I hope you enjoy and feel free to make your own conclusions about the ending.
Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the end of the series
He sat there, twiddling his thumbs round one another as he waited for the verdict. Would they disprove his theories once again, turning him away for another year? He had always thought they were a bit too harsh on the subject, but he was not the one making the decision; they were.
It had been a few years since his last time being forced to sit in the hallway, his mind trying to grasp at the thought of being told no, that he would have to go back and research the tomes again for an answer. Every year it got harder, and harder, the word No etched into his mind as the response they would give him. Normally he would have just handed in the reports, and then awaited the responses in a few days; this time however, he had been asked to wait as they went over the matter.
Time was not on his side, and ever passing year meant that there was less and less of a chance that what he had proposed to do would actually have a chance of working. He had made a promise, and he intended to keep it. If they told him no again this time, he would take matters into his own hands, with or WITHOUT their approval. Going behind their backs would be dangerous, but he had no other choice. If his theory was correct, this would be the final chance that he would have to be able to open the gateway. If he let the chance pass him by, there would be no way to bring him back. The bridge between the worlds would no longer have a hold, and there would be no way to reach him again.
He had been sitting in the study when a particular mirror caught his eye. It had always been hanging on the wall seemed… somehow different this time. Instead of the light from the lamp being bounced around in the mirror, it was almost as if the image was distorted, like the glass had a thick film of grease smeared across the surface. He set the book down on the side table, and rose from the over-stuffed chair, walking towards the mirror, taking in the particular scene laid out before him. Instead of his reflection shown to him, it was as if he was looking through a looking glass.
There was no view of the tall, book-laden shelves behind him, instead he saw a room lit by sunlight, curtains billowing by an unfelt breeze, a desk and a well made bed the only objects in the room. He turned and looked behind himself, the drab light filtering in through the rain soaked windows gave the room an eerie feel as he cast his eyes back into the mirror. He reached a hand out to the glass, the metal colliding with the smooth surface, making a sort of clink sound as he rested his palm on the image. It had to be some sort of dream, something that he would wake up and just find himself back in his bed.
The image itself started to fade as someone on the other side of the glass walked into the room. The dirty blond hair pulled back into a short ponytail passed by the surface, the image rippling as if a pebble had been dropped into a still pool of water. For a brief moment, the other person turned, their eyes locking for that one moment before the image faded and he was left staring at his own reflection. The bright golden blond hair and golden eyes looking back at him. Why had he seen something that he shouldn’t have been able to? What was the purpose of showing him something that he could never have again? Maybe his mind had been playing tricks on him. It had been a year already, and he still had found no way back. Maybe he was destined to remain; to live the rest of his life in a world that wasn’t his.
His eyes turned away from the mirror, his hand dropping to his side. Torment of images he would never see again would be something that continued to pull at his mind. He had to find a way back, but he was still trying to answer the how to that question. Being that he had no way to use his once given talent in this world, he had been spending the last year trying to research a way back, but to no avail. This world would be of no use to him to actually open the gateway back. The door only to be opened from the other side, the place where he belonged.
It felt like hours before he finally saw them file out of the boardroom, the thick report he had turned in held under the arm of the one man he trusted to help and understand him. Nothing was said to him as he was passed by the group. Only a glace from that man told him what he knew to be the outcome, they had once again turned down his proposal. And that was when his path was set: he would do it without the support of the council. He would gladly pay for the consequences later if it meant bringing him home. The only thing left to do would to retrieve the report from that man, and begin the long road towards the final meeting. If he did it alone, he would be the only one to suffer if things went wrong. No, he couldn’t do it alone. As much as he would like to be the only one to be there when he finally stepped back into the world, he couldn’t do it by himself. He would need the help of another, and the only person he trusted was someone he had grown to re-know over the years.
He made his way from the waiting area in the hallway, heading directly for the office where he knew he would find that man. If he was too slow about it, the chance will have come and gone before he could ask, and he couldn’t afford that, not this time. He only had days left before the link would be gone forever, and his timing had to be perfect, otherwise he would not only loose him, he would end up loosing himself in the process. The theory wasn’t wrong, but theories can't take the pace of proven facts: One wrong move, and you could be lost to the world. This was dangerous, and he knew this whole heartedly. And yet, the price of that risk was worth the chance to bring him back. The chance to go beyond the looking glass that stood in the way between him and that warm embrace.
Something that he had thought was only his mind playing ticks on him became something that drew him in and held him there. Taking away his breath with every ripple of the surface of that pool that connected him to the other world, his home. Though they were separated by the glass, it was almost like crossing the threshold without the contact he so longed for.
The eyes were always the first thing that would draw him in. Those steely, greenish eyes that captivated him from the first moment he saw them before the mirror reverted back to its normal state, his golden eyes dancing in the shadows of that mirror. The moments drew ever longer with each passing visit, at first they were mere glimpses into the other world. The moment someone would pass by the view, the surface would ripple as the connection was lost. The more he willed to see more, each passing day would find him poised in front of the mirror, watching... waiting... hoping that this time he would be able to see more.
Weeks and then months passed, those around him became worried about him. They always found him in the study, standing before the mirror. If they tried to speak to him, they would be dismissed with nothing more than a wave. He would not be persuaded to leave his post. If that was his only connection through to the other side, he wasn’t going to leave it if by some chance it could lead him home.
Late into the evening on a rather stormy night, he had found himself back in the study, lightning brandishing the room in in hues of gold and blue as he sat curled in the chair, a book held in his hands. The lamp light was causing him to squint to read the words written on the page. For some reason unknown, his gaze rose towards the mirror, his eyes connecting with those on the other side. His book slid for his hands and he quickly rose, his mouth gaped open. The book landed on the floor with a soft thud as it connected with the rug that covered the wooden floor.
Was he seeing things? Where those eyes really looking back at him? Following him as he made his way to the mirror? Watching his hand being raised towards the glass? A small smile graced the lips on the other side of the glass, a look of utter joy filled the tearful eyes. The surface did not ripple and fade back into the facade that it showed the rest of the world; rather it allowed for a final meeting between the pair. Something that had been stripped away from both of them.
No words were exchanged that night, only the unspoken language of the eyes were enough to say everything they could not. They say that the eyes are the windows into the soul; the silent messengers that speak volumes that words can never express. Their first meeting after so long of being apart were only expressed in tears and those silent words.
He slipped past the watchful eye of the front desk and slipped around a corner. The man he needed to see, the man he trusted most, had moved up in the world, and that meant it was harder to get close to him. He didn’t have the time to wait until tomorrow to ask. If he missed the date set, the date that was only a few days away, then everything he had been doing for the last almost 4 years would have been for naught. All of the research, all of the training, EVERYTHING he had done to bring him back would have been for nothing. No, he would not accept defeat when the thing he most desired, the thing he had worked so hard for was only a few inches in front of his face, waiting for him to reach out and seize it.
He found himself sneaking up the stairs, keeping an eye out for anyone who may catch him in the act of seeing that man, stopping him from his goal of bringing him back to this world. He slipped up the 3 flights of stairs, listening for the footsteps of anyone that may be descending the staircase. Luck, as it would be, was on his side. He made it up the stairwell and through the door without meeting a single person. He tried to stay out of sight, hiding behind a corner to conceal himself, his back pressed against the painted wall as a pair of people talking to one another passed by without even giving a glance in his direction.
He breathed a sigh of relief and peeked around the corner, noting that the office door was no more than 50 feet from where he was hiding. If he was quick enough, he could reach it without being seen. Maybe all of that training would help him to reach that current short-term goal staring him in the face like a bold faced grin. He took a glace around and went for it, bolting down the hallway towards the door. 40...35..25..15..10..5... Just as he reached out for the handle, the door was flung open. He skidded to a halt, almost running into the person in the doorway. The blond looking at him with a frown on her face, a stern look in her eyes.
He found himself standing before the mirror yet again, unable to sleep. His counterpart on the other side standing there, a wide smile on their face and a light dancing in those steely, greenish eyes. They had not been able to communicate through words, but the eyes and paper were now their allies; the ink their weapon of choice. They had been devising a plan, something that would become the bridge between the worlds. It would allow for him to return to the real place he belonged; to the place he truly called home. But this plan required help from both sides, and there was only one date that it would work on. That date was the same date every year that marked his crossing from one world to the next.
But with every passing week on his side, and every passing year on the other, the bond between them grew, but the connection began to grow weaker. They finally noticed after many months of deliberation that the connection started to last shorter, and shorter with each visit, signaling that what they both had found through research to be true: That if something wasn’t done on this anniversary, they very same that was only a few days away, the link would be gone. He would have no way to return back to his world, to that embrace just on the other side of the glass.
The theory was perfect... And yet in perfection, there is always a flaw. If even one thing went wrong, the connection, and even themselves would disappear forever. Perfection was never an excuse to mistrust the nature of things... something learned a very long time ago: Perfection is flawed.
The timing had to be perfect, and he had begun to gather everything he could that would be needed to make it work from this side of the glass. Even if he didn’t have his talent, he had his mind. He was also good at figuring out the impossible, and this time was no different. The mirror would be his focus, his link to that world, the place that would make his dream a reality: stepping through the gateway that led to the bridge between the worlds. There could be no mistakes made, nothing forgotten, because if what happened in the past was forgotten, history was doomed to repeat itself.
He had gained entry into the office after a bit of explaining on his part. He had never been bared from that man, the blond understanding his need to see him. He only had a short while to convince the man that he needed his help to bridge the gap, to allow him to return home. If it boiled down to it, and he was refused, no DENIED the help he so desperately needed, he would take it upon himself to do the impossible, to bring him back by whatever means.
He stood just beyond the inner doorway, his eyes speaking for his wordless voice. He had been turned away, told to give up the search to find the means to bring him back. What he proposed to do was a taboo, and it would only end in him loosing his life, or so that is what they wanted people to hear. Taboo or not, he was going to do the impossible, he was going to open the gateway and return him home, to wrap him in that long forgotten embrace, to speak with more than just his eyes for once. There was no try, he was going to DO. He was prepared to face oblivion if it came to that, but it was in human nature to make the impossible, possible. And he was going to do just that, no matter if it was seen as something that could never been done, something that if you did the smallest thing wrong, you would end up paying an even greater price in the end.
The hours ticked down, the room had been cleared, and the door bared. He had said his final goodbyes in his own subtle way, making sure that no one was home when the final hour struck. If things did go wrong, he didn’t want anyone to witness his failure... no their failure. If one failed, they both would pay the price for it. His mind dwelled on that ever encroaching darkness, the sliver thread of hope barely visible. It was there, and that is all that mattered. As long as there was even that tiny sliver of hope, the possible would happen.
As the hour drew closer, he made the final preparations, the medium was drawn, the elements gathered and placed in the specific places indicated through both of their research. The final piece, the mirror was removed from the wall, the eyes on the other side looking back at him as both sides carried the mirrors to the center of the rooms, placed face up on the floor in the middle of the medium. The mirrors would act as the gateway, the elements the power source. If this worked, there would be a momentary break in reality as he crossed the threshold, the embrace awaiting him on the other side of the bridge. If things went wrong... He didn’t want to think of that. If things went wrong, he and the other would be removed from the worlds; never to been seen by each other or their loved ones ever again… And eternity was a very, VERY long time.
The final glace between the pair was that of joy mixed with sadness spoken in that unspoken language they had grown very used to. Words were no longer needed between the pair, only the forward glance, or the slight gesture as the eyes danced were enough. They had crossed boundaries of both time and space for that connection, and it was the only thing to bring them together again, to allow them that final moment that they both had ought so very hard to achieve. If they were to succeed or even fail, at least they would be doing it together, as it should always have been. No matter what happened, they would end up together in the end, be it in life or death, they would end up together.
As the final hour struck, both sides activated their ends, the rooms being filled with light from the similar reactions, the mirrors acting as the medium, the elements as the power source. The surface of the mirrors rippled and sprang froth from their confines of the frames, like a living entity looking for the source of its caller.
It was now or never as he stepped forward into the path of the beast, the silvery jaws held open, hungrily awaiting the tender flesh willing to sacrifice itself to its depths. In a whirl of darkness and light, he was sucked down into the void, the ever encroaching feeling of nothingness taking hold of him as he plunged into the depths. Would he be lost forever in this world of nothingness? The dark void swallowing him whole? In the end, those questions may never be answered, the grip on reality being lost in the whipping winds of oblivion. The threshold only so very thin, and yet that glimmer of hope, that tiny thread of life, pulling one from the darkness, and the other from the light. Ripping apart the worlds, and yet making them whole again.