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Anything Goes

Chapter Twelve: Slate-Grey

Prompt: Anyone other than Shepard

"What You Don't Want to Remember"

"As the monastery billows smoke and ash and clouds of blood-tinged cinders behind them, Samara remembers her blue-eyed daughters." - A series of one-shots and drabbles in the ME universe inspired by prompts in the Mass Effect Fanfiction Writers facebook group.

Samara doesn't want to remember.

She looks into Falere's eyes – slate grey, like the still-hot chamber of her pistol, like the color of her palm when a shadow has overtaken it, like that morning – years and years and years ago – when she had walked from her sweet daughter and left her behind darker-than-grey walls.

Like that morning she had called it just.

Rila and Morinth were the only ones whose eyes had ever been the devastating (tragic) blue that hers were.

As the monastery billows smoke and ash and clouds of blood-tinged cinders behind them, Samara remembers her blue-eyed daughters. She remembers the way they laughed when they were living. And the way they screamed when they were dying.

Samara doesn't want to remember.

Her slate-grey child trembles before her, hands over her eyes, sobs crushed against her palms, gasping for air when there is none.

The Justicar's grief is half a shade darker than Falere's eyes and not nearly as breath-catching.

"The Code demands an Ardat Yakshi cannot live outside a monastery that does not exist." Her words come easier than she thinks they should. Maybe – Samara finally realizes – it is because this is the only easy decision she has ever made as a Justicar.

"I can't choose to stop being your daughter, Mother."

Morinth's voice filters through her thoughts until it is a sorrowful whisper at her heart – a soft and hollow regret.

"Mother," Falere chokes out, fingers falling down her sodden cheeks. She sobs again, her mouth a shuddering thing. "Mother."

That word.

Samara doesn't want to remember.

A shadow passes between them, slanted and sharp and cutting the light from their eyes – those eyes – blue and grey and everything in between, everything that sharpens the fear in her gut into a sure and even blade.

She has always known how to hold a weapon – even that which should feel wrong in her hand.

When her last – her only, her trembling, her straight-spined – daughter , when she locks those unblinking eyes on her mother's, Samara reminds herself that slate, even when broken, is a smooth and resilient thing.

"My daughters," she begins, and ends, "You were all so much stronger than I believed."

She rests the muzzle of her pistol at her temple.

Samara doesn't want to remember.

So she doesn't.