Anacostia was used to death, she lived alongside it her whole life.
Since she was a young child, she expirenced it first hand, starting with her parents' death that still haunts her, to the ugliness of war, she was used to death.
But nothing, nothing truly prepared her for this moment.
Anacostia truly believed she would be the first to go, she even had frequent nightmares about her death, those nightmares always begins in the same way.. her being sent away on a dangerous mission, her getting injured mid battle, and dropping to her knees beside her fallen comrades, only to remember that she left the base without saying goodbye for one reason or another. And it always woke her up with a scream, tears streaming down her cheeks.
After each and every nightmare, Anacostia would get up, heart still pounding, and quickly make her way to the northen building, where the General's office is always lit up, even in the middle of the night.
She'd stand behind the closed door for a few minutes, knowing fully well that the General is already aware of her presence, yet waiting on her patiently.
Now Anacostia was so lost, her heart threatening to bust out of her chest, this shouldn't be happening, the General was over 300 years old for Goddness sake.
She was supposed to die first, she and even the General truly expected the young Captain to go first, they even discussed it one night after a rather traumatizing mission went horribly wrong.
Why was the almighty Sarah Alder down? why was she quicky aging and her normally strong and proud eyes looked teffified?
"Anacostia.." The Captain felt her heart break into a million pieces.
"It's okay, it's okay," Anacostia said, kneeling down and holding the General the best she could, "You'll be
okay, I'll find new beddies for you. just-.. just hang on." The desperation in her voice was not lost on both of them.
The older woman closed her eyes only for a few seconds, before she slowly shook her head. Her blue eyes, now suddenly calm despite everything, met Anacostia's scared ones.
"It's time, Ana." it was said with an unwavering conviction, one that Anacostia did not like, not one bit.
"No! Just hang on, you cannot die yet," Anacostia said, voice shaking slightly, tears threating to spill, "not yet okay? there's so many things we still need to talk about."
Alder smiled, a weak and sad smile, trying to comfort the younger woman. She reached her hand up to the back of Anacostia's neck, immediately grimcing in pain with every move.
"You will be alright." Alder's voice was becoming weaker with every second that pass.
"I don't know how to do this," Anacostia said, a sob escaping her lips involuntarily, "any of it, without you."
"You do." was whispered back, the hand on Anacostia's neck moved to her cheek, her thump softly wiping the tears, "daughter."
Anacostia's body shook with a sob, she felt useless and broken, all she could do was bend down and place a soft kiss on the older woman's forehead, like Alder was used to do to young Anacostia years and years ago.
"I love you so much," Alder closed her eyes, coughing harshly as she tried to reply and express her own affections for the younger woman, "Shh, I know, I know." Anacostia assured her.
Because she truly knew, Sarah Alder was a mystery to most people, but not to Anacostia. The young woman knew everything there is to know about the legendery witch.
The General had many daughters throughout her long life, yet not one of them conected with her like young Anacostia did and still do. Alder never loved anyone like she loved her, Anacostia knew this.
Knew it and believed it so strongely because Alder was always busy, yet she made the effort to check on the young soldier everyday. no matter where she was or what desaster or war she was dealing with.
She trained her, she had dinners with her, she took care of her when she was injured during a mission or in training, she stayed beside her bed all night when Anacostia got sick, she listened to her fears and kept her secrets.
Without her, Anacostia was sure she wouldn't have been able to cope with her parents sudden death. without her, Anacostia would've gave up long time ago.
Sarah Alder was simply everything to her, her friend, her mentor, her inspiration, her superior, and most importently, her mother.
"It's okay," Anacostia whispered, as much as it killed her to admit, she knew Sarah didn't have much time left, "thank you for everything." at that, a small sigh left Alder's lips, her body relaxing slightly in Anacostia's arms. She was still breathing, Anacostia knew that much from her chest moving up and down slowly, "I love you." a tear dropped into Alder's cheek, who smiled faintly, her eyes telling Anacostia how much she loved her back.
Anacostia couldn't do anything but cry as the great Sarah Alder, the strongest witch she ever knew, and the highest-ranking officer in the armed forces took her last breath, body quickly turning into stone.
"Rest now maa." Anacostia whispered brokenly. Already feeling an emotion she once buried, long, long time ago when she met one Sarah Alder, return to her with full force, loneliness.