Mirrors

The Crossroads bustled with activity but beyond the glowing Eluvians and blooming cherry trees sat a quiet sanctuary. Past the guards waited empty halls and soaring mosaics. Only the chosen few were allowed this deep into the temple to what once was.

Quiet footsteps, near silent, announced the arrival of the turncoat. The Spymaster’s Master Spy who served the Dread Wolf long before she had served the Inquisition.

“Report,” the God said, his heart heavy. He hid it well among the Free Elves, but the Turncoat saw the quiet sadness and heartbreak. He let the her see, knowing that she loved him in turn, knowing that it destroyed her inside to see him mourn the touch of another, whose face, whose personality so closely resembled her own… but who was not her.

Never her.

How many reflections had she seen in the Eluvians? How many worlds where he embraced a different elf each time, while she stood bloodied and broken in the shadows, waiting for him?

“A new rift,” the woman said, walking up to stand just behind his left side. Countless worlds, countless times, she stood at his side. Always. And when she met the eyes of herself in those worlds, she could see the shared pain. Always. Always his left hand, never with fingers interlaced. Never with hearts tied. Always alone.

She closed her eyes, words strong as though there was no pain in her throat. As though each report didn’t tear her up inside.

“In the storm coast, but without the Anchor, it remains open. Is it ours?” she asked quietly.

He didn’t answer. He wouldn’t, and that was enough of an answer. It was their rift. Another aide, another hand might not have learned his tells so intimately. But, she was a broken, sad, thing with nothing left but to memorize her love’s every heartbeat…. even as his heart beat for another.

“She’s well,” she said quietly, and something within her was emboldened. She took a step forward, resting a hand on the middle of his back. He turned, surprised, put off. But she looked similar enough, close enough in the fading light that for an instant… just an instant, his face softened.

It was enough, she she closed the distance.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered through tears that salted her lips. They were hot, pouring from her eyes now, just as his warmth poured over her hand from where her knife sank deep into his chest. “I love you,” she whispered, the sob hovering on her throat. “But you knew that. You know that, and you used it.”

She swallowed, twisting the knife and shoving it deeper until it reached his god’s heart.

“Just like he used me. Just like Shems used me. You promised me a better life.”

He was dying, blood on his lips. Even gods struggled against poison when a blade introduced it into their heart. His hands crackled with magic, but she clung tight to him even as her skin began to sear.

“I don’t believe in promises any more,” she whispered into his fine, pointed, ear. “I’ve seen the other worlds, the Eluvian worlds. We always end like this, you know,” she murmured, holding him up as he sagged onto her. She was so small, but always stronger than people expected. That in itself was a weapon. One she used now.

“Love cuts deepest,” she whispered, watching his bloody lips gasp for a last breath. “But Gods forget this, Gods forget the daily lives of mortals, the endless suffering, the loss of children, of love…” she smiled but it was tight, bitter and filled with tears.

“Don’t worry,” she murmured. “I die with you, always.” She closed her eyes and pulled the knife free from Solas’s chest.

**
A shattered inquisition, far emptier than when she’d left it, offered little resistance. Even those that did see her, bloodied and pale, stepped out of her way as the wayward assassin returned to the Inquisitor’s throne room.

Silver haired and blue eyed, the Inquisitor looked up in surprise, seeing the bloody elf enter the main hall. In one hand was the dagger, in the other a shattered orb. Bloodsoaked.

She rolled the cracked stone across the floor, and it shattered against the dias where the Inquisitor sat on her throne of iron and gold.

“Don’t,” the assassin warned before anyone could speak. Her lips were dry, and they cracked as she spoke. “Don’t ever say I don’t care.” Running her tongue over them, she tasted blood. The assassin straightened her shoulders, looking back towards the door she’d entered.

“Don’t ever say I’m not loyal. Don’t ever say you don’t need an assassin,” she finished.

The knife fell to the stones with a clatter.

“Don’t ever mention me in the books of history,” she said, finally, before walking back out. Her hands were clotted red, gummed with Godsblood and time.

Gods weren’t supposed to die. But Milliara had never believed in gods, never believed in anything other than pain and love. Both were stronger than magic, in the end.

Closing her eyes as she stepped out into the fresh air of Skyhold’s courtyard, Milliara probed the new sensation in her chest. Gods didn’t truly die, she’d learned. They were a disease, they passed on from one host to another.

Who better than to be a trickster than the woman who deceived the dread wolf? Who better than to carry the weight of betrayal than the woman who sold her son to his father, killed her love, and walked alone?

The new Dread Wolf walked down the steps towards the garden and eluvian beyond, ignoring the shouting from the throne room behind her. And once she passed through the mirror’s glass, it shattered behind her, closing the Inquisition to the Crossroads for good.