Ashes to Ash’s Ch. 02


Ashley woke early that morning, having not got a lot of sleep in the first place. She slipped out of bed swiftly and softly, trying not to wake her still slumbering sister. Grabbing her clothes from the floor, Ashley tip-toed out of the bedroom and got dressed outside, then made her way to the kitchenette. It was still very early, and hours before she needed to return to the Normandy and ship off again. She tried to prepare some breakfast, but her stomach was queasy from the guilt she was still feeling from late last night. One part of her mind tried to tell the other that she was helping Sarah, that it worked and that’s all that mattered. It’s not like she did that much, just a little stroking and kissing. As far as Sarah knew, she was Thomas and she did all the rest herself. But Ashley knew it wasn’t that simple.

Sarah eventually made an appearance, almost two hours later as Ashley sat at the kitchen bench holding an almost full mug of coffee that had stopped steaming long ago and two slices of cold toast, one of which had a single bite taken out of it. It wasn’t until Sarah cheerily called out the first half of Ashley’s name that she acknowledged her sisters arrival, and noticed how happy she seemed to be. Ashley quickly forced herself to smile back at Sarah, not wanting her own grim facade to dampen Sarah’s spirits.

“Sleep well I take it?” Ashley asked, trying to sound casual.

“Very well,” Sarah said, followed with a satisfied sigh. “Best night I’ve had in ages.”

“That’s good,” Ashley said, taking a sip of cold coffee and turning her nose up behind the rim of the cup at it. Even if her lower face wasn’t hidden from Sarah, she still wouldn’t have seen it, as the younger Williams hugged herself and looked up at the ceiling with a dreamy expression.

“It was better than good,” Sarah almost sang. “I don’t know what it was, but… it was like Thomas was there with me last night. I could swear I literally felt him caressing me and kissing me. Like his ghost somehow finally found me after all this time and made me feel whole again.”

“So you… didn’t need your new toy after all?” Ashley asked.

Sarah’s eyes dropped from the ceiling and she withdrew a little with a blush. A single toe pivoted back and forth on the floor and she swayed sheepishly as she spoke. “Well… I did kind of, sort of, sneak it into bed with me after you were asleep last night.”

Ashley raised her eyebrows, more to try and feign surprise than anything. Sarah’s speech patterns suddenly quickened.

“Bu-but it didn’t really seem to work, and then I seemed to half drift off into some kind of half-dream state, or something, and…” she let out another satisfied sigh. “And that’s when it seems he came to me. Maybe it was just a dream, but… there seemed to be a certain reality to it. It felt like a dream in a sense, but also felt stronger than that.” Sarah paused. “I think it was you.”

Ashley’s heart skipped a beat, then seemed to stop entirely. Had Sarah realized what she had done last night? If she had, the look on her face didn’t seem to indicate that she was displeased if she did. Sarah was just smiling warmly at her as she slowly approached, and she encouraged Ashley to place her mug down on the bench and took her hands in her own.

“I think that, somehow, you being there with me last night helped,” Sarah went on to explain. “Whether you brought Thomas’s spirit to me from out in the galaxy there, or whether our bond and love drew the bond and love between Thomas and I out, or whether you just made me feel loved and special… I don’t know. But, whatever it was you did… thank you.”

Ashley was just wide-eyed for a while, and she finally managed to swallow and respond after what seemed like an eternity. “You’re welcome,” she said, and it almost came out more like a question than an expression of gratitude. Sarah didn’t seem to notice as her eyes looked to the ceiling once more, Ashley’s hands still grasped in her own.

“Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,” Sarah quoted. “That brings our friends up from the underworld. Sad as the last which reddens over one, that sinks with all we love below the verge. So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.”

“Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns. The earliest pipe of half-awaken’d birds. To dying ears, when unto dying eyes. The casement slowly grows a glimmering square. So sad, so strange, the days that are no more,” Ashley continued.

Sarah looked into Ashley’s eyes and smiled. “Dear as remembered kisses after death, and sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign’d. On lips that are for others, deep as love. Deep as first love, and wild with all regret. O Death in Life, the days that are no more.”

“Tears, Idle Tears. Your favorite, as I recall,” Ashley said. Sarah smiled, a tear coming to her eye.

“I used to get Dad to read that one to me over and over,” Sarah admitted.

“I know,” Ashley said. “Why do you think I remembered it so well?”

“You remember them all so well,” Sarah playfully chided, before taking a more serious and genuine tone. “And I’m glad you did. You’re keeping it alive after Dad passed on. The rest of us couldn’t do that, not even Mom.”

“I’m sure at least one of the rest of you bursa bayan eskort would have done it if I hadn’t,” Ashley claimed.

“We might have tried,” Sarah said with a slight chuckle. “But we wouldn’t have. You’re the best of us, Ash.”

“Don’t say that,” Ashley chided. “I don’t deserve to be placed on some pedestal above the rest of you.”

“But you are,” Sarah insisted. “You broke the Williams curse and made somebody of yourself. We all looked up to him, but Dad couldn’t do it. None of the rest of us have done it. But you! You’re with Commander Shepard, saving the galaxy. And a Spectre to boot.”

“And why do you think that is, Sar?” Ashley said, and Sarah stared at her blankly. Ashley pressed an index finger against Sarah’s chest. “You guys,” Ashley stated firmly. “Like I’ve said before, everything I do, I do for you guys. You, and Lynn, and Abby, and Mom.” Ashley paused and moved the hand at Sarah’s chest to cup her younger sister’s chin, gently stroking her cheek with the thumb. “I’d be nothing without you all.”

“Perhaps the Williams women can overcome anything when they stick together,” Sarah responded with.

Ashley smiled back initially, but then her mind drifted back to last night again and she felt ill once more. She removed her hand from Sarah’s face suddenly and withdrew, and Sarah noticed. “Ash? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Ashley lied. “I’ve just got… I’ve just remembered that Shepard wanted be back on the Normandy a little earlier than I initially thought.” Another lie.

“Oh, okay,” Sarah said. She seemed to buy it. “Do you know when you’ll be back again?”

“I’m not sure,” Ashley said, already starting to gather her personal effects. “We’d like to be back again in a week, but it all depends how things pan out.”

“Message me as soon as you know, ‘kay?” Sarah said, sounding a little desperate.

“I will,” Ashley said. “And don’t worry, I’ll be fine. No sense fretting over something you can’t change.”

“I know, but… it’s easier said than done,” Sarah sighed.

Ashley gathered the last of her things and approached Sarah, placing one hand on her sister’s shoulder as she spoke.

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears. Looms but the Horror of the shade. And yet the menace of the years. Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.”

“It matters not…” Sarah began, and her face scrunched for a moment before she started over. “It matters not how strait the gate. How charged with punishments the… the scroll. I am the master of my fate.”

“I am the captain of my soul,” Ashley finished.

The two smiled at each other and hugged, then Ashley disengaged and kissed Sarah quickly on the forehead. “Gotta go, Sar. I’ll see you soon. I promise.”

And with that, Ashley disappeared from Sarah’s sight for the next ten days.

When Ashley returned to The Citadel, she’d almost forgotten about Sarah and her problems. It wasn’t because Ashley didn’t care, but so much had happened over the last week and Ashley was both stressed and angered. Thessia had fallen to The Reapers, and on top of that it seemed like everybody was blaming Shepard for not saving the asari home world. Liara was pretty cut up about the whole thing, but she at least didn’t blame Shepard and understood there was nothing they could do to stop it. It was especially frustrating because saving Thessia wasn’t even the point of them visiting the planet; they had gone there to investigate an asari artifact that may have held the key to finding the Catalyst. On top of it all, the Cerberus annoyance Kai Leng showed up, and just when Shepard and the others had him beaten, he pulled a cheap tactic by summoning a gunship to do the fighting for him, shot up the sacred temple they were in and flew off. Somehow word spread and people started thinking Kai Leng had defeated Shepard personally, when the truth was that if it wasn’t for his gunship he’d be lying dead at Shepard’s feet.

Because of all this, when Ashley and Sarah met up the initial hugs and pleasantries were cut short. Sarah immediately sensed that Ashley was strained and hustled her to a cafe where Ashley could get her frustrations off her chest. Sarah mostly sat and listened, and as Ashley started to draw to the close of her venting she realized how the tables had turned between them. For the first time over the last month, Sarah was the one listening and trying to make her sister feel better. Ashley finally managed to smile as she looked at Sarah and it dawned on her that even though she was her little sister, she was just as capable of supporting and helping her as Ashley was for her. Ashley was so used to playing the more dominant, motherly role that it felt strange to have things playing out from this angle. But it was a good strange, and made Ashley feel proud. It reminded her of the time Sarah had dealt with Mike all by herself in the end, despite initially seeking her big sister’s advice and support.

The sister’s had planned to have some fun shopping and touring The Citadel together as they did Ashley’s last visits, but Shepard called Ashley to attend a few crew functions, including attended a funeral for the drell Thane. The crew even used Anderson’s apartment for bursa evi olan escort some of their attempts to loosen up after the recent Thessia fiasco, so after Ashley had made an appearance for a few hours she returned to Sarah and the two of them continued where they left off. They arrived back at the apartment later than usual after eating out for dinner, and were pleased to find the rest of the Normandy crew had vacated the place for the evening, mostly either returning to the ship or hitting the casinos or clubs. There was some alcohol still left behind on one of the tables, so Ashley and Sarah decided to help themselves and sat down to chat in the main living area.

“I’ve got to be honest with you, Ash,” Sarah eventually said. “It’s already stopped doing it for me again.”

“What has?” Ashley asked.

“The… y’know… the dildo,” Sarah said with a blush. “The same thing happened as did with the vibrator. Worked for a few nights, then I just stopped feeling it.”

“I’m sorry, Sar,” Ashley said. “I guess there really is no quick fix for these things.”

“It seems that way,” Sarah sighed. “I think it was still just a little too fake, y’know? I mean, it felt more real to start with, but then I just realized it was still me doing it to myself. It wasn’t spontaneous or in the hands of somebody else. Once that hit me, I couldn’t really get into it any more.”

“Perhaps you just need time?” Ashley suggested.

“Maybe,” Sarah sighed. “But that first night, when you were here with me, that was…”

Sarah trailed off, then blushed again. Ashley too was feeling rather flushed and more than a little awkward.

“Sorry,” Sarah apologized. “It sounds really weird and… even kind of disturbing, but… there’s just something about you being here that makes things… better.”

Ashley gulped and Sarah fidgeted in her chair and looked at her older sister, blushing even more. “Is that… is that wrong?”

Ashley searched for words, but couldn’t find them. Sarah was looking to her for an answer, but she just couldn’t find one. The younger Williams seemed to sense this and tried to explain further.

“I mean, we’re really close. I think something about that, about me not feeling alone, helps me somehow. Y’know?” Sarah admitted. “That’s why I’m glad you’re back again, but I… I don’t want to make you uncomfortable about it all. I just think that that feeling of love is enough to… I don’t know… do something, or trigger something, that makes me feel… better.”

Sarah shook her head, scrunching up her nose a little, then looked to Ashley again. “Does that make sense to you?”

“I suppose,” Ashley said, her voice a little shaky. She was starting to feel awkward again, and her stomach was beginning to churn once more. “There are different types of love, but in the end… it’s still love, I guess. I love you as a sister, and Thomas loved you as a soul mate.”

“I’m glad you understand,” Sarah said, letting out a sigh of relief. “Still, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. That’s why I’ve put the dildo away for tonight where I can’t get it. That way we both don’t feel uncomfortable.”

“And where is that?” Ashley asked reluctantly.

“In your bedside unit,” Sarah explained.

“That’s hardly very out of reach,” Ashley stated dryly.

“Ah, but you see, it has a lock on it. If you set the lock, then I can’t get into it. And if its beyond your side of the bed, I can’t get it without waking you up.”

“Look, Sar…” Ashley started earnestly, and she sighed. “You don’t have to do that. If me being there somehow makes it better for you, then by all means do whatever it is you feel you need to do. I won’t mind. Really, I won’t. I care more about you feeling better and getting through this than be being disturbed. I’m more disturbed by you hurting.”

“It’s okay, Ash,” Sarah countered, trying to sound strong. “I’ll be okay. I’m sure that I’ll be fine for a few days just after you leave. You’re probably right that this is just a time thing anyway. I’m clearly way too obsessed with this all. I probably need some kind of shrink or something.”

“You’re not crazy, Sar,” Ashley tried to console.

“Come on, Ash!” Sarah proclaimed, rolling her eyes. “I’ve gone so far as to lock a sex toy away from myself so that I don’t use it while sleeping next to my sister! If that’s not worthy of professional help, I don’t know what is!”

“I’d like to say I could argue with that, but… I really can’t,” Ashley replied with, trying to sound wry.

“Ash, seriously… just put a lock on the thing when we hit the sack tonight. For both our sakes.”

“Okay, Sarah,” Ash said with a sigh. “Whatever you say.”

Conversation continued on other topics after that, and drinking continued with it. Perhaps the latter would be a catalyst for what was to follow that night as both sisters drank more than they probably should have, but still not enough to make them ill. They decided that they were both overdue visiting their mother and other sisters and that they should do that tomorrow before Ashley had to return to the Normandy. Eventually the two retired to bed, where Ashley did as Sarah requested before undressing. bursa rus escort The two bid each other a good night before the lights went off, and peaceful darkness surrounded them.

For a while Ashley thought all would be fine, as Sarah remained quiet for several hours. Depression and withdrawal struck though, and Ashley eventually heard her sister begin to sob quietly beside her, and the sound of gentle yet rhythmic moving as Sarah tried to covertly tend to her nymphomania. As before, Ashley couldn’t block it out. Sarah’s attempts at self-stimulation were failing, her soft cries becoming more strained and desperate. Ashley’s heart was hurting, and she wrestled with her own conscience as to whether she should help her sister out. She thought back to what Sarah said about where her latest toy let her down, and yet what worked the last time Ashley was there beside her. As Ashley turned towards her bedside unit, Sarah’s frustration became too much for her, and the pit in her stomach was overwhelmed by the one in her heart.

Ashley reached under her pillow with one arm, and there was a brief orange flash beneath the covers a moment later that Sarah thankfully didn’t notice. Ashley carefully slid closer to the edge of the bed and took a deep breath before reaching out and sliding the drawer carefully open. She tentatively reached inside and her fingers touched the soft, yet firm device within. She steeled herself, one last conscience wrestle swirling in her mind before one side won and her fingers wrapped around the object. Gradually she lifted it out and slipped it beneath the sheets. Another long exhale and a last battle of willpower came before Ashley rolled over to face her sister, who lay there whimpering on her back, closed eyes squeezing salty streams free that shimmered where tiny light sources touched them. Ashley prayed for forgiveness, then began inching her way towards Sarah. All that mattered to Ashley now was ending Sarah’s suffering, no matter the cost.

Sarah’s breathing hitched for a moment as Ashley’s free hand cautiously touched her shoulder. She soon relaxed though as soft fingertips caressed down her arm and she felt the subtle tail end of warm breath at her left ear.

“T-Thomas?” Sarah whispered with incertitude.

Ashley stilled her sister with a soft hushing sound, hoping the vague and soothing nature of the audible indicant was enough to calm Sarah without making her immediately discern the true source. As Ashley repeated the stroking motion down Sarah’s left arm, she heard her sister let out a gentle sigh of ease, capped with a high-pitched half chuckle of satisfaction. Ashley smiled at the now relaxed bliss on Sarah’s ceiling-directed face and placed a soft peck on her sister’s cheek, resulting in the subtlest of moans from the younger Williams. At the moment Ashley found this pleasant, and hoped that this was enough to solve Sarah’s problems, but as she stroked down Sarah’s arm for a fifth time she realized that she had to move things further than this.

The next time Ashley’s hand departed from Sarah’s wrist, it moved to Sarah’s hip instead of back up to the shoulder. Ashley flinched a little at the feeling of Sarah’s soft, bare flesh and two of her finger tips brushed the material of her sister’s panties there. She regained focus and let her fingers move downwards, tickling their way down Sarah’s outer left thigh until they were about halfway between the hip and the knee. Ashley stroked the smooth skin there gently a couple of times before she curved her fingers around the front of Sarah’s thigh. Ashley could swear her heart was already beating twice as fast, and that Sarah’s breathing had quickened almost as much as well. Ashley then squeezed Sarah’s leg and encouraged her to lift it upwards, while at the same time she used her shoulder to urge Sarah into turning over onto her right side. Sarah seemed to get the idea, and let Ashley guide her until Ashley could pull herself closer so that the two sisters were half-spooning. Ashley had kept Sarah’s left leg bent upwards beneath the covers, and she twisted a bit to allow the arm she was now lying on to prop up Sarah’s leg so she could use her unrestricted one to perform the forthcoming primary function.

Ashley was working completely by feel here and it made her nervous. Before she could start using the dildo on Sarah, she needed to gain access to where it had to go. Sarah’s panties were still on, and one of her hands was now stuffed down the front of them. Ashley reached down and around, her plan being to hopefully pull the crotch of Sarah’s underwear to the side to expose the moist, pink folds beneath. Her first attempt, despite being slow, had her three central fingers pressing firmly directly into the center of Sarah’s crotch. Ashley’s fingers flinched at the sensation, while Sarah let out a small yelp that morphed into a moan. Ashley could feel slick wetness at her fingertips, even when they no longer touched the source, which told her that her sister was already getting rather worked up. Ashley shifted her hand slightly and brought it down into more cloth, though this time not quite as damp or sensitive. She traced her way to the edge of the panties, then snagged it with the very tips of her fingers, just enough to manipulate them. Ashley gently lifted and peeled the crotch aside, trying to make sure her fingers didn’t make contact with Sarah’s sex directly. When she let go the new position held, so she sighed with relief, dabbed her fingertips into the sheets to remove what moisture she could, then reached for the toy that was resting against her thigh.

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