The Man in the Mirror

Author: Lori C

Rating: G

Summary: That would be telling…

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs King is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Production Company. The story however, is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author.

Genre: A vignette or sorts…you decide if it is A/U!

Author's notes: This story is dedicated to SMKJunkie…it has not been beta'd, and is just a quickie in response to something said by the above mentioned dedicatee.

The room was dark, the only sound an occasional rasping snore from the lone occupant of the bed. A foot hung negligently out from beneath the rumpled covers, periodically twitching in time with the bursts of sound emitted from the prone form. An arm, bent at the elbow, dangled from the side of the bed, long fingers nearly touching the floor. The moonlight that angled in through slats in the blinds glanced off smooth skin bared by a careless disregard for the coolness of the night air.

A sudden movement…the toss of a head upon a pillow, the clench of a fist on twisted sheets…gave lie to the apparent contentment of deep sleep, evidence that all was not sweetness and light in this man's dreams.

*Amanda…where are you? I've been looking everywhere for you. I have to find a way to make you realize that there is no one else for you but me…*

A groan akin to pain issued forth from deep within the sleeping man's throat, and he restlessly cast the bedclothes from him as though he couldn't bear their soft touch on his skin. The moon winked through the blinds and caught a hint of baby blue among the sheets, the only nod to modesty this man acknowledged. A slight breeze from the open window stirred his tousled hair, and stole the harshly whispered name from his lips to carry it off into the night. "Amanda."

*I can see her through the window in Billy's office…she looks so beautiful today. Her smile lights up the room. Will she smile for me, after the things I've said and done? Will she realize I act the way I do because I love her and can't live without her? I see her face fall as I enter. She hasn't forgiven me. Can it be too late after all this time?*

A frown mars the forehead of the slumbering man, and he jerks into wakefulness. He sits up in bed and presses the heels of his hands to his eyes in recognition of his recurring dream. Despondent, he pulls himself to the side of the bed and stands slowly, like an old man bent with years of anguish. He pads softly to the bathroom and turns on the harsh fluorescent lights, grimacing as arcs of pain knife into his eyelids. He turns the cold water on full blast, droplets scattering and tracing abstract designs on the tilework of the floor. He bends and splashes his face with a dose of reality, then raises his head, squinting in the unforgiving light.

The man frowning back at him from the mirror is a parody of the man he'd once been. Friendless, childless, loveless; his life barren to the point of desiccation. He shakes his head wryly at his foolish dreams. His unrequited love for a suburban housewife would be the match that set the tinderbox of his life aflame if it became known. The paradox was that his behavior had germinated from that seed of truth. Amanda King would never love him, therefore he had become a man to be feared and despised. And in this, he had succeeded beyond his expectations. He grinned his sardonic Cheshire cat grin and spoke to his reflection. "Good morning, Dr. Smyth."