The Valen Inisde the Mirror

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By the time Valen, Ned, MJ, and Peter left school, it was still raining. They all went straight back to Ned's house where all of them plopped down on their seats. Peter was in the middle of the couch with Valen on his right and MJ on his left. Ned was sitting on the side chair.

"So how long have you guys been doing that?" Valen asked.

"What? School?" Ned looked at her confused about what she meant.

"Yeah."

MJ laughed. "Twelve years unless you count preschool and kindergarten, but some people just start off in the first grade."

Valen looked horrified at her answer. "Twelve years?"

"Then there's college, that adds another four years unless your major only needs two. Some professions like doctors have to go to medical school, so then that adds a few more." Peter put an arm behind Valen on the couch.

"Don't forget, you can go back to college to get your masters and doctorate." Ned chimed in adding to Valen's horror.

"Yeah no, I'm good. Are you all going to college?" Valen clasped her hands together and leaned forward onto her knees.

"M.I.T. In the fall. All of us." Ned pointed to himself then to MJ and Peter.

"No idea what that stands for. Guessing that's a college."

"Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

Valen sat up straight. She looked at Peter then back to Ned. "Massachusetts? That's like three hours away from here."

"Ever been?" MJ leaned forward to look at Valen.

She scratched her head and shook her head. "I don't know if I'm honest. New York is all I'm certain of since I'm here now."

"You better be coming to visit us when we go."

Valen got up from her seat in a hurry, surprising the others. She realized they were all looking at her, wondering why she got up so suddenly. "Excuse me. I need to use the restroom."

She took off into the bathroom and locked the door behind her. She grabbed the sides of the sink and looked at herself in the mirror. She took a couple of deep breathes trying to not get angry. She turned the faucet on to bend down and splash cold water onto her face to help calm herself down. She then looked back up into the mirror, becoming frozen in her place from the person looking back at her.

"What did you expect? You would come back to Peter like nothing ever happened? That he was going to stay in New York for the rest of his life, and for what? You? You've hurt him." Zory smiled wickedly.

"You're dead."

"Don't be so sure. You left so fast, you never checked."

"How are you here?"

"Am I actually here or am I your hallucination?"

"Go away." Valen closed her eyes and when she reopened them, he was still there. Only this time half of his face had burn scars on it.

Valen took a step back, scared by the man looking at her. She closed her eyes and shook her head. "This isn't real. This isn't real."

When she opened up her eyes again, her own reflection was looking back at her. But as she continued looking, it slowly was becoming not her anymore.

The Valen inside the mirror waved with an evil grin. She had her Hydra suit on with her hair braided back into a bun. She took off her mask to speak. "Maybe you'll listen to yourself. What are you even doing Valen? Playing house and school? You're just ignoring the inevitability. You will always be by yourself. Everyone leaves. Remember Bucky?"

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