Disclaimer: I don't own the Prince of Persia franchise

Disclaimer: I don't own the Prince of Persia franchise. That belongs to others, richer and more ingenious than myself.

A/N: Written in response to the appalling lack of PoP fanfiction floating around the interweb strikeand because I'm an undercover hopeless romantic./strike The story assumes that Farah is 17 in Sands of Time and 24 in the Two Thrones. Title inspired by the lovely song from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack.

Before Time

Farah was never the sort of girl to indulge in romantic fantasies. Her sisters spent countless hours giggling over a handsome soldier or the newest suitor. Farah spent those hours at the archery range or exploring the countless nooks and crannies of her father's palace.

Her mother and the other harem women scolded her endlessly. She would never find a husband if she carried on like this, citing sisters her age who had been wed years ago.

The princess simply could not bring herself to care about such matters, viewing marriage as a distant and daunting endeavor that would curtail what little independence she had managed to gain.

She had no worry of being the prize in a political match anytime soon, however. The maharajah favored her over all of his children and it would take half of India before he relinquished her to another man. So, Farah went on, blissfully unattached to any man and free from any longing for such an attachment.

Then, the nightmares began, halfway through her seventeenth year. They were faded and misty, barely perceptible in sleep and never remembered in waking. Images of nightmare creatures, crumbling grandeur and sand, so much sand flitted in front of her mind's eye. Conversations that she could still feel on her lips died as soon as her eyes opened.

Then, there was…someone. A man. She knew him, yet he was a stranger. She never saw his face. Yet, he was the only thing that remained in her mind upon her return to consciousness.

The dreams burned into her heart, creating an ache so fierce she felt as if she would break.

But with these illusions came another sense, a sense of warning. As if viper was slithering its way ever closer to her.

She threw herself into her archery and begged the basics of swordplay out of two young guards, cowed by her status. This did alleviate the growing feeling of dread coiling around her heart, but only distracted her from the pain.

She still woke on some nights, crying for someone she had never known.

Years went by and the dreams began to lessen in the frequency, but strengthened in severity. They became clearer, more vivid, more terrifying and more heartbreaking.

She began to recall a pair of blue eyes. She had never met anyone with such eyes.

Suddenly the visions ceased. Farah found herself missing them, despite the monsters that plagued them, just so she could be closer to visualizing the face that accompanied those striking eyes.

She became distant, detached from the world around, wholly absorbed with perfecting her skill with the bow. Her father worried that the strange weather was affecting her, her mother argued that it came from her unmarried state.

The vizier merely gave a small smile and assured them that it would pass, with time.

The dreams that had made her lose sleep for nearly seven years were now causing insomnia by their absence. She toyed with the idea of leaving to decipher the meaning of her reveries, to embark on a grand quest. She wondered how he father would react to her departing to find the identity of a man, to whose identity the only clue was the unusual color of her eyes. She laughed at the childishness of the idea.

Still, she slept with her bow unstrung near her bed, wondering if one night she would have the courage to depart from everything she had ever known.

Farah never had the opportunity to do so.

The vizier made his move and the pieces fell into place.

Time shifted and once again arranged itself around the actions of one man and one woman.

FIN

A/N: Sorry, I couldn't help myself. ..