Author's note: I hope you have enjoyed this fic as much as I did. It definitely got away from me as it was supposed to be just a bit of a oneshot drabble and I usually don't write anything of any length. Thanks for sticking with it and reviewing!
I may, may, write a sequel but I'm not sure. I have a few ideas but we'll see where it goes as I'm not so good at plotting.
Anyway, thanks again for reading, reviewing, favouriting, etc. You guys rule!
You lead me away and call me astray.
You lead me away and call me astray.
Tamina has forbid him from telling Tus and Garsiv about the Dagger and the Sands of Time. He's tried to explain to her that his brothers aren't stupid and definitely know something is up but she's adamant that his brothers cannot be trusted with a secret of this magnitude without wishing to abuse it. He clenches his fists. No matter how much he cares for her, he believes she's wrong. While he can accept they might be tempted to use the Dagger to change certain outcomes - perhaps battles lost - he thinks they're wise enough to be able to resist the impulse. In any case, perhaps the Dagger ought to be destroyed, he's not so foolish as to believe the danger is past. Was not one of the Hassansins a priest of the Sands once? There is no reason to tempt fate
Tus deserves to know why he had to kill Nizam. He doesn't doubt Tus' wisdom and Garsiv's loyalty and even though they still see him very much as the younger brother, he hopes they will respect his decisions about the disposal of the Dagger. His hand rests over his heart and he hopes they won't require proof, he's not eager to stab himself in the chest again. Then again, it had hurt less than seeing both his brothers and his father murdered.
No, he will make his own decisions.
He sends word to Garsiv and Tus that he wishes to see them and they join him in the evening. He allows Tus to fuss over him for a bit while Garsiv mocks them in the background. Garsiv has brought pomegranates as a treat and despite the warning looks Dastan dares to spit a few seeds in Garsiv's direction. A small struggle ensues, only broken off when he starts coughing from the exertion and Tus breaks them apart. The hilarity of the moment dissipates when Tus clears his throat.
"Dastan, you wanted to tell us something?"
He accepts the goblet of wine from Garsiv before reclining against the pillows. "Yes, the truth of what happened."
They sit like statues throughout his tale, grave and grey and they look at him with such eyes.
His brothers are clearly troubled by his tale of murder, recrimination and deceit. He sees the anger building in Garsiv and he's too tired to deal with his onslaught of passion but again it's Tus who calms the waves.
"Brothers, we all have much to say but it's impossible to justify actions that now have never happened. What you told us is very painful-", he presses Dastan's hand, "but now is not the time to discuss it. We have other priorities."
Garsiv stands up stiffly. "The Hassansins will have to be taken care of urgently. I'll ask Father for permission to take some men and -"
"We will wait until Dastan is healed and then we will all go, Garsiv. This concerns all of us and it is a duty we should execute together. No, don't argue, I will not let you ride towards vengeance and danger on your own."
Garsiv sits back down, looking mulish.
Tus paces through the room, his face as serious as Dastan has ever seen it.
"Dastan, the Dagger. You cannot conceive…the power it…"He trails off and looks out of the window at the blue vault of the sky and in that instant Dastan fears Tamina's worries are justified.
Tus turns towards them, looking wild and afraid. "You were lucky, Dastan. We all were. We could have all died!", he laughs, "We all did die!"
Dastan gets out of the bed to comfort his brother, Garsiv supports him with a strong arm around his shoulders as he lays his hand on Tus' arm which is nearly vibrating with tension.
Tus whirls around and grabs him by the shoulders. "No, brother. You must understand that as long as the Dagger is here, as long as it exists it will be a risk to all of us."
"To everything.", Garsiv adds solemnly, "It must be destroyed. Absolutely."
Dastan gasps in relief, which apparently alarms his brothers and he finds himself deposited back in his bed in seconds and his brothers settled in the chairs next to him.
"Can it be destroyed?"
"Yes, Princess Tamina knows a way."
Garsiv slaps his knee. "Good, then we'll meet the fine princess as soon as you're better and hash out a plan. There's still one point though, what do we tell Father?"
Tus sighs. "Nothing more than he already knows. Dastan uncovered the deceit due to a remorseful spy and on accusing Nizam, was attacked by him in a cowardly manner leaving me with no other option than to intervene with fatal results."
Dastan stares at Tus and realizes that his brother has changed in the last weeks, there is no a whit of the doubting man left as if in removing Nizam's influence, he has gained the self-confidence he needed.
Garsiv spits a pomegranate seed at his older brother and the tension shatters when they all burst out in laughter. It seems none of them will allow the others to grow too big for their boots in this family.
The servants bustle in with tea trays, sweets and fruits at Garsiv's order.
With an ease they haven't felt in years, they drink their glasses of hot mint tea and enjoy the honeyed sesame cakes and set aside their further worries for just one evening of convivial, brotherly camaraderie before their trials begin.