Sitting in a police station was not anything new for Siobhan. They had separated her from Sarah, Felix, Kira and Amelia, probably in a deliberate attempt to speak to each of them without them being able to speak to each other first. But she knew they had no reason to hold her and they would have a very hard time fabricating one.
Nevertheless, not knowing anything about anything did make her more and more nervous.
She tried to calm herself, to not think of all the things that she did not know, where Kira was, where Sarah was, where Helena was and what she could do, what happened to Amelia. Well that last one was actually pretty much clear, Amelia was the one person who would very likely get out of all of this without so much as a warning, seeing that she was completely unrelated to any of them, officially at least.
Siobhan knew that she herself was still Kira's legal guardian and they didn't have anything on her, so there wasn't anything that could happen to the two of them either.
But even with that settled, thinking about Sarah, Felix and Helena was enough to cloud her mind, her thoughts and she needed to stay clear headed. So instead of worrying, she went through the checklist she had learned by heart back when she was involved in the underground railroad.
Don't appear nervous. Make all your statements clearly and calmly, but not coldly, don't suppress feelings, that leads to suspicions. Don't try to reason. Remind them of your rights immediately before talking about anything. Demand an attorney.
Well, that last one was probably superfluous as it was clear that she wasn't arrested, even though they held her in one of the interrogation rooms, but that was very likely just for isolation reasons.
When a police officer, a black haired hard looking woman probably in her thirties, entered, Siobhan looked at her coldly. Let the games begin!
"Where is Kira? Why are you holding me? I demand to either get told the reasons I am being arrested or to be released immediately!"
The officer raised an eyebrow and sat down on the other side of the table, in front of Siobhan.
"All in due time. I'm detective Deangelis. First, you are not under arrest, you are free to go. The child is outside with our youth relations officer. Second, don't you want to know anything about your daughter? Her charges? The fact that she murdered someone? Maybe even two people? And that your son helped her cover it up? Don't you care about your children's future?"
Siobhan looked at Deangelis coldly. She knew that this was a deliberate attempt to shake her, to get her to admit something. Smug asshole!
"First, I'll just get Kira and go then, shall I? Second, I bet you everything that you do not have any proof of Sarah murdering anyone or of Felix covering up anything more than her usual mistakes. And third, they are not my children. I do not have children."
The detective seemed a little taken aback by that, but she didn't show anything more than mild surprise, suppressed quickly and being replaced by something that probably was supposed to be a friendly smile.
"Your foster children then. Listen, we don't need to be enemies. If you know anything you can help them. I know you do care about them, otherwise you wouldn't have kept Sarah's child for this long."
Siobhan huffed. Now she wanted to be friends? What was this, a bad cop / good cop performance all in one person?
"You don't know shit. As for your help, you've demonstrated that very well when you stormed into my home in the middle of the night and frightened all of us, including a little child, to death. I think under these circumstances I'll decline."
For a moment, it seemed like the detective would argue still, but then she just tilted her head, nodded curtly and walked to the door. Siobhan followed her.
Outside, she scanned the room immediately for Kira and saw her sitting at the far side with an officer.
"Kira! Let's go home!"
Kira looked up, a smile starting on her face as she ran towards Siobhan and jumped into her open arms. Siobhan smiled too and walked out of the police station, without another look in Deangelis' direction, but with a very discrete raise of her eyebrows in the direction of Felix, whom she had seen sitting at a desk in the middle of the room. He winked at her and she smiled a little broader.
He would be fine, she knew that. He always landed on his feet. As did Sarah. They had done that their entire lives. That much they had learned from her.
Carrying Kira out of the police station, calling a taxi and then standing as far away from the entrance as possible, Siobhan thought about what she had said in there.
'They are not my children.'
And with her holding on tight to Kira, trying her best to console her and tell her that everything would be good – even though she did not yet know how – the memories came, no matter how much she wanted to suppress them.
* * *
Siobhan rolled her eyes and tried to sit as nonchalantly as possible to not show how much seeing Kendall (she had stopped calling her mother even in her head a long time ago) affected her still.
Even shackled and flanked by correctional officers, the mere presence of the woman who had tortured her her entire life made her nauseous. Seeing that big grin on her face as she sat down at the table as if this was a fine restaurant or her own couch at home, knowing that she regretted nothing, made it even worse.
"To what do I owe the honor of your presence? Let me guess, you realized what a complete abomination that fool was and came to tell me how happy you are that I killed him?"
Siobhan let out a huff and suddenly couldn't sit still anymore. Why did she even come here? She knew it made no sense. She jumped to her feet and stalked to the door.
"Wait. You want to know why I did it, don't you?"
Nearly at the door, Siobhan hesitated. She didn't turn around but she could imagine the satisfied grin on Kendall's face.
"For you, darling. All for you! I love you and he took you away. He started it! He started the fight! I had to defend myself! I had to protect you!"
Now Siobhan turned around and with a few quick steps she was back at the table, leaning towards her mother with such an expression that the correctional officers took a step forward in case they would have to jump in.
"You did not do any of this for me! This is not love, this is not protection, this is just you trying to control my entire life. As you always did. And I don't fucking care anymore. He was a way to get out, but you know what, I don't need him. I have myself and you can't get to me anymore. Never again!"
This speech didn't seem to get to Kendall at all. Her grin did faint a little bit, but it was barely noticeable. For a few moments, they just looked at each other and then Siobhan turned around briskly and walked to the door again.
"You will understand one day. When you have your own children, you will understand."
This time Siobhan did turn around. She looked Kendall directly into the face.
"I will never have children."
Kendall laughed, a sound much closer to a snort and with a decisive derogatory note.
"We'll see. You can't be a rebel forever."
Now it was for Siobhan to smile derogatorily.
"One day, Siobhan. One day you will eat your words. Blood is stronger than water."
Siobhan opened the door.
"Go to hell, mother !"
With that she left the room, but before she could close the door again, she still heard the cries of her so called mother, spat out in anguish.
"I'm already there! And it's your fault! Siobhan. Siobhan!"
Getting out of the prison through all the security checks took some time, but when she finally stood in front of that dreadful building, Siobhan took a deep breath of fresh air. And right there and then, she vowed to herself that what she had said inside there would stay true for the rest of her life.
She would never have children. She would never be a mother.
* * *
"Please, we desperately need another place for the children who cannot be moved immediately. And you are really good with children. It would just be for a few weeks, months at most."
"Yeah, right, that's what you always say and then I get stuck with them forever. No thanks. I do not want children. I will never be a mother."
"You wouldn't be. It would just be for official purposes and you would only be their legal guardian anyways. I know you don't want to become your mother but I'm telling you you won't. You are not her. You will never be her. Please, we need you."
Carlton put his hand on her hand.
"I need you. The children need you. They would have to go back into situations where they are subjected to experiments. Where they are abused. Just as much as your mother abused you. I know you care about that."
Siobhan sighed. He knew exactly what to say. He always did.
"Alright. Alright! I'll do it. But I am not their mother and never will be, you can tell them that right away."
* * *
"I love you monkey."
"Love you too, grandma."
Siobhan smiled. Kira must have felt that this was a special occasion to call her that. She remembered how Sarah only ever called her mum when something was very wrong. Or very right. It had always bothered her, but now she realized that when Kira called her grandma and reminded her that she did raise children, no matter how much she had vowed all those years ago never to be a mother, it kind of felt okay.
She was not a mother. She especially was not her own mother. She would never ever want to be a mother because that would mean to want to own children. But she did know that they needed her. And no matter how much she purposefully pushed them away, made sure that she would never even get close enough to them to get a chance of controlling them as her mother had her, she still had ended up loving them.
And for some mysterious reason, they also loved her.
No, she was not their mother. No, she did not have children. But maybe she could be their friend. And she certainly was their protector. Always had been, always would be. Not in the way that her own mother had claimed to "protect" her, the way that took every kind of agency, of humanity away from the protected.
Siobhan vowed again to never do that. She would protect them, yes, she would burn down everything she had the second a real danger came close to Kira, as she had said to Sarah just a few days ago. But she would never do anything against their wishes. She would never control them. Never.
She cuddled closer to Kira. She knew that what she needed to do was to keep this child safe. Just as she had kept all the other children safe. Keeping them safe without taking their agency away. And maybe she could even dare open up her heart to this little one and to the two misfits who were the one thing she had vowed never to have but that she now realized she wanted more than anything: her family.
Not because they were her blood, not because she owned them, not because she wanted to control them. Because they had chosen each other. Because they wanted to be a family. Love had always been scary to Siobhan, wrong. But maybe now it was different. Maybe she could dare to love these children and to be loved by them.
And she would keep them safe. From everything. But always especially from herself. From herself turning into her own mother.
"I'll protect you monkey. I promise."