Sororicide, Part Two
A/N: Sequel to Funeral. It's longer, but I don't like it nearly as much. I wanted to explore Aro's relationship with Sulpicia in this one (which makes this my first semi-romantic fic thing), and the effect Didyme's murder had on him. Word of God says that he did love his sister, so I doubt he could just shrug off killing her with 'ah well, it has to be done.' Even Aro has limits.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all characters mentioned.
She alone knows what he has done tonight. She is the only one he trusts enough to tell, because she knows him, inside and out, knows what he is willing to do to preserve what he has built. And she loves him despite (because?) of it all- he is Aro, her rock, her love, and everything he does has a good reason behind it. He does these grim things for Volterra, for her, for the good of the vampire race, for all of them. She can forgive him because she has faith in him and because she loves him. Yes, she can forgive him for anything.
Even the act of sororicide, the murder of his own sister.
One of Aro's greatest strengths is that he is willing to destroy what he loves for the good of his empire. That does not mean that it did not cause him pain- that it does not throw him into the thorny grasp of agony- to kill Didyme that night. And when he comes to her, after the fire has been put out, after the hurried funeral, after Marcus's seemingly endless screams have died down, she is ready for him.
He slinks into their room, the façade of an enraged, vengeful brother and a scorned leader melting off of him. His proud shoulders slump, his fists unclench, then clench again, his eyes grow sadder. Then he sees her. He freezes, and there's this expression on his face that she has never seen on him before. Those are the eyes of a frightened child, she thinks, and though child-like is a word many have used to describe her Aro, if they dare, she knows better. Her Aro is not a child. Tonight is just… the exception to a rule. What he has had to do could shatter anyone. He will repair himself, of course, because he is Aro and he is strong, but not yet. Right now, he needs to break for a while. He needs her.
He looks away, then back up to her face without meeting her eyes. She takes a step towards him, a hand outstretched. Suddenly he's in her arms, hugging her to him. He's not crying. He's not moving or trying to say anything. He's not touching her skin, so he's not trying to read her thoughts. She has never seen Aro act this way, and it's scaring her, but she knows what he is trying to tell her.
Please don't hate me.
Never, she thinks for him to hear later. I could never hate you, Aro. I understand.
For now, she tightens her grip around him and holds this broken man as he pieces himself back together, so that he can go back out there and pretend, to fool the world for Volterra, for her, for the good of the vampire race, for all of them.