A/N: I haven't written much in the Jak&Daxter universe lately—egads, the horror!— and I forgot that I had this sitting within my files untouched for the most part until a short while ago. Figure what the heck, might as well finish it.

I'd say it's set somewhere during the beginning of Jak 3 if not shortly before it. I mean, Damas is still alive.
Short, but do with it what you will. :)

(The boys are back in town! And by 'boys' I mean girl. And by 'back in town' I mean trying to write some J&D fanfiction again. XD)

The forgotten desert city was calm, nearly serene; its people bobbing to-and-fro in that unseemly manner that almost screamed near non-conformity. At any other given moment, the sun would have been too unbearable, the temperature too hot, the inner city mirages enough to drive one into sheer madness. Now however, it simply existed as a far-away beckon, a twisted, constant reminder that what one wanted was never in reach.

Sig hated those days.

He hated the calm, accepted indifference of a situation. How Haven's refuse stumbled along half-made paths, seemingly content with their banishment from a place many had once called home.

Being called to the Chamber Room did little to aid Sig's displeasure with that day. It was not that he disliked meeting with Damas—it was just why.

That nagging feeling in the back of his mind, the guilt that flashed through him every time he pictured their faces together that would never go away. He would take all those feelings and memories to the grave just because he had to.

Sometimes he thought Damas knew.

How could he? Damas couldn't possibly—yet given the scenario, Sig wouldn't have been surprised if it had been Mar himself that had planned it.


He was no true hero. A simple bedside tale to placate restless children. A shadow of someone who once existed. Had Mar been the hero they all thought him to be, none of this would have happened.

Their king would not be a broken man without his son.

Sig could feel the fleeting glances directed toward his face as he stormed through the beaten sand; his waning resolve crushed into oblivion as he forced himself up the innumerable steps, the Peacemaker quivering violently in his clenched fist.

He tried not to think of the age gap between the two forms—one small and naïve, the other battle-hardened and angry.

The lift only served to prolong the inevitable, and his brow furrowed as it bemoaned its existence and purpose it served when it suddenly jerked, throwing Sig back into his twisted reality.

Neither man had to say anything while the newcomer stealthily approached the other, his footfalls falling in a steady, rhythmic manner. With every muffled sound Damas only heard two words,

Not, yet. Not, yet.

The conversation had already been going downhill; even from the moment Sig had first heard the phrase Damas wants you. He knew what to expect, he just didn't want to be the one that had to say it.

It took a few moments for Sig to finally meet Damas' gaze, and when he did so, he could he the very depths of his soul keening in misery. Damas' violet eyes were terrifying in the right light-now being one of them. He was exposed. His grievances, his regrets, his remorse—it was all free game.

Another reason Sig hated times like these.

How could he give Damas the answers he didn't have? He could not offer a half-truth or whimsical lie and simply hope that Damas would take it with a grain of salt only because he truly believed and had nothing left.

How could Sig take everything from a man with nothing?

The order was short, brute, and clear: Sig, find my son.

He had had two years—two years of lies and deceit and brutality and shame. He had two years worth of useless Intel because the only thing Damas wanted to know was whether or not his son was still alive. Never mind Haven's weak points or dwindling eco supply, never mind the Baron's iron fist or the decay that had once been peace. All he wanted to know—was Mar was still alive? Was he happy?

Was he afraid?

Was he alone?

The little boy was hurtling through time and his current self was wandering the streets of Haven City terrified of what he was and what he was capable of.

Sig could see the question burning unspoken in the king's eyes and the two men were left to stare one another down. The old scar that served as a reminder of his missing eye throbbed in phantom pain as he debated over his place in his newest revelation and his place in its disclosure. He had no right in obliterating his old friend's reality and there was no way he would take it upon himself to further alter the boy's world after its more recent upheaval.

If nothing less, Sig made it a promise to himself to protect the boy at any cost.

And he would never be the one to tell Damas.

He would never berate Damas with what would be taken as heresy, would never threaten to mock him, dig deeper into the wound and grin as if to say Oh yes, this lad? Were you looking for the teenage renegade that has endured so much in so little?

The violet-eyed benevolent king stood and waited; paused and sighed; silently demanded the answers he knew were fleeting.

Have you found him? Sig, have you found him? You would tell me if you had, wouldn't you?

As strong and weathered as Damas, King of Spargus was in title and in right, in close proximity and on his own he was seen for what he truly was—man, human.

Sig no longer wished to stare into the beaten soul of a childless father.

He tried not to think that the other man's voice sounded broken and berated, taken for granted in that fact that the boy who was once his son had formerly lacked his own.

He looks just like you.

He couldn't bring himself to tell him.

"Any reports?"

Sig said nothing.

And that was answer enough.

A/N: Funny isn't it, how pretty much the first thing I do when I try to get back into the J&D fandom is to write some angst.
But I like angst, so I guess this works.

Why is it that the characters I like best always tend to suffer the most? ಠ_ಠ