A/N This story contains implied twincest. If you don't like to read it, please don't continue any further. Thanks.
There is no-one standing beside her when she walks into the room. The only other people there, on the other side of the glass, are the executioner and one other person Iris cannot bear to look in the eyes at the moment.
"You are Iris of Hazakura Temple, correct?" an unfamiliar voice asks, and Iris nods her head slowly, just once. "Then you may stay."
That's good, because she doesn't have any intention of going anywhere. If she was to leave this room now, she would start running and running as fast as she could and wouldn't stop until her legs collapsed beneath her.
"Iris…" This voice is a familiar one. She hears in it the dreams she has every night. She has a few dreams that she sees over and over again every time she falls asleep.
In one of these dreams, her sister looms over her, stroking her cheek and whispering 'I love you' until her ears are red with the heat of her sister's breath. Then the gentle movements of her hands halt and they grip the sides of her face forcefully. 'You'd do anything for me, wouldn't you…Iris?' and her sister's lips would be only a fraction of centimetre away from hers, and in this dream, Iris never answers when her sister's hands start slipping underneath the hem of her shirt.
In one of the other dreams, her sister is screaming, giant licks of flame enveloping her body, and no matter how much Iris tries, she cannot save her.
Nothing can happen here, though, and because of this, Iris lifts up her head and takes a few brave steps towards the glass separating herself from her twin. Raising a hand to the glass as though to ensure it is actually an adequate barrier, she replies. "Dahlia." She looks at her sister for the first time in five years.
She hadn't wanted to come, because she had not wanted to see Dahlia, beautiful, strong Dahlia, looking like she did now.
"You love me, don't you?" Dahlia asks, walking towards the glass and the executioner follows, hovering behind her as an unrelenting reminder of what is imminent. Her clothes hang off her where she has lost weight, her previously slender figure is all skin and bones. But yet, this is still Dahlia, and Iris cannot say no.
A pause. Dahlia stares at one of the stone walls of the room she is enclosed in. The brow of her innocent face furrows as she turns to look back at her sister. Dahlia's eyes are empty. "I don't believe you."
Before, Iris had felt safe knowing that the glass barrier was between the two of them, but now she wishes for nothing else but for it to be broken down into thousands of pieces at her feet so she can hold her sister in her arms once more. "What can I say…?" she asks.
"There's nothing you can say. There's only what you have not done. I give you one simple task: retrieve the necklace. But yet, you were quite unable to do this. One would think that you loved this 'Feenie' of yours more than you loved me."
Memories spring up in her mind of the quirky, yet loveable, man she had dated for six months: the way he would part his arm around her shoulders and tell a funny story about what happened to him that day when she woke from her afternoon naps with tears tracked down her cheeks, the ghost of Dahlia still flitting around her mind; the way he always smiled, even when a normal person would be crying and the way he said 'I love you' and she didn't even have to wonder if he was lying.
That's all in the past, however. It is Dahlia in front of her right now, her Dahlia. Her hands slam into the glass. "No! It was never like that! It was for you, only for you!" Everything Iris has done has been for Dahlia. "I'll do anything to make it up to you, anything!" She stops banging against the glass because the executioner doesn't seem to approve of it, but her hands still, pressed to the glass, palms open.
"You're the reason I'm here, Iris."
Iris knows it's the truth, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt. Dahlia still has that knack of creating statements that seem to pierce all the flesh and blood and burrow their way into the depths of heart. "I love you," she whispers frantically against the glass, breath causing condensation to form on the window.
Dahlia tilts her head to the side and smiles, and Iris is too familiar with this motion to not know what it means. Usually, the next words she would hear are 'I love you', but not this time.
"It's too late," she says, the same loving smile spread across her face, and Iris's mind whirrs.
Of course it is too late. Maybe it has always been too late. Iris loves Dahlia. She will do anything for her, and everything she has done has been for her. But despite her best efforts, she could not save her own sister. She knows there is something depraved about Dahlia, a sort of darkness that tinges her entire soul. In spite of this, she loves her sister because there is no-one else to. However, it had been foolish to imagine that her love alone would be enough; what amount of love could affect someone who had no idea what love was?
Iris realises, just a little too late, that her love was just a game to Dahlia. The whispered words, the soft lips against skin, the hands running up and down her sides; it was nothing but fulfilling the silly little dreams Iris kept in her own mind. Dahlia says 'I love you' because that's what Iris wants to hear.
"It's too late," a voice repeats the words, but this time it does not belong to her sister, her sister who has been condemned long before she had been handed down a death sentence down by a judge in court, but to the executioner, as he ushers Dahlia to the back of the room.
Dahlia is still smiling as the noose is tightened around her neck, the same smile she smiled before she used to whisper, "I love you" into Iris's ear.
The floor underneath Dahlia disappears, but Iris hardly notices as in her mind's eye, giant licks of flame have sprung up, surrounding the area where Dahlia's body now hangs. It's like the dreams, but this time the screams are Iris's own.
They have played the game for too long for Iris to quit now. She flings herself up against the window, and screams, "I love you, I love you, I love you!"
But of course, it is too late.