Tears are running down your cheeks.
“I’ll still love you, if you do.“
She smiles - sweet and kind, like she’s always been to you.
Like she was the day you first met her, like she was even when your other friends and family turned against you - she stayed understanding and firmly at your side.
Your hands are shaking and you almost drop the knife you’re holding, but she reaches out and keeps your arms steady.
Her palms are warm, and the only indication that she’s as anxious as you are is the coldness of her fingers.
"It’s okay,” she coos, stroking your face gently. “I know you have to do this. Do me proud, okay?”
You have to kill her, they said. Kill the most important person to you, and you can save the world. Kill the person closest to your heart, and you can defeat the most powerful of enemies.
You are greedy for power, for recognition, for endless rewards.
That doesn’t mean it pains you any less to do this.
“I- I’m so sorry,” you cry out as you finally strike forward and pierce her stomach. It cuts clean through without a hitch. It’s not a surprise, you made sure it was extra sharp last night.
“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry-”
Your mantra continues even as she croaks out her ‘it’s okay’, even as her eyes slowly start to close, even as she takes what may be her last breaths.
“I’ll still love you,” she mumbles. One last time.
“I’m so sorry,” you whisper back, seeing the light leave her half-lidded eyes. “I’ll make you proud, *mother*.”