirror grimaces as he picks up the razor, staring back at stubbled chin and even hairline and waits. With hands that tremble just enough to make the act dangerous, he runs the blade over his jawbone stopping before he reaches his chin. The razor will go no further, so he traces the movement on the other side. Leaving a patch devoid of soul, he reaches his fingers into the shaving gel and runs them over his head. Strong manly scent belies his own fragility as he peels the ineffective helmet away from his skull. The shaven strips fall into the sink with a subtle splash, and suddenly the face in the mirror is one he remembers.

Gunn rips the clothes from his back, leaving the suit in frayed pieces that stand out against the cold white tile. Even at his feet they look out of place and he wonders how he ever believed the lie. He stands naked before the mirror's truth-telling reflection. Slicing the briefcase's leather front, Gunn leaves the room and the falsehoods it has told for nearly a year. This was never his truth, and he will kill or die if that's what it takes to show them all that he gets that now. The fight isn't over, and he can only hope there is time to make amends.