Chapter 51 - Honour Thy Mother

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Fear is a funny little thing. Sometimes it paralyses you, like a deer caught in the headlights of an incoming car. It can leave you unable to move, think, or even speak. Sometimes it makes you stronger, giving you the energy you need to survive in any given situation. It can make you think quickly, leaving no room for doubt. Or sometimes it makes you numb to feeling anything but being focused. That was me right now. Scared to the point of being focused on the day ahead of me. 

I didn't eat breakfast, I didn't speak to anyone, I dismissed anyone who came through my door and I didn't even change into anything outstanding. I literally threw on a hooded cape over my nightdress and I considered myself ready. 

Trista had returned the very same night I sent her, saying that my offer was accepted and that I should be there by dawn. It was about three hours from dawn and I stood by the gates of the castle imagining what all the people I had lost would think. What would Nonno think of this decision I've made? Would he have flicked my forehead and told me it was stupid and reckless? What would my father think? Would he kiss me where Nonno flicked me and tell me that what I was doing was honourable and it made him proud? What would Bucky have said? I feel as if he would have done both. 

I looked down at my left hand that was clenched into a fist and I opened it, revealing the photograph that we had taken with the polaroids. He definitely would have called me stupid and reckless. I was running head-first towards the enemy with no weapon or protection. Then I'm sure he'd have punched me in the arm and messed up my hair for being willing to die for the people who needed me. I smiled to myself and took a deep breath in, looking up and hiding the photograph as soon as I heard footsteps approach me from behind. 

"Are you ready?" Steve sounded beside me, grabbing my attention. I looked up at him and nodded, offering a small smile. 

"Yeah," I answered, my voice barely a whisper. "Don't look at me like that, we'll see each other soon." 

"We might see each other soon," Steve corrected me, looking out to where I'll be walking to. "I'm sorry for being pessimistic, but we don't know what you're walking into and I don't like this idea at all."

"Well, just stick to the plan and we'll be fine." I shrugged lightly before sighing and following his gaze. "I should get a move on now, though. I don't want to trigger anything unnecessarily."

"So, this is goodbye?" He asked, unable to look at me. 

"No, it's 'see you later'. Give it 24 hour tops and this whole thing will be in our hands." I sighed and put up my hood, getting myself ready to go. I looked at him again, placing a hand on his arm reassuringly, smiling small. In a matter of seconds, he leant down and pressed his lips against mine softly before pulling back a little.

"Just promise me you'll try to stay alive." He whispered, his forehead against mine and a hand at my cheek. I simply nodded and took a step back, biting my lip and fiddling with my cape.

"I'll try." I replied, before pointing to the gates. "I need to go now, Steve. Take care yourself." I told him, changing the topic. "I'll, um, I'll see you on the other side." 

And without another word, I started walking. I didn't look back, I didn't say anything else. I just started walking. Who knows how long it will take for me to walk that far, or whether I'll reach there without meeting any danger. But for now, this queen was walking into a different territory. 

My fear right now was not dying or getting hurt. My fear was failing my people and failing to honour my mother and what she stood for. My fear was more innocent people dying because of me. 

Not anymore. 

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