Author's Note: I'm sorry I haven't been writing anything lately, work has just been so hectic! Anyway, this is my first Prince of Persia thing, so I hope it's likeable!
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Persia. None of it. Sigh.
"Tell me about your family."
"I don't have a family."
And as they ran, jumped, fought and clawed their way through the overcome palace, he died a little more on the inside every time he landed or plunged his sword into a body that used to be human, but had long since rotted away from serving the God that promised eternal life to all its followers. Every time he stared death straight in the eyes and threw rocks at it, he died a little more when he got away with it, and lived. Every time he watched his footing fall away from beneath him, and felt the growing darkness beneath swallow him whole, he died a little more when she grabbed onto his hands and pulled him back up. And when she looked at him, with her piercing chocolate eyes that seemed to stare straight into the depths of his soul and see all the horrors that hid there in the shadows, he wanted to fall onto his knees and cry until there was nothing left of him. Because, if she saw all the things he had done, all the things he had seen, all the horrors he'd overcome, he was sure she would spit on him in disgust, and leave him there to rot away.
"Dying is easy. Staying alive is hard, but I like the challenge."
The challenges that life provided him on a daily basis, had seized being pleasurable a long time ago. Ever since the moment he had found his father dead on the floor of the palace that was once his home, living had turned into surviving. And he wasn't sure whether surviving all these horrors was worth it anymore. But then, every time he looked onto her eyes and prayed with all his might that she couldn't read from his eyes what he had done, he also saw the one thing that kept him going. The faith she had in him from the beginning of their journey, awakened something in him that he thought he lost when the beautiful princess he was about to marry, had been brutally taken away from him: compassion, love, for someone other than himself and his own fate.
"Sharp sword and an empty horizon, sometimes that's all a man needs."
It was never what he needed, it was what life handed him and he took it without question, because he knew what the future would bring if he didn't, so this path had held the most promise. And as his mind took him down memory-filled roads he didn't want to go down again, he hardly noticed the black abyss that was about to grab him by the ankles and pull him down into the sweet silent oblivion that lay beneath the platform they stood on. A firm hand on his shoulder shook him out of his wonderings and saved him from a certain death. When he stopped and looked at her – really looked at her, he could see that he meant more to her than just a travel companion, someone to overcome this dark and twisted reality with. Her face softened gradually and her hand slowly slipped from his shoulder. It fell down limply next to her body as she adopted the pose of a hurt puppy that was begging for forgiveness. Or he only imagined that, because a second later, she slapped him in the face, harshly bringing him back to the reality of the situation. He cleared his throat, slightly embarrassed by his soft behavior, and looked at their surroundings, hoping to find a way out of the pit they had been thrown in. All he saw was darkness and a few stone platforms that used to form what looked like a beautifully tiled floor. When his gaze travelled upwards, he noticed four large columns ascending upwards into a sky they couldn't see because the sun had already set and the stars had vanished with the reign of the relentless God that had begun to slowly take over their world.
"I think those columns are our way out of here," he said softly, not wanting to scare her with the sudden sound of his voice. In this place where the sound of human voices other than their own was scarce if not impossible, they had not spoken to each other for a long time. Everything had been said days, maybe even weeks before, and the only reasons that were left for speech were to let her know he was going out to scout for food and to tell her that he hadn't found anything.
When a man is faced with his own death, he finds the impossible less of a barrier.
When faced with certain death, things may become a little less complicated or difficult, but the impossible never becomes any more touchable than it was on a regular basis. It doesn't become any easier to try and achieve what you thought to be impossible. Your boundaries and limits don't change from 'impossible' to 'difficult'. The only thing that changes is that you stop caring. If you're faced with your death, and there's no way of getting out of it, you don't care if things are impossible anymore. You'll die anyway, right?
They reached the nearest column minutes later and started their troubled ascend. There were chunks missing in the columns structure which made it easier for them to climb up to an uncertain future. Though that was nothing new. Their future had been uncertain for days, maybe even weeks, since their journey started. And now, when they couldn't even see their way out, not sure if they would even get out, the lies he had spread kept coming back to him.
"We'll be fine."
"Who's out there waiting for you?"
"A whole world full of people."
"Is there no one you've got close to?"
"Trust yourself and you don't need to."
"For the first time in my life … I am afraid."
And then he finally stumbled onto a truth:
"I had faced my enemy, I had looked into his eyes, and I had lost … everything."