"I'm leaving," she said. Her eyes were like flint. She pulled away from him and rose into the air, blue light wreathing around her.
He watched her go, uncomprehending. Ahriman roared from behind them, and the Prince could almost smell his fetid breath. He had never felt this tired before. This bewildered. This bone-wrenchingly angry. "I'm sorry," he said slowly. "What did you say?"
Elika lifted her chin. "You heard me," she said. "I'm leaving to find my people."
She soared up and away from him. Light. Magic. An angel leaving him in darkness. For a moment the Prince could say nothing, feel nothing. Shock cleaved through him like a blow, worse than the brute force of the warrior, worse even than all of Ahriman's whispers promising him something he'd never have.
And then he started laughing.
The city was still shaking itself to pieces behind them, falling under the restored weight of the Corruption and Ahriman's triumph. The Prince's laughter was somehow louder. It echoed through the empty chambers they'd fought so desperately to save. It clawed through the air and sank into the stone. Elika paused.
"Your people!" the Prince wheezed. He was laughing so hard he thought he might weep, but if he wept now they would be tears of rage. "The ones who abandoned you! The ones who left!"
If it was possible, her face turned even colder. "Goodbye."
The last tether in him snapped and he rounded on her. "You can't say that. You don't get to say that. Not after all we've been through."
Some of the blue faded. Elika swooped down to him, eyes burning. "I can't believe you," she whispered. Then her voice rose. "I honestly can't believe you. I trusted you and you betrayed me. Don't you speak to me of debts when you just sold the world to Ahriman, you..."
The Prince threw his head back and the words came out of him like the roar of a desert wind. "You said that Ormazd sent me!"
Elika stopped. She gaped. She felt like she'd been slapped. Slowly, her jaw worked. "Well," she said. "Clearly I was wrong."
But he wasn't giving up either. "Oh really?" his face hardened to match hers, glacier facing glacier. "You said it yourself. What were the chances that I found your hidden city after so many years? What were the chances that I lost Farah, that the storm came up when it did? Ormazd sent me, not any of your precious people who ran away. What does that tell you?"
"That even I can be wrong about Ormazd sometimes," Elika spat. "Is that what you want me to say?"
He shook his head and laughed again. This time it was a small, mean laugh. One that made her hate him even more. "Oh no, Princess. You can't have it both ways. Isn't that what faith is all about?" His smile was jagged, a thing as sharp as his blade. "You said Ormazd sent me. This means that Ormazd meant for this all to happen." He swept his hand back at the fallen city. "He meant for me to make that deal and bring you back. He meant for the city to be lost."
"You hypocrite," she hissed. "You don't even believe in Ormazd."
He spread his hands out wide. "I don't know, Princess," he said dryly. "After watching you die and come back to life, I'm pretty ready to believe anything. At least I'm willing to be proved wrong. Are you? How much is your faith worth to you?"
"Don't talk to me about faith, you liar!"
"I never lied to you," he scoffed, relentless. "I told you that I'd let you down. I did." He pointed back at the city tearing itself apart. "You lied to me almost every step we took, every second that I risked my life for you and your God. I'd say we're even and I'm ready to have a little faith. You don't have to like it. I sure don't like having a dark God breathing down my neck. But it would be stupid beyond belief to abandon me now when you know nothing about the big wide world out there and I can help you find your people. I could say a lot of things about you, you, Princess, but stupid isn't one of them. What do you say?"
Her jaw worked. The Prince and the Princess stared at each other across an abyss much deeper than air and Corruption.
"Fine," Elika said. "You come with me. But I don't trust you as far as I can throw you."
The Prince smirked. "And we both know you can throw me pretty far."
She was in front of him in the blink of an eye, magic rearing to strike. Her eyes were white and blue. "Don't test me. I will end you if you even think to betray me again, do you understand me?"
He gave her a thin smile and lifted his hands. "Sure, Princess. And I'll stab you through the heart if you lie to me again. Now come on. Let's go save the world."
She took him in her arms and spun off into the air, much harder than necessary. The joy of the flight was lost on her. She was pain. She was death. She was agony. She had just lost everything and the man whose life she was saving... again... was the cause. She hated him to the core of her being.
But she couldn't deny, even as she thought about dropping him to his death, even as her heart tore itself apart with the death throes of her city, that somehow this felt right. The two of them together against Ahriman. The two of them ready to save the world.
Elika tightened her grip and flew on.
A/N: Hello again my friends. I know it's been a while. I've been writing original stories that you can find information on at ericachanwrites .com, but I replayed Prince of Persia recently and this just poured out of me. Hope you enjoyed it.