A/N: …Heheheheh, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
"Farah!!!" I gasped, grabbing onto her wrist before she fell.
"Empress!" She exclaimed, grasping my arm tightly, "Empress please! Help me!"
"I'm trying." I said, and indeed I was. I was putting all my strength into pulling her up, but every time I put more effort into it, the weaker I was becoming.
"N-no, not here, not—help me please! I made a mistake! I'm afraid, I don't know what to do!!! Zervan knows, he knows! I don't know what he intends to do! Please, please help me! I'm so afraid!" She cried.
"The-the ring!" I said, panicking, "You have it?"
"Yes! Yes I have it but I don't know how to use it!" She cried.
"It can make you invisible, but you have to be careful." I told her.
"I don't know! I don't know just will it to make you invisible!" I exclaimed, my strength was waning.
"The inscription! Tell me what the inscription says! Maybe that's the spell!" She cried.
"It says, 'One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to take them all, and in the darkness bind them'." I answered, not knowing what good it would do, but telling her anyway. Perhaps it was the way to activate it, perhaps it would make her confident enough to control the ring's power. I didn't know, but my grip was slipping.
She fell, and I dove down to follow her into the darkness. I reached out for her as she screamed, but she simply became farther, and farther away, until…
I awoke with a start, gasping, and then putting a hand over my mouth so as not to wake the prince.
Hoping not to rouse him, I slowly slipped out of his arms, and replaced myself with a pillow, which he held onto tightly, his brow furrowing as if he somehow sensed that I was no longer there with him.
"What do you think you're doing!?"
What does it look like I'm doing? I'm leaving!!!
"You can't leave, Kaida. Not like that. What will the prince is going to think?"
Just shut up, you're so full of s(beep)! You can stop pretending to be concerned with the prince now, I know you're planning something. I may not know what or why, but I do know that the fact that you don't want me leaving is a good sign.
"You are making a mistake."
Give me one good reason why I should stay.
"Where do you intend to go?"
You have to ask? India of course. I'm going to find Farah and, if I can, expose Zervan for what he is.
"You are making a mistake."
And you are repeating yourself.
"They will eat you alive out there, you know. Here in this palace you are given preferential treatment, your little quirks are tolerated, and you've proven yourself a warrior so no one will challenge you. If you go out there on your own, your lack of knowledge is going to get you into trouble, trouble that a little blade-dancing isn't going to fix this time around."
Then I'll just have to be extra careful and go in disguise.
"And the prince?"
I paused, half hating myself for Sacrosanct, half knowing she was right. I couldn't just leave, what if he thought I intended to leave for good, that I wasn't coming back? He'd come after me, and he would probably have an easy time following my trail.
I didn't know if it would keep him from coming after me, but at least it was something. I slipped the scrunchie I always used to pull my hair up into a ponytail from my head, and placed it into his hand. I kissed him, and murmured an apology to him before turning to head for the balcony.
I looked around while I stood there braiding my hair and tying it with a ponytail holder I made from my sands. Just like in the games, there was a way down. I soon saw a pathway that only a skilled acrobat could use, and I felt fairly confident in my abilities, especially after all that time in the Babylonian training grounds.
I swung around the edge of the balcony and scooted over, aiming for the pole that was behind me. But before I could jump, I felt two hands on my wrists, holding me tightly, and pulling me right back over the railing. "Where are you going?" The prince asked in a shaky voice, his tone, hurt, and his grip on my shoulders was almost painful.
"India." I answered. His eyes widened in surprise, and I stared right back into his face, knowing full well this was no coincidence, that he did not wake up for no reason, and loathing Sacrosanct with every breath for this. "And don't try to stop me, because I know you're going to, and I'm going to tell you right now that the only reason you woke up is because, for some reason, Sacrosanct does not want me to go anywhere." I told him.
His eyes widened, and his grip lessoned, but he shook his head, "No, I woke up because I could no longer feel your body in my arms. Just tell me why Kaida. If you have to go to India, why don't you go with father's Ambassador?" He asked.
"Because I don't want anyone to know it's me, and because I didn't want you trying to follow me. I have to go, Prince. Something is going on, and it isn't a war. The treasure that was stolen from India was none other than the Dagger of Time itself, and it was stolen by the vizier, Zervan, two years ago, the same night that you accidentally found yourself inside the palace walls after having narrowly escaped the Dahaka. The blame was put upon you, but you're going to have a job proving it."
"How—how do you know all of this?" Asked the prince, and I gave him a wry smile.
"I am the Empress of Time, and apparently there's a lot more to that than a title and the power to manipulate time and sands. The Maharaja's daughter and I shared a dream a while back that I never told you about. She told me it was the dagger, and visions came to both of us, showing us what really happened the night you found yourself beneath her balcony. I just had another dream with her, and she's in trouble. I'm going to go help her, and you," I kissed him, "Are going to stay here, and look to see whether Zervan hasn't planted the dagger in the palace, or anywhere else in Persia. If you do find it, do not be caught holding it, whatever you do. You're already suspected. Just keep it safe for the time being." I said.
"And what if I wanted to go with you?" he asked, pointedly.
"You can't, that would be a very bad idea, Prince." I told him.
"What if I don't care?"
"You can't let your feelings for a single person outweigh the needs of the multitude you rule over. 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few', your people need you. Just make sure you keep close tabs on your dark side, because I'm not going to be here to make him behave." I answered.
The prince's expression fell into one of despair and he gathered me in his arms, holding me tightly. "If I let you go…" He whispered, "If I let you go now, will I ever see you again?"
"Yes, Prince. I promise you I'm coming back." I told him, wrapping my arms around him. "You've done…so much for me, more than you realize, more than you will ever really understand. Because of you…I feel whole, for the first time in my life, I feel whole, I feel…happy. I'm not saying this now in case I don't get a chance to later, I'm saying this so that you'll know I'm coming back. But I have to go, and you can't come with me." I told him.
"I…I don't know that I can let you go." He said.
"We can't be together all the time, Prince. I think we both need to re-learn how to survive without one another, it may just make us appreciate each other all the more." I said, kissing him in an attempt to ease the pain of what I knew I was doing to him…and what I was doing to myself.
"Kaida…before you leave…I want to tell you…I'm going to stand down from the throne, and I'm going to give the crown to Keilic." He said.
I stared at him, my jaw dropping, okay, what did he just say!?
I simply could, not, believe what I just heard! This wasn't the Prince of Persia! This was some crazy messed up lunatic that has the real prince tied up somewhere and is inhabiting a cybernetic body that looks and feels exactly like him! I did not just hear that, I did not just hear that!
"W-what?! You, you can't be serious!!! Why!?" I exclaimed.
He kissed me passionately, answering me before he even spoke, telling me without words exactly 'why'. "So that next time I ask you to marry me, I can do it without there being any catches, any ties, anything at all that would get in the way. You needn't have children, you needn't worry about how to be a queen, you needn't worry about anything whatsoever. We can live happily ever after, like in those children's tales. Or rather, we'll have a much easier time of pretending to live happily ever after, especially with that 'third party' to contend with."
The tears were falling freely down my face now, and I didn't know that they would ever stop.
He was willing to sacrifice everything he had, everything he loved, just give away something that meant so much to him…for me. Why, why? I couldn't figure it out, what could he possibly see in me, what did I possibly have that would make him love me so much? I couldn't understand it, I simply couldn't.
We had gone through so much together, and as the images of the past flashed across my mind, I tried to figure out when his feelings had gone from brotherly love to this. What had happened that I never noticed, that I never realized until it had already gone past, until the prince had already made up his mind that he was going to marry me? What had transpired that he would put up with hell itself just to be with me forever? What had I done to deserve this? What had I done to earn his love? What did I do right? What, in the short space of about five months, had I done?
Would he have done this for Farah? Given up everything just to be with her? No…not the prince that I thought I knew. But me? Why me? Why had it been me? If not for me…
If not for me he wouldn't even be considering something this insane.
The prince kissed my tears and held me close, but they wouldn't go away. I felt so overwhelmed, I felt guilty, and selfish. Suddenly, all the reasons I'd had, all those facts that I had laid out before my own eyes, the purpose for refusing to be his wife, for insisting that he would find someone else…they just seemed like so much meaningless babble, not worth the pain, not worth the torment they were putting both of us through.
"Prince…I…I don't want you to give all of this up, just for me, you can't." I murmured.
"I will." He said, wiping my tears from my eyes. "Because I love you. You've been through so much, I just want to make you happy, I want to see you smile more, to laugh more. No, I don't want to step down from my throne, but you're worth it, whether you believe that or not." He told me.
I wasn't, how could I be worth all of this pain? How could I possibly be worth all that I'd been putting him through?
"You…you've done so much for me." I said, wrapping my arms around his neck. "I can't let you make such a sacrifice for me, I won't. So…so this time, I'll make the sacrifice." I told him.
"What…are you saying?" He asked, breathlessly.
"I'm saying that when this is all over, I'll marry you, and I'll become the Queen of Babylon, for you." I said.
A look of disbelieving joy spread across his face as he stared at me, as though he had never seen anything quite like me. I smiled up at him through my tears, and we were about to kiss, but…
The prince's face contorted and he suddenly shouted, "SHUT UP!!!" And then his eyes widened and he looked down at me, spluttering his apologies, "I wasn't talking to you—it was—I mean, he wouldn't—"
"Ye gods. What a way to ruin the moment!" I exclaimed angrily, "You couldn't have waited!? Gees! Dark Prince, if you interrupt one of our sappy romantic moments like that again, I swear I'm going to tie you to a chair and subject you to several hours of bad EMO poetry which Sullian wrote no less! And you will bleed out your ears, I promise you that!" I exclaimed, and the prince started chuckling.
"Oh well, I don't care what he does, I'm not going to let him ruin this." He said, and this time he did kiss me. But he broke off, "NO THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN HAVE HER FIRST!!!" He yelled.
"I almost wish I could hear him so that it wouldn't feel so much like talking to a crazy person." I said, sighing.
"You know, you still have a few hours before sunrise, you could convince her to stay for a little while and…celebrate." My eyes shot open as I heard what could only be the Dark Prince's voice, as though it had been speaking from far away, and was now suddenly right up next to me.
"What tha—" I exclaimed, breaking away from him.
"What?" He asked.
"I heard him!" I exclaimed.
"She's bluffing, she can't hear me." The Dark prince said.
"I just did!" I exclaimed, "What the crap!?"
"Well, you did say you wished you could hear him, so I took the liberty of making a connection." Sacrosanct said.
"What tha—who are you?!" The Dark Prince exclaimed.
"Oh do forgive my manners. You see I don't have a body of my own so we've never met before. I am Sacrosanct, a pleasure to meet you Dark Prince." She said.
"Alright you two, bug off for a while so the prince and I can do bubbly fizzy stuff with at least some pretense at privacy." I said.
"Only if I can have a turn too!" The Dark Prince said mutinously.
"You sound like a child, you do realize that, don't you?"
"Oh shut up!" He exclaimed.
"Hnhnhn, I'd watch that mouth of yours if I were you. Why don't we let the two of them have a little privacy now, hm?"
"Ooooo, I'm so sca—hey what tha—what are you, how are you doing that!? Stop it!" He exclaimed, and the next moment we could both sense his presence, not disappear, but fade into a sort of shadow, become less if you would.
"What did you do?" I asked Sacrosanct.
"Initially, I put him to sleep. You saw how I did it, Prince?" She asked.
"I—yes, yes I did." He answered, his eyes wide."Good. Have fun you two." She said, and he presence faded as well.
"I'm not entirely sure what just happened." I said, frowning.
"Me neither, but I'm past the point where I entirely care." He said, and the joyous smile was back on his face as, wordlessly, he lead me back over to his bed.
I crafted my disguise out of sands, a dulled black outfit which slightly resembled that of a sand raider, only I was covered from head to toe, and the color variations consisted only of different shades of dark gray. I also made the cloth weather resistant, so that I wouldn't sweat myself to death in it during the day, nor freeze to death during the night.
I passed through the castle gates unnoticed, and went on through the city where the night owls paid me little heed. I thought I might look a bit like an assassin of some sort, but those who did see me didn't seem to care much, though I knew I was pretty intimidating. I had crafted the disguise for that purpose.
I wasn't tall, but I was tall enough that I was only half a head shorter than the prince, and that was a good enough size for a man. I had also discovered a new talent, I was able to actually change my vocal cords (with some of Aggle's help) in order to sound like a rather low and husky male voice without trying.
I didn't have any real plans for what to do about getting to India. I had never really needed to eat for some reason, I just did it so it wouldn't look so weird to the general public, and if I did it right, I could use my sands in order to transport the ring to and from the Manor, and transform inside this disguise. No one would notice unless they saw my eyes, and I would be much faster in running across the sands. I had maps, I could make it, and I might be able to ask for directions here and there.
I was just hoping I didn't run into any trouble, which was a false hope, I know, but one can dream.
And so the second chapter of my life comes to a close, as a third opens up. The separation from my prince will be painful, but I'd survive. I had to save Farah, and there were some things that I needed to work out for myself.
You think the story is interesting so far? Just wait, as the page turns to the third chapter, you will know these revelations with me.
Zervan, was the least of our problems.
Prince: 0.0 SAY WHAT!?!?
Kaida: Yeah, I'm kind of wondering about this too. (Everyone turns to Rhea)
Rhea: (Has a thing of silly putty in her hand) This, this represents my plot! (Begins twisting it mercilessly) MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
DP: Yeah, she's lost it.
Kioko: Oh she lost it a long time ago, trust me, I was there, I saw it happen.
DP: Forget this, I say she does the FAQ herself!!!
Rhea: Heheheh, hey Dark Prince, how'd you like Sacrosanct?
Sacrosanct: Hnhnhn, well Prince? Are you going to answer her?
DP: You freak'n put me to sleep! I'm not even sure how you did that!
Sacrosanct: You were being annoying, it was the easiest way of shutting you up. Trust me, it could have been a lot worse for you. Perhaps from now on you'll curb that tongue of yours with me. I'm a demon prince, and you? You are simply the darkness of a human's soul manifested into a second half. You're out of your league, so be a good boy from now on, won't you?
DP: Yes ma'am. (Grinning in that evil-sexy way that he always does)
Kaida: Hey! Excuse me, she's a voice you idiot!!! You can't go lusting after a voice!
DP: Well, since she's actually your voice…(Snakes arms around her middle from behind and resting his head on her shoulder to breath in her ear) I'll just have to stick with lusting after you. What's the matter, you jealous?
Prince: HEY!!! BACK OFF!!! I WAS HERE FIRST!!!
Kioko: Maybe we should get to the FAQ. Rhea, you get to do it.
Rhea: But what if I don't wanna?
Kioko: TOO BAD!!!
Q: Okay, just what the heck is Sacrosanct planning!?
A: To TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! Using a combination of moldy cheese and gum disease.
Q: No, seriously, what is she planning?
A: Not telling.
Q: Why is Kaida leaving without the prince!?
A: Because I sort of wanted to get into the story a bit more in depth with her I guess. I don't know, it just sort of happened this way. She also needs to get out of her EMO slump and live a little. The first few chapters will, unfortunately, be without the prince or our favorite Dark Prince, but I'll work them into there somehow.
Q: If Zervan isn't the main bad guy, then who is?! Is it Sacrosanct?
A: Nope, not really. Sacrosanct's too obvious, don'tcha thing? The real baddie is someone else, but I'm not telling you who!
Q: How come Sacrosanct didn't want her leaving?
A: Because there's not enough moldy cheese for her to make use of in the road between Babylon and India.
Q: Why end this story there, why not just continue it?
A: Because the next part of this fic is going to have a bit of a different feel to it, it's a time when Kaida no longer has the prince to lean back on, and the prince no longer has her either. Absence makes the heart grow stronger after all!
Rhea: Well, that's all for now!!! Make sure you review and look out for Dark Dreams 3!!! (Haven't decided what to call it quite yet, but I'll think of something…Ideas? Suggestions?)