Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Persia or any of the characters.
Summary: Three and One. Three Times Dastan proved his loyalty and the one time he didn't need to.
Warning: whump!Dastan. whump meaning: "a fandom term, commonly used by fanfiction authors to describe physical and/or mental abuse laid on a character in a story." Movie!verse
Named for Loyalty
By: Lost-Remembrance (Red Tail)
The sun was shining in a glorious fashion, beating down on the main city in the vast Persian Empire. In this grand city, the three famed princes were all together, enjoying the relatively peaceful times they found themselves in. It was the first of many months that they weren't traveling to other areas, either spreading their territory further or making political appearances in other conquered places.
Tus found himself quite happy with the arrangement. Finally he had time to see to his wives and bask in their endless affection. He was safe within these stonewalls that he called home. Exhaling deeply. He closed his eyes and tilted his head up towards the sky. As the crown prince, there was little time for him to feel at such peace. Ministers and counsels continuously vied for his attention and favor. His father was always watching with that weighed, testing gaze of his.
Finally, after seven days of a whirlwind of princely duties, he felt he could take a moment to himself and to simply breathe. Tus reopened his eyes and continued on his slow walk, letting his feet take him to one of the outer and lower gardens in the maze-like structure of the palace. Here there were the sounds of birds and insects rather than the loud murmur of various servants. Not a guard was in sight, but Tus couldn't bring himself to care.
He was home, and after all, no one would be foolish enough to attempt an attack on him. His sword would be drawn before they could charge.
"Tus! Hey, brother!" Tus' attention was drawn away from the serenity of the surroundings and over to the form of Dastan, who was waving a hand to catch his attention as he darted towards him with his natural agility.
Tus rolled his eyes at the sight. Of all the princes, anyone would be able to tell it was you who were not born of noble blood." He felt a twinge of regret upon his words, seeing the flicker of pain that was then quickly hidden in Dastan's eyes. "What brings you in such a hurry, brother?"
Their youngest brother laughed in a carefree manner. "Nothing at all. Can I not simply wish to spend time with my eldest brother?"
Tus raised an eyebrow in suspicion at these words before a slow grin slipped over his lips. "I guess you've decided to try and prank Garsiv and actually succeeded this time?"
Dastan had the decency to blush at his brother's words. His shoulders raised themselves slightly, "You might want to stay away from his bedchambers this evening. He seemed quite mad yet when I fled."
Tus chuckled, mood lightening even further. He couldn't imagine life without Dastan as his brother. Together, Tus and Garsiv often balanced one another, but they had many similar traits that led them both to lead very serious lives. Dastan added mirth, humor, and excitement to their daily activities.
Dastan looked to the ground as they slowly continued walking around the various beauties in the garden. "I hope you don't mind the company. I know you've seemed rather stressed lately." Dastan frowned at himself, thinking of all the effort he put into distracting various members of the palace from questioning where the crown prince was. All that effort, to give him some peace and quiet, ruined by his silly little prank on Garsiv!
"And here I was beginning to wonder why no servants had managed to find me yet with some important task that demanded my attention." Dastan didn't meet his eyes and shrugged his shoulders. He could never be able to lie to his brother or any of his family members. It was an endearing trait to the royal family
Tus kept his eyes on his brother for a moment before he turned his attention away towards a rose bush in front of him. "Thank you, brother." Dastan said nothing, but Tus knew he had a smile on his face.
"I haven't wandered this particular garden in quite some time. I've forgotten how peaceful it is away from the palace echoes."
"There are some beautiful trees here." Dastan agreed, eyeing a few with eagerness. Tus had always watched his brother's skills with awe, almost as if the younger boy had wings. He himself much preferred to remain on the ground.
From the distance, they heard a rabble of noises, mostly of servants calling their names as they tried to locate the two princes.
"Well, it looks like my vacation is over." Tus commented, "Though they are still quite a ways away. We should still have some moments before we are swarmed." Tus sat himself down on the edge of a marble fountain and dipped his hands into the water. Dastan remained standing near him; he was never really one for sitting.
The noise of the searching servants drowned out most of the ambience of the garden as the search party slowly approached. Dastan didn't hear an odd rustle of leaves until almost the last second.
The youngest prince's brain rapidly connected the lack of breeze and animal calls with the brief rustle. A second and third were more pronounced and sent his body coiled into action just as the air was split by an arrow.
He crashed his body into his brother by instinct, adrenaline fueling his protective intentions. As their body's collided Dastan felt a sharp flair of pain strike through his torso. Together, the two crashed into the cool water. He gasped at the pain, water flooding into his mouth. Before he had a moment to collect himself, his brother's struggling body, reaching for the surface, sent him crashing against the side of the fountain.
He lost consciousness, slipping through the waves of pain shocking his system.
Tus pulled himself from the water hair dripping, and mouth open and gasping like a fish. He shook himself, causing offending water droplets to fly off his face and the tendrils of his sopping bangs. His wet hands attempted to smooth back his hair into some semblance of order as a wave or irritation flooded through him.
Only Dastan would be able to make a crowned prince look like a drowned rat. Servants erupted into the entrance of the large garden, effectively shattering any remaining illusions of tranquility. Armed guards were running across the upper walkways connecting to the high-reaching walls.
"Dastan—" Tus turned his head and his eyes widened in shock. "Dastan!" His cry of worry alerted the searchers to his exact location. Quickly, he pulled his limp brother from the churning fountain water. Red tainted the once crystal clear waters.
His mind, muddled by shock, put the events together. Assassin. Fury burned through him. A guard approached him and training took over. He instantly barked orders for the guard to gather troops and search the city for the man who dared to try and assassinate the crown prince in his own backyard.
A servant girl quickly fell to her knees, pulling out a rag as she attempted to wipe down Prince Dastan and determine the source for blood.
"Call a healer! Immediately!" Tus commanded and people quickly fled to accomplish his latest order. A bulky servant and a thinner man approached the princes, gently taking Dastan from his brother's grip and lifting him up. The two, following the prince, quickly made their way back to the palace and into Dastan's bedchambers where the healer was impatiently waiting…
As soon as Dastan's wooden doors to his bedchambers opened, the healer stopped wringing his hands. He turned his attention to his younger female attendant and apprentice, snapping orders at her while following the still form of the youngest prince.
"He was shot in an assassination attempt." Tus said, voice cold and emotionless as he stared down at his brother with clear worry, "An arrow. To the back."
The healer quickly went into action, turning the limp form from his side to better access the damage. One his cut away and removed any articles of clothing impeding his vision, he saw the damage done by the arrow.
Half of it was still lodged in Dastan; the other half floating away in the fountain somewhere from where it broke when he impacted against the wall. Tus clenched his fists, feeling his nails dig into calloused flesh. Taking deep breaths to calm himself, he watched as the healer and his helpers wrenched the remaining half of the arrow from Dastan.
The sudden motion and imminent fury of pain cut through to Dastan even through the blanket of unconsciousness. His eyes snapped open and his body arched. His mouth opened, attempting to scream, but a gurgled and watery cry was all that escaped his throat.
"IT sounds as though he has water lodged in him, sir." One of the female attendants noted, taking a damp cloth and wiping it against the forehead of their patient, hoping to soothe him and his pain. Daze and half lidded eyes stared at her. Even in their current state, the young maiden couldn't help but find a flush break across her cheeks before she quickly composed herself.
Upon hearing her words, the healer then attempted to dispel any remaining water clogged in Dastan's lungs. That was easily accomplished when the simplest shift in Dastan's position allowed the younger man to cough, easily removing any traces of water.
Tus watched with guilt as he saw the healer's continuous attempts to staunch the flow of blood from the puncture wound. The tip of the arrowhead was what had caused most damage in the young prince; the barbed tip tore through more muscle when it was sharply removed.
When he saw the healer press a poultice solution onto the wound, his worry abated only briefly. Dastan had made it through the removal of the arrow and all that was left would be stitching the wound shut. Compared to the previous pain, hopefully Dastan would barely feel the needle. Tus prayed to the gods that his nerves were simply too overloaded to process any more pain.
When the female attendant pulled out a needle and some fine silk thread, Tus took one more deep and calming breath. "I will return and expect an update on his condition."
"Yes, sire. We shall patch him up and then closely watch him for signs of any fever or infection." The doctor said as the woman threaded the silk through the needle eye.
Tus nodded his appreciation and turned, taking his leave as two guards followed him, flanking either side of him. As he exited the bedchambers, his eyes caught the form of a figure leaning against the wall. Adrenaline spiked through him until he recognized the silent guardian; Bis.
Bis looked at him and bowed his head at the sight of royalty. Tus nodded, remaining silent. What more could he say?
He continued on his trek towards the throne room where his father would be waiting. Judging by the skittish servants, he assumed Garsiv was grumbling about the latest prank Dastan played on his brother to their father.
Once again Tus was reminded of Dastan's unfaltering loyalty to his adopted family. Any slightest whispering of doubt in his mind was certainly left in the secluded garden.
Taking a deep breath, he looked at a panting servant in front of him. It was the same lad who had fetched the healer for him. He was arguing with the guards, attempting to gain admittance into the chamber. Tus briefly noted the time, assuming it was the private time when all three princes had their father's attention and nothing else. It was during this time, they were allowed to voice any complaints, ask any favors, or determine solutions for problems. The lad was attempting a fool's task to try and gain admittance during such a time. Only the severest of situations allowed such an interruption.
The guards obviously didn't believe the lad when they said Prince Dastan had been injured foiling an assassination attempt in the palace.
Tus approached and signaled for the boy to stand down. He himself would deliver the news to their father. The guards noted the appearance of the crown prince and parted ways, allowing admittance and opening the large wooden doors to the throne room.
"Ah, Tus," his father, the King commented, "Finally you decide to make your appearance." He lifted an eyebrow, both at his son's obviously wet appearance and at his tardiness. "And where is Dastan?" Garsiv snorted and cross his hands at that question.
Tus remained standing rigidly, a simple hand movement indicating the doors to be closed as he fully entered the chamber. He took a deep breath and prepared himself to tell his father the news.