(Prince/OC), No matter how many times you ask, the answer is no. How can I love you when I don't have the ability? I'm not whole, Prince, and I don't know that I ever will be. It was a mistake to let it get this far, so stop asking me to marry you.
This is a sequel, a SEQUEL! Note DARK DREAMS 2! Do NOT read this chapter and then review asking me what the heck is going on, because it's really annoying when that happens and I will reserve the right to laugh boldly in your face…and then hide under my bed like a little girl while sucking my thumb and begging you not to hurt me.
Right. So, those of you who art my faithful reviewers from the first story, I give thee credit!
Zanaril, Sanne-chan, Kiriona, DarkxPrince, & General-Tommy
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! (Hugs) And dedicate this ficky to you guys! I hope you like!
Lily was sixteen when it started to hurt
in and out of reach in a silent alert
Lily was sixteen when the sun in her heart stopped to shine
mirror-balls and dreams hide the tears in her eyes
starlet of the scene and narcotic inside
Lily was sixteen when her heart got afraid of the night
walk undying - in the rain
walk undying - over again
all your sorrow is what I will take: undying
Monday was the day when she left with a smile
took the urban train for her terminal ride
Monday was the day when the city swallowed her child
trying to believe and to never arrive
flowers on the track mark the end of her strife
Monday was the day when sweet Lily followed the night
walk undying - in the rain
walk undying - over again
all your sorrow is what I will take... undying
("Undying" by Flowing Tears)
The sensation was of flying for a few moments, perhaps only a second, it was hard to tell. Time simply seemed to stop existing at that moment, I was suspended in perpetual motion, no ground beneath my feet.
And then gravity caught up, and time seemed to zip forward. I was falling, falling, I watched the sky grow darker, the roaring of the sea coupled with the roaring of wind in my ears, my hair whipped through the air, and jagged rocks were coming up to meet me.
I looked death in the face before and was afraid, not of death itself, but of the bringer. But this time as I watched those rocks, as I saw the edge of the sea, all I could feel was peace. I had felt terror, fear, and dread in bulk long before now. But those emotions had all been stripped away from me. Here was death, calling me into its embrace, like a soothing father awaiting its daughter after so long. A father I never had, that paternal love I never felt.
I opened my arms wide to except it, a smile upon my face, tears falling from my eyes. And death came. As I hit those rocks, death came to me, and took me away. For the first time, I felt peace, peace. Except…
A familiar shape stood over the edge, calling my name. It fell to its knees, it's grief was so much I could taste it, so bitter it made my stomach churn. The figure writhed in pain, twisting and turning upon the edge of the cliff. Until finally, as if coming to a decision, the figure hesitated at that edge, and then it, too, fell. It fell, fell, and fell. Arms open wide, it came down after me.
As it, too, hit the rocks, I heard its voice, his voice, "Life without you…is completely meaningless."
I awoke with a start, my eyes shooting open, and I sat up on my straw bed, gasping. No, I though, No, no, no!
I had had this dream, no, this vision before. Once, when I had first come into this power, when I had first become the Empress of Time. But then, the ending hadn't been included, and then, like now, I didn't feel any sort of regret, dread, or fear at seeing my own death.
It was watching the Prince of Persia come after me that made me jerk awake like this, which pulled at my heart, filling me with fear.
As well as that familiar, gnawing sense of guilt at the fact that a secret, honest part of me found solace in seeing my own death, and knowing it was coming soon enough to anticipate.
Guilty, yes, I felt guilty. Guilty about my own wish to die, about the fact that, in spite of everything that had happened, in spite of my own self-declarations, of my resolve to live, not just live, but live, I still, desperately, wanted, to, die.
It was like a hunger that was eating away at me from the inside, a hollowing sensation that was getting harder and harder to ignore, to push away. In the long silences of our journey across the seas, it was making itself known more and more, and the only thing that could keep it at bay was reading, and drinking.
I'd taken to drinking, yes. I didn't use to like alcohol of any sort, but I eventually became desperate, and decided to join the prince in his evening sips. Only, I didn't take sips. I drank just enough so that the hallow feeling would go away, and it didn't require much at first, but as my tolerance grew, so did the amount of drink it took before it would disappear.
I didn't drink enough to get drunk, no, I didn't need to be stone dead drunk, and I didn't want to be. Just enough to feel a bit giddy and let a few of my inhibitions go. Still, I knew I was drinking too much, I was doing it too often. Not so much, but it was a daily thing now, and it was enough that the prince was noticing, and he was becoming concerned.
A few times I had allowed him to fill that hole, and he did so gladly and eagerly. But these times I made sure were few and far-between, I couldn't allow them to be any more, it would be too dangerous, no matter how much I wanted to let myself drown in him, to OD on the narcotic that he was. If I could die from Over-Dosing on the Prince of Persia, I probably would. But if either of us died from that sort of thing, it'd be him, so that wouldn't work very well.
I didn't want him to die.
The prince grunted and stirred next to me. An irritated arm hooked around my middle and pulled me back onto the straw bed, where I, once again, became the prince's overgrown teddy bear.
We may not have sex very often, but we did sleep in the same bed every night. Why? Because outside of the prince's arms, I had nightmares. But inside…the only peaceful dreams to ever come my way. Ever.
Use to, the prince would sneak over to my bed after I'd gone to sleep, and wrap his arms around me so that my nightmares turned into actual dreams. And then in the mornings, he would wake before I did, and would leave. Moving me just enough so that I wouldn't fall back into dreams which would undoubtedly turn into nightmares, but not enough that I was truly awake yet. But we'd decided to shove all the pretense aside, and had brought the two beds together so that there would be more room for the both of us.
But it wasn't just me who had nightmares, and whose nightmares were chased away by this.
One night the prince had decided to go to bed early, but I had stayed up a bit later to look at the stars. When I came down, I discovered he was still having nightmares of his own, nightmares of the Dahaka, of being chased, and watching his death draw nearer second by second. I went to him, and he held on to me like a security blanket, so tightly you might have thought he was trying to turn us into a single entity. I thought about waking him, but he relaxed swiftly enough, back into his own peaceful dreams, and I fell asleep in his arms as I had been doing for a while.
The prince snuggled his face into the crook of my neck, not yet awake, but aware enough to be possessive.
I think I knew what it was that kept us from being able to stop this whole thing, aside from the nightly sleeping in each others arms, which happened even if we were angry with each other and had been arguing from sun up till sun down. Neither of us could stand the thought of allowing our nightmares to push in anymore, and we would swallow our pride of only to chase them away. But aside from that, we were alone. Completely alone on this long journey, and it was very easy to feel as though we would never reach Babylon, as though the rest of the world existed only as a range of sparse islands, the rest of it ocean and nothing more.
Then, suddenly, I felt a jerk which woke me from the doze I was falling back into. Sounds that broke the monotony of the ocean waves and blowing winds reached my ears, and I stood up, this time not allowing the prince to draw me back down onto the bed, something which woke him up as I shoved his arm away and shook him.
I'd since changed my outfit up a bit, rather than being up to my thighs, my boots were now to my knees, with gold knee-guards which had violet jewels in the center for decoration, and a jewel on either side of the ankle as well. The loin cloth I wore was shorter, but spread around more to cover, and had elaborate golden designs with a belt made of gold links with red jewels, similar to the diamond shape of the knee guards. My top was roughly the same, though a bit more elaborately designed, with a violet jewel and gold lining. It had the same gold designs of my loin cloth, and I wore a black choker with a gold ring that circled the eye-shaped tattoo on my chest and hooked onto the tub top in an interesting fashion. I had decided to wear gloves, both of them fingerless for easy movement, and both of them black. But the one on my left arm went all the way up to my shoulder while the one on my right stayed on my wrist to show off the black tattoo designs that were there. This was mainly to cover up the gashes across each wrist where my double-edged swords slipped out of, so that when we arrived in Babylon, it wouldn't be so obvious they were inside my skin.
As nights were cold, I usually kept everything but my boots on, so they were the only things I needed to worry about.
"What's going on?" The prince asked blearily, sitting up.
"Something." I answered, and he followed me out onto the deck.
The cool morning breeze whipped my loose hair around so that it got into my face, and I had to push it back in order to see what it was that was coming near us.
A ship, a big one made of both wood and metal. I say it was big, it was enormous, if we got too close, our little bath toy was going to break into pieces, we had to change course to get away, something that the two of us realized at the same moment.
We adjusted our course, and, from what we could tell at the time, we would easily pass this ship, but as we watched, we realized that the ship had changed its own direction ever-so-slightly to compensate. They wanted to intercept us, and as they didn't appear to be relying on sails of any sort, they had a bit more room to work with, even if they were too big to be very easily maneuverable.
We continued to alter our course, but the wind stopped allowing that, and though we tried going the other way, the ship was gaining, and fast, and would be upon us in a matter of minutes. We didn't have time to turn the ship around, only to wait and see what this one could possibly want from us.
We didn't notice the net until too late, and the next thing we knew, we were being lifted into the air like some overgrown fish, trapped, helpless to do anything but wait.
The prince ran back down below deck and had retrieved the water sword as well as his boots, he hadn't had time to get his leather breastplate on, though he had thought to put the medallion on his belt instead.
"So sorry about that!" Shouted one of the crewmen, who were now so far down below us that we could hardly see anyone on this ship's deck very clearly, "You looked lost! Thought we might offer you a hand!" He called.
I could tell by the laughter this excited from the other crew members that he was being funny.
"Thanks, but we're fine on our own, if you could just let us down, we'll be on our way." I called back, though I knew that wasn't going to work.
"Afraid we can't do that hon! See, you're little boat's been sailing it's marry way through our territory, a very bad idea. I'm sad to say that from now until we hit the slave market, you and anyone else on your ship are our prisoners." He told me as the boat was slowly lowered over the deck, not so that it touched down, but enough that we didn't have to call so loudly to be heard or to hear each other, or see each other. And what I saw was not promising. Fifty or so men on the deck alone, not counting those who were manning the steam engines or whatever else that kept this ship going.
I gave the prince a look that told him not to interrupt, like he wanted to, and he closed his mouth and decided to trust me. "It's just the two of us up here, but if I were you, I would just let us go. I, for one, would be more trouble than I'd be worth." I told him.
"I'm afraid that, to be more trouble than you're worth, you would have to kill half the crew members. I don't know that there's a limit to the amount of gold we could get with you, Gorgeous." He responded.
"I could give you a list of reasons why you don't want to make an enemy out of me, much less have me as your prisoner. Or my companion for that matter. We're not going down without a fight, I'm afraid." I said.
"Now, now, little lady. I'd rather not have anything unpleasant happen to that pretty face of yours. Just be a good girl and you'll be real comfortable, I promise you that." He said.
I could feel the prince's temper rising, but at a look from me, he held his tongue and stepped back just slightly so that he wouldn't be tempted to rush in. This was not a good situation to find ourselves, and though I had very little in the way of people skills, I knew how to act the part well enough. Perhaps if I felt more threatened, I'd have been a bit more reckless and wouldn't be able to keep my smooth-talk routine going for this long. As strong as the prince and I were, I knew very well we couldn't take on a ship of around fifty men at once. Not unless I transformed, and even then. I could try frightening them into letting us go by doing just that, but I wasn't sure just how far my acting skills could go, and as much as I would like a good fight, these were people, not sand creatures, and I'd had enough of human bloodshed in my life not to be eager for more of it.
"And if we resist?" I asked.
He grinned toothily up at me, "I'd just rather it not come to that." He told me.
"I see. And, out of curiosity, whether or not we resisted, where, exactly, were you planning on selling us?" I asked.
"Where else? In the greatest city on earth. I imagine the King of Babylon would be interested in having an exotic thing like you serving his table." He answered.
"I see, could you give us a moment, my companion and I would like to review our options." I said.
"Take your time, little lady. You're not going anywhere soon. You can stay up there as long as you like, at least until we get close to Babylon." He told me.
"Thank you. That's very courteous." I said, and I moved back from the edge so the prince and I could disappear on deck. "It would be faster if we let them take us." I mused, "Their boat doesn't rely on wind, it's steam powered from the looks of it."
"I don't quite understand how that works, but I'm not about to let any one of them lay a hand on you." The prince said, growling as he took my wrist in a slightly protective gesture. "If I tell them who I am,"
"They'll do one of two things." I said, cutting him off, "They'll laugh in your face, or they'll sell you to your enemy country for a very high price as a prisoner for ransom. I couldn't keep a low profile to save my life, but you had best do so yourself. I'm just glad you let me handle it so far."
"I don't see why we even have to keep up a charade. We could take them all, it would be easy." He said, giving his sword a slight jerk.
"Not easy. We've never fought so many at one time. If they came at us three at once, then we might be able to manage, and these aren't sand monsters, however much of a monster they are, they're still human." I told him, "And I've seen enough humans dead in my lifetime…believe it or not, I don't want to be responsible for more. Directly, or indirectly, it would still be my fault." I said before he could bring up the others.
His face fell into a look of understanding, and he sighed heavily. "What do you want to do?" He asked, relenting.
"I'll tell them that we've decided we'd rather live and be slaves than die in the fight, and so long as they don't touch me, I won't give them any trouble, and neither will you." I answered.
"And if they do touch you?" He asked, putting his hands on my shoulders and gripping them tightly.
"Plan B." I answered, showing him the ring on my finger. "I take this off, give them the 'I'm the Empress of Time' bit, and if they decide to fight…well, it won't be my fault if they have nightmares for the rest of their lives." I said.
"Kagero?" He murmured, and I nodded.
"As a last resort." I said. "He's one of the few that prefers fear and terror to gruesome death, and, sad to say, that sometimes seems worse." I told him.
"Alright. We'll do this your way, for now." He said with a sigh.
"Let's hope we can take them up on their offer and stay here until Babylon is near." I said, and then I went back over to the rail.
Most of the men had gone back to their work, but the one I had been talking to, the first mate, I guessed, was sitting on a barrel, apparently waiting to see if I would come back. He smiled up at me, taking the pipe he had out of his mouth and calling up, so that attention was drawn back on me, "Made yourself a decision?"
"Yes. We've decided we'd rather be sold into slavery than fight a loosing battle." I answered.
"Ah, a good sturdy mind in that pretty head, that's always a bonus." He said, grinning.
"We won't make any trouble so long as both me and my companion are treated with the courtesy you've already shown thus far. Also, I would like to take you up on your offer, and stay on this ship until Babylon draws near. I'm very fond of it, you see, and would like to stay with it for as long as possible. I hope you don't mind." I said, but I could tell that this notion wasn't going over too well. A restless, unhappy air stole over the men as the first mate sat there, puffing on his pipe, and considering this.
"Make you a deal." He said to me, "As it's been a good long time before any of this crew has seen a woman, and longer still one as lovely as you, I can't just let you hide away in your ship for the entire way. If you'll come out every night, lit some torches up there so we can see your pretty face, you can stay up there so long as you don't try anything foolish." He said, and the men seemed to be appeased by this idea.
I smiled, though what I really wanted to do was curse him till he went red in the face, and said, "Well it's not every day a girl finds so many men at once that appreciates her. Very well, I'll do it. Thank you for your courtesy." I said, and moved away from the deck and headed for the cabin.
The prince went with me, and only when we were down inside the boat did he let out the roar of outrage he'd been holding back. "I can't believe you agreed to that!!!" He exclaimed.
"I'd rather they look at me than touch me, Prince." I told him, though I was not happy about this either.
"But they look at you like you're a piece of meat!" He exclaimed, grabbing at his hair and pulling on it in his rage. "When we get to Babylon, I'm going to have every last one of them hanged for this!"
"I don't like this either, but I think you're overacting. That could have gone much worse. And if all I have to do is stand out there and smile for a few minutes while they get drunk and make obscene comments about what they'd like to do to me, I'll deal with it. I don't like it any more than you do, in fact, I reserve the right to like it even less, but if we kill them all we're going to have one heck of a time getting our ship on course. They're probably following a path that we don't know, and we'll get to Babylon faster this way, as I've said before." I told him.
"I know, I know. I just…I just…" He grabbed me and pulled me into a tight embrace, "I just can't stand the thought of other men so much as looking at you. Because they're right, d(beep)it, you are beautiful."
"I'm exotic." I told him, wrapping my arms around and hugging him once before pulling back, "They've never seen a woman like me before. My face is different, my coloring is different, and the tattoos are, safe to say, a nice touch. I'm also not in a very modest outfit." I said, but he shook his head.
"Trust me, you're wearing more than some women I've seen. A lot more, actually." He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, "I half wish you weren't so beautiful, then maybe they wouldn't care for you that much."
"Like I said, I'm not beautiful, I'm exotic. I just look beautiful to you and them because I'm so different." I told him.
"You're beautiful because you're exotic, happy?" He said, as though relenting, "The point is I'm afraid they may not be satisfied with just looking at you." He told me.
"Then I'll sing them a song, and maybe my bad vocals will drive them away." I said, giving him a wry smile, "Don't worry about me. I'm a big girl, I can handle anything they dish out."
"I just don't like it, okay? I'd much rather you take control of the ship with your demons and kill off half the crew than to just sit here and let them look at you every night." He said, grinding his teeth and shifting in restless agitation.
"Prince," I said, "Don't get your hair in a knot over this. They get to look at me, and that's it. Trust me, you're the only man that ever has, and, likely, ever will, touch me without the little panic voice in my head making me to kick you in the groin for it." I took him by the back of the head, my fingers in his hair, and brought him down so I could kiss him full on the mouth, just to prove my point.
He was surprised at first, but he grasped me in his arms and kissed back passionately. My arms snaked around his neck and I stood on my tip-toes to better reach. When we broke apart he nibbled a bit on my ear, and then murmured into it, "If that's true, then why won't you marry me?" he asked, kissing my neck and trailing down along my shoulder.
"Because you're the Heir Apparent to the throne of Babylon. You have a duty to your crown and a duty to your people. You cannot have an outsider like me, who knows nothing about diplomacy or anything else of the sort as your wife." I told him.
"You handled those men on the ship very well, you're getting better at controlling your temper." He told me.
"That's only because they're not worthy of my temper." I said, and he chuckled.
"Still, you learn swiftly, you could learn—"
"Prince, are we going to keep talking about something we've already discussed over a hundred times, or are we going to make out until our brains bubble and fizz right out of our ears?" I aside, gaining myself a pair of rather wide, slightly blank eyes.
"Uh…The bubbly fizzy thing of course." He said in a rather dazed tone, by now knowing exactly what I meant by 'make out'.
"Good boy." I said, shoving him back on the straw bed and then tackling him like a wild animal.
I didn't do this often, remember, but the thing was that I wanted to be completely sober when I went out that night to let the men look at me, so that I wouldn't have any inhibitions loose enough to create a massacre after a single comment about my boobs. And now that the excitement of being caught was over…there was that hole again, the hole that I couldn't stand, and I knew I needed to fill up. And also, I needed to keep the prince from doing anything rash, something I, honestly, only thought about afterwards, but which came as a very convenient bonus as well. He would be more relaxed now about letting me parade on deck where the other men could see me, knowing that only he got to see everything, knowing that only he got to touch me, to make love to me, if only sparingly.
Did I love the prince though? Honestly love him?
To be truthful, I asked myself that question every time we came together like this, and I had yet to find the answer.
Rhea: So, how was it? A good start? A bad start?
Prince: . Bubbly fizzy…
Kaida: --' You are so weak.
Kioko: But doesn't it give you a sense of power to know that you can turn him into a zombie with only two words?
Kaida: Uh, NO!
Rhea: Which words? "Bubbly Fizzy" or "Make Out"?
Kioko: Either or.
Rhea: Lol! XD
Kaida: Who's doing the FAQ?
Rhea: I'll do it.
Kaida: What? The authoress is actually doing something other than sit on her butt and make our lives misurable!? GASP!!!
Rhea: Oh shut up.
Q: Is Kaida always going to be so EMO?
A: Maybe, we'll have to wait and see. Characters do change after all!
Kaida: I am not EMO!!!
Kioko: Then what's with the black eyeliner?
Kaida: THOSE ARE THE TATTOOS!!!
Q: Is the Dark Prince gonna make an appearance?
A: What, you have to ask? HECK YEAH!!! Though how much of a part he's going to play in the story I'm still trying to work out. So far it's not very big from what I've got planned up here in my brain, but I'm gonna work on fixing this.
Q: How come those pirate dudes are so nice to Kaida?
Kaida: You call that being 'nice'!? No no no no, nice would have been letting us go!
Q: Okay, then how come they were so polite and let her stay on the ship with the Prince and stuff?
A: Because they—
Kaida: Know better than to make me mad.
A: ARE YOU DOING THE FAQ OR AM I DOING IT!?
Kaida: Fine, go ahead.
A: Because at least some of their mothers' teaching got through their thick skulls. And Kaida seems kind of like an exotic plant to them and they don't want to aggravate her too much.
Prince: (Glowering) Or an exotic piece of meat.
Q: Why are they even on that ship in the first place?
Kaida: Because the authoress hates us.
A: I reiterate, I'M THE ONE DOING THE FAQ, BACK OFF!!! And it's because I wanted something to happen to them before getting to Babylon because otherwise it'd just be boring.
Q: The first chapter sucked, will it get better?
Kaida: Nope, this is about how it's gonna be for here on out.
A: YES IT WILL GET BETTER AND STOP ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS!!!
Kioko: I think that's about all for now.
Rhea: GAAAAAAH!!! NOT YOU TOO!!! I'M THE ONE WHO SAYS WHEN THAT'S IT!!! I'M THE AUTHORESS!!!
Kioko: You forget the amount of control you keep allowing your characters, Rhea. You control the story and the plotline, but they tend to make their own decisions way too often.
Rhea: Crap, she's right…
Kaida: So I can decide to have the entire ship slaughtered!?
Prince: (whispers) Can I put in a request for more bubbly fizzy stuff?
Rhea: (Smiles evilly) Heheheheheheheheheheh.
Kaida!.! WHAT DID YOU JUST TELL HER!?
Prince: Nothing! Nothing!!!
Kioko: (Sighs) See you in the next chapter. Read and review and all that crap.