In the bathroom mirror was Alex’s worst enemy: himself.

To be more specific, it was Xander, the part of himself that he fought to hide from other people. The two had been in a deeply bitter feud ever since their childhood, a battle so fierce that Alex had won the front half of their name, leaving Xander with the remainder. This banished Alex’s inner demon to the back of his mind, for the most part, at least until he was drunk at parties for holidays he didn’t fucking celebrate.

“Stay out of my life!” Alex shrieked. It was taking every ounce of his strength and emotional willpower to not punch the mirror – as much as he hated himself right now, he didn’t want to leave his future self a killer hangover and bloody hands.

“It’s my life too, you know! And for our sake, you need to get your shit together! Stop ruining every interaction with your paranoid-ass hand-wringing!”

“My ass is not paranoid!” He could feel the sweat beading down his face. Or was he crying? Jesus. “Stop controlling me!”

If Xander was crying too, it didn’t show. “I’m trying to help you talk to them! Be a good girlfriend, a good friend for once in your sorry life, not just a sloppy drunk who can’t hold a conversation he’s not in complete control of!”

“I’m tired,” he choked out, slumping over the sink. “I wanna go home.”

“We don’t have a home anymore. You know that.”

“I know.” He finally started washing his face. Xander didn’t follow suit, because he wasn’t covered in puke or sweat or tears, because he was composed and cool and wasn’t a fucking wreck at social events. Alex hated him so much.

Xander’s face was contorted in a way that frightened Alex deeply. Was it… sympathy? “I know you’re having a hard time. I really get it. But… look at you. Look at them. You want it, they want it, I want it, but all you do is push people away. Every time you’re happy, you need to make everyone miserable.”

Alex ran his fingers over his face, into the creases and folds, but said nothing.

“You’re pushing me away right now.”

“I know.”

“Alex, goddammit, listen to me! Let me help!”


Something in Alex’s head had snapped. He shoved his hands clean through the mirror. Shards of glass and white-hot pain erupted through his hand, and he screamed, but he felt no pain. He felt nothing. He grabbed Xander by both sides of his stupid face and began pulling him apart.

Everything went black.